THE ultra modern palace of Oba of Lagos, HRM Oba Rilwan Osolale Akiolu, is ready. The property, on the same old Iga Iduganran in the Lagos Island, insiders revealed would have gulped about N2 billion.
Handled by construction giant, Julius Berger, work commenced on the project in 2007, amidst controversy. Residents in that part of town had cried foul over the intention of the former police turned monarch to demolish their homes for his palace.
The governor of Lagos, Barrister Babatunde Fashola, SAN, later justified the demolition citing developmental purposes. “We need to give way for development. Those in China, Japan and some Asian countries forfeited their age-long traditional abode for development. If we continue to hold on to all these dilapidated structures, all in the name of preserving our culture, how will Lagos develop?”
Checks by ENCOMIUM Weekly have it that the proposed demolition couldn’t be done completely because of stiff resistance from the residents of Lagos Island, who are not friendly with the monarch. And because of that, the builder, Julius Berger, had to make do with what was available to them. In spite of all the brouhaha, however, the new palace is now ready, meaning that the relics of the old palace Oba Akiolu, the 19th Oba of Lagos inherited from his predecessor, the late Oba Adeyinka Oyekan, have given way for an ultra modern edifice with state-of-the-art facilities. The old palace was built by the Portuguese at the end of the 18th century and it had been the abode of every successive Lagos monarchs. The completion of the new palace also coincides with the seventh anniversary of Oba Akiolu’s coronation. The new structure, a 10-storey affair boasts of six three-bedroom luxury flats, with sit out pavilions, two four-bedroom twin duplex blocks for the monarch’s wives, an external industrial kitchen, a water booster system and a standby power generating set, among others.
Oba Rilwan Akiolu is the head of all kings in Lagos hence his new status as the owner of the most beautiful palace in Lagos. He was installed in 2003, after the demise of Oba Adeyinka Oyekan, who died at the age of 93.
THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN ENCOMIUM WEEKLY ON TUESDAY, JUNE 01, 2010