IKEJI WARRIORS, IJESA/EKITIPARAPO ARMY AND KIRIJI WAR TRIUMPH

Kiriji War was the decisive war that prevented Ijesas and Ekitis from being subjugated by the Ibadan bullies. It was the war that put an end to all manners of wars and semblance of wars in Yorubaland. It is a war that restored the dignity of certain parts of Yorubaland. Kiriji War was a battle for supremacy between Ijesa/Ekiti and Ibadan. It started on 30th July, 1877.
The excesses of Ajele (District Overseer) from Ibadan in Ijesa/Ekiti domain were too much to bear. They terrorize everywhere just because their army is unstoppable and formidable. In 1870s, the Ekitis started grooming a formidable army that will help liberate themselves from the Ibadan dominance; they formed an alliance which they termed Ekiti Parapo (Ekiti Confederation) to challenge the Ibadan hegemony. The Ekitis contacted their Ifa oracle severally and it revealed on each occasions that it was only Ogedengbe Agb’ogungb’oro, Adikakaaka L’oju Ogun, who could conquer the Ibadans and without Ogedengbe, the battle would not be won.
Ekiti Parapo army headed by Prince Fabunmi of Oke Imesi conveyed the message of Ifa to his able warlords, like Faborro of Ido, Famakinwa of Erin, Aruta, Odole Oloyombere, Oluborode of Ikogosi, Aduloju dodondawa, Falowo, just to mention a few. Several rituals were prepared and later Opiliki Asodedero was sent to convey the message of Ifa to Ogedengbe Agb’ogungb’oro.
Ogedengbe was said to be in Igbara-Oke where he was intending to settle down after his exploits to Ekiti, Akoko and Benin Kingdom. Ogedengbe was a-bit reluctant to join the Ekiti Parapo army due to his disappointment from his kindred (Ijesa people). He was persuaded and later joined the Ijesa army with the Ekiti Parapo army in their campaign against Ibadan hegemony. Ekiti people were happy seeing Ogedengbe, the great warrior and his formidable army merged with the Ekiti Parapo army.
Ogedengbe was appointed the “Seriki Meyaki”, making him the Generalissimo of Ijesa/Ekiti Confederates Army. He announced the commencement of the battle. To cut the story short, the Kiriji War was won by the Ijesa/Ekitiparapo Army led by Ogedengbe Agb’ogungb’oro Adikakaaka L’oju Ogun, which led to the ending of Ibadan hegemony in Ekiti and Ijesa fortresses.
Historically, during the inter-tribal wars in Yorubaland, the whole of Ijesa army would not go into combat against an enemy without a warrior from Ikeji firing first shot in order to ensure victory. Then, I was beginning to think that Ikeji warriors are the people behind the triumphs of Ijesas during the inter-tribal wars.
Moreover, Ogedengbe being an Ijesa man, leading Ijesa army, would not dare go to any battle without any warrior from Ikeji firing first shot in order to ensure victory; it means the Ikeji warriors were the people behind Ogedengbe’s accomplishments during the inter-tribal wars in Yorubaland in the 19th Century.
When Ogedengbe led the Ijesa army to join the Ekiti Parapo army in their campaign against Ibadan, Ikeji warrior fired first shot in order to ensure victory, though it was not emphasized; Ogedengbe would not have won the Kiriji War without an Ikeji warrior. So, I cannot but say that an Ikeji warrior won the Kiriji War with his first shot that ensued victory before starting the war. Ijesa/Ekiti Parapo army was only led to victory by Ogedengbe.
The Kiriji War ended on 23th September, 1886 with signing of “Peace Treaty” between the twenty-four Yoruba Obas for the cessation of war among Yoruba people and in Yorubaland.

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