The Establishment of Ake & the Egba Forest

Ake was the last group to join the Egbas at the Egba forest and rosed to be the paramount ruler of the Egba nation.

Ajalake, a direct descendant of Oduduwa, moved to Ketu from Ile-Ife, where he became a weaver.

According to Oral tradition, Ajalake migrated to Ketu with the future Alaketu, where he met Ako-Agbo, a hunter, who later led Ajalake into the Egba forest.

There were three groups at the Egba forest; each group had at least a hundred towns under its control. The group calls themselves Omo-Iya and consists of Iporo, Ijeun, and Kemta. They practice division of power, whereby each town produces an aspect of authority to the federation.

As Ajalake was a direct descendent of Oduduwa, his presence at the Egba forest brought in in-migration from all parts of the region. Ajalake and his group were designated Ake, and Ajalake became the Leader of his group.

Each group produces an aspect of authority to the federation, Ajalake supplied the judicial system known as Ake Ogboni, and it was regarded as the highest authority at the Egba forest.

The Establishment of Ake & the Egba Forest

Other groups like the Ijeun supplied the Ologbo Ijeun. The Ologbo Ijeun’s duty was to execute condemned criminals, while the Igbore gave the Leader of the Parakoyi and the Ijemo provided the Oluwo Ifa (divining priest).

The brilliant group of Egba forest settlers was, however, under the Oyo empire, and the big Oyo empire overshadowed the influence and philosophy of their province.

The Ode (hunters) ensure the safeguarding of the towns but are not warriors. Their role, according to historian Biobaku, was like the job of the modern police officers.

The Ogbonis, Parakoyi, Ode were the three major institutions in the Egba forest.

The Ogbonis were the real rulers of the Egbas, which establishment has been in place since their settlement in Ife.

The Ogboni institution includes civic court, town council, and the ones that nominees the ruling house and candidates for monarchs.

The Ogboni institution is widely referred to as a secret cult because the members are bind by blood oat. It is not hereditary.

They made rules and regulations in their towns and commercial interests. The Leader of the Ogboni is the Oluwo, and meetings are held every 17 days.

The Establishment of Ake

The Parakoyi is also an essential organization in Egba land. They are the trade chiefs, also made rules and regulations in their towns, and settle disputes in markets. Their Leader is the Olori-Parakoyi. Their meetings are held every 17 days.

The set-up of these institutions made it possible for Apati, an Egba man, to be crowned Basorun, and the Anoba of Ago Ika rosed to the rank of Are Ona Kakanfo title, which was last held by Kurunmi, making Egba nation Yoruba powerhouse.

Why was Ake regards as the paramount ruler?

The Ogboni society in which Ake supplied to the federation goes a long way; it’s an ancient assemble of elders established before the arrival of Oduduwa, the Ogbonis own the oldest artifacts in Yoruba-Land.

Ogboni society was created based on the Yoruba people’s cosmology, and their primary role was to preserve Ifa Oracle. Hence they perform judicial and religious functions.

The Ogbonis have the power to remove a monarch if necessary. 

Categories: History

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1 Comment


Idowu Ali · October 9, 2020 at 10:19 am

This refreshes memory. The story is well detailed and highly comprehensive. I love to read more of this. Nice one, Dakingsman for this piece.

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