God loves Lagos state, that is why it is prosperous. -Oba Akiolu I

His Royal Majesty, Alaiyeluwa Oba Rilwan Babatunde Osuolale Aremu Akiolu 1, the Oba of Lagos
His Royal Majesty, Alaiyeluwa Oba Rilwan Babatunde Osuolale Aremu Akiolu 1, the Oba of Lagos
Contrary to the myth that African traditional kings are extraterrestrial and gods in their right, His Royal Majesty, Alaiyeluwa Oba Rilwan Babatunde Osuolale Aremu Akiolu 1, the Oba of Lagos has attributed the success of his 13-year reign as king in West Africa’s commercial hub to the Almighty Allah, whom he said has always been on his side, in all ofhis endeavours.

Speaking at a media chat to mark his 13th anniversary on the throne, Akiolu expressed gratitude to God for being his guide since ascending the throne of his forefathers as he continues to enjoy the same lifestyle he lived before becoming monarch.
He also said his stay on the throne has been made even more peaceful owing to openness to everyone irrespective of tribe or religion, as well as honesty and nobility of character.

On the ongoing efforts to transform Lagos into a megacity, the Oba commended the efforts of previous administrations in the state, which he said contributed their quota towards the steady development of Lagos in the years gone by.
“In achieving the status of a megacity, all indigenes and residents of Lagos alike should be prepared for the transformation. We are in an era where citizens must not be waiting for what the government can do for them alone, rather they should be ready to make sacrifices and focus on what they can do to ensure progress, development and growth in the state. The challenge with the young generation is greed and laziness. Young and aspiring Nigerians need to be honest, prayerful and be focused. They should not indulge in sycophancy. In my youthful days, emphasis was on hard work, self-reliance and godliness,” the monarch admonished
While throwing his weight behind the composition of the state’s 50th-anniversary committee, Akiolu appealed to aggrieved Lagosians to support the constitution and inclusion of certain individuals, especially Professor Wole Soyinka, a Nobel Laureate as the co-chairman, saying, “I believe his presence is strategic for the success of the event.”
He, however, frowned at the agitations of the “Omo Eko Pataki,” which he described as “baseless and hinged on self-aggrandizement. Their actions have caught the attention of the people that matter in Lagos and my advice to them is that they should not allow themselves to be used.”
He probed the motive behind their mission questioning, “Where were they when the state’s allocation was not released for years by the Federal Government under former President Olusegun Obasanjo? My priority at all times is to ensure that no Lagosian becomes a second-class citizen. I make bold to say that I cannot be bought by any politician and will always maintain my reputation as an upright, honest and truthful Nigerian just as I have done right from my days in the Nigerian Police. I cannot stand dishonest people,” he added.
On the planned relocation of the Mile 12 Market, the Alaiyeluwa submitted that in view of its current location (a major highway), the relocation was long overdue.
“Markets should be well-situated in a places where they enjoy luxury of space, better sanitation and better security at considerably reduced rates. It is not right to have markets along major roads as they hinder free flow of traffic, and pose security threats to the host communities.”
On the palpable disenchantment faced by Nigerians on account of the severe economic downturn in the country brought about by the present government’s change mantra, Oba Akiolu urged Nigerians to cooperate with the present government and offer constructive criticisms where necessary.
According to him, “We need to pray for the success of the present administration led by President Muhammad Buhari. The government needs our full support. All hands must be on deck and people should come up with useful suggestions that can assist it in moving the country forward. In addition, we need to engage in constructive criticisms rather than destructive ones. On the other hand, government must be able to enlighten Nigerians on their policies and their intended benefits to the populace.”
He thumped up efforts of the Federal Government to rid the country of corrupt practices, cautioning that it should not be seen as a witch-hunt or sheer politics.
He called on the opposition party and Nigerians to close ranks to defeat corruption, a common enemy, which comes in different forms, stressing that every right-thinking Nigerian knows the implication of engaging in corrupt practices hence the need to come up with concrete evidence that will aid in prosecuting corrupt officials.
For the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) agitators, Oba Akiolu agreed that they truly have genuine reasons to demand improved livelihoods, but encouraged them to be reasonable in their course.
He recalled that “Chief Obafemi Awolowo started the agitation for the recognition of the COR States (that is: Calabar, Ogoja and Rivers), and clamoured for a sense of belonging for the people of the region. In recent times, the country has witnessed the enthronement of someone from a minority ethnic group in the person of former President Goodluck Jonathan, who also contributed his quota to the development of the nation.”
Although the Niger Delta people also have genuine grounds for agitation, few elements amongst them are taking advantage of the situation to engage in nefarious activities including kidnapping, instigating violence and destroying oil installations in the region and this development is of great concern to many.
He expressed the belief that the increment in the pump price of petrol would, in the long run, benefit the nation, and advised the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), to engage the government in a dialogue for a peaceful resolution.
Oba Akiolu ascribes the peaceful co-existence of Lagos indigenes with other ethnic groups, who have made Lagos their home, to the fact that God loves Lagos.
According to him, “A town that does not accommodate visitors can never progress. As a progressive state, Lagos is ready to accommodate everyone with good intentions. Investments in Lagos always yield returns and by the time the proposed Fourth Mainland Bridge becomes operational, Lagos, the Centre of Excellence will be opened up for more business opportunities.”


Guardian
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