The monarchs of the Yoruba Kingdom (Obas) literarily serve as ‘Alashe Ekeji Orisha’ (He who wields authority second-in-command to the gods). They are in charge of making laws, peace maintenance within the town and protection of the town against invaders and any other danger. The Oba institution has been in existence since creation, and they stand as the god mortals can see. Consequently, they wield unimaginable powers among their subordinates. Here we bring you top Yoruba obas.
- OONI OF IFE
Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, Ooni of Ife was born October 17, 1974,he graduated from the Polytechnic of Ibadan In 2002,as accountant, he led the Federal Government of Nigeria delegation to Canada that enhanced alliances through a partnership with the government of Ondo State on solid mineral.
On October 26, 2015, Adéyẹyè was selected as a king-elect out of 21 contenders to the Ọọ̀ni stool in an announcement by the Governor of Ọ̀ṣun State, Ọ̀gbẹ́ni Rauf Arẹ́gbẹ́ṣọlá. As a prince from the Giesi Family whose turn it was to produce a king, he beat out a number of competition including his elder brother. Oba Ogunwusi received his Staff of Office from Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Raufu Adesoji Aregbesola on Monday 7 December 2015 at Enuwa Square, Ile-Ife in the presence of several dignitaries from all walks of life including the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo. The new king promised to unite the Yorùbás under a peaceful and prosperous reign.
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 (Yeyelua).
- ALAAFIN OF OYO
Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi III popularly called Oba Adeyemi, also known as Iku Baba Yeye (The One who can command death or pronounce same upon his father or mother or he who is parent to death),he was born on October 15, 1938. He is the current Alaafin of Oyo. Oyo is the traditional empire of Yoruba land, which situates in the current Oyo State of Nigeria. the old Oyo Empire has been said to have existed without interruption for a period of about 600 years. In the olden days, the Alaafin was an absolute ruler.
He is also called by other names including Kabiyesi (the King Who No One Can, Alashe Ekeji Orisha (He Who Wields Authority, Second-in-Command to gods).
Oba Adeyemi was appointed the chancellor of Uthman dan Fodiyo University, Sokoto and he held the position from the year 1980 to 1992. In the year 1990, he was appointed Amir-ul-Hajj by the then military head of state, President Ibrahim Babangida, in recognition of the role he plays in the consolidation of Islam in Nigeria. He is a holder of the Nigerian national honor of the Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR). It was him who installed the late Bashorun Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola (MKO) as the Aare Ona Kakanfo (Field Marshal or Generalissimo) of the Yorubaland on January 14, 1988.
- ALAKE OF EGBALAND
Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo III was born, 14 September 1943, into the Laarun Ruling House. He is a grandson of the sixth Alake of Egbaland, Oba Gbadebo, who ruled from 1898 to 1920, and is a nephew of Oba Gbadebo II. He attended the Baptist Boys’ High School in Abeokuta and Ibadan Grammar School, then he graduated from the University of Ibadan in 1965, were he obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1969. He joined the army in 1969, and attended the Command and Staff College, Jaji from September 1978 to August 1979. He eventually became a Principal Staff Officer to Major-General Tunde Idiagbon, the Chief of Staff at the Supreme Headquarters, Dodan Barracks, from January 1984 to September 1985. He retired from the army as a Colonel. He was elected as Alake in August 2005 ended a six-month period of uncertainty about who would succeed the former Alake, Oba Oyebade Lipede, who died on 3 February 2005.He scored 15 out of 23 votes in an election conducted by the Egba kingmakers, defeating eight competitors including his younger brother, Adeleke.
- AWUJALE OF IJEBULAND
Oba Sikiru Kayode Adeton was born 10 May 1934, Prince Adetona, variously attended Baptist School, Ereko, Ijebu Ode; Ogbere United Primary School, Oke Agbo, Ijebu Igbo; and Ansar-Ud-Deen School, Ijebu Ode between 1943 and 1950. For his secondary education, he was at Olu-Iwa (now Adeola Odutola) College, Ijebu Ode from 1951 to 1956. Between 1957 and 1958 he took up appointment with the then Audit Department of the Western Region, Ibadan. The prince resigned his appointment in 1958 to pursue further studies in accountancy in the United Kingdom, which was the colonial ruler of Nigeria at the time. By a letter dated January 4, 1960 referenced CB. 4 1/333, the Permanent Secretary in the Western Region Ministry of Local Government conveyed to the Local Government Adviser in Ijebu Ode approval of the Western Region Governor in Council, the appointment of Prince Sikiru Kayode Adetona as the Awujale of Ijebuland with effect from that date (January 4, 1960). It became the lot of Ijebu notables like the late Ogbeni-Oja, Chief (Dr.) Timothy Adeola Odutola, Bobasuwa, Chief Okunowo; and Asiwaju, Chief Samuel Olatubosun Shonibare to arrange for the home-coming of the King-elect. On January 18, 1960, the Head of the Ijebu Ode Regency Council, the Ogbeni-Oja, Chief Timothy Adeola Odutola formally presented the new traditional ruler to the whole world.
- SOUN OF OGBOMOSO
His Royal Highness Oba Jimoh Oladunni Oyewumi Ajagungbade III JP,CON,Soun of ogbomosoland was born on May 27,1926- a month after the birth of another monarch,Queen Elizabeth II of England.His father was His royal highness Oba Bello Oyewumi and is mother was Alhaja Selia Olatundun Adunni Oyewumi. Prince Oladunni started his elementary education at St Patrick School ,Oke Padre ,Ibadan.Through God is intervention an unexpected opportunity opened for the ambitious Prince to travel to Jos .He arrived Jos on May 17, 1944. In Jos Prince Oyewumi pick up a business career and worked as a textile trader for so many years, he got married to his most senior wife Olori Igbayilola Oyewumi. By 1958, the wealthy prince had started showing interest in estate development and property acquisition and in that same year the Prince met a European who so much admired his entrepreneurial ability that he offered to take him on a business vacation trip to the continent of Europe .upon which they travel to France ,Paris and United kingdom. 1973 when the Oyo state governor invited the Gbagun ruling house to present candidate for the appointment as Soun of Ogbomosoland after the passing away of the former king.ninety four members whom were of the gbagun ruling house met and two candidates emerged to contest for the vacant stool but it turned out that 90 out of the 94 decision makers favored the candidacy of Prince Jimoh Oladunni Oyewumi, with such majority support the then Prince Oladunni who became the Soun to the delight and acceptance of his people. Ki ade pe lori, ki bata pe le se.
- AKIRUTAN OF ONDO
Fredrick Obateru Akinruntan (born 1950) is a Nigerian monarch, the traditional ruler of Ugbo Kingdom, a town in Ilaje, Ondo State, southwestern Nigeria, He is the fourth child of a family of eight but lost his father in 1964 when he was 14 years old. In 1982, there was a prophecy that Obateru would become the Olugbo of Ugbo Kingdom, a prophecy he never took seriously. Shortly after this prophecy, a chieftaincy title peculiar to him as the next Olugbo was conferred on his younger brother. This resulted in a lawsuit against the then-Olugbo by another royal family in the same lineage who demanded that he should be dethroned with the claim that his family had occupied the seat for over 200 years. The then-King lost the case and Obateru was appointed as the King in 2009, in accordance with the culture and traditions of Ugbo Kingdom. Obateru established Obat Oil in 1981. Today, the company has more than 50 gas stations across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria and the company owns one of the largest tank farms in Africa, a modern storage facility able to store 65 million liters of petroleum products. In March 2014 Forbes estimated his net worth as US$300 million. Obateru is ranked by Forbes magazine as the second richest King in Africa and the richest in Nigeria. He surpassed King Olubuse II, the Ooni of Ife, with $225 million and the Swaziland King Mswati III by over $200 million to become Africa’s second richest king in 2014 behind Mohammed VI of Morocco.
- OSEMAWE OF ONDO KINGDOM
His Royal Majesty, Oba Dr. Victor Adesimbo Adenrele Ademefun Kiladejo, the 44th Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom was born some 55 years ago in Ondo town.
His Royal Majesty early education began at St. Patrick’s Primary School, Akure before he proceeded to Ondo (Anglican) Grammar School, Ondo. In his burning quest for Higher education, he sought and gained admission into Methodist Boy’s High School, Lagos for his Higher School Certificate Education where he got groomed for admission into the medical school of the highly prestigious University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, where he bagged B.Sc (Hons) in Health Sciences, Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB). The highly ambitious young Prince did not stop his educational campaign at Ife, he proceeded to the University of Liverpool in U. K. for post graduate studies in Reproductive Health. In all the institutions he attended the future monarch exhibited exemplary and sound leadership traits. In 2006, he was selected the 44th Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom to mount the throne vacated by his predecessor, Oba Festus Ibidapo Adesanoye, Osungbedelola II, who joined his ancestors earlier in the year.The Ondo State Government, impressed by the transparent and fair manner with which the Kingmakers had carried out the selection process, approved the selection. He was installed and presented with staff of office in December, 2006.
- OBA OF LAGOS
Rilwan Babatunde Osuolale Aremu Akiolu was born October 29, 1943, He attended Ansar-Ud-Deen College, Surulere, Lagos and studied Law at the University of Lagos (Akoka campus), receiving his Bachelor of Laws degree (LL.B), After his high school education, He served for 32 years in the Nigeria Police Force. After entering the force in 1970, He served in various capacities and was promoted to the post of Assistant Inspector General of Police in 1999. He was active until his retirement in 2002. He is a member of the Nigerian Institute of Management and Fellow of the Nigerian Law School. On May 23, 2003, Akiolu was selected by the kingmakers of the Lagos traditional kingdom and confirmed by the Lagos State government as the 21st Oba of Lagos; he was capped the next day, and was crowned on August 9, 2003. He has served in this position since May 2003, when he succeeded Oba Adeyinka Oyekan.
- EWI OF ADO EKITI
OWA OF OBOKUN ILESHA