Oba Gbolahan Lawal Ascends The Royal Stool As The New Oniru Of Iruland

by Duke Magazine

Iru kingdom of Lagos, Nigeria has been a viable hub of investments and premium residential and commercial real estate in the coastal city of Lagos. This has by the virtue made the community to be reckoned with and its traditional ruler and throne a significant one within the state.

Following the demise of Oba Idowu Abiodun Oniru on September 19, 2019, the royal stool has become vacant, and to fill it, a deserving prince must be found. Eventually, this search led to Prince Gbolahan Lawal, who was at that time the Lagos State commissioner for Agriculture.

After observing the necessary traditional consultations and constitutional processes, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on June 7, 2020 presented the staff of office to Oba Abdul-Wasiu Omogbolahan Lawal, Abisogun II as the 15th Oniru of Iruland. 

Once this was done, the new monarch proceeded on a three-month immersion in customary rites and in September 6, he emerges in the Iru palace for his coronation as the latest Oba of Iruland.

Oba Abdul-Wasiu Gbolahan, the new Oniru of Iruland receiving the staff of office from the Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu

Born to the late Chief T.A. Lawal-Akapo, the Ojora of Lagos (1977-1993) and Oloro M.A. Lawal-Akapo of the Ojora, Aromire, Shogun, and Abisogun branch of the Oniru royal families, Oba Lawal, 50, was for decades one of the few low-profile princes of Lagos.

The new monarch, who was compelled to resign his government appointment as commissioner a few days before his coronation, received his staff of office after the kingmakers and elders of Iru land selected him from a short list of princes whose names were put forward for the throne.

L-R Elegushi of Ikateland, Oba Saheed Elegushi, Kusenla III, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and Oniru of Iruland, Oba Abdul-Wasiu Gbolahan

Reports suggest that the process to select a successor for the throne of Oniru usually commences after 41 days of the passing of the monarch, according to the tradition of the people of Iru kingdom. 

Several names were presented as possible successors to ascend the throne, but Oba Abduwasiu Gbolahan Lawal was chosen to ascend the throne, and is now a move that many are pleased with and are happy to express their satisfaction and delight in the choice of Oniru.

His assumption of office ceremony, although tempered by the global coronavirus pandemic, was emphatic with the support and show of confidence in his reign by many leaders of the state, even as he received his staff of office from the Lagos state governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, at the ceremony.

Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II gracing the coronation ceremony

The governor expressed a firm belief in the pedigree of the new monarch, who leaves in his wake an exceptional legacy that cannot be erased from the history of public service in Lagos, having recorded outstanding performances in two ministries, namely, Agriculture and Housing. 

“There is no doubt that the future of Iru kingdom will continue to be bright and promising, and the ascension of His Royal Majesty Oba Abdulwasiu Omogbolahan Lawal, Abisogun II, marks the start of the next phase of the journey into that future,” Sanwo-Olu said.

The coronation ceremony was well attended by dignitaries across Nigeria, with prominent attendees like the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunnusi, Ojaja II, wife of the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Dr. (Mrs) Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and Elegushi of Ikateland, Oba Saheed Elegushi, Kusenla III.

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