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1886: The first Irele – Ondo inter – tribal War

JAWOSINMI OGUNBATO
The first Irele-Ondo inter-tribal War took place in 1886 when the folk from Ondo brought their quest for slaves and territorial expansion to the milieu. Memorable personalities during the Irele/Ondo inter tribal Wars were Jawosinmi, the son of Ogunbato who later became Gboroye Ladokun and Ogunje Ogunbato. The two warriors were brothers and their mother was named Eerinomo from Ugbo. In 1892, another Irele-Ondo inter-tribal war took place. It was known as Olayeye War. This was the last major war between Irele and Ondo. Irele people won and Irelejare was named in memory of the victory of the folk. Jawosinmi and Ogunje fought during the second Ondo Irele inter-tribal war. Ogunje was the last son of Eerinomo. He died early and his son Akinsikun was under the care of Jawosinmi his uncle. It was reputed that Jawosinmi had great love for Akinsikun Ogunje and would travel to Ondo to wrestle. He sang and danced at Ondo when he was bestowed the title of Gbogi. They were all living at Ladan till Akinsikun established Gbogi village and other relations had to move there. Olamiti the first son of Jawosinmi had to move with Akinsikun. Akinsikun was the Olori Bojutoro of Irele and Olori Ekun of Gboroye till 1988. He later became the Gbogi of Irele Kingdom. Olamiti died at Gbogi. In 1914, the First World War began. High Chief Jawosinmi Ogunbato the great grandfather of Dr. Segun Omosule fought during the War. His heroic exploits distinguished him as a worthy leader and was consequently installed the fourth Gboroye of Irele. His grandson Omotere Olamiti also followed the outstanding gallantry of his grand father as he too fought during the Biafran War.

OLAMITI JAWOSINMI

Olamiti Jawosinmi was the first son of Jawosinmi. He was a prosperous farmer and built what could be considered an edifice then. He was an administrator who played great roles in modern Ode Irele. He supervised the construction of the road linking Irele market as well as Irele market itself. The road between Gboroye Park and the market was his handiwork. With the movement of Gboroye folk from Egunre Gboroye in 1942, Olamiti encouraged the people to build their houses. It was even claimed that he gave money to many people to build their own houses. Olamiti had four wives and they gave birth to many children. One of them, named Hannah Momola from Owo gave birth to Edwin Adebayo who was born in 1923 and died in 2003, Omolayo Olamiti who died early and gave birth to John Olamiti who is based in the United States of America and Micah Olamiti whose only daughter was named Morounmubo through his wife from Ile Oluji. Tunmise from Igodan gave birth to Peter Olamiti, Ola Lubokun, Abisoye and Omotere while the last wife named Omajurun gave birth to Benson Olamiti, Martins and a female named Mojere. Omojurun hailed from Liseri. Benson Olamiti gave birth to Orimisan Benson, Abileye Olamiti, Banjo Olamiti, Adeoye Olamiti, Olaoluwa Olamiti, and Ayodeji just as Martins Olamiti gave birth to Segun Olamiti, Tunrayo and other children. Dedun from Seja was bequeathed to Olamiti after the death of Jawosinmi. One of the children of Olamiti was Madam Comfort Omomunmi, the daughter of Dedun from Seja, who was a prosperous businesswoman. She gave birth to Dr. Segun Omosule and Wole Omosule. Ola Lubokun gave birth to Mode Abudu and Martins Adegoke who is based in the United States of America.

MEDUNOYE LIJOKA
A prominent warrior during Irele/Ondo war was Chief Meduoye Lijoka. He was reputed to have led the war. It was at Forikun that he displayed his best, which led to the defeat of the invaders. He fought the war through the assistance of his Ohanyin named Lowolomo. The Osanyin was in the front while Medunoye was at the back. While clutching a ritual effigy named Oso, Medunoye could ward off whatever bullets might be coming his way. At the end of the encounter, the offspring of the invaders were said to be searching for the heads of their fathers. The name Forikun emerged from that search. Attempts were made later to change the name to Boridele to no avail. After the war, Medunoye who had married to two wives from Ilesha namely Alege and Mahan became the Lijoka of Irele. Alege gave birth to Fasoranti the father of Lijoka who became the first Oga Ijo of Methodist Church Ode Irele. He was reputed to have brought Methodist Church and school from Egunre Gboroye to the present location. Mahan gave birth to Dodolewa and Ogunsusi. Medunoye became the Lijoka of Irele when the wives brought the title from Ilesha. Lijoka simply means warlord. Medunoye was the first Lijoka. Pa. Joshua Adekanle the direct son of Medunoye became the second Lijoka. High Chief Marcus Adunola Ogunsusi, the grandson of Medunoye became the third Lijoka of Irele.

AKINBOLADE
Akinbolade, the first son of Woye, was a great hunter. Akinbolade baba ode (master hunter) was a great warrior who led Irele people to the Irele/Ondo expedition. He fought gallantly and won through the assistance of his Ohonyin named Osorawo. The first daughter of Woye was Eyinmedola; the second female child was Olatuwon while Akinbolade was the third child. He was however a male. Medahunsi served Woye for many years. He later became free. He settled at Lutako on the way to Onisere, as there was no other way out of the town except through Lutako. The Olowo-Irele road was not yet constructed then. He built his hut on the way at Lutako and would scare people often with gunshots at night. Akinbolade the son of Woye heard the gunshot one day and concluded that Medahunsi must have been killed. He surreptitiously went there and heard Medahunsi cough. He knew then that Medahunsi was alive. Medahunsi heard the gist and concluded that war could not ravage distance (Ogun e pa paun paun). Medahunsi was the son of Lanusi. He became Arogbo and later Ojomo (olowo joye meji). He also became Baale and Jangbara Loogun. He looked like a king. When the white came and saw Oloja, they thought Medahunsi was the king. He prostrated and pointed at Oloja as the king. Eje Agbapo was and is still celebrated for Okunsanbi and her children namely: Opetusin, Erinjimokun, Agbogun, Akinyomi and Lanusi. Ohonyin Jomo are Lobiowu that belonged to Olanbiwonnu, Okotokongo Umale Ailo just as Ademakin too had his own.
Ohonyin used to fight the war in the past. The Ohonyin would disappear later to re-appear having killed so many people. Ojabia was the Ohonyin of Logbosere. A persona shot his brother and shouted that water suffered no injury. He sent a messenger to the shrine and he brought the bullets that he shot there at the venue of the shrine. Ohonyin was made through several roots that no cutlass must touch. While harvesting those roots, a fowl would be taken along. The feathers would be removed along the way. Night flies, fish, a leaf that cuts across a river, and other roots numbering several hundreds would be tied in a mat in the form of a corpse. With all the necessary ingredients put in place, they would throw it from one person to another. Nobody is allowed to sneeze while the ceremony is going on. At the end of it all, it becomes potent and could stir the persona to anywhere.
CHIEF AKINNIYI BADA.
Chief Akinniyi Bada from Seja also fought side by side with Akinbolade during Irele/Ondo war. He was the son of Loyomuwa.
OMOGUNWA
Omogunwa, the son of Onayeseunmi was a great warrior. He played an active role in the Irele/Ondo war. His mother was named Ayana who was the third wife of Onayeseunmi. Omogunwa was the third son of Onayeseunmi. Omogunwa fought with Oso, gun and cutlasses that were specially designed for the war. After the war, he brought a wife and many slaves that are still found in the family today. The war ended through the deployment of an Osanyin named Egbawori. During the final onslaught, Egbatufewa, (an Osanyin) was drafted to the warfront. The persona in the effigy stood in the middle of the road while warriors from the other end shot at the folk from Irele without the latter shooting a single shot. They were, however, inundated with the power of invincibility. At the end of it all, Ondo warriors exhausted their reserves of bullets. At that stage, Irele people led by Akinbolade the son of Woye, Jawosinmi Oguntade, Olamiti Jawosinmi and others ravaged the camp of the invading warriors till they were subdued at Idi Odudu. Corporal Femi Olowo a Corporal in the Nigerian Army is currently living to his billing as a descendant of warriors.

UWABA ADEWEBI
Uwaba Adewebi was a warrior during Ondo/Irele war. He was the Aghorota of Malokun. He fought side by side with people like Ogunsoto from Petu. Adewebi was renowned for enhancing the success of the war through Ohanyin named Egbagidi. He used to fight through broken bottles. He would keep the broken bottles in Eturu. During the war, he was warned not to cross a bridge (Ikoko). At the warfront, he crossed the bridge and was shot by Ondo warriors. He used his toothpick made of iron to remove the bullets from his body.

OGUNSOTO
Ogunsoto hailed from Petu but his mother was from Uwaba. He fought during the war between Irele and Ondo. He fought gallantly and was reputed to be responsible for the peace that was signed with the people of Ondo at last. In recent time, his offspring had returned to Petu where they belonged.

MOYEGUN OLAJIDE JOHNSON

Moyegun Olajide Johnson was the grandson of Ladokun. Olahunmi from Lurogho was the mother. He was a great warrior and played prominent roles in Irele-Ondo war. He was always in the forefront during the war and was equally at the back while returning from the warfront in order to protect his warriors. He became the Asiwaju Ogun of Ireleland.

OGOMA LUWOYE

Ogoma Luwoye was a stalwart that held the people of Irele together during the war between Irele and Ondo otherwise known as Olayeye War. He was the first son of Opetusin and gave birth to many children among who were beautiful ladies that did not marry early. One of them was Dagbabi who was reputed to be so strong that no man could dare her. His mother hailed from Akotogbo. Ogoma Luwoye fought gallantly during the war and met face to face with Ojan Ogbegileye. Through his power of oratory, Ogoma Luwoye was able to convince Ogbegileye to pitch his tent with the warriors from Ode Irele. He gave his daughter to him in marriage and that put paid to the incessant warfare as Irele chased the invaders to the point of submission. The invaders were forced to sign a treaty with the folk at Irele. Ojagbaletemi was his half brother and the last son of Opetusin who became the Oloja of Irele after the death of Akingboye.

OJAN OGBEGILEYE
Irele/Ondo inter tribal war nearly devastated the people of Irele. The Ondo warriors raided the town in search of slaves. It was known as Olayeye war. In one of the encounters with the raiders from Ondo, it was discovered by Ogoma Luwoye from Opetusin that one of the warriors was unique that he could shoot for so long without any sign of tiredness. He met Ojan Ogbegileye from Erinje on top of a tree. Oja Ogbegileye’s mother hailed from Ondo town. They both shot at each other without being able to defeat each other. He implored Ojan to come down and he obliged. Ogoma Luwoye convinced Ojan Ogbegileye to follow him home. He, however, refused on the ground that it was a taboo for him to see a woman while cooking in the kitchen. Through tact and plea, he succeeded in bringing him home. While home, he advised him to make a choice among his daughters. He chose Dagbabi, who was a powerful lady that would beat all her suitors. There is another Ojan Ogbegileye at Maran, Ode Irele. It is not clear if they have any blood relationship with that of Erinje.

DAGBABI
Dagbabi was a very powerful lady. She was the daughter of Ogoma Luwoye. She was so powerful that no suitor could dare her as she would beat him like an Irish pop. One day, her father named Ogoma Luwoye brought Ojan Ogbegileye home. Her father mandated Ojan Ogbegileye to choose any of his daughters in marriage. Ojan Ogbegileye chose her. A fight soon ensued between them. Ojan Ogbegileye confronted her and she was defeated. She thereby agreed to go with Ojan Ogbegileye. It was during the reign of Oloja Ojagbaletemi. The next encounter took place at Idi Odudu and Ojan Ogbegileye assisted Irele folk to prosecute the war. Irele people chased the invaders through the bush up to Irelejare where the final settlement was made and an oath was signed to end the war.
The song:
Oso biren Dagba o
Ayeleke o
O so biren Dagba o
The descendants of Dagba are today known as Ojan.

AYEYE-APO-BERO-OJA

Ayeye-Apo-Bero-Oja was a memorable warrior during Ondo/Irele War. He was the son of Akintula from Ganju Quarters of Irele. He displayed uncanny gallantry during Irele/Ondo Wars in 1886 and 1892. He fought side by side with some invincible personalities such as Jawosinmi Ogunbato and Ogunje Ogunbato. The last straw took place at Idi Odudu when these warriors unleashed their best tactical methods at the warfronts that led to the instant defeat of the invaders. His best was displayed through the help of Ohanyin named Osun. It was revealed that the Ohanyin named Osun was fashioned through the use of Erin-Igi that looked exactly like a cutlass. A hard stone was also used to cut the roots because no cutlass should touch them. White chalk known as Efun would be sprinkled on the roots while uprooting them. They would be cut through the help of a hard stone. Equally important were the feathers of Agbe and Aluko. While searching for these roots, a fowl would be taken along and the feathers would be removed one by one as a form of ritual. At the end of it all, the fowl would be roasted and whoever partook in the fowl would never share a fowl with a woman all through time. Ayeye-Apo-Bero-Oja’s offspring was Laboeyin who was the husband of Lisa Latima.

AWOSEYINO AKINTULA
Awoseyino was the son of Akintula. He was equally prominent during the Ondo/Irele Wars. He fought along with his father. In the course of the war, he arrived at Ipinle having safeguarded it from the menace of the invaders. Ipinle was very close to the present day Lamudifa. With Egba Ohanyin on his arm, he went about the business without fear. Sometimes ago, especially in the year 2000 and beyond, the Ohanyin named Osun appeared at Opetusin area and it was revealed that it belonged to the folk at Ganju. The Ohanyin is currently worshipped at Opetusin at Baba Agemo’s compound. Memorable children of Awoseyino included: Orimisan Ogunmade and Ade Ogunmade from Ganju Quarters of Irele.

OLAGBAYI OLOWOGBEMUWA

Olagbayi Olowogbemuwa was a gallant warrior during the Irele/Ondo Wars. He hailed from Ganju Quarters. He fought along side folk like Jawosinmi Ogunbato and Ologbosere Fatile who had many slaves. A memorable member of the family was High Chief Ifeniyi Omomuwagun who was the son of Omomuwagun George Olowogbemuwa. He was the Ganju of Ode Irele. His father named Omomuwagun George Olowogbemuwa was instrumental in the establishment and growth of the Catholic Church at Ode Irele along with Mr. Akinsunlore from Yayi family Orunbemekun Quarters of Ode Irele. Ifeniyi Omomuwagun was born in 1922. Omomuwagun George Olowogbemuwa’s contemporaries included: Temilola Medahunsi, who was the first Baba Ijo of Catholic Church, and Ben Lemeyin the father of Tewogboye. Fatile, a rich man from Logbosere died in the war. He was so rich that he had over three hundred slaves. He was determined to fight in the war against the advice of Lemagbuwa. He went to the war front unknown to him that the warriors from Ondo were already at Idi-Odudu. He was killed thereby and all his slaves scattered. That may be responsible for the low population of Logbosere till today. It was very pathetic that Ologbosere Fatile died during the war. He was killed when a group of invaders from Ondo laid ambush for him quite unprepared. Fatile’s slaves were without a leader and had to scatter at the demise of their owner.

ODIDIMADE AKINWANLEYI
Odidimade Akinwanleyi the father of Williams Eyinmisan was the son of Ogbegegbola the daughter of Abodi of Ikoya. He was a great warrior who fought gallantly during Irele/Ondo War at Idi Odudu. He fought through Osanyin. His praise name is:

Odidimade, o pabi elete
Akinwanleyi, agbegbe e jugbe
Okuta yo ba ju ne ejugbe ghanri

Odidimade, he who kills in thousands
Akinwanleyi, agbegbe e jugbe
A stone that is twice one’s size can’t be toyed with.

High Chief Akinsele Eyinmisan, the Akinyomi of Irele, Lumeko Quarters was born in 1933. He was the son of Eyinmisan Williams. Akinsele was the son of Madam Metirifo Ogun the daughter of Ayadi at Erinje. Eyinmisan Williams was the son of Madam Bibi from Olanegan. Akinyomi gave birth to Monutehin, Onayeseunmi, and Lisa Latima. Oyenusi was the father of Akinyomi. Monutehin gave birth to Lala, Wokunle, Ogunsoto and Akinsele. Akinseles are the descendants of Ogbegegbola the daughter of Abodi of Ikoya. Ogbegegbola’s first son was Akingunoye, Ogunsoto, Akinsele, Odidimade followed, and Borowa was the last child. She was a female. Adefolaju was the son of Lumeko. He was the husband of Motigho. He gave birth to Agunna. After the death of Adefolaju, his wife was not bequeathed to anybody. The offspring of Olanegan married Motigho. Motigho gave birth to Bibi and Lobe the mother of Jonathan who became Omudekole at Idepe. The mother of Omomunijoye who became Omudekole of Irele was the daughter of the folk at Idepe. Agunna did not allow Bibi to marry elsewhere and gave Bibi to his brother named Odidimade.

ARIBO AT ONDO/IRELE WAR
The war began after the people left Ohunmo to Irele. The war was on account of the conflict arising from the market. An Ondo man killed someone at the market. At Aribo and Konye, ten people went to the warfront. One of them was from Orunbemekun and was named Oyajimi who was in charge of Ohanyin. Oyajimi gave birth to Ogedengbe. The remaining nine were Lebile, Olowogbemi, Tawose, Urenhan, Lebiomoyo, Odoogun, Ojodun, Marun and Abiti.
Oyajimi told Olowogbemi not to go to the warfront one day. He went there against the advice and was shot. He became invincible and wanted to pick the bullets. Oyajimi warned him not to touch the bullets. The bullets turned to earthworms. One day, Oyajimi told Olowogbemuwa to go to the warfront. There, the Ondo warriors were beaten and at the end of it all, the Eturu (in form of a gun that was brought to the warfront by the people of Ondo), was brought home by Olowogbemuwa who became the Asarun.

LUMEKO/IDOGUN DURING IRELE/ONDO WAR
The folk at Lumeko/Idogun traced the war to the conflict between a woman at Irele named Adeyoola and a male trader from Ondo named Akinlose. The conflict began on a market day. Adeyoola wanted to buy an article from Akinlose. Akinlose was pissed off that Adeyoola could reduce the price to an alarming level when they were haggling over the price. He insulted Adeyoola and in her courtesy, she decided not to retort but promised to bring a man named Olayeye who could dare him the following market. Adeyoola arrived home and informed a stalwart in the family about the insult she received from Akinlose at the market. She brought Olayeye as promised, and a fight ensued. Olayeye was killed by Akinlose and thus marking the beginning of the war between Ondo and Irele. The quest for slaves by the people of Ondo could not be divorced from the war. It was a ploy towards attracting slaves for the growing Trans-Atlantic slave trade. This was because the warriors from Ondo had brought cages through which they could capture children that were suffering from Igodobi epidemic.
At the outset, warriors from the different quarters went to the war front at different time. Konulu (Akinselure) was the leader of the team from Lumeko/Idogun. He was in the warfront in the company of Kogun. They fought through Ohanyin or Ohonyin, named Egbadubo. There was a memorable day when Konulu decided to reveal his superiority over Kogun. With the Ohanyin tied round their waists, they could exert control over the direction of the bullets. At the warfront, bullets were flying all over the place. Konulu commanded the bullets to be flying to the sky (Oke agbado e pan ma hi ni.) Suddenly, Kogun changed the incantation and declared that the bullets should be flying to the left (Ohi agbado e pan ma hi ni.) It became clear to Kogun that Konulu wanted to injure him.
On the final day of the battle, all warriors from the different Egunres at Irele came to the warfront. The practise was to ceasefire at night, but that day, Irele folk decided to make it a final onslaught. They chased the warriors from Ondo out of their camps. It was at that stage that one of them shouted that: Irele, ogun e me ja orun. The end of the war seemed not to be feasible. At that stage, an Ondo man who was resident at Irele named Kilembola was made to swear to an oath that he would not reveal the strength of the people of Irele to his people. At Ondo, Kilembola was made to promise to protect the interest of Ondo warriors at Irele. Kilembola told the people of Irele that they could only win the war if they could defeat the leader of the team who went to the warfront with special attire. Irele warriors were warned not to shoot arbitrarily till they could see the man in the special attire. The strategies for winning the war were further revealed by Kilembola. True to type, the warriors from Irele went to the warfront and did not fire a shot all through even when Ondo warriors bombarded them with bullets. When the leader with special attire emerged, Irele warriors fired a shot at him. He fell. All the warriors from Ondo were in disarray. They left the scene of the war. They were further chased to Irelejare where a final truce was reached.
1892. Another Irele-Ondo inter-tribal war took place. It was known as Olayeye War. This was the last major war between Irele and Ondo. Irele people won and Irelejare was named in memory of the victory of the folk. Fatile, a rich man from Logbosere died in the war. He was so rich that he had over three hundred slaves. He was determined to fight in the war against the advice of Lemagbuwa. Jawosinmi and Ogunje fought during the second Ondo Irele inter-tribal war.
1892. Ijebu war took place.
1895. All traditional heads in Ikale land signed treaty with the British Representative to end slavery and human sacrifice.
1895. District Commissioner Frank Rohweger visited Ikaleland to settle the dispute over the stool of Oloja in Osooro.
1896. Captain Ambrose visited Ikaleland.
1896. Methodist Church and School were established at Egunre Gboroye.
1897. Major Evart arrived at Oloto and called for Abodi from Ikoya.
1897. A large number of people from the Gold Coast arrived at Irele in search of rubber and Oloja Ojagbaletemi allowed them to make camps at Igolope. They stayed there for four years and paid the people of Irele part of the rubber they tapped which they later sold back to them. They also introduced books and writing materials to Irele and Irele people saw these for the first time. Accra cloths were also introduced to the people. The men had no women with them and fed on fruits and wild ants named Esusu.
Culled from Segun Omosule’s Ode Irele: Tales of Heroes and Heroines

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