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stories and histories A SHORT HISTORY OF IKOLE EKITI

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Adeyemi Olajide » A Short History of Ikole Ekiti

A Short History of Ikole Ekiti:
IKOLE-EKITI, Is the Headquarters of the old Ikole District Council, the defunct Ekiti North Division and the Headquarters of defunct Ekiti North Local Government and now Headquarter of Ikole Local Government. Ikole is about 65 kilometres from Ado, the capital of Ekiti State of Nigeria. The town is situated on a very plain and well-drained land on the northern part of the State – about 40 kilometres from the boundary of Kwara State.
Ikole or Akole as it was originally called was founded by AKINSALE, one of the princes of Oduduwa, the progenitor of all the Yorubas, who migrated from Ile-Ife. Oduduwa blessed 16 of them at first, Akinsale being one of them, and sent them out according to his plan.
When Akinsale arrived on the present site of Ikole, he met the Asolo of Isolo who was living there with his people. This is why up till today, one of the cognomens (oriki) of Asolo is "Omo alale kere" meaning is the son of the owner of the land an important person. This oriki still refers to Asolo as the original owner of the land on which Akinsale who later became the ruler of Ikole settled.
Akinsale and his people first settled at Erijiyan near the Yeye stream. Later, legends say, the goddess of Yeye stream killed four out of the five wives of Akinsale on the charge that the (Akinsale’s wives) broke the calabash of her children. This led Akinsale and his people to move to OWA-OBAAFO at the present Idemo Quarter where he built the first palace. After some time at Owa-Obaafo, he moved to the present Aafin Elekole where he built the second and permanent palace.
Having arrived on the present site of the Elekole’s Aafin, he sent to his father to send to him rituals which he would perform in order to prosper where he intended to build his permanent house. An “Odu” – OSETURA – was sent with instruction that he should build the house on it. Legends say that in addition, Obalufon and his priests (the Iworos) plus 239 other deities were sent to him at first. Akinsale was not satisfied with this number until additional 120 were sent to make 360 (IJIDINRINWO). The significance of the number is that in those days a festival was performed a day in honour of each deity until a whole year rolled by. That was why it was a common saying in those days:
Edumare ti o mu egungun fun Ado, ti o fi Sango fun Ibadan oun ni o mu ojidinrinwo irumole fun Egbe-Oba
Meaning . Olodumare who gave the Ado masqurades, gave the Ibadan Sango, it was he who gave the Egbe-Oba (Ikole District) 360 deities to worship.
Legends say that the name ELEKOLE was derived from two sources: Firstly that after obtaining the consent of his father to build a house, Akinsale was given the title “ALAKOLE’’ meaning he who built on the authority sent by his father (the Odu Osetura) sent to him from Ile-Ife by Oduduwa his father. Secondly, that because he was not satisfied with the 240 deities first given to him until additions were made (AKOLE), he was nicknamed ALAKOLE” meaning he who adds more to what he is given originally. The name AKOLE was given to the settlement over which he reigned. As years rolled by, the name of his settlement was changed from AKOLE TO IKOLE and his title was also changed from ALAKOLE to ELEKOLE. Legends say that these happened when Akinsale came from Ikole Orun ...Ikole of Heaven meaning ..Ile-Ife to Ikole Aye (Ikole on Earth) meaning the permanent settlement of Akinsale after leaving Ile-Ife.
Legends also say that the Odu Ifa sent to Akinsale upon which to build his permanent settlement was OSETURA. The aim of this was to make him (Akinsale) a conqueror over his enemies in any contest. This, legends say, was the reason why Ikole was able to beat both the Benins and the Nupes back when they respectively came to attack her. This, again, was the reason why Ikole was the last place to be attacked by the Ibadan.
Being the last place to be attacked by the Ibadan before the end of the ravaging Ibadan campaigns, Ikole was nicknamed ... Apasiwo-ise Ibadan, meaning the last place of Ibadan’s campaign.
Before the series of wars the Elekole had a very wide empire which covered about 165 towns and villages. This was the time when the Elekole was regarded as, o soko Ekiti soko Akoko, meaning the overlord of Ekitis and Akokos.
When the Ekiti Council for members of the Ekiti Confederacy PELUPELU was established in 1921, the name of the Elekole of Ikole was the first on the list of all Ekiti Obas and was thus the President of the Council. His name was followed by that of Oore of Otun, though the administrative Headquarters of the then Ekiti Division was at Ado-Ekiti.
Edumare Jọwọ, Bawa Da Gbogbo Ọmọ Ekiti Si, Ati Gbogbo Awọn Ọrẹ wọn O:
Àmín-Àsẹ O°˚˚°.
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