Tuesday 28 February 2023


In reading the below, please NOTE I do not advocate a nationalistic or tribalistic revolution, I am neither a tribalist nor a nationalist. I respect every Nigerian and I am a proud Nigerian. But our system of governance is not unique to us, it is copied from elsewhere. The problem is we are not doing it right as it is successfully done elsewhere and our problems with corruption, poverty, inequality, name it, comes from our doing it all wrong.

Yoruba people say, “ejeki a se, bi won ti nse, ki ole baa ri bi o ti nri” - loosely translated, let us do it the way they do it, so it would be like it should be. 


Though author is unknown, the narrative below was circulated


Prince Lanre Adegun.


Many people, today, (including those in their 50’s!) don’t know this.

I long for the days of Western Nigeria. I long for those days when I lived in peace, knowing that I was well taken care of.

When my then Premier (Chief executive of Western Nigeria) - Obafemi Awolowo didn’t have to wait, every month, for Federal Government allocation, before doing for us what development plans he had.

There was a time in this country when we actually had THREE COUNTRIES effectively within the country. And each country was RUNNING SMOOTHLY on its own. It’s like England, Scotland, and Wales, each of them individual countries in their own rights, with their own flag, anthem, etc. yet making up the country called Great Britain.

At that time, Western Nigeria was a COUNTRY on its own. We had our own WESTERN NIGERIA CONSTITUTION. Just like Eastern Nigeria (another country) had theirs. And Northern Nigeria (yet ANOTHER COUNTRY!) had theirs.

These three countries (just like England, Wales and Scotland) had a jointly-agreed-upon federal government which only took care of matters of COMMON INTEREST – like Defence, for instance, but was NOT a humongous task-master that keeps breathing down the neck of those Regions.

Yes, we called them Regions, but the truth was that they were DIFFERENT COUNTRIES which had decided to come together to operate a FEDERAL SYSTEM. A Federal System in which the REGIONS WERE THE MASTERS OF THEIR OWN DESTINIES.

Western Nigeria had a MINISTER OF EDUCATION (not a Commissioner) Eastern Nigeria had their own MINISTER OF EDUCATION. Northern Nigeria had theirs too.

Similarly there were all other MINISTERS – because these were COUNTRIES on their own. The Federal MINISTER OF EDUCATION was NOT in any way a superior to the Regional Ministers of Education. He simply supervised those educational institutions that were strictly owned by the joint Federal Government belonging to the THREE REGIONS – the THREE COUNTRIES.

The 3 Regions actually owned the Federal Government, and not the other way round!Just as the countries of West Africa, today, own ECOWAS.

Western Nigeria had its own FOREIGN EMBASSIES and its own flag. We chose our own foreign friends. And they didn’t have to be the same countries that Nigeria at the Federal level related with.

There was NO unified salary structure. I remember Western Nigeria paid the highest civil servants’ salaries in the entire Federation! It was one of the reasons there weren’t many Yorubas, relatively speaking, in the employment of the Federal Government!

Because, what were you looking for in the Federal civil service, when Western Nigeria could pay more. It sounds too good to be true, but it’s not only TRUE, but, also, they don’t want you to know this TRUTH, so that you won’t long for those days, and so that they can keep you and your people in BONDAGE to this present Federal Government that is now alpha and omega.

When every other region (and the colonial masters too) thought it was IMPOSSIBLE to give free education to children, Western Nigeria said we can do it. And WE did it. Boy! Education became FREE in all PRIMARY SCHOOLS in Western Nigeria.

Most of us attended MISSION schools in those days, as there were only very few schools established by government itself.

But the free education given by Western Nigeria was to ALL children in primary schools. Yes, all children, Including those in mission schools, so those mission schools, compulsorily, STOPPED charging fees! The Western Nigeria government (because it had control of its own resources and was NEVER in any way tied to the apron strings of the Federal Government) provided for ALL the schools – regardless of whether they were directly owned by government or not!

That’s why many people think that my generation attended public schools. The truth is that, if public schools mean schools owned by government, there were VERY FEW SCHOOLS OWNED BY GOVERNMENT.

IN THOSE DAYS, and most of us actually attended schools owned by missions – churches. But my dear Western Nigeria gave ALL OF US free primary education, whether in Government or Private Mission Schools!

And they intended taking it higher before the Army truncated that system in 1966.

My dear Western Nigeria established the University of Ife. Awolowo was not as parochial as those of recent years. He did  not take the University to his place at Ikenne, Ogun State. He could have done it then.

Now, go ask your elders what is meant by University of Ife. They will tell you that it is that University which struck WORLD-WIDE ATTENTION right from its inception!

It’s not for nothing that it’s called “GREAT IFE” From its very inception, it shot to the limelight Professor Banji Akintoye, a renowned historian, RESIGNED his position at the University of Ibadan (which had been established by the colonial masters after the pattern of British universities) to go to Ife! Ife was IRRESISTIBLE! Ife became THE STANDARD.

May God bless the soul and memory of "Professor Hezikaih Oluwasanmi" and his cohorts for bringing prestige to the Yoruba Nation.

Because Western Nigeria had their Destiny in their own hands, and we pursued it with vigour, until they took away our patrimony from us!

The military struck in 1966, and, with one thing leading to another, they gradually TOOK AWAY THE SOVEREIGNTY OF THE REGIONS and gave the powers of those regions to a humongous and behemoth Unitary Government of Nigeria that now CONTROLS OUR DESTINY.

They took the University of Ife away from us (commandeered it, military style) and made it a FEDERAL UNIVERSITY. Go and ask those who know, they will tell you that that’s the day the UNIVERSITY OF IFE STARTED GOING DOWN.

They now sought to placate us, later, by naming it OBAFEMI AWOLOWO UNIVERSITY. Na dat one we wan chop? It is time now that we begin to act towards taking back our sovereignty! We need to take back our property. We need to start the fight to get control of our own resources.

We are TIRED of your Nigeria that is suffocating us!

Western Nigeria established the FIRST television station in Africa. Even when the Federal Government did NOT have a television station! Officials of the Federal Government came (they were invited!) to come and watch when we opened the first television station in Africa, in 1959. It was named WESTERN NIGERIA TELEVISION (WNTV) and the first face ever, on television in Africa, was one of our mummies (who was a young girl at the time), Anike Agbaje-Williams. Western Nigeria caught the attention of the world  They came later, and took away WESTERN NIGERIA TELEVISION from us, and they named it NTA, which now call themselves the first and largest television network in Africa.

The so-called Federal Government controlled by Northerners soldiers took over our patrimony. This was sadly but naively aided by our own Chief R.A. Ogunlade, the then Federal Minister of Information.

The Unitary Government of Nigeria took over our Liberty Stadium and other icons of our achievements as a proud Yoruba Nation.

It is fact of history though that our brethren YORUBAS in uniform were naive and got carried away by the fake promise of a United Nigeria. Their antelope was sadly in bed with the hyena of the Fulanis. Very sadly indeed to have been akimbo while their Northern colleagues got away with cunning deception.

Now that the fake Federation has turned out to be a Unitary Government of Nigeria, the time is nigh to start the quest to regain the Yoruba Nation.

The time is nigh.



Edited for clarity.

Akin Fapohunda.

Iyamode of Oyo: the only person Alaafin is allowed to kneel before

In the Yoruba empire, every human being is expected to kneel or prostrate when conversing or greeting the Alaafin (or even any king in Yorubaland). This, according to the Yoruba culture, is a sign of respect to the king, his forefathers, and his crown.

The Alaafin of Oyo is regarded as the supreme head of the Yoruba people, although there have been controversies about the eldest between the Ooni of Ife (who is seen as the leader of the Yoruba descendants) and the Alaafin of Oyo (who is regarded as the leader of the strongest descendants, known as Oyo, of the Yoruba empire). However, for the purpose of this piece, Alaafin of Oyo has power and authority to decide and control the affairs of the traditional administration of the people.

For this reason, no matter the age of the Alaafin (young or old), every human being must kneel or prostrate to him as a sign of paying homage or allegiance to his descendants and his crown. Also, under no circumstances should the Alaafin bow or kneel to greet any human being.

However, in the history of the Yoruba race, a particular woman (which is also a position) in the clan is the most senior and respected priestess. According to history, anyone who becomes the Iyamode must be respected by everyone, even the king.

Who is Iyamode?

According to the Yoruba Kingship rules, the only person in the world to whom the Aláàfin may bow before is Iyamode. This is because she is the senior priestess and the most powerful in the hierarchy of other priestesses.

Iyamode lives outside the palace and she is the leader of the Bara celibates, known as the royal mausoleum. According to the tradition of the Oyo people, once a woman attains Iyamode, she is said to enter a lifelong state of celibacy and she must abstain from sexual activities.

Thus, because of this, she is respected for her celibacy, and within the royal court of the Aláàfin, she is regarded as one of the most senior priestesses (because to people, it is almost impossible for a woman to be celibate throughout her lifetime).

This is why the Alaafin kneels before no one else, except the Iyamode.

Iyamode holds a position of such great esteem that the king refers to her as “Baba” (father). Therefore, whenever the Aláàfin bows before this powerful woman, she always returns the gesture by doing the same, but the rule is that she must never recline on her elbows because this is how women traditionally bow to their superiors.

By Temioluwa Oyeniyi

Monday 27 February 2023


ABEOKUTA WAS FOUNDED in 1830 after the intertribal wars ravaged refugees in Egba forest from their original homes between 1817 and 1830. The name of the town "ABEOKUTA" was derived from the protection which the fleeing settlers sought under the Olumo Rock, now a tourist center in the town. Abeokuta means 'the refugees under a rock', signifying the protection which the Olumo Rock offered the refugees from possible attacks. The first and major of these series of internecine wars was the one which broke out as a result of an incident at Apomu Market, now in the Irewolede Local Government area of Osun State. In 1821, an Owu man who sold alligator peppers was at Apomu Market selling his wares. He laid them out in piles containing 200 peppers each. An Ijebu woman came to the market and purchased a pile. She did not verify on the spot the correctness of the number of peppers in the pile she selected, but found it convenient to do counting on reaching home. She claimed to find only 199, which meant that one was missing.

The Ijebu woman went back to the market to accost the Owu man over the one pepper by which the portion she selected was less, and demanded restitution of the missing one. But the Owu man objected, maintaining that he was sure of his own count. The argument over this single pepper developed into an open quarrell between the two of them. Later, it blew out into a fracas in which people of Owu and Ijebu clans in the market took sides with their kith and kin. Sectional sentiments soon became whipped up into open confrontation in which a life was lost and several people were injured.

Each side went home to narrate to their Oba, chiefs and townsmen the events of the day. As would be expected, each group took umbrage over what it considered to be a raw deal from the opposing camp. Within a matter of days, the fight over a single alligator pepper had resulted into a total war in which the Owu and Ijebu peoples threw caution to the winds and restored to open arms. Before this incident, the people of Ife had suffered defeats in the hands of the Owu people, and the Ijebu had similarly been routed by the Owu in a war fought over the slave trading.

Now, both the Ife and Ijebu saw the opportunity to settle scores with the Owu by joining forces to face the Owu. Even the remnants of the Oyo forces, just returned from their mission to repel a Fulani invasion, and who were by then mere lay-about, teamed up with Ife and Ijebu forces. The combined attack of the Ife-Ijebu-Oyo coalition forced the Owu homeland to fall after a long siege, and the events following this catastrophe gave birth to the founding of Abeokuta a few years after.

The fall of the Owu homeland was quickly followed by the fall of some other Egba towns, each being sacked in succession by the alliance of the Ife-Ijebu-Oyo forces.

The Egba towns which had folded their arms while the Owu people fought alone, now became victims of the ravening wolves represented by these rallies. The only pity of it was that among the first to fall was Ikija. Ikija was attacked because its people stood by the Owu people in the war of 'Alligator Pepper'. Before long, many Egba towns also fell and all the survivors eventually sought refuge in Abeokuta after a few years, and thus made Abeokuta their permanent place of sojourn.

Their decision to leave Ibadan for Abeokuta was nowever informed by the hostility of the Oyo, Ife and Ijebu, with whom they shared sojourn in Ibadan. Lamodi, a warrior of note, was credited with the initiative for the migration to Abeokuta, although he himself never saw the Promised Land because he died on the way. He was at the time the Balogun of the Egba people. Sodeke, who was then the Seriki of the Egba, took over and led the first wave of immigration to Abeokuta in 1830. Bringing up the rear of the migrants to Abeokuta were the Owu people in about the year 1834. Some others also came later.

The site they choose for Abeokuta was originally the farmland of an Itoko farmer whose name was Adagba. Adagba had no choice but to receive the Egba refugees with both hands and the credit he got was that Abeokuta became known by another name - 'OKO ADAGBA', meaning Adagba's Farmstead. On setting in Abeokuta, each community continued its main occupation of farming, cultivating mainly food crops and cash crops, notably cotton, palm-trees, and kola-nuts. A few did pretty trading and some practiced itinerant merchandising. There were also craftsmen, hunters, drummers, weavers and dryers; some practiced traditional healing, mingling it with some form of divination. They were very religious and each adhered to a belief in one God or another. They specialized in a genre of oral traditional poetry known as Ege which is both musical and philosophical in content and forms.

The first few years immediately following the settling in Abeokuta were fraught with difficulties - social, political and economic. But for the fact that they lived simple lives, they would have found the problems overwhelming. The problems of each group findings and selecting appropriate land to farm was enough to daunt them. And the quick succession of the waves of settlers posed problems with extra dimensions. The new pottage represented by the many group of settlers needed time to simmer and mellow down to attain acceptable taste. Then there were the need for food supply. Being new settlers, they needed a year or two to be able to plant enough food to feed themselves. So it was largely a question of scrounging for food on in the first two years by a people who had escaped from unsettling ravages of war.

Between 1830 and the turn of the century, the settlers in Abeokuta were forced into fighting several wars. In these wars, they creditably proved their mettle. In 1832, the Ijebu Remo people provoked the new settlers into taking arms against several Ijebu Remo towns in a war called - Owiwi war. In 1834, the Ibadan people also challenged them to a war which resulted in the defeat of the Ibadan army in what was known as the Battle of Arakanga.

In 1842, the settlers took the initiative of a war with the Ota people in order to ensure free movement through Ota territory each time they needed to get to Lagos to buy firearms. This led to another war in 1844 when they attacked Ado for assisting the Ota people two years before. The same year, the Dahomeans, under King Gezo, waged war against Abeokuta but were repulsed. The Dahomey army repeated the invasion in 1851 and suffered a similar defeat.

In 1849, Abeokuta attacked Ibarapa for waylaying the Egba in their territory. Among other wars fought by Abeokuta were the Ijebu-Ere War in 1851, and the Ijaye War of 1860-1862, and the Makun War of 1862-1864, as well as a few others. In most of these encounters, they emerged victorious - although they suffered their own reverses in some as well. Among Egba war leaders were Sodeke, Ogunbona, Apati, Seriki Akoodu, Ogundipe Alatise, Sokenu, Basorun Somoye, Olufakun, Agbo, Lumloye, Iyalode Tinubu, Majekodunmi, and a host of others.

Sunday 26 February 2023


The brave hunters, namely Bọ́ni, Igíṣubú, Alegbàtà, Lọ́kọ́, Gbandan and Ọlọmọ were also greeted by the eerie and ominous sound of apparitions circling the exact spot of the ancient palace which now lies in ruins in the middle of a thick forest. The appearance of the beings confirms that they are not of common sight. Never had an incongruous array of deformity been found in cluster like that. The hunters were about to take to their heels, but one of them decided to test how the materiality of arrow will whoosh through the immateriality of these phantasmagorical beings. More, Aláàfin may not be magnanimous this time to accept the story of brave hunters who took to their heels without putting up a fight, irrespective of who the adversary was. Many heads lie at Mogun for the same cowardice.

Then, there was a thwish sound as the arrow was released. A whoosh sound as the arrow flew and cut the air! A thunk sound as the arrow, though missing its target, hit the palm-tree behind one of  the apparitions! The dimunitive ethereal being touched the back of his neck to clean the mark a fly that just flew past him left, scratching him in midflight. His hand met warm blood! Horrified, he instinctively looked at the direction of where what missed him by hair-length came from. Lo and behold, three huge men in war dress, with another three sharp arrows directed at him! He let out a deafening yell of his life that reverberated through the night like an animal in the throes of death.

"Yéè! Yéè! Yéè! Ẹ gbà mí o," rented the air. Other "apparitions" did not wait to see what has happened. They flunged themselves into the bush path in an attempt to escape. They lumbered along the path, being of diverse deformity. But what could scuttle an already dead beings? Or how can the material arrow scatter beings that have no material bodies. Anyways, a surprise was waiting for them at the other side too.

Having been to war several times and learnt the art of Yoruba war and strategies, the hunters had divided themselves into two groups: the adúródoguns and the adènàdoguns. So, the "apparitions", even with their gift of telepathy, teleportation and clairvoyance combined, were surprised to meet another three readily drawn arrows pointed at them at the other end of the road. They let out a wail in unison. "Ẹ dákun ẹ má ta'fà sì wa, a kìí ṣe ọ̀rọ̀," they chorused, sweating like a caged monkey and visibly shaken. The hunters, reasoning that immortal beings should not be afraid of arrows to the point of wetting the backs of their legs, asked them who were behind the gimmick.

It was there that they revealed to the hunters that the plan was hatched by noble men and chiefs of Ọ̀yọ́ to dissuade Aláàfin Abipa not to relocate Ọ̀yọ́ to the defunct site. Who is more noble then? The king who wants his ancestral homeland back or the nobles and chiefs who would rather preserve the kingship of Ọ̀yọ́ from total collapse, even at the expense of loosing the ancestral home to marauding tribe who will stop at nothing to implant their new found religion? If you think of the glory repopulating Ọ̀yọ́ back will bring, then you will follow the king. If you think of frequent wars this could bring and lives that will be lost, you will side with the chiefs and nobles. Is life preservation more important to heritage preservation? What is the meaning of life if there is nothing to be proud of in it? Sensing that this is the crossroad Èṣù likes to play his tricks, the human hunters bounded the "ethereal apparitions" up, and led them to Ọ̀yọ́ Igboho the same night. Let the king decides. May Esu not trick anyone into taking decision behind Aláàfin.

The next day was a weekly meeting of Jakuta. After the necessary rites and proceedings, the chiefs retired to the banquet hall to be entertained as usual with good music, pounded yam, assorted meat and palm wine. Alaafin Abipa was in attendance too, and his chief servant ordered that palm wine be served. What happened next will surprise you.

- Bode Oje

"At night, they roamed about the hill, hooting and cooing with lighted torches in hand, and they were taken for the spirits of the hill refusing them readmission to Ọ̀yọ́."

- Samue Johnson, 1976. History of the Yorùbás: From the Earliest Time to the Beginning of the British Protectorate. Lagos: CSS Bookshops. p. 165.

Watch out!!!

Saturday 25 February 2023


Lalupon is a city whose story cannot be complete without the ancient city of Ibadan. It is a town located on the outskirt of Ibadan, in the Lagelu local government area of Oyo state. It was built by the warlords as a gateway town between Ibadan and Iwo as well as the reserve war camp during Ibadan war campaigns.

History has it that Lalupon was founded by Iragberi royal warlords, headed by Gudugba Isioye, a prince and warlord from Iragberi, an ancient town in the present-day Egbedore local government area of Osun state. Gudugba was said to have left Ede for Ibadan, when he came in contact with two deities which he was told would signify where he would settle.

On getting to Ibadan, he was accepted by Iba Oluyole and they lived and fought many wars together, including the Fulani wars. As a form of compensation, Iba Oluyole asked Gudugba to choose where he would like to settle and he informed the king about his interest to settle in Lalupon.

As at when Gudugba settled in Lalupon, the city had no name. Iba Oluyole who was the king at that time decided to pay a visit to Gudugba, and he met him, his wife, children and other warriors eating a very good meal. He then stated that he was enjoying royal influences, hence – Lalupon. Lalupon was coined from the phrase “Ola to ni Pon”, which reflects the majestic and royal influences of Gudugba and other warriors, who are mostly princes from various ancient towns of the Old Oyo Empire.

Lalupon is a town surrounded by other towns and villages which include – Ejioku and Ariku to the North, Gbanla, Odo-Oba, Erunmu to the East, Molunkan, Edun, and Fatumoh to the West and Adeleye, Abioye, Atari and Arije to the South.

Agriculture is the primary occupation of most of the dwellers in Lalupon and they are known for their expertise in the growing of okro. Others are artisans and people who are business oriented. Lalupon residents are known for their love for white amala, beans soup, ewedu, bush meat and okro.

Obalogun is the most prominent deity of the ruling houses of Lalupon. Obalogun festival is not an annual event but its date of celebration is usually set when a wild animal crosses through the town, and mostly in broad day. Meanwhile, there are other deities from various compounds in Lalupon.

Lalupon is the home of Kajola market, which is a collection centre of the proceeds from the surrounding villages and towns. Kajola market takes place every four days.


Oba Muniru Arigbabuwo who was installed on May, 2019 is the current Onilalupon of Lalupon. He was installed as the Onilalupon by the late former Governor of Oyo State, Senator Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi.

Lalupon is also a significant town in the history of Nigeria as the remains of the duo of Major General Aguiyi Ironsi and Lt. Col Adekunle Fajuyi, who were killed in the Ibadan 1966 retaliatory coup, were found within Lalupon axis on the road to Iwo town.

The people of Lalupon are accommodating, hospitable, peace-loving and are known for their historic communal efforts.


In 1978, the pioneer of Afrobeats, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, married 27 women in one day. This should not be strange to those who know the life and style of the Nigerian music legend nicknamed Abami Eda (strange creature).

Many of Fela’s band members became homeless after the devastating soldier attack on Fela’s commune (Kalakuta Republic) in 1977. In order to keep them together, Fela decided to do the unusual.

He gave a piece of paper to his female band members requesting the names of those that would like to marry him; the entire twenty-seven female band members put down their names.

After getting their consent, Fela Kuti married the 27 women on the 20th of February, 1978, at the Parisona Hotel in Anthony, Lagos, with the blessings of twelve Ifa priests. It was alleged that some parents of the ladies objected the marriage.

Fela married the women to protect and keep them together. The marriage ceremony was attended by Fela’s families, friends and other band members.

During the marriage ceremony, Fela rendered a short speech, pressed naira notes on his new wives’ foreheads and gave them marriage certificates. Fela embraced a rotation system of 12 wives at a time. After the marriage, Fela took his 27 wives to Ghana for honeymoon.

However, in 1986, shortly after his release from prison, Fela Kuti divorced his 27 wives on the claim that marriage brings jealousy. It should be noted that they were not forced to leave his house after the divorce; some lived with him till his death in 1997.


Sunday 19 February 2023


When next are you going to be in the city of Ibadan?

One of the places you must endeavour to visit in the historic town is Taj Mahal in Oke Oluokun. That’s the residence and final resting place of Alhaji Adegoke Adelabu, the Lion of the West.

Adelabu needs no introduction. He was the afternoon star that scared the elderly. 

He was the morning dew that drenched both friends and foes. More than fifty-nine years after his death, he refused to be forgotten. For those who are not familiar with Penkelemesi, please read Onigegewura’s You know Penkelemesi! But do you know Ebullition? to know more about this legendary personality.

Gbadamosi Adegoke Adelabu died at his prime. He died when his sun was at its zenith. It was a death like no other. It was not the death of an individual. It was not the loss of a family. Adegoke Adelabu’s death was a national tragedy. Ibadan stood still.

Lagos was stuned. Nigeria went into a state of shock.

How did Adelabu die? Was it an act of God? Was he killed by his political opponents? Was Adegoke a victim of political conspiracy? What was Adelabu’s business with his Lebanese friends? What actually happened on that fateful day in 1958?

If there was a politician who understood the psychology of his people, it was Adegoke Adelabu. He was a master in the art and science of political psychology. And like the consummate politician he was, he spoke the language of the people. He was a compound polyglot. 

His Yoruba was flawless. His English was impeccable. Adelabu was not the one to mix Yoruba with English in the same sentence.

Though small in stature, he was intellectually a giant. With his brilliance, he dazzled and dwarfed his peers. According to Bola Ige, Adelabu was “a short man, but with boundless energy, he always seemed to be on the move, he went on foot from village to village.

He dressed and appeared like a rustic villager. He never seemed to smile, not to talk of laugh. His Yoruba was devastating in pithiness and sarcasm. He knew how to leave every audience with a phrase that could not be forgotten.”

Coming from Chief Bola Ige, who himself was a wordsmith, that was an eloquent testimonial. If any evidence of Adelabu’s mastery of language is required, you need look no further than Penkelemesi and Ebullition.

The final journey of the grassroots politician did not start in 1958 when he breathed his last. It actually started three years earlier in 1955 when Adelabu was appointed the Minister of Natural Resources and Social Services. The appointment was indeed a giant leap for Adelabu, who started life from a weaver’s shed.

His Lebanese friends, the Younan family, saw his appointment as a golden opportunity to market the Penkelemesi brand.

It was decided that textile materials bearing Adelabu’s image and name be produced and sold. It was expected that the cloth would also serve a subtle campaign strategy for Adelabu who was aiming to become the premier of the West.

When the first shipment arrived, neither Adelabu nor the Younan family, expected what happened. They had expected sale to be slow and gradual.

To their pleasant surprise, the Penkelemesi fabric became an overnight bestseller. It became the social uniform, not only in Ibadan but throughout the Western Region. According to Iya Agba, textile merchants were using the cloth to sell other brands. You must buy another brand before aso penkelemesi could be sold to you.

It was no longer aso ebi. It became aso ilupeju – a global uniform. It was used for weddings, naming ceremonies, funerals, housewarming and every form of social function. Tailors were praying daily for Adelabu. There was no tailor in Ibadan that did not get one or two yards to sew.

The Younan family did not wait for the stock to run out before the second shipment was ordered. It also recorded massive sale.

This time around, Idumota traders and Onitsha merchants joined the bandwagon. The Lion of the West was the toast of the moment. He was not only a successful politician; he had also demonstrated that he was business savvy.

With the 1956 elections approaching, and with his rising political profile, Adelabu was sure of victory at the polls. He was a master strategist. As a populist leader, he gave people what they wanted. In areas of Ibadan where the indigenes were in the majority, Adelabu ensured that natives were the candidates of his party. In non-native areas, the Political Genius, fielded non-natives. It was a strategy that never failed him.

He was confident of becoming the premier.

His business partners were also confident. It was decided that in addition to the penkelemesi cloth already in the market, a special cloth should be ordered for his inauguration as the premier. The cloth was indeed special. It showed Adegoke Adelabu as the Premier holding the keys to the Western House of Assembly! It was going to be a hot cake.

To finance the project, Albert Younan obtained a loan from African Continental Bank. ACB was one of the big indigenous banks in Nigeria then. The bank became distressed in 1991 and was taken over by the Central Bank of Nigeria. It was later revived and was one of the banks that formed the present day Spring Bank. The bank even had a football club. I can see elderly people reading this nodding as they remember ACB FC of Lagos!

Adelabu had however not taken into consideration the political wizardry of Obafemi Awolowo. As fate would have it, it was Awolowo who became the Premier. Adelabu became the Leader of the Opposition. Of course you know that it is the Premier and not the Leader of the Opposition that would hold the key to the House of Assembly.

You want to know what happened to the cloth already ordered.

You are not the only one. The management of ACB also wanted to know. More importantly, the bankers wanted to know how the Younans were going to repay the facility. Yet the cloth could not be sold as Adelabu did not become the premier.

Albert Younan found himself in a financial jeopardy. The bank was writing to him everyday demanding repayment of the loan. The cloth was in the warehouse, unsold. Adelabu was in the House, but not as the premier. This was not an ordinary matter. Ohun ti o mu bale ile wo aso iyawo re lo si oja, oro ti kuro ni se ko si nkan. Mewa nbe. Whatever made the husband to wear his wife’s dress to the market place has gone beyond ‘I hope there’s no problem’.

On March 24, 1958, Younan sent a desperate message to Penkelemesi. It was a plea for help. The bank was on his neck. He had been given a final deadline by the bank. Adelabu decided to assist his friend by following him to the head office of the bank in Lagos to plead for further credit.

Adelabu woke up very early the following day. In addition to the meeting with ACB in Lagos, he also had some issues to discuss with Chief Festus Okotie-Eboh. He decided to use the same stone to kill two birds. He had just finished his morning prayers when he was informed that Albert Younan was outside. He bade his family farewell and promised to be back before evening.

The journey to Lagos was uneventful. The management of the Bank was happy to receive a politician with the stature of Adelabu. He was assured that his request would be considered. Younan was happy. Adelabu was happy. He went off to see Okotie-Eboh.

It was on the return journey to Ibadan that the unthinkable happened. It was on a straight stretch of road between Ode-Remo and Iperu. Albert Younan was the one driving the ash-grey Peugeot saloon car. Adelabu was seated beside him. Two of Adelabu’s aides were also in the car.

Without warning, the Peugeot collided head on with a light yellow Austin which was on its way to Lagos. The force of the collision was such that the Austin somersaulted and came to rest upside down facing back the way it had come. The Peugeot cracked under the impact. It burst into flames.

Ha! Ikunle Abiyamo o!

Travellers who witnessed the accident rushed to the aid of the victims. They successfully extinguished the fire. Of the four passengers in the Peugeot car, only the driver, Albert Younan, was alive. Though he was injured, he was still breathing.

The driver of the yellow Austin was unharmed. It was as if he was not the one who drove the car.

His two passengers were however not as lucky. The two Britons in the car, who were representatives of the Royal Exchange Assurance Company, sustained slight injuries.

All of them, the dead and the injured, were quickly rushed to Shagamu Hospital. It was at the hospital that it was discovered that Penkelemesi, the Lion of the West, was one of the dead.

It was late in the evening that the news reached Ibadan. It started as a rumour. No one believed it. It could not have been Adelabu. Penkelemesi was a survivor. He was a fighter.

He would never allow death to take him. Even if he was involved in an accident, the Lone Star would be unscathed. Bi Sango ba n pa Araba, bi o n fa Iroko ya, bi ti igi nla ko. If Sango, the god of thunder strikes at Araba tree and dismantles Iroko tree, he must respect the baobab tree. Adelabu was baobab. He was beyond the reach of Sango.

It was not until the following morning when his death became the headline news that reality dawned on his teeming followers. Tragedy Strikes screamed the Defender newspaper. Adelabu Is Dead announced the Daily Times.

Anthony Enahoro, as the Leader of the Western House of Assembly, proposed an extraordinary adjournment as a tribute to the dead Leader of the Opposition. In his moving tribute, he said:

“We did not agree with him or his methods, and he too, did not agree with us or our policies.

Nevertheless, he was a tireless and doughty fighter who stood firmly by the things he cherished, and it may be that when the history of these times comes to be written, that is one attribute of Alhaji Adelabu which will be remembered better than any other.”

Chief Obafemi Awolowo saluted the man who had keenly desired to take his place as Premier of the West.

According to him: “Alhaji Adegoke Adelabu was, in his lifetime, and ever since he entered into politics, a fighter first and last, with all the characteristics of a fighter. He was fearless, formidable, forthright, often caustic, and uncompromising.”

It was a day no one who witnessed it would ever forget. Lanrewaju Adepoju, the redoubtable Yoruba poet, in a recent album, observed that Ibadan had never mourned anyone the way it mourned Adelabu. More than 75,000 mourners assembled to pay their final homage to the People’s Hero.

According to an eyewitness account, the crowd was so dense that that it took three hours for the funeral procession of over fifty vehicles to move from Molete to Oke Oluokun where he was to be buried.

Kingsley Ozumba Mbadiwe presented a coffin to the family on behalf of his political party, the NCNC. It must have been a special coffin. I remember that one verbal abuse that was popular in the West when I was growing up was to describe someone as having ‘long head like Adelabu’s coffin’.

Do you remember? Olori gboro bi posi Adelabu!

Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, the Leader of NCNC, was not physically present at the funeral but he was represented by top notchers of the party. He later came to pay his last his respects to his very distinguished lieutenant. At the graveside, Azikiwe announced that NCNC would provide scholarships for all of Adelabu’s 15 children. He also donated 100 pounds to the family.

Adelabu was not mourned by only the NCNC and the AG. On behalf of the Northern People Congress, Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello and Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa sent two top Ministers: Muhammadu Ribadu and Inuwa Wada to pay condolences and pray at the grave of a fellow Muslim.

Adegoke Adelabu was dead and buried. But the Lion of West did not die alone. His supporters took to the streets. They paraded through the city and stoned public buildings, including Mapo Hall and the courts at Oke Are. By evening of that day, three people had been killed in various parts of Ibadan.

It was speculated that Adelabu was shot by his political opponents.

An editor of a newspaper claimed that he saw Adelabu’s body riddled with bullet holes and that the car he was travelling in was deliberately crashed to make it look like an accident.

This claim was however without basis. Unknown to many at the time, Adelabu’s corpse did not arrive Ibadan until late in the morning of March 26 because a postmortem was being conducted to determine the cause of his death. The autopsy was witnessed by Chief Joseph M. Johnson, one of Adelabu’s friends. Johnson was the first and the only non-indigene to serve as the Chairman of Ibadan Council.

Adelabu died on Tuesday.

He was buried on Wednesday. By Friday, all hell broke lose. Reports of murders and violence began to come in by Friday evening. One account put the number of death at sixteen. Another account sighted by Onigegewura recorded eighteen riot deaths. All the victims were said to be members or supporters of the Action Group.

By March 30, more than 300 people had been arrested. Many of them were taken to Ilesha and Abeokuta prisons since Ibadan prison was already full.

It was also speculated that Younan had crashed the car deliberately in order to commit suicide as a result of his financial challenges. 

This was however denied by Albert Younan who insisted that there was no special cloth printed for the 1956 election and therefore no financial loss. He claimed that he went with Adelabu to Lagos for unrelated business.

The family of Adegoke Adelabu did not appear to be convinced. 

The family filed a civil suit against Younan and Sons Limited and the Royal Exchange Assurance Company. Their claim was for the sum of one hundred thousand pounds for negligence of the two drivers which led to the death of their breadwinner. 

The trial judge was My Lord Justice Samuel Quashie-Idun, a Ghanaian. His Lordship later served as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

In his judgment, Justice Quashie-Idun held that no case had been made against the insurance company. His Lordship however found Younan and Sons liable. The firm was ordered to pay 6,030 pounds as damages to Adelabu’s children and 350 pounds as costs.

Younan and Sons appealed the judgment. Their appeal was successful. The Federal Supreme Court reversed the decision of the trial court on the ground that the plaintiffs who sued as Administrators of the estate of Adegoke Adelabu had no capacity to bring the suit.

At the time, the Federal Supreme Court was not the final Court of appeal for Nigeria. The apex court was the Privy Council in Britain.

Adelabu’s family appealed to the Privy Council. The appeal was pending when the parties agreed to settle out of court. The firm of Younan and Sons agreed to pay the family of the Lion of the West the sum of 3,000 pounds.

On the political front, a bye-election was conducted to fill the seat hitherto occupied by Adelabu.

Adeoye Adisa, a young lawyer who had returned to Ibadan two years earlier from his law studies in Britain emerged the winner of the bye-election.

Adegoke Adelabu died more than 59 years ago. He died at a tender age. He was 43. He was however able to cram into his short life what many who lived up to a century could only dream of achieving.

At the time of his death, he was holding three critical posts. He was the Leader of the Opposition in the Western House of Assembly. He was the Chairman of the NCNC Western Working Committee. He was also the chairman of the powerful NCNC-Mabolaje Grand Alliance. Almost six decades after his last breath, his footprints are still indelible on the political landscape.

In recognition of his achievements as a nationalist, politician, orator and mass mobilizer, the government of Oyo State in 2016 listed his Oke-Oluokun residence as one of the tourist sites in Oyo State.

I hope the next time you are in the city of Ibadan, you will find time to visit the Taj Mahal.

May the soul of Gbadamosi Adegoke Adelabu continue to rest in peace.

Let others know more about him by sharing this history with your friends and like our page for more updates from us.

People of the Nok civilisation

From Plateau to Southern Kaduna to Taraba to Gongola (Adamawa) to Nasarawa to Tangale-Waja (Southern Gombe), Bauchi-Plateau (Southern Bauchi), Southern Borno, FCT, Niger east and Kainji (Kebbi south and Niger north).

Over 200 Indigenous ethnic groups of what is today called Central Nigeria share similar cultures, traditions, ancestry, history, languages, orientation and societal values.

These are the Jukun, Gbagyi, Berom, Tangale, Eggon, Bachama- Batta (Bwatiye), Bassa, Zaar (Sayawa), Kamwe (Michika), Bura, Ebira, Amo, Kuteb, Marghi, Mumuye, Lelna (Zuru), Tshingini-Tsuvadi (Kambari), Chamba, Ngas, Mwaghavul, Tarok, Atyap (Kataf), Bajju, Adara, Akurmi (Kurama), Hyam (Jaba), Mada, Idoma, Igala, Igede, Ufia, Etulo, Yuom,  Alago, Tiv, Kilba, Jhar (Jarawa), Goemai, Kibaku (Chibok), Lunguraba, Jenjo, Waja, Mbula, Afo, Tula, Afizere, Nupe, Gwari, Kolo, Pyem, Migili, Wurkun, Ninzo, Pan, Pengana and many more dozens of special ethnic groups.

About Fifty (50) million people united by a common culture and history, but suppressed and oppressed by colonialism, the institutions and existence of Nigeria which erroneously defines some as majority and others as minorities.

Some call us Northern Christians, others call us Northern minorities, Middle Belters, Kabilu, Arnan and many other names borne out of ignorance and sometimes mischief.

We are however the PLATEAU GURARA GONGOLA peoples. Descendants of the greatest Confederacy of Africa KWARARAFA and the ancient NOK CIVILIZATION. We know who we are and we do not need others to define us.

We are the true food basket of Nigeria as we produce more than 70% of the locally cultivated food crops.  With 4 distinct vegetative zones, the Guinea Savannah, the Sudan Savannah, the unique subtropical mountainous zone of the Jos-Plateau, the Mambilla Plateau and the unique Guinea Savannah of Southern Kaduna. Pretty much every kind of crop in the world can grow within this blessed region.

We are the tourism heart of West Africa with multiple forest reserves, virgin forests with unique plant and wildlife, innumerable mountains, rocks, waterfalls, rivers e.t.c.

We are truly blessed !!

Arise descendants of Kwararafa!

Jakes King Nation

Friday 17 February 2023


Anyone telling you Eri is the first Igbo man is just a clown. Onye nkọgheri.

The myth and oral history about the Eri which elders told was that he fell from the sky when the earth was still not strong and met an Ọka (Awka) man who was a blacksmith.

The Ọka man used his tools to make the earth strong. Afterwards, Eri gave birth to Nri. That means that before Eri was an Ọka man from this oral tradition.

To push the Nri hegemony, which started getting momentum by some, in the 70s, this agelong oral tradition was yanked off.

It got more funnier when some funded a different tales of Eri coming from Gad because they saw it in the Bible. They saw Eri written in the Bible, then this Eri must be the one who fathered Nri.

From there they push out narrative that Anambara bụ isi Igbo because the first Igbo man came from there.

Very laughable to say the least.

Most southern Igbo only know Nri as ndị na-akpụ arụ. Cleansing and priestly duties.

How can you tell an Arọ man that he came from Nri abi na Eri?

All this things dey funny...

Igbo is a nation. Even in your village, people came from different places and intermarry.

While Nri formed different communities, Arọ formed more Igbo Communities than Nri.

Arọ extended to Oturkpa, Oturkpa. You even wondered why the Idoma and Igbo have a lot in common—Arọ people. Arọ formed different clans in  some places now under Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Delta, etc.

You cannot be talking Igbo history, narrowing it with Nri without first mentioning Arọ. Again, nobody can tell you that the Igbo started from Arọ. Igbo is deep. Some part of Aniọma only know about Nshi people through trade. Nshi people are Nri people.

Professor Elizabeth Isichie has this highlighted in her historical book: "Igbo World".

Nobody... Nobody is the father of ndị Igbo. Nobody is known as the first Igbo man to be here. It's never the fictitious Eri. Igbo is wide and deep.

(C) Maazi Ogbonnaya Okoro 2021

Thursday 16 February 2023


The town of Ogbomoso lies between Ilorin and Oyo Town in the south western region of Nigeria. The town was founded in the mid-17th century by Ogunlola, a brave hunter of Ibariba descent. History has it that Ogunlola migrated to the present site of Ogbomoso around 1650 in pursuit of his hunting career. He arrived at the site which was then a dense jungle with his wife named Esuu and together they camped beneath an ajagbon tree which can still be seen today near the Soun’s palace. 

Later on, Ogunlola and his wife built a hut near the tree and settled there permanently.

Shortly after they settled in the jungle, Ogunlola noticed that smoke emit daily from nearby places. He decided to check the places out and to his surprise, he discovered that four other hunters were also dwelling in the jungle. The first hunter was a Nupe elephant hunter named Aale who camped in a place now known as Oke-Elerin (Elephant Hill). The second was an Otta prince named Onisile who left his town because of title dispute, he settled in a place now known as Ijeru. The third hunter was Orisatolu who camped at Isapa and the last hunter settled at Akande which no longer exist.

Ogunlola established his dominance over the four hunters with his unmatched hunting skills and the help of his wife, Esuu, who was very good at making tobacco snuff and guinea corn-wine which the hunters liked so much.

Ogunlola and the hunters formed a society called Alongo with the aims of protecting the settlement from slave raiders, hunting wild animals together, helping one another and so on. The settlement began to expand as people moved in till it became a village. Ogunlola gradually became the head of the new village as his hut became the administrative center where important issues were discussed, and a court where disputes were settled.

The history of Ogbomoso has it that Ogunlola was later imprisoned at Oyo-Ile, the capital of the old Oyo empire, for an alleged crime. While in prison, Ogunlola heard about a warrior named Elemoso who had been terrorising Oyo-Ile. He pleaded with the Alaafin (traditional ruler of Oyo) to let him out of the prison to fight and kill Elemoso. After much persuasion, the Alaafin granted Ogunlola’s request to hunt Elemoso down. Elemoso was a very strong and brave warrior who fought with sword and arrows. Ogunlola was shown Elemoso’s camp. However, it took him some days to study Elemoso’s tactics. One night, Ogunlola crept upon Elemoso’s camp and shot him down with an arrow.

He beheaded him and took his head to the Alaafin who was very happy. The Alaafin granted Ogunlola freedom and even persuaded him to stay in Oyo-Ile but Ogunlola refused, he said to the Alaafin: “Ejé kí á ma se óhún” meaning “Let me stay faraway in my land“. This is where the title ‘Soun‘, the traditional ruler of Ogbomoso, was coined from.

Ogunlola returned to his village and was made the paramount leader with the title of Soun. He became the first Soun of Ogbomoso. The settlement was subsequently called “Eyi ti Ogbori Elemoso” meaning “the one who carried Elemoso’s head“. This was shortened to Ogbori Elemoso and later, Ogbomoso which it is called till today. This was how Ogbomoso got it’s name from Ogunlola’s bravery.

Ogbomoso later rose from its mere village status to a strong town due to the role it subsequently played in the history of Yoruba land.

Quick Factsheet on Ogbomoso

• Ogbomoso one of the major cities in Nigeria is located in Yorubaland, in South-Western Nigeria. The city was founded around the mid 1600s;

• Ogbomoso people predominantly belong to the Yoruba ethnic group;

• In 1991, the population was estimated to be approximately 645,000. By 2005, the population has climbed to more than one million people.

• Farming, agriculture and general commerce form the backbone of the economy. Agricultural products include yams, cassava, maize, and tobacco remain notable agricultural products of the region.

Famous Landmark In Ogbomoso

• American Baptist Church of Nigeria.

• The great square tower of the central mosque.

• The Baptist Seminary.


Olabinjo (Bobby) Benson(Age 61, 11 April 1922-14 May, 1983.) Was an entertainer and musician who had influence on the Nigerian music scene, introducing big band and Caribbean, highlife style of popular West Africa music. While at school he also learned tailoring, then a boxer for a brief period, and then a sailor in the Navy. In 1944, he left his ship in London, where he made his entertainment debut with the Negro ballet touring several European capitals. He met his wife Cassandra a (half Scottish and half Caribbean) return to Nigeria in 1974 they established the Bobby Benson and Cassandra Theatrical Party, where he played guitar and saxophone while she danced.

They played swing, jive, sambas, calypsos & popular highlife style. Their first big hit was "TAXI DRIVER" followed by several others. He had a show on NTA in the 1970s as a stand-up comedian, playing & singing. He became friend of B.B king & Hugh Masekela. He established the CABAN BAMBOO, a popular nite club in Lagos(we rocked!) later converted to Hotel Bobby. Various prominent musicians played in Benson's band, including Roy Chicago, Sir Victor Uwaifo, & Victor Olaiya. A tribute to the great Bobby Benson.

The legendary Bobby Benson.

Tuesday 14 February 2023


Today the world pays tribute to the quintessential lovers. Lord Shango and his wife Oya. It is funny we celebrate in our cuteness though we are forgetful about our history and beginnings. But go through history books and show me a love more compassionate and supportive onto the end. Show me a love full of passion and dedication to the end. Show me a love full of loyalty to the Yoruba Nation and self like Lord Shango and Oya had. 

Today lovers wear his favourite color and celebrate without acknowledging where that Airtel Red brand bible came from. I remember I was doing a brand pitch once at Airtel's Office in Banana Island and I was asked if I know what the brand represents. Red is for passion, boldness and youthfullness. One day in the retelling of our history I hope they adopt the Lord Shango mythology. 

He was brought to the throne because of his youthfulness and vigor to help build the empire. Which he did. Because of his passion and love for Oya he adopted Oya's hairstyle as his. He taught the young people the art of war and sacrifice for the empire. The things Oya did for that love that burns the heart? That is another story. 

My Lord. Eyes like bitter kola. I pay tribute. Please pardon our forgetfulness. Happy Lovers Day to you and your wife. There will be a time for retelling of our history. Our lovers from legend.

Shango ‘In memory of Time' An Apataki Film. 


Sunday 12 February 2023


Yorùbá is a heavily tonal language. A little change in tone of words could bring a drastic change in meaning. This I think makes it important to state the difference between three plants that seemingly share the same name in Yorùbá language. 

The first is ìrókò tree. Note the diacritic. It is called Milicia excelsa scientifically although ìrókò has been adopted by Oxford dictionary. It is sometimes called ìrókò olúwéré, the latter being esoteric appellation of the tree. Only elders can tell us what olúwéré means o. Abeg no ask me o.

The second is ilá ìròkò. Also, note the diacritics. The botanical name is Abelmoschus esculentus. It is a specie of okro plant with its fruit slender and tender. It hardly becomes hard to the extent you will not be able to cut it with knife unlike the main ilá that sometimes kó. That is, the Fibre in the fruit matures beyond what knife can cut easily, thus becoming unsuitable for food.

The third is ewé ìròkó. Also, note the tonal sign. This plant's botanical name is Telfairia occidentalis. It's shortened to ewéròkó. In Yorùbá land, it is hardly cooked as the main ẹ̀fọ́. Rather, you cook it with ẹ̀gúsí olókiṣi. You can also mix it with other ẹ̀fọ́.

It also has some medicinal benefits which is not esoteric/spiritistic but of phytochemistry. However be careful, the root is said to be poisonous. 



Near the end of his life, Bob Marley was told by a doctor that he had "more cancer in him than I've seen with a live human being," and that he only had a few months to live.

Three years earlier, the reggae icon had been diagnosed with melanoma under his toenail in 1977. Doctors removed the nail and the nail bed, but Marley refused to have the toe itself amputated to stop the spread of the disease, insisting that it violated his Rastafarian religious beliefs. By 1980, the cancer had spread throughout his body, infecting his liver, lungs, and even his brain. Marley played his last show on September 30, 1980, in Pittsburgh, performing Queen's "Another One Bites The Dust" during the soundcheck to the bemusement of his roadies, who didn't know anything was wrong. He died eight months later at the age of 36. Rip king of Reggae!

The list of Powerful Baloguns in Yoruba Land

1. Balogun Oderinlo from Ibadan who fought in Osogbo war and conquered those Fulani of Ilorin terrorizing Yoruba land.

2. Balogun Ajikobi from Ilorin who fought and conquered Alafin Oluewu and Oba Ibaruba. But he later conquered in Osogbo war and he was killed in public in Oyo. He received over 1000 bullets before he died.

3. Balogun Ibikunle form Ibadan who fought and conquered Kakafo Kurumi.

4. Balogun Akere from Ibadan who fought in Ijesha war but died during the war.

5. Balogun Orowusi from Ibadan who was the first man to fight and conquer Ijesha people.

6. Balogun Ogunbona from Abeokuta Egba who fought and conquered in Dahomey war. He was a very brilliant man.

7. Balogun Ayikodu from Abeokuta who fought many wars.

8. Balogun Osungboekun from Ibadan who betrayed Latoosa and took over war after Kakafo who died in a war called kiti parapo /kiriji.

9. Balogun Olasile from Ijaye who fight so many war for his boss Kakafo Kurumi.

10. Balogun Singusee from Ile ife who his the lead a war during Old Owu war and conquer Owu.

11. Balogun Ogundipe from Abeokuta..he fight so many war for Egba race.

12. Balogun Kuku from Ijebu who fought so many wars including he was the first Balogun to fight the white men in a war tagged the greatest of all time.

The day Ọ̀rúnmìlà divined for the Europeans (Òyìnbó)

As chanted by Àràbà Yẹmi Ẹlẹbuibọn in Odù Ifá Ọ̀wọ́nrínṣogbè (see video link below from 23:10 - 24:24).

Ifà said the Europeans would be building edifices, ships, cars, aeroplanes etc and performing wonders.

K’Eṣu gbà, k’ẹbọ ó dà f'ẹlẹ́bọ

A dífá f’èèbó

Ọmọ atukọ̀lọ́kọ̀

Ọmọ a gbẹ́ rebete lérí rekete...

Ọ̀rúnmìlà ló dá Ifá fún àwọn òyìnbó

Gbogbo nkan t'áwọn óò ma ṣe, kó máa jọ aráyé lójú

Ó ní kí àwọn òyìnbó lọ ní ọ̀pọ̀lọpọ̀ ẹyẹlé,

Ki wọ́n ní ògbúdù aṣọ funfun

Ó sì ṣe Ifá fún wọn

Pé àrà tó bá wù wọ́n ni wọn óò máa dá , aráyé ò sì ní rí ìdí wọn

Ó ní kí wọn ní obẹ̀ ọ̀rúnlá, kí wọ́n fi bọ ikin

Wọn sì ṣe bẹ...

Ó bá di tí àwọn òyìnbó bẹ̀rẹ̀ si dá’àrà

Wọ́n nkọle, wọ́n ńgbẹ́ rebete lérí rebete

Wọ́n ṣ’ọkọ̀ ojú omi, wọ́n ṣe ọkọ̀ ilẹ̀ẹ́lẹ̀

Wọ́n ṣe ọkọ̀ tí nfò lókè

Oríṣiríṣi àrà ni àwọn òyìnbó ńdá

Àwọn náà nyin Awo, Awo wọn náà nyin Ifá...

Ó ní k’Èṣù gbà, k’ẹbọ ó dà f'ẹ́lẹ́bọ

A dífá f’èèbó

Ọmọ atukọ̀lọ́kọ̀

Ọmọ a gbẹ́ rebete leri rebete

Ìgbà Ọ̀rúnmìlà fọ̀hún lá’jẹ kà

K’Èṣù gbà, k’ẹbọ o da fun ẹlẹ́bọ.

Source: https://youtu.be/BFk8a5F8Apw

Saturday 11 February 2023


In 26-12-1640 Columbin de Nantes, Report to Propaganda Fide: proposes a mission. Father Columbin’s has this to say about the language of the inhabitants of Benin: “In this kingdom the people are very easily led to embrace the Faith, and priests can live here with greater ease than in other parts of Guinea because of the healthy climate, the fertility of the soil and because the people are more generous. Their language is simple: it is called the Licomin language and is universally used in these parts, just like Latin in Europe”. A.S.C Lettere di Germania, Francia, Fiandraea, Inghilterra, 1641. vol.83. fol. 379-80. “Licomin’ was a vague name for the inland Yoruba-speaking peoples.

Interestingly, there are still remnants of the Olukunmi (Licomin) speaking people. Their language is closely related to the Itsekiri language than the Western Yoruba language. Let us also see what an eye witness has to say about the language of Warri and Benin in the 18th century.

In Memoires du capitaine Landolpe, contenant l’histoire de ses voyages pendant trente-six ans, aux cotes d’Afrique 1820 Jean Francois Landolphe [(1747-1825)] Said “In the past, Owhère and Benin were one kingdom. ….. The language and customs of the two states are the same. There is however this difference that the king of Owhère does not make any human sacrifice that there are three classes of nobility in Benin, and only two in Owhère.”

It is important for us to note that Jean Francois Landolphe a French captain came to Warri in 1768 to set up a French colony in Warri. He had regular visit to both the king of Warri and Benin and lived in Warri up till 1789. His memo was published into the above mentioned book shortly before he died. So his accounts or Benin and Warri can be accepted as eyewitness report.

From the letter of Father Columbin’s above and the eyewitness account of Captain Landolphe, we have been able to have a better knowledge of the historical background of the Itsekiri language. We can confidently say that the Itsekiri have always spoken a language close to what they speak in this modern day, Yoruboid language.

©️ Oritsẹgbubẹmi Adrian Ẹdẹma

Friday 10 February 2023


You will see different gems of wisdom from Yoruba philosophy, or prayers, or praise names of the lorry owner. Boldly printed on the wooden panel above the driver's cabin, or the lorry's body at the sides, or the boarding tail: 

Owo Tutu.

Iwa Pele.

Asiko Laye!

Aye Mojuba!

Ajani Baba Mukaila.


Aye Mojuba!

Oba Bi Olorun Kosi!

Mo Beru Agba!

Olorun Lugo!

Jeko Yemi Oluwa.

Eni Afe Lamo.

Jeje Laye.

Alabosi Ore.


Aye Kooto.

Moba Oluwa Duro. 

Ti Oluwa ni ile.

Eyi o wu a wi!

Let them say.

Enia se pele!

Jeje laiye!



Telegan lo soro.

Were n'ise Oluwa! 

Aaro lawa.

Ajani Baba Sikira Ibaje eniyan ko da ise Oluwa duro!

Oni lari kosi eni to mola!

Ojo gbogbo bi odun.

A literary genre all on its own.

God bless Yorubaland!


Thursday 9 February 2023


The cosmopolitan city known today as Ikorodu was a massive forest in the early seventeenth century, it was used for game hunting by the Princes of Shagamu, precisely the children of Ọba Koyelu - The second Akarigbo of Orilẹ Offin.

The eldest of them was Olusoga also known as Oga, followed by Lasunwon, Rademo, Anoko, Osonusi, Igimisoje, Kilaro, Oladepo and lastly Sekumade. Oga was said to be the most powerful and influential of them all.

Initially, Oga and his siblings only used the area as a camp, soon after they discovered how strategic the area was for doing business as traders from Shagamu, Ijebu and Epe ply the route to the coast. So the brothers decided to make it their permanent settlement.

The area was the home to a now extinct specie of plant called 'Odu' - it was a kind of vegetable that blackens and used for dyeing cloth by Remo women hence the traders usually refer to the settlement as OKO-ODU meaning Odu farm.It was later corrupted to Okorodu and subsequently to "Ikorodu".

As the settlement began to expand, Olusoga being eldest and the most powerful hunter took responsibility for the expansion of the village, shortly before his death, he received a large contingent of Benin migrant led by a wealthy merchant called Eregbouwa or Rebugbawa.

After his death, there was need for proper administration of the town, his brother became the Oloja meaning the ''village head'' or market head according to some quarters, the influential Eregbouwa was made the Olisa - the prime minister.

Till this day, the Obaship goes to the Akarigbo line while the Olisaship goes to the descendant of Eregbouwa.

The 1851 Invasion of Abeokuta By The Lethal Dahomey Amazon Warriors

From the beginning of time, empires and tribes have always been on the neck of weaker empires. It was a simple case of the strong getting stronger and the weak getting weaker. Under King Ghezo, the Dahomey Empire grew strong and ruthless from their manner of slave raiding and attacking under neighbouring states. Abeokuta was a constant victim of this harassment; four times they invaded Abeokuta but only the last two Invasions were deadly and were recorded in history.

The Invasion of Abeokuta in 1851 (the same year Lagos was bombarded by the British Naval forces) brought to light the secret weapon of the Dahomey Nation. It’s deadly and ruthless Amazons!

The first Invasion took place on Monday the 3rd of March 1851 around 3.43 pm. Commander Forbes, a British Naval officer, and Mr Beecroft, the consul for the Bights of Benin and Biafra were at Abomey (the capital of Dahomey) to make a deal to stop the incessant raids on Abeokuta and its neighbouring states. It was during this meeting that the Dahomeans concluded their plans of attacking Abeokuta once again.

An intelligence report has gotten to the Egba Chiefs of this invasion that was going to happen at any time. Some of the Egba Chiefs took this warning with a pinch of salt, except for the then Alake of Egbaland, Sagbua and the Balogun of Ikija, Balogun Ogunbona who was known for his brilliant foresight. They assembled the people and had the walls of the city around Aro (where the current Psychiatric Hospital is in Abeokuta) repaired but the rest of the city walls was in bad shape.

The Dahomey Amazons were ready and were concluding their war rituals before marching towards Abeokuta. Historical accounts say the leader of the band had all her warriors mark themselves in red and black body paint as they swore never to sleep, rest or eat until Abeokuta is overrun.

As they marched towards Abeokuta, they captured the small town of Ishaga 17 Miles from Abeokuta and had the Baale and the people pledge their support to them. The Baale of Ishaga pleaded with the Dahomeans to delay the time of its attack on Abeokuta, advising them to attack from the side of the ruined walls, this plan was to give Abeokuta time to prepare and be ready for the attack.

On Monday 3rd of March 1851, the Dahomeans soldiers entered Abeokuta.

They were seen marching towards the gate at Aro with grim determination on their faces, a few of the Egba chiefs and warriors went out on a counter-attack but couldn’t withstand their strength. The Dahomey soldiers were almost bulletproof to the guns and arrows of the Egba soldiers and were seen with skulls tied with a rope around their waists. It is said that they drank from the skulls of their enemies. The number of skills on the waist of each warrior suggested the number of men that had died in battle under the sword of that warrior. The prize for each warrior was to have as many skulls as they could gather and add to their trophies.

It was during this 1851 invasion that Balogun Ogunbona of Ikjia, Sokenu the Seriki of Abeokuta displayed their legendary bravery that sealed their names into the books of Egba History for life. They fought and defended Abeokuta with their lives.

The trench around the walls at Aro was filled with blood and bodies, but these Dahomey warriors would not stop nor rest as they were seen climbing other dead bodies with their own bodies mutilated as well and launching forward to climb the walls into the city. The Egba warriors were taken aback by the strength and determination of these warriors and even at a time, it was said that they weren’t mere mortals.

At that time, it was a barbaric custom for the Egba warrior to cut the head and the genitals of their first captured victim and send it as a trophy to the Alake. When those who entered the town first were captured and killed and the trophy was sent to Alake, it was then the Egba’s found that they had been fighting with women.

The mere fact that they were fighting with women and almost got defeated by women got the Alake and the Egba warriors angry, they couldn’t go back home and tell their wives that they had been fighting with women all along. They came up with a more drastic and more aggressive strategy to push back the Amazons the next day. This they did and finally on the 3rd day, (March 6th 1851) they drove the Dahomey army back.

The Dahomeans left more dead behind than the captives they succeeded in taking away with them, including the skulls of the unfortunate victims that were captured on their way back to Dahomey.

It was a great relief to the Egba warriors and the Alake who later found a way of managing the story that the town was held at its throat by women for three days. But that was not the last the Egba’s would hear from the deadly amazons.

They invaded Abeokuta again on the 15th of March 1864 at exactly 7am in the morning.

The second invasion was managed on the Egba side, who now has better guns and a more drafted war strategy but still suffered again in the hands of the deadly Amazons. One year later, Abeokuta was avenged by Balogun John Okenla who raided Dahomey afterwards and avenged the Egba in retaliation for its attack and wiped off the national disgrace they inflicted on Abeokuta in 1851 and 1864.

After the two major attacks and nearly overrunning the ancient town of Abeokuta, the notorious exploits of the fearless, deadly Dahomey amazons would never be forgotten in history. They came, saw and almost conquered.

Monday 6 February 2023


Ile-Ife Kingdom is the Oldest Kingdom in Nigeria and 2nd oldest Kingdom after Sahelian kingdom of Ghana in West Africa which was recorded from 11th century.

Some historical evidence prove that Ile-Ife was 4th Century while others said Ile-Ife has been in existence in the history of mankind, and the proof shouldn't be known to anyone or recorded.

Greek Historian, Herodotus, the father of History who lived from 4824 BC until 424 BC said about Ife: " According to history there were five ancient cities in Africa between 3000 and 1000 BC of which one was Ife".

According to BBC UK, The kingdom of Ife developed in the rainforest in the 600s. Its art and religion influenced the culture of Benin, which began in the 900s and reached the height of its power between the 1400s and the 1600s.

Between 700 and 1600, there were three great empires in the centre of West Africa: Ancient Ghana, Mali and Songhai.They all grew immensely rich by trading in gold. One of the last great kingdoms was Asante. It was founded around 1700. The Asante people were famous for their work in gold.

The Bini Kingdom that was later destroyed by the British was formed in 1170CE. Bini Kingdom was a neighbouring Kingdom to Ile-Ife Kingdom, and this is why in the history of bini today, the Ruler that established Obaship in bini was from Ile-Ife (Olumense 1971) etc.

The largest ethnic in West Africa sources from Ile-Ife ranging from Nigeria, Benin Republic, Ghana, Gambia etc. The root of some of these ancient tribes in West African countries were traced to Ile-Ife.

Father of history Herodotus, put in his record that the Europeans only attacked Bini kingdom due to disagreement, it is not that there are no other neighbouring kingdoms. If there were no neighbouring kingdom, then the prince of Ile-Ife wont be invited by bini people to rule over their land.

Ile-Ife remains where it is today in a place now called Western Nigeria, but we can see majority of tribes even outside Nigeria tracing their roots to ile-ife. History reveals that Ile-Ife has been existing before historian started putting it in record. Ile-Ife wasn't created by any ruler or king. It was a forest before it was established by the inhabitant and records were taken.

A young Lt Musa Bitiyong in the 1970s

Musa Bitiyong was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Niɡerian Army, executed by firinɡ squad by the ɡovernment of Gen. Ibrahim Babanɡida in 1986, alonɡside Maj. Gen. Mamman Vatsa and eiɡht others, suspected of conspiracy to commit treason aɡainst the regime.

Musa Bityonɡ was enlisted into the Nigerian Military School, Zaria, on January 23, 1961

There were claims that Bityonɡ was the officer who pulled the triɡɡer that killed Gen. Aguiyi Ironsi and Lt. Col. Adekunle Fajuyi in the July 29, 1966 coup.

He was ɡot commissioned in the early days of the Niɡerian Civil War in which he later fouɡht as a younɡ brilliant and touɡh infantry officer, thereby earninɡ his reputation in the process, on August 1, 1967, in the United Kingdom.

Between 1979-1981, Bityonɡ served as Deputy Commandant to the then Commandant Briɡadier Vatsa at the Army School of Infantry, where he was credited with establishing the airborne training program.

Bityong died by firing squad on March 5, 1986, along sides nine others accused of treason, namely: Maj. Gen. Mamman Vatsa, Lt. Col. Michael Iyorshe, Lt. Col. Christian A. Oche, Maj. Daniel I. Bamidele, Commander A. A. Ogwiji, Wing Commander B. E. N. Ekele, Wing Commander Adamu C. Sakaba, Squadron Leader Martin Olufolorunsho Luther, and Squadron Leader A. Ahura.

At the time of his arrest in December 1985 on suspicion of conspiracy to commit treason, Lt. Colonel Musa Bitiyong was Director of Logistic Planning at the Army HQ in Lagos.

He was married with 5 kids.

Brief History of Iseyin, Nigeria’s Home of Aso-oke

Iseyin, a town in the country side of Oyo state, is an ancient city in Yoruba land which is rich in history, culture and tradition. This richness is evident in the socio-cultural relations displayed by the Iseyin natives, in the panegyrics used to describe it. Iseyin is approximately 100 km north of Ibadan and it is the fourth largest city in Oyo state after Ibadan, Ogbomoso and Oyo. It is a part of the Oke-Ogun towns often referred to as the food basket of Nigeria. The town as at 2011, was estimated to have a population of 302,990.

The emergence of Iseyin was not arbitrary; however, its geographical endowment was a centre of attraction to the earliest farmers and hunters, who saw it as a fertile forestland for both mild and wild games, thereby serving as a pedestal for agriculturists and game hunters to thrive upon. The slight modification in its landscape whereby Iseyin land tucks into itself within an expanse of land surrounded by four high hills, has a link with history.

According to history, Aaba Odo-Iseyin and his people were the first set of settlers to exploit the earlier bewildered forest now called Iseyin. Aaba Odo-Iseyin, who belonged to the Oro creed, was an ordinary hunter with no royal or chieftaincy background. He migrated from Ile Ife for hunting purposes to build for himself and his people, a Camp Base at Ipokun, where they rest and reside after the day’s work. The base was later relocated to Igbo-Odofin.

Aaba Odo-Iseyin was thereafter joined by another valiant hunter, Ipale; who led his people to another part of the forest to continue with their work. Like Aaba, Ipale was also of the Oro creed and has no link with any royal hegemony. It is however important to note that no name had been given to the forest as at the time the hunters were settling in.

Subsequently, Oke-Esa and Jagun Ilado migrated to the forest land to settle in as hunters. Together with their people, they settle at different portions of the land. Jagun had his base at Igbo-Iwoye (in present Ilado Area). They were not different from the previous hunters in mission, origin and creed.

Aaba Odo-Iseyin took it upon himself to convince the other hunters to visit Ebedi in submission, and he invited them to a meeting at their meeting place. They all came, and he disseminated the message. Despite all his explanations, only Ipale and Jagun were convinced to visit Ebedi and they did so. Oke-Esa on the other hand, considered such invitation disdainful and refused to tow the path of his colleagues. When Ebedi, who was of Sango creed got a wind of this, he put an eternal ban on Oke-Esa and his descendants from being a chief or community head, in the history of Iseyin.

Ever since, no Aseyin has dared to appoint anyone as Baale in Oke-esa community till today. All the other three hunters were appointed the heads of their respective communities. Their titles are Aaba Odo-Iseyin (Dunmoba Community), Ipale (Ekunle Community) and Jagun (Ilado Community).

Ipale was also given the right to apportion land to strangers who wished to settle in Iseyin land. Among the beneficiaries were Baale Koso and his people, Onikosa and his people, Baale Ladogan and his people, and many others.

History has it that Aaba Odo-Iseyin later made arrangement to settle Ebedi at Ekunle, which he agreed to. Due to the humility of the three hunters who were of Oro extraction, Ebedi approved Oro oracle as the official oracle with which Iseyin was created and decided to honour it by celebrating it annually. This was the beginning of the yearly Oro festival in Iseyin, as depicted in one of its panegyrics: Iseyin Oro Omo Ebedi. The Oro festival marks the time during which women in the town are confined in, for some hours daily for a week, and peaked the seventh and seventeenth day with full day confinement.

In addition, Ebedi endorsed making sacrifice to Oro, a part of rites necessary to make any Aseyin. After Ebedi had settled down at Ekunle, as a valiant and responsible leader he deemed it necessary to provide security for his subjects against external aggression and intrusion, which was the order of the day.

To achieve this feat, history has it that Ebedi set out to Dahomey (now Benin Republic), to seek powers to ward off insurgence and enslavement from this newly established town christened Iseyin. It was said that the name ‘Iseyin’, emanated from palm kernel processing.

This assignment took Ebedi a very long time which made his people concluded that a calamity beyond his control had befallen him and won’t be able to return. Since a community without a leader is on the brink of disorder, they decided to appoint an Oba.

They therefore chose Ebedi’s brother, Ogbolu as the first Aseyin of Iseyinland. The event turned dramatic as Ebedi resurfaced with an army of supporters including sophisticated security experts and both male and female servants, at the time when Ogbolu’s installation ceremony was at its peak.

Not too far from the outskirts, Ebedi heard drum beats and tunes signifying a grand celebration in the town. He ordered his entourage to stop after he sighted a pregnant woman plucking leaves nearby. He approached the woman to elicit information about what was happening in the town from her.

Having heard about the installation, Ebedi was sad and disappointed about the development. With courage and a great sense of patriotism, he sent all the security outfits he brought from Dahomey to his sibling, the new Oba, through the pregnant woman. He instructed the woman to instruct Ogbolu that he could no longer enter the town to avert anarchism or possible breakdown.

Consequently, Ebedi transmogrify into a high hill (Ebedi Hill) and his entourage followed suit. Ogba, one of his charms experts transformed into a river (Odo-Ogba) and channeled across through the length of Iseyinland. His chief servants; Oluofi, Eyinjue and Atamafon also transform into high hills at different location on the outskirts of the town, making Iseyin to be surrounded by four historical hills.

Others in the entourage who transformed into rivers are Igbobi, Atori and Ajumoda. Ogidiyi, Adabo, Iserin and Okutapamo also transformed into some other things out of disappointment and inability to go back to Dahomey.

Ebedi’s transmogrification explains why it became a tradition for every installed Aseyin, to make sacrifice to Ebedi Hill on a yearly basis. Some historians have asserted that Ebedi is a very popular hero whose name is the most mentioned in the history of Iseyin and that Ebedi is a substitute to Iseyin, as the name of the town.

Many families in this rustic town are cotton spinners and weavers, a tradition passed on from generation to generation. It is rare to find any Iseyin native that grew up in the town, who does not know how to weave. According to the town’s customs, learning how to weave starts from age 8 and 10 years. Hence the saying, weaving of aso-oke is as old as Iseyin.

Today, Iseyin houses SAF Polytechnic, Iseyin (a private polytechnic), a Government Technical College, the Oyo State NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp, Friesland Campina (Wamco)- a milk processing centre, Raji Oke-Esa Memorial Library (a digital library) as well as Ikere Gorge Dam, which was discovered alongside Kanji Dam.

Without a doubt, Iseyin is best known for its dyeing (using locally grown indigo as well as imported dyes) of heavy imported cloths. Tobacco amongst other food and cash crops, is grown in Iseyin. Due to the sustainable annual rainfall in the area, the major agricultural activities are farming, hunting, fishing, food processing among others. It also produces virtually all fam produce such as yam, maize, cassava, plantain among many others.

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