Opinion: The Ijesha Oba of Lagos and his confused history of Lagos

by Dele Awogbeoba

A purported statement from the palace of Oba of Lagos stated that Eko (Lagos Island) is not part of Yoruba land. Part of that statement read:

“Oba Ado fell in-love with a beautiful woman whose father was Awori and mother a daughter to one of the chief, they had two sons and also a daughter Erelu Kuti, who begat Ologun Kutere who later became King.”

What the palace failed to illuminate and tried to obfuscate was the heritage of King Ologun Kutere (the fifth Oba of Lagos). Ologun Kutere was the son of Alaagba (an Ijesha man and babalawo to the Oba of Lagos) and Erelu Kuti (sister to the then Oba of Lagos). Ologun Kutere became king through his matrilineal line and was an Ijehsa man with Bini Heritage.

The only royal family with direct heritage to Bini through the patrilineal line is the Akinsemoyin royal line. That line has been prevented from presenting an Oba since the time of Ologun Kutere. Every Oba of Lagos since Ologun Kutere in 1749 have been direct descendants of Alaagba and are of direct Ijesha heritage. Ologun Kutere was 75% Yoruba because his father was Ijesha and his royal mother (by the account of the palace of the Oba of Lagos) was half Bini and half Yoruba (Awori).

Interesting how the palace at Eko skated over the heritage of their direct paternal ancestor Alaagba. If one were to take a DNA test of the current Eleko of Eko, his Bini heritage will be less than 0% of his DNA. In fact it will not even show up in his Y Chromosome history that is passed down from father to son. All roads from that line will lead one straight to Ilesha.

The Bini , through its then superior army, conquered an Awori outpost in the 15th century and around the time of Ewuare the 1st. Prince Ado was the first Oba of Lagos and his rule started in 1630. Eko was never Bini land just as Nigeria was never English land or Dahomey Yoruba land. There is nowhere in any part of Lagos where Bini language is an indigenous language or ever was an indigenous language and that includes the palace of the Oba of Lagos (or should I say the Eleko of Eko) itself.

For a while now, this current Oba of Lagos has been an uncouth holder of the throne of the Oba of Lagos. His utterances have demeaned Eko and its people. What the Yoruba can however take solace in is the matured response of the Ooni of Ife. It goes to show that true royalty is inbred.


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