Before the #ObidattiInLagos rally in Lagos state on Saturday, the party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, reportedly called the Oba of Lagos. Still, the palace rejected him, according to Dayo Ekong, the Lagos State Labour Party chairwoman. During a Monday interview on Arise TV, Ekong made this disclosure. She addressed the accusations that Obi had received in some quarters for not paying a visit to the oba during his campaign rally in the state, Oba Rilwan Akiolu.
Ekong said, “People should not say what they have no information about. Peter Obi respects culture. He visits traditional rulers in every state before going to campaign.”
Mrs. Ekong referred to the fact that Mr. Obi had written to the Oba and, as a result, would not visit a vacant palace because there had been no response.
“In Lagos, he made attempts to see the Oba but was denied access. He wrote to the palace, but the palace responded that the Oba was not available to receive him. He cannot then drive to the palace when he’s been told that the Oba is not available.”
Oba Akiolu threatened the Igbo community in Lagos in 2015 with death if they supported Jimi Agbaje, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for governor. He warned that Igbo residents in the state vote for Akinwunmi Ambode, the then-APC candidate for governor, or they would “perish inside the lagoon.” Despite having a presidential system, Nigeria continues to have kings from each of the country’s many ethnic groups. The traditional monarchs now only have ceremonial authority and no longer exercise sovereignty. Nevertheless, they continue to be a solid moral force with widespread acceptance among their followers.