Egba Alake

Egba Alake
Traditional state
Egba Alake

Location in Nigeria

Coordinates: 7°9′39″N 3°20′54″E / 7.16083°N 3.34833°E / 7.16083; 3.34833
Country  Nigeria
State Ogun State

Egba Alake is one of the five sections of Egbaland, the others being Oke-Ona, Gbagura the Owu and Ibara (historically, Ibara is part of Yewa and not Egba although it is located in the present day Abeokuta geographically) and is a traditional state which joins with its bordering sections to form something of a high kingship. The Alake of Abeokuta or Alake of Egbaland is the traditional ruler of the Egba clan of Yoruba in the city of Abeokuta in southwestern Nigeria.[1]


Abeokuta was founded around 1830 by Egba people after the collapse of the Oyo Empire and the Yoruba people's subsequent descent into internecine warfare. The city was founded because of its strong defensive physical position by refugees trying to protect themselves against slave raiders from Dahomey, who were trying to benefit from the war.

In 1832, Abeokuta was involved in war with the people of Ijebu Remo, and in 1834 with the Ibadan people. Sporadic fighting continued with the people of Ota (1842), Ado (1844), Ibarapa (1849), Dahomey (1851), Ijebu-Ere (1851), Ijaye (1860–1862) and the Makun War of 1862–1864.[2]

On 18 January 1893, a treaty was signed with the governor and commander-in-chief of the British Lagos Colony for the purpose of trade; the British recognized Egbaland as an independent state. In 1898, the Egba United Government was formed.

In 1904, an agreement was made where the British assumed jurisdiction in certain legal cases, and in the same year, the Alake Gbadebo paid a state visit to England. Over the following years, the British steadily assumed more responsibility for administration while continuing to formally recognize the Egba state.[3] In 1914, the kingdom was incorporated into the newly amalgamated British Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria.[4]

In 1949, as a result of agitation by the women's rights leader Funmilayo Ransome Kuti, the Alake Ladipo Ademola was forced to abdicate. He later returned.[5]


Rulers of the Egba in Abeokuta, who took the title "Alake" in 1854, were:[6]

Start End Ruler
1829 1845 Shodeke
1845 1846 Shomoye -Regent (1st time)
1846 1854 Sagbua Okukenun -Regent
8 Aug 1854 1862 Okukenun (Sagbua Okukenun) First Alake
1862 1868 Shomoye -Regent (2nd time)
28 Nov 1869 20 Dec 1877 Ademola I
Jan 1879 15 Sep 1881 Oyekan (d. 1881)
9 Feb 1885 27 Jan 1889 Oluwajin
18 Sep 1891 11 Jun 1898 Oshokalu
8 Aug 1898 28 May 1920 Gbadebo I (1854–1920)
27 Sep 1920 27 Dec 1962 Ladapo Samuel Ademola II (1872–1962) (in exile 1948 – 3 Dec 1950)
29 Sep 1963 26 Oct 1971 Adeshina Samuel Gbadebo II (1908–1971)
5 Aug 1972 3 Feb 2005 Samuel Oyebade Mofolorunsho Lipede (1915–2005)
24 Aug 2005 Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo III (b. 1943)[7]


  1. Niyi Odebode (5 Nov 2007). "Alake, others fault Owu's claim on Abeokuta". The Punch. Retrieved 2010-09-07.
  2. "History of Abeokuta". Egba United Society. Retrieved 2010-09-07.
  3. "Egba: Some Historical Facts" (PDF). Egba-Yewa Descendants Association Washington, DC. Retrieved 2010-09-07.
  4. "Egba Historical Facts". Egba-Yewa Descendants Association Washington, DC. Retrieved 2010-09-07.
  5. Adeniyi, Dapo. "Monuments and metamorphosis" (PDF). African Quarterly on the Arts Vol.2 No.2. Retrieved 2010-09-07.
  6. "Traditional States of Nigeria". Retrieved 2010-09-07.
  7. Niyi Odebode and Olaolu Oladipo (4 August 2005). "Gbadebo emerges new Alake – • We're yet to confirm any candidate – Ogun govt". Online Nigeria Daily News.
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