by Isi Esene
The governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola yesterday politely declined receiving a chieftancy title from the Oniru of Iru land, Lagos, Oba Abiodun Idowu Oniru.
He, however, accepted an award of excellence presented to him by the monarch who was celebrating his 75th birthday and 18th coronation anniversary.
He explained that the mandate given to him by the people of Lagos requires focus to execute saying any traditional honour to be bestowed on him can wait till the appropriate time.
Fashola said, “Kabiyesi and his chiefs can continue to lead us, let them deal with all those traditional and chieftaincy issues. At the appropriate time, we will come and join them, but for now, leave us in our suits, booths, overalls and helmets, because this Agbada is not good for clearing refuse and tarring the roads.”
He went on to dedicate the award of excellence presented to him by the Oba to the civil servants of the state describing them as the oil in the wheel of progress of the state.
He said, “This award does not belong to me; it belongs to all the public servants in Lagos State who do the great work that is responsible for the progress in the state.”
Former Lagos State governor and national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Bola Tinubu was also conferred with an award of excellence but he was not available to receive it because he was reported to be out of the country.
Other monarchs who attended the ceremony include Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade, Oba Abdulfatai Aromire Ojora, and Oba Tijani Akinloye and several Lagos White Cap chief.