Oba Akiolu: Buhari Should Close Boarder When Reelected So Obasanjo Won’t Escape:
I got N165m cash gift within two weeks of becoming king –Akiolu, Oba of Lagos
In a few days, the Oba of Lagos, His Royal Majesty, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, would mark his 75th birthday. In this interview with TUNDE AJAJA, he speaks on his growing up and his wishes for Lagos State
What fond memories of your growing up do you still have?
When I was still a young boy, I remember that Lagos was cleaner and people were truthful, unlike what we have now where there is so much dishonesty in the land. At that time, if you forgot your belongings in a taxi, the driver would trace you and the goods would be intact. But now, societal change has eroded some of those values. Back then, of course, the population in Lagos was far below what we have now and people respected the elderly, but nowadays, you see people treat the elderly with disdain, which is very bad. People know me as a no-nonsense person and I can’t tolerate any disrespect from any child because I never tried such with my parents. I will never take advantage of anyone and no matter the age, I say my mind, with the knowledge God has given me. I’m not saying I have a reservoir of knowledge and I’m not saying that I’m always right, but I concede when I’m confronted with superior argument. I’m not a gossip and I’m not a hypocrite.
As a prince, did you grow up in the palace?
I was nine years old when my mother died, but before she died, one Mr. Beyioku, who used to work in Nigerian Tobacco Company, took me to Ibadan. His wife was my mum’s friend, so I lived with them before they took me to my brother, whom they call Baba Ibadan. He’s 93 years old now.
What influenced your decision to join the Nigeria Police?
I had always wanted to be a lawyer as a young boy. Also, back then, we used to see some policemen that looked so admirable. In fact, there was one of them known as Fine Country and he was a very active policeman. If you saw him, you would fall in love with police job, and there were some others like that. So, I told my brother about it. It hurts sometimes that none of my children want to join the police. I must say that being a policeman is one of the best jobs one could do in this life. It’s a honourable profession, but you must be truthful and you must be close to God. As a policeman, whatever is within your power to do to help others, don’t hesitate, and don’t always expect a reward for whatever help you render to people. It will shock you to know that within two weeks, I mean 14 days, after I entered the palace as the king, people contributed N165m for me as a gift. I used the money to buy shares and it has yielded dividends. As a policeman, you will meet people and if you are in it to impact positively on the society, you will certainly make headway. Also, if you are in it to take advantage of people, the reward is also enormous. And that is worse because if you put people in trouble for selfish reasons or because you want to make money, the result will be waiting for you. It has repercussions. So, police job is one of the best jobs. But these days, God should just help them to be wise because all they are after is money. As a policeman, if you want to succeed, you need to have the fear of God. Like I said, I will be so delighted if one of my children decides to join the force, but it seems late already because they have all ventured into different things. However, I will encourage and support any of my grandchildren who want to toe that path. I take deep interest in the well-being of my grandchildren and I don’t hesitate to assist when there is need to. Let me tell you; I believe in hard work and if I observe that any of my children is not working hard, I could bar such a child from entering the palace because I don’t entertain mediocrity. I’m not a mediocre. As I speak to you, right now, six of my grandchildren are in the Diaspora studying and I will soon go and join them to celebrate my birthday. Like I always say, no one has all the knowledge in the world, but I know and appreciate that I enjoy the mercy of God. However, I won’t forget to acknowledge those who anchored me into the police job.