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With in-depth consultations and thorough consideration of the references given below, I Adebisi Jeleel Adekunle has written in this summarized version, what I thought is the correct issue related to the monarchs of Osogbo in Osun State. The history of Osogbo dated back to the 1670s. To start from a reasonable point, one must start the history of this noble land with where and generations of people that take it to where it is today. Owa Laage was the 6th Owaroki of Ipole Omu. He gave birth to three children who were Lajomo (the eldest), Larooye and Sogbodede (the youngest). Lajomo succeeded his father as the 7th Owaroki of Ipole Omu. When he died, Larooye, his younger brother succeeded him as the 8th Owaroki of Ipole Omu. During the reign of Larooye, the town experienced drought which lasted for a long period. A hunter from Oyo (Olutimehin) who was an acquaintance of Larooye on one of his hunting expeditions on instruction of his friend, discovered a stream and immediately rushed down to Ipole Omu to inform Larooye of his discovery. When he was told, Larooye immediately proceeded to the stream with him which is now popularly called Osun River in the present day Osogbo and confirmed Olutimehin’s discovery. Larooye made series of consultations and divinations and when the results/revelations favoured the migration of his kingdom to the newly discovered settlement, he decided to move his territory. He moved to Osogbo with his younger brother Sogbodede while the descendant of Lajomo refused to move with Larooye to Osogbo. This is why none of the descendant of Lajomo has ever become Ataoja of Osogbo because their father never ruled in Osogbo. Hence, Larooye became the first traditional ruler (1st Ataoja of Osogbo) in 1670 and ruled for a period of 90 years until his death in 1760. He had no son but only begot a daughter called Abogbe who married an Offa man called Oyejin Lokuso and they gave birth to Matanmi. On the demise of Larooye, his younger brother Sogbodede became the 2nd Ataoja of Osogbo and ruled for 20years between 1760 and 1780. Sogbodede begot Aina Serebu and Oyelekan. Aina Serebu succeeded his father as the 3rd Ataoja of Osogbo and ruled between 1780 and 1810 spanning a period of 30years.
Aina Serebu begot two children namely Obodebewa and Gbeemu. After the demise of Aina Serebu, Oyelekan’s child called Adeyinka had some confrontations with Gbeemu over succession rights to the Ataoja stool and this snowballed into a royal crisis. In the bid to douse the crisis, Abogbe (the only child of Larooye) who was a female, was chosen (since Larooye has no son) and was appoint the first regent of Osogbo. She spent 2years between 1810 and 1812. When Abogbe passed on, the crisis was still on and Obodebewa (daughter of Aina Serebu) was appointed again as a regent in 1812. She was there as regent until her death in 1815. Ojolalele (Obodebewa’s husband) was a hunter and farmer. He designated his brother, Lahanmi (Progenitor of Oyipi royal family) to look after his wife the regent (Obodebewa) at the palace while he was away on his farming and hunting expeditions. Lahanmi, a craftsman, treacherously approached the then Alaafin of Oyo and told him that he had discovered a scheme by which Ijesa properties would be appropriated by Oyo. He requested to be crowned as the substantive Oba of Osogbo. His head was shaved as a mark of installation as a king and was escorted by army of Oyo to Osogbo where he enthroned himself as the new Ataoja and drove Obodebewa into exile. Note that some references have it that Lahanmi was Obodebewa’s husband and she transferred her title to him in the consent of the kingmakers and the people of the town. In protest against this ascension to the throne by Lahanmi, the princes of Osogbo impounded the royal crowns and other paraphernalia of office such that four successors/children of Lahanmi who successively reigned as Ataoja of Osogbo never wore crowns. According to the second reference, Alaafin of Oyo-Ile then, Sango was trying to protect people of Osogbo from the Ijesa – the first king of Osogbo came from a place around Ijesaland as shown in the figure below. During the reign of oyipi, some of the Matanmi family were given chance to be the Ataoja of Osogbo. Oladejobi Oladele Matanmi I ruled in 1854 – 1864 while the time of Atanda Olukaye Olugbeja Matanmi II was in 1903 – 1917. Then in 1920, the entire people of Osogbo rose against the Lahanmi (also known as Oyipi) forceful successors to the throne of Ataoja of Osogbo and insisted that a person from the royal lineage and rightful heirs to the stool be installed as the Ataoja of Osogbo. Consequent to the above, the descendant of both Larooye and Sogbodede held a meeting for the purposes of resolving the crisis. It was then resolved among the contending 2
families (Lahanmi, Matanmi and Sogbodede) that ascension to the throne will be rotated between two groups: the first group being Lahanmi/Matanmi representing the female section (since both are from Abogbe and Obodebewa) while the second group was the Sogbodede (Sogbo) group representing the male section. It was then resolved that Sogbo ruling house being the only male section/descendant should produce the next Ataoja. The only royal families categorized under Sogbo ruling house are Oluawo-Oba and Gbeemu. Lahanmi/Matanmi represented the female section on the basis that Matanmi ascended the throne through Abogbe (the only daughter of Larooye) and that Lahanmi ascended the throne through Obodebewa (another female from Sogbodede) As a result of the resolution, Kolawole Alabi (a great grant child of Sogbodede) was subsequently installed from the male section in 1920. He passed away in 1933. Then Samuel Oyedokun (from Lahanmi/Matanmi, female section) ascended the throne of Ataoja. After Oyedokun, another descendant of Sogbodede in person of Samuel Adeleye Adenle ascended the throne in 1944 from male section. When Adenle passed on in 1975, Iyiola Oyewale Matanmi III ascended the throne in 1976 on platform of Lahanmi/Matanmi (female section). He reigned until 2010 when Allah took his soul. In or about 1957, the custom and tradition regulating the selection and installation of Ataoja was codified into chieftaincy declaration and the Chieftaincy Declaration of 1957 was made which created two ruling houses in accordance with the existing custom. These were Lahanmi/Matanmi Ruling House and Sogbodede Ruling House, wrongly described as Laro ruling house representing the male descendant. During the reign of Oba Oyewale Matanmi, the Amended Chieftaincy Declaration of 2005 was made which created five houses namely: Matanmi, Laro, Oyipi, Lajomo and Sogbo. This particular declaration of 2005 does not reflect the true custom and tradition regarding the selection to the throne of Ataoja. If the current declaration is compared with the previous one of 1957, there is a wide disparity. Lajomo has never being a ruling house under the custom and tradition regarding the selection to the throne of Ataoja of Osogbo. Matanmi and Oyipi hail from the female ruling house (Lahanmi/matanmi). Laro is already a wrongly used name for the male ruling house (Sogbo).
A CHART SHOWING THE PAST ATAOJA OF OSOGBO
Owa Laage (6th Owaroki of Ipole Omu)
Lajomo (7th Owaroki of Ipole Omu)
Larooye (8th Owaroki of Ipole Omu and the 1st Ataoja of Osogbo) (1670 – 1760)
Sogbodede (2nd Ataoja of Osogbo) (1760 – 1780)
Abogbe (female married to Lokuso – Offa man) (1810 – 1812) Oladejobi Oladele Matanmi:son of Abogbe (1854 – 1864) Atanda Olukaye Olugbeja Matanmi II (1903 – 1917) Obodebewa (female married to Ojolalele) (1812 – 1815) Lahanmi/Matanmi (Female Ruling House) Lahanmi Oyibi (brother to Ojolalele) (1815 – 1840) Ojo Adio Okege (1840 – 1854) Samuel Oyedokun (1933 – 1944) Ogunnaike Durosimi Fabode (1864 – 1891) Bamgbola Alao (1891 – 1893) Olatidoye Iyiola Oyewale Matanmi III (1976 – 2010) Ajadi Olosunde Oyetona (1893 – 1903) Kofoworola Ajadi Latona (1918 – 1920) Kolawole Alabi (1920 – 1933) Sogbo (Male Ruling House) Gbeemu Aina Serebu (1780 – 1810) Oyelekan
Samuel Adeleye Adenle (1944 – 1975)
JIMOH OLANIPEKUN LAROOYE II(2010)
TABLE SHOWING THE PAST ATAOJA OF OSOGBO
S/N 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 DATE 1670 - 1760 1760 – 1780 1780 – 1810 1810 – 1812 1812 – 1815 1815 – 1840 1840 – 1854 1854 – 1864 1864 – 1891 1891 – 1893 1893 – 1903 1903 – 1917 1918 – 1920 1920 – 1933 1933 – 1944 1944 – 1975 1976 – 2010 2010 – DURATION 90 20 30 2 3 25 14 10 27 2 10 14 2 13 11 31 34 NAMES LAROOYE SOGBODEDE AINA SEREBU ABOGBE OBODEBEWA LAHANMI OYIPI OJO ADIO OKEGE OLADEJOBI OLADELE MATANMI I OGUNNAIKE DUROSIMI FABODE BAMGBOLA ALAO AJAYI OLOSUNDE OYETONA ATANDA OLUKAYE OLUGBEJA MATANMI II KOFOWOROLA AJADI LATONA I KOLAWOLE ALABI SAMUEL OYEDOKUN AKANO LATONA II SAMUEL ADELEYE ADENLE IYIOLA OYEWALE JIMOH OLANIPEKUN LAROOYE II RULING HOUSE LARO SOGBO SOGBO LARO MATANMI SOGBO OYIPI OYIPI/LAHANMI OYIPI/LAHANMI MATANMI OYIPI/LAHANMI OYIPI/LAHANMI OYIPI/LAHANMI MATANMI OYIPI/LAHANMI SOGBO LAHANMI/MATANMI SOGBO LAHANMI/MATANMI LARO
References 1. Case file in the High Court of Justice, Osogbo Branch, Suit No. H10/71/10, 2010. 2. The Comprehensive History of Osogbo
Source: Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia, 2009 zoomed at 135mi to reveal Ipole (Not Ipole Omu as given in the references).
The red pushpin is the ancestral land of the founder of Osogbo kingdom. (Source: Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia, 2009 zoomed at 330mi)
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