News reaching us holds that His Royal Majesty, Oba Idowu Abiodun Oniru, the Oniru of Iruland has passed on at age 82. For those who don’t know him, he was one of the popular Obas in Lagos and also one of the richest.
He was one King, who has had a life-long preparation for the position he occupied until his death as a Traditional Ruler, Community Leader and Chairman of Oniru Royal Family Estate. Late Oba Oniru had life of achievement and purpose in a big way.
Very early in life, the young Prince was sent to live at Oju-Oto (now Massey Street, Lagos) with a much older cousin, Madam Abike, who had no issue after several years of marriage. There, the Prince went through the rigours of domestic chores, running errands, sweeping such as floor, washing plates and fetching water while, attending school at St. David’s Primary School, Lafiaji. He later completed his Primary education at Araromi Baptist School, Lagos. He grew up to learn how to face work and play.
He played football, engaged in wrestling and participated in swimming at the Onikan Swimming Park. Soon, he returned to Igbodu where, with his other siblings he worked on coconut farms, harvesting and peeling coconut husks, before taking the nuts to markets to sell.
Oba Idowu Abiodun Oniru recalled that the proceeds from the coconut sales went into paying their school fees. From Igbodu Village which was not too far from the present Oniru Palace, the children walked some three Kilometres along bush paths to their primary school at Otoke, which was another village within Victoria Island. After leaving the Primary School, the Prince attended Eko Boys High School for his secondary education.