Why We Chose Tinubu’s Daughter as Iyaloja -Lagos Markets Secretary General
THE Secretary-General of Lagos Markets, Deacon Lanre Ajayi, has put to rest the controversy that trailed the emergence of Mrs Folashde Tinubu-Ojo as the new Iyaloja of Lagos, saying she fulfilled what was stated in the constitution.
Speaking with Saturday Tribune in a telephone interview, on Friday, Deacon Ajayi admitted that though it came as a shock to many people when it was announced by the constituted authorities that Folashade, the daughter of the former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu, would be the next Iyaloja, she was qualified to be.
He insisted that what many people didn’t know was that Folashade fulfilled “to a large extent” what is stated in the constitution guiding markets operations and how a new Iyaloja should be chosen in Lagos State.
“Our constitution states that a would-be Iyaloja must be a high ranking-officer in the leadership echelon of all markets in Lagos State. The new Iyaloja, Mrs Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, was until her appointment, the Chairman of the Marketing Development Board in Lagos State. By this position alone, she has met the basic requirements of the office,” he said.
Deacon Ajayi further revealed that apart from being the Chairman of the Marketing Development Board (a position she still occupies, it was gathered), Folashade also won the support of over two-thirds of the markets’ high-ranking officers who were “constitutionally empowered to select who the next Iyaloja would be.”
“I know that it is not everybody that will be happy about the development, as no one really knows what was running through some people’s minds the day she was announced as the new Iyaloja, even though there was jubilation on that day; but you can’t deny the fact that she fulfilled certain critical conditions,” he remarked.
When asked if Folashade’s emergence was not synonymous with imposition of the will of Tinubu, generally believed to be the strongest man in Lagos politics, on the majority of the people, Deacon Ajayi said, “I know the manner she was announced was bound to raise eyebrows in some quarters, but I believe she was not imposed.”
Saturday Tribune recalls that after the death of Chief Abibatu Mogaji, the famed Iyaloja-General of Lagos markets, rumours started doing the rounds as to who the next leader would be.
The situation took a dramatic twist when the Internet (especially various online magazines, social sites and blogs) was inundated with the news that Tinubu had used the occasion of the fidau prayers (Islamic prayers made in honour of the dead) held in honour of the late Iyaloja to pronounce his daughter, Folashade, as the new Iyaloja.
This was later declared as untrue, as more reports emerged that Tinubu did not even utter a word throughout the entire duration of the fidau, let alone declare his daughter as the successor to Alhaja Abibatu.
Many Lagos residents, including those who made diverse comments on the Internet, have, however, showed their displeasure about and contempt for the decision, but quite a number of others believe there was nothing wrong in what Tinubu allegedly did.
Adeola Oshokoya, a resident of Ketu area of Lagos State, said “What this tells us is that Lagos State and its affairs are, indeed, controlled, determined and monitored by this same man. First, it was the imposition of candidates for various electoral positions, now it is the Iyaloja. This goes on to emphasise the notion that he (Tinubu) has got the entire Lagos in his pockets.”
Similarly, Ayoola Usman, a cloth seller at Oshodi Market, insisted that imposition of an Iyaloja by just one individual was not different from tampering with tradition. According to her, traditionally, an Iyaloja should only be chosen and declared by a traditional ruler.
“First, I want to say that I am not against whoever the new Iyaloja is, or where she comes from; but the truth is that choosing an Iyaloja is supposed to be the job of tradition rulers, or chiefs. Tinubu is none of these, so how did he have the power to make his daughter the new Iyaloja?” She asked.
Some others, however, said they didn’t see anything wrong in Tinubu’s daughter being made the new Iyaloja, especially if she was considered competent enough to occupy such a position.
“The most important thing is for us to have peace and progress, irrespective of whoever is leading us as traders. Many of those calling Tinubu names because of the emergence of his daughter as the new Iyaloja are hypocrites; many of them would even do worse if they had such an opportunity,” said Anuolapo Akintunde, another trader at Oshodi.
Also commenting on the development, another Lagos resident, Yemi Adeoba, said, “Senator Tinubu always has a good reason for his actions; therefore, I can bet it that the lots of all market people in Lagos State will be better off with an educated Iyaloja fighting for their cause up there where decisions are made.”
Folashade Tinubu-Ojo is said to hold a degree in Business Administration combined with Management at the Middlesex University, England, and a Masters degree in Business Administration.
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