Independence Month Series: September 29, 1960

The Governor of Western Nigeria, Sir Adesoji Aderemi, on this day recognized Chief A.M.F. Agbaje, Chairman of the Ibadan District Council, as the Osi Are of Ibadan, and this allowed the new chief become a member of the Western Region’s House of Obas and Chiefs.

Aderemi Adesoji
Oba Aderemi on his throne

Sir Titus Martins Adesoji Tadeniawo Aderemi I, alias Adesoji Aderemi, KCMG (15 November 1889 – 7 July 1980), was a Nigerian political figure and Yoruba traditional ruler as the Ooni (King) of Ife (or Ilé-Ifẹ̀, as it is properly known) from 1930 until 1980. He also served as President of the Western House of Chiefs and the Legislative Council of Nigeria. He served as the governor of Western Region, Nigeria between 1960 and 1967.

Adesoji Aderemi was known as a very wealthy man and had a large family of many wives and children.

During the colonial era, the Oba Ooni gained a considerable amount of power due to the colonial policy of indirect rule and being labeled a first class Oba among traditional rulers in Yorubaland. The policy of indirect rule was used to ensure native awareness and consultations about colonial policies affecting the regions. The British leaned on existing native political structures and hierarchy, particularly the Nigerian traditional rulers, for political consultation and tax collection. Later on, the Ooni with the consent of the leading Yoruba political leaders used his position to close the gaps of exploitation of divisional differences among Yorubas and tried fervently to rally the Yoruba towards a common goal. In 1962, the king acting as governor used his power to remove the premier of the region, sensing the premier did not have the support of the majority members of the House of Assembly. The event escalated the political rivalries in the region. (The Akintola/Awolowo saga).

Aderemi Adesoji1
Oba Aderemi, the Ooni of Ife and Winston Churchill, the British prime minister

Chief A.M.F. Agbaje. M.H.A. Barrister– at – law. The first Ibadan Indigene to qualify as a lawyer. Born January 1920. Educated at Ibadan Grammar School; Kings College Lagos; Trinity College, Dublin; Middle Temple, London. Called to bar in January 1945. Admitted member of Midland circuit and practised in Birmingham in October, 1945. Member Western House of Assembly, 1956  Chairman Ibadan Council.

Aderemi Adesoji2
Oba Aderemi and Queen Elizabeth (Two powerful monarchs in their own right)

Also on that day, Igbo elements resident in Tiv Division of Northern Nigeria petitioned the senior district officer of the area to help them obtain compensation for the damage they suffered during the riots in the division.

And finally, the Northern people’s congress (NPC) federal territory congress (NPC) federal territory secretariat opened in Lagos


Historical Flashback newspaper vol. 3 No. 9

A.I. Asiwaju, Political Motivation and Oral Historical Traditions in Africa: The Case of Yoruba Crowns, 1900-1960 Journal of the International African Institute > Vol. 46, No. 2 (1976).


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