HISTORY OF IBADAN PART 37: WARS FOUGHT DURING THE REIGN OF LATOOSA
There were so many wars during the time of this Aare and this should surprise no one because the Aare title is a title for warriors.
Here is the list of wars during the Life of Latoosa as Aare Ona Kakanfo
1. Ogun Ado (Ado war), Emure, and the first Ogedengbe war (ogun ogedengbe kini) in the year 1874
2. Ogun Eletu – 1876
3. Igbe Igbin war and Atadi war (Ogun Atadi) in the year 1877
4. Osiele war (Igbe esinele) in the year 1878
5. Middle Jalumi war (Ogun Jalumi Laarin) 1878 to 1879
6. Ekiri Parapo war also known as Ogun Kiriji (Ogun ekiti Parapo tabi ogun Kiriji)
Note: A war that lasted below 5 days is called ”Igbe” in Yoruba
The story of Osiele war (Ogun Osiele) and Jalumi in 1878
We can’t go without mentioning the story of these two wars because of a lot of chaos and situations that came out of it, as well it was in this war that the Ekiti Papapo conspiracy sprang up and it didn’t end until the white people came to settle it for them in the year 1893.
At the return of the Igbin war in (1877), Balogun Ogboriefon told Aare Latoosa that ”Abeokuta ki i see ilu ti A ma Baja ti a o pada lojo keta” which means ” Abeokuta is not the type of town that we would go to war with and would come back on the third day, it is the type of town that we will have to establish a military base and stay fighting them for about a year or two till they are absolutely defeated and as well, if we are going shortly and coming back at short time interval like we are doing, a lot of lives will be getting lost because there wouldn’t be time and space to take care of of the injured ones and fatality rate will increase. (Ogboriefon said this because he doesn’t use slaves to fight wars, his battalion is full of young men of the town and he doesn’t want anything that will cost their lives uselessly) but the Aare refused to take to his advice and said going and going back after each fight is what he wants it.
After sometimes, it was time to wage the Osiele war, and the chiefs and army of Ibadan gathered, Balogun (Ogboriefon) said, My lord, it is time for you to declare this war and give us the go-ahead, Aare responded: I am not ready, Balogun told him again and said ” my lord, declare this war for us so we can go ahead and fight it, Aare responded again and said ”i am not ready, my armies aren’t here yet”. Balogun asked ” when I your Balogun (army commander) is here, which other warriors or armies are you still waiting for?, Aare said ”Ayikiti”. This Ayikiti is the name of the Balogun of Ife and Modakeke, from this gathering a lot of the Ibadan chiefs and top warriors started murmuring and grieving silently, they conspired against the Aare that when they got to war, they were not going to fight and they were going to leave the war into the hands of Aare and the Ife people which Aare called his warriors
Not long after this, the Ife and Modakeke army which he called his army arrived, They declared the war, Aare himself went to this war and when they got to the the war front they Balogun and other Ibadan key warriors weren’t fighting, they left it all to Aaare and the Ife and modakeke that he relied on. Aare and his people fought hard but they couldn’t do it alone. the Egba retreated but the war claimed the lives of a lot of Ife and Ekiti, several town took part in the war with Ibadan because they took Ibadan as their lord, Political and military headquarter, the disagreement between the Ibadan people gave the Egba the chance to win the war.
When these armies from various towns got to their respective towns, they were all surprised that Ibadan couldn’t even defeat a small town like Abeokuta, ”so Ibadan is not stronger than this”, they sprang up and grew confident, they all went ahead to kill the protectorate governors(Ajele) Ibadan has imposed on them and were waiting for Ibadan to react.|
Ogedengbe gathered the Ijesha, he became their Balogun, he and Arimoro face Igbajo, Ekiti Ila and Omu ganged up and allied with Ijesha, they got ready for fights against the Ibadan. Ayikiti the Balogun of Ife that Latoosa was waiting for which caused the problem for Ibadan was gathered Igbara and Ifewara people and ganged them up against Modakeke who remained loyal and sovereign to Ibadan, while Ilorin waylaid Offa and Ikirun
Let us pay some attention to the conspiracy, hatred, chaos, enmity, and betrayal this single statement from Aare Latoosa has caused, look at the gang up that has happened, Ife, Ijesha, Ekiti, Ilorin, Egba, Ijebu, they all ganged up against a single town (Ibadan).
Immediately this news got to Aare Ona Kakanfo(Latoosa), the fight they have among themselves(Aare Latoosa and other Ibadan chiefs) disappeared immediately and in the same week, Balogun Ogboriefon and other chiefs behind him stood up, Aare himself didn’t divide his men into two, Ilori the son of Ogunmola and his own people faced the people of Ilorin, Ogboriefon and other chiefs faced Ijesha, Ekiti, and Ife; but on the first day of the fight, the people of Ilorin captured Ilori the son of Ogunmola and they carried him away. when the Aare heard this, he announced to others that ” oh my people Ilori alone has defeated the people of Ilorin”, when they heard this, they were incited and gained more motivation to fight out of anger, they were saying to themselves, how could a single chief be more powerful than them all, they fought passionately and defeated their enemies, immediately they got the first victory, without rest, Aare told them that the Ilorin People have captured Ilori, from there, they headed towards Ilorin to invade them, there was no noise, no drums till they got to the entrance of Ilorin because they want to capture them in gatherings and in big numbers, as well Balogun has sent a number of people to go and fall the bridge on Otin river, (Odo Otin) so that the Ilorin people won’t have the chance to run away.
Immediately they entered Ilorin, they started drumming to war songs singing: ”Ke mo for sole, Iku de” which means death has come to you, if you like hit your head on the wall, it won’t save you”. When Ilorin people heard this, they went cold because they were caught unaware and they are met unprepared. They thought only the Ilori they captured came to war, unknown to them that there are more Ibadan people yet to be defeated. They started rushing to escape, climbing their horses at the stables and tried to run away but what happened? Ibadan people pounced on them and killed many of them, the ones trying to run away couldn’t escape because the Ibadan people have fallen the bridge over the river and most of them drowned in the river because they were trying to cross the river with the horses, the people who drowned are more than the people killed, it was during this that the Ilorin people just killed Ilori
After Balogun has defeated the Ilorin people, he returned to defeat the rest of the Ekiti that are still left, he conquered Ila, Omu, Igbajo, Otan, Iresi, Iragbiji, and several other towns, Ogboriefon was almost bringing all the towns under Ekiti and Ijesha to their knees for Ibadan so they will never be able to attack Ibadan again forever, that was when another conspiracy sparked among them, the historians reported that Ali Laluwoye who was the Otun sent a secret envoy to deliver a message to Are, advising Are to call Balogun back because if Ogboriefon is able to capture Ekiti and the small towns surrounding it, he is going to get a lot of war loot and gains and will be wealthier than Aare, he emphasized Aare will find it hard to control him if he let that happen.
When Aare heard this, he sent a message to Balogun to return home, but Ogboriefon sent a message back to the Aare that he should let him crush them totally because if he dares leave them halfway defeated without appointing an Ibadan minister to rule them (Ajele) and as well give them laws, and orders, they will spring up again to become invincible (Ageku ejo ti soro bi agbon).
Aare sent a message to him again that ”if I am the one who sent you to this war, come back home now, that was how Balogun came back home and left the aggrieved enemies uncrushed, Balogun Ogboriefon almost hasn’t gotten home when the Ekiti and Ijesha people reinforced, they ganged up against Ibadan and came back stronger as the Balogun has said, they couldn’t defeat them. When Balogun Ogboriefon got home, Aare looked at the war gains and loots and realized that those things are really many and expensive, he concluded if he had let him acquired more, the Balogun would have made more wealth and power and he will be out of his control. The elders concluded the Aare gave Ogbloriefon a poisoned Kolanut at a gathering and he died days after eating the Kolanut. that was how this great Balogun (Chief of Army) died. The Ekiti Parapo war started while he was alive but he couldn’t follow them because of a complicated illness that no one could explain its cause with crystal clarity.