Prominent African King, Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade, Dies At 101

Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade, the King of Ibadan has been confirmed dead by Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi. He was reported to have died in his sleep on Tuesday evening, surrounded by some of his loved ones. The 101 year old king was born on April 14, 1914 and crowned the 40th Olubadan of Oyo State; a position he occupied for 7 years and from the statistics of Ibadan, ruling well over 3 million people.

What is significant about this king? you may ask, I mean there are countless kings in several countries of the African continent but not all of them are remembered on quite a large-scale. The reason for his prominence lies in the history of his title, ‘Olubadan ‘ which means the king of Ibadan, Nigeria’s third-largest city.

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Oba Samual Odulana Odugade is a royal personality and one of Africa’s few monarchs who wielded a lot of power in the Southwest of Nigeria. Reports have it that he served as a minister of the country in the 1960’s; within which period he led Nigerian delegates to the United Kingdom discussing matters in the restructuring of Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

Confirming the news for BBC, Prince Gbade Lana attributes his father with humility and being a core disciplinarian. He also mentioned him as a good father, judging by this, it is not rocket science why his death is so widely announced. He was dear to many and even consulted by presidents and several Nigerian kingmakers in political matters, that is the extent he was revered and respected.

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Ibadan which used to be the largest city by surface in the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa is located on a geographically strategic point between the past and present Nigerian capital cities- Lagos and Nigeria. Going back to history, the region was a mega commercial hub in Lagos, being the nations’s capital at the time. Even now, the region is still as lucrative as it was in the past. Most definitely the commercial activities meant and still means something to the Nigerian economy. To have a king who managed the affair of such a city is indeed noteworthy.

But more than the booming commercial activities, the monumental Skyscrapper and other historical interests in this metropolitan city, was the Olubadan, whom till his death was a symbolical traditional and political figure in Southwest Nigeria. According to Premium Times report, the next High Chief to become Olubadan is the current Balogun of Ibadanland, Saliu Adetunji.

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