Saturday, 21 May 2016

KURUNMI ; VALIANT WARRIOR

Another man who is also a masquerader, Gafari Ege, corroborated the story and said "Those who stole the regalia became blind, when they faced Ibadan they again faced Ijaiye, again when they faced Ijaiye they faced Ibadan. They became blind and confused. They said strange human cries was coming out from the regalia. No one steals the material and goes scot free. No one steals it and live. It is not meant to be stolen. Those who stole it were later caught and they died afterwards. Other masquerades run away from it."

Undeveloped town

The indigenes are not happy because, according to Pa Tijani, "We are being used, many of these theatre artistes would come here and use these places to shoot films and would later go away smiling to the bank but will not come here to assist in its development. Not only that, some government officials came here few years ago and promised to come back and assist in putting Kurunmi's statue here but they came here and erected only two poles and left .We heard nothing from them again. Many people come from overseas to see all these monuments like the River Ose, the spots of war, the mysterious palm tree that sounds like the booming of gun during the war to ward off enemies, Oponrin-the spot where they waged war and where grass does not grow again, the Ogun Shrines of Kurunmi and many others but nobody speaks about the development of this place. Where we have the monuments of Kurunmi and Bowen's are not properly kept. We are being forgotten and our heroes too are forgotten. If it is in overseas they will appreciate what we have here but here nobody recognizes us. We have been constructing this palace for a long time, nobody comes here to look at our effort and assist."

However, he said "We appreciate people like Senator Femi Lanlehin, Yemi Aderibigbe, who are really trying for us. We need more assistance, we don't want our history to die. They should cooperate and build a monument I remembrance of our hero, Kurunmi."

Ijaiye is spread all over Yorubaland, but this is Ijaiye Orile, the hometown of Kurunmi the warrior. According to Tijani, Ijaiye means "We fought and survived the war (A ja ajaye)". According to him, since the Ijaiye people were warriors and always conquered wherever they fought and on their return would give a public cry that they had survived the war. This is the original source where all other Ijaiyes spring from. All the places known as Ijaiye today left from here to Abeokuta, Lagos, Egba among others, Tijani boasted.

*Culled from www.thenationonlineng.net.

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