At a time like this, it is good to take a look at the enduring legacies of His Royal Majesty, Oba Idowu Abiodun Oniru of Iruland, who passed on recently. What are the legacies?
The enduring ones, which are notable, are as follows: (1) The building and commissioning of the former palace of Oniru on Bishop Oluwole Street, Victoria Island, Lagos that he jointly built and commissioned together with his late brother, Otunba Alaba Oniru of the blessed memory.
Oba Idowu Oniru was an Engineer per excellence and he brought the expertise to bear once the family got the final approval to move onto the 732 acres (a mere 15% of their original land) of the land the government gave back to them. He wasted no time in setting up a committee of seasoned and experienced technocrats from all walks of life with outstanding track records to help develop what remained of the family’s land.
This team of experts led by HRM Oniru quickly swung into action after inviting various dredging companies; they soon settled for Messrs.’ Westminster Dredging Company. The Dutch-owned dredging company with proven successful track record all over the world to dredge the estate at 40 naira per cubic sand. This was a tough and long series of negotiations back and forth This singular act set apart the Oniru Royal Estate to be an estate of choice along the coastal region of Lagos State as the entire Oniru area was a sand field and thoroughly dredged before any construction took place. The legendary and visionary leader and his team of expertise whom he put together to work with him and advise him can only achieve this.
The dredging also marked the beginning of a major development of infrastructure within the estate before beautiful homes and commercial complex started springing up everywhere on the estate. Thus making the land one of the most sought after in Lagos corridor today.
The building of an ultra-modern corporate headquarters for the administration of all Oniru- owned businesses and their subsidiaries, which include Oniru Chieftaincy Family Property Company Limited is the company that is responsible for the sales, leasing and allocation of real property within the family estate as well as maintenance and security of the estate.
Landbidge Nigeria Limited, a company floated to manage and maintain the Millennium Homes Estate within the Oniru estate as well.
This building was one of his major projects as it was designed to bring all the family businesses under one umbrella within the estate for ease of doing business as well as his firm belief that the businesses of the family must be managed within the confines of the estate in-a comfortable convenient and conducive environment within a 5 mile radius from the palace where he can oversee them with ease unlike when the administrative officer of the estate was located in Western House building on Broad Street, Marina, Lagos. He personally ordered the relocation and gave a deadline for the movement, which was achieved in 2014.
(2) Another enduring legacy is the Iru Resettlement Scheme, which consists of over 200 bungalows of 3 bedrooms and appurtenances each. This was a project and legacy very dear to his heart, as he believed in having all his subjects and family all within the estate and a short distance away from the palace in a comfortable and conducive environment where they do not have to ever pay for the accommodation again! He built the bungalows from the scratch gave them out free of charge, while the owners were required to finish them to their taste! The project has been fully occupied and now homes to so many family members who could not afford to own homes, but are now proud occupants and residents.
(3) The next is the highly acclaimed and globally known world-class educational institution called the British International School, situated along Landbridge Ave, which is a stone throw away from the Oniru Estate headquarters. The school is arguably one of the most prestigious schools in Nigeria, indeed, West Africa with outstanding results to boast of. It is the most popular school among the international community in Lagos as well as top government functionaries and captains of industries who are looking for a world-class education for their wards.
(4) The next legacy of his HRM is the building and commissioning of the present-day Oniru Palace. This also was a project so dear to his heart simply because of his desire to harmonise and bring all his subjects and himself together! He wanted to be among them as well as them being within a walking distance from the palace, so that the subjects and the king may have easy and unrestricted access to each other. He wasted no time in achieving and realising the objective.
Next on the list is the Ultra Modern Iru Victoria Island Administrative office complex under the chairmanship and guardianship of his able and amiable son, Chief Abayomi Daramola, the Arobadade of Iruland. This edifice was completed and commissioned in his lifetime and very few local governments and LCDA’can boast of this type of office complex.
The former family house within the Ozumba Mbadiwe bungalow has now been turned into a multi-story building of world-class office and residential complex after the family moved to the old palace on Bishop Oluwole, Victoria Island Lagos.
(6) Other projects he commissioned during his lifetime that are worthy of note are The Crown Court Estate I and 2, which comprise of over 50 four-bed-room fully detached houses as well as The Lagoon Mall complex overlooking the famous Palms Shopping Complex.
It is worthy of note to mention that HRM personally approved and leased the land on which the first modern-day international mall in Nigeria stands today namely The Palms Mall, which is where the first famous Shoprite supermarket is situated. Many more Palms-styled world-class malls have since sprung up all over Nigeria, owing to the successful opening and patronage enjoyed by the maidens edition on the Oniru Land.
Oba Oniru’s peaceful and visionary reign could be said to have brought about the glorious estate sprawling with world-class amenities such as malls restaurants international hotels world-class hospitals as well as corporate headquarters of Banks, Oil & Gas as well as insurance and multinational companies.
Top government functionaries, as well as industry captains, have chosen this estate to be their abode owing to the amazing King’s visionary.
–Culled from His Burial Brochure