Abdulwaheed Otaiku, head of one of the ruling families in Isiwu, a community in Ikorodu, Lagos State, has raised the alarm over plans by land-grabbers to attack the area.
Some hoodlums and land-grabbers, allegedly sponsored by one Yunusa, said to be an influential personality in the community, had in September 2020 invaded the palace of the newly installed monarch, Olukayode Raji, in an attempt to abduct him.
The attack on the monarch occurred weeks after he was given his staff of office by the Lagos State Government on August 24, 2020.
The hoodlums attacked the monarch’s palace with dangerous weapons, including guns, leaving many well-wishers who had visited to felicitate with him injured.
It took the timely intervention of local vigilante groups, who foiled their plan and chased them away.
Speaking to Newsbreak during a visit to the community located on the outskirts of Ikorodu town, Otaiku said he received a call recently from one of the fearsome land-grabbers who had been disrupting the peace in the area, threatening to attack soon.
He explained that Isiwu had been without a monarch until last year, before which land-grabbers freely ran its affairs.
He added that they perceive the crowning of the king as the end of their dominance in the community.
The ruling family head also noted that sacrifices and prayers have helped to reduce the threats and activities of land-grabbers in the community.
“The monarch has been carrying Muslims, Christians and the traditionalists along to ensure that there would not be problems again. But they are still threatening that they are coming. We are only praying that they would not come.
“If they have the opportunity, they will assassinate the king. That was why when the state government issued the White Paper on the installation of the king, we didn’t make any noise about it.
“My own life is in God’s hands. Only God can keep my life, but if anything happens now, it is fine because God has given us what we have always been yearning for”, he said.
He alleged that the police have refused to charge one of the popular land-grabbers arrested in the community to court.
“The land-grabbers attack the community from outside. There is a guy they call Owoeye, there is also Sekir. The police arrested the Sekir but have refused to charge him to court. The Lagos State Government has outlawed land grabbing but land-grabbers are still threatening us.
“The police are supposed to help the state government enforce that law, but majority of police officers are bad people, though there are a few of them who are professionals.
“Sekir was one of those hoodlums employed by Yunusa to attack the palace last year. It was not the first Sekir would terrorise us in the community.
“Yunusa said he wants to be king but he has never approached anyone about his intention. There are processes if you want to be king. The paramount ruler of Ikorodu, Oba Kabir Adewale Shotobi invited him for dialogue, he refused to show up.
“Landgrabbers have killed many people in this community and nothing happened. They machete people, beat people with stick with no repercussions”, he lamented.
Otaiku lamented that though the community is about 500 years old, it has suffered infrastructural neglect.
He appealed for the establishment of a police post to address incessant attacks by land-grabbers and other criminal activities.
“Because there was no head in Isiwu for a long time, all the things we are entitled to were taken to other communities that are not as old. Isiwu has been in existence for more than 500 years. That was what our fathers told us.
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“The only thing we have here is the headquarters of Ikorodu North Local Council Development Area (LCDA). No General Hospital, then we have two public schools. We are appealing for a police post here. If there is one, we would have rest of mind.
“Power supply is a major issue. It was Senator Tokunbo Abiru who gave us one transformer on the request of the king. We had been in darkness before then for almost two years before the installation of the king. Babajimi Benson has also helped us a lot,” he stated.
But effort to get a response from Olumuyiwa Adejobi, Public Relations Officer of the Lagos State Police Command, on the alleged failure to charge Sekir, to court proved abortive.
Adejobi neither picked our calls nor replied a text message.