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Ojagbulegun, one of the ancestors of the Osooro people

According to tradition, the name Osooro evolved from the ugly experience of Ojagbulegun (one of the ancestors of the Osooro people) and his team while he was searching for a suitable settlement after departing Ikoya Kekere. In an attempt to cross a long and turbulent river, many of them fell and stumbled and out of frustration, as a result of the difficulty, the people were forced to say that, “Omi yi ma soro” meaning this river is very difficult. Right from that very moment, the river assumed the name Osooromi so also the people derived their nominal identity from the very river.

Osooro comprises of four groups namely; Lumure, Jorola, Lemegha and Akoko. According to tradition, the first three were born of the same mother but of different fathers. Their mother was Omogunle, the daughter of Abodi of Ikoya (Jabado). Ojagbulegun of the Lumure group was the acknowledged ancestor of the Osooro people.

Ojagbulegun was a crown Prince of Ayeka. He was the son of Oba Ehuhuola, the 8th Lumure of Ayeka. Ojagbulegun had a quarrel with his father, Oba Ehuhuola and had to come to Ikoya and sought refuge with Abodi. Akingboju, his mother, Omogunle had earlier come back to settle at Ikoya, her home town. Ojagbulegun’s bravery, dynamism and outstanding military feats caught the administration of Abodi as he was popular within his people. He was thus made the ‘Akogun’, the Chief Priest. All of Ikoya became envious of him. The people then planned to eliminate Omogunle and her son Ojagbulegun, the most dynamic of all the children.

On a particular Erin festival when Ojagbulegun had gone to collect Ogigi water for traditional rituals by virtue of his position as the Chief Priest, his mother was murdered before his arrival. This made Ojagbulegun assembled his brothers and supporters and left Ikoya in search of a new abode as he was convinced that Ikoya was no longer save for him and his people. He finally settled at a place called Ode – Moribodo, meaning “I have found a place of refuge”.

After sometime, the Akoko people who were itinerant hunters came and were absorbed into them. No sooner the people got settled at Ode – Moribodo than Abodi started waging series of attacks on Moribodo. With the assistance of the Akokos, the fourth group that make up Osooro and Ojagbulegun’s two brothers, Jorola and Lemegha, the people were able to surmount the insurgence. The people being farmers started forming many settlements which now form Osooro.

Ilutitun, one of the major towns in Osooro today was founded last. According to Ikale Intellehence Report written by C.I. Gavin page 14 paragraph 34 of the report, villages with exception of Igbotako mutually combined in the building of Ilutitun to replace Ode – Moribodo which had formerly been the headquarters of the Osooro district.

Because of the sterling qualities of Ojagbulegun, though the most junior of the three, the people agreed that he should be their head that is the Oloja. The title Lisa, the family next in rank to Oloja was assigned to Jorola, the most senior while the Lemegha secured the Jomu title, the 4th in rank to Oloja. The Akoko was conferred with the title of Petu, the 3rd in hierarchy to the Oloja.

Ojagbulegun did not reign at Ode – Moribodo but his son, Omojuwa became the first Oloja. He was succeeded by Monogbe as the 2nd Oloja who was in turn succeeded by Ojagbado as the 3rd Oloja. Later in the history of Osooro, the title of Oloja was changed to Rebuja. Rebuja is shortened from “Bi ere bi ija Lubokun gba ade”, meaning “like play like quarrel, Lubokun earned the crown.” Other Rebujas that ruled Osooro successively are Bamido, Lubokun, Akinboyewa, Ikudamoro, Ikuyinminu, Negwo, Cornelius Adeoye, Juba and the incumbent Rebuja Oba Gbadebo Bajowa, the 12th Rebuja.

Iju – Odo, is one of the towns collectively called Osooro in the old Okitipupa division. Other major towns in the union are: Ilutitun, Erekiti, Irowa, Iwada, Ayede, Omotoso, Ilado, Ajila and more than fifty other villages and settlements.

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