Prince Hakeem Oriyomi Ajasa! The Grand Coming of the 15th Oniru of Iruland by Kunle Oduah
For the umpteenth time, the road to the esteemed Iru throne is getting clearer for Prince Hakeem Ajasa, as the Abisogun ruling house of the Oniru family of Lagos has again thrown its weight behind him. According to the family spokesperson, Chief Cornelius Kashimawo Bello who is from the Omisade branch of the family, he said they have to come out,for the sake of posterity, and correcting the huge misinformation, which has badly hit our traditional institution in Lagos recently, it has become very important and expedient to engage members of the public, largely because when the truth is silent, the alternative reality becomes the new reality.
At the parley where prominent members of the family like, Prince Tajudeen Oniru from the Oresanya branch, Prince Wasiu Ogunbambi from Omowunmi Branch, Prince Saliu Agboola Salau, of the Ewunmi Branch, Prince Muideen Adebiyi of Omowunmi branch, also was Chief Salawu Isa Gbenga, the Baale of Igboshere. The family members said, they have to publicly respond to the impending succession issue of Oniru of Iru land, since the demise of His Royal Highness, Oba Idowu Abiodun Oniru, who passed on in September last year hey2019.
They affirmed this by taking the public down the memory lane, making an emphatic statement that there are only three (3) recognized Ruling Houses entitled to the Oniru Royal House. These three ruling houses include Abisogun, Akiogun and Ogunyemi ruling houses, as stated in the official Declaration made under the Customary Law Regulation Selection to the Oniru Chieftaincy of Lagos of 14th September 1993, approved by the then Executive Governor of Lagos State, Sir Michael Agbolade Otedola. The Declaration clearly stated the number of Ruling Houses, the approved rotation and the procedure to be followed in the nomination of the candidates by the Local Government Authority.
They also reiterated that since 1589, 14 different monarchs have ascended the stool as Oba of Oniru of Iruland. According to the standing tribunal of inquiry into the chieftaincy matters in Lagos State, in respect of the Oniru of Lagos stool, submitted by Hon. Justice W. Ajao Oshodi in September 1995, the late Oba Ìdòwú Abiodun Oniru was asked who the first King of Oniru was, he answered that Oba Onigefon was the first who ruled from 1589 to 1620, and 13 different Obas have ruled after Onifegon, because all the Olofin’s children, also known as Idejos are Obas in their respective domains. But what many Lagosians are not privy to, is the fact that the 13th Oba of Oniru, His Royal Highness, Oba Yesufu Abiodun, who reigned from 1934 to 1984, was from the Akiogun Ruling House and upon his demise, it was by rotation the turn of the Ogunyemi Ruling House to ascend to the throne of Oniru of Iruland. However, it was learnt that the Ogunyemi Ruling House, which was next in line to produce the candidate for the stool of Oba of Oniru, declined and conceded their right to the Akiogun family, thereby paving the way for the immediate past Oniru, HRH Oba Idowu Oniru, who was the 14th Oba of Iru Kingdom. So, by every standard, the Akiogun family, which has now reigned for a total of 75 years, was only fortunate and providential to have presented the immediate past Oniiru. So, going by the existing structured rotation, the Abisogun Ruling House is the next in line to nominate and select a candidate to ascend the throne as the 15th Oba of Oniru.
It would have been a different ball game entirely, if the Abisoguns accept that the Akiogun family continues with the reign, but clearly, that’s not the case, and in the absence of such agreement, it is important that the integrity of traditional institutions is preserved and not distorted by history for any primordial reason. Thus, the essence of this laid down structure is to uphold the sanctity of Iru Kingdom’ traditional institution and anything beyond this is a deviation from the norm.
According to the Abisogun Ruling House, ‘we understand that not many are familiar with this history and that some Ruling Houses are all out to misrepresent facts for personal interest, but Public interest is far outweighs bigger than that, and our traditional institution is no respecter of persons.’ The four branches that make up the Abisogun Ruling Family namely, Omowunmi, Omishade, Oresanya, and Ewumi branches have jointly and severally presented Prince Hakeem Oriyomi Ajasa of the Ewumi branch of the Abisogun Ruling House as the candidate to fill the vacant stool of the Oba Oniru of Iru land.
To uphold peace and harmony, Prince Hakeem Oriyomi Ajasa and Aremo Adesegun Oniru, days ago, signed a Peace Accord, at the Police Headquarters in Lagos to ensure that peace reigns in the erstwhile peaceful Iru Kingdom, in order to avoid an avoidable break down of law and order. They are also confident that the state authority will not be biased in their judgment, knowing full well that the law is greater than any individual. They used the opportunity to urge Lagosians and members of the public in general, irrespective of their Ruling House, to please remain calm and be law-abiding, and also warned the youths to never take laws into their hands. ‘God’s providence is always on the side of the clear heads.’
These words of great poet and novelist, Henry Ward Beecher, have magnanimously and inadvertently played out in the life of Prince Hakeem Oriyomi Ajasa, the Oniru-elect .All things being equal, Prince Hakeen Oriyomi Ajasa, a Chief Superintendent of Police,will in earnest start his glorious journey to the throne of his forebears in the ancient Oniru Royal Kingdom of Lagos State.Until now, he is Chief Security Officer to the Speaker of House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, he was also the Chief Security Officer toFormer Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, Nigeria’s current minister for Interior.