What would have been a major royal fatality was averted earlier today when the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adewusi Adeyeye, got stuck in the lift of Intercontinental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. According to a viral video, staff and guests could be seen running around frantically to rescue the youthful king who was on his way from his suite to the ground floor when the lift got stuck. Minutes later, he emerged, seemingly unruffled, from the basement of the hotel with his palace bards and emissaries. And he still had time for a wave to guests who stood around in shock.
Sadly, social media commenters averred that the lift had been problematic for a while. A fashion model and winner, Face of Zaron 2017, said, “This miserable Intercontinental lift got me asking Jesus Christ for forgiveness and almost confessing my sins out loud that year I got stuck in it. Chaii, e bad.” To which another respondent, @alterpete, said, “And they’ve not bothered to work on it. They made me go on YouTube to watch ‘how to survive a crashing lift’ after my experience.”
Trust a cynical section of Nigerians, they saw a funny angle to it with many asking why the King, reputed to be a ruler who oversees 201 out of the 401 relevant deities that the gods have deployed to the earth, could not simply disappear!
Neither the management of the hotel nor the Ooni has commented on the mishap.
It would be recalled that the 358-room hotel had been enmeshed in troubles due to collapsing debt repayment talks and sundry operational challenges. A Lagos High Court had earlier ordered the defunct Skye Bank Plc, one of the lenders to the N30 billion InterContinental Hotel, to take over the property from its owner, Milan Group, over debts of $29.8 million and N3.8 billion.
Last December, 11 Plc, formerly known as Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc, announced plans to acquire the hotel through its subsidiary company. The oil firm made the announcement in a disclosure made available to the Nigerian Stock Exchange after finalising discussion on the property with the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON).
According to the statement signed by the company’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Adetunji Oyebanji, the acquisition is, however, subject to the terms and conditions of agreed between the parties. Oyebanji stated that the acquisition of the hotel is in line with its diversification plans, adding, “In the short term, cash flow and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation could be under strain as a result of funds needed to renovate and upgrade the hotel to attract a 5-star branding.”
The InterContinental Hotel was commissioned for business in September 2013 by Babatunde Fashola, a former Lagos State governor and current Minister of Works and Housing, who was later rumoured to be the owner.