History of Ibadan Part 2: How Lagelu founded Ibadan the first time
The history of Ibadan started from the first fact that the name Ibadan was derived from “Eba Odan” meaning the town founded beside Odan = Desert/savanna. Ibadan was founded by a man named Lagelu. He is a warrior in Ile Ife they also Praise him as “Lagelu Oròó àpáta májà”. He is bold courageous and fierce on the war front
How Lagelu left Ile Ife
Suddenly one day, he took his children, wife, and every other thing he could take and left the town Ile Ife just to go and found his own self founded and established town. This kind of a thing Lagelu did is not something to be surprised about as it is a usual way of heroes and great warriors to show strength and mightiness because someone who is not brave and strong enough couldn’t enter a thick evil forest while leaving his people behind, therefore people like Lagelu would go into an uncolonized land and become a town head of their own and that was how Lagelu founded Ibadan. This was also the same time Telu left Ile Ife and founded a new town of his own at Igbo Orita but when it became too uncomfortable, He and his people left to found another place now known as Iwo today. This Telu is the ancestral Grandfather of Oluwo who is the king of Iwo today. This is one of the reasons why most Yoruba historians do say the founders of all the towns in Yoruba land have come from Ile Ife.
This was how Lagelu made his own choice to leave Ile Ife to found Ibadan. Lagelu never named his town when he founded it, the area where he founded it, the environs, and the people who pass by and through the town to and fro gave it a name because this town wasn’t established in the savanna nor the forest but it is between the field/savanna and the forest so people started calling Lagelu ”Olu Eba Odan” which means the ”head of the place along the savanna” and the town itself was called ”Eba Odan” This was how the phrase metamorphosized after the frequent pronunciation of several people from ”Eba Odan” to Ibadan and ”Olu Eba Odan” to ”Olubadan”. So if you observe Ibadan very well, you will see that it is between the rain forest and savanna, neither in the rain forest nor the savanna.
The Location of Where Lagelu Founded Ibadan the for the First Time
Where Lagelu established Ibadan then wasn’t the same place Ibadan it is now, it is about an hour to two hours walk to where Ibadan is today, some elders said it was established along with Awotan market but this time we were talking about has been so long to even be able to spot any sign or landmark to establish the fact about where exactly it was established.
While Lagelu was coming from Ile Ife, he passed through a town/village known as Ejigbo and he betrothed his younger sister to Elejigbo (king of Ejigbo) as a wife. This younger sister of Lagelu had a son with Elejigbo, the name of this son is called AKAASI, After founding and establishing Ibadan and he can have a place to call home, he sent for his sister and they came to settle with him in Ibadan.
After a short while, the town kept growing in economy and population, most of the passersby realized that this place is very comfortable for the residents and most often also started settling there and living with them. People in neighboring towns were also coming there for trading and economic activities because Ibadan was established at an open hilltop topography location and sales move faster than every other town around it. after several years, this town became a big one and one of the biggest in Yoruba land. History said the Population of the people in Ibadan at this time was about 100,000. There were 16 border entries to Ibadan then and that’s why the proverb ”igun merin ni gbogbo ilu ni, merindinlogun ni ti Ibadan.” In the olden days, Ibadan was so big that its iron smith workshops in it were about 70, unlike now when the smithing workshop (Ile Agbede) is not up to 35 and the border entries arent up to ten.
After a short while Lagelu became a Famous man, he was so famous that Sango who was the Alaafin of Oyo then gave him the title of ”Jagun of Yoruba land” which means the Military General of the whole Yoruba Land. This title elevated the status of Lagelu and its town Ibadan because whenever Alaafin want to wage we on any rival town, Lagelu and his Ibadan warriors were going to be the ones to take up the action and fight against such town. At this time, Alaafin is the ruler of the whole Yoruba land including the Ijebu the Egbas, and every other clan or group of Yoruba people. Lagelu is no more a small personality and his wealth and riches grew in multiples. but it was a pity that this great town known as Ibadan got destroyed, dispersed, and went into extinction in less than 100 years after it was established. But before the destruction of this Ibadan town, they had peace, good economy, the people of Ibadan were in good health having food in abundance till their unexpected calamity befell them. Click Next to read what caused the destruction of Ibadan
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