A traditional ruler of Lagos has called for economic and vocational measures to alleviate the suffering of the poor in the wake of the desecration of the Oba of Lagos’ palace.
On Wednesday, the palace of Lagos traditional ruler, Oba Rilwanu Akiolu, was invaded and ransacked. The king escaped but his staff of office was taken.
“It was inevitable,” Her Royal Highness Abiola Dosunmu, the Erelu Kuti IV of Lagos told ARISE News on Saturday. She said 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,” she added.
“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.
“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.”
On the #EndSARS protests and its bloody aftermath, in which soldiers opened fire on peaceful protesters at Lekki toll gate, HRH Dosunmu called for an end to violence and the need for peaceful dialogue.
“I want our leaders to act like parents, not teachers. Even when your child does wrong, you still bring them close and alleviate their fears.
“The whole system needs to be overhauled and the governance should really be for the people and by the people. Not by revolution, not by fracas, but in reaching out to all the nucleus sections of our society.”
Abel Ejikeme, Rita Osakwe