– Engr. Bashir Sotonwa emerges Oba-elect, to receive Staff of Office soon
-Family calls for supports, cooperation
The Ipakodo community in Ikorodu West Local Council Development Area (LCDA) is set to install a new Oba after almost 19 years of the passage of the last Sekumade, Oba Lasisi Hassan Afuwape Jimbo .
The late Oba, who was the first beaded Oba in the traditional history of the community, joined his ancestors on May 29, 1999, when the Nigeria was preparing to start the present democratic dispensation.
Since then, the royal families in the town have been engaging in bitter rivalry and tussle, leading to several court cases and rulings.
However, according to Prince Kehinde Ademola Jimbo, Secretary of the Sekumade Royal family of Ipakodo, the turbulence, rivalry and cases which entangled the families for several years are now over.
This settlement , according to the family, has paved way for the emergence of Engr. Bashir Adetomiwa Sotonwa, a holder of Bachelor of Science in Electrical/Electronics and a national and international certified engineer, as the Sekumade-elect.
THE IMPACT gathered that his emergence was made possible after the warring families settled cases out of court about a year ago and resolved to embrace peace in the interest of the ancient community.
It was also gathered that the Lagos State Executive Council approved the selection of Engr. Sotonwa, who hails from the Oshomekun ruling house, as Oba-Elect at its meeting held on Wednesday, December 20, 2017.
Speaking in the presence of other family members, Prince Jimbo stated that what the community has been experiencing in the past 18 years is not different from what other communities are experiencing when it comes to traditional matters.
“The last 18 years have been a great turbulent period for the community. What we have been experiencing is not in any way differ from what other communities go through concerning traditional positions but we thank God that this is coming to pass” , Prince Jimbo said .
“We thank all the stakeholders involved in the settlement of the matter, especially HRM Oba Kabiru Shotobi, the Ayangbure of Ikorodu. He really played a very big role in the resolution of the matter.
“On behalf of the royal family and people of Ipakodo, I also want to thank the divisional chieftaincy committee for the role they played in the resolution of the matter.The Council Chairman in person of Princess Jumoke Jimbo-Ademehin, royal families and others also played very important role”, the Secretary stated.
According to the family, in 1975, the community had only one ruling house – Apena Jimbo, which was the creation of late Chief Sule Jimbo (1957 – 1977). During that period, the late Chief Jimbo was directing the affairs of the community in conjunction with the Olori Ebi (family head) of Sekumade Ipakodo.
After the demise of Chief Sule Jimbo in 1977, late Chief Lasisi Rabiu Hassan Jimbo first became Baale in 1979 and in 1980,he was upgraded to the Obaship position by the Lagos State Government. He thus became the first beaded Oba in Ipakodo.
According to the family, it was late Oba Lasisi Hassan Jimbo, who reigned from 1977 to 1999, that drew the proposal for the expansion of Sekumade Royal family.
“The proposed expansion of the Sekumade ruling houses by late Oba Hassan Jimbo in 1979 was more accommodating and expansive – probably because he felt that single ruling house of Apena Jimbo, which was produced by late Baale Sule Jimobo in 1975 was too exclusive in nature”, Prince Kehinde Jimbo, Sekumade Secretary stated.
According to the Secretary, the proposed five ruling houses for the Sekumade royal stool were Saaogun, Odubi, Tikare Efunyela, Mbase and Osomekun ruling houses.
He stated that unfortunately the proposal was not approved by the then Military Government of Gen. Buba Marwa, former Military Administrator of Lagos State.
According to the royal secretary, “It was established that from these five ruling houses, Saaogun had once taken shot at the Sekumade Stool, and it was the attempt to find successor to the throne among the four other remaining ruling houses that caused the struggle”.
“Since 1999 when the late Oba joined his ancestors, there have been litigations between and among royal families which were struggling to ascend the throne, but all that are now history as all the litigations have been withdrawn after which all stakeholders reached a consensus and resolved to support Oshomekun Ruling house to produce the candidate for the Obaship stool”, he added.
“All the court cases have been withdrawn from the courts, because without this being done, we cannot be talking of installation of a new king”.
“It is very unfortunate that the tussle polarized the community and pitched the people against themselves with the youths also divided along different sections.”
“We were not happy with the situation in the community because our traditional, political, economic and social lives suffered. This is what we have all resolved to reverse and work for towards the progress of the community”, said the Secretary.”
THE IMPACT gathered that the final resolution of the age-long crisis was brokered by the HRM Oba Kabiru Adewale Shotobi, the Ayangbure of Ikorodu at his palace in November 22, 2016.
He added that at the peace meeting brokered by the Ayangbure, all the ruling houses agreed and abided by the entire process of resolution except Odubi ruling house which allegedly protested and walked out of the meeting when discovered that the other four ruling houses had resolved to allow Oshomekun ruling house to produce the next Sekumade.
“There is no more litigation and we have all resolved to embrace peaceful co-existence among ourselves. We are now preparing for installation of a new Oba for Ipakodo”.
Prince Jimbo added that since the family and entire community has secured the approval of the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, the family is only waiting for the installation of the Oba-elect who is expected to be presented with the Staff of Office very soon after which he is expected to undertake 3 months seclusion (Ipebi).
“We are now at a very critical stage of the installation. The family and the entire community are expecting the state to communicate the date for the presentation of the Staff of Office to the Oba-elect”, he stated.
Speaking on the selection of Engr. Sotonwa as the Sekumade-elect, the Secretary stated that:
“There used to be opposition and bickering which led to the several court cases until recently when the whole family agreed to bury their hatchets and work for peace. The entire family are in support of his emergence and you know that it is always difficult to make everybody go along the same path”.
Speaking on what the entire division should be expecting from Ipakodo, which historically, is the first settlement in Ikorodu, Prince Jimbo stated:
“Historically and traditionally, Sekumade is the leader and founder of Ikorodu and we are ready to take our rightful position in the comity of nations, especially in Ikorodu division. The first step to that is to have an Oba. Though, we thank God for the development so far, we should have moved a milestone. We are expecting the crowning of a new king to help facilitate and fast track social, economic, cultural and political developments in Ipakodo”, he stated expectantly.
Providing insight into the contribution of Oshomekun Ruling house where Engr. Bashir Sotonwa emerged from,he stated that Chief Jinadu Sotonwa, a prominent figure from Oshomekun, reigned as Baale of Ipakodo in 1942, adding that it was during his reign that the old palace was rebuilt.
He added that, “In 1957, when the Baaleship of Ipakodo became vacant, the position was contested by late Chief Sule Jimbo from Saaogun and Prince Alimi Sotonwa from Oshomekun ruling house.
“In addition, in 1979 at the Tribunal of Enquiry held at the Council Chambers of the City Hall Lagos, Oshomekun was represented by Alhaji Tukuru Lawal as a witness and he testified and supported the request by the people of Ipakodo to change the Baaleship title to Obaship.
“Furthermore, Alhaji Tujuru of Oshomekun also contested the Obaship position with late Oba Hassan Jimbo and to cap it all, the incumbent Odofin of Ipakodo, Chief Lateef Sotonwa Animashaun, who is the first Odofin to be officially recognized by the Ikorodu Chieftaincy Committee and the Lagos Government, is also from the Oshomekun ruling house”, he concluded.
Hon (Princess) Jumoke Jimbo-Ademehin, the Chairman of Ikorodu West Local Council Development Area and the daughter of the last Sekumade,while capturing the coincidence of the positive traditional development with her reign in office stated:
“It is the Lord’s doing. I have been agitating for this since my first tenure as the Council Chairman, but it is now happening during my second tenure. I’m so happy that Ipakodo is gradually gaining back its lost glory. I feel excited being part of this and the fact that it’s coming now when I’m doing my second tenure”, she stated with excitement.
As part of the preparation towards the presentation of Staff of Office to the new Sekumade, the Ikorodu West LCDA is giving the Sekumade palace a facelift by erecting a new gate and rehabilitating the old structures within the palace.
“We are planning to rehabilitate the palace. And as you can see, we have already started by changing the palace’s gate. The council is trying to make the palace, at least, habitable for the new Oba and make it presentable to visitors” ,Hon. Ademehin stated.
While appreciating Governor Ambode for granting the family and the entire community an approval for the installation, Princess Ademehin and the entire family also expected the number one citizen in the state to attend the presentation of the Staff of Office ceremony in person.
The chairman called on the entirety of indigenes of Ipakodo and residents to support the incoming Oba and the council in moving the community forward in term of social, economic, traditional and political developments
Also speaking, Prince Jimbo Qudus appealed for the support of the general public towards the installation and coronation of the new Sekumade.
Others at the meeting of the royal family with THE IMPACT crew were Prince Adunmu Segun, the Elemosho of Ipakodo, Prince Ahmed Sokunbi, Prince Jimbo Nurudeen and Princess Jimbo Karimot Hunmenou.