In 2017, social-media in Nigeria was alive with the buzz around an altercation between two monarchs.
Apparently, the Ooni of Ife tried to greet the Oba of Lagos, and the latter shoved his greetings aside.
The gesture by the Lagos Oba, set many tongues wagging.
Nigeria is a democratic nation, however, theocracy and monarchy still has a great hold on how certain people see things and the way certain communities operate.
Kings and monarchs are still given their due respect in Nigeria, especially because they can change the course of the tides politically.
Below is a list of the 8 most powerful traditional rulers in Nigeria. We have termed them powerful in that, when they speak, both the people and the government pay attention.
They are highly revered, and really loved by their people.
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8. Obi of Onitsha
He would have been extremely powerful, but for the fact that like the old adage goes, "Igbos have no King".
The post of Obi of Onitsha is recognized by the state and federal government.
Though he is the traditional leader of Onitsha in Anambra state, he is still regarded as a representative of the Igbo people.
Igwe Nnayelugo Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe currently sits on the throne.
He was 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.
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7. Oba of Lagos
For some very good reasons, there are some who would argue that this name turns up here. However, there is no way one can talk about Nigeria without its biggest economic hub - Lagos.
The Oba of Lagos is very essential factor when in comes to the operation of affairs in Nigeria's number 1 metropolitan city.
Though he holds no political power, the Oba of Lagos is usually sought for counsel and sponsorship by politicians.
The 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.
The reigning 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. Olu of Warri
His throne is based in the the Niger-Delta town of Warri in Delta state.
The Kingdom of Warri holds tight to certain traditions that makes it one to reckon with even in modern times.
The 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.
A lawyer by profession and the second university graduate to ascend the great throne of Warri Kingdom.
Emiko 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.
5. Alaafin of Oyo
Beyond a king with numerous wives, is the Alaafin of Oyo, a monarch who is highly revered in all of Yorubaland.
The position of the Alaafin of Oyo is one of the most powerful and influential monarchical titles to be attained in Nigeria.
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.
He was however relieved of the position as chairman, by the former governor of Oyo State, Adebayo Alao-Akala.
4. Oba of Benin
At some point in Nigerian history, the Oba of Benin was seen as a god, and not a mere mortal.
There is a myth according to the tradition of the Benin people, a king never sets his eyes on his first son. Reason being that, even at birth, the son is King, hence he must be taken away from the palace, for no two kings can rule one kingdom.
The 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.
The 39th Oba of Benin Kingdom and the 70th ruler in the Ogiso dynastywas crowned on Thursday, October 20, 2016.
On that day, the crown prince Eheneden Erediauwa was coronated.
Eheneden ascended the 836-year-old throne of his ancestors which is the oldest and one of the most revered in Nigeria.
3. Sultan of Sokoto
One of the chief monarchs in the north is the one with the official title "Sultan of Sokoto".
It also 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.
The current 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. Ooni of Ife
The Ọọ̀ni of Ilé-Ifẹ̀ is the traditional ruler of Ile-Ife.
Ife refers to the people of a great Yoruba city called Ile-Ife.
It is a dynasty that goes way 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.
1. Emir of Kano
The Emir of Kano is the head of the Kano Emirate which was formed in 1805.
According to history, the Emirate was formed 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.
Sanusi's voice holds a strong resonance in Nigeria. Whenever the emir speaks on national issues, both the government and the people listen keenly.
In recent times, the Emir of Kano has been channeling his influence, towards changing some negative ideologies wo which many from the north, still cling unto.
He has been speaking on the rights of the girl child, particularly as regards education. He is of the opinion that clinging to some dogmas of the past, is what has left many northerners in darkness for too long.
Below is a video in which the Ooni of Ife is speaking on how the great leaders of this era must help to transform the lives of the people.