A Brief History of  Ìjèbú-Jèsà

J. O. ONI

ÌJÈBÚ-JÈSÀ

Ijebu-Jesa is one of the largest towns in Ijeshaland in the present day Osun State of Nigeria. It ranks next to Ilesha in terms of historical significance, size and population. It lies about nine kilometres east of Ilesha. It is the headquarters of the Ijesha North Federal Constituency. When the Ijesha North District Council was created, Ijebu-jesa became its headquarters. When the District Council was transformed into Obokun Local Government in 1976, Ijebu-Jesa remained its headquarters. Later in 1991 the same area was split into two Local Governments, Oriade Local Government with Ijebu¬Jesa as headquarters and Obokun Local Government with Ibokun as headquarters. All through history, therefore, Ijebu-Jesa retained her position as the headquarters, hence it is the principal Local Government headquarters of Ijesha North.

Ijebu-Jesa consists of a large expanse of land sharing boundaries with Ilesha and Yara-Igbo, Ibokun, Efon-Alaaye and Erin Ijesha. The main town consists of twelve quarters some of which include Odo-ese, Okenisa, Iloro, Odo-Oja, Odo-Afin, Ireakari, Ogbeje, Odogo, Irepodun and Oke-Eriru. Ijebu-Jesa also has over twenty-three settlements, villages and small towns surrounding it with Ijebu-Jesa as headquarters. Some of the small towns and villages include:

Igede, Ijiku, Odo-Eki, Oke-Ogun, Ojumu, Edidu, Yeye-lara, Onigi-meje, Orisunbare, Onireke, Oja-nla, Eti-oni, Arunko, Inila, Oke-Agbon, Oke-soro, Orodunsin, Asanpa, Ekemode/Iragbiji, Risunla, Olomu, Aba-Adegboyega, Aba Abogan, Aba Aworo, Aba Osimo, Itake, Aba-bada, Agbegan. The main town with its twelve quarters and the surrounding towns and villages of Ijebu-Jesa constitute Ijebu-Jesaland or Egboroland. The area has a population of over 77,000.

First Home in Ile-Ife

This is the history of two brothers, children of two of the wives of Oduduwa. Moremi Akesan gave birth to Agigiri who later established Ijebu-Jesa. Pabiorunja gave birth to Ajibogun 30 days later. Agigiri was therefore the senior brother. Pabiorunja died three months after the birth of Ajibogun. Moremi Akesan therefore had to nurse Ajibogun with the same breast with which she nursed her own son Agigiri. Hence in some historical accounts, both children were said to be of one mother. Legends have it that Ajibogun and Agigiri were very close during their life time. They did all things in common even at adulthood. When their father was becoming old he became blind. The Ifa worshippers consulted the oracle and it was revealed that he would regain his sight if certain ingredients including among others sea-water and the pod of palm kernels could be procured. Ajibogun and his brother Agigiri went for the sea water through Ijebu-Ode and got it from Eleke near Epe where the Awujale of ljebuland then Obanita, worshipped the sea annually. The brothers collected the water and brought it home to Ile-Ife. Their father was treated and he regained his sight.

Source:
50 Years of Ijebu-Jesa Social Club (IJSC) in IJebu-Jesa History.
A 50th Anniversary Publication of IJSC
Edited By: Professor Akin 'Femi Fajola & Dele Ogunyemi
First Published 2005