The Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, has called on the Federal Government to return all properties belonging to the State, which were forcefully taken over by the Federal Government.
The monarch urged the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, to use his position as the fourth citizen in the national leadership hierarchy to help Lagos retrieve the said properties.
Akiolu made the plea when the Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu led the Speaker on a courtesy visit to the monarch at the weekend with his deputy, Hon. Idris Wase.
The monarch said he had “valid documents” to lay claims to the properties which he said were taken during the military era. He said some of the property were dated back to 19th century.
“We have a catalogue of requests from the Federal Government, from special status for the state to the return of all property belonging to Lagos government which were taken away by military fiat. We want the property to be returned to us,” he said.
The monarch said the State must fight for the retrieval of the properties which include CMS Grammar School and First Bank building on the Lagos Island and harness them for improved service delivery in the state.
According to him, “I have documents in my possession, which date back as far as 1800s, showing the ownership of all the property from CMS Grammar School to the First Bank building in Lagos. These properties are needed back for the improvement of our people.”
Earlier while receiving the Speaker at Lagos House, Ikeja, Governor Sanwo-Olu described the emergence of Gbajabiamila as Speaker of the House of Representatives as a great feat for the State.
Sanwo-Olu also expressed joy that a Lagosian had been entrusted with the Speakership of the Lower Chamber of the nation’s National Assembly, which he sees as a major milestone in the annals of the State’s and the nation’s political history.
“We’re happy that as a Lagosian, you are the Speaker of the House of Representatives in Nigeria. This means a lot to us in the State. But beyond being a Lagosian, we’re happy that Nigeria is blessed with a great personality as her Speaker. We know that you will work for the good of the country,” he said.
The governor informed the Speaker that Lagos deserved more from the Federal Government and said he hoped that Gbajabiamila would use his office to better the lot of the State.
Responding, Gbajabiamila described his home coming as very emotional, noting that “it feels really great to be welcomed home by your people”.
The Speaker noted that Lagos is his home but Nigeria is his seat. He promised to be fair to every Nigerian in his administration of the House of Representatives.
The Speaker promised better collaboration between the Federal and Lagos State Government, saying so much is expected of Governor Sanwo-Olu to deliver the dividend of democracy.
“So much is expected of you as much as it is expected of me too. But I know you and I know your pedigree. Chances are that you will surpass those expectations.”
The Speaker and his deputy were joined during the visits by many members of the green chamber from various regions of the country.