Oba of Lagos
The Oba (king) of Lagos is the traditional, yet ceremonial, sovereign of Lagos, a coastal Yoruba settlement that went on to become the largest city in Africa after first giving its name to Lagos State, the acclaimed financial heart of contemporary Nigeria. The king has no political power, but is sought as a counsel or sponsor by Nigerian politicians who seek support from the various residents of Lagos. Among other ceremonial roles, the Oba also plays a central part in the Eyo festival as well as indulging in tourism advertisements on behalf of the city, often stating, "you've gotta go to Lagos".
All Obas of Lagos trace their lineage to Ashipa, a war captain of the Oba of Benin. Ashipa was rewarded with title of Oloriogun (or War leader) and received the Oba of Benin's sanction to govern Lagos. Some Benin accounts of history have the Ashipa as son or grandson of the Oba of Benin. Other accounts note that Ashipa is a Yoruba corruption of the Benin name Aisika-hienbore (translated "we shall not desert this place").
Ashipa received a sword and royal drum as symbols of his authority from the Oba of Benin on his mission to Lagos. Additionally, the Oba of Benin deployed a group of Benin officers charged with preserving Benin's interests in Lagos. These officers, led by Eletu Odibo, were the initial members of the Akarigbere class of Lagos White Cap Chiefs.
Prior to the arrival of the British, the Oba of Benin had "the undisputed right to crown or confirm the individual whom the people of Lagos elect[ed] to be their King".
The defeat of Oba Kosoko by British forces on December 28, 1851, in what is now known as the Bombardment of Lagos or Reduction of Lagos, or locally as Ogun Ahoyaya or Ogun Agidingbi (after boiling cannons), put an end to Lagos' s former allegiance to the Oba of Benin.
Kosoko was therefore the last Oba of Lagos to remit annual tributes from the people of Lagos to the Oba of Benin. Oba Akitoye, who was re-installed to the throne by the British, "seized the opportunity of his restoration under British protection to repudiate his former allegiance" to Benin and rebuffed subsequent tribute requests from the Oba of Benin.
The current Oba of Lagos, His Highness Oba Rilwan Akiolu, has served in the position since May 2003.
The Royal Seat
List of Obas of Lagos
- Ashipa (c1682-1716)
- Ado (1716–1755) (son of Ashipa/Esikpa)
- Gabaro (1755–1760)
- Akinsemoyin (c.1760-1775) 
- Eletu Kekere (c1775 - 1780)
- Ologun Kutere (also Ologunkutere / Ologunkuture) (1780-1801) or until 1803 
- Interregnum between Ologun Kutere and Adele (c 1805 - c1810/11) 
- Adele Ajosun (1811-1821) 
- Oṣinlokun Ajan (Oshinlokun, Eshinlokun) (1821–1829)
- Idewu Ojulari (1829–1832) or until 1835 
- Adele Ajosun (second term) (1835-1837) 
- Oluwole (1837-1841)
- Akitoye (1841-1845)
- Kosoko (1845–1851)
- Akitoye (second term) (1851-1853)
- Dosunmu (1853–1885)
- Oyekan I (1885–1900)
- Eshugbayi Eleko (1901-1925)
- Ibikunle Akitoye (1925–1928)
- Sanusi Olusi (1928–1931)
- Eshugbayi Eleko (second term) (1931-1932)
- Falolu Dosunmu (1932–1949)
- Adeniji Adele (1949–1964)
- Adeyinka Oyekan II (1965–2003)
- Rilwan Akiolu (2003–present)
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- Slavery in Africa and the Caribbean. p. 95.
10.Yusuf Olatunji. Volume 17:02
- Ajom, Jacob (January 2, 2012). "Oba of Lagos launches Olympic Countdown Clock". Vanguard. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
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