Lagos traditional ruler begs Sanwo-Olu to douse tension on Elegba Festival
High Chief Abdul-lateef Aderibigbe-Ajose, the Opeluwa Onido of Lagos and Head of Traditional White Cap Chiefs of Lagos State has urged Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to urgently stem the tension between Opeluwa Onido Chieftaincy House and the Oloto royal stool over Elegba Festival.
Aderibigbe-Ajose, the Olori Oluwo of Lagos, made the plea at a news conference on brewing war over Elegba Festival in Lagos Mainland Local Government between the Oloto of Oto stool and Opeluwa Onido Chieftaincy House.
He said that Opeluwa chieftaincy title had been in existence since about 1500 and had been the custodian of Elegba Festival.
“Historically, Agba Festival is what is known with Oto and everybody knows this, Elegba Festival is what is know for Iddo, which is to remember our fathers.
“There was no war about the ownership of Elegba Festival in days of my predecessors until I was enthroned in 1997.
“It is coming to a point where government must wade in to prevent preventable crisis and war.
“The governor should step in quickly and address this matter before it becomes a full blown war.
“We want want war in Lagos State and if anything happens here in Lagos, it will affect a lot of people,” the paramount chief said.
Aderibigbe-Ajose said that the conference was organised because he was interested in peace, saying that the rumoured installation of another Opeluwa in Oto would be a breach of law and invitation to violence.
“We are only drumming peace as against violence. Elegba Festival belongs traditionally to the Opeluwa Onido of Lagos and no other.
“We cannot have another Opeluwa title in Oto as it is being rumoured,” he said.
He urged the governor to caution Oloto of Oto, Oba Basiru Odesanya, saying” Opeluwa is not two in Lagos, I am the only one in possession of the staff of office.”
He said that the rancor always comes every time in the last 20 year around March when the Elegba Festival in about to be commemorated by Opeluwa Onido Chieftaincy family.
“Now that we are planning to mark another Elegba Festival in March, the usual problem has started as well as the rumoured installation of another Opeluwa title in Oto.
“I want peace, so I am calling on the government to rise up before it escalates. This is how Modakeke and Ife war started, we should not allow another one in Lagos Mainland,” Aderibigbe-Ajose said.
According to him, if some of his former colleagues have been elevated to be crowned king in their domains, they should not trample on other’s right.