Historical Facts About Igangan-Ijesha, located in Osun state, Nigeria

Author: FAFORIJI TADESE OBALOLUWA

Igangan-ijesha: History, fact and info(pictures)

Igangan-Ijesha, also Igangan-Amuta Gesi, is an ancient town in the southwestern part of Ilesha, Osun State, Nigeria. It is about 12¬Ĺ kilometers away from Ilesha with 25m of lands. Like other Yoruba communities, the now Igangan-Ijesha had been in existence prior to the contact of the Europeans. They were known to have tremendously thrived in agriculture historically. As at now, it is now an urbanised city that enjoys adequate electricity, water supply and other needs for human survival, which graded the community development and drove her to apogee. Founded in about 600 years ago, Igangan-Ijesha now had 26 vassal communities that revered the beaded crown Loye of Igangan-Ijesha.¬†

   

HISTORY OF IGANGAN-IJESHA, OSUN STATE IN NIGERIA

 
It is not unusual to trace the history of any contemporary Yoruba community to the great Ile-Ife, the cradle of  the Yorubas. The historic link of Igangan-Ijesha to Ile-Ife is directly sophisticated. Arake founded Igangan-Ijesha. Arake migrated for Oke-Ahun, Efon Alaaye (now in Ekiti State) to now Igangan-Ijesha. Arake started the course of  state creation, while he retained the chieftaincy title. Igangan-Ijesha was then sorta manor in parity with the Gwari's Hausa counterpart in 1400s. The emergence of a viable kingship institution could be posited to be the efforts of Adejoorin, who journeyed from Ila-Oragun and settled at Igangan-Ijesha after signing a 'modus-vivendi' pact with Arake, the premier chief. Arake was the chief while Adejoorin was the king. A situation that is known as 'contrapuntal paramountcy.' So therefore led to the development of monarchical system, which remains till today. 
   According to Oba Adetomiwa Akanni Lucas, the 28th Loye of Igangan-Ijesha, the chief and the king worked hand-in-hand to govern the early settlers. Unlike other parts of Nigeria, the pact was more of cooperation, love, harmony and which later led to prosperity. 
  These two figures- Arake and Adejoorin- are the founders of Igangan-Ijesha. Perhaps the vassal communities were captured by Adejoorin, whom culturally set up the kingship institution, when he became the first king and Arake the first chief. The efforts of both figures led to what is now Igangan-Ijesha. 
            Igangan-ijesha palace Gate
   
POLITICAL INSTITUTION
 The political history of this community depicts a kind of monarchical system of government synonymous to the Old Oyo Empire's archaic and ancient system of administration. Monarchical system emerged in this region following the consolidation of the place by the aforementioned figures. Igangan-Ijesha had been under many Kings and notably, the price if any new King's administration increases. Typically, Oba Adetomiwa Thomas Lucas, the 28th Loye of Igangan-Ijesha ruled from the palace. A paradigm shift to the place of the then Kings. He is respected and revered. He is a crowned king. This portrays the summitry position of an honourable ruler. The title, 'Loye of Igangan-Ijesha,' is used to refer to the king. This title took beginning from the community cultural history. It relates to the preservation of the cultural heritage of the people. 
   The political institution is a kingship institution, just like other Yoruba communities. The kingship institution is of course a perfect framework for furthering the security of the community as well as economic development. 
   The king rules the people and the chiefs play significant roles in the administration of the community. They advise the Oba in policy making and other things. With the roles of the king and chiefs, the security of the community works in network and also peace and harmony are enhanced with the resultant effect of community integration and furtherance of good governance. 
  Among the chiefs are but not limited to Saba, Town Crier, Olori Omo etc. Each chief has different role he/she plays to support the king. The town crier, for an instance, impart the message of the Oba to the people in the community. Now the role of this office faces challenges of civilisation as many festivals are announced on Radio, Television etc prior to the day. However the town crier still covers the area of Oba- Community diplomacy. Summarily, the political system is monarchical and democratic in nature. 
               
ECONOMY
  The mainstay of the economy is agriculture. Igangan-Ijesha has thrived in producing agricultural produce historically and fortunately she still currently holds a significant position in the production of cash crops- like cocoa, kolanut, oil palm- as well as arable crops. The rich land favours agricultural practice. It has two seasons in the 12 month calendar. The rainy season from May to  practically November, and dry season from December to April. The rainiest months are July and September. The soothing ecological condition attracts settlers different parts of Ijeshaland. In dry season, the bush burning method is mostly applied. Actually agriculture is the mainstay  economy yet the community is not economically parochial. 
  The hunters also hunt games and this work is taken professionally as these people went too far but lovely to harmonise themselves in peer group. This is a type of economy aimed to strengthen confraternity instead of personal gains. In retrospect, one could posit that Oke Oja, a street in Igangan-Ijesha, was the first base of peer association in Igangan-Ijesha, taking observation from the friendly ecological condition of this area and the now extreme development in pattern of settlement. Igangan-Ijesha market operates on Thursdays. Everyone meets at the market on Thursdays to buy and sell goods of value to them. Before the invention  of money, the trade by barter system was applied. No wonder there are many cowries in Igangan-Ijesha.  The cowries were units of transactions. 
  With the emergence of civilisation and urbanisation, the economy of this region is more diversed. Though agriculture plays main role, but supportive in some senses. There are many supermarkets, malls, mini marts among others. The youths also made mark in craftsmanship as typified by their handiworks like weaving baskets, beads and the women dying Aso Oke. With the immense growth, several people from other communities come to Igangan-Ijesha to trade on Thursdays. All in all, Igangan-Ijesha has standard economy. 

SOCIOCULTURAL INSTITUTION
  Before the glory of indigenous administration was shattered by the force of colonisation, the sociocultural setting  of all the Yorubaland remained cherished and highly revered. Igangan-Ijesha is arguably the epicenter of Yoruba culture in the southwestern part of Ilesha, the epicenter of Ijeshaland. This region had maintained a high standard diplomatic relation with communities, especially vassal communities like Owode-Igangan, Onisere-Igangan, among others. The maintenance of relation with other polities and stands as arbiter for warring communities.
  The hunters association help in maintaining high standard security as they are responsible  to ward off external agression and fight against thieves. Noticeable is the prohibition of stealing in the community which has been perfectly maintained by the administration of Oba Adetomiwa Akanni Lucas, the 28th Loye of Igangan-Ijesha. Igangan-Ijesha maintained her cultural heritage despite the challenges posed by the so called civilisation. Many festivals are held, they include: 

ARAKE: This is done once in a year. Every citizen prays for blessings in the overall activities of the community. There is usually immense production every year when this festival is observed. The Loye of Igangan-Ijesha plays a significant role in this festival as he prays for the community in general. 
 WADOGUN: WADOGUN is the god of longetivity. Praying to WADOGUN also prolonged the lives of the people in general and the king in particular. 
  OLOJO: This is observed by the king, in which the king worships the OLOJO and prays for blessings and guidance for good governance. He prays for his household and the easiness of the community's administration. 
OLOKUN : This is also observed once in a year 
OL√ēKUN: This is usually observed by the king. He worshiped the OL√ēKUN with Akara (beans cake). The king prays for his wives and children and he, himself.¬†
 OGUN FESTIVAL: This festival is observed once or twice a year. The OGUN (god of iron) shrine is worshipped  by the hunters. It's an act of seeking protection from the OGUN, against any peril in their hunnting activities. It is usually accompanied with cultural dance and eating of beans and carousing with 'emu'. Such ballad may be sung: 

    "Awa na oni rija ogun
    Awa na oni rija ogun
   Ogun oni feje we ka loore
   Awa na oni rija ogun" 

   " We're save from calamity 
   We're save from disaster 
 God of iron detest our blood 
  We're save from war." 
    It is pertinent to note that this practice still prevail in the community and this serves as a great bound among the youths and people generally. 

   CONTEMPORARY PERSPECTIVE OF IGANGAN-IJESHA.
  Looking into the gleeful historical development of this region says a lot about its contemporary state. Verily, the ancient practices are still in practice and their valour remain untainted. In addition, Igangan-Ijesha has developed drastically in last decades especially when the now Loye of Igangan-Ijesha, Oba Adetomiwa Thomas Lucas throned. Igangan-Ijesha dominates the ward 2A new division under ward 2 Local Government in the State of Osun. Besides, her citizens take lead in public and civil services. 
  Transportation and communication system has developed drastically over the years. Now travelling to Ilesha, Ile-Ife, Ondo, and other border-sharing cities is a cake walk. Igangan-Ijesha has a branched office of National Union of Road Transport Workers (N.U.R T.W.) and several Point of Sale(POS)  ventures. 
It has a big hall that can accommodate thousands of people. There are many primary and schools schools. Amongst them are Igangan Community Middle and High School, St Bartholomew's primary School, N.U.D primary School, Omotola Nur/Pry School, Ben Nur/Pry School,  Islamic Model School, Seed of Greatness Standard Nur/Pry School among others.  
  The community health center receives equipment directly from the federal government.
 There are many mosques and churches in Igangan-Ijesha. The Igangan-Ijesha Central Mosque is located beside the Oba's palace and other ratibi mosques- oke suna mosque, surulere mosque, oke ayeso mosque among others- are in different streets of the community. There are many churches among which are Anglican Communion, Christ Apostolic Church, Cherubim and Seraphim, Redeem Christian Church of God, Celestial Church of Godmong others. 
  There are many streets in Igangan-Ijesha and the more people build houses, the more new names are given to new streets. Among the streets are Oke Oja, Oke Iroko Omo, Idi Ayan, Oke Ayeso, Ogbon Tuntun etc. And fortunately with a crowned king who who rules from the palace! 
 Conclusively, with the efforts of Oba Adetomiwa Thomas Lucas, the 28th Loye of Igangan-Ijesha, the community gained attention of some foreign countries. Through the 'mutual agricultural benefits'  between Igangan-Ijesha and some other foreign countries. The Volunteer Service Oversee(VSO), members of which are mostly from Germany, UK, Canada, Kenya etc., annually come to Igangan-Ijesha to acquire knowledge from the Community Citizen Service Volunteers  (CCSV), who train the VSO members lots on agricultural activities. 
  Examining the history, political, sociocultural and economic dispositions of Igangan-Ijesha, it could be surmised that the glory of this beautiful community is in continuum, precisely with the continuous efforts of Oba Adetomiwa Thomas Lucas, the 28th Loye of Igangan-Ijesha. 

Reference. 
Faforiji Tadese Obaloluwa is a student of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State, Nigeria. He's a budding ethnic historian. 
Oba Adetomiwa Thomas Lucas, the 28th Loye of Igangan-Ijesha. Shared this oral tradition in his palace on 26th of June, 2020.
Historical Facts About Igangan-Ijesha, located in Osun state, Nigeria Historical Facts About Igangan-Ijesha, located in Osun state, Nigeria Reviewed by Ojo Ayomiotan Daniel(c.e.o Ayomite media) on July 24, 2020 Rating: 5

2 comments:

  1. Working on the Babarake festival.....
    Thanks for this AyomiteMedia!
    More on Tadexprof...

    ReplyDelete
  2. The whole history was based on OT as explained on Tadexprof.com

    ReplyDelete

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