Before the monarchical system of government was abolished, Nigeria was both a sovereign state and an independent constitutional monarchy state from 1960 to October 1st, 1963. Queen Elizabeth reigned during this and she was recognized as the only monarch before the system was totally abolished in Nigeria.
Nigeria traditional rulers get their title from the existing communities before the formation of modern Nigeria. However, modern Nigeria currently has different groups and regions which have their own monarchs. Nigeria has many traditional rulers which vary from tribes, villages or towns and regions. These royalties are regarded as Royal Majesties or Royal Highnesses.
Although political powers are not vested in this system, the Monarchical system of government is still relevant in Nigeria as they continue to influence people at the grass root level by serving as a link between the people and the government. They are also used in promoting peace and keeping cultural heritage. Some Numbers of Palaces have become beautiful tourism sites in Nigeria.
There are some ancients, valued and respected monarchies in Nigeria. As there are over 500 different native languages in Nigeria, there are multiple traditional rulers titles. Here is some of the list of ancient titles which still exists in Nigeria below.
OBA EWUARE II OF THE BENIN KINGDOM
The Oba of Benin (Oba is the name of the monarch) is the custodian of the Edo people. The kingdom of Benin which has existed since 1180 has been populated and will continue to be populated by the Edo people. This kingdom is referred to as one of the most powerful empires in the whole west Africa because it is famous for bronze sculpture.
Oba Ewuare II who is the 40th king of Benin succeeded his father Oba Erediauwa and was crown on 20 October 2016. He studied in Nigeria, London, UK and U.S.A. Oba Ewuare II has worked as Nigeria ambassador to Angola, Italy and Sweden. He also worked for the United Nations Organization.
Just like many of his predecessors, he demanded that many of the stolen artifacts by the British empire should be returned to his people.
Before he became the King, he married Queen Iroghama. She is the eldest wife and the mother of the future king, Prince Ezelekhae Ewuare. She also has some other children. The Oba however has some other wives he wedded.
SULTAN MUHAMMADU SA’AD ABUBAKAR III OF SOKOTO
The Sultan of Sokoto is the official title of the ruler of the Sokoto Caliphate. This title has existed before colonial rule and has continued to exist in modern Nigeria. Aside from being the ruler of the Hausa and Fulani community, he also happen to be the spiritual leader of the Nigerian Muslim North.
Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III. OF SOKOTO, 20th sultan of Sokoto was the youngest son of Siddiq Abubakar who reigned for over 50 years. He attended Barewa College in Zaria and furthered his studies at Nigerian Defence Academy. He also served in the Nigeria military and was a military liaison officer for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in the mid 1990s. He ascended the throne on November 2, 2006 after the death of his brother Muhammadu Maccido who died in ADC airline flight.
OBA ADEYEYE ENITAN OGUNWUSI, OONI OF IFE
The fifth child of the family of seven, Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (Oba Ojaja II), is the 51st king of Ife. Oba Ojaja II is a descendant of Oduduwa the first Ooni of Ife.
He was selected as the king amongst the indigenous heirs at Giesi ruling house on 26 October, 2015. He also received his staff. As a spiritual leader, he is saddled with the responsibility of making supplications on behalf of the Yorubas to God during festivals.
He studied in Nigeria and holds multiple honorary doctorate degrees. One is the degree he holds in Public Administration from the University of Nigeria, NSUKkA. He is currently the chancellor of University of Nigeria, NSUKKA.
The king however promoted their cultural heritage by transforming Ile Ife into a tourist site. He also has empowered youths all over the country. He has beautified and reconstructed the ancient city. He is a philanthropist and had been an advocate for the less privileged.
The Oba personal life has been surrounded with different publicized relationships. He got married to Prophetess Morenike Naomi Oluwaseyi in October 2018.
OBA SAHEED ELEGUSHI KUNSELA III OF IKATE LAND
The Ikate land has been and is continually being ruled by the royal dynasty of Elegushi. This recognized kingdom is located in Lagos. The Ikate people’s king is called Elegushi.
After the death of Elegushi Oba Yekini Adeniyi Elegushi Kunsela II, his son Oba Saheed was crowned the king in 2010. He is the 20th king of Ikate land. He studied both in Nigeria and overseas.
Before he became the king, he had interest in politics but he left politics for the throne. He had also respectively served as Personal assistant for two former governor of Lagos state. He has two wives, three daughters and a son. His wives are namely Queen (Olori) Sekinat Elegushi and Queen ( Olori ) Hadiza Elegushi.
EMIR ALHAJI SHEHU HASHIMI OF DAMATURU
The rule and monarch of Damaturu Emirate which is located in Yobe is Emir Shehu Hashimi El Kanem II. He ascended the throne in 2003 after his brother Alhaji Bukar Ibn El kanem died the previous year in Mecca. Before he became the king, he studied in Nigeria and earned both diploma and advanced diploma in Accounting and Auditing. He worked for Damaturu local government as an accountant and was transferred to the state government as director of finance and supply when Yobe state was created in 1991.
These are just a few selection of Kings in Nigeria as there are over a hundred royal families. We can now see that Nigeria currently have a royal family.