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Lagos loses its longest reigning monarch as Oba Alara of Ilara dies at 74

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Lagos longest reigning monarch, Oba Alara of Ilara, dies at 74
The late monarch flanked by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and his team during a courtesy visit to the palace.

 

The nation has been thrown into mourning following the demise of the longest reigning monarch, His Royal Majesty, Oba Akeem Okunola Adesanya II, Alara of Ilara in Epe division of Lagos.

The 74-year-old king monarch whose royal authority was known to be unquestionable has joined his ancestors on October 11, 2018 having spent 58 years on the throne of Ilara kingdom.

Born on October 10, 1944 in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, he was the son of Prince Abudu Salami and Madam Alimatu Sadia Adesanya. A polygamist, Prince Salami was reputed to have married three wives and birthed nine children in all.

Until his death, he held the record for being the youngest monarch ever to be crowned in Lagos history after he was coronated as Oba on October 10, 1960 at the tender age of 15. In fact, his royal file was transferred from the Old Western Region under the leadership of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the then prime minister and gazette in Lagos Colony.

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Lagos longest reigning monarch, Oba Alara of Ilara, dies at 74
Oba Akeem Okunola Adesanya II, Alara of Ilara in Epe

The Alara was also reputed as the second longest reigning first class king behind His Royal Majesty Oba Sikiru Adetona, Awujale of Ijebu Land who was enthroned on April 2, 1960.

As part of tradition, the Alara of Ilara are always paramount head of the Epe Obas and Chieftaincy Council which comprises Olu Epe (Epe Eko), Oloja (Epe Ijebu), Aladeshonyin (Odo Noforija), Aladeuraka (Poka), Orijeru (Igbooye), Elejirin (Ejirin), Onibeju (Ibeju), Aladegunshebi (Odoragunshen), Alaketu (Ketu) and Onise (Ise) since 13th Century and drafted among five principal kings in Lagos.

Interestingly, the ascension of Oba Adesanya II made him the 54th monarch to have ruled the Ilara Kingdom and Epe Divisional Chieftaincy Council.

The Alara of Ilara also had seven traditional White Cap Chiefs in his domain. They included Olisa of Ilara, Balogun of Ilara, Ogbeni Oji of Ilara, Odofin of Ilara, Aro of Ilara, Egbo of Ilara, Dewo Oba of Ilara, Agbo of Ilara.

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He was blessed with many Oloris, children, grand and great grandchildren.

Epe became part and parcel of the British Colony in 1892 with the Alara given recognition as the native authority in the chiefdom.

It would also be recalled that the Lagos State Government constructed a new ultra-modern palace, the size of a two-and-a-half football field to replace the old one in 2014.

 

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