5 Most Powerful Nigerian Deities

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Robin Okwanma
Written by Robin Okwanma
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Almost every country all over the world has legendary mythologies about powerful deities. Nigeria is no exception, years before Christian and Muslim religion took over, gods were served and worshipped in different ways. There are many tribes in Nigeria and they all had different gods they worshipped. Stories of how powerful they were sent fear through any listeners ear. In this article, we’ll be looking at 5 most powerful Nigerian Deities known.

This is a though call, but the list will be affected by the dominant tribes in Nigeria. Other tribes may have tales of gods whose power even surpass those mentioned in this list. But popularity matters and the names listed below are not new to any true Nigerian’s ear. Igbo and Yoruba land totally dominate this list but more will be addes as we get more updates.


If you’re a Nigerian, irrespective of your tribe, you can’t deny the popularity of this name. Kudos to Nollywood, they have been responsible of this spread of popularity as they use this term very often in their movies. Amadioha is one of the most popular gods of old worshipped by the Igbo tribe in Nigeria.

Amadioha is the god/arusi (deities)of thunder and lightning of the Igbo people of south eastern Nigeria. He is first and foremost known as a god of justice. Amadioha speaks through thunder, and he strikes with lightning.In some parts of Igbo land, he is referred to as AmadioraKamalu (which is short for Kalu Akanu),Kamanu, or Ofufe. He is revered in the same way a god is, lovingly and fearfully. Metaphysically, Amadioha represents the collective will of the people. He is also considered the creator God and the god of love, peace and unity. His name is used as oaths in Igbo land and carry death penalties when broken.

He never manifested as a human. Unlike his fellow thunder and lightning deities, Amadioha doesn’t carry an object of power like Thor carries his hammer or like Shango carries his axe. His symbol is a white ram. From witness reports, Amadioha at times appears to people in the form of a large white ram.

Also Read- 10 Popular Nigerian Superstitions You Should Know


Ogun is popularly known as the god of iron and is one of the first Orisha to descend to earth. He first came to earth as a hunter and was named Tobe Ode. He was the husband of Oya. In yourba land, and all over the country, the name “ogun” is no stranger to people’s ear.

Ogun is the Yoruba “god of war and iron, he is also a warrior. The first Orisha to descend on earth. He is also the first king of Ife, which in the Yoruba cosmology is where life started. He is usually worshipped by warriors, hunters, blacksmiths, technologists and drivers who believe in the old gods. His symbols are metal, dog and palm frond.


Sango is one of the most worshipped gods in Yoruba land. As Amadioha is to igbo culture and Thor is to Norse mythology, Sango is the Yoruba god of thunder.

Sango is one of the ancestral fathers and Orishas of the Yoruba, Caribbean and certain Latin American people. He is the highly reverenced god of Thunder, Lightning, and Electricity who was also the third Alaafin of Oyo. Sango was a powerful ruler who brought prosperity to his land. He gained his powers from a babalawo (herbalist) when he sought more power to destroy his enemies. Sango gained the powers to control lightning and was subsequently possessed by the spirit of lightning marking his ascendance into Orisha level. He was also said to breathe fire and apparently never died.

His symbol is a double-headed axe, which represents swift and balanced justice. He is the owner of Bata (double-headed drums), as well as the Arts of Music, Dance and Entertainment in the Yoruba Culture.


This might be the most frightening god on this list. Ogbunabali literally translates to “The one who kills at night” he is the god of death in Igbo tradition.  He is a terrifying god that strikes terror in the heart of bad people because he is known to dish out very violent deaths to the wicked.


Esu is a fundamental Orisa and of great importance in Yoruba land. There is no shrine you will get to in Yoruba land where you will not see the image or a representation of Esu. In fact, well-established towns also have their ESU at a spot, some in the entrance of the town. Esu in Yoruba tradition is sometimes viewed as the executioner.

There you have it, do you have something else in mind? Did we miss anyone? Kindly let us know using the comment section below and don’t forget to share.


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Robin Okwanma

Robin Okwanma