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:
Ewi Ata (1444–1471),
Ewi Owakunrugbon (1471–1490)
Ewi Owamuaran (1490–1511)
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.
Ewi Obakunrin (1552–1574)
Ewi Eleyo-Okun (1574–1599)
Ewi Afigbogbo Ara Soyi (1599-1630)
Ewi Gberubioya (1630-1696)
Ewi Idagunmodo (1696-1710)
Ewi Okinbaloye Aritawekun (1710-1722)
Ewi Amono Ola (1722-1762)
Ewi Afunbiowo (1762-1781)
Ewi Akulojuorun (1781-1808)
Ewi Aroloye (1808-1836)
Ewi Ali Atewogboye (1836-1885)
Ewi Ajimudaoro Aladesanmi I (1886-1910)
Ewi Adewumi Agunsoye (1910 – 1936)
Ewi Daniel Anirare Aladesanmi II (1937 – 1983),
HRM Ewi Samuel Adeyemi George-Adelabu I (1984 – 1988)
HRM 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’. 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 btw 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 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.
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 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.
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 gunpowder 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