Although practicing a presidential system of government, the important roles played by the monarchs to the development of their societies and Nigeria as a whole cannot be overlooked.
We take a look at 10 most powerful Nigerian monarchs that are currently on a throne.
10. Olubadan of Ibadan
title Olubadan means “Lord of Ibadan” and it is the royal title of the
king of Ibadan land. It usually takes decades to groom an Olubadan for
the mantle through stages of chieftaincy promotion, thus meaning that
just about any male born title-holder of the metropolitan center is a
potential king. Olubadans are usually appointed from the two ruling
lines to the throne, Egbe Agba (civil) and Balogun (military) on
rotational basis following the death of a monarch.
The 11 high
chiefs that formed the Olubadan-in-council, apart from the Seriki and
Iyalode, are recognised as the traditional head of each of the 11 LGs in
Ibadanland. They are appointed as presidents of customary courts, who
are expected to adjudicate on matrimonial, land, boundary and other
Oba Samuel Odulana, Odugade is the current
Olubadan and although the position like many other monarchical positions
is now largely symbolic, the Olubadan remains a prominent figure and
has influence on matters of local politics as well as question political
leaders on issues such as violence, corruption and lack of true
democracy in the region.
9. Obi of Onitsha
post of Obi of Onitsha is recognized by the state and federal
government as he is regarded as a representative of his people. He is
the traditional leader of Onitsha in Anambra state and Igwe Nnayelugo
Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe currently sits on the throne. Born on 14 May,
1941, he had his coronation on the 3rd of June, 2002 and has since then
contributed significantly to the development of his people.
8. Olu of Warri
The Kingdom of Warri is a traditional state based on the town of Warri in Delta State, Nigeria.
Olu of Warri is the head of the Itsekiri people and the position is
currently held by Godwin Toju Emiko who had his coronation on the 2nd of
May, 1987. He was made a member of the Warri Traditional Council since
1983 and was also a Member of Warri Local Government Council, where he
served in several capacities.
A lawyer by profession and the second university graduate to ascend the great throne of Warri Kingdom.
7. Oba of Lagos
Although holding no political power, the Oba of Lagos is usually sought for counsel and sponsorship by politicians.
King of Lagos is the traditional and ceremonial head of Lagos, a
historical Yoruba kingdom that went on to become one of the largest
cities in Africa after first giving its name to Lagos State, the
acknowledged financial heart of contemporary Nigeria.
Oba of Lagos is his Royal Highness Oba Rilwan Babatunde Osuolale Aremu
Akiolu I who was took up the crown of king in 2003. He is also known as
the Eleko of Eko.
6. Oba of Benin
Oba of Benin, or Omo N’Oba, is the traditional ruler of the Edo people
and head of the historic Eweka dynasty of the Benin Kingdom. Omo N’Oba
N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Erediauwa I was crowned ‘Oba of Benin Kingdom’ in
1979, making him the 38th Oba of Benin and the head of the traditional
state of Benin.
Since his ascension to the throne, he has used his
position to settle disputes between politicians such as resolving the
dispute between Anenih and former Edo state Governor Lucky Igbinedion.
5. Dein of Agbor
Agbor also known as Ominije as it was founded by Omini from Aguleri and it is an Igbo town in Delta state.
was once affiliated with the Benin Empire before Benin was conquered by
the British. Sitting on the throne is Benjamin Ikenchuku Keagborekuzi
who goes by the title of “Dein of Agbor” which is the name of his ruling
house (the traditional ruler is usually referred to as Eze or Obi). He
was crowned king just two years and four months after his birth
following the death of his father making him the youngest monarch ever
to ascend a royal throne according to the Guinness Book of Records in
Following his coronation, he left the shores of Nigeria to
pursue his academics and returned to Agbor in 2001. He was appointed the
fourth Chancellor of the University of Ilorin by former president
Olusegun Obasanjo in 2006 making him the youngest vice chancellor of a
federal university. He is Officer in the Order of the Crown, Belgium and
also the Vice-Chairman, Delta State Traditional Rulers Council.
4. Ooni of Ife
Ọọ̀ni of Ilé-Ifẹ̀ is the traditional ruler of Ile-Ife. Ife refers to
the people while the city is called Ile-Ife and its dynasty goes back
hundreds of years. Ile-ife is an acient city in southwest Nigeria and
currently sitting on the throne is the reigning Ọọ̀ni Adeyeye Enitan
Ogunwusi Ojaja II.
Born on the 17th of October, 1974., He
succeeded the late Oba Okunade Sijuwade, who died on July 28, 2015, he
was crowned on 26 October 2015. Very influential is the position of the
Ooni of Ife., On June 12, 2016, Ọọni was presented with the key of the
City of Sumerset, Franklin Township in New Jersey and honoured with the
proclamation of the town of Franklin alongside his wife, Olori Wuraola
Ogunwusi, the Yeyelua.
3. Sultan of Sokoto
official title is Sultan of Sokoto and includes the title
“Amir-ul-Momineen”. The post has become increasingly ceremonial since
British rule, but the position of Sultan, still carries a lot of weight
with Fulani and Hausa people from northern Nigeria.
Sultan of Sokoto is Sultan Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar IV and he is the
20th Sultan of Sokoto. He took the mantle of leadership following the
death of his brother, Muhammadu Maccido who lost his life in the
unfortunate ADC Airlines Flight 53 crash.
The position accords him
the honour of being considered the spiritual leader of Nigeria’s 70
million Muslims which is roughly 50 percent of the nation’s population.
2. Alaafin of Oyo
position of the Alaafin of Oyo is one of the most powerful and
influential monarchical titles to be attained in Nigeria. The title of
Alaafin can also be referred to as Oba in the Yoruba language and the
word means king or ruler.
The current Alaafin of Oyo is Lamidi
Olayiwola Adeyemi III and he ascended the throne in 1970 succeeding
Alaafin Gbadegesin Ladigbolu II. So powerful is the position of the
Alaafin of Oyo that until 2011, Oba lamidi Adeyemi III was the Permanent
Chairman of the Council of Obas and Chiefs in Oyo State, a situation
which was reversed by the former governor of Oyo State, Adebayo
The position of chairman is now rotated between the Alaafin and his two
rivals, the Olubadan of Ibadanland and the Soun of Ogbomoso.
1. Emir of Kano
Emir of Kano is the head of the Kano Emirate and the Emirate was formed
in 1805 during the Fulani Jihad, when the old Hausa Sultante of Kano
became subject to the Sokoto Caliphate.
His Royal Highness Mallam
Muhammad Sanusi II is the current Emir of Kano after succeeding Alhaji
Dr. Ado Abdullahi Bayero who ascended the throne in 1963 and ruled till
his death on June 6, 2014. Malam Sanusi before his ascension to the
throne was a successful banker and the former Governor of the Central
Bank of Nigeria.
The Banker, a global financial intelligence
magazine has conferred on him two awards for the global award for
Central Bank Governor of the Year, as well as for Central Bank Governor
of the Year for Africa. TIME magazine also listed him on its list of
most influential people of 2011.