Since the news of the poorly-concealed bid of Lagos NURTW boss and celebrated thug, Musiliu Akinsanya a.k.a MC Oluomo to mount the throne as Oba of Oshodi, suppurated on social and traditional media, the central message in the desperate but not tepid reactions of the disunited 11 ruling houses, mirrors what Yoruba will call ďpalapala ilu apalaĒ (bunkum).
In the course of their roof-top hollers against what they collectively regarded as creeping maggots on their heritage, certain facts are sticking, especially those embedded in the interview granted Saturday Tribune by the Regent of the town, Alhaji Biliaminu Adisa Akinola. (See January 8, 2022 edition).
I summarise his take to be: one, though king of Lagos motor parks, Musiliu isnít a prince of Oshodi kingdom. Two, the Akinsanya family isnít indigenous to Oshodi, though MCís backers are saying his grand-uncle, Seidu Akinsanya, was a Baale in Oshodi some decades back. Three, there would be plenty trouble if the unionist is crowned king. Four, Oshodi ruling houses arenít united. Five, the throne itself is troubled, being so degraded and without a substantive occupant in 52 years.
For the stool of a town like Oshodi to retain a Baale status for more than 300 years is an aberration. It is only believable because the Regent said so. Granted there are reports of multiple litigation by those fighting over the kingdomís indigeneship question, that should not stop government from the needful upgrade, as long as there is no order against the state, in order to strengthen the hand of the next substantive occupant of the throne in the area of peace and consensus building, considering Oshodi as one of the highly-ignitable areas, just like Mushin, Mile 2, Lekki of recent, among others. Add the fact that Oshodi is a major commercial nerve of the state. Every parameter to have at least a second-class king in the land is met.
There are many dimensions to consider in situating the suitability of Musiliu as the traditional ruler of his base, where his notoriety which synced with the DNA of the area, has turned him into a local hero and a divisive figure in the state.
As power balance currently tilts in the state, he is a huge favourite to land the stool, because he worships at the shrine of the Group Managing Director (GMD) of Lagos, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Recent precedent also favours him. The current Oniru of Iruland, Oba AbdulWaisu Omogbolahan Lawal Abisogun II, was a late entrant into the Oniru race in 2020 but easily swept aside the assumed Oniru-elect, Prince Hakeem Ajasa from the same Abisogun Ruling House, despite the disclaimer on Omogbolahan by a section of the Abisogun family, that he wasnít one of them. Both Omogbolahan and Ajasa are trained police officers. But one had a lifetime opportunity of serving as Aide-de-camp (ADC) to the Governor-General of the state. At the end, the one whose supporters had chosen aso-ebi didnít become the Oniru. There are gods in human flesh who are superior to opele and gods drinking oil in shrines!
Olusegun Obasanjo proved this too. He vetoed kingmakers and the gods. As President of Nigeria then and Oluomo of Owu kingdom, he was like Biblical Zerubbabel, who mountains couldnít stop.
Permit me to be cheeky here. What is suddenly wrong with these gods that ordinary mortals now rubbish them and saunter away, whistling ďstand up for the champion, stand up?Ē Is it modernity robbing them of their potency? Why do they allow men get away with overturning their choices for thrones, believed to be their exclusive preserve to fill? No, I am not inciting gods against men, constitutionally-empowered to fill throne. Iím just surprised that the authority conferred on men, on inked paper, is now far superior to the supposed supernatural power and authority of gods, delegated to wise ones in oro forest, who were credited with ability to hear the esoteric beings.
Since politicians are the ones with the real power over thrones in Lagos and across Nigeria, this piece is encouraging them to tread carefully on the Oluomoís pet project.
To avoid running into crass lawlessness, the state government must first resolve the issue of the Akinsanyasí eligibility to the throne. Yes, MC is the uncrowned king of Oshodi, because his personality is fittingly suited for the spirit ruling the land, but a sleight of hand, canít be employed in putting the crown on his head. If his family is traditionally established as the 12th undocumented ruling house, the hard truth is that they have to be included going forward, because a family heritage canít be denied because of a black leg.
If the Akinsanyas are due, should it be their most (in)famous son? Well, it would be a matter of perception. At least, without him, the family isnít likely to be in any form of conversation for the stool. If he is the best the family can present, why not?
But Lagos State government or more like Asiwaju Tinubu, should not just take him, because he is presented. Even if it is a form of compensation for loyalty and taking election risks like the knife stab at January 2019 APC rally in Lagos, he can be encouraged to present a more moderate sibling with lesser baggage. It should be his personal sacrifice for the preservation of the integrity of the stool he desperately seeks. And he would be in very good company. His human-god, Asiwaju also made similar painful sacrifice by replacing himself with his protťgť, Pastor Yemi Osinbajo in 2014 as the running mate to General Muhammadu Buhari when it was 65 percent certain the ticket was going to take the presidency. The same Asiwaju is currently being invited by weighty voices, to make the sacrifice again and allow Yemi run for president. I project, he is still going to make that painful decision.
Tinubu dropped off in 2014 because the Muslim/Muslim ticket optics were bad for the party, already breathing heavy, under fundamentalism baggage.
Kingís regalia, as seen in the viral picture, might look good on Oluomo, but the optics of him, occupying a traditional stool in Yorubaland, are very bad for the institution all over. Yes, it can be argued that some, with debatable worse resume, have made it to once-revered thrones, but isnít change supposed to be for the better? Or maybe, there are other definitions of change, that will fit the transmutation of an unrepentant motor park tout to His Royal Highness. SMH.