The quick intervention of the Ejigbo Indigenes Forum last week deflected the attempt by Prince Olawale Edagbeja to set up a rival kingship in Ejigbo, Echonews can authoritatively reveal
Using announcements on radio and issuing calls for a press conference, the Indigenes Forum.successfully negotiated a truce which both parties are observing now.
It would be the second time since 1982 that the family would bid for the kingship. Edagbeja’s father had contested the kingship with the incumbent then.
The law recognises only the title of Ojon of Ejigbo and Ijan as the traditional ruler of Ejigbo.
The interest of Edagbeja, who seeks to create the rival kingship of Elejigbo, in getting to the throne has been spreading like wide-fire in the nooks and crannies of the community .
When he paid a visit to the ancestral shrine of Onimewon in Ejigbo to offer prayers for the community at large recently, he was welcomed with cheers by residents and pedestrians.
After the whole cheers and greetings, Prince Edagbeja took a seat at Agbole, a popular area in Mewon to discuss rising matters with newsmen.:
History of Ejigbo
” I will say what I know about the kingdom because we all know it’s a very long time ago. Ejigbo is a town of over 1,000 years in existence. ago but it time of memorial now. Our father, Fadu Onimewon of the Ejigbo Awori started the journey of Ejigbo. We got to know that Ejigbo came from the mighty Ile Ife. And when they came here, they were four in number : Olofin, known as Olofin Funmilere, Aaro, Adeyonbo and Fadu. When they got to Abeokuta in Ogun State, there was a place called Aro where a Psychiatrist Hospital exists today. That was where one of them, Aaro dwelled. After Aaro had dwelled there, the other three marched on. When they got to Isheri in Ojodu Berger, two out of the remaining three : Olorun and Adeyonbo dwelled there and Fadu marched on to Ejigbo here where he found this place.
When he got here in Ejigbo, our forefathers made us know that where he got to was filled with thorns and in Awori language, thorn is referred to as Ewon. So that’s how this place is referred to Imu Ewon and as is was discovered by Fadu, he named the place after his name and it’s called Fadu Onimewon.
He was a hunter, warrior, a herbalist and a very strong man whose name would never be forgotten. He brought about a deity which he also named after his name as OGUN ONIMEWON. Till tomorrow, if people want to appraise our lineage they will say ‘Omo Ogunmewon ti ko se ba fori gba ri’.
” There was an issue then and that’s how to turn the thorny area to a place to reside in as there was nothing like modern mechanization to cut the trees which like I said was filled with thongs. But he did all.
” As time went by, there were people who visited the Mewon area and our forefather, Onimewon deemed it fit for them to dwell here after their request so as to have people to connect with. Visitors like Ageke who came first and Akinsanya Aja also. Fadu Onimewon gave them the opportunity to move and live freely as promised. But when the visitors who also include Agbaka and Ifoshi and others were planning to go into farming, Onimewon told them they can’t do that on his land and he gave them other parts of the Ejigbo land to do their farming and also reside. The people of Ageke were given the Magbayun area, Akinsanya Aja were given the Ilamoshe part, and also people of Agbaka and Ifoshi also got theirs but there was connectivity and friendship between everyone because no one can do things alone.
” There were other visitors like Ijon during the Bawo war. Their place was invaded then. Then, there place was around Ikeja District but right now, it’s under Alimosho Local Government. The people of Ijon were taken in as visitors in the year 1861. In Ejigbo today, you can’t find a land belonging to the people of Ijon because when they came, the lands were already given out to the earlier visitors. They were allowed to dwell in the lands given to the people of Ageke known as Odofin.
Deities worshipped in Ejigbo
” The Onimewon like I said was a herbalist. He made possible virtually all the deities in Yoruba Land in Mewon. These deities are very important because they are part of the things in Mewon . When he came here, he came with Oro, he came with Esu known as Esu Onimewon. He came with Aale, we have the shrine of Alaale. Obatala, Oodua. In fact, he came with virtually all the deities in Yoruba Land when he was coming from Ile Ife. We worship them. Just of recent, we did the Ogun Ile and Ogun Ode, we also did the one of Esu. We have also scheduled the Aale worship which will come soon.
Family and work
When I finished my Primary and Secondary education, I made attempts to go further into the Higher Institution but I couldn’t as at that time, so I went into barbing. Later on, I moved into the film industry and I played roles in some Yoruba movies. In fact, I turned producer. I produced films like : Iwalagba with casts like Yinka Quadri, Taiwo Hassan who is popularly known as Ogogo, Jide Kosoko, Baba Suwe, we all combined well in the film. I also produced Ayomikun. But later, I went back to further my education as a student of Lagos State University and I graduated with B.Sc Public Administration. I was also given a departmental award when I finished. So with that, am an Administrator. But my family wants me to use the knowledge in Administration traditionally. So if am called a Traditional Administrator, it’s acceptable to me.
” Am married, happily married to one wife. My wife is like 12 women because she is very phenomenal.”
Why he is seeking the Elejigbo title now
” In this life, time surrounds everything and there is something directing this life which is unknown to people. My people of Mewon have been given the title of Olori Ebi. But if you look back to history, Fadu Onimewon was the first Elejigbo. So after being given the title, I fetched for details of our real identify in Ejigboland and I was given. Having gotten these details I realised we are kings in Ejigbo and they told me yes. I then asked, why are we not going for our rights and they told me it’s due to oppression as those who have tried to reach that level or say anything about it got killed. And I said, nobody can kill me. If the post rightfully belong to us, I will go for it.”
” On April 30, we had a family meeting and we have the minutes which I can provide anytime and during the meeting, I disclosed my intentions of becoming the King and I was backed up and up till now. I know Ifa Oracle will help me in achieving that because I worship Ifa.
” I recall in the year 1982, my father, Mudashiru Edagbeja made an attempt to become the King but that was thwarted by the visitors we took in which I mentioned earlier. But God has said it’s high time it will happen. So many people in the area want that, the young and aged people are all in line with that. Even the Kingmakers in Ejigbo endorse it. I am also of the Ojon lineage but my mother is from Mewon. But right now, I represent Mewon. The story is that my father’s lineage is trying to bully my mother’s side out of their rights and I want to correct that. Am an activist.
” The people of Ijon were taken in as refugees by the Mewon people. But as it is now, they are appearing ungrateful. They have part of the State. They have their crown. There is a village or a town called Ijon and the Chief of the place is called Ojon. and there is a Supreme Court ruling that testifies to that. Ejigbo people owns Ojon and Ejigbo people carves Ojon. It’s the Elejigbo that makes the Ojon a ruler. The Ojon may be living here because when the issue came up, they began ruling from exile. And there have been two Ojons that ruled and died in Ejigbo. They were governing from the exile from the fear of being attacked.
Legality of his demand
” What am fighting for is legal and not just an endorsement from the people. Am just waiting for their declaration from the government. If not for the fact that traditional rights are now in the hands of the government, I would have been in my crown now. Because back then when there was no politics, so far the people in a community have said they want a person to the throne, he gets to the throne. We have been to court so many times, copied the governor and other political officials and they have let us know that what am fighting for is our rights and it’s legal. We have written letter and petitions to them.
How the Ojon and Elejigbo will co-exist
” There are two kings in Egbe. There are two in Mushin. If am not mistaken, there are about five kings in Abeokuta. I know of Agura, Olowu, Ibara and also Osile. Under these paramount kings there are also kings, under them there are Bales. So there won’t be any problem at all. Moruf Ojoola is my big brother. We are both at Ifoshi. May his kingship reign. So there won’t be any problem. We are both going to carry out our duties in our respective areas.