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.