RE : ABRIDGED HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF ELEPE TOWN IN LAGOS TERRITORY A REJOINDER BY OSHINBOKUNREN ROYAL FAMILY OF IGBOGBO
Our attention has been drawn to a publication in the Impact Newspaper “Special Edition” of Oct/Nov. 2016 on the above title written by the Ijaolu Royal Family as narrated by Pa Fakoya Ogunowo , Pa Samuel Onomo and written by Khaliphat Abdulrasaq Anifowoshe all deceased. At page 8 of the publication it was reported that “Historically, some of the names of the servants/assistants that left Orile-Offin with Ijaolu to Ewu-Elepe were (1) OGOTA (2) LARA (3) MOGBE (4) MOYE (5) SUWA (6) SEBE (7) EYO (8) OSIN OKIRI (Later called Osinbokunren) (9) DEMEKE (10) AGODA (11) GONU…”
It’s our contention of the highest magnitude, that this history is the figment of the imagination of the late narrators and the writer. Perhaps, the Ijaolu family should be reminded of a legitimate instrument which had since discredited this fabricated history. The instrument did not only discredited this story, but also upturned the Ijaolu’s claims to the Obaship throne in Igbogbo. It is our hope that further provocation would not tempt the Oshinbokunren family to unleash such instrument, as the Ijaolu family is incompetent to rewrite the history of Igbogbo.
The present Igbogbo kingdom was founded by Oshinbokunren over 450 years ago. Oshinbokunren (meaning the deity beget a warrior) was the son of Oba Ogunrinade of Epe in Remo Division of Ogun State, hence, he was an Ijebu speaking Prince and a brave hunter. It was the hunting expedition that led him to the place called Igbogbo where he met nobody with crown and other paraphernalia of royalty. Igbogbo then was a virgin land with a huge forest of ‘Igbo’ vegetables (Igbo efo Igbo). He settled at a ward called Itun-Nla (meaning Big Ward). Itun Nla or Big Ward is notable to every Ijebu speaking town as could be found in Ikorodu, Sagamu etc.
Therefore, it is a share narratory irresponsibility to refer to Itun-Nla as Ita Era-Nla, as Igbogbo town cannot be different from other Ijebu towns and villages. For example, the Rademo Ruling House in Ikorodu is Itun-Nla. The palace of Akarigbo of Ijebu Remo is at Itun-Nla, the first Akoko Tree (the symbol of Obaship and royalty is still at the Oshinbokunren compound, Itun Nla, in Igbogbo till date. Oba Oshinbokunren first settled at Itun-Nla with this family and subjects. The children of Oba Oshinbokunren mostly occupied Itun-Nla till today. Hence, the fabricated attempt to change Itun-Nla to Ita Eran-Nla is best imagined from a demented brain.
Oshinbokunren also came with some gods among which are Agemo “Alau”, Orisa Oja etc. Being a Prince, he was first installed as Elegure, and as the town grew in population and with his ability to defend/protect the crown, he was crowned the first Oba of Igbogbo.
Igbogbo derived her name from Gbogbogidi fence which was erected by Eyo, a very close relation and assistant of Oshinbokunren. The fence was erected to prevent animals from destroying farm produce. The children of Oba Oshinbokunren are as follows:
1. Oluosi 2. Lajosin 3. Adesusi 4. Efuseri 5. Oluganna 6. Akogun 7. Okujumo 8. Sode and 9. Kejibo.
The names of the Obas that ruled over Igbogbo whose ‘apere’ (evidence of existence) still exist till date are:
1. Oba Oshinbokunren
2. Oba Oluosi (Oshinbokunren’s first born)
3. Oba Gbadebo Akogun (from Akogun branch)
4. Oba Oluganna Olujonwo (From Oluganna)
5. Oba Kashimawo (son of Efunbike daughter of Adebowale daughter of Sode the 8th born of Oshinbokunren who married Rademo) 1855-1900
6. Oba Oso-Ojuba (1900-1933)
7. Oba Banjoko (1933-1936)
8. Oba Banmosu (1937-1939)
9. Oba Festus Omolaja Ogunlewe (1940-1974)
10. Oba Joseph Odugbose (1975-1977)
11. Oba Johnson Olatunji Fatola (1979-2015)
Oshinbokunren is a dynasty in Igbogbo, while his children occupy vast areas of lands here in Igbogbo. This is not the same for Ijaolu who was since based in Ewu-Elepe (a surburb village in Igbogbo with a Baale). It was the killing of Fidimolu (Ijaolu’s sister) by wild animal that led Oba Oshinbokunren to invite Ijaolu to come and stay at Itun-Nla to avert further disaster. Oshinbokunren gave him few plots of land which is being occupied by the Shomoge lineage of Ijaolu. Ijaolu has no other land or farm within the Igbogbo kingdom except Ewu-Elepe.
Note that this rejoinder is not to be misconstrued as the detailed genealogy of the royalty of Oba Oshinbokunren and his descendants as time and space won’t permit us to establish the linkage of others.
However, it should be strongly noted, that from time immemorial, up to the colonial era, no one ascend the Obaship throne of Igbogbo without being from the lineage of Oba Oshinbokunren or his descendants. This can be evidenced from the official letter written and personally signed by Oba F.M Ogunlewe, addressed to the District Officer (D.O) IKORODU, in 1973 when addressing issue of classification and remuneration of Obas in Ikorodu Division of Lagos State.
You may further see the advertorial of the Impact Newspaper of Nov/Dec…edition @ page 34
Other incontestable evidences of Oba Oshinbokunren as the first Oba of Igbogbo includes:
1. A letter dated 11th August 1973 from Oba F.M Ogunlewe addressed to the Secretary, Ikorodu District Council,. Ikorodu (Ref. IDC 96/Vol. 11/391
2. The origin of the progenitor of the Yoruba (page 67-100) to mention but few.
It baffles common sense to imagine that the name Igbogbo was coined from the lamentation of an alleged slave “EMI NI GBOGBO YIN WA MU BAYI” when:
1. This was supposed to be statement made by a staunch Ijebu speaking people who do not in any way speak the Lagos Yoruba dialect in which the statement was credited to then.
2. It further baffles common sense to think the name of a slave would be so reverenced as to qualify as a cognomen (Oriki) of a whole town.
3. We challenge the Ijaolu family to go and lay claim to any land or farm within Igbogbo town except the little plots given to Shomege lineage of the Ijaolus by Oba Oshinbokunren; should indeed their progenitor was the founder of Igbogbo as alleged.
No wonder they always avoid praising the newly crowned Oba with the Cognomen (oriki) of Igbogbo. Perhaps we may need to ask if indeed the new Oba is to reign over Igbogbo or somewhere else…
The 1957 declaration is faulty, not only in the case of Obaship, but other traditional chieftaincy titles in the town. Hence, common sense requires we correct this inadvertent error. It is on record that the Oshinbokunren has written and submitted several memoranda to Tribunals since 1975, which led to the out of Tribunal settlement of 2007,to which all the ruling houses including Oshinbokunren were signatories.
It is our hope and prayers, that the Ijaolu family didn’t make peace intolerable, so as not to make war inevitable, the Oshinbokunren royal family has being at the vanguard of peaceful settlement ever since.
We appreciate the position of the state Government who took a decisive step at ensuring that mistakes were corrected accordingly. Therefore, it is our submission that any attempt to distort the history of Oshinbokunren and by extention, Igbogbo, or its inclusion in the Obaship declaration in Igbogbo as promised by the Lagos State Government shall be dealt with decisively. We appeal to all indigenes and well-wishers of Igbogbo Kingdom to warn the Ijaolu family to desist from misinforming and misguiding the people by their unsubstantiated write-ups and comments. They should allow Igbogbo to enjoy its cool beauty.
(COGNOMEN OF IGBOGBO INDIGENES) ORIKI AWA OMO IGBOGBO
Omo Igbogbo Eyo, Eyo Oshinbokunren
Omo Elepe Orisi, omo Orisi gbuwa
Omo Alau degbedegbe
Omo Onigbedu Eridogun
Omo Alade Merindinlogun
Omo Ide ni Owo, Bata Ide lese
Omo digba ni orun
Omo Oyi Alawu Molepe, Orisa Epe Omo oje oye fun Oluku reje
Baba je Oba, Omo je Oluwo
Omo Oje Oye fun eni towun je
We have heard and seen attempts by some individuals and groups to change the cognomen (oriki) of Igbogbo, but it would not see the light of the day as Igbogbo Eyo, Eyo Oshinbokunren remains our NAME and DIGNITY.
OBA OSHINBOKUNREN ROYAL FAMILY,