History of Olubadan

The Olubadan (Olubadan means Lord of Ibadan) is the royal title of the king of Ibadan land in Nigeria, now a largely symbolic role. According to the outline history of Ibadan by Oba Isaac Akinyele, Ibadan was founded in the 16th century. Around 1820, an army of Egba, Ijebu, Ife and Oyo people won the town during their wars with the Fulanis. After a struggle between the victors the Oyo gained control in 1829. By 1850 they had established their unusual succession principle, which is quite different compared with other traditional Yoruba rulers in that it alternates between two lines, a system where the Baale line (civic) and Balogun Isoriki line (military) shared power, subject to a traditional council representing both lines. It takes decades to groom an Olubadan for the stool through stages of chieftaincy promotion.

In 1885 C.E. the Royal Niger Company became effective rulers of the area, signing treaties with local powers such as the Olubadan, and in 1900 the British government formally assumed authority over Nigeria as a “Protectorate”. The British created the Ibadan Town Council in 1897, using the traditionally powerful local chiefs to administer their town. In 1901 the Governor Sir William MacGregor introduced an ordinance whereby the Baale became the president of the Council while the Resident was only to advise when necessary. (Rulers of Ibadan were generally referred to as Baale until 1936, when the title of Olubadan was resuscitated)