By Tunde Thomas
The Oshodi-Tapa family of Lagos Island, Epe and Oshodi has appealed to Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu to intervene in the issue of claims being made by some individuals to the stool of Baale of Oshodi. The family particularly cited an alleged campaign by Mr Musiliu Akinsanya aka MC Oluomo to be installed as Oba of Oshodi.
Akinsanya is the Lagos State Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).
Making the appeal in a statement issued by the Olori Ebi Oshodi Tapa Chieftaincy Council, Pa Surakat Alabi Oshodi, the family noted that members of the Oshodi-Tapa family are the undisputed owners of Oshodi, and by extension the traditional rulers of the entire Oshodi community. He expressed concern that some impostors were trying to leverage on political affiliations to usurp and distort the time-honoured tradition.
While distancing members of the family from any campaign to make Akinsanya Oba of Oshodi, the family head disclosed that all gazetted Bales of Oshodi were from the Oshodi family, adding that there was only one exception which was eventually nullified by the judiciary.
According to him: “The only aberration to this seamless tradition was the purported installation of one Yisa Oseni Eyifunmi on 29th October, 2006 that was swiftly overturned by the judiciary. In her ruling of 4th May 2007, Justice M.O Obadina of the Lagos State High Court correctly ruled that the said Eyifunmi was wrongly installed as Bale of Oshodi since his nomination did not come from the Oshodi family and he was not known to the family.
Expressing confidence in Oba Akiolu’s capacity to intervene in the matter, Pa Oshodi added that members of the family have been holding consultations on who to choose as the next Bale of Oshodi, and will subsequently inform the monarch on its choice at the end of the process.
He further added that members of the family would also follow seamlessly on the already tradition of succession to the throne whenever the Bale of Oshodi stool is upgraded to that of Oba Grade 1 by Lagos State government.
Insisting that Oshodi Town situated within Oshodi/Isolo Local council area belongs to no one other than the Oshodi Tapa Family of Lagos Island, Pa Oshodi said: “It is not a yesterday’s claim but an established historical fact that Oshodi belongs to us, and this has endured for more than two centuries or over 200 years, and this has also been re-established and reinforced by the courts.”
He cited a judgment delivered by a Lagos High Court on April 19th, 1960 which was later affirmed first by the Supreme Court of Nigeria on March 5th, 1963, and then again by the Supreme Court on July 14, 2000 to buttress his position.