Thursday 6 July 2023


Still on our CUSTOMS in Yorùbá land.

Our Elders say when a stream disconnects with its source then it will surely dry. It seems to me that this is what we have been encouraged to do in Yoruba land.

I started to write this Part 3 s Saturday, 1st July and I was talking  on the implications on our CUSTOMS, the recent outbursts of Oba Lafa II, the Olúbarà of Ìbarà in Abeokuta.

I had to stop that  originally intended topic for this part of the series to attend to yet another  matter which is obviously more seriously urgent than that of Oba Lafa II.

The attack on our CUSTOMS seems to be coordinating on several fronts yet we don't seem to see these things.

Some forces are bent on destroying the OBASHIP INSTITUTION in Yoruba land because they know quite well that it is the most formidable rallying point of the Yoruba people especially in times of troubles and tribulations.

They also know that our CUSTOMS are the preservatives for the Obaship institution so they seek to destroy those customs from within using the instrumentality of CHRISTIAN AND MOSLEM RELIGIONS on the Obas themselves.

It came to my attention late yesterday evening that Oba Awùjalè Ogbagba II of Ijebuland STOPPED THE TRADITIONAL RITES OF PROCESSION OF THE ANNUAL AGEMO FESTIVAL OF IJEBU.

This is just too bad and I am absolutely convinced that Awùjalè Ogbagba II has no such right to assualt our CULTURAL HERITAGE just to pander to Islam,  the cultural heritage of the Arabs.

I am terribly agitated and I will tell you why!


There is something called ÌGBÀ ÌWÁSÈ in the Yorùbá worldview and philosophy.

ÌGBÀ is time, season, era, in the past.

ÌWÀ is today loosely and literally translated to connote character of a person, good or bad.

But then it was derived from the name  ÌWÀ which was an Òrìsà in Yorùbá belief system. It is said that he had came to the earth with the purest of character.and wisdom and always did the right things to please Olódùmarè the supreme God Almighty.

All things were perfectly done by him and in his time.

ÌWÁSÈ is therefore a phrasal word from ÌWÀ SÈ WÀ ILÉ AYÉ - ÌWÀ came to the  earth.

ÌGBÀ ÌWÁSÈ thus connotes the ERA OF ÌWÀ.

Our ancestors has since made the era of ÌWÀ a reference point for describing when things were done as they should be done.

It is for this reason our Elders say: Let us do things the way it is done [ by our ancestors ]  so we can get the same [ Good ] results our ancestors got in their time.

Today, when the Elders look back to time and want to compare notes as they admonish us on the things which have  befallen us as a PEOPLE they will usually start the statement with " Ní gbà Ìwásè".

They invoke the spirit of Ìwásè to admonish today's men on how things SHOULD BE DONE.

And so far, all evidences point to the fact that our ancestors lived in much saner times than we do today,  Ijebus were  far more prosperous in ages past and infact the physical landscape of Ijebu land was fat better than we have it today.

Why am I saying all these?

I never believed a time would ever come that a reigning Awùjalè of Ijebuland will be the arrow-head of the onslaught against our CUSTOMS in Yorùbá land.

Again it boils down to our carelessness and irresponsible complacency. We don't care to see this as a serious assault on our collective sensibilities.

If my memory serves me right, Awùjalè Ogbagba II it was who was telling the strange stories of WADAI in Sudan as the ancestral roots of the Ijebu people all in a bid to connect us to some Arab lands to arrive at a connection with Islam.

The same Awùjalè Ogbagba II it was who was mentioned in the atrocious bill which got to the Ogun State House of Assembly talking about some abominable amendments to the ascension and burial rites of Yoruba Obas in Ògún State.

It is that very bill, which I understand has been passed into Law by the HoA, that Oba Lafa II of Ìbarà Abeokuta relied upon to be desecrating our CUSTOMS.

As i stated earlier in the opening paragraphs, YESTERDAY,  I received the news that Awùjalè Ogbagba II actually STOPPED THE ANNUAL PROCESSION OF THE AGEMO CULT into their traditional base of Imodi-Mosàn.

I couldn't believe my ears!!!!

I understand from the report that the Awùjalè cited the need to respect the memory of Chief Michael Subomi Balogun who recently departed.

That was the excuse as I heard.


Otunba Subomi, a very important Ijebu personality, departed some weeks ago.

In that same Ijebu-Ode just last week, the OJUDE OBA FESTIVAL wasn't cancelled as a mark of respect for Otunba Subomi Balogun.

The Festival held on the 3rd day after the Muslim Eid-El-Kabir.

That is another issue separately.

How the SONS AND DAUGHTERS of Ijebu land were manipulated to observe SUCH COLOURFUL FESTIVAL at a time which coincides with the MOSLEM RITUAL FESTIVAL OF EID-EL-KABIR will be visited later.

The Yoruba history tells us of the Alágemos of Ijebu land. It is a sacred cult of ONLY 16 MEMBERS for the whole Ijebu land.

It is said that the original 16 Alágemos, powerfully fortified men, ESCORTED Prince Obanta from Ilé-Ifè down to Ijebu-Ode where he eventually became an Oba according to the directives of IFÁ at the time. The Alágemos were said to be exceedingly powerful men and it was the reason they were selected to undertake the journey with the young Prince.

On that journey, the contingent passed through Ijebu-Imushin and because of an incident said to have happened in that town where Obanta's child or brother died and was buried there, ONE of the Agemos, NÓPÀ became stationed in Ijebu-Imushin till this day.

The ISHIN tree planted on the grave of that person stands till today in Ijebu-Imushin and infact the town derived its name from that tree and it is reputed that No Reigning Awùjalè ever passes those areas in such a way as to come into line  of sight of that tree.

Eventually, after Obanta was settled in Ijebu-Ode as Awùjalè, the Agemos dispersed to the 16 different towns in Ijebu to settle down as PRIEST LEADERS.

There are 16 of them and they are located in 16 different towns of Ijebu which includes Oru, Odogbolu, Imushin, Ago-Iwoye, Isiwo, Ibowon, Imosan etc.

Each of the Agemos had a title such as the NÓPÀ of Imushin, ÒGÉGBÒ of Ibowon near Epe etc.

The Agemos had the supreme and sacred duty to remain as GUIDANCE for the Awùjalè and they also have such powers to be a check-and-balance on him.

My maternal great-uncle was at some point the Ogegbo, the Agemo from Ibowon.

Now, the CUSTOM OF OUR ANCESTORS is for the 16 Agemos to converge on the town of Imodi-Mosan which is the base of the Leader of the Agemos and where the grand shrine of the Agemo is located.

I was privileged to attend the Agemo festival in 2005 in the town of Ibowon. Ogegbo had just then returned from Imodi-Mosàn.

Each of the Agemos and their contingents will actually trek from their various locations to Imodi-Mosàn.

They TREK from their 15 locations to the town of Imodi-Mosan to join the 16th Agemo. When they finish all the rites in Imodi-Mosàn they will now come back to Ijebu-Ode to pay homage to Awùjalè and conduct processions round the city.

The long trek is probably a symbolic gesture to remind them of the first journey from Ile-ife and to keep this as a TRADITION.

And it has been so for CENTURIES.

The Agemos and those excitedly moving with them have never complained. It was a festival which brings lots of excitement to the various communities in Ijebu land and in actual fact the Agemos perform rituals and prayers all over the land.

Women are forbidden from encountering the Agemo procession and all care and precautions are taken to ensure it doesn't happen.

1. LAST YEAR, as I reliably gathered, the Awùjalè sent out orders to the Agemos to never conduct their return procession THROUGH Ijebu-Ode THROUGH which is the tradition. Instead they were to proceed to their various locations from Imodi-Mosàn immediately.

It happened like EXACTLY that.

It was a test case just to determine how far useless and emasculated we have become as a people.

Awùjalè tried it to test the waters.

And it WORKED!

The people didn't complain and protest the glaring assault on our ancient customs passed down through traditions.

Who will complain now?

Majority of Ijebu people are either Christians or Moslems. Although many of the so-called Christians and Moslems are never scarce in the houses of Babaláwos and the various shrines in Ijebu land.

The people who would really complain, the COMMITTED ATR people are mostly in  our rural areas living their lives of contentment, barely aware of what is happening and the conspiracies weaving all around them and easily intimidated by the powers which Awùjalè can amass from the Nigerian State inspired by his comrades-in-islam, the Fulanis based in Sokoto.

So everyone kept quiet and allowed that experience of last year to fly.

And because it flew last year under the noses of our irresponsibly complacent people who lack the vision to see where the conspiracy is headed, this year the Awùjalè flew another one.

2. For this year, the Awùjalè has ordered that the AGEMOS MUST NOT EVEN COME TO IJEBU-ODE but they were to remain in their various locations to have their festivals.

And it has happened EXACTLY as he commanded.

3. At this rate, by next year, Awùjalè is liable to placing ban on Agemo altogether.

He will simply say he CANCELS THE AGEMO FESTIVAL altogether and that's all.

Whereas, Awùjalè DOESNT EVER have such rights or powers over our SHARED VALUES AND HERITAGE.


Awùjalè Ogbagba II CAN NEVER in behalf of the Ijebu people do things that are detrimental to the CULTURAL HEALTH of the Ijebu people because he wants to be a MOSLEM and Books of some cattle herders in Sokoto.

That is absolute nonsense and we have a sacred duty to reject such abominable moves.

And I can guess why Awùjalè Ogbagba II is doing this things at this time.

He is well aware that the AGEMOS will lead other cults like the ÒSÙGBÓS and ÒGBÓNIS to make nonsense of that thrash of a law passed by the OGHA.

He is moving to disable and emasculate the Agemos while he is still alive.

These things are going too far because we are a VERY CARELESS PEOPLE who low everything to pass freely under their noses.

Atunwatse II, the former Olu of Warri didn't try with his Itshekiri people as much as A TENTH of what Awùjalè Ogbagba II is doing to the Ijebus and other Yoruba Obas like the rascal in Ìwó does today when the Itshekiri STORMED HIS PALACE AND DEMANDED HE ABDICATED THE THRONE.

That is how it should be and that is where we are headed.

No responsible people who desire fire their children to inherit HOMELAND will sit by and watch all the nonsense our Kabiyesis are doing these days.


This is what we shall start to do.

Our Elders say: Getting the nuts from the kernels is task that must be met with a ruthlessness.

We shall rewrite the narratives.

© Adedamola Adetayo (05 July 2023).

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