Regent Adesida Adetutu of Akure
Female children of a late Oba presides in her father’s palace pending the time a new Oba will be chosen. Here, Dr. Adetutu Adesida of Akure- 2014. Photo by George Oshodi. Courtsey of Newark Museum

Regency is the system where an institution is conferred with the duty of governing a kingdom or country during a monarch’s childhood, illness or absence. Following an Oba’s demise, the politics, complexities and intrigues of the process of selecting another very often tax the wisdom and maturity of even seasoned kingmakers who have had previous experiences at selecting an oba. The regent is in charge with ultimate authority, of course with the suport of the chiefs. In several Ondo and Ekiti communities, a princess can be regent during an interregnum. She is given the cloak of power, symbolizing the fullness of her authority but she may not wear this when menstruating. The so called Omo Iya Marun un, consisting of original Egba five township chiefs, play a role as king makers and caretakers in the event of an interregnum in the Alake‘s stool.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer