By Bennett Oghifo
Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu yesterday re-entered his palace, about two months after a mob forced him to evacuate, during the ENDSARS protests
The royal father, whose palace, Iga Idungaran, in Lagos Island was looted and vandalised by rioters, danced into the renovated facility, amid drumming, singing and chant of welcome in Yoruba, as captured in a tweeted video that has gone viral on the internet.
The Oba, who wore a nose mask, was obviously performing a traditional rite, as he was guided by some palace chiefs and priests, who were bare-chested, wearing only white skirts..
In the heat of the ENDSARS riots, the oba’s palace was ransacked and even his symbol of authority was stolen, but was later returned, according to reports.
The desecration of Oba of Lagos Palace was inevitable, a Lagos Royal, Her Royal Highness Abiola Dosunmu, the Erelu Kuti IV of Lagos told ARISE News.
“It was inevitable,” she said, adding that the palace was attacked because the rulers had failed in their responsibilities to the people.
“They didn’t touch any other building in Lagos Island, only the Oba’s palace. That’s a direct message,” HRH Dosunmu said.
“Something was bound to happen. I could see the anger. We, the parents and leaders, have failed. We have neglected our children. A lot of them are jobless and hungry. Now we have to do all we can about their depravation.
“All of us must quickly set up vocational places to help the depraved.”
Dosunmu blamed the political leadership in the state for the anarchy Nigeria’s commercial capital has faced in the past week.
“The kind of politics being played in Lagos is part of the problem facing the state, the politicians in the state are also part of the problems in the state.
“Protesters in the state are still angry and it’s visible. It only shows that we have failed, the parents and leaders in the country have all failed. Take a look around you, see lots of children out of school. Their parents have no money to send them to schools and they see affluence everywhere around them, definitely the crisis is bound to happen.
“A lot of people are jobless and hundreds of children are out of school and the system isn’t favourable to them because there are hikes in prices of fuel which affects everything. It simply shows that we’ve failed,” she added.
“I am asking the government to ensure that within three months they should be setting up vocational centres where these children can have a vocation, if not it will get worse before it gets better,” she said.
The Oba’s staff of office, which was taken in the invasion, is the symbol of authority of the monarch. HRH Dosunmu was assured that the staff would be returned.
“I have appealed to the people who took the Oba’s staff, and I know, without any threat, that the person is going to come back and bring the staff back and beg for forgiveness, willingly.”