Oluwo Nla, the patriarch of the family was a royalty and one of the founding fathers of today’s Lagos, who’s history can be dated back to the 16th century. He was gifted with the knowledge of Ifa Oracle to the extent that he was recognized as the head of the chiefs around his environment and even crowned some. He ruled over Idoluwo-Ile an island off Otto-Awori in Ojo Lagos. He was an Alade of Idoluwo-Ile and during his reign was the overlord over several villages in that area of Lagos. This site is situated in Otto-Awori LCDA in the Ojo area of Lagos state and some of these villages consist of
- Idoluwo- Ile
- Oke Shasun
(That is to say all lands farmland or villages lying on the right between Akirun Creek and the Lagoon route to Badagry) taking a quote from lines of the agreement reached by parties at the Supreme Court of Lagos following the continuous litigation on the ownership of the said villages.
How he became a Chief at Lagos (Isale Eko)
Oluwo Nla was well respected all over his environment that his popularity extended to the Oba of Benin who had to send for him following the prolonged delivery by his wife, he had lost hope of his pregnant wife being alive considering the failures of all other native doctors in Benin to bring the trail to success.
The Oba of Benin was hinted of the wonderful performance of Oluwo Nla by the Benis who traded along the waterways of the Idoluwo Ile Axis of Lagos then of his profession as a great Ifa Priest. The Oba sent for him and so Oluwo Nla travelled to Benin and successfully performed his profession on the pregnant wife of the Oba. When he got there he placed his ‘Opele’ down and consulted the oracle and he foresaw success. He told the Oba of Benin to keep his woman alone in one room; and then started chanting some incantation and not quite long the woman put to bed and the child was born.
It is important to note that this was around the time, the Benin’s tried to settle on the island of Lagos (Isale Eko). They encountered and found Eko (lagos Island) not to be in congenial as they encountered serious difficulties. They reported to the Oba of Benin.
The Oba of Benin had no alternative but to send Olorogun Addo, in company of Obanikoro, Eletu Odibo. Chief Opeluwa was in charge of the ORDEAL to Lagos Island (Isale Eko) then.
On the eve of Oluwo Nla’s departure from Benin, the Oba of Benin conferred on him the Chieftaincy of Obanikoro and was then gifted him the Gbedu drum and ‘Abebe” with the full privilege to beat the Gbedu Drum at the installation of his successor in office, a privilege denied many of the other chieftaincy titles at Lagos up till today.
Some of the children of Oluwo Nla can be found at places like PORTO-NOVO, ARADA, IDOLE et cetera. unlike those of other chieftaincy family who still have their roots in Benin.
Coming back to Oluwo Nla’s performance at Benin, the Oba of Benin created the OGALADE as a class of Chiefs with the KEREMESI a white cap pattern of the other chiefs as the IDEJO’s, AKARIGBERES etc and then made the Obanikoro the head of the OGALADE’s.
The Obanikoro as one of the kingmakers in Lagos and he is suppose to guide other kingmakers through the Ifa whenever it is time to select a new Oba into Idunganran.
This is a Chieftaincy title which was won through the power of Ifa by his progenitor (OLUWO NLA) and also a title which makes the Obanikoro as the head of Ogalade’s.
The Obanikoro of Lagos Palace is situated at 38, Obun Eko Street till date and time with the inscription –‘IGA OLUWO NLA’ . It was purchased in 1893 by Chief Ajayi-Bembe, the 8th Obanikoro and his brother Aregbe and later built by Chief Ajayi- Bembe during his reign years after the old Palace at Ereko got destroyed by fire.
The children of Obanikoro or any chief in Iga Oluwo Nla are indisputably sons and daughters of Ifa.
To them, Ifa is therefore an immortal worshipful master- Hence a separate and big consecrated room is left in the Iga as IYARA IFA (IFA ROOM) up till now and there, the original Ifa OLUWO NLA is kept and worshipped up till today.
SHORT BIOGRAPHY OF ALL THE OBANIKORO CHIEF’S WHO REIGNED IN LAGOS
Oluwo-Nla (1ST Obanikoro) Oluwo-nla had three children; Deari, Kueji and Kumuyi.
Deyari (2nd Obanikoro) He was the 2nd Obanikoro and begat a female child, Adaran who married Chief Ojora Onimokun and bore Oyerokun. Oyerokun reigned as the 5th Obanikoro and begat Kumeifo, Abagbo (female), Esan and Gbele. Kumeifo reigned as the 7th Obanikoro.
Kueji (3rd Obanikoro) He was the 3rd Obanikoro and begat Ilumo, who reigned as the 6th Obanikoro
Kumuyi (4th Obanikoro) He was the 4th Obanikoro and had no issue.
Oyerokun (5th Obanikoro) As aforesaid, he reigned as the 5th Obanikoro and begat Kumeifo, Abagbo (female), Esan and Gbele.
Ilumo (6th Obanikoro 1830-1859) he was chief Obanikoro about 1830 and died in 1859 during the Ijaye War He was the 6th Obanikoro and begat Odunran, Amosu, Dosunmu and Anbose (female) who married Chief Oniru Oluye and begat Akilodi, Talabi-Ige, Oyunye, Aina-Aragbe and Idowu (female). Idowu married Sangbala Alagbede and begat Akeju Fasanya, Ajayi, Akapo, Iroke Owolagba, Abisawo Ottun, Otaniya, Shadako, Amore Aluko, Kekekun, Ogunlana Arewa and Iyapo. Pa Amosu later became the Bale of Idoluwo Ile died on 17th of May 1897 and was buried in the said Island – IFA ILUMO- OGBE ATE.
Kumeifo (7th Obanikoro 1859-1873) He was the 7th Obanikoro who begat Jinadu, Oduntan, Iroko (female).
Two events occurred during Chief Kumeifo reign first he signed the Treaty of Cession of Lagos to the British in 1861 along with Oba Docemo, Chief Talabi, Onilegbale and Ashogbon and second fire destroyed the original Palace of Obanikoro in Ereko. He moved to Idumagbo at Oju Olokun where he died in 1873 and was buried at old Ijora his paternal home.
On the other hand, Iroko married Chief Kupotan, Eletu Ijebu and begat a son named Ajasa Oduntan. Ajasa begat Seidu and Saka.
Ajayi-Bembe –(8th Obanikoro A.D. 1897-1906) the 8th Obanikoro had 14 Issues. Ajayi- Bembe was a wealthy merchant in his days. He begat Samuel Esubi, Ramota Molaso Oka, Ibikunle, Olamide, Oladale, Ajibabi (no issues), Abibatu (no issues), Akintola, Ibironke, Safuratu, Adeyemi, Buraimoh, Oyeyemi (no issues)
He took over the stool after 20 years when there was no Obanikoro on the stool. It was him and his brother who bought the land and built the palace on which the present Iga Obanikoro is situated in 38 Obun Eko Street on the date 13th of September 1890 about 20 years after the old Palace in Ereko was gutted by fire.
During his reign he played prominent role in instituting legal case in court which lead to the family wining at the Supreme Court of Lagos and taking over the ownership of their lands consisting of several villages at their ancestral home at the
He died in 1906 and was buried inside the inner chambers within the Palace secret grooves alongside his mother.
Adamo Akeju (9th Obanikoro 1910-1942)
Ajasa Ogunlana (10th Obanikoro 1948-1969)
Sikiru Oyebowale Ojora (11th Obanikoro)
Adesoji Ajayi-Bembe (12th Obanikoro)
OBANIKORO FAMILY HAS ONLY TWO (2) RULING HOUSES
The first Obanikoro – Oluwo-nla had only three children who were named Deyari, Kueji and Kumuyi.
Deyari, the first son reigned after his father as the 2nd Obanikoro and begat Adaran (female) who married Onimokun, Chief Ojora of Ijora. She begat Oyerokun who reigned as Obanikoro the (5th) fifth.
Kueji, the second son of Oluwo-nla, reign as the third Obanikoro and begat Iluwo who reigned as Obanikoro the sixth (6th) and begat several children. Two of his children, Ajayi Bembe and Adamo Akeju Fasanya reigned as the 8th and 9th Obanikoro of Lagos respectively.
Kumuyi, the third son of Oluwo-nla reigned as the fourth Obanikoro and had no issue.
Therefore, Obanikoro has only two reigning houses:
- Oyerokun, through Deari the 2nd Obanikoro; and
- Ilumo, through Kueji the 3rd Obanikoro
So in effect the two main trees came from Dayari’s daughter – ADARAN and Kueji’s son ILUMO
DETAILS OF THE TWO MAIN TREES IN THE FAMILY
ADARAN’S LINE (Female)
Adaran, the only daughter of Dayari who was the first son of Oluwo Nla. Adaran married Chief Olumokun Ojora and gave birth to Oyerokun- the 5th Obanikoro of Lagos. Oyerokun gave birth to four (4) children Kumeifo, Abagbo, Esan, Gbele.
Adaran’s Family Tree:
Dayari 1st son of Oluwo Nla, Adaran herself the only daughter of Dayari and Oyerokun the only son of Adaran
Oyerokun had four (4) issues
- Kumeifo (m) begat (a) Jinadu (had no issues), (b) Oduntan Olugbani who begat Saidu and Saka (c) Iroko (f) married Kupitan Eletu Ijebu and Ajaratu and Odunlami.
- Abagbo (f) married chief Mutiu Onikoyi and begat 3 issues Fafunwa Onikoyi (had no issues), Dada Onikoyi married Okoya Atakolo and begat four (4) children to Okoya Atakolo viz: (a) Fadiya Okoya (b) Fatola Okoya (c) Ayodele Okoye (d) Koko Okoya and Ilumo Onikoyi (f) married and begat Ibisomi Awamatu Akinyemi.
- Esan (m) had 2 issues, Apotun Esan begat two (2) issues (a) Dada Omoyeye (b) Omolara and Apetun Abu begat (a) Bakare Abu (b) Idowu Apotun (c) Ifatosa Apotun (d) Omiyale Apotun
- Gbele (m) had 2 issues, Okoosi Gbele (had no-Issues) and Orisagbobi Gbele(f) married Chief Dosunmu Onikoyi and had 4 issues (a) Jinadu Agbeti Onikoyi (b) Fagbemi Onikoyi (c) Ayo Onikoyi (d) Enigbokan Onikoyi.
ILUMO’S LINE (Male)
Breakdown of Ilumo’s family tree of 13 children into seven stokes (IDI IGI)
Ilumo, the only son of Kueji was the 6th Obanikoro of Lagos. His father Kueji, the 3rd Obanikoro of Lagos was also the son of Oluwo Nla. Ilumo married several women the following show the thirteen children (13) and seven wife’s that survived him out of 20 children recorded.
- Amosu who later became the Bale of Idoluwo Ile died on 17th of May 1897 and was buried in the said Island
- Oduran begat Tugbobo, father of Ramotu Eleha and Ogunbiyi. Ogunbiyi was the father of Mojidi and Barikisu (eldest).
- Aregbe begat Buraimo Fasanya, Samuel Ajayi, Ayawo and Faye Ramotu (eldest).
- Ogabi begat Rekiya Agbabu.
- Aremo Aluko (had no issue)
- Idewu (f) begat Adamo Akeju Fasanya.
- Ajayi Bembe begat Samuel Esubi, Omolaso Oka, Ibikunle, Olamide, Oladale, Ajibabi, Akintola, Ibironke, Safuratu, Adeyemi, and Abibatu.
- Orisadeko begat Fashina, Omoniyi, Akindele, and Ibidunni.
- Burimo Iyapo begat Sariyu Toro.
- Abisawo Otun begat Raji Oladipo, Esubi, Abebi, and Alimotu.
- Ogunlana Arewa begat Ajibabi, Oketoyinbo, Ajasa, Ibikunle, Abi, Fagbemi, Olayinka, Taiwo, and Adeoye Salami.
- Oteniya begat Motara, Fatusi, Ibikunle, Iya Oniru (wife of Buraimo Ekun), Iya Aladin, Olaide, Alabi and Akanke.
- Kekekun begat Ajaratu Abosede Williams
THE OGALADE CLASS OF CHIEFS IN LAGOS
- Osolu – Irewe