The History of Arigbajo – Owu Kingdom

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Arigbajo town is situated near Ifo town, adjourning Apomu in the Ewekoro Local Government Area, and on the Lagos-Abeokuta Road axis.

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After the alligator pepper war in the 1820s, the Owus in a large number departed for Abeokuta and settled at Oke Ata, Oke Ago Owu, Totoro etc in Abeokuta.

Some later left Abeokuta again towards Lagos Road which is part of their land under conquest. As they were leaving in batches, OSUNJOBI, one of their group leaders and an elder brother to MAMOOLO as he was fondly called (abbreviation for MAMOWOLO) opted for a bush near WASIMI, now along the Lagos/Abeokuta Express way. There he settled and named ARIGBAJO.

He named the place to symbolize his calabash drumming and dancing profession (Igba & Ijo). There OSUNJOBI stayed with MAMOOLO his younger brother who was a powerful warrior/hunter and petty farmer.

After some time, MAMOOLO left for his usual hunting and along the line he discovered a bush where he hunted and made profits as a result, he continued until he got to a village not too far from the bush where he hunted called ISOFIN where he stayed with a man, and from there he would go to cultivate his farmland and hunt.

One day he discovered a small stream in the bush and drank from it, and discovered that the water was good. He named the stream OUN S’OFUN TERE (Good for the throat), which became the SOFUNTERE river that we have till date in Arigbajo.

While at the river bank, a female deity who introduced herself as OLOOKE met him and demanded to know what he wanted there. He was said to have introduced himself as OLOOKE and explained how he had found the place during his hunting expedition and decided to settle around there.
OLOOKE then promised her support to see that MALOOMO never lacked animals by the day as a hunter, and that any woman who settled with him would bear children and not be barren, a belief that is still relevant till date to many of the inhabitants.
Hence the song that has now become the anthem of ARIGBAJO:

Eba n’gbomo oke… lanti lanti (3ce)
Omo oke dun bi
Baba loni arin lola
Eba n’gbomo oke… lanti lanti

There he made an ILEBA, a bush house where he began to stay and was taking his hunting preys to Abeokuta for sale (always trekking).
After staying alone for a while he went back to ARIGBAJO and invited his relatives like OGUDU, LAGOSIN, a female trader called AINA and other close associates to come with him. At this time, he was calling the place OKO OKE ISOFIN. There he continued his hunting. As OGUDU and LAGOSIN were farming, AINA was taking MAMOOLO’s hunting preys to Abeokuta for sale.

Not quite long after, OSUNJOBI, MAMOOLO’s elder brother had a serious misunderstanding with those settling with him at Arigbajo near Wasinmi, and MAMOOLO went there immediately he heard the information. He intermediated between his brother and other co-settlers to see that peace reigned as the saying “ARA OWU KII RANRO, AWI IMENU KU O N’TOWU”.

MAMOOLO was successful in the mediation and persuaded OSUNJOBI his brother to follow him to his newly discovered location. On getting there, OSUNJOBI discovered that the place was more comfortable and decided to stay with MAMOOLO where he continued his farming and musical carrier. The people around were always inviting him to perform at their ceremonies, while all this time he was still staying at his younger brother’s ILEBI as his abode. Other friends like BARAMOKUN, OSOMOJI and ARIGBANLA WONWO later joined them. MAMOOLO reflected Owu’s love for others by apportioning land to his friends to farm and to control while he retained the ILEBA area for himself. He also went round, hunted and came back to the area he called AMORIWAKO.

It is however a matter of common knowledge that before one settles finally anywhere, they must have been visiting the place before, either on expedition or sightseeing. It was also reported that when he was new at the place he was fond of visiting GUDUGBA and ISOFIN to see his friends who were co-warriors. He also visited Papa Olaito (now PAPALANTO), where he usually bought akara (fried beans) from a woman at Papa junction.

When MAMOOLO had finally made up his mind to settle at his ILEBA, he asked OSUNJOBI about his opinion about retaining the name OKO OKE ISOFIN for the settlement, to which the former suggested the re-using of ARIGBAJO, the name of their previous settlement, while that former settlement could then be referred to ARIGBAJO-EHIN (previous Arigbajo).

OSUNJOBI’s fame continued to rise and he was popularly referred to as ‘ARIGBAJO, ARAGBE JO’, meaning the calabash and gourd player/dancer. His fame was such that people started thinking that he founded the settlement!

In the beginning, MAMOOLO was the OLORI OKO. He was followed by 2 other Oloriokos before the Baaleship title was adopted. The Baaleship is rotated between the 4 quarters of the town as follows; AMORIWAKO, BARAMOKUN, OSOMOJI, and ARIGBANLA up till date. There had been 12 Baales before the emergence of the Coronet Obaship which led to the crowning of Oluwagbemileke Alade Babajide (SP rtd) by Oba Dr, Olusanya Adegboyega Dosunmu CON, FTA on the 31st of March 2006 alongside other Owu Obas to reign over Owu settlements.

ARIGBAJO is surrounded by Owu settlements like EJIO, ABESE, and APOMU and they are cordially co-existing till date. Other non-Owu villages and towns in the neighbourhood include AROGUN, ABULE OKO, SODERU, ELEBUTE, ALAGUTAN, IBOKURU and others.

Written by :
Oluwagbemileke Alade Babajide (SP rtd)
(Omo Arogundade)
Alaigbajo of Arigbajo Land
Owu Kingdom.

Apomu – The Early Settlers

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Apomu

-The Early Settlers, (culled from ‘ANCESTORAL QUEST – The Osanyinjobi Story‘, by Olufemi F. Osanyinjobi, which was launched by The Olowu of Owu, Oba Adisa Odeleye on 24th November 2001 @ Apomu Village).

…the pioneer settler of that region, a man named Sangojimi who was a rather ruthless hunter, warrior and slave dealer. Sangojimi’s reputation was fearsome among the Aworis of Otta who used to shiver and seek for protective shelter at the mere mention of his name.

Sangojimi is also reputed to have influenced the settlement of Arigbajo village by granting his friend and fellow hunter, Gbajo lease of his land so that the latter who came after him could also settle near him.

It is told that when Sangojimi embarked on one of his lengthy slave raiding expedition of the Aworis, Gbajo who was now settled with him started granting land lease to new pilgrims without due authorization. On arrival from his expedition, Sangojimi was disturbed by the undue advantage taken of him by his bossom friend. He was now faced with the unfavorable choices of either continuing to live with Gbajo in a strained relationship or staging a confrontation against him, but in the true tradition of a honorable warrior, he resisted both challenges and moved on, sent himself on a permanent exile, turning his back on the incidence while swearing never to return again!

On his outward journey back in the direction of Abeokuta, he encountered Madam Lanto, a popular and influential food seller to travelers who was located at the site of the present Papa-Lanto (named after her). The food-seller who had always been fascinated by the exploits of Sangojimi, a favourite client of hers, persuaded the warrior not to journey far and led him to a piece of virgin fertile land nourished by a pure flowing stream called Gudugba where Sangojimi agreed to pitch camp and once again settle as the pioneer.

In this context, it is not improper to accredit pioneering status to Sangojimi for the villages of Apomu, Arigbajo and Gudugba, all within the same geographical environ.

After the arrival of Sangojimi in Apomu came his junior brother, who later departed for Ekundayo village to resettle after selling all his land to the newly wealthy and influential Osanyin High Priest, Osanyinjobi.

The third settler to arrive Apomu was Ajayi Oreigbe of the Ejemu family. Sangojimi gave his junior sister to this new settler for his second bride. She then gave birth to Akinleye, Adebodun and Akintobi. Lesi was the first child of Oreigbe born of his first wife. (It is noteworthy that the Ejemu family make claim to Ajayi Oreigbe, their ancestor as the first settler of Apomu village)

In the claims and counter claims of pioneering status between Sangojimi and Oreigbe, certain pointers are worthy of mention, namely;

  1. All early settlers have their allotted farms adjoining the Elueri stream.
  2. Sangojimi,s farm has the singular exception of having the Elueri Shrine built within its perimeters.
  3. His pioneering activities are well acknowledged in the adjourning Arigbajo and Gudugba.
  4. Sangojimi’s farm also marks the boundary of the landed properties of Apomu and Arigbajo villagers: – His farm shares a common boundary with that of Aina of Arigbajo.

After Ajayi Oreigbe, came Abu (4th settler), and Odewuyi (5th settler). Next came Osanyinjobi as the 6th settler to Apomu village.

It is also worthy of mention here that all the previous settlers to Apomu village had their roots and origin from the Apomu Township of present Oyo State, situated about 20 kilometers from the ancient Kingdom of Orile-Owu, thus forming the basis for the name of the new village settlement. Osanyinjobi was the first exception owing his own origin and ancestory to the royalty of the old mighty kingdom itself!

Probably as a result of his influence in the new Apomu settlement, the next settler and the 7th to this village was Osanyinjobi’s kith and kin, Biobaku, also of Molashin ancestory (Molashin Isale). He represents the last of the early settlers that had the distinction of having their farms situated adjoining the Elueri stream.

PS. – Sangojimi Gudugba is reported to be the first Balogun of Apomu-Owu in Abeokuta (1834), and hails from the Jilafin Compound of Ago-Apomu.

Apomu-Owu Township adjourns Oke Ago Owu in Abeokuta. This historical account is about the rural settlement of Apomuland (Apomu village) where many of the early settlers from the ancient city-market of Apomu, near Orile-Owu proceeded to due to space constraints at Ago-Apomu in Abeokuta.

Traditional Administration of Apomu -:

Council of Chiefs (Apomu-Owu):

Chief Simeon O. Oshunbiyi                       > Balogun-Apomu of Owu Kingdom

Chief Ezekiel O.A. Keyede                         > Otun-Apomu of Owu Kingdom

Chief Folorunso O. Babs Fakeye             > Osi-Apomu of Owu Kingdom

Chief Victor Olusegun Adebodun         > Olori Parakoyi-Apomu of Owu Kingdom

Chief Olufemi F. Osanyinjobi                   > Asiwaju-Apomu of Owu Kingdom

Chief Hussein Taiwo Lawal                       > Seriki-Apomu of Owu Kingdom

Chief Abidemi J. Oshunbiyi                     > AareAgo-Apomu of Owu Kingdom

Chief (Mrs) Grace Titilade Wilkey         > Otun Iyalode-Apomu of Owu  Kingdom

Chief (Mrs) Remi Opere                             > Osi Iyalode-Apomu of Owu Kingdom

Council of Chiefs – Apomuland (Rural Apomu):

Chief Julius Durojaiye Osanyinjobi          > Baale of Apomuland

Chief Faniyi Fatusi                                          > Balogun-Baale Apomuland

Chief Oladimeji Gbadamosi                         > Otun-Baale Apomuland

Chief S.O. Oyebade                                         > Osi-Baale Apomuland

Chief Olusanjo Akinremi                               > Ekerin-Baale Apomuland

Chief Tajudeen Adejoju                                > Asiwaju-Baale Apomuland

Chief Femi Adeosun                                       > Seriki-Baale Apomuland

Chief Lamina Towobola                                > Aare-Baale Apomuland