Apomu Pioneered Abeokuta!

The Owu people have been displaced from their homelands quite a number of times in the course of their history, starting from their original homestead in the Savannah region below the River Niger discovered by their progenitor, Ajibosun a.k.a. Asunkungbade, first grandson of Oduduwa, up to their last known major habitat at Owu-Ipole now known as Orile-Owu, where their most recent displacement triggered by the Owu Wars took place. The new city of Abeokuta later became the major recipient of the troupes of Owu refugees searching for new homes after the Pan-Yoruba invasion forces that sacked their city of Owu-Ipole swore that it would never be rebuilt again.

By 1824, the ancient market town of Apomu was already invaded and destroyed by this alliance of troops principally from Ijebu, Oyo and Ife. Sangojimi Gudugba, one of the valiant warrior/hunters of Orile Apomu had escaped to Ibadan with a large contingent of Apomu citizens while the capital city of the Owu people was being besieged by the invaders, a siege which lasted over 6 years.

At Ibadan, Sangojimi had met with the acquaintance of the town’s Baale and won his favor well enough to be given a beautiful bride and an appointment as one of the Baale’s military counselors.
A further meeting with fellow warrior/hunter,Sodeke, who was then the deputy leader of the Egba refugees in the town…

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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