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Saturday, 6 February 2016

LAGOS BIG BOY, HAKEEM OGBARA SPEAKS ON HOW HE BECAME BAALE APAPA LAND
...AS WIFE BECAME YEYE MAYEGUN OF LAND




Who says humanitarian service doesn't pay?­
The selfless humanitarian service embarked upon by America returnee,Chief Akeem Oluwanisola Obara paid off eventually as he was conferred and coronated as the baale(Head of community)o­f Apapa.
The stylish chief was installed as­ the community head on the first of January 2016 at Oba Ojo­ra's palace by Oba Muyideen Ojora amidst pomp and pageantry. Celebrities present at the ceremony include,top gov­ernment official,Politicians and persona­lities who came to honour him.
The coronation and chieftaincy title didn't end with the Baale of Apapa alone, as his beautiful wife, who many present a­t the coronation believe is the oloori( Queen)was conferred as the 'Yeye Mayegun of Ojora ' ( Custodian of­ Peace and Unity)by the Ojora of Lagos.
In this interview with the Pub­lisher of Islanders International Magazi­ne, Ola Muhammed, the handsome philanthropist talked to us on how he emerged the he­ad of Apapa,his position/role  and other interesting issues.

Can we meet you?
I’m Akeem Olawanisola Obaara, a native of Ikorodu LGA Lagos state. I’ve been a resident of Apapa for a while now. Apapa is an area of people with diverse ethnics and am proud to be one of them.
How did you become the Traditional ruler of Apapa?
When we came here, we realised that there are lots of “Rats” when I say “Rats” I mean thieves. We hardly sleep at nights, we hear all sorts of complaints about bags being snatched, cars vandalized and innocent residents being dis possessed of their valuables.
I thought of the necessary steps to be taken in order to put an end to this occurrence, personally I installed CCTVs on the main street in front of my house and engaged the services of a neighbourhood watch. This development reduced the nefarious activities of these petty thieves in the area. This was just a selfless service I embarked on in order to ensure my safety and that of my neighbours.
Few months ago I got a call from a childhood friend of mine and he told me that he was at the Ojora of Lagos Palace. Ojora of Lagos is also a good friend of mine, so I went to the palace on invitation and while we were catching up as old friends. Then he asked if I would love to become the traditional chief for APAPA and I accepted. The necessary traditional rites were performed and here we are.
The coronation ceremony was held on the 1st of January 2016, how do you feel?
I felt honoured. I recalled when we were still planning the traditional rites and I craved the indulgence of the Ojora of Lagos for the coronation to be held on the 1st of January which is his birthday, and he gladly accepted my offer.
Like you said earlier, the residents of APAPA are of diverse ethnicity. As the first citizen of the area, how do you intend to achieve unity among the residents?
This I started by ensuring the safety of lives and properties in the area. Meanwhile, the process of unifying the residents of Apapa starts with the youths. I’ve sponsored youth oriented projects, like street carnivals and other activities initiated by the youth organisations in the area. I’ve also sponsored some youths to acquire vocational skills in the area. Technically steps are taken to ensure unity among our residents.


What is your vision/Mission for the residents of Apapa?
My main concern is the gridlocks caused by the tankers and trailers on our major roads. I haven’t plied Liverpool road for a while just because of the incessant gridlocks experienced on this route. It occurred to me that the bad roads within this area are the reason behind the detours plied by the tanker drivers. If solutions aren’t proffered on time to salvage this issue, residents and companies within this area will be at the receiving end. Governor Ambode in a bid to arrest this situation, instructed task force to as watch dogs on these drivers to ensure that they don’t park indiscriminately on the roads except on request for business. Sadly the so called task force are collecting bribes from the drivers hence the heavy presence of these trucks on the road.

My major concern is the eradication of trucks on the road, secondly the security of lives and properties in the area. Thirdly, provision of jobs for our youths that is the reason why we have petty thieves in the area. Employment of youths is very important, the government and the traditional ruler must facilitate this.
Do you support traditional rulers’ taken parts in politics?
I believe the traditional chief belongs to the people within his community, and he’s answerable to the king or traditional ruler of the major community around him.so for me, if a traditional ruler or chief is to participate in politics he must carry the members of his community along. The traditional chief or community leader has chiefs or subjects like a traditional ruler; he must be willing to delegate power among his subjects. You can’t rule alone rather decision making must be collective.
What’s your take on the notion that there’s a decline in our culture?
There’s a serious decline in our culture and tradition, gone are the days when you find the different types of masquerades celebrate their festivals peacefully within our community. It is imperative for us to imbibe our traditions or culture among our youths and embrace it as well.

What’s your advice to the residents of Apapa and the government of Lagos state?
I’ll advise the people of Apapa to always speak in unison and cooperate with the community leader. Whereby we speak in unison the government will definitely listen to us.
The federal government controls Apapa, hence we plead that they listen to us. We need an urgent solution to the trucks on the road . We also implore them to provide job employment for our youths.

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