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Monday, June 21, 2021

OLUPOSHIP: All Eyes on Ajase-Ipo Kingmakers (Part I)

The reign of late Oba Sikiru Atanda Sanni, Woleola II, the Olupo of Ajase-Ipo who reigned between December 22, 2009 and February 22, 2020 (eleven years and two months exactly has become history in the ancient town of Ajase-Ipo.

According to archival records, the last time the “Woleola” ruling house had the royal stool before Oba Atanda Sanni was in 1861 and lasted till 1886 (25 years) that is about 135 years ago. Which means that if the immediate past Olupo did not emerge from Woleola Ruling House in 2009, the House would have been excised completely from the royal linage.

Documentary records reveal that between 1400 and 1765 there were 67 Olupos who reigned at different times and different settlements. The record specifically identifies Olupo Seji 1400 to the reign of Olupo Adeoba Dallas 1765. The present Ajase-Ipo emerges after the Nupe war titled “Ogun eje san wo do” at Gbagede (very close to Ilala) where many people died in 1750. The then reigning Olupo and his people therefore deserted Gbagede and relocated to the present Ajase-Ipo.

Archival records mentioned Olupo Ibitoye Adeyemi Adeoba as the first Olupo in the present day Ajase –Ipo. Olupo Adeoba reigned between 1765 and 1778. It was noted that Olupo Adeoba had no male descent. After the demise of Ibitoye, his younger brother, Igboribido Oyebola Adeoba became the second Olupo in Ajase-Ipo. The new Olupo reigned between 1778 and 1820. Igboribido left behind three princes in the following order: Olalemi Ariyibi, Oyefiola Alebiosu and Oyekan Woleola. The three are the Ruling Houses on record from then till date.

The immediate past Olupo is a descendant of Oyekan Woleola as earlier mentioned. The family first reigned between 1861 and 1886 and was the 5th crowned Olupo in Ajase-Ipo. The royal succession of Olupoship among the three first generation princes was fair and just because the trio benefited accordingly. But the story changed after the demise of the 5th Olupo, that was Olupo Woleola I in 1886.

The fact remains that after the demise of Woleola I, the royal stool was completely taken over and placed under the control of Oyefiola Alebiosu descendants. It was reliably gathered from one of the oldest Chiefs in Ajase-Ipo, who claimed anonymity that the royal dominance of Alebiosu is as a result of Olupo Oyefiola Alebiosu who had over seventy children while over fifty were male.

It is on record that from the 6th to the 11th Olupo, they were all produced by the Alebiosu Ruling House. For instance, after Woleola I, Ibrahim Oniro Alebiosu reigned between 1886 and 1908 as the 6th Olupo.Ahmodu Atoloye Alebiosu became the 7th Olupo and reigned between 1908 and 1926.

The 8th Olupo was Kadiri Ariganjoye Alebiosu, who reigned between 1926 and 1936. Similarly, the 9th Olupo was Lawal Arojojoye Alebiosu, who reigned between 1938 and 1960.

The 10th Olupo was Dauda Ariwajoye Alebiosu, who reigned for six months 1950-1951. While Olupo Orimadegun Alebiosu reigned between 1951 and 1970 and was the 11th Olupo in Ajase-Ipo.Olupo Kadiri Adesina Ariyibi broke the dominance of Alebiosu Ruling House and ruled just for three months in 1970. After the demise of Ariyibi who briefly ruled for three months, Alebiosu continued as usual on the throne. Olupo Saliu Alao Alebiosu rule from 1970 to 1996.

In what looks like submerging  and subjugating  the other two Ruling Houses, Olupo Omowarere Alebiosu also emerged and ruled between 2000 and 2009.

There came a wind of change after Olupo Omowarere, a descendant of Olupo Woleola miraculously emerged among the numerous Alebiosu candidates. Olupo Sikiriu Atanda Sanni became the King on the 22nd of December, 2009 and joined his ancestors on 22nd day of February, 2021.

Without mincing words, Alebiosu Ruling House  produced nine Olupo, in a near uninterrupted and in succession, while Ariyibi and the Woleola ruling Houses have produced just two each in what could be considered as unfair distribution by the kingmakers among the three ruling houses.

If there was no justice, fairness and equity in the past by the then Ajase Ipo Kingmakers and chiefs in the selection of previous Olupos to the royal stool, will the social injustice continue in this millennium? If the kingmakers do otherwise to the relegated house like the Ariyibi Ruling House, do you think the Royal House will not seek redress at the appropriate quarters? Will such augur well for the kingmakers and the community at this time?

All Eyes Are on the Ajase Ipo Kingmakers in the selection of a new Olupo.

(to be continued)

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