Olota of Ota

The Olota of Ota is the traditional, yet ceremonial, sovereign of Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria. He is also called an Oba.

Historically, the Olota of Ota was a crowned ruler whose power came from the traditional homeland of the Yoruba, Ile-Ife.[1] Since the first local elections in 1955, he has had no political power, but is sought as a counsel or sponsor by Nigerian politicians who seek support from the residents of Ota. The official residence of the Oba is a palace within the town.[2]

Selection of an Olota

When a reigning Olota dies, the Ota Council of Chiefs receives an official report of his death. Burial rites are performed, and last for three months.

Following the end of the three month mourning period, the selection and enthronement procedures for a new Olota begin. Candidates come from one of the three ruling houses: Ikowogbe, Ijemo-Isolosi, and Ileshi. Ruling houses are rotated so that each has an opportunity to produce an Oba. Proposed candidates must be members of the ruling house whose turn it is to produce candidates and male, though exceptions can be made if there are no qualified male candidates. The competition can be fierce, and sometimes pits family members against one another. Courts are sometimes involved in settling disputes within a ruling house. Eventually, the ruling family meets and presents one or more candidates to a group of Kingmakers. There are twelve Kingmakers: the Balogun of Ota, the Ajana of Ijana Quarter, the Onikotun of Otun Quarter, the Onikosi of Osi Quarter, the Akogun of Oruba Quarter, Seriki of Ota, the Ekerin of Ota, the Odota of Ota, the Lisa of Ota, the Aro of Ota, and the Oluwo of Ota. The Kingmakers then make the final determination of who becomes the Olota.[3]

See Ota Traditional Chiefs for more information about the Kingmakers and other major and minor chiefs of Ota.

Prior to the installation of a new Oba, members of the Ogboni secret society perform a procession around Ota to perform pre-installation rites. Additionally, other chiefs play important roles in the installation of a new Olota, such as the Odota and the Aro, who perform the installation rites, and the Oluwo, who performs rituals at predetermined dates following the crowning of a new Olota.[4]

List of Olotas of Ota


  1. Robert Smith (1969). Kingdoms of the Yoruba. Methuen & Co. pp. 88–89.
  2. Ruhollah Ajibola Salako (1999). Ota: The Biography of the Foremost Awori Town. Penink & Co. pp. 55–82.
  3. Ruhollah Ajibola Salako (1999). Ota: The Biography of the Foremost Awori Town. Penink & Co. pp. 55–82.
  4. Ruhollah Ajibola Salako (1999). Ota: The Biography of the Foremost Awori Town. Penink & Co. pp. 59, 112, 106–107, 110–111.
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