Home Community Ilutitun: Moribodo kingdom, Iju-Odo, Igbotako, Iju-Oke, Erekiti & Ode Aye: Snippets

Ilutitun: Moribodo kingdom, Iju-Odo, Igbotako, Iju-Oke, Erekiti & Ode Aye: Snippets

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(The author, Dr Segun Omosule, is grateful to High Chief Lawrence Eyinka Ayerin, the Ojagbulegun of Osooro. He was born in 1934 to Samuel Lomaja Ayerin. May you live longer than your forefathers. He spoke with the author in company of his brother, Chief Poroye Ayerin, the Olowoniyi of Moribodo).

Lumure Opon at Ile Ife was a hunter. His mother was named Liseri. He came to hunt for elephants at Erinje when everyone had escaped to Aluma as a result of the menace of elephants. Lumure Opon succeeded in killing all the elephants while some migrated to the other side of the river, in Yoruba parlance meaning they went to Ado- Okologbo lu dari si meaning the elephants went to the other side of the river. From there, Lumure went to Erinje and met some Erinje folks there. A lady named Elu who was the daughter of Lumure helped Lumure to keep some of the instruments that were used for killing elephants. Lumure killed an elephant while another elephant came to drink water while Lumure was away. The lady hid under a tree and cleverly trapped the animal with a needle. The elephant died. The father searched for the animal and found it there. The father began to sing immediately he saw the carcass of the animal:

Aguduga re

Elu le o

Awa donoja yemukoti perin

Elu le o.

The elephant was butchered at a place named Ayeka-Ule and became the domain of the father. At a stage, Lumure wanted to leave and the daughter named Elu said she would like to marry there because yam was sweeter than meat. Elu got married to a man from Ayadi at Erinje. She became pregnant and was unable to be delivered easily until a crown was brought to her. Elu gave birth to the people at Araromi-Ayeka.

Lumure people lived at Ayeka-Ule and married the daughter of Abodi named Magunle who gave birth to Jagbalegun. Lumure was so powerful that he lived so long. Every year, a ritual was performed one of his sons would die while Lumure would grow younger. Magunle queried her husband as her own son was coming of age and was afraid that the same fate would befall her son. The husband revealed the secret to her and said anytime the ritual was performed, if the father should shout this way, the son should answer that way. Jagbalegun thereafter escaped to Ikoya, the home of her maternal parent. Magunle came home and told the father to accord her son the needed recognition. Jagbalegun was installed the Kogun at Ikoya. He later got married to a lady at Ode Aye and gave birth to Majuwa whose descendant became the first Oba of Ilutitun.

The relationship continued till there was a quarrel as a result of the murder of Magunle by Ikoya folk for ritual purposes. They headed towards Igbinsin/Oloto unknown to them that Abodi had already sent a message to Oloto not to allow the fleeing folks of Majuwa and Jagbalegun to stay with him. They continued the journey and passed through a river and said it was difficult to navigate. There came the name of the town: Osoghoro Omi. It was revealed to Oloto/Olura through Ifa that the folk would lead to the growth of the town. He quickly sent for the people to return. However, the folks were not prepared to return. They declared that they were not ready to return as they had got a place to stay (Moribodo).

Jagbalegun became the head and was asked to become the Oloja. He however mandated his son Majuwa to be installed Oloja. Jagbalegun did not see his son while on the throne throughout. Majuwa gave birth to the following children: Monogbe, Jibulu and Jagbedo. Jibulu gave birth to Eyinminorin, Odofin Ofilo, Seja, Lubokun. Monogbe gave birth to: Orofen, Ogunyomiju. Some of the kids of Ogunyomiju are at Erinje and Orofen’s descendants are at Ode Aye. Those at Ode Aye came to mount the throne at Ilutitun as Majuwa. Jagbedo gave birth to Ikuyinminu, Ikudamoro, Ogunegbola.

Bamido was the first to contest for the title of Rebuja. He competed for the throne with Ikudamoro. Ikudamoro won and was installed the Rebuja. When Ikuyinminu was to be installed the Rebuja, Negwo contested for the throne but Ikuyinminu won. Negwo was the son of Lubokun. He stayed with Jagbedo. After sometimes, he wanted to become the Rebuja of Osooro. When Adeoye was to be installed the Rebuja, Negwo competed with him. A white master pleaded that Negwo should be allowed to reign because he was very old. Negwo reigned for three years and passed on. Adeoye was installed the Rebuja. Later, Juba became the Rebuja of Osooro thereafter.

It is instructive to know that Lubokun the father of Negwo established Uta-Oko while Aduwo stayed behind to cultivate Igo Aduwo. Liseri had problems in her matrimonial home and went to marry another man. She gave birth to another male child named Joola. She also got married to the third husband and gave birth to Lemegha (also male). Liseri brought Joola and Lemegha to the domain of Lumure her first son. The three were from the same mother but different fathers. Joola was born at Oro while Lemegha was born at Orofun.

The town, known as Ilutitun, which simply means NEW SETTLEMENT, was founded in 1920. It came into existence because of the political intrigues, oppression, intimidations, and deportations that characterised the last period of the settlement in Ode – Moribodo between 1916 and 1920. These political upheavals arose because of the struggle for the Olojaship position of Ode – Moribodo between Ikuyinminu and his brother Bamido. Consequently, Ikuyinminu emerged victorious.

Bamido moved from Ode – Moribodo to Igbotako with a few followers and started the cold war against Ikuyinminu. Immediately after his death, his son Negwo continued with the intrigues, sent negative reports to the colonial masters which led to oppression of Ikuyinminu by the colonial master. Some of the consequence of these actions of Negwo metamorphosed to frequent arrest of Ikuyinminu and his followers to Onitsha and Ilesha where some of them died.

This terrible political phenomenon forced Ikuyinminu supporters to take the decision to move form their various hamlets to a common, united and plain land where they could resist the “divide and rule” policy of Negwo and forge a concerted strength to resist the oppression. It must be mentioned that the efforts of one Catechist A.B. Babayemi in preaching the gospel of love, unity and a central settlement further propelled the people to come together and found the town. The town was named “Ilutitun” by Catechist A.B. Babayemi who also prayed for the greatness of the city at the centre of the town. He established a church called “EBENEZER” (HI HIN NI OLUWA RAN MI LOWO DE) Church. Now Ebenezer Anglican Cathedral Church Headquarters Diocese on the coast. Ilutitun.

The four principal clans that founded Ode Moribodo moved down and established Ilutitun. They are Lumure, Joola, Akoko and Lemegba. The struggle to have an Oba of our own with separate identity had started in 1920. It only got to the peak in October 1999 when some concerned elite put up a memorandum to the government for an Oba for Ilutitun. The accredited leaders of the four clans aforementioned signed the request.

Negwo: Olopa bi ti (police) were instrumental in the installation of Negwo. He was cruel that he banished many people to Onitsha. The exile would trek all the way to Onitsha. Many of them died there. When he passed on, the same police also buried him. Rituals were not performed during the burial because the led were aggrieved by the high-handedness of Negwo. Negwo was always with the District officer shouting:

Ogbufo ba mi fo ghan

Interpreter, kindly tell him.

Negwo was lame and the insinuation was that he must have behaved that way because of his physical snag. When he passed on, a decree was made that any deformed folk such as the blind, lame, etc. should not be allowed to become an Oba.

Abodi Tufewa gave Ajuelu (the oath of office of Ijama society) to Lumure.

Abodi Jabado

Abodi Jabado’s mum was the daughter of Odogbo. She was the wife of the Oba of Benin. She gave birth to a child but he did not cry early (bo abode). Later, another wife of the Oba gave birth to a male child in the afternoon (we kalu) and became Eweka. Abodi was sent away from the palace and was offered two male and female slaves, as well as a cutlass. He was mandated to stay with his mum’s relations at Ode Omi. Abodi had a duel with Oloto but Abodi did not outlive the encounter. It became a wise saying ever since that the Abodi who killed Oloto did not live beyond seven days.

Lemegha and Joolu

During the crisis that rocked the area as a result of the antics of Negwo, many of the descendants of Lemegha escaped to Ayila and Ayede, currently in Ogun State. The remaining descendants are now at Iju Odo. At Iju Odo, they became Norofun. Other descendants of Lemegha are now at Erekiti. The children of Joolu settled at Ayede. They became Orofun of Ayede.

Iju-Oke:

The inhabitants of Iju-Oke are from the Akoko group of hunters who occupied the third position in the political hierarchy of Ilutitun. Other members of the family are also at Ura Odole. Their original dwelling place was Ode Aye. A crisis erupted at Ode Aye and they were rusticated from there. Majuwa whose mother was from Ode Aye took care of the Akoko folks. Many of them settled at Iju-Oke. Hendoro’s folks settled at Ura and Odofin’s descendants settled at Iju-Oke.

Igbinsin/Oloto

Lumure got married to Ojanubi the daughter of Olura. Lumure and Oloto became good friends. Many years back, Oloto had an encounter with Abodi. Oloto did not recognise Abodi. The latter sent a message to him that he would invade the town. Oloto made some ritual incisions on his head and waited patiently for the Abodi. He had already sent his family members away to the other side of the river. Without resistance, Oloto allowed Abodi to behead him. Seven days later, Abodi too passed on.

Ode Aye

Halu was the founder of Ode Aye. Lapoki was a trader who traded in beads and was a good customer of the Oba.

Why Aye folks don’t lay foundations: Liken was a good hunter. He hunted animals and later opted for fish and hippopotamus. During one expedition of Liken, he was warned by the hippopotamus not to kill animals and hippopotamus any longer. Liken did not heed the warning. During another expedition, a hippopotamus swallowed Liken. A search party was set in motion. On the way, a hippopotamus revealed that the animal that swallowed Liken was:

One panri

One panke

One kimu derun

Ekun bi omo okan logbon

Liken pa dede ghan tan

Eja bi okan logbon

Liken pa dede ghan tan

One bi otalegbeje

Liken pa ghan tan

Mo ji Liken ma sode

Liken ko, e gbo

Mo wa gbe Liken win

Gbe Liken ile, one ko

An gbe oruba epo un one

One win oriba epo

The hippopotamus was captured. At Ebute, the hippopotamus was captured and liken was removed. Liken was kept at Oroken to recuperate. His folks were outside, rejoicing at the recovery of Liken:

E e Liken owo lo

E  e Liken owo lo

One boma je gban

Owo idanu ghon wa se

E e Liken

E e Liken owolo.

While the dance was going on, a wall fell on Liken and he died. Liken was buried at the spot that became Ode Aye today. It became a taboo till date to embark on a building construction without the necessary rituals.

Dr. Segun Omosule writes this from Scholars Views Journal International. The content is extracted from Dr. Omosule’s draft copy of his book, “IKALE THE GREAT.”

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