10 Most Powerful Traditional Kings of Nigeria

This article is intended to give you a list of traditional kings in Nigeria. Without wasting much time, let’s take a look at these traditional leaders individually.

Traditional kings are widely recognized in Nigeria.

In fact, they exert an enormous influence on Nigerian politics. For this reason, when they speak, the government responds. And these leaders have gained much respect and loyalty within their different communities.

That’s because of their titles.

Oni Of Ife

The Ooni of Ife rules the ancestral home of the Yoruba people known as Ile-Ife. Ife is an old town in Ogun State, Nigeria. History indicates that the old town of Ile-if has lasted for thousands of years.

This implies that Ile-Ife’s royal dynasty lasted so long.

The royal throne of the Ooni of Ife has both national and international recognition. This is because of the long history of the land. The present Ooni of Ife is Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II.

Emir of Kano

The Emir of Kano is the traditional leader of the Kano Empire. A royal dynasty that has been in existence since 1805.

Kano Empire was formed as a result of the Fulani jihad. Since then, the Fulani has reigned over the empire till today. Moreover, a good number of Fulani’s now reside in Kano.

Kano is a beautiful city in Kano state. And it is situated in the northern part of Nigeria. Historically, Kano State is part of the Hausa Bakwai (seven True Hausa States).

Today, Aminu Ado Bayero is the current Emir of Kano.

Sultan of Sokoto

Sultan of Sokoto is the traditional ruler of the Sokoto Caliphate. The Sokoto Caliphate lies in the state of Sokoto, Nigeria. Sometimes, the Sultan is addressed as ‘Amir-UL-Momineen’.

A sultan is considered an extremely spiritual person by Muslims in Nigeria.

Sokoto caliphate was also established as the result of the Fulani jihad. Under the direction of Usman Dan Fodio, 1804. Until now, the caliphate has been governed by the Fulani group of people.

At the moment, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar IV is the sultan of the caliphate of Sokoto.

Oba of Benin

The masses in the Benin kingdom refer to their traditional ruler as ‘Oba’, under the ancient dynasty of Eweka. Benin kingdom in the present day Edo state, located in the western region of Nigeria.

According to history, the traditional leadership of Oba started from 1280 to date. This simply means that the royal throne of Oba in the Benin kingdom has been around for over a thousand years.

Presently, Eheneden Erediauwa is the 39th Oba and the 70th ruler of the Benin kingdom.

Olu of Warri

The Kingdom of Warri is also known as the Iwere Kingdom. The people of this kingdom refers to their traditional ruler as Olu. History has it that the kingdom of Iwere was founded in 1480.

Before the arrival of the Portuguese in the fifteenth century.

Thus the leadership of Olu has been in existence for over a thousand years ago. Now, the presence of Olu of Warri is let by his Royal Highness Godwin Toju Emiko

Fundamentally, the Olu governs the Itsekiri that live in the city of Warri.  Warri is a popular city in the Delta State, in the southern part of Nigeria.

Alaafin of Oyo

In Nigeria, the Alaafin title is among the most powerful positions anyone can reach. Due to the way the title is influential, among other traditional rulers in Nigeria.

And the fact that the Oyo Empire has a long history.

The Alaafin predominantly ruled the people of the Oyo Empire. The empire is located in the Oyo State, Nigeria. And this is one of the popular Yoruba-speaking states in the south-western region of Nigeria.

Currently, the Alaafin of the Oyo Empire is Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III.

Obi of Onitsha

At Onitsha, people referred to their traditional leader as Obi. The Obi spearheads the affairs of all the Igbo people living in Onitsha and represents them on both state and federal levels.

This is why the title of Obi of Onitsha is widely recognized in Nigeria. The present Obi of Onitsha is Nnaemeka Alfred Ugochukwu Achebe.

Obong of Calabar

The Akwa Akpa kingdom is the present-day Calabar. The kingdom has existed as far back as the 15th century. Efik and Ekpe are the indigenous people of the Akwa Akpa kingdom and these people call their traditional leader Obong.

The Obong is responsible for all the affairs of these two monarchs and also represent them at all levels of government.

The Akwa Akpa kingdom is in Calabar is a state, situated in the southern part of Nigeria. The state forms part of the Niger Delta region.

The present Obong, which governs the Efiks and Ekpe, is His Royal Highness Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi V.

Shehu of Borno

The Kanuri people of the Borno Empire called their traditional ruler ‘Shehu’. Presently, the ruler of this kingdom is under the ancient dynasty of Al-Kanemi.  The title of Shehu started about 1300 years ago.

This means that the royal dynasty of the Borno Empire has been in existence for a long time.

Borno’s empire is in the state of Borno, located in northeast Nigeria. The current Shehu of this great empire is Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai Al-Kanemi of Borno.

Emir of Zauzzau

People in Zauzzau also called their Emir ‘sarkin Zauzzou’. That means, king of Zauzzau in the Hausa language. The Emir deals with all matters relating to the people of Zauzzau. This title is well known among Nigerians.

More especially, people in the northern part of the country.

In Zaria, you will find the palace of the Emir of Zauzzau. Zaria is one of the most significant and renowned cities in the state of Kaduna. Alhaji Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli is the present Emir of Zauzzau and the 19th Emir of the empire.

There are many other traditional kings in Nigeria.

However, these traditional kings listed are among Nigeria’s greatest traditional kings. We trust that you have found this article informative, as we have provided you with a list of traditional leaders in Nigeria.

Today you can see that Nigeria is blessed with so many traditional leaders.

Leave a Comment