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 long period before joining 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 did not learn 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 they 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 attacks, 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 they had clashes. Alake wanted to override Onipe. Onipe called on Abodi and the force of Alake was forced to retreat. 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 routed 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, Sasere, 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.



Published by oloolutof

Urbanologist, Geographer, Traditionalist and Oral historian. ​I am a versatile, personable, computer literate and goal – driven achiever. I have good communication skill with ability to interact at different levels. I am self –motivated, can easily assimilate new ideals and quite adaptive to work in different environments. Studied in University of Jos, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and University of Calabar.

87 thoughts on “The brief history of Ikale people

  1. The brief history of lkaie Land by olootutof is well articulated, l commended you for a job well dome, keep it up, God guide, guard and bless. Oba Abodi the undisputed Paramount OBA of lkale Land.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The history above is fake about Abodi. The story, three left Benin. First Laba of Akotogbo (Enogie of Eko Otobo)second was Odogbo of Ome. Last to come Abodi of Ikoya. Larogbo was stationed at Itarumo very close to Arogbo not at Arogbo because he was a Pirate the mother was an Itsekiri.The Benin words “Oko nemwiye” referred to Eholo from Benin was the end of Larogbo of Itarumo. The writer of the story is a fake.Two generals from Benin were involved . General Otobo of Eko Otobo and General Aile. Akotogbo was a Benin name not Yoruba. I sincerely refer you to the current Laba of Akotogbo kingdom to tell the true history not the fake, politically manufactured history above.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right in your corrections but you are violent in your corrections. non of us were there when it all happened but everyone got stories from their Ancestors who told them yi-yun yi-yun (sweet ones). Briefly what I read and know is that a man known as Udo revolted against Oba Esigie (With authoritative pronoucement that they will triumph) who ordered his Soldiers led by Generals Aile and Atogbo who chased them far from Benin therefore settling in a forest and refer to the place as ONDO, the Soldiers had two camps Eko-Atogbo (Akotogbo) and Eko-Aile (Ikale) where they stationed in waiting in case Udo (Ondo) is coming back for counter attack (in which they never return to Benin after the war) using those two places as defence bases for Benin. Till today, the Ikales have never lost any of the wars/conflicts they have had with the Ondo people either in battle or in court all because of the ”Authoritative pronouncement of Oba Esigie”.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thumb up.
    I implore Prince Martins Owoloye Nenuwa to sheath his sword.
    Bini(Ibinu/Ibini), Ile-Ife(Uhe), Yoruba or whatever are all one although differences due to internal and external conflicts may arise and cause issues.
    The Akotogbos are even saying they are Ijaw and not Ikale or Bini. I watched our own dear Goodluck Jonathan telling Late Ooni of Ife – Oba Okunade Sijuwade that he GEJ is his brother viceversa during the campaign. Governor Dickson of Bayelsa emphasised this when he came to Ado Ekiti.
    I also read of late that Bishop Olubunmi Okogie is Oba Lamidi Adeyemi’s cousin. The story even said both lived together in Obas palace, Oyo as boys. Lamidi is Bini. Olubunmi(my name sake) is Bini.
    So why the fight between Ijaw, Ikale, Benin, Yoruba, ugbo or whatever?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thumb up.
    I implore Prince Martins Owoloye Nenuwa to sheath his sword.
    Bini(Ibinu/Ibini), Ile-Ife(Uhe), Yoruba or whatever are all one although differences due to internal and external conflicts may arise and cause issues.
    The Akotogbos are even saying they are Ijaw and not Ikale or Bini. I watched our own dear Goodluck Jonathan telling Late Ooni of Ife – Oba Okunade Sijuwade that he GEJ is his brother viceversa during the campaign. Governor Dickson of Bayelsa emphasised this when he came to Ado Ekiti.
    I also read of late that Bishop Olubunmi Okogie is Oba Lamidi Adeyemi’s cousin. The story even said both lived together in Obas palace, Oyo as boys. Lamidi is Oyo, Olubunmi(my name sake) is Bini.
    So why the fight between Ijaw, Ikale, Benin, Yoruba, ugbo or whatever?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello there! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I truly enjoy reading through your posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same topics? Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    i really appreciated the writer of this history for making an attempt to bring out such fantastic story. Any one that has more information about the history of Ikale Land should as well post it so that hands join- in- hands, the goals could be achieved. One more thing i want to know is that why is Ikoya not developed all this while. is there any curse pronounced against the place?. i will be expecting answer from different angles to this question. Thank you and God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. perusing the story about ikale will give a
    n opener that the story is undisputed. if there is any missing point is of litle relevant to the story.Kudo to my dearest brother.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The guestion to why Ikoya the head of ikale is not develop is not far from the human sacrifice that characerized Abodi’s based.Nobody wants to live in an unsafe area but now things becoming okay in Ikoya.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is Odofin Fayemi from akotogbo, the history of our dear Ikale is linked and intertwined with the ancient city of benin, Akotogbo presently is ruled by two kings, Larogbo of Akotogbo and Laba of akotogbo, my question is who is the true King, and why can’t the both kings unite and bring sanity to that community, because the segregation of the two kings has brought not but fight and hate to that land for a very long time… To me the Benin and Ondo people are but cousins and cousins…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. In HOK/24/2015, aggrieved Ikale Obas sued the Abodi on the use of the title of the Abodi of Ikaleland. Judgement was delivered on October 24, 2018 by Hon. Justice Bode Adegbeingbe sitting at Ondo High Court 1, Ondo town validating the use of the title by the Abodi. The judgement is available on application to the Registrar of the High Court in Ondo.
    As I said after the judgement, Ikales cannot defeat themselves. The judgement simply presents a unique opportunity fo Ikaleland to rediscover its unity and forge ahead to reposition itself strongly in the commity of “nations”.
    This is important because no group achieves enduring progress without recognition and no recognition has ever been accorded a group without a common and strong leader.
    While we Ikales fight over matters of history, our common heritage has been taken over by strangers who now rule on our lands. From Ajebandele, Araromi Obu, Imorun, Odigbo to Onishere strangers are in control and Ikales are treated as second class citizens, even non indigenes, on their own soil. Yet, these places as far as can be historically validated, are part of Ikale kingdom.
    While it is unknown to many of us that the boundary between Ondo and Ikale is at Otafufu Gbekerelu near Ajue, many may not know that one of the earliest Abodis was buried at Imorun which he founded.
    The October 24 judgement rather than being a victory for the Abodi, is a clarion call to Ikales to join forces to rediscover their unity and secure lost territories for its teeming and upcoming generations.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. If both larogbo and laba re both prince,the story line says larogbo was given the mandate to rule,can u explain the role laba when they sojourning to establish another kingdom

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks for this history, we should not quarrel over any correction to make or omission observed, the writer made a good moved especially for those who are knowing for the first time. is a good beginning. God bless Ikale land. Revd James Olaniyi Oluwafunmi From igbotako Osooro

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pls sir can I get a brief information about ikale culture both past and present under the following: marriage rites, religious belief/ festival, hospitality, value, body languages, major occupation, food, dressing, sitting at the table, God’s name, music and eulogy.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Please is there a town or community called Okunmo in Ikale-land???? kindly help a brother with an answer to this hearty question… That is where i heard I’m from but I am finding it so hard to do the trace..

    Liked by 1 person

  15. My big brother I appreciate you for this stories you make me proud of ikales.God bless your wisdom,i am the offspring of LARAGUNSI Of ODE-IYANSAN Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Having gone through this history I discovered that there was a lot of false. Abodi had said it before that other obas in Ikale land were the chiefs who accompanied him from Benin kingdom to the present day of Ikale which he couldn’t mention them which was a false for example. Irele & Olooto had proved him wrong. Apart from this, Ijuosun, Ajagba & Akotogbo are Benin settlers which haven’t from immemorial under the aegis of Abodi, in Ikale intelligence report written by Mr. Calvin in 1913 about Ikale nation mentioned Ode-Omi, Ijuosun, Ajagba & Akotogbo as independently communities where Abodi has no authority over these domains. Each Obas in Ikale land were migrated from the different offspring in Benin kingdom. Oba Abodi came to Ikale land after some obas had been in the land for many years e.g Oba Olura of Igbisin-Olooto, Oluhogho of Ijuosun and others. In the year 1996 from Ondo state government proved Abodi of Ikoya not Ikale land, is there any community called Ikale town rather than a tribe & how can a single person named a whole tribe but failed to give names to the communities that he claimed as his subjects. In the Western Government in Ibadan we knew those Obas in Ikale land. If the crises concerning Obas in Ikale land to be settled, let’s know the seniority amongst the Obas who is the first Oba in each communities through the letters of their recognition by the government. The Western Government gazette 1959 & the first Ondo state gazette will give us the real fact. In Ese-Odo district council in Igbekebo then, we had only three traditional rulers which were Kalasuwei of Ijaw-Apoi, Oluhogho of Ijuosun & Ababa of Ajagba & today, Ababa is grade B, Oluhogho is grace C while Kalasuwei is grade A. If you look around today, some Obas that upgraded from Baales or Olojas from 1990’s most of them are now grade B & C in the same canoe with the original Obas in Ondo state because of politics instead of historical background like Ogun State. It’s unwise & injustice in the class of intellectual to put father under his son.

    Liked by 1 person

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