April - June, 2020
Ijebu-Igbo is one of the major ijebu towns in Ogun State, Nigeria, and it's about 20minutes drive from Ijebu Ode(often regarded as the sister town). The town is traditionally constituted to be headed by a first class Oba and has further division into five "sub town", that is headed by other rulers formerly know as "Oloolu" (Olori Ilu) and later reinstalled as second class Obas, but all under the authority of the Paramount ruler of the town, ORIMOLUSI...
The town is popularly known to be the major producer of the famous "garri ijebu", "ponmo ijebu", and also the holder of the Ojude Oba festive tradition
Although, I surely agree that nothing or no one lasts forever, however, things or position of worth, that holds much stories and values of a 'nation' attached to it should not just turn to nothing.
Yet, it remains a thing of pity for this ancient and great town to suffer two great lacks - DEVELOPMENT and A ROYAL HEAD. The throne of the ORIMOLUSI (Royal Title for the King) has remain vacant ever since the demise of the last Orimolusi - Oba Samuel Adetayo, Ikupakude IV in 1994 - 26years ago - without any replacement or installation of a new king.
Due to the inability of the town to procure a new king to head it's affairs, the Royal Building - Aafin Orimolusi - which was formerly a place of reverence and awe is now a ruin, a hideout for miscreants, and a house for animals. No renovations or maintenance took place on the building.
Severals of the indigenes ascribed the town’s 'snail-like' development to lack of a central figure to unite the people in the last 26 years coupled with the continuous failure of all efforts towards installing the next Orimolusi. Some claimed that the lack of the town to install Orimolusi has made it impossible for the state government to see hastily to the development of the town. They believe that if there had been a King as the Orimolusi, he would have called the attention of the state government to pertinent matters that regards development as well as call the prominent sons of the soil to help the town, in the likes of Adesina Akinwumi of AfDB, Mike Adenuga of Glo, Oba Otudeko of Honeywell Group and many more.
This is absolutely true as the central Oba is needed to provide the leadership and drive required to wake the ancient town up from its socio-economic doldrums and position her on the path of peace, unity and progress given its human and natural potentials.
Alhaji AbdulRazaq Mafoya who is the oldest chief installed in 1991 and made the chairman of Oloritun Council of Ijebu Igbo said "Wicked acts, covetousness and greed of people has been the main cause for the town's unfortunate circumstance of not having a king over the years. There are candidates over the years and some are even dead right now. There are several times the council of Oloritun has sought for a way to resolve the issue and series of unsuccessful and unyielding court proceedings took place. There has been several attempts but the court keep postponing the case till now. I could remember a particular year we kept on going to Ibadan for court proceedings, and was hopeful to have a yielding result but it turned out postponed"
This body of work tries to tell the stories of this town even as it hopes to get the right attention for a change.