According to reports the Oba Rilwan Akiolu while speaking at a meeting with Igbo leaders in Lagos, yesterday said,
On Saturday, if anyone of you goes against Ambode who I picked, that is your end. If it doesn’t happen within seven days, just know that I am a bastard and it is not my father who gave birth to me. Jonathan is my son and I speak to him everyday. By the grace of God, I am the owner of Lagos for the time being. This is an undivided chair. The palace belongs to the dead and those coming in the future.
On Saturday, if anyone of you, I swear in the name of God, goes against my wish that Ambode will be the next governor of Lagos State, the person is going to die inside this water. I’m not ready to beg you. Nobody knew how I picked Ambode. Jimi (Agbaje) is my blood relation and I told him that he cannot be governor in Lagos for now. The future belongs to God. I am not begging anybody, but what you people cannot do in Onitsha, Aba or anywhere, don’t do it here.
If you do what I want, Lagos will continue to be prosperous for you. If you go against my wish, you will perish in the water.
He allegedly also added,
I am for the progress, growth and development of Lagos. Ambode is highly cerebral, he’s a symbol and he is going to deliver the message which I, the Oba of Lagos, have said. And he will govern the state for another eight years. He is going on a mission and God will give him the wisdom and knowledge to fulfill that mission. Almost a year ago, I declared that Ambode will be the next governor of Lagos and it will not change. From time immemorial, the previous occupiers of this house will say what they wanted after consultations with other people. And this hasn’t changed and it will not change at this time
It would appear that the threat worked because it is being reported that the Eze-Ndigbo of Amuwo-Oriade, Dr. Gordian Dimojiaku, promised Akiolu that the Igbos in the state would support Ambode.
I hope this isn’t true because these are the type of statements that incite tribal prejudice & unrest…we want peace.
UPDATE: 5.00PM (GMT)
The Oba released a statement signed by one of his chiefs, the Oba shutting down the reports. Read it below
THE PALACE MAKES FURTHER CLARIFICATION ON THE STATEMENT BY THE OBA OF LAGOS.
?My attention has been drawn to a publication in a national newspaper where HRM Oba Riliwanu Akinolu was alleged to have threatened Igbos in Lagos to make them vote for Ambode.
Last Sunday, all honorary Eze Ndigbos in Lagos paid a courtesy call to HRM Oba Akinolu. At the meeting the visitors praised the Oba for his fatherly support for and cooperation with Igbos in. Lagos. They assured him of their continued good neighborliness with other tribes in Lagos and support everything that’ll further strengthen that harmony.
Oba Akiolu on his part acknowledged the enviable performance of Governor Fashola and his contribution to the growth of investments in Lagos. He gave the assurance that he is not disturbed or angry with South-East and South- South votes for President Jonathan as perceived by the Eze Ndigbos. The Obas thereafter called on the Igbos chiefs to show appreciation to Lagos State by supporting his candidate Mr. Ambode for continuity of excellence as they have earlier promised.
He assured them of his continued support? and assistance where needed and the meeting ended with the traditional breaking of kolas, alligator pepper, and bitter kola and pouring of liberation on the ground. It was within this context that that the tradition of Lagos with regard to the lagoon came up. It was noted that whoever works against the throne and the interest and peaceful co-existence of Lagos would end up in the lagoon as per tradition.
2.Oba Akiolu stated further that the Igbo people have not betrayed the throne. Lagos has also not betrayed the Igbo people. Lagos has done so much to make the Igbos comfortable and to prosper. For this, we expect reciprocal respect and understanding. The Oba of Lagos prays that the Lagoon and the throne will continue to bless and protect all those who reside and visit Lagos.
3. Oba Akiolu is the father of all irrespective of tribe, religion or political persuasion. In Lagos, we have an old traditional proverb that relates to the Lagoon. The Lagoon is unique to Lagos. The proverb stresses the need for unity and understanding when you do business in an environment and in this case when you live and do business in Lagos.
Oba Akiolu prays for peace for the land of Lagos and prosperity for all its inhabitants.
Chief Lateef Aderibigbe Ajose, Opeluwa of Lagos
April 6, 2015