The brief history of Ikale people

In about 1502, there was a development in Benin Kingdom, Oba Esigie was on the throne and since succession to the throne was from father to son, he was worried that he had no male child who will ascend the throne after his home call. He married many wives so as to produce a male child. The premonition was that some forces were behind his not having male children. One of his wives conceived and went into hiding. He gave birth to a male child in the morning but at that time, many people had gone to their places of word. Automatically, the male child should reign after him. Before he could made an Oba, certain rites were to be performed. They put all the things: crown, sekere, horsetail, beads as a mark of an Oba before the child.

Towards evening, when people were returning from their various places of work, another wife of the Oba gave birth to a male child and people were happy, and started jubilating to herald in the new Oba. News now came that a male child had been given birth to the Oba in the morning but kept in secrecy –A –b – o –d –i.

The two male children were growing up in the palace. This made the Oba to foresee problems as to who is to ascend the throne after him. He now advised the elder male child to go across Owena River to establish his own kingdom. Abodi left with some Chiefs in Benin and came to the Western side of Owena. He first settled at Arogbo – Ile. While leaving the place, he asked Larogbo to take charge of Arogbo – Ile. He proceeded to Irele and settled there for a while. This first Abodi is called Abodi Jabado. He reigned for a lond period before joing his ancestors. His son, called Tufewa reigned after him. People that were with the Abodi were called Abodi people. The settlement of Abodi in each of the places he settled was called Ikoya. Tufewa went to Ile – Ife to learn the art of governance because he had not learnt the intricacies of palace administration in Benin.

It was also recorded that Esigie sent him to Ooni in Ile – Ife. He was there for three years. At the end of his third year, the Ooni gave Abodi benedictions. He made him to kneel down in a circle marked with white chlk and asked him to carry out these rites in his country/kingdom. Abodi came home with this chalk. This led to the use of white chalk (Efun) which is used to make inscriptions or marks on the ground (meaning) Ikale. That is what we bear today. Without prejudice to anybody, some people say we covered the land “a ka ile yi”. While some people claimed that a man was living beside the Owena River named Aale, and so his village was called Aale. From the three schools of thought, we presume that the act of using a white chalk to make inscription on the ground to mean Ikale is the most acceptable.

The Chiefs that accompanied him from Benin and those that joined him later were given districts to administer. These chiefs were called Olojas. They were given recognitions as Obas in 1979. meanwhile, Abodi gave them titles and they were responsible to him. Today, to a large extent are autonomous in the administration of their areas. There is no time that the Ikales are nine or their rulers were nine. But the idea of Ikale mehan came during the colonial era. The reasons were best known to the colonial masters. Ajagba, Ujosun and Akotogbo were administered by Benin confederation. Two reasons were advanced for carving out the three (i) They spoke Benin language (ii) They were too distant from Ikoya administration. One needs to say that if the colonial masters had understood the origin of the Ikales, they would not have carved out these three area and put them under Benin Administration.

Originally, we had: Larogbo of Akotogbo,; Oluhogbo of Ujosun,; Ahaba of Ajagba,; Laragunsin of Iyansan,; Odogbo of Omi,; Olofun of Irele,; Halu/Lapoki of Ode-Aye,; Jagun of Idepe,; Obagberume of Igbodigo,; Lumure of Ayika,; Orungberuwa of Erinje,; Olura/Oloto of Igbinsin,; Rebuja of Osooro,; and Onipe of Ubu.

Some of the rulers mentioned above are offsrings of other Royal Fathers. For example, Jagun is an offspring of Larogbo, Rebuja is an offspring of Lumure. Due to lack of contact, Onipe was lost to Ijebu area. Today, in addition to the aforementioned Obas, we have: Norogun of Ayede,; Olu of Igodan/Pkunmo,; Majuwa of Morubodo Kingdom,; and Orofun of Iju – Odo. Ikoya is very important in the history of Ikale development. Abodi Jabado was asked to move out and found his kingdom. Esigie gave Abodi all the paraphernalia of office. Sword (Uda) was left out. Oba Esigie was confused with whom to give; either Oba Abodi or Orogbua. Oba Esigie then called his palace chiefs to consider whom to be given the sword. The palace chiefs made two of them to contest for the “Uda”. The sword was thrown up for them to catch.

In the process, Abodi gripped the handle while Orogbua held the blade. Orogbua’s hand was cut and Abodi won the contest and had the “Uda”. Oba Esigie told Abodi to use the sword to ward off attachs, aggressions and insults. In other words, the uda was given to Abodi to ward off enemies (ki o fi ko iya) To confirm this, Abodi is the only Oba that bears the appellation, “Ogun Olugba uda…”

Anywhere Abodi settles is called Ikoya. He settled in Atijere, Ode, Lagos etc. It was Abodi Kugbayigbe who came to found the present Ikoya. Ikoya is a shifting settlement along with its civilization, culture, custom, ethics and norms.

In those days, there was a lot of human sacrifice. Only the relations of Abodi were spared. Strangers were usually made use of for this sacrifices. This made them to move from Ikoya Kingdom because that time, to stay at Ikoya was between life and death. The Ikales because of their good administration, their neighbours feared them. There were two events when we had clashes. Alake wanted to override Onipe. Onipe called on Abodi and the force of Alake was forced to retret. It was not directly between Alake and Ikale. It was later that Alake discovered that Abodi assisted Onipe but Abodi had already moved away from there. Ondos and Ikales fought wars though not with the entire Ikale but with some districts like Aye, Irele having boundaries with them. In each of these wars, Ikales always emerged victorious because the entire Ikale fought as a unit.

In one of the wars, the Ondo warrior were decisively rooted which led to the immediate death of the then Osemawe who could not stand the defeat (O si igba). Apart from external wars, Ikales had internal conflicts between Osooro and Idepe and Ayeka. We had no war with the Ilajes, Ijaws, and the Ijebus. The war we had with Larogbo was a very critical one in which Erinje was grossly affected which made them to hide in a place called Aluma. Apart from this, there were no serious wars like Kiriji and others. The present chieftaincy titles practiced in Ikale was brought by Abodi Tufewa when he traveled to Ile – Ife. The first set of Ijama were Lisa, Jomo, Petu, Yasere, Odunwo and Isowa, headed by Lema. They were established in all Ikale areas by the second Abodi. In most Ikale areas today, these six chiefs form the leadership of Ijama. It is not mandatory that you have all of them. In some towns, they are Egharepara. Ijama was banished in 1919 but resuscitated in 1930’s because Ijama is the organ of administration. The hierarchical setup is: Oba – Ijama – Ijoye – Omoja.

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51 thoughts on “The brief history of Ikale people

  1. This is fantastic history of my tribe. I like it and wish this history is printed out for everybody to have a copy. Good one

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  2. this an elegant & fantastic story, my people had gone deep in internet, i thank GOD that google can answer many question about ikale. that is very good God bless u.

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  3. No, you are not correct. The irele people are from ilaje and not from benin as you claim. 2 Akotogbo means ako to olugbo. That was the first place the first Olugbo of ugbo kingdom(ilajes) founded and settled in when he,his brothers and followers left ile-ife in anoyance due to the dispute between him and the king makers who crowned his younger brother as the Oni of Ife in his stead. So, let me put the record straight that ikale people are the children of ilajes and the binis (Benin) people. In other word, part of ikales are from ilajes while others are from Benin. To comfirm you may ask google about where the irele people orignally come from.

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  4. What is the relationship between Araromi Obu and the Ikales? Does anyone have incontrovertible proof of the origin of Araromi Obu people?

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  5. Great Ikale, Up Ikale, I’m Proud Of You, I Have A Dream, Ikale Son Wil Rule This Country, If Jonathan Etuke In Bayelsa,

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  6. Kudos! This is just the begining of the history of Ikale and her people. More needs to be done on dates and event in depicting chronology and history. This is a challenge to all Ikale people and non-Ikales especially historians, anthropologists, archaeologists and paleontologists.
    A gi dede omo Ikale o!

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  7. I want to state as follows: 1. Obas in ikale land their not from the same offspring. 2. Every towns in ikale land has it is own culture and tradition. 3. Maybe Abodi can mention the chiefs who followed him from Benin and they are now a royal fathers in their respective location. 4. Oba Oluhogho of ijuosun is a son of Eweka not Esigie. 5. Ijuosun has been existing before Oba Kugbayigbe founded the present Ikoya. 6. The first Oba Oluhogho that was recognised by the govt white in the then western state was Oba Okunnuwa in 1909. 7. Ijuosun town was founded in year 1226 by Oba Akinshele. 8. You could imagine that most of the Olojas that elevated to Obas by Ondo State they are on Grade A Obas.

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  8. Pls it is time to lift ikale up all the entire land should work in accordancy with love…if u want to join ikale peoples congress contact me..08103084777.

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  9. so IKALE people originated from Benin kingdom. It is quite interesting to hear this fantastic story even though i have heard something of this nature in the past. I am from Iju Odo In Okitipupa LGA and married from ISHAN in Edo State. I saw close affinities between the culture of the Ikales and the benin people in areas of language, dressing, music and dancing just to mention a few.But if this story is anything to go by why is it that some highly educated, enlightened, schooled ikale people still discriminate against the EDO people.Before i successfully got married to an EDO lady, it was a hell in my family despite the fact my father is an astute academic and erudite professor in one of the Nigerian universities.There are some aspects of our culture that need to addressed.Ikale people should be known for straightforwardness, uprightness, audacity, boldness and humility and humanitarianism. I think that my father needs to read this story in order to be assured that he has not lost his begotten son to a strange land( Edo)

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  10. this post is full of grammatical errors n the facts are conflicting. nonetheless i’m happy to come in contact with a bit of my history. Nice one bro!

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  11. This is an impressive research work. However, we all need to preserve Biripo music and other traditional Ikale music by uploading them to Youtube. Cheers.

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  12. firstly i want 2 appreciate God 4 d life of all citizen of ikale land. My prayer is dat God should help us 2 work in unity(amen). Great ikale people u are wonderful. Agbi omo ikale oo,ikale ma ka tesiwaju o

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  13. With this clear history, why are Ikale Obas now opposing the paramountcy of the Abodi in Ikale land before the Hon. Justice Ajama Commission on Chieftaincy matters currently sitting in Akure? Why? Why are they insisting that the Abodi is of Ikoya not Ikaleland? The world has moved on. When Abodi was referred to of Ikaleland in the Ilaje Reports in the 1930s, Awujale was described as of Ijebu Ode. Now, Awujale is of Ijebuland and Ikale Obas are kicking against Abodi of Ikale contrary to history and established usage. NOTE: “Oba G. B. Faduyile” The Abodi of Ikale land is on facebook as written. You may connect with him.

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  14. I have been looking for this history, my uncle Lagun Agagu of Iju Odo once gave me a hard copy history but I unfortunately left it with him without making a copy before he passed on. I wish to request for anyone who has the history of Lemegha Family. I have the mind of creating a repository of all Ikale History by Families, starting from my own. We need to also create a website for records of the culture, the music, Asiko, Biripo and all other music that are sung with Pampala. Puctures of the Old rulers, like Oba Adeoye, The Rebujas, Olojas, Abodis, even the Ojomos.
    As Im growing old I observe that our history and culture in Ikale Land are fading away fast. Most of our young generation are born and bred outside Ikale land. Our parents did not encourage us to associate with anything IKALE. I have gradually become an olori ebi without the ability to speak fluent Ikale language. The towns in Ikale are not developend, as it was in the sixties so is it today, there is cause for concern.

    I need contacts of Ikale groups meeting in Lagos, especially the Lemegha family which I belong to. I need to associates with the Joolas, Lumure and many others to be a ble to compile the histories of each families. That’s how to get accurate account and a heritage for the young generations.
    I appreciate the effort made for these story but we need to have a website to showcase our heritage. We need to work together on this.
    I could be found on facebook as Segun Isakin

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  15. This is an unfortunate development! What we were treated to above is like poison! This is a shoddy and perverted history of the Ikales and it is difficult to distangle here. A hodge podge of half truths, outright exaggerations and white lies. Short true story of Ikales: many migration waves, undoubtedly and predominantly from the other Yoruba stock. A small portion of the Ikales but powerful and hegemonic, came from Edoland – that is the Abodi line. Coupled with administrative convinience and the ignorance of the local British officials, Ikale’s history was beraided and it now seems forever. That powerful few tried to run over the land and change everything in their own image. This now must be corrected in the 21st century. Please, get to works, everyone. Invest your time and resources in digging out the history of the people of Ikale not the history of conquest by the Benins and the laziness and convenience of the colonial officials on the ground.

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  16. What a nice and interesting story of the Ikales; I am proud to be a member of this ethnic group. (Ikale a gbe dede wa o)

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