There is a wise saying that ‘great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice and is never the result of selfishness.’ This saying best describes His Royal Majesty, Oba Abdulwasiu Omogbolahan Lawal (Abisogun II), a serial achiever with an unblemished private and public records, who recently ascended the throne as the 15th Oniru of Iru kingdom.
For a man born into royalty and dedicated himself to seek knowledge that took him through the Nigerian Police Academy and service in other private and public roles, it is safe to say the Oniru of Iru was destined to lead his people at Iru kingdom.
The Oniru of Iru who was presented the staff of office as the new monarch of Iru Kingdom on June 7, 2020, by the Governor of Lagos state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is a year older today.
For many who know little about this dynamic, disciplined young man of Abisogun descent, here are 10 things you should know about His Royal Majesty, Abdulwasiu Gbolahan Lawal (Abisogun II) as he celebrates the golden age of 50.
- His ancestral heritage
HRM Oba Omogbolahan Abdulwasiu Lawal of Iru Kingdom hails from two royal families. He has ancestral ties with Late Jinadu Abisogun. HRM Lawal’s father, Chief Omobolaji Taoreed Lawal Akapo who hails from the Aromire Chieftaincy Family was the immediate past Chief Ojora of Lagos. His mother, Olori Muyinotu Abeni Olabisi Lawal Akapo who hails from Sokun Onilegbale family and Olorogun Ategbo Chieftaincy family, is the daughter of, Muniratu Adelakun, the direct offspring of Late Jinadu Abisogun.
- His educational qualifications
HRM Oba Lawal is a man of many achievements and one of the top monarchs in the country with a stellar educational background. He attended Holy Trinity Primary School Ebute-Ero from 1976-1982 and St Gregory College Ikoyi from 1982-1987 where he obtained his O’Level Certificate (West African Examination Certificate).
He proceeded to the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria from Sept 1988 – Sept 1992 where he obtained B.Sc (Hons) Botany. His quest for more knowledge led him to the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, the United Kingdom from Sept 2007 – Sept 2008 where he bagged M.Sc. in Violence, Conflict, and Development. HRM Oba Lawal proceeded to The London School of Economics and Political Science London, the United Kingdom from Sept 2018 – Feb 2020 where he obtained Executive MSc in CITIES (LSE Cities).
The desire for further knowledge took him to The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, USA, where he took courses on Housing Finance in a Changing Global Environment, (International Housing Finance Program) and Wharton Advanced Management Programme (AMP) in July 2015 and June 2018 respectively.
HRM Oba Lawal studied Jobs for a Globalizing World: World Bank Labor Market Policy Global Course at the World Bank Institute, Washington DC in April 2010; Programme for Senior Executives in National and International Security: Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, in September 2006, and Strategies for Managing Public-Private Partnership: European Centre of Advanced & Professional Studies (ECAPS), Cambridge in November 2011.
- He is happily married with children
A man of the people who dedicated a better part of his life to serving humanity, HRM Oba Lawal is happily married to Olori Mariam Lawal. Their union of more than two decades is blessed with children.
- HRM Lawal is the 15th Oniru of Iru Kingdom
HRM Oba Lawal is the 15th Oniru of Iru Kingdom. He succeeded Oba Idowu Oniru, Akiogun II who joined his ancestors in September 2019. He was presented the staff of office as the new monarch of Iru Kingdom by the Governor, Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
- Serving the country of his birth
HRM Oba Lawal after successfully participating in the mandatory one-year National Youth Service Corps at Federal Capital Development Authority, FCT Abuja in 1993; enlisted in the Nigeria Police Force from August 1996 to April 1998 when he was commissioned as Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police by the Nigeria Police Academy. He started his career with the Nigeria Police Force as a Traffic Officer with the Kebbi State Police Command.
He retired in October 2008 as a Superintendent of Police after spending nearly 12 years in the force. His assignment as a police officer was an exposé to the people and societies of the Nigerian state as he moved around the country in the service of his duty to the nation.
- His first government role
HRM Oba Lawal who has impeccable private and public service records first had his taste of government service in June 1999 when he was Aide de Camp (ADC), /Escort Commander, to then Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
He served in this role until 2007 before he was later appointed Senior Special Assistant (Special Projects) to the State Governor in December 2008 where he served till July 2011.
- He served three terms as a Commissioner in Lagos
A seasoned security and development personnel, HRM Oba Lawal served as Honourable Commissioner for Agriculture & Cooperatives, Lagos State from July 2011 – May 2015; Honourable Commissioner for Housing, Lagos State October 2015 – May 2019 and Honourable Commissioner for Agriculture, Lagos State August 2019 till June 4, 2020, before his resignation to ascend the throne of his forebears on Sunday, June 7, 2020.
- He developed a project studied by the World Bank
While serving as the Senior Special Assistant (Special Projects) to the Governor of Lagos State, a role he held between December 2008 – July 2011, HRM Oba Lawal acted as Coordinator of the Agriculture- Based Youth Empowerment Scheme (Agric-YES). The First of its kind in Nigeria, the project was studied by the World Bank, the Federal Government and other states in Nigeria.
The scheme aims to breed a new generation of world-class agro entrepreneurs, creating employment for young Lagosians, and ensuring food security for the people.
- He led the change in Lagos’ security system
Due to his wealth of knowledge in security and conflict resolution, HRM Oba Lawal served as a Member, Board of Trustees Lagos State Security Trust Fund, from Sept 2011 till May 2019. He joined forces with others who had impressive track records with the responsibility to address the security situation in Lagos State.
The team also raised a considerable amount of monies for Lagos through voluntary subscriptions and donations to acquire security equipment among other projects initiated to strengthen the Lagos security system.
- He is ready to serve his people
Having gathered quality experience during his roles across different capacities holding private and public offices, HRM Oba Lawal has a wealth of experience that has sharpened his skill, intellect and prepared him for a position of leadership. He possesses intimidating credentials, courage, and the wherewithal to lead the people of Iru land.