The news that the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu disrespected the Ooni of Ife is one that will shock anyone familiar with the hierarchy of Yoruba kings in Yoruba land.
Although the ranking of Kings or Obas in Yoruba land has been a controversial subject, many agree that the Ooni of Ife is one of the most powerful rulers.
The snubbing of Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi by the Oba of Lagos is therefore a serious breach of the respect normally accorded the crown.
To answer the question, the Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, revealed the top 5 paramount rulers in Yoruba land.
1. Ooni of Ife
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi is the most powerful king in Yorubaland. The Alake says the Oni is the first of the five principal Obas in Yorubaland just like the Sultan is the highest ruler in northern Nigeria.
2. Alaafin of Oyo
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III ranks second among the Obas in Yorubaland. The Oyo Dynasty dates back to the Old Oyo empire which recognises Alaafin as emperor.
3. Oba of Benin
While some say that the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II is the highest as he heads the Eweka dynasty of the great Benin Kingdom and that the Yoruba people descended from Benin.
However, the Alake ranks the Oba of Benin as third. Also, the title of Oba, used to mean king was first created by Oba Eweka 1, Benin’s first Oba who ascended in 1180.
4. Alake of Egbaland
The Alake of Egbaland, Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo III is ranked as the fourth paramount ruler in Yoruba land. He is the ruler of Egbaland in Ogun State. Egba consists of Egba Alake, Owu Kingdom, Oke-Ana and Gbagura.
5. Awujale of Ijebuland
The Awujale of Ijebuland, Sikiru Kayode Adetona is the least of the five principal Obas in Yorubaland. Ijebu kingdom dates back to pre-colonial period of 15th century.