Traditional rulers – Nigeria maintain the monarchical styles and titles of their sovereign ancestors, both their independent activities and their relations with the central and regional governments of Nigeria are closer in substance to those of the high nobility of old Europe than to those of actual reigning monarchs.

The principal advantage of hereditary monarchy is the immediate continuity of leadership. Some monarchies are non-hereditary. In an elective monarchy, monarchs are elected, or appointed by some body for life or a defined period, but otherwise serve as any other monarch.

3 Prominent Traditional Rulers


Sultan of Sokoto – Sa’adu Abubakar

Traditional Rulers
Sultan of Sokoto – Sa’adu Abubakar

Abubakar is the heir to the two century-old throne founded by his ancestor, Sheikh Usman Dan Fodio (1754–1817) leader of the Maliki school of Islam and the Qadiri branch of Sufism.

Amirul Mu’minin Sheikh as Sultan Muhammadu Sa’adu Abubakar III is the 20th Sultan of Sokoto. As Sultan of Sokoto, he is considered the spiritual leader of Nigeria’s 98.7 million Muslims, who account for roughly 50 percent of the nation’s population. Although the position of Sultan of Sokoto has become largely ceremonial, the holder is still a central figure for Nigerian Muslims.


Oba of Benin – Ewuare II

Traditional Rulers
Oba of Benin – Ewuare II

Ewuare II (born October 20, 1953) was crowned the Oba of Benin on 20 October 2016. He is the 40th Oba, a title created for the Head of State (Emperor) of the Benin Empire at some time between 1180 and 1300.

The Omo N’ Oba N’ Edo attended the Benin Divisional Council Primary School, Benin City. Edo College, Benin City, from 1965 to 1967, and Immaculate Conception Collage (I.C.C), Benin City, from 1968 to 1970, where he obtained his Secondary School Leaving Certificate.

He is a former Nigerian Ambassador to the Kingdoms of Sweden, Norway and Denmark; the Republics of Finland and Angola. He also served in Rome, Italy and Albania.


Ooni of Ile-Ife – Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II

Traditional Rulers
Ooni of Ile-Ife – Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II

He was proclaimed as Ooni of Ile-Ife in 2015 holding the regnal name Ojaja II succeeding the deceased Oba Okunade Sijuwade. Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi is the 5th direct descendant of the Giesi Ruling Family.

The Ọọni is a qualified accountant. He attended Loyola College Ibadan between 1985 and 1991. Afterwards, he attended The Polytechnic Ibadan to study Accounting.

In 2002, he led the Federal Government of Nigeria delegation to Canada that enhanced alliances through a partnership with the government of Ondo State on solid mineral.