Stealing of Oba of Lagos’ staff of office sacrilegious —Elebuibon

A foremost Ifa priest, who is also the Araba of Osogbo, Chief Yemi Elebuibon, has described the carting away of the staff of office of the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, by some rioters during the EndSARS protest in Lagos as a sacrilegious and shameful act. 

Chief Elebuibon, in a telephone interview with Tribune Online, on Friday, said the incident was uncalled-for and a flagrant disrespect for the traditional institution in Yorubaland. The Ifa priest said: “It is a very shameful act on the part of the people involved in taking the staff of office of the Oba of Lagos. It is a sign of total disrespect for the traditional institution in Yorubaland. Those who perpetrated the act don’t have respect for Yoruba culture. 

“All the palaces in Yorubaland are sacred places. Even Obas themselves are sacred beings. A traditional ruler who undergoes the necessary traditional rites and rituals before ascending to the throne of his forbearers is not an ordinary person. A monarch who did not do the necessary traditional rites before becoming the king is the type who can be attacked anyhow by the people. 

“But a traditional ruler must respect and comport himself in such a way that he would not be rubbished by anybody. Where he is supposed not to be found, he should not be there. What happened to the Oba of Lagos is not good because he was not the one being protested against by the people. 

“Even, if the subjects don’t want a monarch again, there is a way such is done. Aggrieved people can converge in front of the palace to register their grievances. But for some people to just storm the palace is strange and suspicious. It is possible for the security of the palace to have been compromised. 

“A traditional ruler can be likened to the king of the termites. If you want to take the king of the termites, you will be attacked viciously by soldier ants. That is how it should be. There is something wrong with the security at the royal household for something like that to happen.” 

He added: “The people who carted away the staff of office of the Oba of Lagos have cursed themselves. If the subjects want to remove an Oba, they can tell him to open the spiritual calabash. What happened at the palace of the Oba of Lagos is a slap on Yoruba culture. 

“We should respect and accord dignity to our Obas. Look at the people in the South East, South South and the North, they can never treat their kings or monarchs like that. There are ways to reprimand a king who erred. But this is strange and not right. We, the Yorubas, should treat our kings with dignity and respect our tradition and culture. 

“There are special and strategic places in the palaces. They are not places people can invade anyhow.” 

As of Friday evening, the whereabouts of Oba Akiolu’s staff of office remained unknown. 

A top police source in Lagos State who pleaded for anonymity told Tribune Online on Friday that at the moment, the police in the state were preoccupied with ensuring lasting peace in the area where the Oba’s palace is located. The source also said Friday evening that the police had yet to recover the royal mace. 

He said: “For now, nobody, at least in the Lagos State police command, knows the whereabouts of the Oba’s staff of office. The major task now is for all of us to ensure that sanity is restored in the state. After that, we will begin to look for some of the things that were stolen. 

“There are still attempts by hoodlums to vandalise and loot shops in several locations.” 

He, however, expressed optimism that the staff of office would be recovered. 

He said: “It is for the Oba of Lagos. No one else can use it. After sanity has been restored, the staff of office and other paraphernalia of the monarch that were taken away may be dumped somewhere.” 

As of the time of this report, the image maker of the state police command, Muyiwa Adejobi, could not be reached for comment.

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