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OBA OF LAGOS


Title: Oba of Lagos
Full Name: HRH Oba Rilwan Babatunde Osuolale Aremu Akiolu I
Lineage: Ologun Kutere
Coronation: 09-08-2003
Palace: Iga Idungaran
State: Lagos
Profile:

Also Known as Eleko of Eko

Born and reared in Isale-Eko, the haven of Lagos indigenes, Rili, as he is popularly called in his younger days, is a philanthropist. Unknown to many, he is a benevolent father-figure to several indigent Isale-Eko students by helping them to realize their educational ambitions. This stems from his deep-rooted belief that Isale-Eko indigenes, like others from other parts of the metropolis, must endeavour to acquire higher education to give them leverage to take their rightful positions in the scheme of things both at the State and Federal levels. In various addresses, he also advised that they should take a cue from him, that in spite of his busy schedule as a senior police officer, he still spared sometime to read Law and was called to the Nigerian Bar; and partly practised Law in Lagos before his ascension to the throne.

Oba Akiolu's first anniversary on-the-throne gift to his immediate constituency, Isale-Eko, is the establishment of the Lagos Royal House Continuing Education Centre at Ita-Ono, a stone-throw from his palace. The centre, which is funded personally by the monarch, is running remedial courses for students in the neighbourhood.

In further pursuit of higher education for students of Isale-Eko extraction, he has also pledged an annual donation to the coffers of an association which operates a scholarship scheme for indigent Isale-Eko students. The body is headed by a retired judge, Justice Ishola Oluwa.

The Oba's assistance programmes to those seeking employment opportunities; encouragement of skills acquisition through vocational training with a view to making such trainees self-employed are still on course. More than 300 people have so far benefited from such magnanimity.

Also uppermost in the Oba's mind is the provision of a Modern town hall for Lagos to be sited at Enu-Owa; a cultural and spiritual centre on the Island. A committee of eminent Lagosians is being set up to handle the project. So also is another committee on the expansion and further beautification of the existing Iga Idunganran the official palace and residence of Oba of Lagos. This is clarion call to all rich Lagosians and other philanthropists to contribute generously towards the worthy causes.

One significant event to mark his first anniversary is the creation of two new honorary chieftaincy titles which the Oba conferred on two prominent citizens of Lagos.

One of the recipients, Chief Theophilous Owolabi Shobowale-Benson, Baba Oba of Lagos, is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), He has been deeply Involved in the politics of Lagos since his re-turn to Nigeria in 1947 to practise Law.

Now in his late eighties, TOS Benson, as he is popularly called, was a Councillor for many years in the defunct Lagos own Council, the predecessor of the present Lagos Island Local Government. Also a member of the defunct Western House of Assembly in Ibadan; and the House of Representatives, Lagos. At independence in 1960, he was Nigeria's first Federal Minister of Information.

May his reign continue to be peaceful, prosperous and long.

Extracts From G.K. Dosunmu - June 11, 2004




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