High Life with Kayode ALFRED
From the foot of the mountain to its peak; from being a cup of water in a vast desert to being an oasis—this is the story of Gbolahan Lawal, who is now Oba Oniru of Iruland, Oba Abdul Wasiu Omogbolahan Lawal (Abisogun II). Having recently joined the line of Royal Fathers in June, Oba Lawal will further top things off when he clocks 50 in July—a golden crown upon his head and a golden path laid out before him.
In the coming years, it might be difficult to believe that Oniru Gbolahan Lawal was a police officer. And yet, that’s how he started. Because fortunes change, the policeman became a commissioner time and time again and is now a royal father waiting to step in the golden circle of life.
There is no question about it: fate showed her hand in the ascension of Oba Gbolahan Lawal, and providence demonstrated his characteristic favouritism. What was considered a rumour was confirmed to be the absolute truth when Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, presented the staff of office to Oba Gbolahan Lawal, at the Palace, Victoria Island. This was on Sunday 7 June 2020. On Wednesday the 3 June, there wasn’t even a thread of gossip that a notable public servant was going to retire the next day, and ascend a throne four days after.
There are many reasons to think that Oba Gbolahan Lawal is supernaturally lucky. As a public officer, he was one of the few people who thrived under successive Lagos governments—without the stains of modern thuggery or calculating rambunctiousness. He was not registered as a serious contender for the throne, not with the likes of Prince Adesegun Oniru (son of the last Oniru, the late Oba Idowu Oniru, and the spearhead contestant of Ruling House Akiogun) and Hakeem Ajasa (of Ruling House Abisogun).
Aside from the obvious high placements of the other princes, Oba Gbolahan Lawal was not even a full Oniru: his mother was the Oniru, whereas his father, the late Chief T. A. Lawal-Akapo, was the Ojora of Lagos. But being friends with providence and political thunderbirds has its benefits.
The crown of gold already sits on his head. In a few weeks, his steps will also echo his new status in rank and age.