Africa

Ooni of Ife: New Yoruba king named in Nigeria

Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi
Image caption Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi will be one of the youngest traditional rulers in Nigeria

A 40-year-old accountant has been named the new Ooni of Ife - a revered monarch in south-west Nigeria.

Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi is the new king, one of the most influential among the Yoruba people, Nigeria's second biggest ethnic group, who number about 35 million in West Africa.

He is a prince from one of the ruling houses in the Ife kingdom.

The previous Ooni of Ife, Oba Sijuwade, died in a London clinic in July aged 85.

Mr Ogunwusi was selected from 21 candidates who included his older brother.

The BBC's Chris Ewokor in Abuja says the selection criteria have not been made public.

Traditionally, kingmakers from within the family choose the Ooni of Ife from descendents of the Yoruba god Oduduwa in consultation with their oracle, known as Ifa.

Mr Ogunwusi will be one of the youngest traditional rulers in Nigeria, our reporter says.


Ooni of Ife:

  • The Ooni of Ife's kingdom is in present-day Osun state in south-west Nigeria
  • The monarch should be a direct descendant of Oduduwa, who is a Yoruba god
  • The practice of burying someone alive with a king who dies has long been abolished

Nigeria's many monarchs


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