For Lagos Prince, Hakeem Oriyomi Ajasa, he is cool, calm and connected. Stability and security are his watch- words. Somewhat withdrawn and shy, he is someone who takes a while to open up, but once he let someone into his life, he is utterly loyal and steadfast. That’s how a friend aptly described the persona of Prince Ajasa, a top police officer and leading contender to the throne of Oniru of Iruland, a rich community that comprises of highbrow Oniru and Victoria Island — a location in Lagos with investments and buildings worth hundreds of billions.
The demise of the last king on the throne, His Royal Highness, ObaIdowu Abiodun Oniruin September 2019 has created a vacuum and the need for a successor. A brief history of the throne reveals that there are only three rec- ognised ruling houses entitled to the Oniru royal throne —Abisogun, Akiogun and Ogunyemi ruling houses— as stated in the Customary Law Regulation Selection to the Oniru Chieftaincy of Lagos of 14th September, 1993 ap- proved by the then Executive Governor of Lagos State, Sir Michael Agbolade Otedola.
The Declaration also clearly states the approved rotation and the procedure to be followed in the nomination of the candidates by the Local Government Authority.
On that premise, the Abisogun family, after a wide consultation —traditional and conventional— settled for Aja- sa, a Chief Superintendent of Police, for the highly revered stool and he is reported to have the blessings of the top echelons of the Lagos traditional institution. As a result, his name has been forwarded to the Lagos State Government for approval as the next Oniru of Iruland. As expect- ed in every royal succession saga, there would be a stiff opposition. And already there’s one against the choice of Ajasa. However, it’s coming from rather an unanticipated source: the eldest son of the deceased and immediate past monarch, Aremo Segun Oniru, a former Commissioner of Waterfront Infrastructure in Lagos State. Aremo’s com- ing has made the Oniru succession tussle interesting and unique. What makes it different from the regular one in Lagos is that the two princes involved have a lot in common: they are popular and prominent. For Aremo, he is not just a son of the deceased respected monarch, but he is close to the power that be in Lagos. Many usually refer to him as Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s godson and a close buddy of former Lagos Governor and Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola. But unassuming Ajasa is not a small fry either. He is not just a senior police offi- cer; he is equally very powerful and influential within Lagos circle. Though not a politician, he is close to many in the corridors of power. He is also regarded as Oba Rilwan Akiolu’s son. Ajasa’s late father was also very popular in Lagos. He was the third-in-command in the hierarchy of “Adimu Orisa” (head of popular Eyo ). He was also close to Asiwaju during his lifetime.
Ajasa, who is due to become Assistant Commissioner of Police soon, was adopted by Oba Akiolu who brought him into the police many years ago and as such, an Asi- waju’s son too by extension. It was that connection that earned him the post of Aide de Camp and later Chief Security Officer to former Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.