By Ifeanyi Okolie
Residents of Imoore and Kirikiri Communities at the Oriade Local Council Development Area of Lagos State, have hailed moves by the Alahun of Imoore and Apapa, Oba Taofeeq Adegboyega, to restore sanity in the Kirikiri Community by asking the Lagos State High Court, to address the confusion caused by the Lagos State Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs, insisting that Cheif Babalola Shabi, remains the Baale of Kirikiri Town.
The Lagos State Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs, had on March 10, 2021, issued a report, which has since been described as frivolous, bias and unacceptable by residents of the Imoore and Kirikiri communities, as they alleged that some officials of the ministry had on their own choice, created two ruling houses, Agunbiade and Folami, ruling houses of Kirikiri Town, which were not in existence. A move they said has since thrown the entire Kirikiri community into disarray, as one Anthony Folami, has been parading himself as the Baale of the Kirikiri Town.
Meantime, Oba Taofeeq Adegboyega, who is the paramount ruler of Imoore, Kirikiri, Apapa and Awodi-Ora Towns in Lagos State, had on July 18 2020, installed one Chief Babalola Shabi, a real estate mogul and security expert, who is an indigene of Lagos State and has also resided at the Kirikiri Community for over 40 years, as the Baale of Kirikiri Town, after he was appointed by members of the Kirikiri Community Development Association, CDA, it’s elders and youths, respectively.
The Oriade LCDA also issued a certificate of Office to, Chief Shabi, after they vetted and discovered that he met all requirements, making him eligible for the stool. It was gathered that few months after his installation and certification by the Oriade LCDA, some members of the Igunniko confraternity, who has a shrine at the Agunbide axis of Kirikiri Town, felt displeased with Chief Shabi’s instalment because he is not a member of their confraternity and instead of going to court, they were alleged to have written a misleading petition to the Lagos State Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs and a committee which has a member of a the Folami family in it was set up.
Some members of the Kirikiri CDA who spoke to Vanguard lamented that the committee turned itself into a court of law by stating that there are two ruling houses in Kirikiri town, whereby there is no ruling houses community and there are also records, at the Ojo and Amuwo Odofin Local Government Secretariats to show for it. They stressed that the panel threw away all evidence and documents brought before it, indicating that Kirikiri Town belongs to the Imoore Kingdom and the Alahun of Imoore and Apapa has the paramount ruler who has the sole responsibility to appoint and install the Baale of Kirikiri Town.
They stated that all efforts to make the panel understand that the late Baale of Kirikiri town was nominated my members of the Kirikiri CDA, as the community is a cosmopolitan town and its residents are most none indigenes, who bought their landed properties from the Imoores Family before they are installed by the Alahun of Imoore, fell on deaf hears and the panel went on to issue a report which is about tearing the community apart.
A member of the Kirikiri CDA, Taiwo Wasiu, who spoke to a journalist on the development said; “the Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs had through its report attempted to create a huge problem in kirikiri town.
They created ruling houses that were not in exitance in the community and the person they recommended being the Baale is going about causing trouble in the community.
How on earth can you classify families who came into a community the same way every other resident came to a ruling house when they have no ancestral root to that community. The so-called Agunbiade and Folami families leased their lands, which they built their houses on from the Cardoso and Shokunbi families, who also bought their lands from the Alahun of Imoore and they are tenants like every other resident.
The panel even failed to identify the Cardosos and the Shokunbi families as rulings house who are even the people who bought directly from the Imoore Family, they went on to identify the Agunbiade and Folami who leased their lands from the Cardosos and Shokunbi families as ruling houses.
We wonder where they got that idea from. While at the panel, we presented several documents showing that these people are tenants like every other resident of Kiri Kiri town, but they looked the other way and came up with a frivolous report that is currently steering trouble in kirikiri Town. Even the man, Anthony Folami, who they recommended to become the Baale is not even a Lagosian. He is from the Bida area of Niger State and he has no house in Kirikiri town.
The only link he has with the Kirikiri community is just the Igunniko confraternity and its Shirin. But Chief Shabi is a resident of Kirikiri that has invested heavily and has served the community in various capacity, even as its Chief Security Officer, where he earned himself several enemies in the cause of fighting crime.
The CDA and elders of our community are pleased that the Alahun of Imore has gone to court to address the situation and as it stands, Chief Shabi remains the only Baale we have in Kirikiri Town and Anthony Folami can go and get his crown and certificate from where ever he wishes. He stated.