-Upscales palace to tourism centre
The ancient palace of the late former legendary Oba of Lagos, Oba Kosoko, where he lived as Oloja, after returning to Lagos from exile, has been further rehabilitated and modernized by his family in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of his death.
The anniversary was marked with a special prayer on Friday, April 15, 2022, which marked the exact date the revered monarch, who was great warrior, passed on 150 years ago. His remains were interred within the palace in Ereko.
Late Oba Kosoko died on April 15, 1872 and was buried on April 25, 1872. He reigned between 1845 and 1851 and later became the Oloja after returning from exile from Epe.
His palace, which was built by the Colonialists 160 years ago, was first rehabilitated when Prince Abiola Kosoko, the Chief Executive Officer, Origin Garden & Zoo, was elected as new Oloja of Lagos by the entire Kosoko Royal family in 2020.
The palace was further rehabilitated and modernized in 2022 to commemorate its 161st construction anniversary and 150th anniversary of King Kosoko’s demise.
The Oloja of Lagos-elect, Prince Abiola Kosoko, alongside the elders and chieftains of the family, on that auspicious day, gathered at the palace to mark the anniversary with prayer and savoured the serene environment created out of the palace environment which previously served as store for all sorts of goods as well as abode for many.
According Prince Kosoko, the memories of the late Oba and what he stood for are being preserved and reformed to make the public have better understanding of his personality and while efforts are also being made to turn his palace to an institution and tourist attraction.
“As stated early this year, the 150th anniversary of our late ancestor will go a long way. The theme of the anniversary is, “King Kosoko: The Reminiscence”, Prince Kosoko said.
“What we are gathered here to do today is just to mark the very day that he died with prayers and make ‘Akara’ (beans acke) and ‘Ogi’ (pap) available for members of the family and Lagos Island residents general to break their fasting with.
“Activities for the celebration proper will be unveiled soon”.
He said that the modernized palace is now open to members of the public to visit and enjoy its new view.
“The palace is now open to the members of the public to visit, tour and ask questions about King Kosoko. It is our way of immortalizing him and contributing to public discourse on Lagos and Nigerian histories”, Prince Kosoko said.
“This will go a long way because we want to continue to immortalize King Kosoko and make people understand his legacy and important roles he played during his lifetime. Those are the things that we want to showcase”, he added.
The palace, which was formerly not too accessible due to some structures, now has a large space where people can converge for events. Most of the structures had given way for modernization, thereby, allowing for beautification.
In and around the palace are artifacts and relics of the late monarch for tourists’ delights.
The burial grounds of the last two Oloja of Lagos within the palace premises have also been renovated and preserved, so also is the entry into the palace which is adorned with historic photographs of Oba Kosoko, his palace and Lagos events.
There is also ongoing construction of a banquet hall for events and visitors, within the newly rehabilitated palace.
The storey building adjoining the palace is also undergoing rehabilitation and when completed, will serve as the office/secretariat for the family.
Also, behind the ancient palace is another large space created after the demolition of some structures and the space, according to the family, will accommodate Oba Kosoko’s amphitheater.