Oba Okunola Adesanya, the Alara of Ilara practically shed tears of joy when the Lagos State Government handed over the purpose built ultra modern palace to him in Epe.
He never believed that such a day would come in Alara, Epe, Lagos State. it was a prototype designed to refect the cultural and traditional values of the people with a lot of aesthetics.
Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola was not there to physically hand over the project. His Deputy, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire who presided at the occasion said the new palace was designed to provide private residential quarters for the royal family and also administrative offices and chambers to host meetings of Alara – in – council, as well as a general courtyard for the Alara to meet with and address the community.
She also disclosed that the gesture was a promise fulfilled by the Fashola administration in the quest to uphold and elevate the values of our traditional institutions and by extension highly valued traditional rulers and custodians of indigenous heritage adding that the idea of providing befitting accommodation for traditional rulers across the state was mooted very early in the life of the administration.
She noted that the State Government decided to commence construction work on befitting palaces for the four (4) Vice Chairmen of the Lagos State Council of Obas & Chiefs who, incidentally, are Divisional Chieftaincy Heads in Ikorodu, Badagry, Ikeja and Epe.
Earlier in his address, Commissioner for Local Government & Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Ademorin Kuye, stated that the palace is composed of two floors with a friendly and conducive receptions, double volume banquet hall, kitchen with state of art equipment, private lounge and throne chambers and apartments for Kabiyesi and his Oloris. The edifice is adequately protected from external intrusion by a solid perimeter fence. Other features include car – parks, beautiful landscaping, water treatment plant and generator.
The Hon Commissioner for Works, Dr Obafemi Hamzat also hinted that the edifice stands on the size of two and a half football fields and it is also replicated in Ikorodu adding that it shows the high esteem which the State Government holds its traditional rulers.
He commended Palymyra Construction Company Limited who constructed the palace especially the Managing Director who is a Syrian – Nigerian having lived in Nigeria since 1971.
While responding, Oba Adesanya prayed for all and sundry and thanked the State Government for the honour bestowed on him with the new palace.