Ijero – The Conservatory of Ajero


Ijero kingdom was born at a place called Ita-Ajero in Ile-Ife (The source of the Yoruba people). Ijero has its root meaning from the Yoruba word “Ajoro” which means: mutual thoughts symbiotic opinion or collective meeting. Ajoro was the first traditional council meeting in Yoruba, the meeting of Oduduwa Children before they established their empires and kingdom in Yoruba land.

The pioneer spirit of mutual thoughts or an Ajoro founded the town, Ijero. “Ajoro ni a npe ni Ijero” (Symbolic opinion means Ijero). Hence, from the information gleaned from Ijero, oral tradition, history and relevant sources; Ijero has a good historical record and a strong spirit of harmony, mutual thoughts and genuine love by its pioneers, which makes us their children and posterity should continue to embellish as a tradition.

Every people originated from a source, as all the waters, seas, rivers and streams begin from a source. “All the waters and rivers flow into the sea and ocean. Yet the sea is not full; into the place from which the rivers come. There they return again” A river that forgets its source will be beheaded or conspired by another river in a dramatic “river conspiracy”. We did not choose the land of our nativity by ourselves, it has pleased God to create us here as Ijerians in Ijero. The drainage of life has many sources and flows in several directions and routes, from India ocean to Abraham sea, Atlantic to Pacific, and poles to Antipodes. Life is water, men alike are water. Let us thank God for creating us here at Ijero and for our fountain of Ajoro our pedigree has many branches and roots yet it has a source.

There is no place like home, as we are all sojourners here and our citizenship is in heaven but, it was wrought by the creator to make our home here! There is no place on earth like a homeland. It is a bad bird that foul it’s a nest. Even our Lord Jesus Christ was a Nazarene and has His nativity in Bethlehem, the Muslims pilgrimage to Mecca; being the Holy city and cradle of the great prophet Mohammed, Ile-Ife is the ancestral home of the Yoruba. Ogun, the Yoruba god of Iron hails from Ire-Ekiti. It is only a fugitive who cannot feel of a home. Even slaves and people in Diasporas have a soul of freeborn; they are nostalgic of their ancestral home. Ijero is our root all omo oloji jeros (Ijero progeny) and the heritage of our children’s children and their unborn progeny. Let me say of Ijero, our own Jerusalem here on earth, like the psalmist: “The Lord will record when he registers the (Ijero) People; “This one was born there”…

All my springs are in you”.) Psalm 87:6-7). Every man should have positive thinking of “home” and be proud of his own dear native land. I, a native of this place, I am freeborn.

Ijero, our city of Ajoro is our own earthly Jerusalem; Jerusalem is a place of peace and city of God and of the great kings and city of David which is Zion or Sion in its literal and restricted sense was the celebrated mount in Jerusalem… The old testament poets and prophets exalted the word Zion by frequent use and gave it a sacred turn, so that in ti,e it came to type a sacred capital, holy place, God’s chosen people and religious Centre of Judaism and Christianity; heaven city and of God. – Rev. 14:1 (Heb. 12:22).

Ijero is our school of Ajoro, every Ijero towns-folk and lovers should further the Ijero cause of Ajoro, so that this our native land, we dearly love will be nobler, more grand-and more progressive. The love of Ijero and our fellow men, the spirit of Ajoro and Divine visitation will make Omo Olojijero and our Ijero shout the songs of liberty. Let us then dream new dreams, see new visions, love Ijero dearly, and seek her peace, progress and prosperity. and not be non-charlatan to Ijero cause and Ajero ideals. It is a bastard of no gender that dis-owns his native land that is so dear.

Charity begins at home; our patriotic zeal should begin here. The spirit of Ajero has enabled our pioneers to build one of the great kingdoms of Ekiti land here. Ajoro demonstrates the welfare and democratic culture of our pioneer. We should further the cause of Ajoro and preach Ijeroism Every Ijero is urged to be a source of this humanistic philosophy bequeathed to us. And Ijero should be the cradle of our nationalism.

Ijero natives; (home and abroad) have a [population which is above two million today. Our Ijero kingdom is more populous than many tribes and people on this continent and some parts of the world. Our Ijero kingdom is more populous than Djbouti-S country in the East of Ethiopia, around the horn of Africa and country like Western Sahara etc. many African citizens; Banjul (Bathurst) in the Gambia, Bissau in Guinea-Bissau, Francis town in Botswana, Rey melody in Equatorial Guinea etc. are not more populous than our Ijero kingdom “Akun kii rin lojuAlakun” (The possessor or owner of a Bead doesn’t value its preciousness) Ijero a precious bread, we must value and esteem her greatness still.

Our Ijero is neither a cosmopolitan area like; London, New York, Tokyo and Lagos nor a village or rural countrysides like Okoto, Ajindo and any hamlet elsewhere. But it is semi-urban, there is land for habitation and other projects there are rooms for the life of strangers and open door for hospitality. Hence, an Ijero native will say in his native tongue; “Omo Olojijero abeni mu emu”. (Descent of Ijero entreats fellowmen with palm wine). Ijero people accommodate strangers as well as being a centre of traditional administration in the western part of Ekiti land since the 14th century.

It is the seat of Ajero of Ijero kingdom (Ijero Monarch, the 4th direct son of Oduduwa). Ijero kingdom was one of the 16 Ekiti confederacies of old. (Ekiti Alade MerindinLogun). Today, it is the seat of a local government administration among other functions in; education, commerce and politics. Ijero-Ekiti is one of the major towns in the Ekiti state of Nigeria she will capture the spirit of the new millennium with the collective psyche of her people investors, lovers and government at all levels.

Ijerians should praise God for creating to be in Ijero, our city was founded on the spirit of Ajoro; on the platform of harmony and democratic culture. We are descendants of men and women who have Ajoro humanistic philosophy. Ijero was not born on a platter of silver, but the virtue of democratic humanism, philanthropy and patriotism was born here. We have a heritage that we must hand down to our progeny and children yet unborn.

Ijero is the only place in Ekiti where we have “ALE EKITI, (Ekiti Quarters) since many centuries ago and this is a spirit and symbol of Ekiti Solidarity and patriotism. It is a city, whose monarch; Ajero Oyiyosoye was a leading figure who liberated the Ekitis from Ibadan Imperialism during the “Ekiti-parapo” (Kiriji) war in 1877 – 1893 and convener of the first Pelupelu (council of Oba’s meeting) in Ekiti land. Ijero is the city that first built a community-spirited secondary in Ekiti land “Doherty memorial Grammar school” 1954. Our sense of Ajoro should be a compass of our genuine patriotism and progress as a society.

Although, Ijero was planted very well by Ogbe (founder of Ijero) the city is having the vision of her pioneer and patriots in an active state of paradise postponement. This is relapsed by social, economic, political, and other human problems. We the present generation have a duty and mission; which is not to be noxious to Ijero cause but to imbibe the Ajoro spirit and move Ijero forward and make Ijero be a better place for us all.

England is the pride of John Bull, Yankee is an American, Pygmies are Congolese, The Eskimos live in the Igloo, Ijero is the school of our Ajoro and citadel of Ijeroism where the culture of Ijero services and Ajoro humanistic philosophy can be thoroughly educated. I foresee that Ijero will move forward and flourish in our times every Ijero heart will be aflame by the new spirits of Ajoro; while the virtues of Ogbe ki gbe Ijero, Oyiyosaye Ekiti, mummy Helena Doherty and other Ijero patriots should be our inspiration and beacon pilot to lighten the world, especially form this part where we sprung.

May we grow deeper in the love of Ijero, and the school of Ajoro thought by the grace of our God, who created us here and said, “This one should be born here”! All our philosophies should make us remind that we are dual citizens and “For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come”. The heavenly city of God – ZION.

Culled from the book Tell Ijeroism by Femi Alufa

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