a drawing of Akitoye, Oba of Lagos with a missionary
King Akitoye here depicited in a 1870 book, “Missions-Bilder. Achtes Heft. Sierra Leone und Yoruba,” as embarrassed to be caught sacrificing pigeons to his personal Orisha. Photo: Orisha Image

Akitoye was the British protégé Oba of Lagos who signed an anti-slavery treaty with the Lagos Consulate in 1852. He was one of the sons of Ologun-Kutere, who was the favored son of Oba Akinsemoyin’s sister, Erelu Kuti. Akitoye’s first ascension to the throne was in 1841 but he was sacked by his nephew, Kosoko after five years, to regain his position in December 1851 with the British gunboat bombardment that led to Kosoko’s exile in Epe.

Akitoye was an amiable and pleasant man with great love for peace. Even British deliverer of his in the year of his reinstatement remarked he did not appear to be a man likely to maintain his place by physical influence. This pleasant but weak quality was responsible for his ousting by his more charismatic nephew. Akitoye died in 1853 and was succeeded by his son, Dosunmu, also called King Docemo.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer