The Changing Status of Ekiti Tradional Rulers in Colonial Nigeria

F.J. Oloidi


Before the advent of the British rule, the Ekiti people had a well organized and structured kingship system that totally brought order and harmony to various communities. The Kings, known as Obas, were graded according to population of towns and, more importantly, historical importance. The Kings, that is the paramount ones, had the power of life and death which made people venerate their positions; or treated with reverence. They had total control over their people and were responsible for all socio-cultural, political, economic and military experiences of their people. However, the British colonial rule came and totally disorganized the kingship systems, desecrating, to a large extent, the spiritual powers of the Kings and usurped their powers; making them subservient to District Officers, in this regard, the Kings become mere rubber stamps, with the status greatly reduced, though while still repeating their positions and given full powers that were, however, not challenging to British rule.

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