By Babatunde Kaka
Oba Babatunde Ogunlaja JP, the Aladeshonyin and Paramount Ruler of the Odo-Noforija Kingdom, says monarchs in Epe and its environ will not collude with unscrupulous elements to frustrate the lofty aspiration of sons and daughters of the ancient town.
The monarch spoke on Saturday when he played host to members of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pobo District, Eredo LCDA, Epe.
Oba Ogunlaja was reacting to a video shared on Whatsapp where someone allegedly stated that Obas in Eredo LCDA are not worthy to be crowned as kings. The video has it that Traditional Rulers from the Eredo axis are not doing enough to support Prof. Odusanya who is eyeing the topmost position at Lagos State University, LASU, as Vice-Chancellor.
In an interview with Ekohotblog on the sideline of the annual new year prayer offered by Eredo chapter of CAN, Oba Ogunlaja decried the outlandish and offensive allegation on his personality, noting that he is not in the league of Obas who is not fit to be enthroned.
” As a traditional ruler, If I am not the right person to be enthroned, my community is to decide. He didn’t mention my name but just said Obas in Eredo because I know him very well which he also does. That is why he didn’t mention my name. You can find out, people know the extent at which I extend my philanthropic gestures with the little I’m taking from the Government. Mind you, if anybody curses a traditional ruler, it is a taboo. You don’t need to go to Babalawo, it has been ordained, except it is an Oba who doesn’t perform his rites “, Oba Noforija stated.
Oba Ogunlaja likened the repercussions of people in the habit of insulting Traditional Rulers to that of a child who abused an ‘Iroko’ tree and looked back, stating that the Iroko tree won’t act immediately but later. Kabiesi appealed to the people to always consult their royal fathers, the traditional rulers for first-hand information about issues rather than going berserk online. He noted that perpetrators of fake news are his subjects, he appealed to them to make sure they do their findings as his palace is open for all.
Speaking further, Oba Ogunlaja revealed steps taken so far to place one of Eredo’s sons vying for the top position of Vice-Chancellor in LASU, on prime position to emerge. While stating the capabilities of Prof. Odusanya whom he said he has known for long, he appealed to Government to intervene and pave way for the best candidate to emerge based on merit.
” When we learnt LASU VC position is vacant, the Alara of Ilara, Oba Olufolarin Ogunsanwo called me and I also put out a call through to one of the top Government officials I won’t mention and we spoke at length about the issue. Odusanya is a nice guy, cool-headed and he knows what he is doing. He has been on this race for long and I know he is capable to handle the position. Let me reiterate that it is not only by passing the interview that one can be selected for such a position, they can still look at your background and some other criteria. I appeal to the Government to look into their matter and give the honour to whom it is due.
The menace of fake news
Kabiesi bemoaned the scourge of fake news and called on Government to make laws regulating the use of social media. He cited the ban placed on USA President, Donald Trump on social media and the constraints occasioned by Freedom of Speech and Democratic ideals, Kabiesi described the ripple effects of fake news in recent times as inimical to growth and development.
” I can say authoritatively that not even an interview was carried out, the purported interview was only seen on social media. I can tell you 95% of what you are reading on social media are fake. We are looking for ways where there can be laws that will guide the usage of social media.
“Democracy and Freedom of Speech have bastardized the whole situation. See what happened to the American President recently, he was banned on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, that is it. If anyone says anything false, ban that person. This will curb other people because those on social media are more than you, the practising Journalists “, he averred.