Thursday 30 May 2024

Brief History Of Eruwa In Oyo State

Eruwa meaning ''pieces of yam are available here'' is a town and the headquarters of Ibarapa East Local Government Area in south-western Nigeria located in Oyo state. Eruwa is 72 km south west of Ibadan and 60 km north east of Abeokuta.

Eruwa derived its name from the way in which hawkers advertised roasted yams to the northern caravans who constantly congregated in the town. The method of hawking employed was Eru wa nibi o i.e. (pieces of yam are available here). The four quarters in Eruwa at that time; Anko, Oke Oba, Isaba and Aborerin settled on Ilewu hill which offered greater protection and security during the period wars in Yoruba land (from 1830's to 1890's). The founders of Eruwa were of Oyo origin. The leader of the group was Obaseeku who was a prince, a bare hunter as well as a powerful medicine man.

Obaseeku married Oyinlola, an Oyo princess. The marriage produced two male children. The first child was named Akalakoyi (meaning the vultures have rejected this) and the second child was named Olaribikusi. The two children and their descendants constitute the two ruling families in Eruwa up till today. The town is characterized by many hills. Perhaps, the need for adequate security in those days of frequent wars was most likely the over-riding consideration in the minds of the early settlers. Like other Africans, Eruwa people were polytheistic in the past. They worshipped several gods and deities prominent among which were Oro, Sango, Egungun, Orisa oko, Osanyin, Yemoja and Ifa.

The first corrugated iron sheet house in Eruwa was built in 1908. Following the massive destruction of Eruwa by fire in 1922, majority of the people started tooling up for the corrugated iron sheets. Eruwa is governed by a Monarch whose recognized traditional title is Eleruwa which means the owner/ruler of Eruwa. He administers the town with the assistance of his Chiefs and ward heads who have the traditional title known as Baale. In 1979, a former Military Governor of Oyo state, Jemibewon, ranked Eleruwa – fifth in the comity of sixty-seven traditional rulers accorded recognition by the state government. Eruwa is significant in many respects.

It is the headquarters of the Ibarapa which had seven towns namely Eruwa, Lanlate, Igboora, Idere, Ayete, Tapa and Igangan. During the pre-colonial days, Eruwa was recognized by the Alaafin of Oyo as the leading town in Ibarapa district. Similarly, during the colonial era, this leadership position was conveniently retained through political, economic and social services culminating among others into structural development. In 1915, administrative rest houses were built in Eruwa and in the same year, a native court was opened at Eruwa.


Obaseeku is the father of all the hills in Eruwa. No one could ascertain the source of the hill.

There was a man, a great hunter and a warrior, who lives on the hill. It was on the hill that destiny brought Oyinlola and Obaseeku together. Oyinlola is a princess of Alaafin Oyo. Oyinlola was allegedly sent out from the  palace after a terrible allegation from other wives. It was also recorded that Oyinlola gave birth to a son before she left Oyo Alaafin.

Research made us to understand that Obaseeku asked Oyinlola out and agreement occured, she then gave birth to OLARIBIKUSI AND AKALAKO. The two sons of Obaseeku found out that they had a brother in Eruwa and they went back to Oyo Alaafin to inform the king, it was then a crown was given to them. Then the King told them that their elder brother should be their father in Eruwa and the two sons be king. That's why the two ruling houses in Eruwa up till date remains the dynasty of the two sons of Obaseeku. The elder brother of Olaribikusi and Akalako is ODOFIN.

In Eruwa today, any incoming king must spend three months with Odofin to give him his fatherly regards.

When Obaseeku died, he was buried at the foot of the hill, the grave of Obaseeku called Oju Obaseeku and it's worshipped annually. That's why the hill was named after the brave hunter Obaseeku.

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