Obanta And The Origin Of The Ijebu

Ijebu people are a significant Yoruba group and one of the first groups that left Ile-Ife after the arrival of Oduduwa between 400-900 AD.

The Owus were the largest and the first to move out of Ile-Ife, with their leader, Obatala.

Three primary sets of groups left Ile-Ile to Ijebu land. The first group of the Ijebus that left Ile-Ife settled at Owode led by Olu Iwa, with two warriors, Ajebu and olode.

The two warriors played a significant role in the marking and planning of the newfound land. The people of Ijebu dedicated tombs to remember their warriors after their death.

Olode street in Ijebu ode, there’s a tomb bearing inscription of “The resting place of Olode.” likewise, for Ajebu, a Tomb is dedicated to him at Imepe.

The second group led by Arisu settled at Ijasi, in Ijebu Ode, Olu-Iwa accepted the group into his kingdom.

Olu-Iwa died not long after the arrival of the new group led by Arisu. Oshin, Arisu’s son, became the “Adele” (temporally leader), while the third group led by Ogborogan, also known as Obanta, is the significant one in Ijebu history.

Obanta’s mother, Gborowo, died after crossing the Oshun river just as they left Ile-Ife. She was buried at the Oshun riverbank, and he vowed to be performing a sacrifice in her memory every year. 

It brought the human sacrifice the Ijebus usually perform every year that was stopped in 1892. Since then, A cow is still being used to perform sacrifice in honor of Gborowo until today.

Ogborogan had left Ile-Ife after the death of his father, Oduduwa, in search of Olu-Iwa, who was his maternal grandfather.

After arriving at Imesi en route to Ijebu, he was given some men to protect him as the prince of Ife. These men are called the “Odi” whose descendants are still playing a significant role in Ijebu until today.

During his sojourn, he passed the Igbo land, but the Olu-Igbo, leader of the Igbos, wouldn’t give him passage to continue his journey until they went on hand combat in which Ogborogan won. It attracted more followers from Igbo for Ogborogan. He also went with the Olu-Igbo’s wife.

Among the Igbos who followed Ogborogan to Ijebu are the future Elepe, Onipara, Alara, and Alalisha.

Obanta And The Origin Of The Ijebu

Upon arriving at Ijebu, Oshin handed over to Ogborogan and moved back to his house, which is still called Ita Osugbo in Ijebu-Ode until today.

The marking of Ijebu territory by Olode and Ajebu gave birth to the new Ijebu kingdom, where Ogborogan became their paramount ruler.

Ogborogan appointed Elepe, Onipara, Alara, Onipakala, Alado, and Alalishan as their respective towns. In contrast, the son of Olu-Igbo’s wife, Aka, was appointed as the ruler of Akarigbo.

Categories: History

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