By Bola Badmus
The Lagos Council of Obas, led by the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, has called on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to grant special recognition to the annual traditional festival known as Isese Day, acknowledging the role of traditional institutions in the state.
During the inauguration of the new Lagos Council of Obas and Chiefs for another five-year term at Lagos House, Ikeja, the monarchs made this demand. They proposed that August 20 should be designated as Isese Day in the state.
Speaking on behalf of the other Obas, the Elegushi of Ikate land, Oba Saheed Elegushi, emphasized that the country’s democracy gives equal recognition to all religions.
He pointed out that since Christians and Muslims have special days to celebrate their festivals that are recognized by the government, Isese Day, celebrated by the traditional institution, should also be acknowledged.
“We have been requesting special recognition for Isese Day for a long time. We celebrate Isese Day every year on August 20. We have been to the House of Assembly to appeal for our own special recognition to celebrate Isese Day.
We are in a democracy and should be able to practice our religion. Christians and Muslims have their special days, and in the same way, we should also have ours,” he stated.
Supporting the request, the Oniru of Iruland, Oba Omogbolahan Wasiu, highlighted the importance of traditional rulers in providing spiritual security. He noted that various rites, such as Oro, would be conducted on Isese Day to protect the lives and property of residents.
Governor Sanwo-Olu, in his remarks, emphasized the significance his administration places on the traditional institution and its relevance to contemporary governance.
He urged the council to serve as a vital bridge between the people and the government, particularly in matters of security.
The governor highlighted the collaboration between the monarchs, the government, and security agencies as essential for safeguarding the peace that Lagos State has always enjoyed.
He expressed his appreciation for their role in ensuring peace during the last governorship elections.
Governor Sanwo-Olu assured the traditional rulers of his administration’s continued support, including welfare packages to enhance their mobility and general well-being. He also acknowledged the installation of 48 Obas between June 2020 and May 2023.
The re-inaugurated council comprises 84 members, including first-class traditional rulers and chiefs.