THE IJEBU JESA UNION CONFERENCE (IJUC)
The Ijebu Jesa Union (IJU) is the foremost progressive association in Ijesa land. The IJU motivates the citizens of this community towards self-improvement and provides the forum as well as the wherewithal for progressive planning in all spheres of development one can think of.
In the past and even up till now, it was customary for citizens from ‘up country’ who lived in Lagos to provide the necessary guidance and leadership to other citizens who lived at home or elsewhere up country. So is the case with Ijebu Jesa. A number of citizens who had left Ijebu Jesa to seek greener pastures in Lagos or who had returned from the Gold Coast to stay permanently in Nigeria were found in large numbers in Lagos. They occupied themselves with petty trading or were employed as drivers or clerks in government offices. This was the period of colonial rules in the early twenties through the post war period of the early fifties. These Ijebu Jesa indigenes were therefore dotted over Lagos in areas like Ikeja, Agege, Iju, Ebute-meta and everywhere now known as Lagos State.
They naturally interacted with other citizens from other parts of Nigeria like the Igbos, the Egbas, the Ijebus to mention a few. The urge to improve their fatherland was therefore burning in them. A few of them held informaldiscussions on ways and means of improving their beloved home town, Ijebu Jesa, and these discussion groupslater transformed into what we have since known as IJU.
The birth of the IJU could be traced back to 1919 in the house of Pa S.O Olaleye, a tailor by profession. It is on record that Pa Olaleye felt so committed to the development and progress of his fatherland, Ijebu Jesa that he put his house at No. 5, Ibadan Street, Ebute-Metta to the full use of the IJU. Members were therefore free to visit this house at anytime of the day to hold informal discussions on the welfare of their home town. Any newcomer from home to Lagos would naturally be welcomed in No. 5 Ebute-Metta and could stay there for as long as he wished until he could get permanent accommodation. Such newcomers were assured of free meals and free lodging. To any Ijebu Jesa citizens. Pa Olaleye’s house and later Pa D.B Aloba’s house and Pa S.A Fatiregun’s house were regarded as ‘a home in Lagos’ to where they were welcome at any time and day.
The IJU was therefore founded for the welfare of the founding fathers and for the overall progress of Ijebu Jesa, their fatherland. Among the members who attended the inaugural meeting were Messrs D.B Aloba, S.O Olaleye, D.O Ogundare, J.K Awoyinfa, M.S Aloba and J.A Yiolokun. Others were J.E Fasakin, J.O Fademi, I.O Fajuyigbe, S.D Faleru, S.O Farotimi, T.O Ojo, J.O Ajanaku and S.A Fatiregun.
Meetings were held twice a month, and a sum of 6d was subscribed by each member every month. Pa S.O Olaleye and D.B Aloba were appointed as Chairman and Vice Chairman respectively. There was no attempt at this initial stage to appoint a Secretary or other officers like the Treasurer, Financial Secretary and so on as we have in full-fledged associations. Membership dwindled because many of them found it difficult to pay the 6d monthly levy.
Many of the members were daily paid labourers earning 6d a day; a number of the members were also unemployed and this state of affairs affected the Union so much that total disintegration set in 1922. An accident which happened in 1923 provided another opportunity for some members of the ‘defunct’ IJU to regroup and revive the Union for the second time. On this occasion, one Mr Elijah Ola, a tailor, died in his residence in Ago Egba in Ebute-Metta. All Ijebu Jesa indigenes met at Iju Water-works in Pa P. Otubu’s house to give the deceased a befitting burial. At the end of the funeral ceremony, all members retired to Pa D.B Aloba’s house at 8, Ondo Street, Ebute-Metta where the Union was re-inaugurated and formally given the name Ijebu Jesa Union’s (IJU).
The under listed are past and present Presidents and Secretaries of IJUC:
|Late Pa D.B Aloba||Late Pa D.B Awe/ Late Pa S.A Fatiregun||
|Late Pa S.A Fatiregun||Late Pa D.B Awe||1937 -1978|
|Late Pa M.A Ola||Pa D.O Faboro||1978 -1981|
|Late Pa F.O Fatiregun||Mr J.O.S Dairo||1981-1984|
|Late Pa J.O Agunsoye||Late Pa D.B Owojuyigbe||1984 -1991|
|Late Pa D.B Agunbiade||Late Pa D.B Owojuyigbe||1991-1996|
|Barr. Tunde Olashore||Pa Bisi Oderinde||1996 -2013|
|Chief Yemi Olukiran||Mr Yemi Ayeni||2013 – 2019|
|Engr. Oluwagbemiga Abudiore||Prince ‘Kunle Adeniyi||2019 till date|
SOURCE: ÌJÈBÚ-JÈSÀ THE AUTHENTIC HISTORY (ÌJÈBÚ-ÈGBÒRÒ, City Set On The Hill) Researched by: Rev. (Dr.) G.O. ÈKÉMODÉ J. Olásebìkan ÒNÍ Chief Victor A. FÁTÍRÈGÚN Chief P.O. OLÁTÚNBÒSÚN Edited and Updated by: Babáníyì BABÁTÓPÉ ÌJÈBÚ-JÈSÀ UNIONS CONFERENCE (IJUC) 2013