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Top 7 Most Powerful Traditional Rulers In Nigeria

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Even with Nigeria’s Federal System of Governance, There are still some Traditional rulers in Nigeria whose power and influence cannot be written off…

**The traditional rulers below even wield more power over their people than the president himself.

In no particular order of appearance, here are the Top 7 most powerful traditional rulers in Nigeria.

1. The Sultan of Sokoto

Most Powerful Traditional Rulers In Nigeria

The Sultan’s position in Nigeria dates back to the pre-colonial era and is one that has a lot of influence in Nigeria, especially in Northern Nigeria where you a vast makority are Muslims.

The current Sultan of Sokoto is Sultan Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar IV and he is the 20th Sultan of Sokoto.

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. The Emir of Kano

Most Powerful Traditional Rulers In Nigeria​His Royal Highness Mallam Muhammad Sanusi II is the current Emir of Kano after He was made Emir after the death of Alhaji Dr. Ado Bayero who ruled for 51 years (1963-2014).

Malam Sanusi before his ascension to the throne was the former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria.

3. The Alaafin of Oyo

Most Powerful Traditional Rulers In Nigeria

The position of the Alaafin of Oyo is one of the most powerful and influential monarchical title to be attained in Nigeria.

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.

The current Alaafin of Oyo is Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III and he ascended the throne in 1970 succeeding Alaafin Gbadegesin Ladigbolu II.

4. The Ooni of Ife

Most Powerful Traditional Rulers In Nigeria

The current and 51st Ooni of Ile-Ife is Ọọ̀ni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II (an Accountant) and he is also regarded by some to be the traditional ruler of the yoruba land.

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He succeeded the late Oba Okunade Sijuwade, who died on July 28, 2015.

Since his ascension to the throne he has received various international accolades, 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.

5. Obi of Onitsha

Most Powerful Traditional Rulers In Nigeria

Igwe Nnayelugo Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe, is the current traditional ruler and the Obi of Onitsha people.

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Though his title refers to him as the traditional leader of Onitsha in Anambra state, he is still very much seen as a representative of the Igbo people.

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.

6. Olu of Warri

Most Powerful Traditional Rulers In Nigeria

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.

Being a lawyer, he is the second university graduate to ascend the great throne of Warri Kingdom.

7. Oba of Benin

Top 10 Most Powerful Traditional Rulers In Nigeria

The Oba of Benin, or Omo N’Oba, is the traditional ruler of the Edo people of Benin state he is also the head of the historic Eweka dynasty of the Benin Kingdom.

The 39th Oba of Benin Kingdom and the 70th ruler in the Ogiso dynasty is the crown prince Eheneden Erediauwa, he ascended the 836 year old throne of his ancestors (one of the oldest and most revered throne in Nigeria) on thursday, October, 2016.



Uzonna Anele
Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.

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