Wednesday, 28 October 2020


 The authentic history of ancient Ile-Ife cannot be distorted; the Tree of Brotherhood does not break. It may bend a while but it will eventually straighten out, so is truth!

The term Ife Oodaye, Ife Ooye, Ugbomokun and Ile Ife all point to the same historical location but different era. Oranfe Alafere, was greatly revered and mystified as the 201st of the 201 gods/deities (Oba Igba Imole) of ancient Ile Ife. Hewas the father of Osangangan Obamakin. Oranfe was the first person to emit naked fire from his mouth at his own will in Yoruba history. Also, he was the custodian of Thunder(Ara) and Sanponna (Olode). All these powers and many more were bequited to Osangangan Obamakin who wore the aboriginal crown of Ile Ife.

Before the advent of Oduduwa to ancient Ile Ife, called Ugbomokun, Ile-Ife existed as a confederacy of sixteen communities. Thirteen of these communities have been identified in present day Ile-Ife: Iwinrin, Ideta, Ido, Iloran, Iloromu, Imojubi, Iraye, Ijugbe, Odin, Oke-Oja, Oke-Awo, Omologun and Parakin. Osangangan Obamakin ruled from Iwinrin, Obatala ruled from Ideta, Olojudo ruled from Ido etc. These Kings also had their cabinet of Chiefs and were the Sixteen Elders who held the spiritual foundation upon which Yoruba land is laid.

Each of these Kings wore beaded crowns. Osangangan Obamakin, the son of Oranfe who ruled from Iwinrin led the Sixteen communities which flourished and had an established system of culture, justice, commerce, agriculture etc.

When Oduduwa came in from the Eastern parts of Ile Ife, through Oke Ora, which many academic historians mistook to mean from the Middle East, he was taken to Ilero, which is unanimously adjudged by the elders of Ile Ife today as the OLDEST ASSEMBLY IN YORUBA LAND, ILE OGBONI AKOKO.

It is also of interest that Ilero is preserved till today, along Iremo road,  in Ile Ife, and the aboriginal language spoken at that time was called Ikedu, which bears 90% similarity as present day Ilaje Ugbo dialect of Yoruba as established by linguistic historians.

It was at Ilero that Osangangan Obamakin, the son of Oranfe, the aboriginal King of ancient Ile Ife, otherwise called, Ugbomokun presided over the affairs of ancient Ile Ife. Osangangan Obamakin had three wives. His first wife, Yeyemoolu turned to the pool of water in the Palace of Ife today, which every Ooni must be betrothed/married to (culture) as a significant part of the blessings of Osangangan Obamakin for Ile-Ife and prosperity within the Palace. Traditionally, up till this day, Yeye moolu remains the first wife in the Palace of Ile Ife till this day. Osangangan Obamakin also had siblings, and among them is Baba Sigidi in Oke-Jan, Ile Ife.

As stated earlier, the leaders of the communities were independent Kings who wore beaded crowns and they all gathered at Ilero to discuss cogent matters that involved the communities, consult Ifa oracle and Osanyin for peaceful administration, perform rituals and sacrifices as well as execution of justice when necessary.

The quarters of Osangangan Obamakin still exist today in Ile Ife with the aboriginal kith and kin still holding principal roles in the affairs of Ile Ife with other aborigines.  Osangangan Obamakin was powerful and worshipped as the god-king of Ife. He was usually praised as:

Kutukutu Oba Ugbo

Osangangan Obamakin

Agbegun Kari

Ife Gbe Gangan Saya

Taataa Eye Ugbo

Alade Oriigi

At the advent of Oduduwa, there was an established display of love from Osangangan Obamakin to Oduduwa. Oduduwa possessed great virtues and was vast in the use of herbs for treatment of all ailments. He was particularly successful at ensuring that pregnant women delivered safely. Indeed, Oduduwa had unfettered access to Ilero and envy began to rouse when many communities wondered at the manner in which Oduduwa was integrated into Ugbomokun, and his influence rose quite considerably. 

Problems started after certain rulers began to complain about how favourably disposed Osangangan Obamakin was to Oduduwa despite Oduduwa being a stranger, so called. It is founded in history that it took Oduduwa about 16 years to be adept in Ikedu which was the aboriginal language spoken at that time. Oduduwa was generally accepted; he flourished and was a phenomenon to many.

Then, Oduduwa desired to usurp power.

 Nevertheless, trouble broke out when a struggle for supremacy ensued between Oduduwa and Obatala Oseremagbo, who at that time was King of Ideta community. No settlement/town or city would solely hand their sovereignty to a stranger/migrant without some sort of stiff opposition if not an outright war.

The contest was so fierce that Ugbomokun was polarised into war blocs. Obatala-Obalejugbe-Obawinrin Bloc and Oduduwa-Obameri bloc. Some rulers supported Oduduwa while some supported Obatala. Soon enough, more rulers joined blocs and a war broke out.

Oduduwa defeated Obatala (did not kill Obatala as some have wrongly put it) but ousted Obatala and occupied Ideta. Obatala was forced from Ideta-Ile to Ideta-Oko and eventually he took refuge in Iwinrin, the ancestral home of Osangangan Obamakin, the Paramount King of all the communities.

At this instant, Ugbomokun was divided and so many warriors gathered at Igbo Ugbo, at the outskirts of present Ife to launch an attack against Oduduwa, his allies and their quarters. This was because of Oduduwa's insistence to hold on to Ideta after Osangangan Obamakin had waded into the matter and sent a decree for the release of Ideta to Obatala Oseremagbo, Alamo rere. The refusal of Oduduwa to stop his occupation of Ideta where Obatala was ruler, made the whole scenario aggravate beyond measure. Ile-Ife became completely polarised and communities prepared for War. Some communities for Obatala and some for Oduduwa.

While the rancorwas on, final onslaught was declared and all warriors gathered at Igbo Ugbo to launch an attack against the Oduduwa bloc. They decided to consult Ifa Oracle and Osanyin as it was customary. Ifa, the divinity of wisdom must speak before anything could be done. The intended war was never to be, because at Igbo Ugbo, where the warriors gathered, Ifa forbade that Ile-Ife be destroyed or blood be shed, rather, Ifa commanded that the warriors should leave Ile Ife, despite being aborigines and original settlers of Ile Ife, to found a new Kingdom, where Osangangan Obamakin would find what his descendants would feed on till the end of days. In the Ifa corpus, Odu Ifa:

 “Ifa ni ki Osangangan Obamakin gbera lo si Ile tio je wipe ti o bagbin eso, Omi konii je kio wu.

Amo, yi o ba oun ti aromodomo re yi o je”.

It was devastating for the warriors who were ready for War. Many warriors committed suicide at the disappointing divination and some turned to trees, boulders and rocks, streams etc. Baba Sigidi turned himself to a Boulder and his image is still been seen in Ile Ife today, off Iremo road, and is a tourist site. It is said that during the annual traditional bathe of Baba Sigidi, the boulder’s heart still beats.

Osangangan Obamakin and indeed Ugbo were never defeated because there was actually no war between Osangangan Obamakin and Oduduwa because of the divination from Ifa and Osanyin, and the truthful elders of Ile Ife today, will also attest to the fact that Obatala was not killed by Oduduwa but returned to Ideta after the mass migration from Ile Ife until a truce was reached, and Obatala was appeased till date.

This is to let us into a bit of the spiritual power play that occurred, and still reverberate till today in Ile Ife. Nevertheless, the bond between the house of Osangangan Obamakin and Oduduwa was not broken, and till today, every King who is a true descendant of both scions share the deepest secrets and mutual respect and love exclusive only to them.

Up until today, the descendant of Osangangan Obamakin, and all aborigines perform various roles for the development and peace of Ile Ife so much so that the consultations of Ifa oracle for the choice of who becomes an Ooni must be done in Ilero, the ancient palace of Osangangan Obamakin in present day Ile Ife.

All the aboriginal communities are active in the administration of present day Ile-Ife. For example, the Are crown for a new Ooni must be received on the hills of the sacred forest and prepared by the Olojudo (their descendants), after which Obalufon (their descendants), the last son of Osangangan Obamakin, must wear the crown for 3 consecutive days to bless it on behalf of his father. Afterwards, the crown will proceed to Obatala groove where the Obalesun must pick the Ase and proclaim Peace on the Crown before any Ooni can be adorned in the Are, and not until certain rituals are performed in the most sacred part of the Palace of present day Ile-Ife called Ile-Ugbo.

After the Migration of Osangangan Obamakin to found present day, Ilaje, the bond between the house of Osangangan Obamakin and Oduduwa remained unbroken, and of historical significance is the bond between Obalufon and Oranmiyan so much so that after Oranmiyan left Benin to found the great Oyo empire, Oba Eweka/Owomika and subsequent Obas of Benin visited the Olugbo in Ode Ugbo. It is established in history that some Benin Monarchs in ancient times were raised and fortified in Ode-Ugbo, as an offshoot of the relationship between Obalufon and Oranmiyan. High Chief Osayomwabo O. Ero in his book titled The Benin Monarchy and Ogiamien Connection, The Historical Facts page 121, established that Prince Efabo, the son of Oba Ehenmihen who later became Oba Ewedo was born and raised in Ode-Ugbo an Ilaje town in present day Ondo State.

The ancient markets in Ile Ife, Oja Ife and Oja Aiyegbaju were founded by Oranfe and Osangangan Obamakin, and the worship of Aje Diety to which every Ooni must pay obeisance during the annual Olojo festival is undertaken by Obawinrin, Woyeasiri and other aborigines who are the kith and kin of the Olugbo in Ile Ife today.

The Ugbo Ilaje are the original settlers of ancient Ile-Ife as corroborated by the highly knowledgeable and greatly revered Monarch of Oyo Empire, His Imperial Majesty, Iku Baba Yeye, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, CFR, Alaafin of Oyo as well as the highly revered and vast Monarch of Benin Kingdom who joined his ancestors recently, His Royal Majesty, Omonoba Erediauwa in his book, “I remain sir, your obedient servant”.

Oyo Kingdom, Benin Kingdom and Ugbo Kingdom are inseparable because of their roots in Ile-Ife. So also, is the mutuality between the Royal Houses of Osangangan Obamakin and Oduduwa.

Up until today, the descendants of Osangangan Obamakin and the aborigines are the ones who place the Are crown on every Ooni and perform the rites necessary for peace, wellness and safety in Ile Ife.

Professors Anthony Asiwaju and Olomola also lent credence to the fact that the Ugbo of Coastal Yoruba land areNOT the Igbo of South East, Nigeria occupied Ile-Ife.

In furtherance, Kabiyesi Alayeluwa, Iku Baba Yeye, Omo Iku Ti Iku Ko Gbodo Pa,   the Living Spirit of Oranmiyan, said and I quote, "the forefathers of the Olugbo are the aborigines and original settlers of Ile-Ife".

According to Chief (Dr.) M.A. Fabunmi in his book, Ife: The Genesis of Yoruba Race, 1985, he made references to the assertion of Ife Ooye Progressives with membership consisting prominent Ife indigenes like Chief Abdulrahman Ademola Aromolaran, Engr. Ishola Awoterebo (former Minister of Water Resources), Chief Jide Elugbaju and many others who claim that Ile Ife existed in communities Pre-Oduduwa, and they are aborigines in Ile-Ife.

More so, Archeological Survey conducted by Chief (Dr.) Omotosho Eluyemi and certified by the International Body of Archeology established 13 Pre-Oduduwa communities.

Dr. Moses Adetunmbi further ascerted in his Book, with a foreword written by His Royal Majesty, Oba Sijuwade, Olubuse II, who has left us to join his ancestors, that Ile-Ife existed as 13 aboriginal communities before the advent of Oduduwa, and Oduduwa met a thriving system. Ile-Ife has been structured from the outset and Oduduwa had maintained the structure after the Truce which was significantly orchestrated by Ifa and Osanyin.

The complete works of German Professor Leo Frobeneus, Herodotus (the father of history), Professors J.A Atanda,  I.AAkinjogbin, A.F.C. Ryder, T. Falola, Akin Alao, Ogen Olukoya, M.A. Fabunmi, R.O. Ajetumobi, Olupona, A. Adetugbo as well as Dr. Ikuejube, Chief B Eweka, J. Egharevba are just a miniature in the volume of academic references of the Ugbohegemony and framework in Ile-Ife.

Credit: Fifthview Magazine

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