Even though the Nigeria’s monarchical system is barely ceremonial, her traditional institutions tend to yield political, economic, social and religious influence beyond their respective borders. In no particular order, here are the top 5 most powerful traditional rulers In Nigeria.
1. Sultan of Sokoto
The sultan of sokoto is the most powerful and influential traditional ruler in Nigeria.
Amirul Mumineen Sultan Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, The 20th Sultan of Sokoto, the titular ruler of Sokoto in northern Nigeria, head of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (Society for the Support of Islam – JNI), and president-general of the Nigerian National Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA).
He is considered the spiritual leader of more than 70 million Nigerian Muslims, which is roughly fifty percent of the nation’s population.
2. Emir of Kano
Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II who was the governor of Nigeria’s central bank became the Emir of Kano in 2014 where he succeed Ado Bayero. The Emirship in Kano is a
Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II was born into the Fulani Torodbe (Sullubawa) clan of Kano. He was crowned as the Emir of Kano on 8th June 2014 , succeeding his late grand uncle Dr Ado Bayero.
Before the title, Malam Sanusi was a successful banker and was a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
He is highly respected not just in the North but also in the political circles throughout Nigeria.
3. Oba of Benin
The Oba of Benin, or Omo N’Oba, is the traditional ruler of the Edo people in southern Nigeria and the head of the historic Eweka dynasty of the Great Benin Empire. The current traditional ruler and the the 40th Oba of Benin is Oba Ewuare I who was crowned in October 2016.
4. Ooni of Ife
Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II is a Nigerian accountant and the 51st Ooni of Ife. He succeeded the late Oba Okunade Sijuwade who died on July 28, 2015. Described as “an astute entrepreneur driven by turning impossibilities to ‘possibilities’”.
His reign has been marked by a number of modern and progressive outlook and policies.
5. Alaafin of Oyo
Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III is the current Alaafin or the traditional ruler of the Yoruba state of Oyo. He is influential and rightful heir to the throne of its historic empire.