Sunday 4 December 2022

How Igala people dominated Ogun, Togo and Benin republic after migration from Oyo

Apart from Igala people who originally migrated from Ibadan in Omala to Ibadan in Oyo state, some Igala and Nupe led by Igala Prince Tsoede invaded Oyo in 1535 during the reign of Onigbogi, sacked the capital, chased the ruling house to take refuge  in Borgu, and the Igala Prince Tsoede ruled for over 75 years till 17th century (Source: kingdom of Oyo- Think Africa).

This Igala people expanded and multiplied greatly over this 75 years with various Nupe and Igala settlements and religions like Yemoja in Tapa (Nupe) are of Oyo.

But after the Oyo people found their feet and regrouped especially as Tsoede had died in 1591, that is 16th century (Link. gale . com), an Oyo person, Ofinran became the Alaafin of Oyo. This now became a pay back time to repay Tsoede descendants, Igala followers and the Nupes. This led to the migration Igala people to form their own group around Yewa in now Ogun state while some moved forward to Togo and Benin republic. They were separately called Nago people because of the greeting, Nago, by Igala people just like Aku used to describe Yoruba people in Sierra Leone based on their greeting, Aku. But because of the wrong and falsely classification of Ajayi crowther in 1850s calling everyone in South West either Igala, Nupe, Itsekiri, Benin, Ijebu from Sudan as Yoruba, all the Nago Igala people were called Yoruba. The King of Ketu around 1900 (in the picture) wear the crown of Igala traditional rulers with red feathers facing downward as we still do till date. But because of uniformity and to avoid marginalisation, some modifications were later done.

Atampame people of Togo are Igala warriors from Oyo too. Atampame means "we are finished or that is all of us". Atampame has no meaning in Yoruba language. In fact, "Kp" is not in Yoruba. Ask a honest person of Yoruba origin, he will tell you that Okitipupa people of Ondo are Benin. He will tell you that Ugbo people are different. So also to Ijebu  people who migrated from South Sudan. But because of the adoption of Yoruba language as one of the national languages, everyone has to speak it. That is why Yoruba speakers are many not necessarily through their origin. Again, history is about truth, whether sweet or bitter. Nago is Igala and not Yoruba word. My recent research has confirmed that. These are Igala people in Southwest, Benin and Togo.

Amb Ayegba Abdullahi,

Teacher and Researcher.

Follow Ayegba Abdullahi for more facts

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