Oba of Lagos, His Royal Majesty, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, who will be turning 75 soon has disclosed that he got N165m cash gift within two weeks of becoming King.
Here are excerpts from the interview with Punch, in which the Oba of Lagos talked about his childhood memories, joining the police amongst other things.
What influenced your decision to join the Nigeria Police?
I had always wanted to be a lawyer as a young boy. Also, back then, we used to see some policemen that looked so admirable. In fact, there was one of them known as Fine Country and he was a very active policeman. If you saw him, you would fall in love with police job, and there were some others like that. So, I told my brother about it. It hurts sometimes that none of my children want to join the police. I must say that being a policeman is one of the best jobs one could do in this life. It’s a honourable profession, but you must be truthful and you must be close to God. As a policeman, whatever is within your power to do to help others, don’t hesitate, and don’t always expect a reward for whatever help you render to people. It will shock you to know that within two weeks, I mean 14 days, after I entered the palace as the king, people contributed N165m for me as a gift. I used the money to buy shares and it has yielded dividends.
As a policeman, you will meet people and if you are in it to impact positively on the society, you will certainly make headway. Also, if you are in it to take advantage of people, the reward is also enormous. And that is worse because if you put people in trouble for selfish reasons or because you want to make money, the result will be waiting for you. It has repercussions. So, police job is one of the best jobs. But these days, God should just help them to be wise because all they are after is money. As a policeman, if you want to succeed, you need to have the fear of God. Like I said, I will be so delighted if one of my children decides to join the force, but it seems late already because they have all ventured into different things.
However, I will encourage and support any of my grandchildren who want to toe that path. I take deep interest in the well-being of my grandchildren and I don’t hesitate to assist when there is need to. Let me tell you; I believe in hard work and if I observe that any of my children is not working hard, I could bar such a child from entering the palace because I don’t entertain mediocrity. I’m not a mediocre. As I speak to you, right now, six of my grandchildren are in the Diaspora studying and I will soon go and join them to celebrate my birthday. Like I always say, no one has all the knowledge in the world, but I know and appreciate that I enjoy the mercy of God. However, I won’t forget to acknowledge those who anchored me into the police job.
Who were they?
I’m talking about people like the late Alhaji Gafaru Oluwole Tinubu, Bola Tinubu’s elder brother, who was also like a brother to me. Sunday would make it 15 years since he died. I remember the day he sent for me from his hospital bed. He told me certain things and he said I should take good care of Bola Ahmed Tinubu and that nothing must happen to him. I thank God for how far He has helped him. We were all witnesses to the battle Bola Ahmed had with (former President Olusegun) Obasanjo. In his first four years as the President of Nigeria, instead of facing governance, he was busy pursuing Tinubu and coming after Lagos. And that is why Lagos is as strong as it is today. He succeeded in capturing many other states except Lagos.
God was with us. All the monarchs and religious leaders stood firm with us. At that time, I even said I would rather lose my life than allow him to capture Lagos. Let me tell you that this coming 2019 election, I will use everything God has endowed me with to appeal to God that Buhari should be elected, because some of those who are throwing their hats into the ring now are not honest people. It will be like a magic, but Buhari will be re-elected. And the very week he’s re-elected, I would announce and encourage him to close the borders so that Obasanjo will not escape.