Oba Tijani Adetunji Akinloye, Ojomu of Ajiranland, has voiced his concern over government’s insensitivity toward traditional monarchs in Lagos State.
Describing their importance in the affairs of the State, Akinloye remarked that they deserve more than the kind of treatment being meted out to them by the government.
“In those days, the Obas were the governments of their communities. They collected taxes and operated as Alpha and Omega at that time. With modernisation, the colonial masters took away the rights and privileges of the Obas. It has been like this over the years.
“After colonisation, came the self-government that we have today. Again, the roles of traditional rulers are being relegated. But when they (politicians) have problems, they still run to these Obas to seek for advice. Or when they want to get the masses to support their political ambitions they still come to us. We do that as much as possible but as soon as the mandate is given to them they run away. That is why we suggested that it is better there is a particular role that is given to the Obas to advise and be remunerated accordingly.
“The Obas don’t earn salary what we get is a stipend or allowance because they believe our positions is not recognised. They are cheating us because ordinary councilors get four times of what they give us as Obas.”
However when reminded that there is an edict that forbid bringing Obas into politics, the Ojomu of Ajiran has this to say:
“Well, playing an advisory role is not bringing us (monarchs) to politics. What we solicited for is that there should be proper constitutional position for Obas’ Councils. Governance is about people and whatever they (government) want to do; the Obas should be allowed to contribute to the bill. My suggestion is that in the three tiers of government: local, state and federal, there should be a Council of Obas where they can make contribution to the nation’s development.”
It will be recalled that Oba Tijani Adetunji Akinloye has reigned on the throne of Ajiran Land for 24 years. He is the foremost traditional ruler of the Lekki Peninsula in Lagos State.
An alumnus of St. Matthias Catholic School, Lafiaji, Lagos (1950), the first class oba attended Hussey College, Warri in 1957; Abeokuta Grammar School and University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) where he studied Agriculture, graduating in 1974.
He also acquired a postgraduate diploma in education in 1981 and started a teaching career at various schools between 1965 and 1981. The monarch served as Principal at Community High School, Ilado, Maroko, Lagos in 1983 (1991-1993) before becoming the first executive secretary of the Eti-Osa Local Government Education Authority.
On 23rd October, 1993, Oba Akinloye reached his peak when he was crowned as the 14th Ojomu of Ajiran Land and, exactly 10 years later, was honoured with Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) by the Federal Government.
Culled from THISDAY Newspaper