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Close to 50 and above in dominion

ALL roads led to Kano last June, where the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero marked his 50th year on the exalted throne of Kano.

To show how strong he was, he rode on a horse to the admiration of all and sundry. To be on the throne for 50 years in the modern day world, particularly in a tumultuous, agitating city like Kano where the two civilisations-antique and modernity -constantly clash, a city that is perpetually at war with its soul, is a laudable achievement.

And to have survived for 50 years on that throne with all major crises, religious, commercial, social,including a suspension under the Major General Muhammadu Buhari junta, an  undeserved query under my late friend Alhaji Abubakar Rimi, many assassination attempts, the last one, last February, there must be something remarkable and sublime about this ruler.

Let it be noted that his predecessor, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi, grandfather to the present Governor of the Central Bank, Alhaji Lamido Sanusi, who ruled between 1954 and1963, was dethroned and died eventually  in exile in Katagum.

Even the Emir before Alhaji Sanusi, who was, Alhaji Abdullahi Bayero (1881-1953) the ruler whom the Bayero University in Kano was named after, ruled for 26 years (1927-1953) before he died on December 25, 1953.

So the more reason why we have to hail Alhaji Ado Bayero and say Happy congratulations.

Alhaji Ado Bayero has therefore followed the footsteps of other traditional rulers who ruled longer than 50 years or close to 50 years.

The late Elekole of Egbe Oba (Ikole) in Ekiti State, Oba Adetula Adeleye was crowned in 1958. He ruled for 52 years before his death in 2010.

One of his sons-in-law, Prince Dayo Adeyeye  from Ise-Ekiti wants to be Governor of Ekiti State next year.

Sir Adesoji Martins Titus Tadeniawo Aderemi (1889-1980) succeeded Oba Ademiluyi Ajagun on September 26, 1930 as the Ooni of Ife. He also succeeded Sir John Dalzell Rankine (1907-1987) as Governor of Western Region in 1960 and served as Governor between 1960 and 1962 before the Action Group crises.

He died on July 7, 1980 after being in the saddle for 50 years and left behind many successful children, including the now frailing Mrs. Tejumade Alakija,former Head of Service of Oyo State and the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, which was established during his reign.

The late Lamido of Adamawa, Alhaji Bankindo Mustapha was on the throne for 59 years before he died on March 13, 2010.

His son Muhammadu Aliyu Bankindo Mustapha succeeded him on March 18, 2010.

The late Owa of Idanre in Ondo State, Oba Adegbule Aroloye Arubefin III reigned from 1919 to 1969 for 50 years and died at the age of 120 years, making him one of the oldest monarchs in Nigeria.

He was succeeded by his son Oba Frederick Adegunle Gbolagunte Aroloye Arubefin IV who was crowned in September 1976.

Oba Afunbiowo Adesida ruled Oyemekun kingdom of Akure between 1897 and 1957 for 60 years. His beloved Olori (wife) is believed to have come from Idanre.

He is the grandfather of my friend, Oba Adebiyi Adegboye Adesida Afunbiowo II,the present Deji and paramount ruler of Akure Kingdom and Chairman Ondo State Council of Traditional rulers. His name is still music in Akure today.

The foremost Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Siddik Abubakar III was born in Dange, some 60 kilometres  from Sokoto on March 15, 1903 the same day on which the British colonialists finally subdued the Sokoto Caliphate. He became  the Sultan of Sokoto on June 17, 1938 and ruled for 50 years till he died on November 1, 1988.

In the last 30 years of his life, he did not touch currency or coins for purity purposes. Two of his sons have succeeded him, the last being the present Sultan, Alhaji Saa’d Abubakar IV whose successful career was pioneered by Alhaji Shehu Malami, former Nigerian High Commissioner  to South Africa.

The late Jaja Amanyanbo of Opobo, Chief Douglas Jaja (1915-1980), son of Chief Arthur Mac Pepple Jaja (1872-1936) ruled for 60 years although he renounced his chieftaincy temporarily between 1943-1951 to get involved in politics. At the time of his death in 1980, he was much loved by his people.

The late of Oba of Benin, Oba Uku Akpolokpolo Akenzua II (1899-1978), son of Oba Eweka II born as Edokparhogbuyunmun ruled for 44 years following the death of his father in 1934.

In 1925, he served under the supervision of the late Alake of Egbaland, Oba Ademola in his palace.

He was a custodian of the rich Benin culture and tradition.He was succeeded by his son in 1979, a retired Federal Permanent Secretary, Oba Solomon Igbinoghodua Aisiokuoba Akenzua III who is still on the throne. The late Attah of Igala Dr. Aliyu Obaje succeeded Ahmed Oboyi on November 2, 1956 and for 56 years, till he died in July 16, 2012, he was on the Igala throne and piloted Igala Kingdom to modernity. Dr. Obaje was an example in humility.

Sir Oladipo Samuel Ademola (1872-1962) was crowned the Alake of Egbaland on September27, 1920, to succeed Oba Gbadebo who died on May 28, 1920.

At the crowning ceremony, over 70,000 people were present, including a representative of the Queen of England. He ruled for 22 years. One of his sons Justice Adetokunbo Ademola eventually became the first Chief Justice of Nigeria.

In 1948, Prince Adeyinka Oyekan challenged Prince Adeniji Adele (1893-1964) to the throne of Lagos. The Oracle told the two of them that they both will be Kings. Eventually Oba  Adele ruled from 1949-1964 while Oba Adeyinka Oyekan II (June 30, 1911-March 1, 2003) ruled Lagos for 38 years making him the second longest ruling monarch in Lagos. The first being Oba Akinsemoyin who ruled from 1704-1749 for 45 years.

Oba Suleiman Durotoye Abegunde(1907-1993) ruled Omuaran in Kwara State from 1945 to 1993, while the late Olofa of Offa also in Kwara State, Oba Mustapha Olawore Olaonipekun, who died in 2010, ruled for over 40 years. The late Ataoja of Oshogbo, Oba Iyiola Oyewale Matanmi, who was crowned on July 7, 1976 and died in August 2010, ruled for 34 years. It was during his reign that Osogbo was made the Capital of Osun State.

Oba Adetoyese Laoye, grandfather to Prince Bayo Aderintan ruled Ede as Timi for 29 years, between 1946-1975.

Mr.   ERIC TENIOLA, a former Director at the Presidency, wrote from Lagos.


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