Ibadan did not have monarchs until the entry of the British.

It was an aristocratic consortium, nevertheless. But we did not have kings around here for a while. The rejection of the kingship title was total such that they converted even monarchs with beaded crowns to Baalẹ or landlords. It was the case with Gbọngan, Apomu, Ikire and Ipetumodu whose Ọba(s) relinquished the beaded crown and became landlords as demanded by Ibadan. It gave no room for absolutism.

A culture that was, for the world of that time, a radically progressive form of politics. However, despite the imposition of a system that reeks of the odious British imperial monarchical scent, the Olubadan is selected based on Mọgaji system, not hereditary. It explains why only very old men become Olubadan. While aristocratic consortiums might be fading into complete oblivion, here and there in Yoruba land you find the vestiges of the old world.

And — might I add that — if the Ibadanians, when the city was first founded, had been exposed to the details of “Greko-Western” democracy, I can be sure they would have adopted the system. Ọba Adetunji; fashion designer, king and founder of Baba Laje Records has joined his ancestors — Lagelu, Oluyole, Ogunmọla — to dine and wine.

He was 93.

Through those years, as can be seen in the picture, he loved life so well.

Ojo, Aderemi

Ibadan, Nigeria.



Ojo, Aderemi is a Historian, teacher, public speaker, writer, politician, and community organiser. He was trained at the University of Ibadan and was President of the Students Union.

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