Hi Welcome to the second part of this thread. In previous we saw how the Ijebu orgin came to formation and the factors that linked them to being a part of the Yoruba nation. Here is the second part;
The above tradition shows that the Ijebus were in Nigeria before the main Yoruba stock as the Ijebu King being referred to was the fifth Awujale. Oduduwa set out to visit the Ijebu King in appreciation of this service but died about fifteen miles east to Ijebu-Ode. His followers settle down at idofe a town which has now become extinct.
The Ijebu legend tracing their origin to Waddai must have brought the known rivalry between them and the other Yoruba people. If indeed Lamurudu and Oduduwa descended from Omu, the younger brother of Olu-Iwa, there is some sense in the claim that the Ijebus are senior to the Yorubas and cannot, therefore, accept the junior order that puts them under the Ooni of Ife and Alaafin of Oyo.
The bulk of Yoruba people regard the Ijebus as peripheral Yorubas while the Ijebu themselves do not hide the fact the cohesion between them and others who call themselves central Yoruba has been the result of cultural and political interaction over the centuries.
Time itself has taken care of these legends as the various groups of people in western Nigeria have come to accept a common nationality as Yoruba, be they Ekiti, Ijesha, Egba, Ondo, Ijebu etc. Even among the Ijebus, there are conflicting claims to the source of origin depending on the political intention of those concerned. Irrespective of these claims, the Ijebus are united under the leadership of the Awujale of Ijebuland and this unity has been the strength of the people as exhibited by the achievement of the people.
The ijebus are known for their business acumen which dated back to the early nineteenth century, and according to the testimony of contemporary observers of that time, a child is expected to have known the value of money and have attributes of a trader from age twelve.
The Yoruba people are a very enterprising set of people who are self-reliant and innovative. By the middle of the nineteenth century, the Ijebus had become the major mover in the business world, and they have become more prosperous not only in terms of understanding the dynamics of the emerging modern facilities but also in terms of physical and social infrastructures. In those days, it is on record that the houses and streets of ijebu people were superior to those of the surrounding people and communities. They cultivated their lands adequately bred high-breed farm animals and were the first and foremost self-sufficient. The excess proceeds from their sundry efforts were spread around their neighborhoods. The ijebu people are generally noted for their intelligence and integrity.
The greatest economic asset of Ijebuland throughout the nineteenth century and far into the present century was timber on which 19th century Lagos depended and the major source of wealth of the first generation of the nouveau riches in ijebuland. The European observers found them more intelligent than the other Yoruba groups are described in the following phrase: “They are remarkable as a race for their integrity to a fault”.
By 1900, Ijebu-Ode had become the capital of ijebu land with a population of about 20,000, a ten percent of the entire ijebuland population. (The jebus of the Yorubaland; 1850-1950. Politics, Economy & Society, Prof. F.A Ayandele, 1992). Thereafter the ijebus went on to distinguish themselves in whatever trade they dabble into, becoming positive yardstick for measuring business acumen and ingenuity throughout the country as “people that can turn stone into money”.
THE NAME IJEBU ODE
The name “Ijebu-Ode” is a combination of the names of two persons namely, AJEBU and OLODE who were conspicuous as leaders of the original settlers and founders of the town. OLODE was said to be a relative of OLUIWA, the first ruler of Ijebu. It is difficult to say for certain which of them preceded the other, but tradition has it that Ajebu, Olude and Ajana met on this land which was uninhabited dense forest and consulted Ifa Oracle to determine the Actual spot on which each one of them should make an abode.
The Oracle directed that Ajebu should go and settle on a spot now known as IMEPE, Olode, and Ajana to remain together at a place known today Ita-Ajana. The grave of Ajebu is still marked by a tomb erected by his descendants at Imepe, near Oyingbo market on the Ejinrin road. Olode’s grave is also marked at Olode Street at Ita-Ajana quarters, Ijebu-Ode. The town derives her name from the two persons more conspicuous among the original settlers being Ajebu and Olode, Hence “Ijebu – Ode.”
Ijebu- Ode town was divided into two main wards namely; Iwade and Porogun, but Iwade was divided into two Iwade Oke (Also called Ijasi) and Iwade Isale, that is Upper and Lower Iwade ( North and South ). By this division there are three wards in Ijebo Ode town and that was why the town was spoken of as Iwade, Porgun, and Ijasi till this day; Iwade Oke, Iwade Isale, and Porogun. Each ward was divided into “Quarters” known as “Ituns
That’s all on the second part of this wonderful history to the Ijebus, Follow @wakhode for more updates and on all social media platforms
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