When two years ago, Kabiyesi Kabir Adewale Shotobi mooted the idea to build a multi-million naira Palace extension that would complement the one the State Government built for his kingdom, not many gave him a chance of attaining that goal, how much more trusted the time-frame of its attainment. Many people close to the monarch wondered where he intended to get the funds for such a huge project.
Not deterred by people’s pessimism, the monarch went ahead to set up a committee for the project, which included two outstanding architects in the community namely, Taiwo Kara and Arch Soyebo. The two brilliant architects whose professional standards compete globally, turned in two master-pieces, each one of them irresistible. The committee met and later chose that of Soyebo, aka Eru I. The cost implication of this choice stood at N150milion to build the palace. Unknown to many, by August 11, 2018, when the new palace was completed and commissioned, the cost had doubled to more than N300 million.
The import of this story is that Kabiyesi Shotobi had made big history by completing such a magnificent palace in a record time of two years without a bank or foreign loan but from funds donated by his people and some support from the State Government. No one had taken the monarch serious in 2016, when this project idea was hatched, especially as he had called a stakeholders meeting for the project, during which about N20million was donated/pledged. Yet, the Kabiyesi was not discouraged. He believed in his integrity, his goodwill and faith in his God and his people. Hence, he pressed on seeking the support of everyone at every opportunity he had to do so.
The second lesson of this achievement is that if Oba Shotobi were to be a selfish or dubious man, he could have collected the money contributed and built himself a personal palace or divert the money to his private pocket. But no, our king believes in making Ikorodu greater. He wanted an edifice to further project the image of the town and went on to complete this palace, which stands out today to compete with other palaces across the country. What he built belongs to Ikorodu as a whole, to him during his reign and for others to succeed him. This is a great legacy, which has shot up his integrity and ratings.
Another lesson from this project is the fact that Ikorodu people believe in this King. If it were the other way round, he would not have gotten the kind of support he gathered to conclude this project. For him to have mobilized his subjects for such a record achievement, which some kingdom would have taken decades to complete, demonstrates his acceptability among his people. It is, therefore, important that this write up highlights the selflessness of Oba Shotobi as a King and his charismatic innovation of support (financial and material) to build this historic palace, which will stand out forever in honour of Ikorodu people. Any Oba in this part of the country or any important visitor to this palace would see the painstaking efforts of the designers, the builders, and he finishers, especially the interior decoration and professional finishing to reflect Ikorodu’s culture and traditions.
Another lesson of this feat is that if Ikorodu people are committed to any cause, they would surely attain it. They know how to team up and get goals. We give kudos to our monarch for his resilience, his doggedness and his determination to build this place that will be a historical palace of attraction for visitors. One needs to enter this palace to appreciate the enormity of work done there. If you visit it, you would not like to leave because you wouldn’t have the need to go elsewhere for anything. It is a complete self-satisfying home of its own – a rare equivalent of heaven.
Our prayer for the Kabiyesi is that God should give him long life, good health, abundant peace in his kingdom and all the support and resources he needs to enjoy this beautiful palace he has built for Ikorodu people. The Almighty Allah will continue to strengthen him and shower him with divine wisdom to lead this community progressively. On our part, we will continue to pray for and support the monarch in his resolve to take Ikorodu to another level.
This paper commends the fact that Kabiyesi immortalizes the names of those, who contributed heavily to the tune of one million naira and above on a marble for posterity sake. This would be engraved in the palace as was done for those who contributed similarly to the Ikorodu Town Hall project. It would also encourage others to contribute to worthwhile projects in the community and be an appreciation to those that helped to build this spectacular palace extension.