The palace of the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, has been gutted by fire on Tuesday, May 2, 2017, according to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
The cause of the fire at the palace located in Central Lagos is yet unknown, but fire-fighters from the Lagos State Fire Service “are battling to put off the fire,” the report said.
It added that Oba Akiolu has been taken to a safe place.
The Lagos monarch dominated headlines last week when a video emerged online showing him snubbing the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, at a public function.
The action generated a lot of commentary from Yorubas and other Nigerians with a good number of those critical of Oba Akiolu. Some suggested that he had come under a curse for disrespecting a foremost Yoruba monarch.
One of the white cap chiefs of Lagos responded to the uproar that greeted the release of the video. Chief Lateef Aderibigbe Ajose, who is the Opeluwa Onido of Lagos, said that the Lagos monarch did not ignore Ooni of Ife at the public function as being misconceived by people.
He said Oba Akiolu’s response to Oba Ogunwusi was the culturally acclaimed way of greeting by a monarch in Lagos.
He added that the Lagos King is basically trying to revive the culture and tradition of ancient Lagos, which is peculiar to the State.
Ajose is quoted as saying, “The sign by Oba Akiolu signifies ‘inu mi, inu e’, the culture of greeting in Lagos. “If Oba Akiolu wanted to ignore, he would have turned his face away from Ooni.”
“There is no misunderstanding between both highly revered monarchs in Yorubaland.”
According to Ajose, the relationship between both Yoruba kings is peaceful and mutual.
The Palace of the Ooni of Ife also issued a statement saying that the monarch had forgiven the Oba of Lagos.
An analyst had suggested that the monarch is visually impaired due to a 21-year-old battle with glaucoma. He argued, in a piece on Sabi News, that the Oba of Lagos was actually blind and did not know he was being greeted by the Ooni of Ife.