Ordinarily, the crisis brewing in the Ikoyi kingdom of Lagos Island over the choice of a successor to the vacant throne is needless, indeed avoidable if only the stakeholders adhere to principle if not tradition.
The government, which is the regulator of chieftaincy affairs has put in place a traditional mechanism that was seemingly endorsed by the parties that can lay claim to the throne; so why is there an impasse that is threatening to boil over? And, like tales by moonlight, all these are happening following the demise of the late monarch, HRM Patrick Ibikunle Fafunwa-Onikoyi, the Onikoyi of Ikoyi Obalende and Imoba land, who passed on at the ripe age of 92.
There may be a role for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to play in dousing the tension over the next Onikoyi if for nothing else, for the fact that he is father of all Nigerians and groups; as well as for the fact that Lagos is his primary constituency, if ever the president is so entitled.
In any event, he, as governor of Lagos State many years ago, was the originator of the peace mechanism put together to avoid exactly the kind of crisis brewing presently. The president should not stay aloof when this kind of crisis is brewing anywhere in the country, more so as there are capable hands to safely steer the ship of Ikoyiland.
Therefore the urgency to salvage this unwanted episode is strong. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, the council of Chiefs, and other Lagos leaders should insist on rotational kingship as agreed upon and signed by President Tinubu and other stakeholders in 2006. This is to save Ikoyi land from anarchy and ensure that succession order is followed to allow peace and unity in the Onikoyi Royal Family.
The rotational agreement reached and assented to all stakeholders of the town under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed-Tinubu, as the then Lagos state governor, in 2006 was the climax of various peace efforts, following various disagreements and conflicts over the rulership of the area.
The agreement was meant to restore peace by institutionalising a rotational chieftaincy agreement which clearly lists ten branches of the royal family of the town to produce monarchs in orderly succession, in the following order:
1. Fafunwa, 2. Ojubiari 3. Kubayije 4. Ilumo 5. Idewu 6. Kugbamola, 7. Aluko Ajose, 8. Dosumer Ajiwa, 9. Adelo and 10. Dosume.
Since the late monarch, Fafunwa was from the Fafunwa Royal House, the logical and lawful next step is for the Ojubiari family to produce the next king, and then the Kubayije family in that same order. Without controversy the next Royal family of Ojubiari based on the succession was captured by the resolution instituted by the ten royal families in 2006 which placed Prince Wasiu Akanni Salaiman of the Ojubiari as the next Oba in succession f the Onikoyi of Ikoyi and Imoba Land.
Prince Wasiu Akanni Sulaiman is a vibrant, intellectually sound Business Management Consultant with a Master’s Degree in International Relations and, Property consulting expert in strategic holdings.
Prince Sulaiman is never distracted by the conspiracy of his many detractors scheming to deny him of the Kingship of Onikoyi. Indeed, some powerful stakeholders in the kingdom have been surreptitiously endorsing another candidate.
When confronted with this fact, Prince Wasiu Akanni Sulaiman simply directed the attention of the public to the publication in The Guardian on 10th January 2019; in which the representatives of the 10 Royal families which make up the entire Descendants of Onikoyi Royal family of Lagos disassociated itself from the purported nomination of Otunba Abdulganiyu Kolawole Onikoyi as the new Olori-Ebi of the Onikoyi Royal Family of Lagos on the 29th December 2018 as signed by the ten royal family representatives over his disloyalty to the previous Oba in the person of Late HRM P. I Fafunwa Onikoyi Of Ikoyi, Obalende And Imoba Land in a public rejoinder warned the general public to desist from having any form of dealings and agreement with the proposed Oba. The representatives signed on behalf of the Royal Families of Onikoyi and Imoba Land.
It is worth recalling that a principal officer in the saga to anoint a candidate other than Prince Sulaiman was accused of having conspired with two others in selling royal properties in Parkview estate without due process and also went ahead with a publication which necessitated a rejoinder from late Oba HRM P.I Fafunwa.
Regrettably, some shady deals on the royal properties continued even after the death of Oba Fafunwa -Onikoyi of Ikoyi. Rumblings over the legality or otherwise of the activities of the ‘kingmakers’, as the stakeholders see themselves, have remained not just strong but challenging the validity of the actions; and the concerned public are wary of some of the development.
At such sensitive times, the words of Prince Wasiu Akanni Durojaye Sulaiman come to bear: The good gets better with the right man for the job. Like the music of the legendary Bob Marley & The Wailers: “Who the cap fit, let them wear it.” No doubt, the Onikoyi cap fits Prince Wasiu Akanni Durojaye Sulaiman once he wears it.
His personality, capability, charisma, exposure, and social standing are all it takes to be the right man for the next Oba Onikoyi Of Ikoyi, Obalende, And Imoba Land.
Prince Wasiu Akanni Sulaiman in his meek nature, is social and affable. His gentlemanly approach to issues endears him to people as he commands respect. He stands out in a unique perspective, with his professional career and social life cutting across various industries; while his philanthropic gestures cut across many boundaries.
In the last three months, Prince Wasiu Akanni Sulaiman has been spotted in public view with high-profile Nigerians seeking collaboration and support with the motive of giving back to his society by helping to improve the living standard of the less privileged Nigerians in commemoration of the yuletide.
Born to the Royal family of Odofin of Ojora, Late Alh. Abdul Fatai Sulaiman and Late Alhaja Silifatu Sulaiman, Prince Wasiu Akanni Salaiman is a through bred Lagosian who over the years, worked tirelessly in ensuring that the true legacy of excellence Lagos is known for is reflected in his day-to-day engagement with citizens. He is humble and he dreams of harmonizing three core values of economic growth, social inclusion, and environmental protection to Lagos if and when he mounts the Onikoyi stool.
Gasper Babatunde writes from Lagos.