In Nigeria, before the coming of the Europeans, there were powerful traditional rulers who exerted great influence and control over their subjects.
These traditional rulers exercised so much authority, so much so that they were considered demigods.
Today, however, the powers of these rulers have declined over time giving the emergence of the Nigerian State and system of governance.
That notwithstanding, there are still some traditional rulers that have great influence and well respected in Nigeria, even to date, because of tradition and heritage.
Hence it this article, I will show you the 5 most powerful traditional rulers in Nigeria.
List of 5 Most Powerful Traditional Rulers in Nigeria
Below are the current top 5 most powerful Kings in Nigeria (latest ranking).
1. Alaafin of Oyo
The Alaafin of Oyo is the traditional ruler of Oyo town in present-day Oyo state. He is also influential beyond the borders of Oyo and is a close rival of the Ooni of Ife.
The current Alaafin is Lamidi Adeyemi III.
2. Ooni of Ife
Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II was crowned the Ooni of Ife in December 2015 when he succeeded the late Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade to become the 51st Ooni of Ife.
He is the most powerful and influential traditional ruler in Yorubaland.
3. Oba of Benin
The Oba of Benin or Omo N’Oba is the most influential traditional ruler in southern Nigeria. He is the traditional ruler of the Benin empire.
The current traditional ruler is the 40th Oba of Benin is 40th Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare I who was crowned in October 2016.
4. Emir of Kano
The Emirship in Kano is a highly respected one not just in the North but also in the political circles throughout Nigeria.
However, the current Emir of Kano is Aminu Ado Bayero.
5. Sultan of Sokoto
The Sultan of Sokoto is the most powerful and influential traditional ruler in Nigeria. He is also the spiritual leader of more than 70 million Muslims in Nigeria and is revered by the Hausa/Fulani people in Northern Nigeria.
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6. Olu Of Warri
The Kingdom Of Warri or the Iwere Kingdom was established in 1480. It was part of the Nigerian traditional states based in the city of Warri in Delta State, Nigeria.
However, the current Olu of Warri is Ogiame Atuwatse III, who was crowned on 21 August 2021. He is one of the most powerful traditional rulers in Nigeria.
7. Obi Of Onitsha
The Obi of Onitsha is the traditional ruler of Onitsha and a representative of the people of Onitsha to the state and federal levels of government.
Therefore is position of the Obi is recognized by the state and federal governments of Nigeria.
However, the the current Obi of Onitsha is Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe CFR, and he is one of the most powerful traditional rulers in Nigeria.
8. Olubadan Of Ibadan
Olubadan is the royal title of the king of Ibadanland in Nigeria. Ibadan was founded in the 16th century, but the present Yoruba people took over power around 1820.
However, Saliu Adetunji is the present Olubadan of Ibadan, his coronation was on 4 March 2016.
9. Oba Of Lagos
The Oba of Lagos, also known as the Eleko of Eko, is the traditional ruler of Lagos. However, the current Oba of Lagos is Rilwan Babatunde Osuolale Aremu Akiolu.
10. Dein Keagborekuzi
The Dein of Agbor kingdom is a Nigerian traditional state in Delta state. However, the current Dein of Agbor kingdom is Benjamin Keagborekuzi Ikenchuku Gbenoba.
He was named the world’s youngest crowned monarch in the 1980 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records.
That is all on the 5 Most Powerful Traditional Rulers in Nigeria. I hope this article on the top 5 most powerful kings in Nigeria helps.