Two socio-political groups based in northern Nigeria have warned the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, against making further disparaging remarks against a former vice president, Atiku Abubakar.
The Northern Emancipation Network, NEF, and Adamawa Think Tank, ATT, said the warning was in reaction to remarks credited to the Lagos monarch saying no corrupt persons will rule Nigeria again, in apparent reference to the former vice president.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Nigerian Women Against Corruption Initiative in Lagos, on Wednesday, Mr. Akiolu vowed to work against any corrupt individual becoming Nigeria’s president again.
“I insist that this is not era for somebody who spent the first three years under the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo making money and turning public corporations to his own,” Thisday newspaper had quoted Mr. Akiolu as saying at the event.
“He is planning to come back to be the President of this country again. I’ll work against his ambition. I mean it and I mean it, by God’s grace, it shall not be so,” he said.
Also, at an event organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Justice on January 30, Mr. Akiolu said Mr. Abubakar played a prominent role in convincing then president, Olusegun Obasanjo, to retire him from service.
The former vice president denied the claim.
However, in two separate statements signed by Abdul-Azeez Suleiman for NEF and Danladi DanAsabe for ATT, the groups said the recent utterances of Mr. Akiolu t amount to a “clear breach of the tenets of royalty and nobility”.
“Besides, it is unthinkable how a person who was disgraced out of the police service would have the audacity to unjustly accuse others of corruption,” Mr. Suleiman said.
“We challenge him to provide clear proofs of his allegations otherwise he remains a discredited and lying member of the royal class and a disappointment to nobility and those who hold the institution dear.
He said he wondered how a person who ascended the stool through “dubious means and surrounds himself with people of doubtful character” should speak about integrity.”
“We remind the Lagos monarch that those in glass houses don’t throw stones about. We categorically tell the monarch that he lacks the capacity to influence any political event even in Lagos, not to talk of influencing any national event,” he said.
On his part, Mr. DanAsabe said the Oba was just playing politics, “seeing that politicking for 2019 will soon begin”.
He also said “Atiku relies on the support of all Nigerians as he goes about his politics and cannot help those who harbour unnecessary fears”.
Mr. Suleiman also said that Nigerians are not in a hurry to forget the way the Lagos Oba told the Igbo community in Lagos “to go die in the lagoon during the build-up to the 2015 elections.
“This shows that it is not the first time he will shed the garb of royalty and put on the clothing of motor park tout,” he said.