Tuesday, August 9, 2016 3:30 pm
By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu has charged traditional rulers and residents of the state to be on security alert in the face of kidnapping and criminality in Lagos.
This follows the recent kidnap of the Oniba of Iba land, Oba Goriola Oseni by gunmen. The oba was released on Saturday after a ransom of N15.1 million was paid.
Akiolu led the Council of Obas on a visit to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode at the State House, Ikeja on Tuesday to thank the governor for the role he played in the release of Oba Oseni.
The oba said with the rate of insecurity in the country, all traditional rulers must rearrange their security architecture in order to nip crime in the bud.
“But honesty as I told my brother obas, all of us will have to go back and rearrange our security architecture. All hands must be on deck, everyone must assist the government. That’s why in my palace, people accuse me, but I told them that well, maybe because I was a policeman.
“It is very necessary. We are happy because the governor did very well and the commissioner of police. All the security agencies, even the navy, they did all that they could do but we still have to be at alert. Everybody must be prepared like the motto of the Boys Scout says; we are not going to take things for granted now,” he said.
Akiolu warned kidnappers and other criminals to desist from such debilitating act in their own interest and look for other legal ventures to make ends meets.
“The mere fact that the economy appears not to be okay does not mean that you resort to criminality. They should stop, not just kidnapping, but any form of criminality, no religion accepts such. Everybody is at alert now, we are on our toes now and with the encouragement given by the Chief of Naval Staff, the NSA and the IGP, they will be chased down to anywhere they are,” he stated.
However, the monarch said the reason for paying Ambode a visit was to thank him for facilitating the release of Oba Oseni, saying that: “We thank God Almighty for sparing our lives to enable us see today and bringing one of us back home, Oba of Oniba who was kidnapped.
“We’ve come to say a big thank you to the Governor of Lagos State, the Commissioner of Police, DOC 81 Division, the SSS and all other security forces and the entire Lagos State and Nigerians in general for the valuable information given to the police which led to the successful operation which brought our colleague back.
“Maybe because of my background, I was a serving policeman for 32 years before God Almighty, in His mercy chose me to be the occupier of Iga Iduganran today, it doesn’t mean that I am the best, but it pleased God to choose me to be equally qualified to occupy the post
“The governor and the commissioner of police were very sad but I assured them that the efficacy of prayers is not in doubt that by the grace of God, the Oba will come back,” he said.
Speaking during the meeting, Ambode said at the initial stage when the oba was kidnapped, it appeared as if government was not doing anything as that was not actually the case.
“It was not just a sacrilege in Yorubaland, but the traditional institution was indeed desecrated. So, we needed to dig into what really happened to reach a logical conclusion. I want to thank the Oba of Lagos and all of you that showed concern and support and that this kind of thing must not happen in our land again.
“We will now pay greater attention collectively to the security of our traditional rulers. We need to increase security, especially for those rulers in the riverine areas. Whatever it is that the Council of Obas must do, must be done to strengthen the security in that area. But there must be cohesion and unity among us,” he said.
According to Ambode, “anything that will bring about peace and make the State progress is our priority and the security of lives and property has always been the priority of this government.”