The phrase “Ikorodu-Oga”, is gradually becoming a household name, even beyond Lagos state. The disheartened thing is the acceptability and promotion of the phrase, even among the elite.
The is what some considered the error in the lecture delivered by the 2019 Amir Hajj for Lagos State, Hon. Abdul-Hakeem Abd-Lateef, popularly known as “Hon. Yepe.” The Nickname Hon. Yepe was given to him by himself as a sign of humility.
“Iyepe” is a Yoruba language that means “Sand”. The humble Honourable however Nicknamed himself “Sand or dust” only to humble himself and he often repeat this everywhere he finds himself that he was created from dust and he must always remind himself that he will soon return to Sand.
The generally accepted as humble and extremely intelligent Honourable however made a statement during his lecture delivered on Sunday July 28th in Mecca, to Lagos Pilgrims at Lagos house 2 residents after the Zhuri prayer.
During the period of the lecture titled “Al-Taqwa” meaning total submission to Allah, the Almighty Creator, he mentioned the popular phrase “Ikorodu-Oga” (Ikorodu the leader) and those from Ikorodu L.G felt happy that they are truly leader as depicted by the phrase.
It is however important we seize this opportunity to protest and demand that Nigerians should stop using the phrase and this include public officers, especially at a religious gathering.
Ikorodu is known and popular in Lagos state for its extreme traditional unreligious activities that regularly infringe on many fundamental rights of Nigeria citizens.
As the Executive Director of the organization, Human Rights Monitoring Agenda (HURMA), I receive complaints almost on weekly basis, of the oppression being daily faced from Ikorodu residents and beyond, cause by certain so called traditional religion fundamentalist from the Ikorodu area of Lagos state where some days are declared as “compulsory stay at home” for women, even in the broad daylight. I mentioned in a recent write-up, how it took the Somolu L.G Coordinator of the Human Rights Monitoring Agenda, Comrade Monsur Akinremi, to recently rescue a woman who was being taken to the hospital by her husband, from the hands of this reckless Ikorodu people.
Also “Oro festival” is a regular thing where it is publicly declared that any female caught outside in the night, would be be killed.
The most painful thing is that it is the Lagos state government and certain cult Chiefs, erroneously seen as good people among both the Muslims and Christians in the state, that promote the illegalities.
We shall continue to use every opportunity to analyze, as we have severally done in the past, how such practice is unconstitutional and directly infringe on the fundamental human rights of Nigerians, though the government has always turned deaf hear.
How can the people from such area, Ikorodu, that don’t respect the rule of law, be referred to as leader (oga) in Lagos state?. Even the infringement on people’s rights to freedom of movement, through the good intended “Environmental Sanitation”exercise, was challenged in court and subsequently abolished, against a sitting governor’s desire, and this was never protested by Governor SANWO-OLU and his predecessor. This is because they understand that it is the law in operation.
I was baffled to read online, not too long ago, a letter written by the Ikorodu King himself, forbidden women to be outdoor during Oro festival, otherwise anyone caught will be killed. I appreciate the immediate past Lagos state Commissioner of Police, Edger Imohimi, who promptly responded to our call and instructed his godogodo to check the extremist.
I once visited Ikorodu, to witness an announcement by a town-crier that it is forbidden for people to sell any market, even in their house for good three days.
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Many are crying and silently protesting in Ikorodu area of Lagos state and beyond, but it seems this Ikorodu people are just above the law, but the government refused to proclaim them as terrorist.
We call on all Nigerians to stop using the phrase “Ikorodu-Oga”. Truly they are not, except in the area of immortality and rights abuse.
The Lagos state government should also rise to free itself from the allegations of indirectly supporting illegalities.
The target of the Human Rights Monitoring Agenda is total emancipation of the oppressed from all forms of exploitation and oppression.
Buna Olaitan Isiak
HURMA Executive Director
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