Saturday 18 May 2024

A Series Of Excerpts From The Oral Records Of Lagos

The first Oba of Lagos was Ado, the son of Prince Ashipa of the Kingdom of Benin. Ado had three children, Gabbaro, Akinsemoyin and a female, Erelu Kuti. After the death of Ado, his eldest son, Gabbaro, succeeded him. Gabarro's line became extinct because he had no child. Therefore, upon his death, Akinsemoyin, his younger brother, succeeded to the crown.

While Akinsemoyin was ruling, Erelu Kuti married Alagba, the high priest that had predicted that her brother would become Oba. Alagba, an Ijesha man from Ilesha, subsequently served as a chief in the court of his brother-in-law.

Oba Akinsemoyin built a palace called Iga Alagba at Idumota for him because he could not belong to the Oba's household as a non-member of the royal family. Akinsemoyin, according to clan history, subsequently had a set of male triplets after having a number of daughters. Because it was a taboo in those days to have twins, let alone triplets, the three boys were smuggled out of the palace. Due to the poor condition under which they were kept, two of them died, leaving one alive. This son went on to live an ordinary life as a commoner.

Due to this, when Akinsemoyin died in 1749 after ruling for 44 years, Ologun Kutere (the product of the union between Erelu Kuti and Alagba) was made Oba in his stead. Though the late king is said to have had other sons after the set of triplets, they are said to have been very young at the time of their father's death.

It is now believed by scholars of tribal history that due to Akinsemoyin's magnanimity, he did not see the need to perpetuate his branch of the dynasty by having one of his elder daughters serve as regent, pending when the eldest of his subsequent sons would come of age. As a sign of the love he had for his sister, before he died, he instead sanctioned the appointment of Ologun Kutere as his successor.

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