Regency in Yorubaland

Princess Adetutu Adesida- Dike the Regent of Akure

Regency, a practice, whereby a princess is allowed to occupy the throne until a substantive king is installed, is presently practiced in some states in yorubaland. In yoruba tradition, regency is designed to honor the first daughter of every Oba/king/High chief who died on the throne. However, such honor is not extended to any Oba who was banished. There have been instances in Akure history when two Regents have refused to quit and they went ahead to be confirmed as the Deji for many years.

in yorubaland. In yoruba tradition, regency is designed to honor the first daughter of every Oba/king/High chief who died on the throne. However, such honor is not extended to any Oba who was banished. There have been instances in Akure history when two Regents have refused to quit and they went ahead to be confirmed as the Deji for many years.

The Regent is supposed to be an interim Oba in the real sense of it. She enjoys all the honor and privileges attached to the office of the Oba and she has to dress as a man for the period she is Regent. Because she has worn a crown, she is is never again required to expose her head or get careless with any strands of her hair if she ever goes to a Beauty Salon after leaving the throne. She must never again carry anything on her head for the rest of her life.

HER MAJESTY, PRINCESS JOYCE IBIMIDUN ADESOLA OLADIRAN EBISENI, THE REGENT KALASUWE OF IJAW- APOILAND.

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She is forever exempted from being a victim of domestic violence in her marriage meaning that her husband must never lay hands on her regardless of any provocation on her part. If she is not married, she could go and marry after serving as a Regent.

tradition believes that a married woman or a single lady should be made a Regent instead of a male, for it is assumed that a male might not want to leave as he may transform himself to be king .It had happened in one of the towns before. But if a married woman or spinster is enthroned she will be yearning to go back to her husband and family while a spinster will be yearning to get married and start a new life with her own family.

The Regent is to all intent and purposes the Oba-in-Council in and she automatically takes precedence over the all the chiefs and they are subservient to the Regent and must swear traditional allegiance and loyalty to the Regent as an Institution.

From Igbona-Ekiti in Ikole Local Government Area to Erio-Ekiti in Ekiti west and Awo-Ekiti, in Irepodun-Ifelodun Local Government Area, regents currently hold the fort, even if temporarily, as kings on the thrones of their fathers, occasionally giving orders, settling disputes, attending community and state functions and filling other spaces within the communities as needs often compel.

While some communities are said to choose males as regents, the more common and familiar are the females who are the direct daughters of recently deceased monarchs. Findings showed that males are seldom made regents because of the possibilities of a refusal to vacate the throne when a substantive monarch is installed, causing a situation in which two monarchs lay claim to one royal stool.

Further findings reveal that the regents, who are sometimes known even before the demise of a sitting monarch, are there mainly for titular purposes and for a short time till another monarch is selected and installed. It was also found out that in actual fact, the administrative running of the towns still solely rests with the chiefs as a regent might have one personal reason or the other to be away.

The Alaani of Idoani, Princess

Adetutu Atewogboye.

According to Yoruba tradition, the moment a princess ascends the throne and as long as she remains the regent, she is no longer regarded as a woman and she is expected to appear always like a man, but she is only allowed to wear the round beaded crowns, unlike the male kings who have various crowns designed and decorated with beads which may fall over their faces.

The faces of the regents must not be covered and the beads on the neck, falling on their chest must not be more than three and graduated in three layers, although this varies in some communities. But, the beads of the Obas, though of the same length could be more than three.

Regents cannot undertake during the regency any installation of chieftaincy titles, removal of erring chiefs on any excuse and registration of chieftaincy declarations.

The Regency concept is not universal in Yorubaland. There was no Regent in Ijebu Land before the current Awujale, Ogbagba the second was coronated. Same in Lagos after Oba Adeniji Adele or Oba Oyekan joined their ancestors. So also in Ile Ife after Oonirisa Atobatele Sir Adesoji Aderemi left, and Kabiyesi Sijuwade took over.

There was no Regent in Oyo Alaafin where the Oyo Mesi reign supreme. Same for the Owa Obokun of Ilesha after the demise of Owa Obokun Agunlejika and before Oba Aromolaran took over. There was no Regent in Owo after Ekunwolu, Oluaiye Olateru Olagbegi answered the call. There was no Regent in Idanre following the transition of Kabiyesi Owa Arubiefin.

However, there are few towns in Ekitiland and other places where they had Regents in their traditional system. Certainly in Ado Ewi and Iropora and Oba Ile near Akure, the tradition is fully observed. In the case of Akure, we have had two Regents who have refused to quit after serving out their term as Regents. The were both powerful women of substance with a lot of medicinal and spuritual power.

One of them became the 13th Deji of Akure. Her name was “Eyearo” She reigned for 26 years from 1393 to 1419. The second one became the 25th Deji. Her name is “Eyemoin.” She reigned for 30 years from 1705 to 1735. We are able to talk about them today because their reigns were properly documented.

Princess Bisoye Adedipe, Regent of Elemo in Akure.

After Ewuare the Great broke chalk, his eldest son Ezoti succeeded him. If you recall Olua (Edeleyo’s younger brother) succeeded Ezoti (circa 1473) who himself moved on to the great beyond within 14 days – shot by an aggrieved palace boy during coronation.

According to Egharevba, when Ezoti began his journey to the spirit world, his brother Okpame went to Esi to bring Ezoti’s only son (Owere) back to take the throne. Sadly, Owere and his mum were assassinated on the way back (buried alive) by Okpame – but news of his action leaked leading to his banishment (exile) to Ora. Fear of Okpame made Olua (Ewuare’s second son) initially refuse the throne. Thus, Edeleyo (Olua’s older sister) was invited to become Oba. She was actually installed as Edaiken but fell ill to an unspecified incurable female complaint on her way to Uselu. The spot where she took ill is called Ogbe Edeleyo and bears a shrine to this day. Every Edaiken since then has been decreed to offer a sacrifice at this spot on his way to Uselu.

Orompoto (also spelled: Oronpoto) was the first and last female Alaafin of Oyo, also the empire’s titled ruler. She was the sister of her predecessor Eguguojo. She assumed the throne because there was no male successor from her elder brother at the time. Orompoto lived in the 16th-century. She was considered a skillful warrior and was known according to Oyo tales of her inadvertent victory at the battle of Illayi. Orompoto was one of the four Alaafins to be buried in Oyo Igoho, the capital established by Eguguoju, his brother.

Orompoto’s story say that she was a woman who “danced in and out on the day of her coronation and then the king-makers looked up and realised she had turned into a man.” Orompoto was the child of Egungunoju, the first king of Oyo at Igboho who had no sons. As she wanted to rule against Yoruba tradition, she chose to change her sex rather than shift the throne to another family.

Orompoto was the monarch who introduced cavalary into the Oyo military and lead the Oyo army to conquer many lands. It has been suggested that she is the one behind Oyo bcoming the largest empire in Yoruba history. Interestingly, it is noted that Orompoto’s successor, her son Ajiboyede was the first Oyo king to impose castration for the ranking male official in the palace. Apparently no other woman assumed the Oyo throne before and after the reign of Orompoto.

Luwoo was the first and only female to be crowned a king in Ife. She was said to be the 21st Ooni of Ife. She took over the thrown after the demise of Ooni Giesi and was succeeded by Ooni Lumobi. Her reign was said to be filled with terror and fear especially by the men. The female folks in Ife lost the opportunity of being crowned a king again just because of the wickedness perpetrated by Luwoo while seated on the revered throne.

She is said to be so finicky that she did not walk on bare floor. According to palace sources, Luwoo walks on tiles, clay tiles. The residue of the tiles she walked on while she reigned is still available in Ife and other parts of Yoruba land she visited while on the throne because the tiles are unique. The hand-made clay tiles Ooni of Ife Queen Luwoo walked on How did she get these tiles produced? It was gathered that anyone who commit one offence or the other is ordered to make the clay tiles.

They are ordered to bake the clay, and afterwards use their bare hands to break it into pieces and then lay it on the floor for the queen to walk on. It is reported that the female Ooni was a beautiful and sophisticated queen who took pride in her physical appearance and that of her surroundings. She was also known to be the one to commission unique Yoruba custom of construction of decorative pavements; open-air courtyards paved the pottery shreds. Queen Luwoo was said not to spare the menfolk when they offend her or her constituted authority. She was noted to ride erring men as horses for violating her laws. She was a terror to lazy people. For her highhandedness, the council of obas in Ife convened and vowed after her demise not to make a female the Ooni of Ife again as they saw Queen Luwoo as being uncontrollable by them.

The role of Regents ought to be defined by a purposeful Government since they are being paid by tax payers. A responsible Government ought to be able to do that. Awolowo Government to his everlasting credit initiated the 1958 Chieftaincy Declarations covering the whole Western Region to forestall anarchy and confusion and hooliganism associated with filling most of the vacancies for most of the important Obaship and Chieftaincy titles in the old West.

YorubaRenaissance

Deji of Akure’s 850-yr-old palace

Ua Lila, Ua Ogoga, Ua Ibura, Ua Oriole, Ua Ojukoto, Ua Agbeto, and twelve other courtyards make up the cultural magnificence that is the old palace of the Deji of Akure. Still standing despite being constructed more than 850 years ago.

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The old palace of the Paramount Ruler of Akureland, the Deji of Akure, located in the modern day Akure South Local Government Area of Ondo State, which has housed no fewer than 47 kings, depicts the rich history, values, customs and tradition of the people of the town. Historical monuments are on display there, and it is no wonder the palace was declared one of the historical national monuments in 1990. It is home to many artefacts.

The palace, according to history, was built around 1150 AD by the first traditional ruler of Akure Kingdom, Oba Asodeboyede, who came from Ile Ife, and was one of the grandchildren of Oduduwa, the progenitor of the Yoruba race.

The architectural designs of the palace, in spite of how old it is, retains its traditional use and value till date, as many traditional rites, rituals, festivals, and other ceremonies such as the coronation of a new king and chiefs are performed in the old palace. The building represents a masterpiece of human creative genius based on the level of technology at that time.

Old palace was preserved to give young people access to Akure’s history –Sele of Akureland

The old palace of the Deji of Akureland has been preserved to offer opportunity for the young ones and visitors to learn about the history, values and culture of Akure people, noting that many historical monuments can be found in the palace.

The palace has about 18 different courtyards, with each courtyard holding significance to Akure people.

‘If women pass the palace’s male entrance, they risk infertility’

There are two main entrances to the palace, aside the main entrance which is reserved for the king. There is an entrance meant for men and another for women. “Women are not allowed to pass through the male entrance and this has a traditional attachment. If a woman tries to enter through the male gate, she risks becoming infertile for the rest of her life. This is one of the reasons why guards are stationed there to monitor the movement of the people. But men can use the women entrance.”

“Ua lila” is the biggest of the courtyards in the palace. He explained that the people of the town met and gathered at the courtyard to discuss general issues concerning the town. As the name refers, Ua Lila, which means big courtyard, is surrounded by big pillars, covered with old rustic zinc, with a section for the king and his high chiefs, and big enough to accommodate more than 1,000 people. “This is an assembly where decisions are taken by the people of the town.” Aside this, there is a big hall which he said was constructed by Oba Afunbiowo but was recently renovated by the present Deji of Akureland, Oba Aladelusi Aladetoyinbo.

A royal cart, which is a replica of the Queen of England’s cart, is also noticed by our correspondent at the entrance of the palace. The royal cart, with its large umbrella, is said to be used to transport the king on special occasions.

The Akure, Ekiti cow courtyard connection

At Ua Ogoga, carcasses of cows and bones were seen in this courtyard. The chief explained that the courtyards expressed the bond and link between the people of Akure and Ikere in Ekiti State.

“For every king installed in Ikere Ekiti, they must bring a cow as a sign of respect to Akure, because it is in history that they moved from here to their present abode. We regard them as part of us and we also identify with them. This is the reason a whole courtyard was dedicated for them.”

“For every king installed in Ikere Ekiti, they must bring a cow as a sign of respect to Akure, because it is in history that they moved from here to their present abode. We regard them as part of us and we also identify with them. This is the reason a whole courtyard was dedicated for them.”

The courtyard the king enters once in a lifetime

The Ua Ibura, as its name connotes, is specially reserved for oath taking. He said the place was created for oath taking and it was to prevent criminal activities in the town. He recalled that some 100 Akure youths recently voluntarily visited the Ua Ibura to voluntarily renounce cultism. Apart from Ua Ibura, there is another courtyard known as Ua Oriole, where traditional rulers, chiefs – whether traditional or honorary – swear an oath of allegiance.

At the Ua Oriole, there are two special magical pots placed at a section of the courtyard. The traditional chief explained that “whenever there is drought in the land, the pots would be placed at the shrine, while some appeals would be made, and I can assure you that after five minutes of the completion of the rituals, rain will surely fall.”

Beside the oath taking courtyard, is a special room, which was blocked and he said: “This room is specially designed for Deji of Akure and he enters this room once in his life time.”

The Ua Ojukoto is a place where all rites and ceremonies are held for new chiefs. Aside this, if there is any emergency, the king and the chiefs usually meet there to discuss about the town and pressing issues.

Ua Agbeto, the room for urinating that never stinks’

“The traditionalists or ifa worshippers meet here every nine days to offer prayers and consult for the Kabiyesi. A special feature of one the courtyards known as Ua Agbeto, is that it rarely stinks. The chief explained that no matter how often people urinated there, it will never give off odour. He said: “There is no explanation for this; it is something which people cannot easily explain, but it has been established as being true.”

There are so many other courtyards, which include Ua Ameshe, where offenders are punished. Another significant feature in the palace is the final resting place of some of the past kings of the town. Carcasses and skeletons of cows were noticed in each of the rooms which housed the remains of the past kings. He revealed that about 26 traditional festivals are being observed in the old palace, just as he noted that there were some places within the old palace which were not exposed to visitors.

‘Only kings were allowed to have women, slaves were castrated’

The old palace used to house only the king, as the king is regarded as the only ‘man’ in the palace. He said it is a taboo for anybody to smoke in the palace.

“The Deji is the only ‘man’ residing in the palace. The slaves living in the palace in those days were usually castrated, and no man, except the Deji has the right to have a woman in the palace.”

Princes were not allowed to live in the palace. When they reached a certain age, they would be sent to the villages and installed as heads of those villages. This explains the reason Dejis were also brought from the village to be crowned,” noting that this was to checkmate atrocities within the palace, while the princes were usually trained outside the palace.

The palace has been able to stand the test of time because of the planned drainage system and landscaping within the palace. There is free flow of rain water from one courtyard to another, and the water empties itself into the main courtyard, Ua Lila, then moves from there to the town’s main drainage system, and this has prevented the palace structure and walls from collapsing.

The palace, undoubtedly, remains one of the best examples of the cultural richness of Ondo State, and by extension, Nigeria, as the palace mirrors the customs, tradition and values of the past and present people of Akure community, centuries old, yet relevant in the modern world.

YORUBARENAISSANCE

Culled from Nigera Tribune, February 6, 2018

Araba Agbaye

35-year-old Ifa priest, Owolabi Aworeni has emerged new Araba Agbaye and got the approval of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Eniitan Ogunwusi.

The new Araba Agbaye learnt the rope from his father right from childhood and showed traits of making it to the apex of the priesthood with his many exploits that earned him accolade within and outside the country. He has his presence in countries such as USA, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, UK, Paraguay, Venezuela, Argentina where has received awards in propagating Ifa, Yoruba history and Cultural heritage.

He is the last son of his parents and partly a student of Oluwo Fawole of Agesinyowa compound of Ile-Ife in the late 1990s. The passion of the new Araba Agbaye over the years was all about propagating traditional religion in face of the expanding influence of Christianity and Islam in Yorubaland.

It was learnt that his journey to Awo Olodumerindinlogun started in December 2013, when he became member of the Awo Olodumerindinlogun and was installed Olori Iwarefa.

In April 7 2018, he emerged as the new Afedigba Awo Olodumerindinlogun due to the death of late Afedigba and Baale Ile Oke-Itase, Pa. Olujide Omopariola.

He is the founder of Orishada Ifa Cultural Foundation. It was also learnt that the title of Araba Agbaye is restricted to Oke-Itase compound, Ile-Ife. The first Araba Agate was one Agiri a.k.a. Baba Oke-Itase. It was his descendant that has been reigning as Araba Agbaye. Some of his successors were Olumodan, Gbagalaala, Adoosioke, Agarawu, Lamilooye, Ijala, Awoyeju Ipeti Nagunnaja, Fafore Omopariola, Awosope Awosade, Fasuyi Omopariola, Adisa Aworeni, and the newest Araba, Owolabi Awodotun Aworeni.

Further findings also revealed that not all male child of Oke-Itase is qualified to hold the title of Araba Agbaye. It is exclusive to only child who has been initiated to Awo Olodumerindinlogun cult under the headship of Araba Agbaye.

The Brief History of Idanre

Olofin Aremitan the younger brother of Olofin Oduduwa led a group of people from Ile Ife after the demise of Oduduwa owing to the ensuing power struggle with the heirs to the throne of Oduduwa.

On the death of Oduduwa, Olofin Aremitan left Ile Ife with a group of people and settled first at Ijama in the present day Ile-oluji with Jegun Orere. A short while after, perhaps after only a season, he moved to Epe, It was believed that a group of people parted from Olofin at Ijama; and he bade goodbye to the rest at Epe. From Epe, Olofin moved out with those we might regard today as the fathers of Idanre and settled at Ojanla, not far from river Owena. From this time on, Idanre had maintained its distinct almost completely separated from all other children of Oduduwa.

The exact reason that led Olofin to leave Ife is the power tussle that no doubt erupted between Oduduwa’s heirs after the death of this powerful King. Olofin ruled Ife briefly after the death of Oduduwa as a regent but his reign was marred by jealousy, in-fighting and acrimony. Defeated in his bid for power, he set out to found another settlement with his followers, going eastward through Ujama, Epe, Urede, Ojanla, Jaleja, Utaja (his last stop where he called Ufe’ke), and crossing the Urore river. In some accounts, he was accompanied in these travels by the early leaders of Idanre.

After the death of Olofin Oduduwa, Olofin Aremitan took with him a few valuable and the most treasured belongings of Oduduwa. These include among others the ancient crown of Oduduwa, Oreghe, Ugwan, a pair of irunkere or horse tail and certain medicine for their preservation. These were supposed to be the common property of all the children of Oduduwa. It is related orally that some of the property he could not take with him while leaving Ile-Ife he sent Ajija to bring them for him.

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OWA OF IDANRE

Idanre people lived in caves, safeguarded by the protective charms of Olofin. Olofin lived with the Idanre people at Utaja for about forty years. Seeing that he was getting too old and could travel no further, he eventually died in a cave at Utaja-Idanre called Uwo-Akota, meaning the cave of wasps. Relics that are claimed to have belonged to Olofin remain in the cave until this day. Uwo Akota was located on the West side of Utaja at the foot of Aghagha Hill on the Eastern path to Oke Idanre.

Olofin was succeeded by his son Agboogun who inherited the properties of his father, as well as the old enemies. Agboogun feared for the safety of his people in the valleys, where it was easy for other tribes to raid and enslave the people. He thus met with his followers, who were split into several groups, to deliberate on a more secure place to settle for the Makanres (Idanre people). These groups included Logunro, who led the Urowo people, Asalu who led the Usalu people, and Jemiken, who led the Udale people. One of these followers was a hunter called Egunren, who had gone up Aghagha hill on one of his hunting expeditions.

He reported that he had found a secure location up in the hills, where enemies could not easily attack. Agboogun led his followers to Oke Idanre, where they first settled the Oba at a place named Usalu up in the hills. However, this region was thought to be too exposed, so another location was chosen, close to Egunren, “the hunter’s cave”, where the people would mobilise; presumable under the lead of Egunren who was the leading warrior.

Agboogun settled at Odeja. The building of the palace took over 30 years to construct. As he was getting old, he decided to relinquish the palace on to his son, Baganju, on the condition that he would perform rites at Odeja for his father after the former’s death. Baganju was thus the first Owa to occupy the old palace at Oke Idanre. However, the traditional accounts are generally in agreement in considering Agboogun the first Owa of Idanre up in Idanre Hills, with Baganju as the second.

Oke Idanre hill consists of high plain with spectacular valleys interspersed with inselbergs of about 3,000 ft above sea level. Its physical attributes include Owa’s Palace, Shrines, Old Court, Belfry, Agbooogun foot print, thunder water (Omi Apaara) and burial mounds and grounds.

It also has diverse and variegated eco-systems of flora and fauna. Oke Idanre contains very important bio-physical and land form features whose interaction with the physical features created an enduring cultural landscape within the setting.

The names of the past Obas in Idanre and some of their outstanding achievements are as follows:

  • Owa Agboogun led Idanre people from Utaja to Oke Idanre.

  • Owa Baganju, choses the site for the building of the old Palace at Oke Idanre.

  • Owa Beyoja successfully defended idanre territory against the invading Oyo Soldiers

  • Owa Jarugan, the son of Baganju

  • Owa Ogbogbomudu

  • Owa Agunmanyan is the first Owa of Idanre to visit Ado Bini

  • Owa Amuwaro

  • Owa Bogede

  • Owa Sofin

  • Owa Oganyeri(Ajinamurobo maku)

  • Owa Oluodo

  • Owa Obojo

  • Owa Olugharere

  • Owa Resilebete

  • Owa Elegbehoho

  • Owa Ogedemeru

  • Owa Orile

  • Owa Yiworo, Alade market was founded during his reign

  • Owa Kulumo

  • Owa Arowojoye

  • Owa Ajikansekun

  • Owa Agunleye

  • Owa Arubiefin I (1832 – 1912)

  • Owa Gbolagbeye Arubiefin II (1913 – 1919)

  • Owa Adegbule Aroloye Arubiefin III

  • Owa Dr. Frederick Adegunle Aroloye JP. OFR. (1976 – till date)

The Brief History of Ijero-Ekiti

Odùduwà arrived ancient Ife with his group which eventually conquered the component communities they met and evolved the palace structure with an effective centralized power and dynasty.

Oral history tells us that Oduduwa had EIGHT children. SEVEN (Onipopo of Popo, Onisabe of Sabe, Alara of Ara, 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.

The first seven were sent out by their father to establish other kingdoms while Ooni the son of Orunto stayed behind to take care of their father and he inherited the throne of his father after his demise.

The people of Ijero Ekiti have settled in various places before the final settlement in the Ijero Kingdom. Their first movement was from Ile- Ife at a place called Ita Ajero (the quarter still exists in Ile-Ife till today) Their final settlement in the Ijero Kingdom which was precisely in the year 1312AD and the king who led them to the present Ijero Kingdom was called Owa-Ogbe.

While Ajero left Ile-Ife to the present Ijero kingdom, he met a family who also came from Ile-Ife called Olodo-Oye family and this family worships Obalufon Alayemore.

Some other families which he met includes Alapa family, Oloku family among others but due to the supremacy of Ajero, these families could not fight against him but rather submitted to his royalty. Presently, Owa-lodooye, one of these families is one of the the high chiefs of Ijero Ekiti.

The Brief history of Efon-Alaaye

About 800 A.D., Odùduwà, the progenitor of the Yorùbá race and civilization established Ifẹ̀ dynasty.

The first was Ife Oodaiye, Ile Owuro (the land of the most ancient days where the dawn was first experienced). Tradition tells us that this Ife ended as a result of a flood. The survivors formed the nucleus of the second Ife, Ife Ooyelagbo (Ife, the city of survivors) this existed until the arrival of elements from the east whose attempt to seize power led to a bloody struggle between the strangers led by Oduduwa and the aboriginies led by Obatala. Oduduwa conquered and founded Ile-Ife (Ife of peace).

Òdúdú-Ọ̀runkú, the grandson of Odùduwà was the progenitor of Ayès of Èfòn. It was said that when Òdúdú-Ọ̀runkú was a little boy, Ọ̀ọ̀ni Ọbalúfòn Ógbógbódirin was fond of him and he often displays his affection towards him by letting him sit on his lap. Consequently, at about 950 A.D., the second Ọ̀ọ̀ni of Ifẹ̀, Ọbalúfòn Ógbógbódirin carved out a territory named Ìráyè, the site of the present town of MODÁKẸ́KẸ́, and made his beloved son, ODÙDÙ Ọ̀RUNKÚN the overlord and the Aláyè of Ìráyè.

Whenever Aláyè play host to the Ọ̀ọ̀ni of Ifẹ̀, it is a customary practice for the Aláyè to sit on Ọ̀ọ̀ni’s lap. Similarly, whenever the Ọ̀ọ̀ni of Ifẹ̀ plays host to Aláyè – the Aláyè is not made to follow protocol at the palace of Ọ̀ọ̀ni of Ifẹ̀, he is given a free rein.

The fondness Ọ̀ọ̀ni extended to Aláyè appears to be a re-enactment of the past when the Aláyè was treated as a favorite child of Ọ̀ọ̀ni ÒGBÓGBÓDIRIN. However, at about 1040 A.D., the AYÈS left Ìráyè in search of larger territory and finally about 1180 A.D., ÌJÌ-È̩MÍGÙN led the AYÈS out of ÌGBÓLÉ-AYÈ and founded È̩FÒN-ALÁAYÈ Kingdom.

According to È̩fòn Tradition, the Kingdom had 12 sub-towns under the dominion of the Aláyè of Èfòn. There are three ruling houses in Efon Alaaye that normally produce the Oba in rotation. The ruling houses and the order of rotation are: – Ogbenuote, Obologun and Asemojo respectively.

Kingmakers are the six high Chiefs who are heads of six Quarters into which the town is divided. The six kingmakers are:-

High Chief Obanla of Aaye Quarter,

High Chief Obaloja of Obalu Quarter,

High Chief Peteko of Isaja Quarter,

High Chief Oisajigan of Ejigan Quarter,

High Chief Alaayo of Emo Quarter,

High Chief Ojubu of Ikagbe Quarter

The Brief History of Ikare.

Ikare was founded by Agba Ode an Ife prince who was one of the grand children of Oduduwa. He migrated from Ile Ife during the disaster period like other Yoruba princes with his Chiefs, like the Olona, the Olokoja, Akuko, Oloyinmo and so many others with members of his family.
He traversed various areas and eventually settled in Ikare based on instructions from Ifa. But when he was leaving, they were sharing the properties of their grand father, Oduduwa and when they were sharing the crowns, Agba Ode who was relatively young realised that he might not get out of this, so he went to Ile-Ife and picked one of the crowns.
Agba Ode settled at a place now known as Oke Iba, it is behind a porpular hill called Oke Owa Ale or Oke Baba wa, meaning the hill of our progenitor and that’s why at Ikare today, the indigenes are called “Ikare Omo Oloke Meji tako tabo”.
At that hilly place they noticed two significant things when they got there during the dry season. There was a brook on the hill which is still there today, and its called Omi Atan, and throughout that dry season the water never dries up. They also settled under a tree where there were weaver birds, a tree which we call Igi Akere.
Agba Ode and his entourage settled under this tree, the uniqueness of that tree was that Ikare derived its name-from the tree “Igi Akere”.
More than two hundred years after Agba Ode had settled down, Umar Etimigbo the ancestors of the present day Olukare migrated from Bida. They called him Umar “Etimigbo” which is an appellation because whenever they talk to him, he will tell them that he cannot understand and that was the reason they named him Etimigbo.
Umar Etimigbo met Owa Ale Orukusuku a great warrior.

Brief history of Emure-Ile.

Prince Fagbamila Obadudu was bidden by his father to look for a territory where he could settle with his own people. He was sent forth with blessings by the entire Oduduwa royal family as he left Ile-Ife.

Prince Obadudu was given the following paraphernalia of royalty – a Beaded Crown, a Sword (to win laurels in battle), Fern Leaves, Akoko Leaves, Atorin (cane), and a Giant Leather Fan made of Tiger Skin.

The Fern Leaf is called Imu in Yoruba language and the name of the town was derived from the act of giving the Fern Leaves to Obadudu – Imu re re e o, meaning these are your Fern Leaves.

Prince Fagbamila journeyed to Oba-Ile after consulting Ifa oracle and settled there for nine years as a temporary abode. Obe-Ile, near Akure became another Emure transit town as some people were left behind by Prince Fagbamila, when he moved to settle at Igbo-Owa.

Igbo Owa means “the Forest of the King.” He finally arrived and settled in Igbo_owa in the year 1300 AD for about four decades. The descendants of Prince Fagbamila remained in Igbo-Owa town. Records showed that Emure people lived abundant lives and were prosperous in Igbo- Owa kingdom. However, after its tremendous expansion, between 1300 and 1771 AD, the Igbo-Owa Kingdom began to experience a decline. The surrounding towns and villages over which they wiedled power and dominion became too pwerful for the central kingdom to control.

The Princes were deployed as administrators over subordinate towns and villages to help in collection royalties and maintaining law and order.

The Princes were deployed as administrators over subordinate towns and villages to help in collection royalties and maintaining law and order.

Attacks from Oba Ado, Bini (Benin Kingdom) drove them from the settlement and led to the fragmentation of the Igbo-Owa kingdom. Components of this great kingdom which later fragmented included Awo, Odo-Emure (now known as Odo-Emure Agbado). Other people settled in Ado-Ani (now called Idoani), Oba (now known as Oba Akoko), Ipeme, and a host of other towns. As the Emures departed from Igbo-Owa in their search for better life, they got to a habitable place, and the elderly ones felt it was commodious enough for them to settle there, since they were not strong enough to participate in a long trek, and promptly named it Emure-Ile, meaning they had ‘arrived home’. After settling the elderly people at Emure-Ile, the younger ones proceeded to a place called Emure Ijaloke, which is now known as Emure-Ekiti.

Ijaloke was formerly named Oke-Oko, a farm settlement for Igbo-Owa residents and it received the name ‘Ijaloke’ because a big fight broke out among the people farming at the settlement, and this was reported at Igbo-Owa as – ‘Ogun ja l’Oke Oko’ (there was a war at Oke-Oko). This was later grafted onto the settlement’s name, which then became known as Ijaloke.

It was in 1780 that Emures relocated to Emure Ijaloke from Igbo-Owa. They were led to the new site by Adumori Ogunragaboja, who became the first ruler of Emure Kingdom.

The cracks on the walls of the Igbo-Owa kingdom in 1770 led to the disintegration of Emure Kingdom as some of the people decided to elave the central kingdom to found a new place of abode. During the journey to a new settlement, a few of the elderly persons could not go further due to tiredness hence they declared that “they had reached home” which in Yoruba parlance means “ati de le.” The place where they settled then is the present Emure Ile.

The cracks on the walls of the Igbo-Owa kingdom in 1770 led to the disintegration of Emure Kingdom as some of the people decided to elave the central kingdom to found a new place of abode. During the journey to a new settlement, a few of the elderly persons could not go further due to tiredness hence they declared that “they had reached home” which in Yoruba parlance means “ati de le.” The place where they settled then is the present Emure Ile.

The Brief History Of CHIEF BALOGUN LANDUJI OSHODI TAPA of Eko

Chief Balogun Landuji Oshodi Tapa was an outstanding warrior and a statesman. During the reign of King Eshilokun, he immigrated to Lagos from Bida in what is now known as the Niger State. This was after he had lost his parents in a tribal war when he was only six years old. He put himself under the protection of the King as his servant in order to prevent himself from being taken and sold into slavery. The King in turn put him under the supervision of one of his trusted men, Fagbemi.

Some years later, one of the Portuguese merchants, a friend of King Eshilokun, asked the king to let two of his children accompany him to Portugal and he promised to bring them back. The King was very wary of this offer and he thought instead of risking the lives of any of his own children, he would offer two people loyal to him. Hence he chose Oshodi and Dada Antonio to go with the Portuguese merchant.

While the King thought he was protecting the interests of his own children, he was in fact denying them an opportunity that would have benefited them more in the future.

Oshodi and Dada Antonio went with the Portuguese merchant to America and they were later returned to the King after many years.

On arrival from America, Oshodi was employed by Messrs. G. L. Gaiser as a Commission Agent and Toll Collector. With the arrival of the ships of the Portuguese merchants, business flourished, and Oshodi’s commissions from sales increased and he eventually became a rich man. Oshodi never forgot the hands that fed him, so to speak; he continued to be loyal to the King and was made a chief solely responsible for looking after the King’s wives. He was the only one who could go into the Queen’s apartment to oversee repairs if the need arose.

After the death of King Eshinlokun, Chief Oshodi remained loyal to his children. He particularly cast his lot with Idewu Ojulari who succeeded his father. After the reign of Chief Idewu Ojulari, Kosoko, a son of Oshinlokun, was said to be the rightful heir to the throne, but he was an enemy of Chief Eletu Odibo, whose duty was to install and crown any new king. It was said at the time, that young Prince Kosoko had seduced Eletu Odibo’s would-be wife. In retaliation, Eletu Odibo used his powerful position to crown Oluwole as the next King of Lagos in 1836.

Kosoko and other descendants of King Eshilokun were not satisfied with the decision and were ready to show their resentment. They waged a war against King Oluwole and Chief Eletu Odibo. Kosoko and his warriors invaded Isale-Eko. The battle was fierce and prolonged but ended with a victory on the side of the king’s army. Kosoko fled to Whydah, realising the consequences of his action.

When King Oluwole died, Akitoye was crowned in 1841 as the next King of Lagos.

Conscious of the right of Kosoko to the throne, Akitoye justly decided to search for Kosoko his nephew, who had taken refuge in Whydah. He believed that he must enjoy his patronage while on the throne. Akitoye organised a search party under the command of bold and gallant Chief Oshodi. The rapidity with which the party achieved its success was directly related to the military might of Chief Oshodi.

Kosoko finally returned to Lagos with Chief Oshodi in a vessel belonging to a merchant called, Domingo.

Henceforth, Chief Oshodi worked to maintain peace between Kosoko and Akintoye, and eventually brought the two together on terms. The peace effort was thwarted by Chief Eletu Odibo who had employed all the persuasive words he could, to dissuade King Akitoye from bringing Kosoko back to Lagos. He believed that Lagos would not contain the two of them. For a while, he did all he could to create conflicts between them, but later left Lagos for exile in Badagry.

When a war broke out between King Akitoye and Kosoko, Chief Oshodi loyally pitched his tent with Kosoko, the son of Eshilokun, through thick and thin. Akitoye asked Eletu Odibo to return to Lagos with his warriors to fight on his side. Akitoye’s men led by Eletu Odibo were soundly defeated. Eletu Odibo was captured in an ambush and killed.

With the death of Eletu Odibo, the elders advised Akitoye to escape to his mother’s town in Abeokuta. When Kosoko heard about the plan, he detailed his war chief, Oshodi, to lay ambush for Akitoye, kill him, and bring his head before him. Akitoye was in fact caught by Oshodi in the Agboyi waters, but instead of killing him, he paid homage to him and his Lord and prayed for his safe journey and safe return.

Chief Oshodi returned to report to Kosoko that Akitoye had escaped by the use of a powerful charm which put them all to sleep when he was passing. Historians were not able to assign any reason for the treatment which Oshodi gave Akitoye when in fact he was on orders to bring his head to Kosoko. In 1845, Kosoko defeated Akitoye and ascended the throne. In the meantime, Chief Oshodi remained Kosoko’s “Abagbon” war chief.

While in exile, Akitoye appealed to the British Government for help to restore him to his throne. A war broke out; the British started to bombard Lagos, setting the town on fire. Kosoko’s defence under the command of Chief Oshodi was effective and modern by the international standard of the time. After nine days of consecutive serious military actions, the British fleet unleashed excessive gun power which resulted in the defeat of Kosoko’s fleet. Under this unfavourable condition, Kosoko had to flee to Epe with Chief Oshodi and his warriors on the night of the13th of August 1853.

Akitoye was brought back to Lagos by the British Consul and was restored as the King of Lagos. Akitoye died on the 2nd of September 1853, about two weeks after Kosoko and his men had fled. In the afternoon of September 3rd, 1853, his son, Dosunmu was formally installed as the King of Lagos.

Although the war seemed to have ended with Kosoko in exile, there were sporadic raids on Lagos from Epe; disturbing the peace and trade of the island. The raids caused the British Consul Campbell, the Elders, and White Cap chiefs of Lagos, to initiate a move to reconcile the warring royal relatives.

On the 26th of January 1854, a peace conference, historically known as Langbasa meeting, was held at Agbekin (Palaver Island) about four months after King Dosunmu’s coronation. The British Consul’s party included the Commander of HMS Plato with other officers under his command, and Kosoko’s party which included Chief Oshodi Tapa and Chief Onisemo Adeburusi of Epe. They came without Kosoko in about sixty canoes each containing forty men. King Dosunmu was represented by several white cap chiefs and war chiefs.

At the opening of this remarkable conference, the Epe people, led by Chief Oshodi Tapa expressed their strong desire to return to Lagos a to the British Consul and be at peace with their friends and relatives. Chief Oshodi proposed that Kosoko be allowed to return to Lagos and live as a private person.

The proposal was not agreeable to the Consul on the basis that two Kings could not rein in Lagos. As an appeasement, Chief Oshodi was offered to return alone as the Consul for the people of Epe, but he declined the offer and insisted on Kosoko’s return from exile. Several years later in 1862, Kosoko was allowed back to Lagos with his war chief, after signing a peace treaty negotiated with the British Consul by Chief Oshodi.

Governor Glover was very grateful for Chief Oshodi’s contributions to peace inLagos.

On their arrival to Lagos, Governor Glover sought permission from Aromire to give part of Epetedo to Chief Oshodi. For himself, his family, his followers, and servants who returned with him from Epe, he held the area under the native customary law of land tenure, subject to the native system of the devolution of land.

The palace of Oshodi is located in the centre of the area of land in Epetedo. The area is uniquely laid out into 21 compounds. Four of these compounds; Oshodi, Akinyemi, Ewumi, and Alagbede courts belong exclusively to Chief Balogun Oshodi’s extended family.

For the most notable and extraordinary role of Chief Oshodi in the restoration of peace to Lagos and his contribution to the Government of Lagos, he was presented by Governor Glover on the Lagos Race Course grounds with a sword from Mr. Cardwell, the Secretary of State to the British Government. The sword was inscribed “presented by the Government of Queen Victoria to Chief Tapa in commemoration of the loyal services rendered by him to the Government ofLagos”

With his background of having been to America, Oshodi did not miss the opportunity to educate his children. He solicited Governor Glover to educate one of his children in England. This child later assumed the surname of Oshodi-Glover.

Chief Balogun Oshodi Tapa died on 2nd of July1868 about six years after his return from exile in Epe, leaving forty-six surviving children. His body was laid to rest at the centre of Oshodi Street in Epetedo, Lagos. The descendants of Chief Oshodi constructed an imposing edifice at his burial site, as a monument to the memory of the renowned warlord, peacemaker, and statesman. This monument has been classified as a historic site by the Lagos State Government.

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