Lagos Dynasty Since 1600
Ashipa was regarded as the founder of the Lagos Dynasty. He was the son Oba of Benin. He was acting as the leader of the people of Lagos but not as the King. He served as the intermediary between the Oba of Benin and the people of Lagos (Eko). He spent 27 years as the leader of Eko. He died in 1630 and his son Ado took over his responsibility.
OBA ADO – 1630-1669
Oba Ado, the son of Ashipa assumed the leadership role played by his father in 1630. During his reign, he was elevated to the position of an Oba and was crowned as the King of Lagos by the Oba of Benin.
Oba Ado,therefore, became the first Oba of Lagos.
He had three children – 2 males and 1 female namely; Gabaro, Akinsemoyin, and Erelu Kuti.
Oba ado ruled for 39years.as he joined his ancestor in 1669. His first son Gabaro succeeded him.
OBA GABARO – 1669-1704
Oba Gabaro was installed in 1669 after his father death.
During his reign, he moved the royal seat to the Island, Isale Eko, in particular, where the present Iga Idunganran is today. He was the first Oba to erect the Palace of the Oba of Lagos. He also created the institution of chieftaincy and kingmakers. He had only one child, named Eletu Kekere.
Oba Gabaro died in 1704 and his brother Akinsemoyin succeeded him.
OBA AKINSEMOYIN – 1704-1749
Oba Akinsemoyin ascended the throne in 1704. It was during his reign that the Portuguese came to Lagos, as slave dealers. It was on records that the magnificent Iga Iduganran was built during his reign, with the assistance of the Portuguese.
Oba Akinsemoyin never had a son but six female children. He reigned for 45 years and died in 1749.
OBA ELETU-KEKERE – 1749
Oba Eletu Kekere succeeded Oba Akinsemoyin, his uncle. Oba Eletu Kekere was the only son of Oba Gabaro. During his reign, he had no child and died same year. Therefore ending the lineage of Oba Gabaro.
After his demise, there was controversy on who to ascend the throne, because Oba Akinsemoyin had no son. Erelu Kuti, the sister of Akinsemoyin was also a female and it was not possible for a female to ascend the throne.The only option was to choose the son of Erelu Kuti to take over.
Erelu Kuti had two sons – Ologun-kutere and Sokun. Being the eldest son, Ologun-kutere was, therefore, blessed to assume the position of the Oba of Lagos.
OBA OLOGUN-KUTERE – 1749-1775
Oba Ologun-kutere ascended the throne in 1749, after the death of his cousin Eletu-kekere.
Oba Ologun-kutere was a very strong King. He won the respect of neighbouring monarchs, by the way he handled any threatening rebellions against paying tributes to the Oba of Lagos.
Oba Ologunkutere had six children namely; Eshinlokun, Adele, Akintoye, Olusi, Akiolu, and Olukoya.
He eventually joined his ancestors in 1775 and was succeeded by his son ADELE AJOSUN.
OBA ADELE AJOSUN – 1775-1780 &1834
In 1775, when Oba Adele Ajosun succeeded his father. And had to concern himself with consolidating his position on the throne. His reign was characterized with intrigues and counter-intrigues between him and his brother, ESHILOKUN.
Oba Adele Ajosun was an indulgent father who allowed his children to introduce “EGUNGUN CULT” to the Palace and the culture and traditions of Lagos.
This led to his dethronement and he was banished in 1780 but was reinstated in 1852 after his brothers, ESHILOKUN and IDEWU OJULARI had reigned.
He died in 1834.
OBA ESHILOKUN (1780-1819)
Oba Eshilokun came to the throne in 1780 following the dethronement of Oba Adele Ajosun.
Though his reign was uneventful, he successfully resisted the attempt by Adele to oust him.
He kept the throne till 1819 when he eventually joined his ancestors.
He had 2 children namely; Idewu Ojulari and Kosoko.
OBA IDEWU OJULARI – 1819-1832
By the time Oba ldewu Ojulari took over the throne, he was seen and regarded as a popular King, but later became so obsessed with avarice.
He was eventually advised to go on exile or commit suicide – the traditional way of treating undesirable King.
Oba Idewu Ojulari, who was childless at that time, chose the latter option and committed suicide in 1832.
OBA OLUWOLE – 1834-1841
Oba Oluwole was the son of Adele Ajosun. He ascended the throne in 1834 after the death of his father. So unfortunate for Oba OLUWOLE. His reign was shortlived, as he died as a result of a terrible explosion of gun powder stored in the palace.
OBA AKINTOYE – 1841-1845 &1851-1853
Oba AKINTOYE was another son of Oba Ologunkutere. He ascended the throne after his brother and nephews had reign. Pure good intentions, underlined by weakness made him to lose his throne to his nephew Kosoko.
Despite wise counsels of his chiefs against his proposed pardon of Kosoko, who had hitherto been blacklisted, Oba AKINTOYE went ahead to reabsorb him into the Lagos Royal Circle.
That move backfired, as he lost the throne to his nephew, Oba Kosoko.
It was the British that eventually helped Oba Akitoye to regain his throne. And he signed the treaty to end SLAVERY and SLAVE TRADE with the British in 1851.
OBA KOSOKO – 1845-1851
King Kosoko was a very strong Oba of Lagos. He was very powerful spiritually. He became the Oba of Lagos in 1845 after plotting a coup against Oba Akitoye in 1845. His reign was warlike. He believed he had suffered injustice for not been appointed the Oba an 1841 then in 1845. He plotted a coup against his uncle, Oba AKINTOYE.
During his reign, the British came to him to sign a treaty to stop slavery but Oba Kosoko refused to sign the treaty. The British was, therefore, left with no other option then except bombarding Lagos. And Oba AKITOYE was re-installed as the Oba in 1851, having given his consent to ttheBritish agenda of putting an end to SLAVERY and SLAVE TRADE on the Lagos coast.
OBA DOSUNMU – 1853-1885
In 1853, Oba Dosunmu took over the reign of the throne of his forefather. He made durable contributions to the development of Lagos and this gave a clear illustration of the lofty ideas of Obaship, which were in consonance with modern civilization.
In August, 1861, Oba Dosunmu concluded the treaty of cession of Lagos to the British Government and Lagos became the land of freedom. Consequently, many traders started to bargain with overseas merchants for lawful and prosperous trade and the various constitutional developments helped further to turn Lagos into a truly peaceful and prosperous Nigerian city.
Oba Dosumu later died in 1885.
OBA OYEKAN – 1885-1900
Oba Oyekan 1 ascended the throne in 1885. Though he did not enjoy good health, he carried on his duties till he joined his ancestors in 1900 at the unripe age of 50 and was succeeded by Oba Eshugbayi Eleko.
OBA ESUGBAYI – 1901-1925 & 1932
The reign of Oba ESUGBAYI ELEKO started in 1901. He was popularly called “ELEKO”. He succeeded his brother, Oyekan 1. His reign was characterized with British politics, intrigues and wranglings.
Oba Eshugbayi was sent on exile to Oyo Kingdom by the then Governor-General, Sir Clifford in 1925. According to Yoruba customs, any King sent on exile was assumed as good as dead, therefore, the council of kingmakers quickly chose another Oba. Unfortunately, the exiled King Esugbayi did not die.
He eventually returned to Lagos in 1931, reinstalled that same year and later died in 1932.
OBA IBIKUNLE-AKITOYE – 1925-1928
Oba Ibikunle AKITOYE was hurriedly installed as Oba of Lagos, when Esugbayi was sent on exile. Though, before his installation, he was told by the Ifa priest that his reign would not last long, Ibikunle insisted on his ascendancy as the Oba ofLagos, even if he wouldn’t spend a whole day on the throne.
He was the first Christian Oba of Lagos. Exactly three years as predicted by the oracle, Oba ibikunle AKITOYE joined his ancestors. And he was succeeded by Oba Sanusi Olusi.
OBA SANUSI-OLUSI – 1928-1931.
In 1928, after the death of Oba Ibikunle Akitoye, his cousin, Sanusi Olusi was chosen to succeed him. It is on record that Oba Sanusi Olusi was the first Muslim Oba of Lagos, just as Ibikunle was the first Christian Oba of Lagos.
During his reign, Oba Sanusi Olusi jettisoned all the old pagan traditional rites, as imposed on Obas before him and chose to join the Muslim faithful at the praying ground to celebrate the Muslim festivals in 1928. This singular action created a lot of enemies for him within the idol worshippers and powerful clique in the city. Equally, Oba Sanusi Olusi created the relaxation space at the frontage of the palace which Lagosian popularly called ESE-IGA. This formed a meeting/relaxation point for the Lagos of the old.
Sanusi Olusii was a very peace-loving Oba. In 1931, when Oba Eshugbayi returned from exile, he accepted to leave the throne for Eshugbayi, humbly returned his abode and was well compensated by the British Government, as another palace was built for him at OKE ARIN.
The palace is popularly called IGA-OLUSI till the present day.
OBA FALOLU – 1932-1949
Oba Falolu ascended the throne in 1932.
Before his installation ,there was a crisis on who to ascend the throne. Some were in support of Sanusi Olusi, while some were craving for appointment of new Oba. This crisis led to the setting up of a panel of inquiry that comprised of 6 traditional chiefs. Only out of 6 supported Sanusi Olusi while the other 4 supported Falolu to become the new Oba of Lagos.
Oba Falolu was declared the Oba of Lagos and was installed immediately, without performing the traditional rites known as “ETUTU-IJO” – a traditional rite after the death of a previous Oba. When it, however, became an embarrassment, he later complied with the tradition.
Oba Falolu later died in 1949 and was succeeded by Adeniji Adele.
OBA ADENIJI ADELE – 1949-1964
The reign of Oba Musendiku Adeniji Adele started in 1949 following the death of Oba Falolu.
Before he became the Oba of Lagos. Adeniji Adele was a senior civil servant. He headed the Treasury Department in Kano. His reign was characterized by crises with the Dosumu and Oyekan families. The two royal families believed that the throne was only meant strictly for members their families. But unfortunately for them, the court later declared that the throne was open to all the royal families that had the right to the throne.
Oba Adeniji Adele joined his ancestors in 1964 was succeeded by Oba Adeyinka Oyekan in 1965.
*OBA ADEYINKA OYEKAN II*
Oba Adeyinka Oyekan II was installed in 1965.
Olowo Eko, as fondly called was born in Lagos on 30th June 1910. He received his early secondary education at Eko Boys High School and later gained admission into Kings College, Lagos.
Oba Oyekan was a man imbued with lofty ideas from his youth. He attended School of Pharmacy, Yaba between 1930 and 1932, where obtained a diploma in Pharmacy.
During his reign as the Oba of Lagos, he restored lost custom and traditions of the people of Lagos. Oba Adeyinka Oyekan was very honest, kind and had human feelings.
He died at the age of 93 and was succeeded by Oba Rilwan Akiolu.
*OBA RILWAN-AKIOLU – 2003 TILL DATE*
Oba Rlwanu Osuolanle Aremu Babatunde Akiolu was installed as the Oba of Lagos in May 2003.
He was born on 29th October, 1943. He attended Ansar Ud Deen Primary School and Secondary School. And later studied Law at the prestigious University of Lagos, Akoka He started his police career as a Cadet Inspector and rose to the position of Assistant Inspector General of Police before his retirement in March, 2002.
He later settled down as a legal practitioner till he was appointed by the gods of the land of Lagos to rule the people of EKO ILE – Lagos in 2003, during the tenure of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as the Executive Governor of Lagos State.
Oba RILWAN AKIOLU remains the permanent Chairman, Lagos State Council of Obas.