Amidst rich cultural display, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Sunday handed over the reconstructed and renewed Palace of the Oba of Lagos (Iga Idugnganran) to the incumbent Royal Father, Oba Riliwanu Aremu Osuolale Akiolu 1.
Governor Fashola, who performed the colourful ceremony at the Palace Grounds in Central Lagos, also noted that the privilege was being be extended to other members of his Council of Chief whose palaces, he said, are already at various stages of renewal.
In his address before the capacity audience comprising former governors of Lagos State, members of the national and State Assemblies, traditional rulers from within and outside the state as well as past and serving government officials, Governor Fashola said the renewal of the palace was part of the Urban Renewal of Lagos which, according to him, started in 1955.
According to the governor, â€œMany governors, long before me, have contributed their quota in one way or the other,â€ adding that it is only proper to acknowledge their contributions which have culminated in the final handover ceremony.
Such past governors, Governor Fashola said, include Brigadier General Mobolaji Johnson, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Sir Michael Otedola â€œand, of course, the most impactful of them, the Asiwaju of Lagos, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu,â€ adding that the decision to attack the Urban Renewal of Lagos from the regeneration of the Obaâ€™s Palace was entirely the idea of his immediate predecessor.
Thanking the Oba of Lagos for his commitment to the completion of the project, the Governor declared, â€œThis is not just a government project. It was a project that you pursued with passion and in spite of the knowledge that this will one day be a house that will not belong to you, even as we pray that your reign endures for many years to come, you pursued it nonetheless in demonstration of your long standing commitment and service to the development of Lagos.â€
In his goodwill message earlier, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu commended Governor Fashola whom he described as â€œthe Actualizerâ€, for actualizing the vision of the Palace Renewal Project.
â€œToday is a very proud day for me. I thank Governor Fashola for keeping to the continuity of our vision, for his dedication and commitment to the values of Lagos State and the shared vision of all of usâ€, the former Governor said, adding, â€œ Lagos State is the heart of Tourism and it should start from hereâ€.
Also speaking, the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona commended Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his successor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) for the wonderful honour they have done to the institution of Obaship in Lagos State with the new Palace.
Oba Adetona also called for the appreciation and recognition of the institution of traditional rulers by the Government because of its reverence and credibility.
In his message of solidarity, the Olowo of Owo, Oba Olateru Olagbegi thanked all the governors of Lagos for a job well done and for providing an enabling environment to the Obas in the State.
He also expressed appreciation to the state government for the befitting palace which it has provided for the Oba of Lagos, saying it can rank well with any ofÂ such facilities all over the world.