History of Ila Orangun

Ila-Orangun was founded by Orangun Fagbamila Ajagun-nla, (the progenitor of Igbomina race) a son of the legendary Oduduwa. However, opinion differs as to how the people got the name “Ila-Orangun” for their settlement. A version goes thus: the name “Ila-Orangun” was derived from the two settlements, which resulted from two separate events in the life of the founder. When Fagbamila Ajangu-nla was about to leave Ile-Ife to found his own kingdom, his father, Oduduwa gave him half (Ilaji) of his property. Also, the Odu Ifa that directed his exist from Ile Ife was “Ose meji” meaning “Oro mi gun” which when translated means my life plans are straight forward. Thus, the statement “Ilaji ni mo pin, Oro mi gun” later became “Ila-Orangun”.

Another version says that Oduduwa has rarely been blessed with male children; he therefore consulted Ifa which advised him on what to do in order to have a male children. This account goes further that, having carried out what Ifa advised, Oduduwa was blessed with a male child whom he named Ifagbamila (Ifa has saved me) which brings to memory that he offered placatory sacrifice to Ifa before the child was conceived. Also Oduduwa was overwhelmed with joy by this development which he saw as a victory over his enemies. He therefore added other tell-tale names to the one already given to the lucky child. He called him ‘Oran-mi-gun’ (lit. means my cause is straight forward) which was contracted to ORANGUN. Young Fagbamila was born on a day known in the Ifa oracular calendar as “Ojo Ila-ye-fun”.It holds this out as explaining why ILA has come to be the name tag of his ultimate seat of government.

Anothetr tradition holds that ILA was corrupted from NLA (big). This has been rationalized by calling the fact that Fagbamila inherited all the wives of Oduduwa who were then housed in a mansion. Fagbamila was thereafter referred to as ‘ORAN-MI-GUN-ILE-NLA’, the origin of the full title ORANGUN ILE NLA. Fagbamila Ajagun-nla was a brave, powerful and Great War leader. He led olugbon, Aresa, Onikoyi and Olomu Aperan in various wars, to help his younger brother, Oranmiyan the first Alaafin of Oyo to conquer the Ibaribas and the Nupes. He reigned at Igbo Ajagun-nla for years. Fagbamila Ajagun-nla according to traditional evidence did not die but sank into the ground. In asserting this claim, the existence of a deity called ‘EBORA ILA’ which is in the custody of the Abodiyo, a chief of Ila-Orangun is believed to be Fagbamila’s spirit. However, Fagbamila was succeeded by one of his sons, Amotagesi who reigned for a short period at Igbo Ajagun-nla before migrating with his people to a new settlement christened Ila-Yara. The rationale behind the migration is yet to be explained by any available account. However, Orangun Amotagesi was succeeded by Orangun Ogboye, who was later succeeded by Orangun Oboyun.

On the death of Orangun Oboyun there arose a serious tussle on the succession bid between Apakiimo (the father of Oke-Ila-Orangun) and his younger brother, Oluokun (who later reigned as Orangun Arutu at Ila Magbon) which eventually led to the ruins of Ila-Yara. On leaving Ila-Yara, Ifa had divined that the spike of ‘Opa Orere’ being carried along their route to a new settlement should not be allowed to touch the ground until they would have got to such spot that they considered suitable for permanent abode. Incidentally, Adegbiji Oluokun’s younger brother who was holding the staff inadvertently dropped it at a point when he was pressed to answer the call of nature; an incident but which was unknown to other members of the entourage. With the menace of earthworm in their later settlement, Ila Magbon, they knew something was amiss and shifted their base on a simple confession by Adegbiji after Ifa has revealed the truth of the matter. Enroute their journey to the new settlement, Arutu Olokun got bored with age and commanded the ground to open up, and he disappeared in to its vault together with his Olori and his Babakekere.

The spot where this historical phenomenon occurred is known as “Para Oke” and it’s being worshipped by the descendants of Arutu to date. Sequel to this historical event, the leadership fell on Adegbiji who became the Orangun Igbonnibi in the present site.

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Published by oloolutof

Urbanologist, Geographer, Traditionalist and Oral historian. ​I am a versatile, personable, computer literate and goal – driven achiever. I have good communication skill with ability to interact at different levels. I am self –motivated, can easily assimilate new ideals and quite adaptive to work in different environments. Studied in University of Jos, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and University of Calabar.

9 thoughts on “History of Ila Orangun

  1. I am from Aramoko Ekiti. We do not speak any of the Ekiti dialect but Ijesha although the language is corrupted with a bit of Ekiti dialect today. My maternal grand mother (she died in 1996 after about 130yrs) told me people of Ila Orangun came to Aramoko to pick his father to be king at Ila Orangun. I also often heard the sayings – Alara, Ajero, Orangun Ile Ila. People of my grand mother’s house at Aramoko both paternal and maternal grand mothers had the Ila Orangun tribal marks. This is still existing today on faces of some old people in Aramoko.
    Could you give account of this story?

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  2. there is another account as to what orangun means. it is believed that oduduwa had a daughter called adetirin, whom oduduwa had an affair with. this affair led to the birth of ifagbamila and another name for fagbamila was oran (trouble) egun(curse). orangun means troubled curse. so, the true history is. Also, orangun oboyun like its mentioned, is properly called aboyunmoyara. meaning he that buried the coral beads in yara. while the orangun servants were traversing to get a place to settle the oragun leader or king if you like, didn’t have any male child and when it was certain that death was to come he buried the royal beads which at that time was very the official confirmation instrument as a the leader along with the igbonnibi( short cutlass like a scythe). to add too, the original crown is in the oke-ila. the ila orangun most people know are believed to be usurpers of the real place where their traditional power still remains till date. any ila origin will not like to like you know that a more ancient and under developed orangun ila settlement exists. you can go on and find out. i was once there. for anybody second guessing me, take a hike to ila orangun its just a few kilometres after the mobile police training camp.

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  3. @Jolly Fella, I am a great grandson of Orangun Odeyemi Amesomoye, the Orangun who led the people back to Ile Ila, the present day Ila Orangun in the 19th century. I know the history of my town, and can authoritatively tell you that what you posted is not our history, but that is the story for another day. The Oke Ila you claimed has the original crown of Orangun was founded by Apakiimo, a sibling to Oluokun, Olakale and Adegbiji Lado, the four children of Ogboye. It was after the demise of the Orangun Oboyun, which you mentioned in your erroneous assertion, that Apakiimo and his brothers fought over who’d become the new Orangun, and in the hot dispute burnt down a town. Apakiimo tried to impose himself as the Orangun but was fiercely opposed, so he resorted to leaving Ila Yara with all his family and some of Oluokun’s sons to settle at Igbohun (presently known as Oke Ila), where he continued to answer the title “Orangun” which was assumed by him at Ila Yara. Now I beg to know how that translates to our history rooted in oke Ila and the original crown being in Oke Ila. If I may give a humble advice, I would say going forward, you should try as much to avoid posting misleading information about what you know little or nothing about.

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    1. Thank you for the response. Your assertions cannot be confirmed either. Our write-ups are diligently sourced and documented. Its advised that you write your own side of the story for the public to read. Thank you so much for taking your time to contribute. Regards

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