HISTORY OF ONDO-EKIMOGUN

The history of Ondo-Ekimogun sprang from the Palace of Alaafin of Oyo in the ancient city of Oyo when the wife of Alaafin Oba Oluaso bore him twins a male called Orere and a female also called Olu which is forbidden in the palace of every Oba in Yoruba land. The then Alafin of Oyo love the twins mother called Olori OLu so much and on hearing the news of the twins he lamented that this is a mysterious child “ese-omo-re” which later transform to Osemawe as Oba’s title in Ondo kingdom.

 

The Alafin Oba Oluaso ordered that the twins and their mother be taken out of Oyo, he also gave instruction that one stroke of facial mark should be cut on each cheek of the twins as kese or ibaramu mark will cause agony for them on their journey. The single facial stroke mark became an established custom in Ondo town till today. Olori Olu and the twins were accompanied by the Alafin of Oyo warrior’s leader called “ija” or ” Uja” to a place called Epin in the then Fulani kingdom.

 

They later return to Oyo after the death of Alafin Oba Oluaso in 1497 AD. The new Alafin Oba Onigbogi also ordered them out of Oyo in 1498 AD with Alaafin warrior leader to the direction of Ile-Ife. They continue the journey until they reached a place called “Ita Ijama” from where they also arrived at Epe where Iyanghede of Epe received them with joy. This is how Ondo are referred today as “Ekimogun ara ita ijama, a fi ide agogo m’omi”.

 

After a brief stay at Epe they desire to look for a permanent settlement. As they left Epe they arrived at a place which is today called Ile Oluji. Where Olori Olu Alafin wife slept for days and did not wake up ” Ile ti Olu sun ti ko ji”.

 

After another short stay Olori Olu and Princess Olu the female twins left the town with one Ogunja from Epe leaving Prince Orere behind in Ile oluji and continue a journey until it ended at the foot of a hill known in Ondo up to the present day as “Oke Agunla.” This is also how Ondo are referred today as “Opon inu odi Ogunja.” At the hill they spotted a smoke rising from below, they followed in that direction down the hill and met a man whose named was Ekiri neither farmer or a hunter.

 

Ekiri later lead them to a place called Oriden where they tried to stick their yam stick unto the ground prove futile as instructed by an Ifa Oracle before they left Epe. They were happy and exclaimed “Edo du do to Edo do to Idi edo” and finally transform to Ondo in 1510 AD. Princess Olu the female twins finally became first Oba Pupupu of Ondo in 1516 AD while Prince Orere the male twins became the first Jegun of Ile Oluji.

 

The other historical facial marks are cut unto the right breast of the descendant of past Osemawes from the male lineage and the rights to Otunba title are from both lineages. All Otunbas title bearers in Ondo are headed by the Olotu Omo-Oba in Oke-Otunba quarters in Ondo kingdom. The Ondos are known to be Traders, farmers or produce merchants, their staple food is Iyan made from yam and they have their own peculiar dialect and very hard working.

 

It must be noted however that Ondo emigrants settlers also founded towns like Igbado, Igbindo, Ajue, Igburowo, Odigbo, Oro, Imorun, Ilu Nla, Erinla, Igunshin, Araromi, Araromi Obu, Ajebandele, Agbabu, Oboto, Bolorunduro, Fagbo, Tekuile, Owena, Oke-Opa, Aiyesan, Laje, Oka, Oke-igbo and etc. The Ondo warriors of that time are Ago, Taagba and Jomu-Nla known as High Chief Jomu till today and that chieftaincy title are family hereditary.

 

The first Osemawe palace was built by Oba Airo first son of Oba Pupupu who became Oba in 1530 AD. Oba Adeuga Fidipote 11 built the first modern palace in Ondo when he became Oba in 1935 AD while Oba Festus Ibidapo Adesanoye – Osungbedelola 11 built the best recent Oba’s palace in Ondo when he became the 43rd Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom in 1992. The Ondo chieftaincy title are The Iwarefa, Ekule, Elegbe, Otu headed by the His Highness Osemawe while Upoji female chiefs headed by the Her Highness Olobun Oba Obirin in Ondo Kingdom. Popular festivals in Ondo are as follows, Odun Oba, Odun Ogun, Odun Oramfe, Odun Moko, Obiton and etc.

 

The Ondos embrace Roman Catholic Christianity in 1875 under the CMS Missionary worker Rev. Bishop Phillips and accepted by Oba Ayibikitiwodi while Oba Jimekun accepted the CMS Anglican Communion in 1884 and Islam in 1888. The first Ondo Rev. Father John Akinwale was ordained in 1947 while the first Ondo Anglican Bishop was Rev. D.O. Awosika and Rev. T.O. Olufosoye was the first Archbishop of the Anglican communion of Nigeria while Alhaji Muhammed Alimi was installed the first Imam of Ondo in 1888. In conclusion The Ondos are known for a pride, proud of what they represent and very stubborn

Mr Dippsy

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