In an attempt to immortalise Oba Kosoko, one of the prominent and historic Obas of Lagos, who reigned between 1845 and 1851, his family (descendants) is planning a memorable 150th anniversary of his demise.
The controversial monarch died in April 15, 1872 and was buried on April 25, 1872 , inside the Kosoko palace (also known as ‘Oloja’ palace) located in Ereko area of Lagos.
According to the family, the importance of the anniversary is to rekindle the historic importance of the monarch whose father, Oba Eshinlokun and brother, Oba Idewu Ojulari, also reigned as monarchs in Lagos Island.
The theme of the anniversary, according to Prince Abiola Kosoko, the Oloja of Lagos – elect, is, “The Reminiscence”.
The family had, last year, marked the 160th anniversary of the Kosoko palace built by the colonialists in Ereko, Lagos, after Oba Kosoko lost his claim to the throne of Lagos.
The bombardment of Lagos, which was the most powerful and active slave port in West Africa during the era of active slave trade, happened in 1851 during the reign of King Kosoko and this crisis forced him to go on exile to Epe with his chiefs, soldiers and followers.
He returned to Lagos after the British annexed Lagos via the Treaty of 1861 with the title of Oloja of Ereko and was receiving a pension of 400 pounds annually.
His Highness, Prince Abiola Kosoko, the Oloja of Lagos (elect), unveiled some of the activities that the family is putting in place to celebrate the late monarch, at a parley with selected media houses at the Kosoko palace in Lagos.
Also at the briefing were chieftains and members of the Lagos royal family.
“This anniversary will go a long way. Last year, we marked the 160th anniversary of the palace and this year, it will be 150th anniversary of King Kosoko. The project is tagged, “King Kosoko: The Reminiscence”, Prince Kosoko said.
“This will go a long way because we want to continue to immortalize King Kosoko and make people understand the important roles he played during his lifetime and his legacy. Those are the things that we want to showcase”, he added.
Addressing journalists, Prince Kosoko, who is the successor to the late Oba and former Oloja of Lagos, said that the family has designed a template to institutionalize the late monarch while he also disclosed that some of them will be unveiled during the anniversary celebration.
He said that the celebration will be a 30 –day activity that would be held between April and May this year.
“It is going to be the first anniversary and we have designed a template to institutionalize the late monarch with this anniversary celebration which is going to be a 30 – day activity”, Oloja –Elect unveiled.
“As part of the celebration, there will be Kosoko Oloris (wives) Day. They will embark on sweeping of various palaces in Lagos Island”, he said.
“There will also be Islamic prayers in about six Islamic centres within the Ereko community. We are going to re – enact the return of Kosoko to Lagos in 1862 by attending Jumat services in notable and important Islamic centres like the Animashaun, Shitta Bey,Ereko and Lagos Central Mosques among others.
“There will also be a thanksgiving service at the Ereko Methodist Church which was established before the death of Kosoko.
“We are also planning to have a Dynasty carnival which will involve all the seven Fantis in Lagos Island to with the aim of having a memorable 150th anniversary of the late Lagos monarch’s death”.
The Oloja – Elect also said that the Kosoko Museum will formally be commissioned during the anniversary with relics and other belongings of the late monarch displayed within the Kosoko palace for people to see.
“We will be unveiling the Kosoko Memorial Museum during the anniversary for people to come around and see some of his royal, slave, war and other relics. These are important materials that have relevance to the Lagos history and Nigeria as a whole.
” The second edition of the King Kosoko Memorial Lecture, would also be held as part of the anniversary event. .
Other activities unveiled, are:
“We are also going to be unveiling a Logistics Company with five Dispatch motorcycles. Through this, we want to key into the commercial transport business of Lagos Island. We are into cargo and logistics services. Thank God that the Lagos State Government is also commencing the Rail Blue and Red Lines. We also want to go into this as a family and do business with the government”, he said.
“We also want to partner with the federal government through the Railway Corporation because we are planning to get coaches running through Ogun and Oyo States as the first phase. I am certain that the Lagos State Government will partner with us”.
He also revealed that the grand ceremony of the anniversary, which is the social gathering, will hold on a Sunday at Tafawa Balewa Square or Marina Car Park, depending on the decision of the Olori Ebi General, Alhaja Ashabi Alli – Balogun and other chieftains of the family.