History of Ibadan Part 16 : Wars during Oluyole's reign (The first Ijaye War with Kurunmi)

History of Ibadan 34: The reign of Baale Orowusi, the first Ibadan Baale to impose Tax

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History of Ibadan: The reign of Baale Orowusi, the first Ibadan Baale to impose Tax

After returning from Ijesa was when Orowusi became the Baale, Orowusi is from Ogbagba town and the war profession brought him to Ibadan just like his colleagues.

His position was not influential during the time of Oluyole, but he started progressing and becoming more powerful in the time off during the time of Olugbode. He was the ”Ekerin Balogun” as at then, 4th in command to the Army commander or Warlord. During Ogunmola’s reign, he became Asipa Balogun in the time of Bashorun Ogunmola, and from this position did he became the Baale in 1870 A.D

Orowusi is the first Baale that will be paid homage or celebrated by the Christians during his coronation, all the Christians went to his house and Orowusi also welcomed them well. No clear records about wining and dining.

Orowusi is the first King in Ibadan that they sang ”Ko Olorun Gba Oba La” song for, the first verse of the song goes thus;

Olorun gboba la
Orowusi Baale wa
Ni Ibadan
Ko fun unni isegun
Ola ati ogo
Kosipe Loroye
Gboba wa la

Here is the list of the chiefs of Ibadan during the reign of Orowusi as the Baale;
Ajobo : Balogun
Latosa : Otun
Ajayi Ogboriefon : Osi Balogun
Ali Laluwoye : Asipa Balogun
Lawoyin : Seriki
Solalu : Otun Seriki
Adeniji : Osi Seriki
Femiwa : Otun Baale
Tajo :Osi Baale
Fijabi: Agbaakin

It is a very surprising thing that there Is no war during the time of this Baale but there are conspiracies

Conspiracies during the time of Baale Orowusi

There was only one Conspiracy during the time of Baale Orowusi, this conspiracy is known as ”Tembelekun Ajobo” It is a coup d’état Conspiracy against Ajobo

This conspiracy started from June to August 1871, Balogun Ajobo is from Ikire, and war profession (Ijaadi) brought him to Ibadan just like his fellow.

Ajobo shined for the first time during the time of Ogunmola as the Baale, and he became Seriki, it was from this title that he was promoted to Balogun during the time of Baale Awarun also known as Baale Orowusi

One of the things that made other chiefs conspire against Ajobo was that he is older than other chiefs, he is richer and even richer than the Baale himself, wealthier than every other person in the leadership cycle. Ajobo has got more slaves and he is very popular throughout the whole Yoruba Land such that, people almost don’t even know if there is any other person in Ibadan apart from Ajobo

Ajobo is as generous as much as he is wealthy, he can give people the best hospitality and he Organizes feasts for everyone every 5 days and no one would get to his house without eating. This generosity also boosts his wealth and made him richer, because all the towns under Ibadan’s control abandoned their Balogun and are pledging their allegiance because if they bring to him harvests that are worth 1000, he would pay them 5000, this actually made these small towns love him more than other chiefs who are fond of only taking from them without for once giving them anything in return. Taking the control and loyalty of these small towns in Ibadan territory and making the sons of other chiefs be on his side all times also aggravated the conspiracy.

The second factor that added to Ajobo’s Problem and made the relationship between him and others and chiefs to fall apart was the extreme hypes and praises that his enemies were praising him in a way that cites disrespect to the King/Baale. The third factor that escalated the conspiracy was that Ajobo himself was ignorantly supporting these sycophants and he started behaving arrogantly towards them, he also started doing solely the things the whole town should have done collectively without seeking the approval of others.

Historians said when this conspiracy just started, an Owa of Ilesa(King of Ilesha) died and Ibadan should be involved before they choose another king, The reason for this is that Ilesha is a powerful and reputable town but after the war during Akere’s time, they have remained under Ibadan as Ibadan territory. After the death of this Owa of Ilesha, they notified Ajobo and he chose someone for them as the new King without consulting other chiefs neither did he even consult the Baale. Other chiefs arranged for the Killing of his Kingship candidate on their way to Ilesha, they killed his messenger that was accompanying his chosen king too, that was when Ajobo realized there is a big problem.

After 6months they showed him publicly that they are aggrieved with him and they asked him to leave the town or commit suicide and till then he shouldn’t come to any gathering of the chiefs again.

After some time, Ajobo couldn’t take it anymore then he started pleading with them, he went round to ask all other kings in their surroundings like Alaafin, Awujale, Aseyin, Alake, and so on to beg the Baale of Ibadan(Orowusi) and chiefs on his behalf. Ajobo gave several gifts to the chiefs and promised never to do what will offend them again and they accepted his plea.

When it is a day before the next meeting for finalizing the reconciliation, one of the chiefs stood up in the middle of the night and called the attention of the rest of them to the fact that Ajobo is powerful and fetish, he remembered them of how he used Bante (Magical belt) to kill Balogun Akere by prostrating for him with the bante on, he let them know that at the end of the plea and reconciliation the next morning, he is going to prostrate for them just like he did for Akere and Akere died, therefore, Ajobo is going to kill you all he said to them. All of them were scared when they heard this and changed their decision, they sent for Ajobo to leave the town by force while rejecting all his pleas.

Ajobo was tired and couldn’t take it anymore, even though some people were advising him to turn it into a fight and cause crisis but he wasn’t bold enough to do that, His slaves were also angry at him for not fighting and they switched to the Chiefs side (his opponents) withdrawing supports for him. After thinking about it several, he decided to leave the town for them.

On the 5th of August 1871 was when Ajobo left Ibadan with a dress, a horse, and a single unit of everything he has just like he was instructed because that was the law then Anybody that is sent from town cannot take everything he has away from the town no matter how rich and wealthy he is.

When Ajobo was going, he went to Baale Orowusi’s house to hand over the staff of war to him and he met the Baale in front of his house early in the morning, he greeted, prostrated for the Baale and gave the Baale the war staff. A lot of people think this prostration he did for Baale was why the Baale died untimely because the Baale died in the same month Ajobo left.

That was the end of Ajobo’s conspiracy, Ajobo left for Ijebu Igbo after he left Ibadan and he died there. Just like the word of the Holy book, you reap what you sow, hadn’t been Ajobo killed Akere with any Bante/Onde incident, the chiefs would have accepted his plea and his life wouldn’t have ended that way.

On the day Ajobo was going, The town appointed Seriki Lawoyin to trace him, Lawoyin is one of Ajobo’s favorite, Ajobo made him the Seriki he is today. The cloth he wore, the horse he rode and everything on him that day is courtesy of Ajobo.

Ajobo’s son Adesina was banished from the town 5 days after his father was sent out, his properties were scattered and legacies shattered, many of his wealth went into Latoosa’s house, since then there they haven’t bestowed any member of Ajobo’s family any good title, and this was the reason why any Chief that was conspired against prefer to die than to leave the town.

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