21st May, 2013
Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu is at war with the Lagos Island Local Government Chairman, Wasiu Sanni over the renaming of Kosoko Street after a prince in the area by the council chairman.
Akiolu has described as sacrilegious and a desecration of the customs and traditions of the people of Lagos State Sanni’s move to rename a street named after a former king of Lagos.
The council chairman had informed the public that the end of Ereko Street to Kosoko Street shall henceforth be re-named Prince Tajudeen Oluyole Olusi Street beginning from 3 June, 2013.
Akiolu in a terse letter written to the council chairman, warned Sanni to rescind the decision meant to cast aspersion on the kingship and royal lineage of Lagos as it not possible to substitute the name of a king with that of a prince.
The letter was copied Governor Babatunde Fashola, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Prince Tajudeen Olusi, the Head of Lagos White Cap Chiefs, Chief Kosoko of Lagos, Chief Imam of Lagos, Senator H.A.B. Fasinro, Justice Ajose Adeogun (retd) and Justice I.I. Oluwa (retd).
Akiolu, in the letter dated 14 May, 2013 said he was surprised that an indigene of Lagos Island who should know and understand the significance of Oba Kosoko in the history of Lagos and the importance of Ereko to the Kosoko family, could do such a thing.
“I am surprised that you could without qualms and trepidation decide to name a street already dedicated to the memory of a past oba of Lagos and substitute it with the name of a prince.
“It is important to note that I have no personal grudge or anything against the naming of a street after Prince Tajudeen Olusi, an illustrious son of Lagos Island who thoroughly deserves same for his contribution to the growth and development of Lagos Island right from his period as a councilor, then as a member of the Federal House of Representatives during the second republic and then to his days as member of the Lagos State Executive Council as a commissioner,” he stated.
According to Akiolu, “my sincere and frank opinion is that on the grounds of politics, the memory of a past oba of Lagos, King Kosoko cannot, should not and must not be obliterated in any manner and should not be obliterated by substitution with the name of a prince or any other person for that matter.
“I am not interested in politics, but it will be highly untraditional and contrary to the revered customs of Lagos and clearly immoral to take the step you (Sanni) are about to take.”
The oba said other befitting monuments or any street on Lagos Island could be named after Olusi but not a street or any streets already dedicated to the honour and memory of a past Oba of Lagos, Oba Kosoko and a Lagos royal family.
He added that he was sure if Olusi had been contacted and his advise sought, he would never have agreed to the change.
“I am placing this protest and observation on record so that history and posterity will testify that I did not stand aloof when a matter which looks to be a desecration of customs and tradition and what to me is definitely sacrilegious, is about to take place. A word is enough for the wise,” he warned.