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From pulpit to palace: 12 Nigerians pastors who became traditional leaders

From pulpit to palace: 12 Nigerians pastors who became traditional leaders.…..CONTINUE READING>>>>>>

Recently, a Christian cleric, Prince Ghandi Olaoye, has been installed as Soun of Ogbomoso.

This is not the first time this is happening. Some clerics in the past later mounted the throne of their forefathers in some communities in Nigeria.

1. Odogbo:

John Elaigwu Odogbo, a pastor of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry emerged as the new Och’Idoma, a paramount Ruler of the Idoma Nation after a vote.

The cleric polled 19 votes at the end of the voting by the kingmakers to defeat three others-Andrew Idakwu, John Bamaiyi, and Sunday Echono-during the selection for the stool.

The 56-year old monarch, a graduate of Accounting from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, succeeded Elias Obekpa, who joined his ancestors in October 2021.

2. Oba Isaac Akinyele:

Following the demise of the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Ali Iwo, agitation for an educated successor was spearheaded by the elite.

Eyes were on Pastor Isaac Babalola Akinyele, President of Christ Apostolic Church (CAC). But he objected to some aspects of installation rites, being a Christian leader.

One of the elite, Rev. Emmanuel Alayande, beckoned on the lawyer and politician, Chief Ayo Rosiji, who was close to Akinyele’s brother, Bishop A.B. Akinyele, to persuade the pastor to mount the non-hereditary throne.

Oba Akinyele reigned between 1955 and 1964. He never relinquished his position as head of CAC.

3. Oba Aladejare Agunsoye 1:

In Yorubaland, perhaps, the first monarch to dump idol worshipping in its entirety for Christianity was the late Oba Bamilosin Aladejare, Agunsoye 1, Alaaye of Efon-Alaaye in Ekiti State.

In 1930, he invited the renowned evangelist, Apostle Ayodele Babalola, from neighbouring Ilesa to his town.

He brushed aside criticisms and hosted the prophet in his ancient palace.

Reflecting on the historic revival in Efon, Agunsoye’s grand son, Oba Adesanya Aladejare, recalled that the old monarch took the apostle and his entourage to the evil forest.

The dark powers were suppressed. All idols were assembled and Babalola burnt them.

Then, the monarch was baptised and given the name, Solomon. Already advanced in years, he was not lettered, but full of wisdom. Oba Agunsoye never aspired to priesthood. He became the patron of faith. The legend passed on in 1936.

4. Oba Jegede:

Deeper Life Pastor Mathew Jegede was installed Alahan of Ahan-Ayegunle in Ekiti State in 2020.

Expectedly, his church members opposed his decision to inherit the throne.
But, he was always having dreams about becoming a king. Therefore, he resolved to fulfill his destiny.

On the day former Governor Kayode Fayemi presented the staff of office to him, many of the church members witnessed the ceremony.

5. Oba Olugbenle:

RCCG Pastor Kehinde Olugbenle is Olu of Ilaro and paramount ruler of Yewaland. He succeeded Oba Adekambi Tella.

He was unanimously elected by kjngmakers, defeating hus close rival, Adedeji Olugbenle.

When he was approached to be an oba, he was reluctant. Reminiscing on his change of heart, he said:”It was not a sudden acceptance. It was gradual. I wen through a little bit if spiritual guidance.”

6. Oba Adeosun:

The late Oba S.A. Adeosun, Akinla of Erin-Ijesa, Osun State, a CAC prophet, preacher and friend of the late Pastor Timothy Obadare, was described with fondness as “a king that knows Christ.”

He was a regular worshipper, who unlike other monarchs, attended church services without putting on his cap.

There was a time when his town was troubled by pestilence. He directed the people to get bowls and cups filled with water.

He went round the community and prayed with psalms.

The people drunk the water and wet the environment with the blessed water. It was the end of the disease.

The incident strengthened the faith of the people in the power of the living God.

7. Oba Adejuwon:

The RCCG pastor became Onisan of Isan-Ekiti in 2017. He made up his mind to ascend the throne of his forefathers, despite criticisms by the faithful who believed that the role conflicted with his Christian beliefs.

Reflecting on his decision to adorn the crown, he said:”When God created heaven and earth, He created everybody and different faiths and He is managing every one of us.

“As a king and a representative of God on earth, you should be able to manage everything that is under your control.

“Before I was ordained king, the kingmakers knew that I am a pastor and yet, they supported me. I don’t get in their ways because we all want the same thing for the community. We want peace and growth in the community. I contribute my quota for Muslims, Christians, and traditionalists.

“The traditionalists give me heads up on their activities, but I don’t go with them and it does not mean I don’t pray and support them.

If we say we want to focus on Christianity alone, our prayers might not be answered. These people have ways of blocking your prayers, it is written in the Bible.”

8. Oba Ogunfeyimi:

Oba Mobolorunduro Ogunfeyimi, Atarioye Ajigbade, founder of Cherubim and Seraphim, Zion Pepe, was both spiritual leader and monarch of Ugboland in Ilaje area of Ondo State.

9. Oba Oyediran:

The Onpetu of Ijeru in Oyo State, Oba Sunday Oyediran, is a preacher of the world.

He has taken a stand against the traditional, fetish festival of yore, urging his colleagues in the Council of Traditional Rulers to jettison the habit of worshipping figurine which can neither speak nor hear.

He has in his online preaching admonished people to come out of their ignorance and embrace the reality of worldly vanities.

10. Oba Fasanmade:

The Reverend John Fasanmade was the Olojudo of Ido-Ajinare, now Ido-Ile. He was an Anglican priest serving in the Akoko area before he returned home to be crowned as an oba.

Many members of the church objected to his decision to opt for kingship. But, indigenes hailed the decision, which fulfilled their quest for an educated ruler.

Oba Fasanmade was the father of the highly respected Lady Deborah Jibowu.

11. Oba Tejuoso:

Oba Adedapo Tejuoso, Osile of Oke-Ona, Egba in Ogun State is a “born again” Christian and prayer warrior.

Before becoming Osile, he was a successful medical practitioner. He became an oba through the support of his illustrious mother, Chief Bisoye Tejuoso, daughter of the legendary Osile Karunwi of Oke-Ona.

Oba Tejuoso parted with the practice of idolatry associated with ancient Yoruba communities and embraced the Bible. He is a preacher and organiser of crusades.

The monarch has also contributed to peace and unity in Yorubaland by visiting the six Southwest states ahead of governorship elections to pray with politicians, particularly the candidates.

During such visits, he usually advised them to abide by the rules of the game.

12. Oba Afolabi Ghandi Olaoye

Gbandi Olaoye, pastor of Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), was installed as Soun of Ogbomoso on Friday, September 8, 2023.

A promising entrepreneur, the Prince of Laoye Ruling House, has achieved the feat that eluded his humble father, who had aspired to the ancient throne in 1940.

Eighty three years after, luck has smiled on the motivational speaker, who is an active worker in God’s wine yard. Olaoye oversees an RCGG parish in the United States.

The pastor-king succeeded Oba Jimoh Oyewumi Ajagungbade, who passed on 21 months ago after reigning for 48 years.

Mixed reactions have trailed the ratification of his selection by Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde.

To the town’s people, he is eminently qualified as a blue blood and promising indigene, who meet the criteria of eligibility, integrity and honour.

But, there is a puzzle. Would he go through the rites of ancension? In some Yoruba towns, members of the sacred societies-Ogboni, Osugbo and Awopa play crucial roles during the installation.

Monarchs in Yorubaland are custodian of dieties as representatives of the gods.

Will Pastor Olaoye also participate in some communal traditional rites which critics have often derided as idol worshipping?

Most Southwest towns and villages celebrate Egungun, Ogun, Osun, Sango, Obatala, and Yemoja festivals.

How will Oba-elect Olaoye cope with the tension between traditional religion and pentecostal worship?

In recent times, the attempted ban on Isese festival in some communities have stirred controversy.

What is the perception of the new Ogbomoso monarch about these challenges?

It is not the first time that Christian clerics will cross the bridge from priesthood to palace.

Examples abound about the adjustment difficulties encountered on the throne of their forebears and how they coped with the inevitable conflicts.


Many communities have been polarised by the advent of Christian rulers, not because of opposition to their personality, but their disposition to traditional religion, including periodic sacrifices which should be funded by the palace.

The late Olu of Warri, Emiko Erejuwa, was resisted when he dissociated himself traditional mode of worship.

His subjects kicked against his Christian reforms.

However, his son, Ogiame Atuwatse 11, hosted the first Christian Carol in his palace last year.

Strict traditionalists fear that Christian monarchs may initiate reforms likely to make Christian faith to overshadow or displace traditional religion.

Traditional religion has been associated with kingship from time immemorial. During festivals, it may also be a source of income for idol worshippers.…..CONTINUE READING>>>>>>

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