Femi Fani-Kayode (FFK), a former aviation minister and senior member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), asserted that Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour (GRV), a candidate for governor of the Labour Party in Lagos, is descended from a family of Sierra Leonean slaves.
On Friday, Fani-Kayode used his verified Twitter account to share what he described as the governorship candidate’s family history, which, in his opinion, is crucial for the benefit of future generations.
In his letter, FFK traced GRV’s claims that his grandfather was the third Nigerian to hold the position of magistrate or judge back through history.
The former Minister described how Olumiywa Jibowu, the first magistrate in 1931, and Adebiyi Desalu, the second magistrate in 1938, had previously held the honor before Victor Adedapo Kayode, his paternal grandfather, rose to the position of third magistrate in 1939.
According to FFK, the first, second, and third magistrates listed in his “history book” were very junior to the grandfather of the Lagos State Labour Party governorship candidate, Akinwunmi Rhodes Vivour.
He also asserted that GRV’s grandfather came from a slave family in Sierra Leone and never attended a university before being admitted to the bar.
For the benefit of future generations, we are compelled to correct the record because history is crucial, according to FFK.
Contrary to what the young Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, the Labour Party’s candidate for governor in Lagos state, claimed in a recent television interview, it is untrue that his grandfather was the third Nigerian to hold a magistrate or judgeship.
“These are the facts.
“Olumuyiwa Jibowu was the first Nigerian to hold the position of magistrate in 1931. Adebiyi Desalu took his place in 1938.
“Adetokunboh Ademola was the third in 1939, followed by Victor Adedapo Kayode (my paternal grandfather), F. E. O. In 1940, Euba and George Frederick Dove-Edwin. F. O. In 1941, Lucas was appointed.
“These were the first Nigerians to hold the position of magistrate, and almost all of them advanced to the higher bench and performed brilliantly.
They all came from elite, well-educated families with noble ancestry that can be traced back hundreds of years before them. These families made up the upper class and “creme de la creme” of high society in their time.
To top it all off, most of them attended Oxford and Cambridge, two of the best universities in the world, to study law before being admitted to the British bar.
Before being invited to the Bench, they were all well-known as some of the best indigenous lawyers of their era and all practiced law in the Lagos colony.
“Akinwunmi Rhodes Vivour, Rhodes Vivour’s grandfather, was considerably less senior to these men.
He was not appointed as a judge until 1964 and nearly 20 years after Jibowu was appointed as a magistrate. He also came from a slave-owning family in Sierra Leone and never attended college before being admitted to the bar.
In fact, the name “Vivour” for the Rhodes-Vivour family comes from the word “Survivor” because their forebears were set free from slavery by the British while they were being transported abroad as slaves.
“After that, they were sent back to Sierra Leone as free people. Even though I have the utmost respect for this family, the truth is that, despite their best efforts to deny it or how far they have come since then, that is their heritage.
“We must not permit anyone to embellish or change history for political purposes.
“It is important to remember that, unlike Rhodes Vivour, most Yorubas and Lagosians did not descend from a family of slaves when he attempts to disparage or look down on the roots of other Yorubas or Lagosians.
“At least all of their ancestors were born free, unlike the Rhodes Vivors. They were never slaves and never needed to be freed from slave traders. “.
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