Ibadan Royal History: From Lagelu to Adetunji
Over 40 monarchs have directed the affairs of Ibadanland since the ancient town was founded by warriors from across Yorubaland.
They ruled or reigned either as Balogun, Basorun, Aare Ona Kankanfo, Baale or Olubadan.
The stool is not hereditary. Only the Mogaji is hereditary.
So prominent was the Mogaji status that a Timi of Ede even aspired to become one, tracing his root to the clan.
For any mogaji to become Olubadan, he must be a long distance runner; full of patience, endurance and hope.
He must also be a man of the community, a man of integrity and honour.
There are two routes to the top: the Egbe Agba (civil line) and Egbe Balogun (military line).
In the days of yore, only men of valour could be on succession line.
Cowards in battles were isolated, shamed, demoted or banished.
All Ibadan chiefs were warriors who proved themselves in battles.
The legacy of Ibadan is orderly royal succession without acrimony, strife and rancour.
The crown of Olubadan was not from Ile-Ife, the cradle of Yoruba race.
In those days, approval for succession came from Alaafin of Oyo, if the new head wanted to assume control as Basorun or Aare Ona Kankanfo.
For example, Oluyole, a grandson of Alaafin Abiodun, assumed the headship of Ibadan as Basorun.
The legendary Ogunmola also took the title of Basorun, usurping Gbenla, the holder of the title. He asked for the insignia of the office.
The Alaafin of the time resolved the crisis by allowing two Basoruns to exist; one in Oyo and another in Ibadan.
Also, Latosa Asubiaro became head of Ibadan as Aare.
As Rev. Samuel Johnson put it in his book: ‘The history of Yorubas,’ “Latosisa usurped the title of Kankanfo by might over right, by displacing Ojo Aburumaku, the Kankanfo at Ogbomoso as Ogunmola attempted to do in the case of Gbenk, the aged Basorun of Oyo.”
The turning point was 1930. Oba Alesinloye became the first head to acquire the title of Olubadan.
However, the first educated olubadan was Oba, Isaac Babalola Akinyele, founder of Ibadan Grammar School and president of Christ Apostolic Church (CAC).
Many olubadans were also politicians, who have served at the local government, state and national levels.
Oba Emmanuel Adeyemo was a Commissioner during the emergency period in the Western Region.
Oba Samuel Odulana was a former House of Representatives member and parliamentary secretary to Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.
A very charismatic Olubadan was Oba Yesufu Oloyede Asanike.
Few gave him a chance, but he reigned for 11 years, one of the longest reigning Ibadan monarchs in modern times.
Oba Adetunji was a socialite; a very hardworking music promoter.
He jealously protected his throne, rejecting the proposal by former Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi to elevate many high chiefs to the status of obas.
He said their crowns were carton crowns, which had no basis in history.
The crisis was resolved by Governor Seyi Makinde.
A disciplarian, Oba Adetunji deposed an oba in Iddo area for insubordination.
One of his unfulfilled dreams was the futile agitation for the creation of Ibadan State.
Lagelu was the first head of Ibadan.
There were other rulers after him not captured by historians.
The others are:
Ba’ale Maye Okunade (1820–1830)
Ba’ale Oluyedun 1830-1835
Ba’ale Lakanle 1835-1836
Basorun Oluyole 1836-1850
Ba’ale Oderinlo 1850-1851
Ba’ale Oyesile Olugbode 1851–1864
Ba’ale Ibikunle 1864 (died before installation)
Basorun Ogunmola 1865–1867
Ba’aleAkere I 1867–1870
Ba’ale Orowusi 1870–1871
Aare Obadoke Latosa 1871–1885
Ba’ale Ajayi Osungbekun 1885–1893
Ba’ale Fijabi I 1893–1895
Ba’ale Oshuntoki 1895–1897
Ba’ale Fajinmi 1897–1902
Ba’ale Mosaderin 1902–1904
Ba’ale Dada Opadare 1904–1907
Ba’ale Sunmonu Apampa 1907–1910
Ba’ale Akintayo Awanibaku Elenpe 1910–1912
Ba’ale Irefin 1912–1914
Ba’ale Shittu Latosa (son of Are Latosa) 1914–1925
Ba’ale Oyewole Foko 1925–1929
Olubadan Alesinloye Abass 1930–1946
Olubadan Akere II 1946
Olubadan Oyetunde I 1946
Olubadan Akintunde Bioku 1947–1948
Olubadan Fijabi II 1948–1952
Olubadan Alli Iwo 1952
Olubadan Igbintade Apete 1952–1955
Oba Isaac Babalola Akinyele 1955–1964
Oba Yesufu Kobiowu July 1964 – December 1964
Oba Salawu Akanni Aminu 1965–1971
Oba Shittu Akintola Oyetunde II 1971–1976
Oba Gbadamosi Akanbi Adebimpe 1976–1977
Oba Daniel Akinbiyi 1977–1982
Oba Yesufu Oloyede Asanike I 1982–1994
Oba Emmanuel Adeyemo I (1994–1999)
Oba Yunusa Ogundipe Arapasowu I (1999–2007)
Oba Samuel Odulana Odungade I (2007–2016)
Oba Saliu Adetunji Ogunguniso 1(2016-2021)