Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, yesterday said he lost over $2 million and N17 million cash to the #EndSARS protests in October 2020. Akiolu spoke for the first time after his palace was desecrated and massively looted during the protests against police brutality tagged #EndSARS.
Following the invasion of his palace by groups of armed youths, who looted all the valuables including his Staff of Office and the cars parked on the palace premises, it took the intervention of a team of armed soldiers to rescue the monarch from the protesters. During the nationwide protest that nearly grounded the country, a video which captured the moment some hoodlums broke into the Oba of Lagos palace, carting away dollars inside a coffin, had gone viral. In the video, some men were also seen running with a coffin full of dollars while others held dollars to their bosoms.
But confirming the looting yesterday at the inauguration of Glover Memorial Hall, Lagos, Akiolu said though he had forgiven all those responsible for desecration of his palace, he hinted that valuable items, too numerous to recall, were carted away. He said about $2 million and N17 million cash was also carted away by the hoodlums.
Akiolu said: “The incident that happened here on October 20-23rd is very saddening. We thank God that Lagos will continue to wax stronger and stronger by the grace of Allah…. Lagos will never lag behind, all Lagosians think of what you will contribute to make Lagos greater, not what will pay you selfishly.”
Speaking further on the destruction in Lagos, Akiolu appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to consider Lagos in the rebuild mission. According to him, despite catering for the needs of millions of Nigerians, Lagos lost so much in the #EndSARS protests. He added: “I appeal to our God-chosen Head of State to please in the name of God Almighty the destruction we suffered in Lagos was so enormous more than any other part of the country. About 130 buses, which the government is using to raise assets were burnt. The house of the parents of our governor was burnt, TVC, High Court, Port Authority were burnt. Particularly, those who did the Iga Iduganran (my palace), I can now say it publicly that they carted away from my palace $2 million in cash and N17 million. I’m now saying it publicly.
I’m not a wealthy man, but I’m a contented person and Insha Allah, I will continue to be rich. “I have prayed to God that Father forgive them because they don’t know what they did. If they had known what that Iduganran means, they wouldn’t have done what they did.” Earlier, Akiolu had appealed to the leaders to show compassion. According to him, no matter how rich one is, nobody will take the wealth away from the earth when death comes. He said: “If you want to confirm the vanity of the world, hold N10,000, once you sleep off, the money will fall on the ground. Even the Bible says that only the foolish amass wealth.”