The Youngest King in Yorubaland

His Royal Majesty (HRM), Oba Adeyeoba Oloyede Adekoya Akinghare II

Meet the youngest king in Yorubaland, His Royal Majesty (HRM), Oba Adeyeoba Oloyede Adekoya Akinghare II, the 45th Ojima Arujale of Okeluse Kingdom, Ondo State.

In 2019, at 16 years old, the young #Nigerian kid heroes was appointed king. He just graduated from secondary school.

Background

In 2019, Okeluse in Ose Local Government Area of Ondo state registered its name in the list of communities where minors become traditional rulers with the ascension of 16-year-old Senior Secondary II student, Oba Adeyeoba Oloyede Adekoya, Akinghare II, who was enthroned as the new Ojima Arujale of Okeluse.

At 16, many children would be having fun with other kids but not for Oba Adeyeoba, as he had been crowned king and traditional ruler of Okeluse at such a tender age, following the death of his father. The kingship fell on Oba Oloyede Adekoya as the only son out of four children of his late father who was the monarch of the town. Since the tradition of the ancient town demands the first son of the monarch who passed on should automatically ascend to the throne, the teenager was left with no option other than to become the traditional ruler of the town.

The kingmakers of the town wasted no time in pronouncing Adeyeoba as the new traditional ruler of Okeluse, while the state government expressly approved the choice of the people of the town. But a source close to the kingmakers explained that the community decided to pick the 16-year-old new king, who is the only son of the late monarch, in order not to  leave any vacuum as they believed that delaying his coronation till he is of age could set the stage for manipulation.

He however explained that the leaders of the community took precautions to avoid crisis and made the first daughter of the late king a Regent, first time such would happen in the history of the town, while the heir would go into seclusion.

When an Okeluse Oba joins his ancestors, his immediate younger brother becomes the Eleki or a regent, who acts as a regent till the Oba “elect” returns from seclusion. But our late monarch had a son. The family thought it would be dangerous to have a man among the brothers of the late Oba as a regent because he may not want to relinquish power in the future.

“The regent or Eleki is Princess Aderonke Adeyeoba, the late king’s first daughter. So far, the transition has been very peaceful and smooth. In Okeluse, the Obaship title is from father to son. It is the Oba’s family who exclusively handles the installation of a new Oba in Okeluse. The young son will go back to school and by the grace of God to the university so that the institution will not tie him down” he said

Oba Adeyeoba, before heading for seclusion, demanded that he should be allowed to conclude his education and was granted before being sent into seclusion for 90 days where he underwent traditional rites.

Speaking on his journey to the throne, the young monarch described it as unexpected as it came too soon. The young and shy monarch said he has been adapting to his new status after he finished with secondary school education and learning the ropes from the traditional Chiefs.

“I was born in Benin City (Edo State). Later, we came to Okeluse where l actually grew up. I attended primary school here, and for secondary education, l attended Greater Tomorrow International College, Arigidi-Akoko where l just finished,” the king said.

On his enthronement, Oba Adeyeoba said “I was very much surprised when appointed because I was very young then. It looked like a dream; I was in school then in JSS 3. It was a Tuesday morning, they told me in school then that my dad said I should come home. I was surprised and asked myself, what was going on, “The reason is that I went home only when we had holidays, so saying my dad asked me to come home was strange and surprising to me.

Though I knew he was in hospital then, I didn’t know he had passed on.  They told my guardian not to tell me. Actually, I was 15 years plus during my enthronement because it was two months to my 16th birthday. The tradition of my town stipulates that the first male child of the reigning king is automatically the successor of the king and, in my own case; I’m the only male child in our family. That is how I became king and succeeded my late father,” Oba Adeyeoba stated.

He however, said he was left with no other option than to ascend the throne after his father but said he begged the kingmakers to allow him to complete his education and had to return to his school in Ikare Akoko to complete his secondary school education.

“I had to return to the boarding house (in school); so I stayed in school. I had people doing things in the palace for me while l was away in school, and if it was necessary for me to be present, l would quickly leave school and come back as soon as possible. At times they call, to get final answers and approval on some issues.

“At times, l would go for meetings and come back to school. Every last Tuesday of the month, I would go for traditional rulers meeting and if there was an occasion that I needed to attend, I would attend and return to school,” he explained.


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