Ijebu Igbo is the headquarters of Ijebu North Local Government Authority of Ogun State, Nigeria.
The town’s primary economic activities are timber, cocoa and exploitation of mineral resources and it is home to many saw mills and also a developed quarry.
Ijebu Igbo is the 2nd largest town in Ogun State in terms of LAND MASS, There are arable land for farming. Also there are hundreds of villages and hamlet under ijebu igbo.
Ijebu igbo has over 50 ponmo making industry known as “BUKA”… Also Ijebu Igbo is the major supplier of PONMO to Lagos state, Oyo state and wide distribution within Ogun state and worldwide.
Ijebu igbo is the home of (PONMO IJEBU).
Historically, Prince Oshimore and his wife Adoroke, was said to have migrated from ile Ife to Ijebu Ode back in the 15th century where he became the king and ruled over Ijebu Ode. Emissary from Ile Ife were sent from time to time to check the well being of King Oshimore.
That was why he was tagged chaos and war was the usual order of the day during their reign and because he (Oshimore) hailed from the rulling king of Ife, he might need warriors to assist him in his empire in case people in his empire (Ijebu Ode) were not cooperating.
But king Oshimore will always send the emissary back with the message in yoruba “Ija osi elelemele” meaning NO FIGHT AND EVERYBODY IS BUSY USING THEIR CUTLASS FOR FARMING NOT TO FIGHT. This is why he was tagged in his lineage appraisal as OSHIMORE ONIJA OSIELELEMELE.
Ijebu Ode was so peaceful during his reign and King Oshimore gave birth to many children among which were two older princes and many princesses. Onayelu was the name of the first son of King Osimore and Osimade (Ofinranoye) the second son.
The most prominent daughter among king Osimore Princesses was “Beje”. The first son (Onayelu) was a great hunter and warrior while Oshimade the second son, was a successful trade man.
By right and tradition, Onayelu was the first in line to the throne and the crown prince of Ijebu Ode (Olijasi of Ijebu-Ode) but also became the king’s favorite son because of the part he always took as a warrior to defend his father’s dynasty.
Secondly being a hunter he always went with his hunting lieutenants and colleagues to bring back home to his father meats and farm product to feed the family.
There was a man called Ogunelegi and he was a great hunter from Ile Ife came for hunting expenditure at Ijasi where he met the crowned prince of Olijasi, prince Onayelu and they became best of friends. Prince Onayelu took Ogunelegi his friend and host of other followers namely Abijaparako, Tanrin Larinkoye, Laporu, Liyan the black Smith and Adeferingana on routine hunting journey to Ijasi forest called Ijebu Igbo.
It was during this hunting adventures, he and his friends Killed an elephant on their way to Ijebu igbo and after they butchered the animal they met strange beads inside the elephant.
The place at which the strange elephant was killed was later named “IPERIN” which was between Ijebu Ode and Oru Ijebu. He took the beads back home to his father Oshimore and the beads were used to make the first traditional crown for his father, this made his father fell so much in love with him and blessed him to take his throne after his demise.
The great hunter prince Onayelu always come to Ijebu Igbo for hunting in company of friends and his lieutenant. His best friend named Ogunelegi later decided to stay back and established himself at Ijebu Igbo because the prince always go back to his father in Ijebu Ode after hunting.
The place where he settled is called Ibido Ode, now IDODE in Ijebu Igbo. Laporu later also decided to set up his own camp at Ilaporu, some few distance away from Ogunelegi’s camp. The place is still in existence and it is called ILAPORU.
King Oshimore was getting old and becoming weak with frequent sickness so he gave the royal crown to his first son to keep it since he had earlier blessed and anoint him as the heir apparant to his throne.
So after prince Onayelu had collected and kept the crown, he went for his usual hunting trip to Ijebu Igbo. This hunting trip took him much longer than before so the king (Oshimore) died while his heir (Prince Onayelu) was no where to be found. The people and the chiefs waited so long for the return of prince Onayelu but after so much of waiting, the chiefs started doubting if prince Onayelu was still alive hence, his brother prince Osimade lobbied and bribed his way to succeed his father. So before prince Onayelu could return, his brother prince Oshimade was crowned as the new king.
Prince Onayelu favorite’s place of hunting is where there are many Otako trees, because that is the place where he normally see and kill big valuable animals. That is why the place is named OKE OTAKO today now OKETAKO. One day, he shot an elephant at Oketako but the elephant went off the area only to later died in a place where lots of melon (Atowo melon) naturally germinated, The place is called ITOWO as today. They butchered the elephant and found the melon seed inside the elephant, they were surprised and decided to also cook the seed to have a taste since it was suitable for animal consumption so human too could find it tasteful. Yes it was so palatable after they cooked it with the elephant meat.
So Prince Onayelu took lots of this Atowo melon and the elephant meat and sent it home for his father to have a taste. When those he sent got home they found out that the father was dead and so they returned to the hunting forest to give prince Onayelu the bad news. Necessary for him to go and give a befitting burial to his late father and also to immediately ascend the throne as the new Olijasi of Ijebu Ode.
Prince Onayelu and his friends returned home but met his brother prince Oshimade on the throne. He was annoyed and asked the king maker why they crowned a king without seeing the royal crown?. The royal rumble took some period but the chiefs were able to beg the original heir to the throne, prince Onayelu to please take the royal crown since he had it already from his father and went back to where he was hunting, settle permanently there and become their king.
Prince Onayelu accepted the offer but called his junior brother OFIRANOYE, meaning he unduly challenged him and stole his right to the throne. Hence he placed a curse on the king (Oshimade) that he will never raise a male child who will succeed his throne. King Oshimade (Ofinranoye) was fully subjected to his brother’s curse as did not have male child to succeed him.
Despite his several rituals and attornment to averts his brother’s curse but instead gave birth to female children. His first daughter was called Dorioye, I get to the kings throne, “Moshibi” meaning wrong birth. She also had “Omosha” meaning just a child, Shenlu meaning ‘peace of the house’ and each of his child married outside Ijebu Ode and eventually named their town of settlement after their name e.g Ododoroye, Odoshenlu, Odomoshibi, Okemosha. Prince Onayelu set back on his way to Ijebu Igbo but his sister Beje who was not happy with what happened in the palace when prince Onayelu was away so she decided to later join him at ijebu igbo.
Also one of the powerful deities were also taken along as would be used for a king rituals and attornment. So one the deities that followed prince Onayelu to Ijebu Igbo was the chief Agemo priest MAKI AGEMO LADUGBO. The prince arrived at Idode Ijebu igbo and met OGUNELEGI his friend who led the arrangement to crown the prince as the first OLOJA IGBO of Ijebu Igbo.
The king sister Beje was married to Gbayin a man from Igbo oye near Egba land. They later settled down at OKE AGBIGBO ( Now Oke Agbo). Oke Agbigbo is where the king normally go to hunt the giant bird called the hornbill. At that time, there lives a business woman called SOPEN. She usually come to buy bush meat from the hunter and sells clothes called UKALE. Clothing business was not a small business then, so the king cajoled her to settle permanently in Ijebu igbo. She settled and later got married to the son of Adeferingano omo olowu, one of the lieutenants of the Ogunelegi. The king named where they settled down as OKE SOPEN. Where they built there house was called AGBOLE OLOWU.
HOW THE ROYAL NAME OLOJA IGBO BECAME THE NOW ORIMOLUSI.
Before Onayelu was crowned as the king, he was living with his friend Ogunelegi at IDODE and they normally go on hunting expeditions together with their slaves and will come back to display their market (OJA) in their various stall. There was a small market where different people meet to display and sell their different goods (Oja) at Idode there. One day while they were hunting, they both simultaneously shot and killed an elephant and they started arguing over who takes the most expensive and precious parts of the elephant. This led to a serious rift and prince Onayelu decided to move his abode to IGBO AIRE (Now known as Igbaire).
But still had his market stall as Idode so when people wanted to buy his market and ask Ogun elegi… OLOJA YI DA” (Meaning where is the owner of this goods), Ogunelegi would answer them that “OLOJA WA NINU IGBO” which mean the owner of the market is in the thick forest. So people started calling Onayelu “OLOJA INU IGBO” So that is why his first royal name was crowned the OLOJA IGBO OF IJEBU IGBO.
After Onayelu was crowned as Oloja igbo, Ogunlegi the king maker became the second in command and was also in charge of land matters. Sopen Olukale was becoming more successful in their clothing business. But people would have to travel to Ijebu Ode to look for someone who had niddle to sow their clothes. This became cumbersome as time went on so Onayelu ordered that the man that had needle should come and settle in Ijebu Igbo. So this was how the man OLOKINE came and settled down at where the sun normally sets.. “Ibi ti Ojo ti n wo” now OJOWO Ijebu igbo. So people now had the opportunity to sow their clothes at OJOWO and that is why the lineage appraisal is OJOWO OMO OLOKINE.
TANRIN LARINKOYE also a great warrior and hunter was married to Moju. They settled at ATIKORI. Keegbo of Atikori story of his establishment at Atikori will come later.
The ABIJAPARAKO also settled Japara Ijebu Igbo ( History of establishment will also be released later). These are the five Igbo (most popular communities) that makes up the town Ijebu Igbo i.e
OKE SOPEN ti SOPEN LUKALE
BEJE ti OKE AGBO
OJOWO ti OLOKINE
JAPARA ti ABIJAPARAKO
ATIKORI ti KEEGBO.
These are the five communities and there headship submitted to King Oloja Igbo as their paramount ruler. Ijebu Igbo was fast expanding as people were coming in from Oyo through Akanran to Atikori and From ODOMOLU, AGUNBOYE, ASIGIDI to OKE AGBO and their market and trade center is OKE SOPEN.
The reign of King Onayelu, the Oloja Igbo of Ijebu igbo was so peaceful until the outbreaks of a plague that started killing human beings and farm product were badly damaged. The chiefs and the herbalist did all they could to stop the plague and the disease was fast spreading. So people started leaving Ijebu igbo for other towns to escape the wrath of this strange plague. The King was so much worried, so he went to Ile Ife to consult oracle.
The oracle said that the only solution to their problem is they would have to bring an elephant to the town alive before the plague could be subdued. The king, returned to Ijebu Igbo and gathered all the staunch hunters and powerful warriors to deliberate on how possible it is to bring live elephant to the town. There seems no solution until Ogunelegi the great hunter volunteered to go to the thick forest and promised to bring back live elephant back to Ijebu igbo.
OGUN ELEGI and his son OLUSI set for the journey. They prepared so many charms to fortified themselves and they went to the thick forest in search of elephant. Ogunelegi walked back to the town with an elephant but OLUSI his son did not come back with him. They asked him where OLUSI was, he answered “ERIN MU OLUSI LO” meaning the elephant has killed Olusi his son. The death of Olusi pained the king so much that he decided to immortalize the son’s name with his royal name. So he decided to change his royal name from OLOJA IGBO to ERINMOLUSI (now ORIMOLUSI Of Ijebu Igbo)
The king had three sons and immortalize them for the ORIMOLUSI THRONE, they are namely:
Lists of PAST ORIMOLUSI OF IJEBU IGBO as documented.
Meleki. (1899 -1905)
Ọba Abraham Adesemowo was a farmer when he ascend the throne of Orimolusi of Ijebu-igbo 1929 – 1947.
Oba Joel Adeboye became the the king after Oba adesemowo demise and he was one of the most progressive & enlightened Obas of his time.
He sadly died in an air crash in Tripoli 1965. He was returning from a conference of the Cocoa Aliance held in London. In those days aircraft had to stop over to refuel.
Oba Samuel Adetayo the ikupakude IV ascend the throne after late Oba Adeboye demise and died year 1994.
In January 2022 after 28 years without the Orimolusi, the Kingmakers elected Prince Lawrence Jayeola Adebajo from OJUROMI ruling house and will be crowned soon as the new ORIMOLUSI Of Ijebu Igbo.
Prince Lawrence Jayeola Adebajo, The 69 years old Orimolusi-elect would succeed the late Oba Samuel Adetayo, Ikupakude IV, who died in May 1994 after 28years without paramount ruler.
It will be recalled that 11 warrant chiefs were inaugurated by the Chairman of the Local Government, Mr Bolaji Odusanya, on the advise of the state Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to commence the process of filling the stool.
The warrant chiefs was headed by Professor Ademola Adedeji with Professors Yinka Balogun, Kola Balogun, Layi Ogunkoya, Chief Ademola Okusanya, Chief P. O. Omotara, Professor Bisi Ogunfowora, Mr. Olusegun Olusanya, Professors B. Obigbesan, Ayo Ogunye as members while Mr. Fatai Bolujo served as Secretary and they successfully choose a candidate after so many years without paramount ruler in ijebu igbo.
The Traditional Rulers in Ijebu North Local and its Environment.
The Orimolusi of Ijebu-Igbo (The Paramount Ruler)
The Ebumawe of Ago Iwoye
The Limeri of Awa
The Alaporu of Ilaporu
The Oloru of Oru-Ijebu
The Sopenlukale of Oke Sopin
The Bejeroku of Oke-Agbo
The Olokine of Ojowo
The Keegbo of Atikori
The Abija Parako of Japara
The Lowa of Asigidi
The Olorilu Of Odobotu
Notable People from Ijebu Igbo and it’s political headquarter as well as the commercial nerve centre of Ijebu North local government with many of its indigenes playing actively on the national political stage. Ijebu igbo has also produced prominent politicians and business men in the history of Nigeria like Glo CEO Mike Adenuga, President of the African Development Bank Akinwunmi Adesina, Senator Olalekan Mustapha, Late Senator Abraham Adesanya, Senator Adegbenga Kaka, Late Senator Buruji Kashamu, Late Senator Biyi Durojaiye and many more.
God bless Ijebu Igbo.