By Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf
Some indigenous people of Ajiran community in Eti-Osa council area of Lagos State have protested the alleged highhandedness of their traditional ruler Oba Tijani Akinloye, the Ojomu of Ajiran land.
The protesters listed their grievances when they visited the head office of Vintage Press Limited, Lagos, publishers of The Nation newspaper.
Spokesman Yekini Wasiu said they also petitioned Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in a letter dated August 20, 2020 on the development because of “years of neglect leading to the deprivation of the community with no end in sight”.
Speaking further, he said, “We can say without any fear of contradiction that his reign has caused us more harm than good.”
Wasiu said the Ojomu holds the position in trust on behalf of Ajiran community which comprises 14 villages.
“Oba Tijani Akinloye…and his cohorts have converted the community property to their personal property selling it indiscriminately either directly or indirectly to their cronies and keeping the proceeds to themselves and their immediate families without any regard to the community, the proper owners of the land.
“Our commonwealth has been hijacked by the cabal within. Ajiran is landlord to many multinational companies including Chevron Nigeria Limited, Shell Petroleum, major real estate companies and other businesses, who have all signed lease agreements with the community. But no one can account for how these monies are being expended. Our conditions have remained the same. We lack basic amenities. An average member of the community, which offers a lot to non-indigenes in terms of opportunities, is very poor by even Nigerian standard. No shelter, no primary and secondary school, no proper healthcare facilities, no market, no social welfare for the aged and less-privileged. We’re suffering in silence,” he said.
“We have been on this matter for some time now. We met the Ojomu in council, petitioned the Area J Police Command on July 13, 2020, and held several meetings with the royal father, but nothing has changed.”
The Nation made several unsuccessful attempts over three days to get the monarch’s response to the allegations. Phone calls to him rang out. On one occasion, one of his aides answered, saying the monarch was resting. A text message to the Oba’s phone was not replied, nor was a message sent to him on WhatsApp detailing the allegations against him.
One of the palace chiefs, the Balogun of Ojomu land, Alhaji Yekini Bakare, said he would not entertain any discussion whatsoever on the subject.