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•Details Of The Mother Of All Burials
Last week Friday, 1st of November, 2019 will forever remain a memorable day not only to those who attended the grand burial party of Late Oba Idowu Oniru but even the residents and passersby in all Victoria Island axis surely knew there was a big event which literally put every activity on hold. It was a befitting burial as Lagos Former Commissioner, Aremo Segun Oniru and his siblings teamed up to give their father a befitting burial.
The day was surely full of activities because the late monarch was one of Nigeria’s first-class monarchs, a great philanthropist and foremost businessman, Oba Idowu Abiodun Oniru who ruled Iru Land for many years.
The milestone burial party did not just happen yesterday but several activities were already lined up for different days. The burial party on Friday started with some traditional and Muslim prayers same week and even Fidau prayers before the event and on Friday, it was time for the grand finale. The burial reception which was graced by prominent individuals from all walks of life took place at Eko Hotel, Lagos. City People Society Editor, TAYO FAJORIN OYEDIJI covered the classy event.
IT WAS AN INVITE ONLY PARTY
Security was beefed up at the entrance of the venue due to gate crashers. The party was a strictly by invitation event and if you don’t have a copy of the access card then you are not allowed in. Despite that many people wore the Ankara Aso Ebi, those who didn’t have their invitations were turned back at the entrance as K Square security outfit did a standard job by manning the gate the way they should. There were over 500 armed policemen who also guarded the gate alongside the security outfit bouncers. The party was strictly for the selected few.
INSIDE EKO HOTELS, THE VENUE
The venue for the burial party was Eko Hotel but not the Eko convention as many people thought, you know why? When your crowd is more than a 5000 seater venue, what do you expect? So a gigantic marquee was mounted right inside Eko Hotel massive expanse land which seated about 8000 guests. It was a never seen before arrangement but only a top family-like Oniru can make it happen. What the family wanted to achieve was also to make sure the lives and properties of their invited dignitaries were well secured hence the need for Eko Hotel usage. No other event venue could have done justice to the ambience of the venue which was put together by top event styling company, the party Avenue and Wonder-Works limited. Eko Hotel was known for a different thing last week because all entrances into the Hotel were completely shut down, and the management only made way at Eko hotel signature. It was massive and the security personnel on ground were up to 1000. What do you expect when the late monarch is highly influential and also has powerful children who call the shots. The venue was decorated in an angelic way with the colour code of the day, green and peach but with a touch of gold. To tell you how big the marquee was, guests tags came in the form of street cursors pointing to the direction where everyone’s table name was.
ABOUT LATE OBA IDOWU ONIRU WHO DIED AT AGE 82
Maybe if Oba Oniru were to be alive, he would probably be the best dancing Oba at any event because he loves to dance. But this was his burial. His celebration of life was done amidst pomp and pageantry. He was a great monarch who passed on at a very ripe age of 82. Even in his biography, it was clearly stated that he is a lover of dance, “He was very popular in his youth and was well known for his love of dance”. He was one of the 1st class Obas in Lagos and in Nigeria, He wields enormous influence in Lagos social sector and its developmental scheme. The Oniru Dynasty has for many years contributed to the growth of Lagos State through its infrastructural activities within the state especially the Island /Lekki Axis. Oba Idowu Abiodun Oniru is the 14th Oniru of Iru Land, Akiogun 11. He was very sociable and highly industrious during his lifetime, he has a very large family. In his Dynasty, at the palace, he has 8 white chiefs, 17 traditional Chiefs and 13 Community chiefs, also with an advisory board of 6 members. His children are all successful and hold some top positions in the government. His Royal Majesty was born on the 6th of September, 1937. The 12th of 15 children, he had a life-long preparation for the position he now occupies. He started at St David’s Primary School and finished his primary education at Araromi Baptist School in Lagos. He knew the importance of education yet he enjoyed his sports. He participated in football, wrestling and swimming.
He went on to Eko Boys High School for his secondary education where his leadership qualities became obvious. As a result, he was made the financial secretary of Oke Popo Boys Club and then the Chairman of the same club. He represented his school in high jump and pole vault. He worked at the Lagos Town Council now known as Lagos City Council for the year 1963-64 as a rate collector. He left Nigeria in 1965 to the United Kingdom where he studied Civil Engineering at the British Institute of Engineering Technology in Slough. His choice to study Civil Engineering was as a result of the great plans he had for the family. He returned in July 1968 after completing his course to become Oba.
WHY THE OJOMU OF AJIRAN LAND WILL MISS OBA ONIRU
The friendship that exists between Late Oba Idowu Oniru and Oba Ajiran Akinloye is one that started several years ago and until Oba Idowu Oniru passed on, their friendship was strong and increased by the day. One of the biggest hit of Late Oba Oniru’s death is Oba Ajiran. He is one of the close confidants of Late Oba Oniru that they appeared inseparable anytime you see them together. One of such was when late Oba Idowu Oniru’s celebrated his 80th birthday 2 years ago, Oba Ajiran was one of the prominent first-class monarchs who graced the party. Oba Ajiran is the Ojomu of Ajiran Land in Lekki. He was one of the early callers at the event and was sitting on the VVIP table meant for the kings beside his best friend, Late Oba Oniru. No wonder, Oba Ajiran will surely miss his friend of many years because of their closeness, they are not just close but they share some common things together. Most times, they go out together, in fact, they sometimes dressed alike in their regal attire. Both of them are birthday mates. They were both born on same day but different year. Late Oba Oniru died at age 82 and Oba Ajiran is 79 years now. Despite the 3 years’ age difference between them, they both respect each other. According to the hierarchical sequence, they are both no 14 in their linage to become Oba, they are both in same community, they both run similar businesses, their reign of over 2 decades is just 2 years’ difference, they both schooled abroad and so on. No wonder, they were always inseparable
MEET LATE OBA ONIRU’S 5 OLORIS
The Oniru of Iru Land, Late Oba Idowu Abiodun Oniru sure knew what was good for him due to his status and enormous wealth, no wonder he married 5 wives, not only are they 5, but they are beautiful in all ramifications, well endowed with beautiful skin. The pretty Oloris are all part of the Iru Dynasty with their different titles. The first Olori is Olori Aramide Oniru, the Iyaafin of Iruland, Olori Risikat Abisoye is the Yeye Apesin of Iru land, Olori Arike Oniru is the Yeye Wuraola of Iru land, Olori Ajua Oniru and Olori Funke Oniru who is the Yeyemeso of Iru land. All of them bore successful kids for the Kabiyesi and the unity between the 5 Oloris is second to none that you cannot differentiate which children are for whom. The love they instilled in their children towards one another is very strong. You really will not see them at many parties, but they attend only A-list shindigs due to their status as monarch’s wives.
They are very social and their husband who also loves to dance complements them in this area as they sometimes go to events together during Oba Oniru’s lifetime. They all glowed at the burial party and looked very stylish in their well-tailored white outfits and minimal jewelry for the fidau prayers. They wore the same outfit for the event.
HIS CHILDREN’S ROLE AT THE BURIAL PARTY
All of Oba Oniru’s children from Segun, Tijani, Demola to Ayisat, Ariyike and others all came together to give their father a befitting burial. It was a joyful moment and more like a family reunion for the Oniru’s as all gathered and put up a beautiful and classy celebration for their father. One laudable thing about their role is the cooperation that existed between the children as they made sure there were no lapses. They all welcomed and entertained all guests.
OVER 20 OBAS, TITLED CHIEFS AND IYALODES HONOURED THE ONIRUS
As expected, there were many monarchs, titled Chiefs and some Iyalodes who gathered to honour the deceased’s children with their staff of office while some were present physically.. Some of them were Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, Ojomu of Ajiran land, Oba Adetunji Akinloye, Elegushi of Ikate Land, Oba Saheed Elegushi, Oba Orioe Igbon and his Olori, Oba Dokun Abolarin, Oba Patrick Fafunwa, Onikoyi and Imoba Land, Oba Mohammed Yusuf, Tomaro and Abagbo land, Chief Biliaminu Abisogun, Chief Abayomi Daramola, Chief Animashaun Isese, Gbobagunwa of Iru land, Yusuf Busari, Bobagunwa of Iru land, Chief and Mrs Fatai Adio Animashaun, Mayegun and Yeye Mayegun of Iru land, Chief and Chief Mrs Basorun, Baba Ilabare and Aje Oba of Iperu land, Chief Musiliu Atanda Olowu, Baale of Ipehun Community, Chief Jamiu Adelakun, Baale of Alakoto Community, Chief Ganiu Kareem, Baale of Osho Ilu. HRM Oba Gausu Alani Rasaki, the Ovori of Ibeshe Kingdom, Oba Babatunde Nosiru, Oba Momodu Afolabi Asafa, MFR, the Onijanikin of Ijanikin kingdom and many others.
GOVERNOR SANWOOLU HONOURED AREMO SEGUN ONIRU
As part of his style to always honour his invitations, his Excellency, Lagos Governor, Babajide Sanwoolu honoured Aremo Segun Oniru by storming the burial party. Aremo and the Governor have been together in Lagos state service for many years hence their robust friendship. He eulogized the late Oba in his goodwill message and recognized his selfless nature in contributing to the growth of Lagos State. He was also wearing the Ankara Aso Ebi for the first time since he assumed office. He was welcomed in by Aremo Segun Oniru.
REVEALED: AREMO SEGUN ONIRU AND BABAFEMI HAMZAT OVER 20 YEARS CLOSENESS
Many people who see Aremo Segun Oniru and Lagos Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat together feel they became friends when they were both in public service but No, we can tell you that Aremo’s friendship with Lagos deputy is deeper than that. They have shared many good times together,they both come from prominent backgrounds and their work-life in government further cemented their friendship of over 25 years. Lagos Deputy Governor was one of the early callers at Oba Oniru’s burial. He was on the ground even when the programme had not yet started. He stood solidly behind his friend.
WHERE IS OONI OF IFE?
The question on everyone’s lips is “where is Ooni of Ife”? The paramount ruler of Ile Ife, Oonirisa, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi was conspicuously absent at the burial and many wondered about his absence because he is one of the close allies of Aremo Segun Oniru and also for the fact that he is a first-class Oba though far younger in age to the late monarch. He is also known to always grace Oniru’s parties and we can’t forget in a hurry his grand entry at Late Oba Oniru 80th birthday two years ago.
ABOUT THE BEAUTIFUL ANKARA ASO EBI
Looking all through the corners of the marquee, the beauty of the Ankara Aso Ebi in colours of green and peach that was picked for the occasion lit up the whole place. Almost all the guests matched up their Aso Ebi with sparkling peach or green gele. Many also sewed their outfits into lovely styles and made many of them look like a damsel. Over 5000 Ankara were given free to all invited guests. Celebrity women did 100 per cent justice to it.
AREMO SEGUN ONIRU PLAYED A BIG BROTHERLY ROLE
The heir apparent to the Iru Dynasty, Aremo Segun Oniru’s disposition at the burial party will surely tell you he has huge leadership qualities. He was seen from the beginning of the party till the end making sure all his younger sibling, families, friends, invited guests and well-wishers were well taken care of. He practically took on the responsibility of welcoming his father’s important personalities who graced the event. Not only that, he was seen moving from one table to the other to ascertain every guests satisfaction.
THE BOND BETWEEN SEGUN ONIRU, OBA ELEGUSHI AND AKINSIKU OF LAGOS
Have you ever been to any A-list Lagos social party and you will not see the 3 together? They always make any party bubble. They usually sit together at parties and their table is always full of life with sumptuous meals and exotic premium drinks. Their closeness has been on for several years despite Aremo being older than the others, they accord him his respect and he also plays a brotherly role to them. Aremo Segun Oniru is the first son of Oba Idowu Oniru. Oba Saheed Elegushi is the reigning Elegushi of Ikate land while Oba Olalekan Dosunmu is the Akinsiku of Lagos. Many people also don’t know that Aremo and Akinsiku of Lagos are brothers and more reasons they wore the same colour of outfit and cap.
QUEEN OF BLINGS, SENATOR DAISY DANJUMA GLOWS
The pretty woman whose love for diamonds is incomparable, Senator Daisy Danjuma glowed in her well sown Ankara fabric. She looked beautiful like a Benin princess that she is.
AFRICAS RICHEST MAN, ALIKO DANGOTE HONOURS AREMO
When Aliko graces parties, you can be sure that it is A-list. He was conspicuously seen at the burial party and stayed for several hours to honour Aremo Segun Oniru. He was also seen displaying his humility when he stood up exchanging pleasantries with other dignitaries present.
OGUN FIRST LADY STORMS LAGOS
The pretty wife of Ogun Governor, Bamidele Abiodun had her events back to back. She has been shuttling between Lagos and Ogun in the last 3 weekends. She was at Bola Shagaya’s 60th birthday and was also at Arise Women conference all in Lagos. She was there last weekend to honour her husband, Dapo Abiodun’s friend, Aremo Segun Oniru.
REVEREND ESTHER AJAYI AN EARLY CALLER
We also set our eyes on mother of all nations, reverend Esther Ajayi who loves to honour many of her invitations. She was an early caller at the event and was specially welcomed by Aremo Segun Oniru.
BETWEEN FORMER FIRST LADY AND HER HUSBANDS DEPUTY
One woman who was shown great love and acceptance with the audience cheering her up was the former First Lady of Lagos State, Dame Abimbola Fashola. She always gets enormous attention whenever she is at parties. She is a very calm woman with no airs around her. She has been stepping out regularly in recent times and if you have noticed, there are always 2 people who sit close to her at events. They are her husband, Babatunde Fashola’s deputies during his first and second term while in office, the duo of Mrs Sarah Sosan and SSA to President Buhari, Princess Adejoke Adefulire. They always sit together with her at events and this event was no different as they sat beside each other, gisted, sang, danced and enjoyed themselves all the way.
WHEN LAGOS HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY SHIFTED TO LAGOS
Because of their love for Aremo, the house of assembly members came out en masse to celebrate with the Onirus. The house was led by its speaker, Hon Obasa, Hon Funmi Tejuosho was also at the VIP table.
AREMO SEGUN OSOBA AND WIFE, DERIN PRESENT
The former governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba and his wife, Beere Derin Osoba were also special guests on the front row.
SENATOR MUSILIU OBANIKORO SPOTTED
Storming the venue midway was popular politician and former minister, Musiliu Obanikoro. He is one of the close allies of Aremo Segun Oniru.
FMR LAGOS DEPUTY, FEMI PEDRO WAS THERE
Lagos former deputy governor, Femi Pedro was not left out. He also sat at the front row.
SPEAKER HOUSE OF REP, HON GBAJABIAMILA
It has been a while we saw Hon Gbajabiamila in Lagos, he came through for Aremo Segun Oniru. He was at the party for a long time.
KING OF WORLD BEATS, SUNNY ADE THRILLS GUESTS
It was as if guests were all waiting for King Sunny Ade to mount the stage, immediately they spotted him, they knew it will be dance and fun unlimited. He is the grandmaster of Juju music and he kept everybody on their feet for hours.
JUJU MAESTROS, QUEEN AYO BALOGUN AND SIR SHINA PETERS SPOTTED
At the party were foremost juju musicians, Queen of juju music, Queen Ayo Balogun and sir Shina peters. They were there to honour Aremo Segun Oniru and Tijani Oniru on their father’s burial..They stayed for several hours and also had fun all through.
SOCIETY WOMEN ATTENDED IN LARGE NUMBER
We can’t begin to mention the society women who graced the event, there were more than a few of them. Seen were the First Ladies, Barr. Shade Balogun, Sen. Daisy Danjuma, Montai Elemosho, Joko Adeusi, Bolanle Oduyale, Yetunde Odusi, Funke Akinyera, Olori Noimot Akinsiku, Queen Ayo Balogun, Chief Mrs Bewaji kuku and many others.
THE NEW ODOLE OODUA STEPPED OUT AFTER CORONATION
The brand new chieftaincy title older, Chief Kesington Adebutu honoured the Onirus. The new Odole Oodua stepped out for the first time after his show stopping coronation in Ife two weeks back. This will be his first outing after then. He was an early caller too, he was sighted at the Fidau prayers.
CHIEF AKIN DISU AND CHIEF AKINLONU- OBAONIRU’S ALLIES OF OVER 40 YEARS
These 2 important personalities are one of the very good allies of the Oba Oniru. Foremost businessmen, Chief Akin Disu and Chief Simeon Adekunle Akinlonu are very special to the late monarch and therefore belong to same courts. These 2 were also part of the VVIPs who honoured their late friend and sent in the goodwill messages. Chief Akinlonu once described Oba Oniru as his mentor, a rare gem and gentleman in every respect. He said “providence orchestrated our meeting some 46 years ago. He says his story will never be complete without devoting several chapters to him. Also, Chief Akin Disu is one of Oba Oniru’s traditional chiefs, he holds the title Borokini of Iru land. He once said” Kabiyesi is my Baba and King, I owe the position I attained today to him. I have known him since the 50s in Lagos and I am considerably close to the Oniru royal family. I am honoured to be in his court and he regards me as a very high chief in Iru Land”.