As part of efforts to ensure preservation of the historical heritage of Isale Eko Descendants in Lagos State, the Isale Eko Descendants’ Union and the family of Oba Adeniji-Adele II have partnered with the Lagos State Records and Archives Bureau, LASRAB, to showcase various Historic Exhibitions in Isale Eko.
The maiden edition of the exhibition series took place on Sunday, 26th December, 2021, at Isale Eko House, Iga Idugaran, with the pictorial exhibition of the: “Life & Times of H.R.M. Oba Musendiku Adeniji-Adele, Adele II, K.B.E., C.B.E., who was the 19th Oba of Lagos (1949-1964)”.
In her remarks at the event, the Director-General of LASRAB, Mrs. Bilikis Adebiyi-Abiola, said the significance of the programme was for the preservation of the life and times of one of the important kings in Lagos State who died several years ago.
Adebiyi-Abiola, represented by Dr. Kolawole Oseni, a Director in Agency, noted that the celebration was possible because some people were paying attention to the growth, life and development of the King while he was alive.
Her words: “We, at the Lagos State Records and Archives Bureau, are committed to keeping proper documentation and we thank the family of our late King for being very cautious in keeping all these records and that is why we are able to preserve some of the archival materials being celebrated today”.
She urged Lagosians to cultivate the habit of record keeping and preservation of historical heritage, saying “We are all qualified for exhibition and must all begin to keep and preserve our records as individuals, families, communities and as a nation, this is the only way we can be talking about the future to preserve it by creating it now”.
A former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State, Prince Adeniji Kazeem, SAN, said the exhibition will give a glimpse into the life and times of the revered leader, while showing how impactful he was to the affairs of Lagos.
According to him, the pictorial exhibitions give a sense of the deep connection between the Oba and his people, which is very key for any aspiring leader, just as he urged the indigenes of the community to continue to learn from the legacies of the king.
In his words: “In pursuit of our objectives, we need to be bold, brave and resolute, so that our dreams and aspirations for a rebirth of great Isale Eko and Lagos will be a reality. These exhibitions also show that the life of the king was impactful, so we the younger generation must also do more for our world so that history can have a record of us when we are no more”.
The former Commissioner stressed the need for the State Government not to forget traditional institutions, noting that traditional rulers play very crucial roles in connecting with people at the grassroots.
He said Oba Adeniji-Adele II was a pathfinder for the creation of Lagos, which has now become the fifth largest economy in Africa.
“The Oba meant many things to so many people. He was a political and community leader, loving father and husband, religious leader, and a beacon of hope to so many. We have a lot to learn from his life and times. The Adeniji-Adele family are grateful to the Isale-Eko Descendants Union for providing this rallying platform for Isale-Eko indigenes”, he added.
He said the Oba lived well and would have been proud of the eventual realisation of his dreams for Lagos State.
A granddaughter of the late king, Omolola Adele-Oso, said that the occasion was also meant to showcase the rich culture of Isale Eko.
“Isale Eko is one of the oldest parts of Lagos. The prosperity of Lagos started here, a lot of policies that make Lagos State a rich commercial hub started from here during the reign of the king”, she said.
While emphasising that there is a whole lot of richness in Isale Eko, from politics to the economic growth and to tourism, she said there is a lot more that people need to know, informing that the exhibitions were designed to attract tourists, not just for economic purposes but for the richness of the culture that is in the community.
Adele-Oso said: “Tourism is beyond entertainment, nollywood and afrobeat. It is a great way to attract people here to celebrate and boost the economy of this community. There is a lot of richness in Lagos that started from here and an exhibition as this is a step forward”.
“There is a lot of richness about Isale Eko heritage that people need to understand. There were cinemas, casinos and theatres here, but they are no more, due to lack of preservation. We need to do this for all the families that have come before now because this will give room for investment, job creation and boost the community”, she added.