The People of Ijero Kingdom


The man in the street who is boasting but of his illustrious ancestors is not different from a rabble-rouser but, if a gentleman said I am a free-born here, his right fingers is pointing to the root of his pedigree. But he is a man, who has noble virtue and sense of commonwealth.

Ijero kingdom is our own commonwealth, it is our patriotic duty to make its grandeur; the object of our thoughts, desire and actions.

It is pertinent at this outset to provide meanings to the word “Ijero kingdom” and “Ijero Ekiti” (Ijero metropolis) which are most often used interchangeably and confusedly, Ijero-Ekiri is not the same things as the Ijero Kingdom, although they are relative words. Ijero kingdom is the realm or domain of Ajero .e. Ijero premier monarch, whereas Ijero-Ekiti is Ijero metropolis. The chief city of Ijero kingdom, the historical capital of the ancient Ijero kingdom and it is a fractional part of the kingdom. Ijero kingdom was one of the primaeval 16 kingdoms of old Ekiti confederacy founded by Oduduwa descendants in Ekiti land otherwise known as EKITI ALADE-MERINLELOGUN (16 Beaded crown Ekiti-kingdoms)

The paramount rulers of 15 kingdoms of Ekiti Land are;

HRH Oba Aderuku Arojojoye, Ajero of Ijero (1916 - 1930)

HRH Oba Aderuku Arojojoye, Ajero of Ijero (1916 – 1930)

1. Ajero of Ijero kingdom
2. Alara Aramoko
3. Oore of Otun
4. Alaaye of Efon-Alaaei
5. Oloja of OKemesi
6. Olojudo of Ido
7. Ewi of Ado
8. Oloye of Oye
9. Elekole of Ikole
10. Onisan of Isan
11. Atta of Ayede
12. Onitaji of Itaji
13. Olukere of Ikere
14. Elemure of Emure
15. Arinjale of Ise
16. Ologotun of Ogotun.

Twenty-two towns and their villages in the Northwestern, parts of Ekiti region of Yoruba land people the ancient Ijero kingdom. They are:
1. Ijero-Ekiti. They are:
2. Ikoro –Ekiti; also known as Eso obe
3. Ipoti – Ekiti; also known as Ogbonlu.
4. Ayetoro-Ekiti; also known as Elo and formerly known as Iyapa.
5. Iloro – Ekiti is also known as Oro.
6. Ayegunle – Ekiti is formerly known as Inu.
7. Odoowa-Ekiti formerly known as Odo – Ehin.
8. Oke – or – Ekiti is formerly known as Idao until the year 2002.
9. Temidire – Ekiti is formerly known as Isia.
10. Araromi – Ekiti is formerly known as Era.
11. Iroko – Ekiti is also known as Iroye.
12. Ilukuno-Ekiti
13. Ijurin-Ekiti
14. Ara-Ekiti
15. Epe-Ekiti

Others are “Ilejemeje” (HEPTAPOLIS I.E. 7 GROUP TOWNS
16. Ewu – Ekiti
17. Iye – Ekiti
18. Iludun – Ekiti
19. Ijesa – Iye Ekiti
20. Ipere – Ekiti
21. Eda – Ekiti
22. Eda Oniyo-Ekiti

Today, due to political delineation of the constituency of Nigeria nation-States and creation of local government areas, all the towns in the old kingdom found themselves not only in Ijero local government area of Ekiti State. This is good to bring government nearer to the people and for the development of people at grassroots.

Ijero kingdom is not an accident of history or child of circumstances. The people have some homogeneous and heterogeneous features. The homogenous features are common origin from Oduduwa lineage while some towns have kinship relationship as told by oral tradition e.g.Ijero, Ilukuno, Ikoro, Iloro, Idao, Ipoti (Ogbonlu) and all other towns in the kingdom have historical and cultural relations as well as traditional. Traditional religions and festivals like; Ifa worship, Ogun festival are very common to these people. While the cultural aspects in local music (APIIRI), stage food (Iyan i.e. pounded Yam) are parts of their homogenous features.

In spite of this homogeneity and cultural identity, every town in the kingdom has its own myths and legends other local traditions, native cognomen (Oriki) among other features. Ajero, the paramount ruler of the kingdom used some Ijero chiefs and traditional rulers of each town to supervise the affairs of Ijero districts. In the olden days, Ijero princes would rule in the district before his enthronements as Ajero. Ajero stopped sending delegates to the districts to rule after the Bower’s peace treaty in KIRIJI (EKIRI-PARAPO) war in 1886. Ijero kingdom reached its apogee and the golden era during the reigns of Ajero Oyiyosoye. (1866 –1901).

Today, the common good of the towns and spirit of “Commonwealth” should be the aspirations of the people of this old Ijero kingdom.

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