Akiolu blames traditional rulers for Mile 12 mayhem
• Monarch insists on punishment for perpetrators
LAGOS monarch Oba Rilwan Akiolu yesterday blamed traditional rulers in Ketu and Ikosi communities for the inter-tribal clash and attendant destruction that occurred at the Mile 12 axis of the state last week.
Akiolu, at a meeting of all parties concerned on Tuesday said that the monarchs for too long had abandoned the market area to traders and merely settled for extortion that made them unpopular.
The visibly enraged monarch, however, insisted that all culprits must be brought to book, while consultations with the state governor on what to do with the market continue.
Speaking at his Iga Iduganran palace, Akiolu said that the unwholesome development of tribal war that attracted arson, maiming and killings was most unfortunate at a time the state and country at large needed the cooperation of all and sundry to make progress.
During the meeting, which also had in attendance the leadership of Hausas in Lagos State, Ikosi traditional ruler, Oba Alamu Oloyede, complained that the entire Mile 12 market community had no regard whatsoever for the monarch or constituted authorities. His counterpart in Ketu, Oba Isiaka Balogun, also said that they were doing their best to promote peaceful co-existence.
Akiolu said that the rulers were too distant from the community, otherwise the disagreement, though natural in human communities, would not have escalated to full-scale war.
He said: “How many times did you hear that those (Hausa and Yoruba traders) around here fight? It can never happen around here. But you are too far from them. You said that they don’t respect you. It is because you kept demanding money from them, which I don’t do around here (Lagos Island). That is why you will have no respect among them,” Akiolu said.
The monarch, himself a former police officer, added that they were all lucky that the Lagos Commissioner of Police (CP) is a level-headed officer that chose to manage the crisis without deploying much force.
Continuing, he said: “Such crisis has to stop and culprits must be punished. Even if it is my own kinsmen, they have to pay for this. I heard that the Lagos State House of Assembly has said that the market should be relocated. I will have to meet with the governor to know if relocation will be a better alternative.”
Akiolu stressed that Lagos remains home for all Nigerians, but he would personally not allow room for indiscipline, thuggery or foreigners’ disrespect for the Lagos indigenes.
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