Omoba Murphy Adetoro means different things to different people. He is a royal blood, incumbent Olopon of Ikate Land, first civilian chairman to head both Apapa and Eti Osa Council (before its delineation) and past chairman of Eko Club.
I had the rare opportunity of taking him up on a number of issues in his Ikate residence at Lekki penultimate Saturday. As the interview drifted on, I threw in a quick jab.
“Omoba, why did you replace most Ikoyi Streets named after colonial lords? It was a strange trend many residents did not challenge during your tenure.”
Guess his response?
He paused for a while, nodded his head as if the question just sank in.
“You are right, Francis! You are the first journalist who will be asking me that question. Replacing the names was my idea.
It occurred at a period I was introducing some reforms to modernize Eti Osa, Ikoyi inclusive (since it falls under my jurisdiction).
As I said earlier, I mooted the idea of changing names of certain streets in Ikoyi especially named after colonial leaders and expatriates. To better understand contributions and relevance of those, we went a step further to garner more information about them at the national library.
To our utter amazement, we discovered that many of those foreign names were of no importance. Consequently, what we did was to retain names of some past colonial governors whose contribution to the growth of Lagos were felt.
The rest was replaced with names of traditional rulers such as Eleko Oba Adeyinka Oyekan and other great personalities like the Idejo-six who we, of course, know are the land owners.
Today, you can still see names of some colonial governors like Macpherson Road in Ikoyi. He was an example of people who development to our land.
And if you ask me if I have any regret over such act, I will say NO! In fact, if I have the privilege, I think I would do the same thing over again. I have no regret. Besides, I am so happy with the people I have the privilege to work with at Eti Osa Local Government. They showed commitment and dedication to their work