The founder of the Ado kingdom was a prince of Ile-ife named Awamaro (the restless one) and Ewi (the speaker). He is said to have left Ile-ife with his elder brother Oranmiyan and gone to Ita Orogun and Benin with him after staying briefly with Oloba in Oba-Ile, Akure.
Both Oba of Benin and the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti first settled in Benin forests before disputes among their people led them to separate and the Ewi sought a new home westward at Utamodi (Oke Papa). Ewi Biritiokun and his son reigned there. It was Ewi Awamaro who migrated to Ilesun (Present day Ado-Ekiti) after staying briefly at Udoani (Ido Ani) and Agbado during the long trek. When Ewi Awamaro left Agbado, the elders remained behind to rest and gave the settlement the name Agba Ado (Elders’ Camp) – Agbado-Ekiti as the town is known today.
Ulesun people welcomed them warmly and neighbouring committees came together to assist their settlement (built homesteads for them) at Oke-Ibon in Odo Ijigbo. Eventually, Ewi and his people overthrew the existing political arrangements, conquered Ulesun community, displaced its ruler Elesun and established a new town. Awamaro’s spies encouraged him to attack Elesun with the support of Odolofin after he had settled down at Oke Ibon (now Odo Ijigbo) and with the conquest of Ulesun by Awamaro, the town of Ulesun changed its name to Ado or Ado-Ewi.
The Elesun (the King) who ruled over the town of Ulesun with its satellite towns i.e. Ukere (now Ikere), Isinla, Ulamoji, Agidimo, Ikewo existed in what is now known as Ado-Ekiti before the emergence of Ewi of Ado-Ekiti. The Elesun occupied the peak of a hierarchy where he had his subordinates as the Odolofin (Elesun second in command), Asao, Elegemo, Alamoji, Olisinla, Olulero, Olookori etc. Elesun was the head of the laity in the worship of Olota (god), the deity in charge of the security of Ulesun State. The Ulesun language was different from Yoruba (Ado-Ewi) language. Examples are Ideregbe (Ewure or Goat), Okeregba (Aja or Dog), Amomo (Alangba or Lizard), Usa (Ikoko or Pot), Ukere (Ago or Calabash Cup), Ogolomosi (Ibepe or Pawpaw), Oyeye (Epa or Groundnut). Some of the Elesun’s chiefs such as Odolofin and Asao were accepted into the Ewi’s system of chieftaincy after Awamaro’s conquest.
The Elegemo retained his post as Chief Priest and custodian of Iwemo Ogun. Ewi’s Warrior chiefs who provided military security for palace inhabitants were the Akogun at Irona, Oloja Ese at Oke Ese, Eleyinmi at Okeyinmi and Egbedi at Orereowu. Eventually, Ewi and his people overthrew the existing political arrangements after series of conflicts, conquered Ulesun community, displaced and killed its ruler Elesun, cut off his head and proceeded and established a new town, Awamaro named Ado, meaning ‘here we encamp’. Ewi Awamaro and his successors conquered villages and cottages in the neighbourhood, replaced their rulers with their own loyalists, stalwarts and scions of the royal family.
The important citizens of these conquered communities were relocated in Ado. Ewi supplanted Elesun as sovereign ruler of the aboriginal and settler population, many of Elesun’s Chiefs were confirmed in their offices but they swore oaths of allegiance to the Ewi. Many of the succeeding Ewi expanded the kingdom by force of arms, annexed territories and gave these territories to scions of the royal families, these assumed titles which became hereditary. The expansion and growth of Ado-Ekiti and the kingdom of Ado lasted over 400 years. In the course of this expansion, Ado became associated with certain traits.
Citizens of the kingdom in general and those of the mother town, Ado-Ekiti in particular were reputed for great attention to cleanliness. Traditions preserve numerous brave citizens of each Ado community, the best known were Ogbigbonihanran of Idolofin quarters, Ogunmonakan of Okelaja, Fasawo, a.k.a. Aduloju of Udemo quarters, and Eleyinmi Orogirigbona of Okeyinmi quarters – all of Ado-Ekiti and Ogunbulu, a.k.a. Ala l’oju Osoru of Aisegba. Folk, traditions are replete with fond references to Ewi’s relationship with some other Ekiti traditional rulers. Ewi’s antecedents are depicted as: Elempe Ekiti (mightiest man in Ekiti). Folk traditions of this nature vividly portray the towering position of Ado-Ekiti.
In the first place, Ado-Ekiti is situated at the heartland of Ekiti and is thus less exposed to cross-border attacks or non-Ekiti influences. Consequently, over many centuries, waves of immigrant groups seeking haven settled in Ado-Ekiti and several other Ado communities. Many of these immigrants were refugees, they left their old homelands in parts of Ekiti, Akoko, Owo etc. where their leaders lost out in chieftaincy contests.
Some were war captives, these were brought in droves by Aduloju and his lieutenants from their slave wars of the 1870s and 1880s in parts of Owo, Ose and Akoko. They were settled in Ado communities where they increased the local population, and enriched the culture with their lineage names and festivals in similar circumstances, citizens of Ado communities left their fatherland and settled in a few places in the neighbourhood up to Ijesaland.
Ibadan sacked many Ado communities in 1873 and made a huge haul of prisoners of war and other captives who eventually settled in Iwo, Ibadan and some Remo towns such as Iperu and Makun Sagamu. However, Ado communities especially the mother town offset part of their losses with a large number of slaves and prisoners of war from Owo, Ose and Akoko. Ado-Ekiti is one of the towns of the north eastern territory of Yoruba land and passed through a succession of military, political and cultural changes from the time of Ewi Awamaro (circa 1310 A.D) who migrated there to form what became Ado-Ekiti.
Ewi Awamaro subjugated Elesun’s neighbours and expanded his territory except Ukere (Ikere Ekiti) and his successors up to Yeyenirewu followed same steps that by 1550 A.D. Ado-Ewi had become a big power in the entire Ekiti country.
The Ewis that reigned at Ado from 1444 to 1552 were:
1. Ewi Ata (1444–1471)
2. Ewi Owakunrugbon (1471–1490)
3. Ewi Owamuaran (1490–1511)
4. Yeyenirewu – The regent (1511– 1552) Ewi’s military exploits during the period was to subjugate and annex his immediate territories extended to Ikere, Igbara Odo, Ogotun, Aramoko, Erio and Erijiyan among others.
5. Ewi Obakunrin (1552–1574)
6. Ewi Eleyo-Okun (1574–1599)
7. Ewi Afigbogbo Ara Soyi (1599-1630)
8. Ewi Gberubioya (1630-1696)
9. Ewi Idagunmodo (1696-1710)
10. Ewi Okinbaloye Aritawekun (1710-1722)
11. Ewi Amono Ola (1722-1762)
12. Ewi Afunbiowo (1762-1781)
13. Ewi Akulojuorun (1781-1808)
14. Ewi Aroloye (1808-1836)
15. Ewi Ali Atewogboye (1836-1885)
16. Ewi Ajimudaoro Aladesanmi I (1886-1910)
17. Ewi Adewumi Agunsoye (1910 – 1936)
18. Ewi Daniel Anirare Aladesanmi II (1937 – 1983),
19. Ewi Samuel Adeyemi George-Adelabu I (1984 – 1988)
20. Alayeluwa Ewi Rufus Adeyemo Adejugbe Aladesanmi III (the current Ewi of Ado-Ekiti).
Ado-Ewi was peaceful as war was abandoned in place of diplomacy and mutual relations strategy. Ewi Gberubioya divided the Ewi dynasty into three ruling houses of Owaroloye (Aroloye), Atewogboye and Arutawekun. Ewi’s sons that ruled in neighbouring areas during the reign of Gberubioya included Okunbusi who became Onigede, Adubienimu who became Alawo, the Onijan, Opoakin (of Iwere), Olu Akitipa (of Odo), Aramude, Olokun, Olurasa, Onikewo and Olotin.
One of his sons, Amujoye founded Igbemo and took the title of Oba of Igbemo from its inception.
The institution of Oba monarchy in Akure was established by Asodeboyede also known as ‘Ajapada’ (Aja ti o pa eku eda). Ajapada was reported to be the son of Ekun. Ekun was also known to be one of the several sons of Oduduwa. Oduduwa was reported to have also named Asodeboyede ‘Omoremilekun’ after Ekun had died during the pregnancy of Asodeboyede. Before Asodeboyede came to Akure, there were scattered settlements like Upalefa, Igan, Ileru and Odopetu.
Ourokutu and Omoloju were the most prominent elders in these settlements with a strong clash for leadership. Asodeboyede who arrived Akure with ‘Olojoda’ became the compromise candidate to head the United settlements of Upalefa and Odopetu. Asodeboyede nickname was Ajapada (aja pa eku eda). Omoloju the head of Upalefa settlement reigned after the death of Asodeboyede in 1180. Deji Obagbeyi Adegite who reigned between 1313-1363 was from Oba-Ile and Akure with pure royal parentage.
He established Erekesan market. He also brought the “isibi” and “Airegbe” festival from Oba-Ile to Akure. Deji Arakale (1768-1818) was on the throne when Binis invaded Akure and took away Prince Osupa Arakale who later returned to Akure as Deji.
Deji of Akure
Deji Osupa Arakale (1834-1846) resettled the ‘Ado Akures’ at Igbeyin and Eyinke quarters. Deji Arosoye (1890-1897) was the first Akure king to have had contact with the whites. He died on the 8th of January, 1897.
Eyemoin, the 26th Deji of Akure(Female), reigned between 1705 – 1735. Eyemohin originated opa Ipinsa and the popular oja Oshodi. She died at a street called ogirio and at a certain place (ibi ko o le si), it is the present odo eran at Araromi. Ogirio is the present Araromi.
Watch out for my new book titled “YORUBA INTERVENING HISTORY” to be released soon, you will be inspired and blessed.
Akinrere, the founder of Ikire, his son, Olaberinjo and grandson, Kujemilayo were elephant hunters
One has been following the debate on the Ife/Benin connection that ensued as a result of the confusion brought about by the controversial “assertion” by the Omon’Oba Erediauwa, that Oduduwa was a Benin prince named Ekaladerhan who escaped being sacrificed by his people. This generated confusion raised the need to confirm what one had known hitherto in concomitance with some further research. Though the research is still a continuous process, one could confidently put this out for the public consumption for passing the test of place, time and space.
a. Oduduwa did NOT migrate from the North or the East. He was a bonafide Yoruba prince who was politically astute and dexterous in the art of war. (Professor Banji Akintoye)
b. Before Oduduwa, Ife kingdom was a conglomeration of principalities ruled over by smaller kings without any supreme ruler.
c. Obatala was one of the rulers in one of these principalities around 700AD when the battle for supremacy first ensued. It went on and off for almost a century before Oduduwa, almost two generations younger to Obatala (though others think they are contemporaries), eventually emerged and started the “authentic unifying dynasty in Ile-Ife and later Yorubaland.”
d. Oduduwa did not migrate from the North East or Middle East as Samuel Johnson (an Oyo man, strong in Christian faith, who tried his “intellectual” best to link the origin of Yoruba to the Middle East, but contradicted by other sources) would want us to believe. In fact most scholars believe that his bias for his Christian faith and unmitigated fantasy for Middle East origination led him to come up with the name NIMROD, later translated to Lamurudu as predating Oduduwa at Ile-Ife. Neither did he (Oduduwa) come from heaven on a chain as mythologists would want us to believe. It was a myth created around him for transcendental, metaphysical and mystical endearment. It is the same kind of myth that surrounded Alaafin Sango because of his weird powers and was eventually turned into a god.
e. Oranmiyan was a grandson of Oduduwa but not a son of Oduduwa (Professor Jide Osuntokun) as Omon’Oba mischievously claimed in his book, reportedly.
f. Oduduwa only had one son, OKANBI
g. Okanbi had EIGHT children. SEVEN (Onipopo of Popo, Onisabe of Sabe, Alara of Ilara, Ajero of Ijero, Orangun of Oke-Ila, Owa Obokun Ajibogun of Ijesaland and Oranmiyan) by his “legal” wife, and one (OOni) by his slave turned wife, named ORUNTO.
h. The five of the seven children by the “legal” wife, went to found their own kingdoms. The sixth, Oranmiyan remained with their father who was very old and blind. He (Oranmiyan) was the de facto ruler carrying out war activities and defending Ile-Ife. Oranmiyan was a great warrior like his father and grand father. He soon became popular and legendary in Ife. Reports of his escapades became mythical. Lots of saying evolved about his awe inspiring prowess e.g. “eyi mo wi, Oranmiyan gbo, akin l’ogun.” The seventh son, AjIbogun, was away to the sea to fetch water to cure his father, Okanbi’s blindness.
i. Before Ajibogun’s arrival, the Ogiso’s had sent emissaries to Ile-Ife for help. Based on the report of these emissaries, Okanbi concluded that the troublesome and non-compliant Ogisos would need a very “strong hand.” Okanbi felt that this “strong hand” could be dealt by a warrior like Oranmiyan who has, before then, repeatedly proved his mettle. He believed that Oranmiyan would be able to do the assignment and put the fear of Orisha in the feuding Ogisos. So he sent Oranmiyan to Benin. And he did not disappoint.
j. The assignment in Benin took a while. Okanbi was getting too old. AjIbogun was presumed dead because he took long to return. Okanbi was concerned about a successor and had to inform the Ijoyes or chiefs to allow his child OOni begat by his favorite female slave, ORUNTO to ascend the throne if he died and Ajibogun never returned.
k. On arrival at Benin, Oranmiyan’s war like acts put the town in order. But as restless as he was, Oranmiyan was in Benin for close to three decades. But he never could stay for ever as his adventurous spirit took the better part of him. He installed his son Eweka and returned to Ife with the hope of becoming king.
l. On his return to Ife, Oranmiyan met his brother, Owa AjIbogun who had returned from the sea and eventually learnt, just like AjIbogun that he has a half brother, OOni.
m. Ooni was heir apparent until Ajibogun arrived and with Oranmiyan away to Benin.
n. Okanbi, so impressed with the efforts of Ajibogun to bring home the sea water now favored him for the throne. He Okanbi then called his chiefs to inform them that Ajibogun would take over the throne when he died.
o. It dawned on Oranmiyan that he could not ascend the throne with his father’s support for his brother, AjIbogun. He therefore left with his warriors towards North to found Oyo-Ajaka and became the first Alaafin.
p. After sometime Ajibogun declined to ascend the throne, saying he wanted to follow the footsteps of his six other brothers.
q. Okanbi decided that because he, AjIbogun made such a great sacrifice to cure his blindness, he must have more land than his brothers, If he chose not to have the throne. He (Okanbi) gave him (AjIbogun) the AJASE SWORD, which he (Okanbi) inherited from his father (Oduduwa) and told him (AjIbogun) that from the gate of Ife palace to as far as he could go would belong to him. This is why the front of Ife Palace is called “Enuwa” (“enu aala ile Owa” meaning “the boundary of Owa’s land”) till today.
r. Ooni was asked to tend the palace, but later became the ruler of the town after the demise of Okanbi.
s. Because Oranmiyan was a great, valiant warrior, the Yoruba people of his era used to describe him as “a true son of Oduduwa” after his grand father who was the first towering warrior in Yorubaland. This has always been the practice in Yoruba tradition before Oranmiyan and long after he had left the scene. This explains the reason why misguided Caucasian historians and untutored African/ Nigerian historians “assumed” he was “direct son” of Oduduwa. It is the same way many outside and inside Yorubaland refer to some eminent political leaders in Yorubaland today as “omo Awolowo.” But Awolowo never had more than five ‘real children” of his own. If sometime in the future, a grandson of Chief Oluwole Awolowo or Segun Awolowo (Jr) becomes a political heavyweight with heavy following, he would be referred to as “omo Awolowo” after his great grand father Obafemi Awolowo.
t. Now if Oranmiyan was second generation (with his father, Okanbi being the first) after Oduduwa, Professor Saburi Biobaku could not have been correct with the so-called “categorical historical date” of the “end of the 10th century” as quoted by C.O.O.Ugowe in his article Benin/Ife Connection: Relevance of Dating.
u. At the minimum, Oranmiyan was sent to Benin about 90 years after the peak of Oduduwa, gauging by his position among his father’s chldren (he was the youngest, because his half brother, Ooni was older than him) and the age of Okanbi at the time (which though, we do not have a certain number but could be inferred from his blindness caused by the aging process).
v. How could someone (Oduduwa) a bonafide Ife prince and king who was well beyond his peak approximately 60 to 70 years before the disappearance of Ekaladerhan, be that same Ekaladerhan? Does that make sense?
w. Ugowe wrote inter alia “If we add 40 years, the age when he (Oduduwa) arrived Ife to 34 years thereafter when he sent Oranmiyan to Benin, Oduduwa’s age stands at around 74 by the year 1029 AD.” Though, indications are that Oduduwa never arrived at Ile-Ife from anywhere, but let us, for the sake of discussion agree that he did. And at 40 years of age as Ugowe posited. Okanbi was Oduduwa’s son and we are assuming that he was born just five years on his “arrival” in Ife. Okanbi, we also assume married at the age of, say 25. Okanbi had 7 children by the same woman with and average of 3 to 4 years interval. Oranmiyan would not have been born until when Okanbi was between 46 and 53 years old. This means that Oduduwa’s age by now (if he was still alive) would be around 92 and 98 years old. Before Oranmiyan would have distinguished himself and be a respected and feared warrior, he ought to be at his peak too, which would be 40 years old, using Ugowe’s standard. At that age of Oranmiyan, Okanbi would be around 86 and 93 years old while Oduduwa (if he was still alive) would be around132 and 138 years old.
x. If according to Ugowe, Oranmiyan was sent to Benin 34 years after Ekaladerhan disappeared into the bush to escape his murderers, then Oduduwa at that time would be aged between 132-34=98 and 138-34=104 years. What Ugowe’s theory is suggesting then is that Ekaladerhan was between 98 and 104 years when he disappeared from Benin and took the arduous journey that led him to Ile-Ife to become Oduduwa, distinguish himself, marry and have a son in Oranmiyan! The fact is that this is not a scientifically tenable theory.
y. But to ensure that Omon’Oba does not look like he was hallucinating, they have to contend in all their “stories” that Oranmiyan was a direct son of Oduduwa when he was not.
z. What seem tenable from the variety of sources and actually confirmed by Ese Ifa or Ifa Divination is that ODUDUWA LIVED NOT VERY LONG AFTER OBATALA, IF NOT IN THE SAME ERA WITH HIM. BUT EVIDENTLY, ODUDUWA COULD NOT HAVE BEEN ALIVE IN 1029 WHEN THE PRESENT DYNSTY IN BENIN BEGAN BECAUSE HIS SON OKANBI WHO WAS ON THE THRONE AT IFE AT THAT TIME WAS EVEN TOO OLD AND HAD GONE BLIND BEFORE HE SENT HIS OWN SON, ORANMIYAN TO BENIN. INDICATIONS ARE THAT ODUDUWA NEVER ARRIVED AT IFE FROM ANYWHERE. HE WAS BORN IN IFE, RAISED IN IFE AND ROSE TO PROMINENCE IN IFE BY CONTESTING FOR POWER AND SUCCEEDED IN ESTABLISHING THE MORNACHIES IN YORUBALAND. Oduduwa was never in position to send Oranmiyan to Benin. At the time the Ogisos were at each other’s throats, Okanbi who was Oranmiyan’s father was very old and Oduduwa was long.
aa. Professor Banji Akintoye figured that Oduduwa came to limelight roughly around (or between) 780AD and 820AD. Ife Before Oduduwa published by University of Ife Press also has a view on this. Late Prince Adewumi Olukitibi (1887-1971) of Olukitibi Royal House in Iwara, Osun State agreed more with Professor Akintoye than with Professor Saburi Biobaku. One of the official authorities on the History of Ijeshaland, Pa Olaniran Gureje-Asogbe, also has his dates around this time.
bb. To prove how generations of half baked historians have tried to muddle up Yoruba history, in 1850, one Briton named David May met one Mr. Esugbayibi in Iye, in the northern part of Ekitiland. He had just settled between Ishan and ItayI Ekiti after returning from Eba-Odan (Ibadan). He had retreated to Eba-Odan to escape the Northern aggressors from across the Niger. He called his settlement “Ibi Aye le mi de” later shortened to Ayede which eventually became Ayede-Ekiti. Mr. Esugbayibi later told David May that his ‘beaded crown” was directly from Oduduwa. The only reason for this was that the crown was sent from Ile-Ife. But does this mean it was “directly sent from Oduduwa?” Thus the fact that Oranmiyan was sent from Ile-Ife does not translate to “Oranmiyan was sent by Oduduwa” himself.
cc. Also during the era of Momoh Latoosa, a.k.a. “Asubiaro” who was the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Ibadanland from 1878 to 1886, he had sent a message to the Ooni of Ife reminding him that that throne in Ile-Ife could legitimately be occupied by any Oduduwa son. This message was prompted by the support of Ooni to the Ekitis and the Ijeshas during the early years of Kiriji War. Aare Latoosa wondered why the Ooni would be doing that when the art of wars being used by the Ibadan came from the archives of Ile-Ife. He was indirectly inferring that if and when the Ibadan defeated the Ekitis and the Ijeshas, he would depose Ooni for his own favorite Oduduwa son. But does this mean that Aare Latoosa or whoever he was going to install was “direct son” of Oduduwa? No. But as a descendant of Oduduwa? Yes.
So, yes, Oranmiyan was sent from Ile -Ife to Benin to put the fear of Orisha in the Ogisos. Yes, Oranmiyan was Oduduwa’s grandson sent by his father, Okanbi to help his weaker neighbors. But it was not Oduduwa who sent him and Oduduwa never came from anywhere. In Yorubaland, nephews call their uncles “Baba” or father. Grandsons or great grandsons call their grand father or great grand father “Baba.” It does not mean there is “IMMEDIATE AND/OR DIRECT” biological connection. It was the practice before Oduduwa. It has been the practice after him. It would continue to be the practice In Yorubaland. You can study and comprehend Yoruba history better, if you have an understanding of the nuances of their culture.
This explanation becomes important in view of the recent developments and efforts of some historians of the “Feel – Good – History” genre to sacrifice authentic history on the altar of psychological renaissance and political relevance. The so-called debate or “intellectual enquiry” as some apologists of Omon’Oba Erediauwa would like to characterize it, is fast turning into a canonized cacophony. Rather than an “intellectual enquiry,” it has become an ego trip for a people who otherwise have a great history but are disturbingly inflicted with deflated self esteem. They have chosen over and over to selectively use an incorrect premise to convince the rest of us that Oduduwa came from Benin and that Oranmiyan was his son! To lend the dignity and respect of one of the esteemed offices of Oduduwa descendants to this kind of inanity for unquantifiable and largely ephemeral political gain is to say the least, very unbecoming.
The manner and way his sentries have been going about trumpeting the fallacy of their so called “historical discovery” showed that they have been overwhelmed by their burden of latter day smallness. They convey an attitude evidential of a need to feel important and be reckoned with. They project attention-seeking and the longing to belong. They manifested a concerted but traumatic effort to fill the gaping hole in the psyche of some who, though are freeborn, but go around with “slave mentality.” It is an attestation to the fact that “slavery” is not limited to the physical alone; it can also be a thing of the mind. It renders true one’s long held belief that you can be in chains and still be free and you can be free and still be in chain because freedom, as well as slavery, is a thing of the mind.
One could perceive the need for self validation on the part of these protagonists of “feel-good-history.” This, to be civil, is very pathetic. It becomes even more pathetic when the self validation they seek keeps eluding them. Hence they employ all arguments, logical and illogical, reasonable and unreasonable but all essentially loathsome and odious to make a point that would not stand. Thus, they foreclosed the possibility of ever becoming satisfied, manifesting an emptiness that has become more consuming. As the cacophony continued, one could see a withering in their psyche as their need for self validation became more intense and self destructive. In the process, they have been gradually destroying the “brotherliness” that has existed for centuries, thereby unnecessarily amassing more enemies, and increasingly isolating themselves and exacerbating their own sense of smallness.
When you are small, there is always the insatiable desire to want to be big. And there is nothing wrong with such desire. When such efforts yield no positive result, there is always the room for morbidity, permeated with tendentious acts of pretext leading to inadvertent pathological egoism. For this reason and with all due respect, one could understand the predicament of OmoN’Oba Erediauwa and his intellectual sentries. If Omon’Oba is bothered by the perceived smallness of his kingdom and his influence, one would suggest that he ought not to worry too much about it. This is because it is not how big you are that really matters, it is how glorious you have been and can still be that really matters. More so, he and his advocates should take to heart the advise of the late American First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt that, “No one can make you inferior without your consent.”
The Yoruba people do not have the need to want to be big, because they are BIG already. They need not pretend that Oduduwa was one of their great ancestors, because he is. They need not a new validation, to be politically relevant in the scheme of things, because they are already RELEVANT. This is the truth known not only to every true son and proud daughter of Yoruba, but also known to their admirers and detractors alike.
IFE/BENIN CONNECTION: THE RELEVANCE OF DATING AND THE BURDEN OF SMALLNESS-Remi Oyeyemi, NIGERIAWORLD.COM, Monday, August 9, 2004
Traditional rites for coronation of Attah-Igala commences http://t.co/MEDb4w135I
I recommend the biography of HRM Oba Adedoyin the Owa Ale of
Ikareland. it is a 206 paged book titled “Adimula Ti Ikare” it is quite revealing. please grab a copy.
Ilorin Afoja, Ilu tobi ko l’eegun… Esin l’eegun won
Ọyọ́ Aláàfin òjò pa ṣẹ̀kẹ̀rẹ̀ ọmọ Àtìbà. Ẹ̀sọ̀ pẹ̀lẹ́ o.
Oye ka ni fura bi aban sin ale eni lo
OGUN ALADA MÉJÌ
OFI OKAN SANKO
OFI OKAN YENA
ỌJỌ OGUN NTI ORI OKE NBỌ
AṢỌ INA LỌ MU BORA
ẸWU ẸJẸ LOWO OGUN
ỌLỌ NA ỌLA
OPỌN OMI SI ILE
FI ẸJẸ WẸ
OGUN AWỌN LE IJU
EGBE LEHIN ỌMỌ KAN
OGUN MÈJÈ LOGUN MI
The 40TH DEJI OF AKURE KINGDOM
Oba Alebiosu Obadua Ojijigogun Arosoye l, was born as Prince Alebiosu Obadua of the Asodeboyede dynasty. He became the Deji of Akure in 1890 and reigned for 7 years. He was the son of Oba Ojijigogun Arakale the Deji of Akure that reigned from 1852-1882. He had two half brothers: Prince Olofinlade Afunbiowo (later Adesida l ) and Prince Ifaturoti Adegoroye.
His father, Ojijigogun was the son of Oba Arakale, who was executed by the Benin Empire, while his uncle was Oba Osupa I. Several years before his birth, the Kingdom of Benin had invaded his father’s homeland and executed Oba Arakale, his paternal grandfather. The invaders spared his father’s family and they lived in Benin until the 1830s.
In 1882,When the Deji of Akure-his father Oba Ojijigogun Arakele died, this created a vacancy in the office and several eligible princes sought the throne including Prince Alebiosu Obadua two siblings, Afunbiowo and Ifaturoti and his first cousin, Odundun I. Oba Odundun was ultimately selected and was crowned shortly afterwards. Prince Alebiosu Obadua sought the throne again in 1890 when Odundun died and finally won. He reigned for a short time of seven years and died in 1897. After his death, his daughter Princess Aladerukube Aladejana became the Regent. His younger half brother, Oba Olofinlade Afunbiowo Adesida l later became the king and ruled thereafter for 60 years making him the longest reigning Deji in the history of Akure and ever since then, none of the descendants of Oba Arosoye has ever became the King.
Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, is dead.
Iku baba yeye (The one that eschew death for life):
Alaafin of Oyo ti waja,
Iku Omo Iku ti lo,
Arun Omo Arun ti lo,
Alase ikeji orisa ti lo.
Masquerades started in the olden days.
There was this particular woman whose husband had died in the thick forest where they both lived with their children. After the death and burial of the husband, the wife and children had to relocate to another settlement. Afterwards, life got horrific and horrible with the woman and her children.
They sought the advise of elders who in turn directed that they should consult with the oracle to show them the way out. The oracle after consultation directed that they should go back to the grave of their deceased father in the thick forest and bring his remains home. When they eventually got to their fathers grave, they dug up the grave and found his bone remains which is referred to as “eegun or egungun” in Yoruba language.
The oracle further directed that the “eegun or egungun” should be totally exhumed and wrapped in colourful clothes and be brought back to their new home with big fanfare. That dead man bones is called Egungun also referred to as masquerade while the dead man “ara orun kinkin” is also worshipped in accordance to the directive of the oracle till date. Egungun is part of the Yoruba pantheon of divinities.
In the tradition of Orisa and ancestor worship, the Egungun represents the “collective spirit” of the ancestors. Ancestor worship or reverence is everywhere in traditional Africa and Egungun is part of this worship.
Ancestors assure a place for the dead among the living. It is their responsibility to compel the living to uphold the ethical standards of past generations. Egungun is celebrated in festivals (Odun Egungun) and family ritual through the masquerade or custom. In family situations a family elder or Alagba presides over ancestral rites and may or may not be initiated into the local Egungun society.
But in community settings, Egungun priests and initiates that are trained in ancestral communication, ancestral elevation work and funeral rites are placed in charge of invoking and bringing out the ancestors. Elaborate costumes adorn the Egungun masqueraders (dancers) and through drumming and dance, these dancers become possessed with the spirits of the ancestors.
The Egungun then spiritually cleanse the community and through exaggerated acting/miming demonstrate both ethical and amoral behavior that occurred since their last visit, exposing the strengths and weaknesses of a community with hopes of encouraging behavior more befitting of their descendants.
Once this occurs, messages, warnings and blessings are doled out to spectators. Some important Egungun include Oloolu, Alapansanpa, both of Ibadan land, Alamudu and Aladoko in Akure, Egemurege in Ado Ekiti, Omormo in Akokoland, Gbegbe in Iragbiji, Elewe of the Ìgbómìnà Yoruba sub-ethnics, which is common in the towns of Òkè-Ìlá Òràngún, Ìlá Òràngún, and Arandun
CREDIT: Gbade TV
History of Orosun: Oral history records that Orosun travelled down to Ikori (in Akoko area) where she met and fell in love with Olofin Aremitan, the founder of Idanreland. Orosun was one of the many wives of Olofin Aremitan.
From Ikori, she went with Olofin to Utaja (in Idanre). Subsequently, Orosun went to Akoko to collect her belongings so that she could return to Idanre to settle down with Olofin as his spouse. However, before she returned, Olofin unfortunately passed away and the people had moved to Oke-Idanre. Orosun followed the Idanre people to Oke Idanre and eventually became espoused to Agboogun.
During the reign of Owa Baganju, Orosun, the beautiful lover of Olofin Aremitan returned to Ufe-Oke from Ikori her hometown to resume her relationship with Olofin Aremitan, only to find out that Olofin had passed away. Orosun remained in Ufe-Oke (which was later renamed Idanre) and eventually married Owa Baganju.
Orosun was generally loved by Idanre people owing to her love for children despite not having one herself (she had offered her only child as a human sacrifice whilst in Ile-Ife). She was known as a healer of sorts, often cooking herbs with her ‘Ikoko Aremo’ to cure children of their illnesses. At some point, perhaps as a result of political intrigue, Orosun became the target of communal hatred and she was eventually assassinated at the foot of the highest hill in Idanre.
After her death, the people consulted the Ifa Oracle who revealed that Orosun had being unjustly treated and the oracle mandated that Orosun be given a proper burial ceremony, be deified and sacrifices be offered to her annually. The highest mountain in Idanre, at the foot of which she reportedly died, is named after Orosun and the festivals continue to be held in her honour yearly.
(1) Ile-Ife was founded by Obatala
(2) Owo was founded by Ojugbelu.
(3) Oshogbo was founded by Queen Oso-Igbo
(4) Akure was founded by Omoremi Omoluabi
(5) Ondo was founded by Queen Pupupu
(6) Iwo was founded by prince Ogbaigbai.
(7) Oyo was founded by prince Oranmiyan
(8) Igede Ekiti was founded by Ake
(9) Abeokuta was founded by Shodeke
(10) Ilesha was founded by Owalushe Ajaka.
(11) Esie was founded by prince Baragbon
(12) Ijero Ekiti was founded by Prince Ogbe
(13) Sango-Otta was founded by Osolo and Eleidi Atalabi
(14) Igbesa was founded by Akeredun
(15) Iperu was founded by Akesan
(16) Ikire was founded by Akinere
(17) Ado Ekiti was founded by Awamaro
(18) Esa-Oke was founded by Omiran Adebolu.
(19) Ilorin was founded by Ojo Isekuse
(20) Ikorodu was founded by Oga.
(21) Ijebu-Ode founded by Olode
(22) Iree (Osun) was founded by three brothers: Larooye, Arolu and Oyekun.
(23) Ila-Orangun was founded by Fagbamila Ajagun-nla.
(24) Ikere-Ekiti was founded by Aladeshelu
(25) Ikole Ekiti was founded by Akinsale
(26) Ede was founded by Timi Agbale.
(27) Omu-Aran was founded by prince Olomu-Aperan
(28) Ode-Remo was founded by two hunters: Arapetu and Liworu.
(29) Ikirun was founded by Akinorun
(30) Saki was founded by Ogun
(31) Eruwa was founded by Obaseeku
(32) Iraye was founded by Odudu-Orunku
(33) Ogbomosho was founded by Ogunlola
(34) Offa was founded by Olalomi Olofa-gangan
(35) Inisa was founded by prince Ooku Eesun
(36) Ido Ani was founded by Oba Ozolua
(37) Ejigbo (Osun) was founded by Akinjole Ogiyan (Ogiriniyan)
(38) Okuku was founded by Oladile
(39) Efon Alaye-Ekiti was founded by Iji-Emigun
(40) Ijebu was founded by Obanta
(41) Isara-Remo was founded by prince Adeyemo
(42) Odeogbolu was founded by Eleshi Ekun Ogoji
(43) Ise-Ekiti was founded by Akinluaduse (Akinluse)
(44) Isara-Remo was founded by prince Adeyemo
(45) Itele-Ijebu was founded by Ojigi Amoyegeso
(46) Ijebu-Jesha was founded by Oba Agigiri Egboroganlada
(47) Ibokun (Ilemure) was founded by Obokun
(48) Ikoro-Ekiti (Eso -Obe) was founded by two hunters: Olushe and Olugona.
(49) Ilara Mokin was founded by Obalufon Modulua Olutipin.
(50) Igbara Oke was founded by Olowa Arajaka
(51)Epe was founded by Hu-Raka
(52) Malete (Iseyin) was founded by Adenle Atologuntele
(53) Igbo-Ifa(Kishi) was founded by Kilisi Yeruma
(54) Ijebu-Igbo was created by Ademakin Orimolusi.
(55) Ilobu was founded by Laarosin
(56) Gbongan was founded by Akinfenwa
(57) Ire-Ekiti was founded by Ogun
(58) Iwoye (Ayedun) was founded by Atabata.
(59) Igbajo was founded by prince Akeran
(60) Imesi-Ile was founded by Odunmorun and Eye.
(61) Orile-Owu was founded by Pawu.
(62)Otun-Ekiti was founded by Oore
(63) Igbo Asako( Igbo-Ora) was founded by Obe Alade.
(64) Idanre was founded by Olofin, a younger brother to Oduduwa. He came to Ufe after the demise of his senior brother.
(65) Iresi was founded by Ifadumila Olatimirin from Latale’s compound in Ile-Ife. He was a friend to Ebekun from Abewela’s compound in Ile-Ife. He was the maternal grandfather of Adebuba (Iresi acclaimed first king in the present Aworo Ebekun’s compound). His house which happened to be the first house in Iresi is situated in the present Saloro’s compound. Till date any dead king in Iresi is buried in his backyard. His descendants are called The ALANAS .
Culled from: Late Chief Farinde Owolabi Ajeigbe Joseph. Late Saloro of Iresi Town.
Umologbe the founder of Ogbe is said to be one of the sons of Oduduwa, the founder of lle-lfe, which according to Yoruba mythology was the centre of the universe. Umologbe was a prominent and brave hunter as well as a hard-working farmer. As a hunter, he had as part of his traveling kits, guns, a relic crown, amulets for all purposes, and deity known as “Eegun Ogbe”, which was said to be the origin of Masquerade in Oda till date. Annually Asodeboyede would send certain things including ram to be sacrificed to “Eegun Ogbe”. This shows that there had been an age-long relationship between Oda and Akure.
Umologbe was said to have had a brief spell alongside Asodeboyede at Oritagun in Akure, before he left and finally settled at Ogbe, a large expanse of land with few aboriginal settlers who lived in scattered huts. Asodeboyede had earlier moved southwards under the leadership of Olojada also known as Umologbe, a prominent and skilful hunter and they reached a point of about six kilometers away from the present location of Akure and settled there. On one of the hunting expeditions which they usually embarked on collectively, Asodeboyede also known as ‘Omo Ekun” shot and killed an elephant. He immediately remembered his Ifa Oracle’s prediction before leaving Igbo Oye. It was at this stage that Umologbe left Asodeboyede and founded Ogbe.
Ogbe was said to mean quarters or places for the princes. There were about sixteen aboriginal villages surrounding Ogbe which was then a centre of attraction in the region. So also, there were various tribes that engaged in war with the Akures and the Ogbe people. Such tribes include among others the Idanres, Owos, and the Binis. The town was intermittently ravaged owing to different wars such as Ipata wars. During the period, war was an inevitable phenomenon and as such, all the traditional rulers in Ogbe always put up a brave defense of the Ogbe territory.
Many of the wars were won and some were lost due to different factors. However, there was a very tough war that shook the Ogbe city and its territory during the reign of Oba Opamudasuan. This was called ‘Ogun a ja mose lo”, this was supposed to mean a war whereby the enemies are given a tough resistance or tough fight. The classification was meant to make the traditional heads get well prepared and protect the Ogbe city and give its territories sound protection. However, the Oba of Ogbe at the time, Opamudasuan had a contrary translation of the preparatory message, which was sent by Ooni of Ile-lfe.
He consulted with his Army generals and they resolved that since the war was to be fought with their legs on firm land, a heap of wet mud, that is, beaten earth that would take Ogbe warriors were stationed round the city with their legs inside the wet mud. Opamudasuan has not completed the preparations for the war when he got words that the Aburu warriors were already approaching Ogbe. All the warriors were armed with weapons and the traditional ruler together with his war generals‘ stucked their legs into the beaten earth and waited in that position for war.
When Aburu warriors from Benin got to Ogbe and met the warriors in a motionless position inside the mud, they were killed in their hundreds and defeated. If the preparation had not “cemented” the Ogbe fighters to a spot, they would have escaped, regrouped to reclaim the City. By this single mistake, Oba Opamudasuan lost his life and all the glories of the ancient city of Ogbe. Thereafter, Seven other Obas emerged after Opamudasuan with Oba Agbedere a female the last traditional head of Ogbe.
When Ogbe fell around 1764, young men who were not recruited for the war and who saw the destruction of their ancestral home, escaped to Oda with the surviving women and children. The people of Oda received the Ogbe people who were the inhabitants of their headquarters and were ready to be in peaceful co-existence with them. Oda was initially conceived as a refugee camp for the Ogbe people until their surviving men were strong enough to re-build their ancestral home. Some of Ogbe people who were outside the community at the time Aburu war was on chose to settle in the places they were, for instance, Akure at the time they heard the news.
During the movement of Ogbe people to Oda, the Moses of the exodus was Prince Ausi. While escaping from the invaders, he had a cap on his head known as “Fila Ojukoba” meaning invisible cap, and this made it impossible for anybody to see him and his entourage. Prince Ausi later became Olojoda the traditional ruler at Oda because of his status at Ogbe. He got married to a famous woman named Ekusolatan, who was famous because she was credited with importing the Alaojo festival to Oda from Eku, whose location remained unknown to the inhabitants of the town till date.
Prince Ausi bore children named Olumadeji, Adegboye, Olokunolu and Erumola. Olumadeji the eldest son was appointed by his father, Prince Ausi to oversee llekun as the Elekun of llekun (a vassal chieftaincy under the Olojada). His four children constitute the ruling houses in Oda till present. Ilekun – ‘Ile Ekun’ (land of tiger), was an outpost settlement of Oda. This settlement as at that time was under incessant attack by tigers and other dangerous wild beasts. The prowess of Prince Ausi in defending llekun was the reason why he was made Elekun.
There are three ruling houses in Oda, and they are:-
The following are also the past Obas in Oda
The list of Olojoda of Oda.
Umologbe – 1400-1414 A.D
Onimona – Not Stated
Aparikan – Not Stated
Onaouro – Not Stated
Asinrin – Not Stated
Olitini (Female) – Not Stated
Orunmua – Not Stated
Umolumode – Not Stated
Orunmeio – Not Stated
Oalogbe – Not Stated
Oadonaru – Not Stated
Oalokorokoro – Not Stated
Oasodigo – Not Stated
Oaolosukatasu – Not Stated
Oalopo – Not Stated
Oalena – Not Stated
Oadigbo – Not Stated
Oasona – Not Stated
Oasojuorunmowo – Not Stated
Oajagun- Not Stated
Ogbemoyede – Not Stated
Awede (female) – Not Stated
Apele – Not Stated
Olounoro – Not Stated
Alademoyin – Not Stated
Alajaye – Not Stated
Ekunji – Not Stated
Odelua – Not Stated
Orudu – Not Stated
Ademilika – Not Stated
Okiji – Not Stated
Opayebo – Not Stated
Opamudasuan – Unknown – 1764 A.D.
Ajale – Not Stated
Omolona – Not Stated
Osunanlukedo – Not Stated
Agedo (Ibariba) – Not Stated
Sikosa (Alias Orijajogun) – Not Stated
Ajigi – Not Stated
Agbedere (Female) (Alias Aberinjalalo, alibaba o lude yeye o lopokiti baba) – Not Stated
Ausi – Not Stated
Olumadeji – Not Stated
Adegboye – Not Stated
Adegbemiro – Not Stated
Adegbemiro II – (1934 – Oct 12, 1976).
Akosile M.B. – March 22nd 1978 – Oct 2016.
International Association of African Researchers and Reviewers(IAARR)
Article by Ige, O.A.
Department of Social Science Education, Faculty of Education, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Nigeria.
Mobile Line: +2348060588778
Awoleye B.A. memorandum presented on behalf of Oda community to Ondo-State Chieftaincy Review Commission in respect of Olojada Chieftaincy May, 1977
The old dynasty dates back to the old Oyo Empire which with Aláàfin as the emperor.
However, there are powerful women who controls the kingdom. They include among others:
1. Iyamode: Iyamode is the only person in the entire world the Aláàfin is permitted to kneel down before. He kneels before no one else except Iyamode. Iyamode occupies a role deeply respected that the king call her ‘Baba’ (father).
Whenever the Aláàfin goes on his knees before this powerful woman, she also returns the salutation by going down on her knees but never recline on her elbows while doing so as this is the custom of women in saluting their superiors. She resides outside of the palace and she is the superior of the celibates living in Bara (the royal mausoleum). Once a woman becomes Iyamode, she becomes celibate and stays away from sex for life. She is one of the most senior priestess inside the Aláàfin’s royal court.
2. Obagunte: She represents the Aláàfin in the Ogboni fraternity and enter Ogboni chamber on all occasion and at will.
3. Eni Oja: She is the head of all the Eshu worshippers in Oyo and she is in charge of the king’s market.
4. Iya Naso: The Aláàfin of Oyo is worshipped as the living incarnation of the Sango, the god of thunder. Inside the palace, the Aláàfin has a private place where he worships Sango. Iya Naso’s is in charge of this spiritual room. She has to do with Sango Worship generally and she’s the one responsible for everything linked to it. The worship and rituals.
5. Iya Kere: Iya Kere is the person who places the crown on the head of the king at the coronation. She is the only one in charge of the treasures and paraphernalia Of the Oyo kingdom, including the crowns. Iya Kere is also the mother of all illari (male and female eunuchs) who are kept in the palace with half their heads shaved off). Iya Kere exercises full power over the feudal heads like Aseyin, Oluwo and Soun of Ogbomoso. Once she assumes the office, she remains a celibate for life.
6. Iya Oba: Iya Oba is the official mother of the king. After the demise of the Queen mother, any other lady of the palace is then made the Iya Oba and she is one who plays the role of a biological mother to him. Iya Oba is the third person in the room when the Alaafin and Bashorun worship the Orun in the month of September every year. Iya Oba is the fedual head of the Bashorun.
7. Iya Monari: it is the role of Iya Monari to execute by strangling any Sango worshipper who has been condemned to death. Sango worshippers condemned to capital punishment cannot be killed by the sword. She is also the second-in-command and assistant to Iya Naso.
8. Iya-Fin-Iku: She is Alaafins devotee to the Sango mysteries. It’s the normal practice for all Sango worshippers to devote one of their children to the worship of Sango and that is the role Iya-Fin-Iku fulfills for the Aláàfin. She is also in charge of the Sango ram which is allowed to go everywhere and around the market without anyone molesting it and the ram can also eat with impunity anything it so desire from traders.
9. Iya Lagbo: She is the mother of the crown prince (Aremo) in a case where the mother of the crown prince (Aremo) is deceased, then another woman is promoted to that office and she becomes the mother of the crown prince (Aremo). Iyalagbon enjoys massive Influence and privileges and controls a portion of the kingdom. The Alaafin’s agunmu (medicinal powders) and agbo (concoctions) are placed in the care of Iya lagbo, the king’s private attendant who is in charge of his private pharmacy.
10. Aare Oriite: She is the Aláàfin’s personal attendant. It the Aare-Oriite who sees to it that the royal meals and royal bed is properly made. She also makes sure that the royal chambers are neatly arranged when an Aláàfin is enthroned, it is the Aare-Oriite who places the umbrella over his head as a canopy and she is constantly by the side of the Aláàfin to see to his needs.
These influential and powerful women communicate with the spiritual realm and guide every single step of the Aláàfin and they encourage and support him during periods of challenges and defend him from all forms of evil both physical and spiritual. They educate him on what he can eat and what is forbidden for him to touch. They are the ubiquitous brains behind the kingdom.
As only a mother can give birth to a son, only the great mothers can make a king.
Alaafin of Oyo
Oriki awon Iya:
Iba eyin iya awirere aboju sinsin,
Mo se iba Akoda Aye,
Mo se iba Olodumare,
Mo se iba eyin Iya mi Olokiki Oru anomo lai fowo kan,
Mo se iba ba yin o.
Iba eyin iya
1. Bolanle Oni story tweet (2021)
Oral tradition says that the town Iwoye in Ayedun traced her origin to the ancient city of Ile Ife, the cradle of the Yorubas.
However, there are many Iwoyes spread among Yoruba Communities. Uwoye near Ijebu-Jesha in Ori-Ade LGA, Osun State, Iwoye near Ede, Ago-Iwoye Ketu near Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun State and Iwoye in Ayedun.
ORIGIN OF IWOYE KINGDOM
Iwoye in Ayedun according to history, is from Ijio Compound in Moore Quarters in Ile Ife. As a result of the inter tribal wars, the unity of the kingdom of Ile Ife was affected and it resulted in the creation of various hamlets or township with her own Obas.
Many princes and princesses left Ile Ife either directly or indirectly for other settlement as Obas. Oranyan and his army, as well as his brothers pushed on their conquests in every directions. The princes and the warlords stationed in various locations to hold the country and from them sprang up many provincial kings.
Atabata, the founder of Iwoye in Ayedun in Ekan-Meje District of Kwara State. During the early dispatch from Ile Ife, the people of Iwoye migrated to Ijebu-Jesha land and from there the Iwoye sub- ethnic group started to found many communities across Yoruba nation.
There, Iwoye formed Oke Ooye, Uwoye quarters near Ijebu-Jesha, Iwoye near Oyo Ile that produced the first and second Aare Onakankanfos of Yoruba Nation. The entire Iwoye Communities are of the same and bear striking features of Iwoye. In deference to Ifa oracle Atabata wanted to found a community of his own and he left Ijebu-Jesha.
Ajuan, one of his brothers settled there and became the ONIWOYE OF IWOYE in Ori Ade LGA. The Ifa gave Atabata some injunctions where he would settle and he would find a tunnel, a sweet and tasty spring, and abundant “Yunriyun” leaf. This long journey through thick and thin forests could only be at the dictates of the Oracle.
Atabata was a great hunter, farmer and herbalist. In continuation of his search for a place to settle, he passed through Obbo, met some people there and left, apparently because he met a king in Obbo who is called Owa Lobbo in Ekiti LGA, Kwara State.
However, one of his younger brothers settled down at Ilemisi. Ilemisi is one of the ruling houses in Obbo. Eventually, Atabata settled down at Ori-Agbon where he found a big tunnel, “Yunriun” leaf and a Spring that tastes very sweet which is called ISUN IRAN.
Atabata named where he settled down as ODO- IWOYE. His entourage to Odo Iwoye include among others Olukosi, Odoba, Aro (now Obaaro), adherent of Onifon the modern day prophets and Osun worshippers. A Shrine of Onifon and Osun deities respectively is still in Iwoye till today.
Time and circumstances combined to make Iwoye of yore recognize those at Isapa and after an exchange of visits together with the crown prince of Odo Owa at Ekan. The title OBAOYE (which means OBA OF IWOYE) as the traditional title for IWOYE was adopted.
At Ori Agbon historically called ORILE, the tunnel therein leads to Ile-Ife. People travelled through the tunnel and it leads to Ife and Igbo Epa. At Ori Agbon where Obaoye settled down, his brother, Ogobiro asked him whether he could come and join him.
Atabata told him to come because “IGBOKU”, meaning land still remains. Igboku became home to Iwoye much latter known as IMOSO (ONE MIND). This is the first place where IWOYE people settled before their eventual movement to the present location. Iwoye has boundaries with Ilale, Ekan, Ajure, Erinmope and Aran-Orin towns.
Odo Iwoye was the first settlement in the present day Iwoye and the first to produce Obaoye. As event unfolded, there are three Ruling houses (Odo-Iwoye, Ile-Agbe and Ile-Asaba) in Iwoye. Iwoye is today a federating towns which traditionally comprises of six villages:
1. Moso – three villages – from Ijio, Moore Quarters in Ile-Ife,
2. Odo Ede – from Oke-Ede, Ila-Orangun,
3. Isowu – two relations – from Ilawe-Ekiti and Ifon Ilobu.
4. Emu – from Omu-Aran
All these villages till today subsume under the traditional Head and authority of Obaoye of Iwoye. Obaoye of Iwoye land installs all the Chiefs in his domain.
THE LIST OF OBAOYE OF IWOYE ARE:
1. OBAOYE ATABATA EYE BI OKIN
2. OBAOYE ASISE SELE SEDE
3. OBAOYE OLODE AMUNDARO (The first Obaoye who relocated from Ori Agbon to the present location)
4. OBAOYE AJIFIN OKIN
5. OBAOYE AJOKO T’ONIFON
6. OBAOYE AROJO J’OYE
7. OBAOYE AGBEDE GBEYO
8. OBAOYE ORUBULOYE
9. OBAOYE ABEGBE IROKO S’OOGUN
10. OBAOYE OGBODO SOLA OYIBO 1889 – 1903
11. OBAOYE OYIYO 1903 -1936
12. OBAOYE FALASE AULODO BI OSUPA 1936 – 1952
13. OBAOYE IPE AFARIDU J’OYE 1952 – 1975
14. OBAOYE FAYE FALASE, ALENI LOYE, 1975 – 2002
15. OBAOYE ARINDE OBAYOMI 2008 – 2012
16. OBAOYE MATTHEW ADEYEMI TUNDE-AKOSEWA OLODE AMUDARO II, 2011-2012
17. OBAOYE MICHAEL SUNDAY AYANTOLA, JP AROJOJOYE II OGBAGBA GBA OTE WOLE, 2014 – TO DATE.
It is not known when the Ogboni society was created. it was an age long assembly of elders that created a cult based on the cosmology of Yorubas. Ogboni performed religious, political and judicial functions.
Ogboni considered themselves as the privileged intermediaries between the living and the ancestors and they venerate mother Earth or goddess Earth.
Ogbonis acted as the check and balance against the power of the king to the point of having the authority to remove him if necessary. Even though the Ogbonis had judicial functions, their primary role was the preservation of the Ifa oracle. The high priests of the Ogboni society are often called on to consult the oracle to determine a number of sensitive issues, such as ancestral support for the King. In fact, members of the Ogboni society are guardians and protectors of the divine oracle and laws. During the pre-colonial era, the Ogboni society was the highest court in Yorubaland, with the power to judge powerful individuals that did not face justice in the open judicial system. However, during the colonial era and after Nigeria’s independence, the Ogboni had no formal role to play in the society.
Current Status: Since the common people no longer had any use for them as their protectors, they now protect any of the self-centered interests of their members by blackmail, intimidation, and murder. The Ogboni society, in most Yoruba parts of Nigeria, have no real power whatsoever. The only Yoruba parts of Nigeria where they still have some real influence on the traditional administration of the cities are in the Egba, Egbado and Abeokuta parts of Nigeria. These would correspond roughly to pockets of areas in Ogun State and Lagos State. Also, in some rural villages and small towns along in the borders of Ogun State with Oyo, Osun and Ondo States where they are still able to intimidate pockets of people.
Structure: In old Oyo, all Ogbonis are under the authority of the political leader, referred to as the Alaafin, who has the authority to convoke the priests into spiritual sessions. The structure of the Ogboni society is a secret that only an Ogboni member is answerable to.
Membership: Membership is open to Yorubas and other ethnicities, and men and women are eligible for initiation within the society, although the predominance of male elders is undeniable. If ones parent was a member of the Ogboni Society, and that person had been exposed to their activities (e.g. meetings held at his or her parents’ house while the child was present so that over the years the child grew up knowing the identities of the Ogboni; or, the parent deliberately pledged that his or her child would become a member) that child would be expected to join.
Ogboni society was re-created in Bahia, Brazil, during the early 19th Century when the Yorubas became a major cultural group in that region.
The late Chief Ogedengbe Agbogungboro, the Generalissimo of Ekiti Army during the Ekiti parapet war was born at Atorin, a village about twenty kilometres from Ilesha in the now Atakomosa East Local Government areas.
Atorin was his mother’s village, his father was a native of Oke-Orisa which is about the same distance from Ilesha and in the same Local Government area as Atorin. Before Ogedengbe was born, the Ifa oracle had predicted that he was going to be the saviour of Ijeshaland and his environs. The name given to Ogedengbe at birth was SARAIBI.
He was born as a normal child and he grew up at Atorin as a healthy industrous young man. From the early years of his life, it became clear that he was very strong and surpassed all his mates in acts of valour, whenever he engaged in wrestling with his mates, he always floored them, hence the name “OGEDENGBE”. In adulthood, Ogedengbe engaged in several campaigns against the Ibadan people who were oppressing and attacking the Ijesha people. During one of such campaigns, he was captured and taken to Ibadan.
It was on this occassion the Ibadan people put tribal marks on his face before releasing him. He fought in the Ibadan army until he became a senior military commander and then returned to fight and lead the Ijesha forces. After this, he gathered a large army of Ijesha young men and engaged in several bitter fightings against the Ibadan people.
Ogedengbe exploits also took him to Ekiti and Akoko areas where he sold a lot of them into slavery. This was why he was often referred to as “O soko Ekiti soko Akoko”. He also went as far as the present day Edo state. The Oba of Benin had to appeace him before he desisted from waging war against his domain. He gave Ogedengbe presents of beads, slaves and other valuable articles.
After this exploit, Ogedengbe returned to Igbara-Oke intending to settle down there. This was the time when the Ibadan people engaged the Ijeshas and the Ekitis in a fierce war at Oke-Imesi. The leaders of the Ijeshas and the Ekitis had to persuade Ogedengbe to come and lead them as his unrivalled exploits had become legendary in the whole of Yoruba land. He agreed and went to the battle field to check the inordinate ambition of the Ibadan people.
The fighting went on for about nine years . It was Captain Bower, the then resident commissioner at Ibadan who finally settled the war by a treaty in 1886 (23rd September, 1886) after he had won the war.
It was due to all these attributes which he possessed that made him a celebrated hero in his town. Ogedengbe subsequently became one of the most important men in the history of Yorubaland. Hence, the name ‘OGEDENGBE AGBOGUNGBORO’ meaning ‘OGEDENGBE THE WARRIOR’
It began in the 19th century, a century of revolution in Yorubaland, after the fall of the old Oyo Empire due to political crisis. Ibadan, a new city founded in the 1820s wanted to dominate and rule the rest of the Yorubaland and as result, there were wars among the kingdoms of the Yorubas.In particular the Kiriji war (also known as the sixteen years war) which started in 1877, it involved the struggle for power, influence and survival.
The Ibadan on declared ‘a war to end all wars’ on the Egba on Monday, 30th July 1877, the Kiriji war officially begun. The Ijebu joined and it began to spread. In 1878, it spread to the east, the Ekiti and Ijesa countries became united and formed an alliance known as Ekiti-parapo (the combined forces of the Ijesa and Ekiti) which was led by Ogedengbe of Ilesha . The Ife and Ilorin later joined. Ibadan now had a string of foes that were ready to fight for their independence and also to free themselves from Ibadan imperialism.
Ake, a hunter and herbalist of great prowess founded Igede many centuries ago. Erindo his wife and Awota, his servant all migrated from Ile-Ife. They settled on arrival at Okesu. Ake and Erindo were blessed with sixteen children, eight boys and eight girls. Prominent among the children were Osun, Elemi, Orunro, Ogbese, Elerinwo and Okunsusi among others.
Immediately after the death of Ake, struggle for leadership and power tussle erupted among the children. That led to intra-family crisis and was with display of high degree of metaphysical powers through the use of incantations called “ogede” in Yorubaland. The name IGEDE was a derivative of the term OGEDE (incantation) meaning a town founded where war was fought with lots of incantation.
Okunsusi, a younger, courageous, painstaking and highly intelligent member of the family eventually took over the mantle of leadership after most of the elderly ones had destroyed themselves. At the end of it all, they turned to different things, including rivers and ponds. Ibaja entered the ground, while Orunro, Elemi, Ogbese and Osun turned into water. While Okunsusi became the first king (Oba) of Igede at Okesu.
The available land space at Okesu became grossly inadequate for effective and peaceful co-existence due to ruggedness and population increase, hence the need to move down to a relatively plain land at Odogede hence the origin of the saying “ODO BABA IGEDE”. Oba Obirimoko was the first Onigede on settling at Odogede but led a reckless and horrific life with bad record. Hence, this got his reign and name outrightly expunged from the list of Obas that reigned in Igede-Ekiti and by any standard can never be described as Onigede.
Prior to the era of Christianity, Igede- Ekiti had been the ancestral home of the legendary Osun, Elemi pond and other historical spots that are relevant to the origin of the community. Osun goddess actually left Igede-Ekiti as a result of disagreement with her siblings in Igede and settled at Efon-Alaaye, Oyo and lastly in Osogbo, in the present Osun State.
Osun found her way to Osogbo after leaving Sango, her husband in Oyo. At Osogbo, she ran into a troubled community, who sought her help. Her intervention paid off as the calamity in the land subsided. After this, the people begged her to stay and she obliged. That is why till date, prayers are being made and answered at the Osun Osogbo groove and at her source in Igede, till date.
The core custodians of Osun Osogbo and the traditional institution in the city till date still eulogise Osun Osogbo as Onibu Ola Ere Igede. Elemi flows north and eastward towards Ogbese. All the rivers in Igede are not from anywhere but have their sources from the community. A stone in the mode of an armchair is still seated at Osun Igede spot. The core custodians of Osun Osogbo annually pay a visit to the source in Igede before the annual Osun Osogbo festival. There are three ruling houses in Igede-Ekiti. They are Onaowuro, Oborolada and Okiribiti.
Tradition has it that the Oore emerged from the Okun Moba (Moba Sea) in Lagos with a calabash containing water in his hand, beads around his neck and a beaded crown on his head. Oore also known as Omolokun had no known earthly father nor mother.
Oore, had settled in different places at different times, starting from Moba near Mushin in Lagos. Some of the places they passed through after Ile-lfe includes Akure, Oke Olodun and lpole before moving to the present site Odo Ira over 400 years ago. Oore/Omolokun at one time or the other was at IIe-Ife and had a very strong relationship with Oduduwa, the progenitor of Yorubas. The Oore was formally known and referred to as Omolokun. The Oore was also in existence during the itinerant periods when people migrated from one place to the other.
The relationship between Oore and Oduduwa was a very special one and at a time during his stay at IIe-Ife, Oduduwa mysteriously went blind and efforts to restore his sight proved abortive. Oore and Oduduwa lived at the same time in Ile-Ife. However, there was a period in time Oduduwa became blind, and all efforts to resuscitate his eyesight proved very difficult and abortive. It was Omolokun, now Oore, who consulted the Ifa Oracle on behalf of Oduduwa, and said that except they fetch water from the Ocean to prepare certain things, Oduduwas eyesight would not be restored.
Oduduwa called all his children and wanted to know, who will volunteer to go and fetch the water from the Ocean and as history will have it, one of Oduduwa’s youngest children, Ajibogun, volunteered to go and fetch the water. And when he went, it took an unusually long time for him to return. So, everybody, including Oduduwa thought Ajibogun had died.
At this point, when all the other children of Oduduwa realised that their father was getting old; they decided to have their own inheritance and migrated to form their own kingdoms. During these periods, Oore kept re-assuring Oduduwa, that Ajibogun will return safely. Before Ajibogun’s return to Ife, all the other children of Oduduwa had left the place, whenever these children left Ile-Ife, whenever they get to where they were to settle they will as expected send a message back home indicating where they had settled.
Oore was always with Oduduwa. So Oore knew, where every son of Oduduwa settled. And when Ajibogun came back with the water, it was the Oore who did all the rituals that were necessary, and Oduduwa regained his sight. Oore took part of the water brought from Okun Moba to wash the eyes of Oduduwa before his sight was restored. This feat performed by Oore endeared him to Oduduwa to the extent that he called him ”Oloore mi” (meaning my benefactor). This was how Oore derived his name.
It was at this point, that Oduduwa started to call Oore my benefactor (Oloremi). Oloremi is the full name of Oore. That was the level of closeness between Oore and Oduduwa in the time of old. It was after Oduduwa had regained his sight that Oore decided to leave him with Oduduwa demanding a promise from Oore that anytime he Oduduwa needed Oore, Oore must find the time to come to him. Oore was the last person to leave Ile-Ife.
Since then, Oore is the only rightful person allowed by tradition to announce the passage of any Ooni of Ife. So, when Oduduwa passed on, Oore was the first person they sent for and Oore had to go back to Ile-Ife and informed all Oduduwa children about the passage of their father. That was the situation and that was where the history was established that anytime an Ooni in Ile-Ife passed on, it is the Oore that has the right to know about such death before any other person. Furthermore, before a new Ooni can be installed, certain traditional rites must be performed to invoke the spirit of four (4) very ancient Obas in Yorubaland. The Oore is one of them.
The origin of Oye-Ekiti which is also known as Obalatan land is associated with the founder of the town, Oloyemoyin was born in Imore district of Ile Ife. The name Oye was coined from his name ‘Oloyemoyin’ a name put together because of the circumstances surrounding the birth of the founder of Oye who was said to have been born during a terrible and ‘hostile’ harmattam.
To preserve his life, he was kept in a dark room with a female deity called ‘Obalatan’ for an unspecified period of time. Oloyemoyin was observed as a wonderful prince whose birth had been accompanied by a horrible harmattan while traditional lamps were lit and arranged in the room both day and night to keep the room warm. His mother’s breast was so dry that she could not breast feed him and rather he was fed with honey in place of breast milk.
This is why he was named Oloyemoyin, meaning a harbinger of harmattan who fed on honey and this is why he is morally praised till date as; Omo Oloye, Omo ora ufe ketaana Osan gangan, meaning that Oloye is an aboriginal son of Ile-Ife who always put on light during the day. According to available oral evidence, Oloyemoyin left Ile-Ife in company of his brother Ogunlire, the acclaimed founder of Ire-Ekiti, with a remarkable entourage, equipped with large armies, crude weaponry, commanders, seers, oracles, priests and subtle counselors.
The entourage on their way from Ile-Ife first settled at Ule Oye Ora. At Oye Odo Ora, the aborigines were not happy with such intrusion and as a result fought and scattered them. They therefore, moved to a new settlement and called it Oye Ekiti, while Ogunlire migrated and settled in Ire-Ekiti. Some settled in Egosi, and others conquered Eshetta and Arigidi while, Oye-Ekiti became the head of these towns and Oloye was recognized by them as their leader being the eldest son of their mother, Yeye Aiye.
Igboho occupies a key place in the history of the old Oyo Empire. Whilst Oyo is an integral part in the history of Yoruba, Igboho’s contribution to the sustainability of Oyo Empire can neither be erased nor expunged.
The origin of Igboho started with the migration of Gbage from Ilesha. There was a chieftaincy tussle then, where the younger brother of Gbage was installed as the Owa.
The (aggrieved elder) brother left the kingdom to give peace a chance. That senior brother that left the palace of Owa was called Gbage Olabinukuro and founded his own village called Ebiti. All his supporters, including hunters, followed him to this new abode.
At that period in Yoruba history, there was Fulani invasion of old Oyo Empire. Alaafin Ofinran and his people were forced to vacate their home. When Alaafin got to Ebiti, he met Gbage who had migrated from Ilesha. Alaafin Ofinran saw that Gbage was a powerful man who had a lot of charms and was very formidable in the act of warfare and hunting. Alaafin Ofinran was so amazed that the settlement was relatively peaceful and calm. He then inquired who was the head, usually called Baale and Gbage was called to meet with Alaafin.
He was welcomed by Gbage. Alaafin Ofinran told Gbage that he was looking for a place to settle down with all his people and entourage. Gbage, who knew the terrain because of his hunting expeditions, promised that he was going to help him. They then embarked on a search for a place to settle the Alaafin and his large entourage.
When they got to a river (Sanya) after Kishi, one of the wives of Alaafin gave birth to a baby boy named Tella Abisipa, that is, a child that was born on the path.
When they got to the middle of Igbo-Oba which is still named so till date, the oracle told them that was the place they were going to stay. As the herbalist was making divination, two birds were fighting on a tree under which they all sat, the two birds fell in front of the herbalist, one was Igbo bird (Eye Igbo), the other one Oyo bird (Eye Oyo). The two birds were killed and their blood used as a sacrifice to Ifa.
From these two birds Igbo and Oyo, the name Igbo-oyo was formed and it later became Igboho. It was at that place that Alaafin Ofinran was said to have been buried. After about four Alaafin had died in Igboyo; Tella Abisipa that was born at the bank of River Sanya (who had become the Alaafin) said he wanted to return the seat of governance of Oyo Empire back to Oyo-Ile.
However, the Oyo-mesi did not want him to go back, therefore, they took some of the deformed/disabled persons in the palace to Oyo-Ile and when Alaafin’s emissary got there, they (the disabled) chased them away pretending to be spirits with a warning that ‘this place is not your home go back’, until Alaafin sent Alepata and his hunter-like, Akasa, Okere, Emo and Iloko to go and unravel the mystery of the spirits.
The arrival of Alepata (back to Igboho) with all those so called spirits made the Alaafin to change his name from Gbage to Alepata and ever since then, they referred to Alaafin Abisipa as the king that arrest spirits ( Oba-Amoro)
Alaafin Abisipa eventually left for Oyo-Ile with all his entourage while Alepata and his hunters accompanied him. They were in Oyo-Ile for about three years when crisis erupted in Igboho, Alaafin now told Alepata to go back to Igboho to become their leader and ever since then Alapeta have become the head of Igboho till date.
There are various quarters in Igboho which includes Igbope-Baale, Modeeke-Ònà Onibode, Booni-Ibabooni, Iyeye-Baale, Ago-IgiIsubu, Okegboho (smallest quarters)-Onigboho, Jakuta, Waala, Idi elegba, Akitipa among others are also some of the quarters in Igboho.
Reverend Samuel Johnson(1921) History of Yoruba. London, Lowe and Brydone printers limited.
Robert Smith (1965) Alaafin in Exile: A study of Igboho period in Oyo history. The journal of African history.
According to oral history gathered, Ale had left Owamilere Ehinnabo to settle in Ikare after the demise of his blood relation the Owa Orimo, Olusi the first of Owamilere.
There are two ruling houses in Owamilere including Ode Adagba ruling house from where Agba Ode came from. It is believed that the non selection of the next Olusi from Ode Adagba in 1734 after the death of Oba Orimo and the conflicts that emanate from the choice of Owa Ikan from the alternate ruling house made Ale progenitor to emigrate from ode Adagba ruling house in Owamilere to Ikare in the reign of Olukare Ilekalu or Olukare Otamaga
Oba Orimo who was born by the second wife of Olusi their progenitor who was the war leader to Elemure was of the same mother and fatther to Ale. Owa ikan paid several visit to Ale in his reigning period during the Aringinya festival.
The same community have and worship the same Iye and Uba Owa who both died at three years differences in the seventeen centuries early migration and were both deified today by Owamilere and the Ale of Ikare. A document from Owamilere presented in the history book of Chief Ale Adedoyin showed that Ale in Ikare was a small emigrants from the Olusi families who came to settle in Ikare on or around the seventeen century.
The migratory history of Emure from ugbo Owa and the migration of Olusi the uba Owa who died in transit all occurred in the early seventeen century when even Olukare Alila the Alafin of Oyo prince had entrenched his kingship in Ikare after the abdication of Olukare Aokerese in the early fifteen centuries.
The Ale who ruled in Ikare are:
1. Ale Orukusuku the son of Agba ode,
1. Ale Ajiboye,
3. Ale Adegbite grand father of Ale Adedoyin who had a long reign of 40 years.
Others made mentioned in the book of Ale Adedoyin probably reign in the transit migration of the Ode Adagba sub set of Owamilere Ehinnabo before their surjorn in Owa with the Elemure. Elemure and the Owamilere lived in various locations in Ekiti like in Usi where they were called Omo Owalusi.
The pre-existence of Olukare dynasty was so long before the arrival of Ale from Ode Adagba in Isefa Oka.
Ilawe was founded in the late 12th Century by Oniwe Oriade, who was the grandson of the fourth Ooni of Ife, Obalufon Ogbogbodinrin.
Oniwe Oriade got his crown from his grandfather and migrated from Ilode in Ile-Ife to establish his own kingdom in Ilawe-Ekiti.
The 48th Ooni of Ife, Ooni Ademiluyi Ajagun, who reigned between 1910 and 1930, lived in Ilawe Ekiti for three years and even married an Ilawe lady before moving back to Ife to ascend the throne.
After the Fulanis systematically captured and made Ilorin their territory, they sacked the old Oyo Empire in 1835/1636. They were still not satisfied with their victory; they wished to extend their rule deep into the heart of Yoruba land. Thus in 1840, they set to capture Osogbo, a Yoruba town. The Fulanis, under the command of Ali, the Hausa balogun of Ilorin, laid siege on Osogbo.
When the king of Osogbo realized that the Ilorins were too strong for the Osogbo army, he summoned the Ibadans for help. Ibadan immediately sent some auxiliaries to Osogbo under the command of Obele alias Mobitan, and Alade Abimpagun. As this force could not stop the Ilorins, another contingent was sent to Osogbo under a more experienced leader. But still the Ilorins won every battle and gained more ground.
When Ibadan realized that the Ilorins were becoming more threatening to Yoruba land, they sent a large and stronger force under Balogun Oderinlo to crush the intruding forces and Jammas of Ilorin. When Oderinlo and his men arrived at the battlefield, they realized that things had gone worse than they thought. They could not show their faces in the open field for the fear of the Ilorin horses, and for about 20 days after their arrival at Osogbo, they could not fight outside the town thickets. Oderinlo suggested that Elepo, a brave Ibadan warrior was badly needed at the war-front. Elepo had been rejected by the war-chiefs of Ibadan for his actions at the late Agbamaja expedition.
As soon as the message from Oderinlo reached Ibadan, the Bashorun wished he could send Elepo to Osogbo but could not go against the wish of other war-chiefs. The Bashorun gave Elepo a cow to worship his god, Ori, and pray for the victory of Ibadan at the war-front.
At the war-front, the Ibadan could not attack the Ilorins during the day because Osogbo was practically in a plain and the Ilorin horses might have advantage of them with disastrous results. They decided to attack at dusk when the Ilorins would no longer be able to use their horses. About 2:pm, the well prepared Ibadan army left the gate of Osogbo for the battlefield.
They were to keep a strict watch and arrest anyone suspected to be a spy. About a mile from the Ilorin camp, they halted and arranged the order of the attack. The Osogbo army and the earlier auxiliaries were to handle the center of the battlefield, chiefs Abitiko and Labuju were to command the right wing, Balogun Oderinlo with the rest of the Ibadan war-chiefs were to form the left wing of the army. The Ilorin camp was then attacked at midnight. The watchword was “Elo ni owo odo?” (How much is the ferry fare?). The reason this watchword was chosen was because the river Osun had to be crossed in entering Osogbo from the south, and anyone who could not tell this was likely to be an enemy.
Stampede engulfed the Ilorin camp as the Ibadan army set it on fire. The Ilorins could not offer the slightest resistance; they were smoked with the gun powder of the Ibadan guns. This attack was a success for the Ibadan. Some Ilorin war-chiefs were captured in the attack. Prominent ones were:
- Jimba the head slave of the Emir;
- One of the sons of Ali the commander in chief;
- Chief Lateju;
- Ajikobo the Yoruba Balogun of Ilorin
The first two were released while the latter two, being Yoruba by birth, were regarded as traitors and were executed. This was a huge victory for the whole of Yoruba land. After the Osogbo victory, Ibokun, an Ijesa town not far from Osogbo was taken by the Ibadans for being an ally of Ilorin.
Johnson, Samuel; The History of the Yorubas; Lagos; CSS Limited; 1921; pg. 80-81
The KIRIJI war, which lasted for about 16 years, was a revolt against Ibadan’s desire to rule over other towns in Yoruba country following the decline of Oyo empire. This write-up serves as a living pathway to the rediscovery of one of history’s most chilling story of brutal repression by a once dominant and awe-inspiring Ibadan Empire and the heroic resistance of a people against a superior force, that was later brought on its knees, through share determination, bravery and valour.The Yoruba Civil War was mainly between Western Yoruba (Ibadan and its allies like Offa, Modakeke and all Oyo forces on Ibadan’s side) and Eastern Yoruba (Ijesa, Ekiti, Ife and other Yoruba dominions like Igbomina, Akoko, Egbe, Kabba and the Oworro, Lokoja- Kogi State). Ibadan was fighting on four other fronts, making it five fronts, during this civil war period.
The first encounter between Ibadan and the Eastern Yoruba forces was tagged ‘Ogun Jalumi’ (battle of waterloo) which ended in ignominy for the Ekiti soldiers. The Jalumi War, also called the Battle of Ikirun, was a battle that took place on 1st of November, 1878 in the north east of present day Osun State, Nigeria. It was part of the larger conflict named the Ibadan War or Ekiti-Parapo War. The forces of Ibadan defeated in detail a force of rebellious Yorubas including soldiers from Ilorin, Ekiti, Ila and Ijesa.
It was this defeat that prompted the Ekiti to call on Ogedengbe, a tall, fiery fellow, with shooting eyeballs of Ijesa stock, who had been reluctant to lead the Ekiti-Parapo, having had his military training in counter insurgency and infantry at Ibadan, and was wary of leading his people against his benefactors.
Ogedengbe subsequently agreed to lead the Ekiti Parapo War, which also enlisted several Yoruba dominions like Igbomina, Akoko, Egbe, Kabba and the Oworro, a Yoruba sub-tribe in Lokoja, Kogi State. Also, Lagos, Ijebu and Egba were said to have assisted Ekiti Parapo against Ibadan; seen by all as a threat to their commonwealth. The Ekiti War generals held several nocturnal meetings where war strategies were reviewed and perfected. Ilara Mokin in Ondo State was said to have been the headquarters of the Ekiti Parapo secret service.
The war was long and bitter; an epic war between two powerful Yoruba confederate armies of mainly Western and Eastern Yoruba cities. Before Ibadan’s encounter with the Eastern Yoruba forces, it had already become involved in another war over trade with Egba and Ijebu in 1877. During the period, Ibadan traders on their way from Porto Novo with firearms were attacked by the Egba. Ijebu also declared war against Ibadan in 1877 and this gave the Ekiti and the Ijesa their chance. Ijesa and Ekiti took advantage of this war and declared their independence in 1878. This revolt against Ibadan’s rule in 1878 started with the massacre of Ibadan officials in Ijesa, Igbomina and Ekiti.
Ibadan fought on five fronts. In the south were the Egba who confined their activities to raids and surprise attacks; also, against the Ijebu in the same south, who pitched a camp at Oru under Balogun Onafowokan; the main war at Kiriji in the east, where their forces fought a long battle against the Ekiti and Ijesa (Ekiti-Parapo forces) under the command of Ogedengbe, the Seriki of Ijesa; Offa in the north, where they faced the Ilorin Fulani who pitched their camp against the people of Offa; and finally at Ile-Ife where the Ife people joined the alliance against them in 1882. There had long been friction between the Ife and the Oyo settlers at Modakeke. These animosities were strengthened by the war during which Ife itself was sacked by the Modakeke and their Ibadan allies, and Modakeke was sacked by the Ife and Ekiti.
The Ibadan and Ekiti-Parapo forces faced each other at Kiriji, a few miles east of Ikirun. With time, the Ekiti Parapo gained advantage over Ibadan; which resulted from the help they received from Ekiti Saro merchants, the most important factor was the supply of breech-loading rifles, much more accurate than the arms being used by the rest of the Yoruba. Defeat began to set in on Ibadan in these wars not only because the Ekiti-Parapo were better equiped but also because it had to fight on five fronts; also possibly because none of the Oyo forces on Ibadan’s side actually wished them well. Partly, this was due to the sufferings being experineced under Ibadan’s control and as a result of the arrogant attitude of Are Latosa who under normal circumstances, as head of the town, would not have gone to the battlefield. He was eventually killed at Kiriji.
Despite the odd against Ibadan, having to fight on five fronts, it was still undefeatable along the line. Stalemate was reached and only with the intervention of an outside force could the image of the whole Yoruba country be redeemed.
Before the war ended, attempts at mediation started as early as 1879-80. Alafin of Oyo and the Oni of Ile-Ife were involved, but neither was trusted by the other, and Ife later joined in the fighting. The Lagos government was under instructions from London and Accra to keep out of the conflict, even though the fighting was having serious effects on the economic life of the colony.
After 1885, some of the main protagonists of the war were themselves getting tired of it. Ceasefire was arranged in 1886 through the efforts of Samuel Johnson, the historian, and Charles Phillips, later the Bishop of Ondo. The parties signed a treaty in Lagos with Governor Maloney which provided for the independence of the Ekiti Parapo towns and the evacuation of Modakeke, to suit Ife. This proved impossible to carry out. Ilorin refused to stop fighting in the north where it was besieging Ofa. Thus the war dragged on, and the forces refused to disband.
In 1893, Carter was able to set off on a tour around Yoruba land, making treaties with Oyo and Egba, and finally persuading the Ibadan and Ekiti Parapo forces to disperse. The Egba opened the road to Ibadan, and allowed the start of railway construction. After two final incidents, the bombardment of Oyo in 1895 and the capture of Ilorin by the Royal Niger Company in 1897, effective colonial control was established throughout most of Yoruba land.