Government 2, May/June 2014  
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question 6

Identify five functions and powers of the King Makers in the Yoruba pre-colonial era.



This question was unpopular as it was avoided by some of the candidates. The few ones who attempted it did not perform well; they failed to provide correct answers to the questions. The candidates were expected to provide the following answers in order to score good marks.

           (i)         To publicly announce the demise/death of any Oba/King who passed on.
           (ii)        To perform certain rituals during and after the burial of the late Oba/King.
           (iii)       To request the ruling family to nominate some aspirants to be considered/screened for the vacant stool/post of the Oba/King.
           (iv)       To screen all nominees/aspirants (in conjunction with the ifa/oracle priest) for the vacant stool/post of the Oba/King.
           (v)        To announce the successful nominee as the sole candidate for the vacant stool/post of the Oba/King.
           (vi)       To install the sole candidate as the new Oba/King.
           (vii)      To carry out certain rituals before, during and after the installation/crowning of the new Oba/King.
           (viii)     To decorate the new Oba/King as the “KABIYESI” by placing the crown and some purified leaves on his head and hand over to him the staff of office.
           (ix)       To check against possible excesses, despotism, tyranny or abuse/misuse of power/office by the Oba/King.
(x)        The Council of the King Makers had the power to investigate the Oba/King on any allegation brought to the Council by the people/subjects.

  1. It had the power to proclaim or declare the total rejection of the Oba/King by the people and the gods of Yoruba land, if the Oba/King was found guilty.
  2. It had the power to advise the Oba/King to either commit suicide or go into exile (abdicate throne).
  3. It had the power to force/compel the Oba/King to sight the forbidden contents of the occult calabash.
  4. It had the power to decline/refuse to decorate any female regent who did not appear before it in a complete/full Yoruba male dress.
  5. In the event of the absence or incapacitation of the Oba/King the Chairman of the Council, Bashorun, acted as a regent Oba/King.
  6. To preserve the sacredness of the institution of Obaship and ensure that it is not desecrated.      


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