By TOPE TEMPLER OLAIYA, Assistant Lagos City Editor
The grounds of Archbishop Aggey Memorial Secondary School, Ilasamaja, Mushin, was last Saturday trampled by monarchs, politicians and dignitaries, who had gathered to celebrate the Olu of Mushin, Oba Fatai Ayinla Aileru II as his subjects rolled out the drums to mark his 75th birthday and 35th coronation anniversary.
Long before the arrival of the celebrant and his high-ranking guests, the area leading to the school and its premises appeared to be under a State of Emergency, as stern-looking anti-riot policemen and patrol vans laid siege on every square metres of the school, with three Black Marias stationed at the gate to take care of trouble makers.
Soon, some civilian activities commenced and the only criterion for entry into the fortified school premises was the brown Ankara Aso Ebi of the celebration. Not long after, a big van carrying instruments of foremost fuji musician, King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal, popularly known as K1 De Ultimate arrived to set up stage for the band.
All residents of the area and passersby could do was stay away from the scene of action and stare ahead as early callers began arriving for the Owambe party. And they had to wait for several hours in the scorching sun, as dignitaries did not start arriving until 1pm.
The roll call was impressive as commissioners, legislators, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chieftains, obas of near and faraway kingdoms and celebrities drove into the school to be ushered into their reserved seats by skimpily dressed delectable ladies.
Eventually, the celebrant arrived in a motorcade serenaded by his Oloris and palace chiefs and decked in his full regalia. The party got underway and more VIPs arrived in intimidating SUVs and luxurious cars.
Not a man of many words, he spent few minutes listing his achievements on the throne in the last 35 years and didn’t fail to bring to the notice of his audience the myriad of problems facing the community. One of which is the recurring violent clash between cult groups and warring factions that has defined Mushin in recent years.
As a royal father that he is, he proffers some suggestions to this dilemma: “It is our special request that relevant authorities should see to the removal of abandoned vehicles along the road, which is not only impeding the free flow of traffic, but is usually an hideout for criminals.
“The Federal Government must also improve on the welfare of our policemen and equip our security force with gadgets and training to boost their morale. With all these, it will be easy for the police to have the courage to combat crime and violence and nip it in the bud.”
He, however, bemoaned the spate of kidnapping in the state, which came to a head recently with the abduction of the chairman of Ejigbo LCDA, Kehinde Bamigbetan. According to him, it is worrisome and security operatives must redouble their efforts to arrest the situation in the cosmopolitan state of Lagos.
“Now is the time for government to address the problem of youth employment. There is need to encourage our children to aspire greater unemployment. There is need to encourage our children to aspire to attain greater heights in the future and I am committing myself to this with the sponsorship of all Mushin indigenes studying sciences in any Nigerian university.”
Oba Aileru is born into the family of Oba Jimoh Gbadamosi Aileru and Olori Elizabeth Alake on 11 March 1938. He is the first child of his parents. Having started his primary school career at the Christian Public School, Mushin, he proceeded to the Metropolitan College, Surulere, for his secondary school education.
On completion, Fatai joined Pan African Metals (NIG) limited, Ikorodu Road, Yaba where he worked as a cashier. As a result of his interest in public service, he joined the Mushin District Council, created in 1955, which later became Mushin Local Government in 1964. In 1977, while still with the council, he was called upon to take the place of his forefathers as the next in line to the throne of Mushinland.
Donations were raised for a palace endowment fund for the completion of a befitting home for the Olu of Mushin as a Grade A monarch in Lagos, which is presently situated inside the Ojuwoye market.