Life History  

Welcome to the page that provides the life history of Oba Ogunleye II,The Elemure of Emure (1965-1974). Emure is also known as Emure - Ekiti. On this page, you will find information about his:


Birth and Family



Life as an Oba (King)



Birth and Family
HRM Alayeluwa Oba (King) Ogunleye II Amugbayanwo (born Prince Emmanuel Taiwo Ogunleye) was born circa October 12, 1922. He was the ninth (9th) Elemure of Emure-Ekiti (1965-1974). Oba Ogunleye II was born to HRM Oba (King) Ogunleye I Odundun (1931-1952) and HRH Olori (Queen) Bolangbe Ogunleye (nee Ojomu Ogedu Arintokun). His only full sibling was his Senior Sister, Princess Alice Fagite Fagbemi* (nee Elemure Oba Ogunleye I Odundun).

He was born in Emure-Ekiti during the reign of his uncle, Elemure Oba Adeyemi Ayibiowu Atobatele (Ajirotutu III). The date of King Ogunleye II’s birth was not recorded, but he was said to have been born two years before the death of his uncle, King Atobatele. According to oral history, he was born immediately after Iluyanwa (The Annual New Yam Festival), which was (and is still) celebrated in September of every year. Since King Atobatele died in May 1924, and it was said that King Ogunleye II was born slightly more than one and a half years and less than two years before his uncle’s death, therefore Ogunleye II could not have been born in 1921 or 1923. Most likely, he was born in 1922. Since Iluyanwa is celebrated in September, Oba Ogunleye II Amugbayanwo later chose October 12 as his birthday. Coincidentally, his first child, Princess Adenrele was born on that same 12th of October.

He was baptized on October 10, 1936 and it states on his Baptismal Certificate that the ceremony was performed at ‘The District of Ekiti, in the Diocese of Lagos’. His sponsors for the baptismal service were D. O. Adebiyi, J. Olorundero and L. Labusayo. The baptism was performed by Reverend T. B. Fayemi.

The future King Ogunleye II grew up under the strict and watchful eyes of his mother, Olori (Queen) Bolangbe, who had just two surviving children – the Prince and his senior sister, Princess Alice Fagite. Olori Bolangbe had given birth to a total of twelve children, out of which only two survived. She was also very protective of the future King because at his birth, there had been a prophecy that he would be crowned as king. In a typical royal polygamous setting bedeviled by petty jealousies, this was a particularly delicate situation. As part of precautionary measures, his mother dressed him in female clothing for more than seven years after his birth so that he would not be identified as a male child, which could have led to his being killed or harmed. This hide and seek game might also have contributed to his starting school at a very advanced age. To justify this excessive cautionary measure, there was a day when he followed one of his older cousins to the farm. The cousin had earlier set a large trap in a banana grove. He then sent the young prince to go and bring something from the grove, knowing that he would have to walk over the trap. Fortunately for the young prince, his father, who was not yet a king at this time, came upon the duo, and nipped the potentially dangerous situation in the bud.

The life of Oba Ogunleye II was one of struggles, challenges, successes and accomplishments. He began his educational career at St. Paul’s Anglican Primary School, Emure-Ekiti in 1932. He started school at a very advanced age. His peers recalled that when they had already started school, he would sit by the window, looking wistfully at them on their way to school. By the time he would convince his father to send him to school; his peers were already about four years ahead. Fortunately however, once he started school, he proved to be very hard-working and brilliant that he was given double promotion twice. This brought him to the same class as his peers, and to the chagrin of many of them, he still beat them hands down, coming first in all the examinations.

Some of his peers were so miffed at this development that they would wait for him outside the perimeter of the school fence after school hours, and attempt to beat him up. Fortunately for him, he was always able to evade them. In another happy development, the boy, Prince Emmanuel
 Ogunleye was given another double promotion which now took him outside the Emure precinct. The primary school at Emure-Ekiti terminated at Standard Four, so brilliant pupils had to go outside the town for further education. Prince Emmanuel Taiwo Ogunleye then had to proceed to a school at Owo and later, Emmanuel Primary School, Ado-Ekiti, to complete his primary education.

After the successful completion of his primary education, Prince Emmanuel Ogunleye proceeded to Oduduwa College, Ile-Ife, Western Nigeria for his secondary education. His education was however curtailed due to lack of funds. He had to leave the school halfway through his studies. In writing a testimonial for him, his school principal, Mr. S.A. Adeyefa, had this to say:

“He was found to be honest, diligent and obedient to his masters, he was vey industrious in his lessons and thirsts for secondary education. At the moment, he has nobody to support him financially … I recommend him to anyone who may require his services.”

His father, Oba Ogunleye I Odundun, Elemure of Emure (1931-1952) had stopped sponsoring the young prince’s education under the pretext that if he continued sponsoring him, he would have to sponsor his other children. He claimed that he didn’t have the resources to perform such a gargantuan task! He also claimed that since he did not send his senior children who were older than Prince Emmanuel to school; his other wives would be angry if Prince Emmanuel  were to be the only educated child in the family.

The father, Oba Ogunleye I Odundun had thirteen wives. At this juncture, one of King Odundun’s wives, Olori Olugbe, challenged the king, asking him why an Oba (King) should not be able to sponsor just one out of his numerous children. She therefore advised him to pay Prince Emmanuel’s school fees but Oba Ogunleye Odundun refused and stood his ground. Consequently, Prince Emmanuel could not continue with his secondary education. He then went to Badagry and Lagos where he worked with some Europeans and later enrolled at St. Andrew’s College, Oyo. He obtained the then highly prestigious Higher Elementary Certificate from the College in 1946. This was one of the highest qualifications that could be obtained in Nigeria at the period before the first University in Nigeria (University of Ibadan) was established in 1948. He was a self-made man.

Prince Emmanuel Taiwo Ogunleye continued to thirst for further education. He therefore registered for a correspondence course at the University of London’s Institute of Education where he obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Education. However, he never used the degree certificate to work because he was crowned the Elemure of Emure immediately after his graduation.

The future Oba Ogunleye II married Olori (Queen) Christiana Abigail (born Miss. Christiana Abigail Oguntuase). Her father was High Chief Joseph Oguntuase Ojimo of Emure, and her mother was Madam Sarah Oguntuase. Christiana Abigail was a primary school teacher at St. Paul’s Anglican Primary School, Emure-Ekiti when they got married. However, their first contact was as students in the primary school when Prince Emmanuel was first given double promotion. He was promoted to Christiana Abigail’s class. However, he didn’t stay long in the class before he was again promoted (double promotion) ahead of her. It was in 1950 that Prince Emmanuel took his wife (Christiana Abigail) to his new station at Abeokuta. They later moved together to many other stations before Prince Emmanuel ascended the throne of his forefathers in 1965, and they returned home to Emure as a formidable team to rule and reign. The marriage was blessed with many children:

Princess Adenrele Dele 
Prince Adetunji
Princess Tejumade
Prince Emmanuel Temitope
Prince Oluwasegun
Princess Aderinsola
Prince Adeyemi
Princess Temilade

Life as an Oba (King)
After the coronation, HRM Oba Ogunleye II Amugbayanwo and Olori (Queen) Abigail Ogunleye moved to the palace called Aafin Elemure, in the centre of Emure, the main official residence of the Emure monarchs.

Emure witnessed tremendous growth and expansion during his reign. HRM Alayeluwa Oba Emmanuel Taiwo Ogunleye II was the Chairman of the Ekiti Southern District Council of Obas of the old Western State of Nigeria. During his reign, Emure’s Postal Agency was upgraded to a full-fledged Post Office in 1972. This was in acknowledgment of the position of importance occupied by Emure-Ekiti during this period. A modern Post Office was built, second only to the Akure Post Office, which was the most beautiful in the old Ondo Province. A modern Motor-Park was constructed for Emure during this period. In 1972, a Shopping Centre was built in front of the palace. Many churches sprang up in the town during Oba Emmanuel Taiwo Ogunleye II’s reign. This includes the famous Apostolic Faith Church. The foundation stone for St. Paul’s Anglican Church was laid on December 30, 1971 and it was eventually dedicated in 1980. St. Peter’s Anglican Church was built and dedicated during his reign. The ultramodern mosque in Oke-Emure Quarters of the town  had its foundation stone laid in 1969. The Catholic Maternity, which has now been upgraded to a full-fledged hospital was constructed and commissioned in 1972.

Oba Emmanuel Taiwo Ogunleye II provided the land for the construction of the Emure Town Hall in February 1974 and he was able to attract the support of his cousin, Prince Samuel Olaoye Ogunsina in developing the site. Prince S. O. Ogunsina was popularly known by his cognomen, Oremeji and he was conferred with a honorary chieftancy title, The Araba of Emure-Ekiti by Oba Ogunleye II. Prince (Chief) Samuel Olaoye Ogunsina bankrolled the construction of the modern Town Hall. The edifice was completed by October and it was commissioned on November 23, 1974. Oba Ogunleye II initiated a water scheme project as far back as 1968. The pipe borne water project was about to reach its completion when he joined his ancestors in 1974. He worked tirelessly to complete the project for Emure, but it was not to be. He also worked assiduously on the Emure Rural Electrification Project. The fruit of this project was to manifest after his reign.

Emure people were so much economically empowered that they were able to take care of themselves and contribute to the development of the community. During Oba Emmanuel Ogunleye II’s reign, private businesses boomed. A lot of business tycoons emerged in the town. Peace and tranquility also reigned supreme over the land. Oba Ogunleye II ’s era was very prosperous. He was majestic, kind, selfless and helpful. He lived in his palace throughout till he joined his ancestors. He lies buried with his ancestors at the royal burial ground called ALUA OMOLORE, reserved only for Emure monarchs.

Oba Ogunleye II Amugbayanwo (Ajirotutu VI) was the son of Oba Ogunleye I Odundun (Ajirotutu V). His grandfather was Oba Ogunsusi Ajirotutu I (1851-1901), while his great-grandfather was Oba Adumori Ogunragaboja (1780-1845).
Adumori Ogunragaboja was the first Elemure at the new Emure-Ekiti site. Oba Ogunleye II’s mother, Olori Bolangbe hailed from Emure. She was the daughter of High Chief Ojomu Ogedu of Emure and her mother was Olajenboye, the daughter of High Chief Ojomo Agunloye I of Owo. There was obviously a very cordial relationship between Emure and her neighbors, which can be seen from Emure men marrying the daughters of their neighbors. Olajenboye hailed from Owo, while Oba Ogunleye I Odundun’s mother was Olori Afuyeye, who came from Ikare.
Oba Ogunleye II’s grandfather, Oba Ogunsusi Ajirotutu (1851-1901) had many sons and some of them also reigned after him. These include:

Oba Fagbegi Owoso (Ajirotutu II): 1902 – 1907
Oba Ayibiowu Atobatele (Ajirotutu III): 1908 – 1924
Oba Ogunloye Arosoye (Ajirotutu IV): 1924 – 1931
Oba Ogunleye Odundun (Ajirotutu V): 1931 – 1952

The first three kings mentioned above were Oba Ogunleye II Amugbayanwo’s direct uncles, while the fourth (Oba Ogunleye Odundun) was his father. This shows that indeed, he hailed from a family of royalty and qualifies to be referred to as Ogunleye II Amugbayanwo (Ajirotutu VI).

1. Oba Ogunleye II Amugbayanwo of Emure-Ekiti
2. Oba Ogunleye I Odundun of Emure-Ekiti (father of 1)
3. Olori Bolangbe (mother of 1)
4. Oba Ogunsusi Ajirotutu I of Emure-Ekiti(father of 2)
5. Olori Afuyeye (mother of 2)
6. High Chief Ojomu Ogedu (father of 3)
7. Madam Olajenboye (mother of 3)
Great- Grandparents
8. Oba Adumori Ogunragaboja of Emure-Ekiti (father of 4)
9. High Chief Ojomu Arintokun (father of 6)
10. High Chief Ojomo Agunloye I of Owo (father of 7)

HRM Oba Ogunleye II Amugbayanwo joined his ancestors on November 25, 1974, but his legacies and footprints live on in the hearts of men and in the physical space and geographical terrain called Emure-Ekiti.

Oba Ogunleye II was an historic figure who contributed to the development of Emure-Ekiti during his lifetime. He was a rare combination of personal skills and public mission. He divided his life between humanitarianism and education, between personal achievements and public service. Oba Ogunleye II was an accomplished educationist, scholar and leader.

The essence of Oba Ogunleye II's life can be distilled in a quote from some of his younger brothers. According to them, "Oba Emmanuel Taiwo Ogunleye II was the person that brought love into Oba Ogunleye I Odundun's family". He never discriminated against anybody, gathering all and sundry together and showing them love, offering help and encouragement for the advancement of humanity.


*Princess Alice Fagite Fagbemi's (nee Oba Ogunleye I Odundun) Children:
1.) Mr.Thomas Fagbemi 2.) Mr. Clement Fagbemi 3.) Madam Solape Fasanmi 4.) Madam Elizabeth Oguntuase 5.) Madam Victoria Ogundare 6.) Madam Janet Ogundare 7.) Chief Victor Fagbemi




HRM Oba (King) Emmanuel Taiwo Ogunleye II Fielding Questions from Journalists in his Palace 


The Issue of Age

The issue of age among the Yoruba of Western Nigeria is quite interesting. Many people, for one reason or the other, either subtract from or add years to their age. For instance, civil servants who want to spend more years in government service before retiring would reduce their ages. It is however regarded as a matter of pride to be the eldest person in a community. Consequently, some people ascribe a higher age to themselves to enjoy the honor and dignity ascribed to elders within the society. This can only be described as falsification of age.

Examples abound to illustrate this malaise: It is alleged that one of the earliest Ooni of Ile-Ife, King Lafogido reigned for ‘three hundred years’! In the present generation, some Nigerian newspapers wrote that the music maestro, Orlando Owoh died at the age of seventy-four while his mother was said to be over a hundred years old at the time of her son’s death. In
The Nation Newspaper of November 30, 2008 (page 7),the aged mother however cried out that she was only eighty-seven years old and that she gave birth to the dead music legend in February 1943. This clearly entails that Orlando Owoh was sixty-five years old when he died on November 4, 2008. The aged mother is clearly qualified to know her son’s birthday, by virtue of her educational status and her profession as an old school-teacher.

A final example is the eldest child of King Ogunleye I Odundun (Ajirotutu V) named Princess Ogunbusola. Her mother, Olori Oja Snr. was taken in levirate marriage after her original husband (King Ogunsusi Ajirotutu I) died in 1901. Any child she might have had for the future King Ogunleye I Odundun could only have been born after 1901. Ironically, some other children born to King Odundun years after this event by other wives were said to have been born between 1870s and 1890s. This would imply that their senior sister, Princess Ogunbusola was born in the 1860s rather than after 1901.

Many of
Oba Ogunleye II Amugbayanwo's contemporaries that died recently were ascribed ages ranging from one hundred to one hundred and ten. This signifies that they were born between 1899 and 1909.  Some of his surviving younger brothers and sisters now claim to be in their nineties and over hundred. This implies that they were born between 1909 and 1915!

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