BRIEF HISTORY OF ILA-ORANGUN
Bisi Akande’s Native Community
There is no way the history of Ila can be separated from the royal position of Orangun among the descendants of Oodua in Yorubaland. According to Mr Justice Adewale Thompson in his Black People of the World, (using esoteric cosmology to justify the claims of Professor Bolaji Idowu and Chief Ajayi Fabunmi) Obatala, the Deputy Olodunmore, created Yorubaland. Chief Ajayi Fabunmi, in the same book, was quoted to have postulated on the following three accounts:
- That Oodua with sixteen elders descended from heaven to Oramfe Hill on the road to Ilesa,
- That Oodua was one of the people who lived before the deluge,
- That Oodua came from Mecca, Egypt or Upper- Nile.
Whichever account we might adopt, Oodua has been generally acclaimed to have become the incarnation of the celestial founder of the Yoruba race. And the Orangun of Ila has been accepted by history to have been one of Oodua’s male descendants.
Samuel Johnson in his The History of the Yoruba stated that Ila Orangun was one of the first seven kingdoms founded from Ife by members of the Oodua royal families. It has been substantially propagated, by oral traditions, that one Fagbamila Ajagun-Nla was the first Orangun who migrated from Ile-Ife to somewhere around Igboho in the northern part of Yoruba land and who used Ada-Ogbo (a mystical cutlass) as a pathfinder in his efforts to found Igbomina land. In Akintoye’s A History of the Yoruba People at pages 229 and 230, it is explained how Ketu, Owu and Ila kingdoms were founded much earlier than Oyo-Ile and how these kingdoms had encountered the Bariba and Nupe hostility which had forced Ketu and Owu to abandon their original locations and relocated to some distance to the south. ‘Ila would not relocate southwards’, stressed Akintoye; but Orangun ‘was compelled to move the capital town from location to location in search of safety’. These explanations confirm that Ila Orangun, by origin, growth and development, is one of the most ancient leading Yoruba cities and communities.
The Igbomina land
As an empire builder, Orangun has been recognised as the founder of Igbomina land by migrating and moving the capital from location to location over some centuries. Each of these locations developed into groups of places, communities and smaller kingdoms that now constitute Igbomina land and people as a sub-group of the Yoruba nation in the south-western parts of River Niger.
Dr P.O.A. Dada in his Brief History of Igbomina published in 1985 was quoted by Chief Bisi Akande, at page 26 of Ila Orangun – the Principal City of Igbomina People published by Ila Charity Club in year 2000, to have said: ‘’…..it seems to assume that Igbomina land was given to and founded by the Orangun of Ila as his own share of land inherited indirectly from his grandfather, Oduduwa, the father of the Yorubas. According to history, Orangun of Ila……founded Igbomina land through his club ‘Ogbo’ which knows the way to the bank of the Niger, hence ‘Ogbo Mona’.’’ He went further to lament …..’’How the Orangun lost control over the land will be difficult to explain in this book.’’
Historical evidences abound that, when Oyo-Ile was founded around the same Igboho where Orangun, Olowu and Alaketu had once tried to establish kingdoms, the hostility of the Baribas and Nupes continued to be severely intensified and, in several resultant wars, Alafin of Oyo was reported to have successively conquered the neighbouring aggressors. During these wars, many Igbomina settlements that were close to Oyo, Ibariba and Nupe lands passed through the menace of these hostilities and wars. In the process, particularly during the first half of the 18th century when the Alafin of Oyo was prosecuting his imperial ambitions, many of these Igbomina communities and settlements might have been captured by or forced to seek the protection of the Alafin of Oyo for safety. It was reported at page 11 of Yoruba Sacred Kingship by John Pemberton and Funso Afolayan that the Nupe, throughout the second half of the 18th century, under the reign of Etsu Jibrilu, Etsu Maijia and Etsu Ma’asu, destroyed many Igbomina towns and villages and captured their inhabitants as slaves. After the fall of Oyo-Ile to the Fulani Jihadists, Ibadan attempted to revive and take over the control of the collapsing Oyo Empire and, at the same time, invaded, raided and tyrannically tried to establish suzerainty over Ijesa, Ekiti, and Igbomina lands. The raids of Fulani Jihads which destabilised Oyo-Ile during the early part of the 19th century continued to ravage Igbominaland and, by 1830, Ilorin had become the centre of Fulani powers and a serious threat to the cohesion of the Igbomina communities.
All these attacks, wars and raids by the Ibariba, the Nupe, the Oyo, the Ibadan, and the Fulani resulted in the fragmentation of many Igbomina families, settlements and communities which forced numerous inhabitants into constant and almost endless migrations. In the process, many of the Igbomina settlements that became the tributaries and vassals of the Oyo Empire, accepted Alafin as their suzerain lord and some of their settlements had to be converted, in many cases, to the military camps of the Alafin’s armies. In certain other cases, Alafin’s Ajele (consuls) grew to become a village Baale (sub-king) and later enlarged their position into imitated royalty. In other words, during the 16th to 18th centuries, when Oyo’s powers and influence overshadowed most of the other polities in Yoruba land, it had become the fashion that several Igbomina settlements preferred to claim historical descent from Oyo. Some even preferred to claim mixed ancestry of the Oyo, the Ibariba and the Nupe thereby compromising most of the powers, authorities and suzerainty the Orangun of Ila might have had over the people of Igbomina land. However, the historical and cultural affinity remains very stong.
The Migration Routes
At pages 22 and 23 of Ila Orangun – the Principal City of Igbomina People produced by Ila Charity Club, Chief Bisi Akande reasoned that ‘Orangun Ajagun-Nla must have once passed through the route which led him to cross the lands of the Nupe or the Takpa country to the valleys of Rivers Oyi and Osin along the low flat plateau with savannah vegetation up to the patches of the ranges of hills (running from Kukuruku land through Ekiti and Ijesa countries to Igbeti and Igboho) into Igbomina kingdoms’ from where he migrated to found Ila-Kodomu at Igbo Ajagunla inside the thick forests at the valley behind the present dam and water-works in Ila-Ora Road. His brother or son – Orangun Amotagesi, according to oral accounts, was also reported to have migrated from Ila-Kodomu to Ila Yara (some 7.5km south-east of present Ila-Orangun approximately located at 7’56degrees N and 4’57degree E) whose radiocarbon data of the recovered arte-facts from the city walls in front of the trenches dug round the place are dated late 16th century to early 17th century by Aribidesi Usman in a Field-Work carried out in Year 2004/2005. (see the internet)
At Ila Yara, during one of his long tours in search of wisdom for sustaining a stable, peaceful and prosperous urban civilisation, one of Amotgesi’s sons usurped his throne to become Orangun Ogba.
With the assistance of the Ikegbe cult, he returned to dislodge his usurper-son to regain his throne. He was succeeded by Orangun Ogboye whose mother also was said to have begat the Alara of Aramoko and the Ajero of Ijero presently reigning in the two traditional towns in thee western part of Ekiti state. Orangun Ogboye was succeeded by Orangun Oboyun-mo-Yara who had no male child to succeed him and was said to have been notorious for burying the palace treasured assets under the bed of River Oyi. After his demise, a big commotion was said to have ensued over numerous claims to Orangun’s throne. Orangun Apakimo who emerged was reported to have had a minority acceptance by the youths.
Amidst the resultant chaos, Ila Yara became heavily depopulated. Apakimo had to migrate to found Ila-Okiri some four kilometres west of Ila-Yara (now called Oke-Ila Orangun).
In the meantime, Arutu Oluokun, one of the contestants for the throne at Ila-Yara, who was said to have been more acceptable to the youths, by tradition, had to go on voluntary exile. He went to found Ila Magbon (also known as Ila Elekolo) from where, for excessive menace of earth worms, he migrated to Igbo-Malododo (otherwise called Para-Oke) where he became too old and journey-weary and decided to hand over the paraphernalia of the Orangun throne to his younger brother by the name Adegbiji Igbonnibi before he sank into the bowel of the earth.
Orangun Igbonnibi and his entourage migrated further to the present settlements already being populated and inhabited by other settlers. Banji Akintoye, in A history of the Yoruba People, extensively described the development of Yoruba societies before Oodua. He referred to Isola Olomola’s efforts in identifying certain locations of earlier settlements – particularly Iloromu which was along a stretch of today’s Ife-Ilesa road. In the same book, at page 65, Akintoye explained how Oodua had to adopt old system of monarchy ‘which had developed and matured in Ile-Ife and other parts of Yorubaland before his time’ in establishing his government. In the same manner, Orangun Igbonnibi must have adopted part of the system of government of Tiimo of Isedo who he re-named Obalumo (i.e. Oba-ti-Ilu-mo) when Orangun arrived as his guest in his home at Ita-Okiti to re-create the present Ila Orangun as a more inclusive society. What we are saying is that there were settlements in the present location of Ila-Orangun but there was no royal kingdom before Orangun Igbonnibi came. E. A. Oyebisi at page 44 of Ila Orangun – The Principal City of Igbomina People produced by Ila Charity Club told us that Orangun Igbonnibi met Tiimo of Obalumo’s compound in the present Ila-Orangun site. He further told us that Tiimo’s Obalumo’s compound was the oldest compound in the present Ila-Orangun.
The Capital City
Also, legends have it that Orangun Igbonnibi and the Ila (popularly being refered to as the Ilu) was the guest of Tiimo at Ita-Okiti; and, that before Orangun could select a site, build and settle in his palace, his mother had died at Tiimo’s home. Hence the annual celebration of Imarugbo (i.e. the ancestral worship by Orangun) at Obalumo’s compound!
Legends also have it that Olosun-Ipetu’s compound at Iperin quarters and several other family compounds were in residence in the present Ila-Orangun site before Orangun Igbonnibi arrived. This was the history of how this forest area with a diameter of some 25kilomers situates on latitude 8’0 degree north of the equator and longitude 4’30 degree east of the Greenwich presently called Ila-Orangun became the newest capital city of Orangun’s kingdom.
After Orangun Igbonnibi, probably during some 300 years between 17th and 19th centuries, in the present location, Olakale Baba-Ebo, Adebiyi Ijimogodo, Ajibade Aroyehun Ofinni, Adeyemi Okusu, Adejorin Okomo-Kasa, Ajiboye Aniyeloye, Olagbaiye Baba-Ateere, Adediti Iyanda Odun-Ide, Aderosin Agbedegbede, Olajojobi Agboluaje and Bamigboye Ariyomoye were reported to have occupied the throne of the Orangun of Ila in succession during which period the city had expanded, in growth, from Isedo to Eyindi, Okejigbo, Iperin and lately to Oke-Ede before the beginning of the menace and push of the wars that destroyed Oyo Empire initiated by the Fulani Jihadists.
The War Exile
During the Fulani Jihads, when Ilorin was captured by the Sokoto Caliphates and when Oyo Empire had collapsed, Ibadan became the new master of Yoruba land. In its imperial ambition, its style of operation was to terrorise and subdue its occupied serf communities. Therefore many Igbomina smaller settlements, out of fear of possible invasion, voluntarily preferred again to be a tributary of Ilorin under Fulani suzerainty. For the better part of the 19th century, wars of pan-Yoruba supremacy were fought between Ibadan and Ilorin. The Ilorin troops were badly worsted, defeated and totally chased back home by Ibadan at the Osogbo war of 1840. Ilorin, in its diplomacy, made alliances with the Ekiti, Ijesa and Igbomina that were once raided and subjugated by Ibadan and encouraged them to wage wars against Ibadan. At the fiercest battles between (Ekiti-Ijesa-Igbomina) Parapo and Ibadan in the river valleys between Offa and Ikirun, called Jalumi war of 1878, Ilorin troops together with the Parapo troops were jointly devastated and pushed back by Ibadan troops led by Ajayi Ogbori-Efon. During the push of these wars, Ila-Orangun lost a prominent warrior – Adeyale – and suffered destabilisation and desolation for some fifteen years between 1878 and 1893.
While the citizens scattered to seek refuge in neighbouring Igbomina, Ekiti, Ibolo and Ijesa settlements, Orangun Bamigboye Ariyowonye moved into exile at Omupo from where he joined his ancestors in 1886. One Prince Ibitiade, son of Agboluaje I, who was reported to have been cajoled to accept Ilorin lordship or cringed for a turban of authority from the Emir of Ilorin with a view to succeeding Orangun Ariyowonye, was ostracised and abandoned by the princes and the ‘Ilu’ who resented the suzerainty of Fulani Emirate authority. Thereafter, Orangun Adeyemi Amesomoye (1886 – 1909) was installed in exile at a place after Ilorin, called Okuta-Ekulu. He returned to this Ila-Orangun in 1893 after the cessation of wars.
The British Colonial Era
All along, Oyo, Ife, Ilesa and Ila Royal Authorities had been firmly established and recognised within their separate kingdoms before the British came. Oyo had even been developed into an Empire. When Ilorin was being used by the Fulani Jihadists to destabilise the Empire, Ibadan emerged into its defence in some protracted wars. During and after these Ibadan/Ilorin Pan-Yoruba wars, Iseyin and Ogbomosho of present Oyo state and Iwo, Ikire, Apomu, Orile-Owu, Gbongan, Ede, Ilobu, Erin, Ifon, Ejigbo, Osogbo, Ikirun, Okuku, Iragbiji, Igbajo, Ada, Iree, Iresi and Otan-Aiyegbaju of present Osun state which got subjugated into tributaries under the protection of Ibadan remained firmly within Ibadan suzerainty.
This situation informed their being put under Ibadan Native Authority which was established by the British Colonial Authority on 22th March, 1893 for the Ibadan war-lords who were withdrawing home from Offa and Ikirun war camps.
In the meantime, the British had begun to impose its rule on Yoruba land by piecemeal. British rule began with bombardment of Lagos in 1851. There was also a punitive expedition to Ijebu-Ode in 1892. When the intractable Yoruba wars were becoming a menace to the internal trades of Yoruba land with the British Colony at the Lagos coast, the colonial authority intervened. After the cessation of Kiriji wars (1878 to 1886) Captain R. R. Bower was appointed Resident over Ibadan in 1893. He decided to establish a military garrison on the Otin River to enable him introduce British rule (Pax Britannia) to the eastern parts of Yoruba land in 1897. By 1898, the British Southern Protectorate had been sub-divided into certain administrative districts headed by Travelling Commissioners or District Commissioners. Under the Native Council and Courts Ordinance of 1901, the District Commissioners were responsible for the administrative and judicial functions. With the Native Courts Ordinance of 1914 and the Native Authority Ordinance of 1916, however, greater administrative and judicial authorities devolved on the Obas and Chiefs.
Consequently, for the administrative convenience of the British colonial authorities, Oyo, Ife, Ilesa and Ila Royal Authorities were converted into Native Authorities. Ila Native Authority together with Ife, Oyo, and Ibadan Native Authorities had been included in the Central District while Ilesa and Ekiti formed part of the North-Eastern District. In 1914, these Districts with some adjustments became provinces under a Resident. While Ilesa became part of Oyo Province (Central District) Ekiti was merged to Ondo Province (North-Eastern District). Under the 1906 reorganisation, the colony of Lagos had been amalgamated with Southern Protectorate under a Lieutenant Governor.
In 1914, Nigeria was created as a colony of the British Empire, by amalgamating the Northern Provinces with the Southern Provinces, with Lagos as the capital. The new colony was to be ruled by a Governor-General. The Governor-General was to be assisted by two Lieutenant-Governors – one for the Southern and the other for the Northern Provinces.
In the efforts to delineate boundaries between Northern and Southern Provinces of Nigeria, the British Colonial Agents mounted serious pressures with all diplomacy that, if Ila Native Authority accepted to be classified with Ilorin Province in the North, the Orangun of Ila would be allowed and assisted to resume his royal suzerainty over all Igbomina land which, during the Jihads, had been appropriated as part of Ilorin emirate.
Orangun Adeyemi Amesomoye had been most consistent in pointing out that Ilorin Royalty was a most recent creation by the Fulani Jihadists and could not be compared with the age-long ancient royalties at the kingdoms of Ile-Ife, Ilesa, Oyo and Ila who originated from within the same family affinity. He insisted that Ila Native Authority should be classified with these Yoruba kingdoms among whom Orangun belonged. When invited, he tactfully refused to attend meetings and functions in Ilorin. His insistence necessitated the report in the colonial office diary at Ibadan which stated that fourteen Igbomina Obas, each with large entourage, gathered in Ila-Orangun on September23, 1898 to meet and plead with Mr. A. Erhardt from Ibadan Resident’s Office for a re-classification of their communities from Ilorin Emirate to Ila Native Authority in the Southern Provinces of Nigeria.
The Decline of Native Authority
All along, during these gradual imposition of the British rule and amalgamations of 1906 and 1914, the people of Nigeria continued their lives as before without noticing any changes. However, in the meantime, Orangun Folayanka Atobatele (1909 – 1923) had succeeded Orangun Amesomoye. According to the new ordinance, on behalf of the appropriate Resident (a white man), each Native Authority (the traditional ruler) had to be advised by a District Officer who, invariably, were to be appointed from among the white men from Britain who had little knowledge of the histories and cultures of the various ethnic communities that made up the polity under the Native Authority. The situation later began to provoke unpalatable breaches some of which were suppressed by military forces.
At one time Oyo was bombarded by Captain Bower and Alafin Adeyemi I was subjected to some degradations while, at another time, in 1905, Owa of Ilesa had to be banished to Benin. One of the essential imports of the Native Authority Ordinance was direct taxation which had begun to arouse agitations and riots among various native communities in the neighbourhood and had begun to pose serious challenges to Orangun too as a Native Authority of Ila. As at that time, every Ila man, including the Orangun and his Chiefs, was illiterate in the sense of western education. And some western education was needed for record keeping, interpretations and accountability necessary in the communication between the Native Authority and his coloniser.
Traditional and Western Education
From time immemorial, particularly between the reigns of Orangun AjagunNla and Orangun Atobatele, the citizens of Ila Orangun were being educated in some indigenous traditional ways. The traditional education involved that children were learning either from their parents or by serving as apprentices.
It is such a comprehensive education which included physical exercises like wrestling, tree climbing and acrobatic demonstrations; vocational training like farming, craftsmanship, local wine brewing and palm wine tapping, animal domestication and trading; intellectual learning like sitting at parents’ feet watching how meetings are organised and conducted, listening to discussions on settlement of quarrels and arbitrations, assisting in handling various herbal concoctions and medicinal incantations, reciting Ifa mythological poems, practicing oratorical skills with idioms, proverbs and historical illustrations; and exhibiting character formation by obeying filial instructions, observing religious injunctions and fearing traditional taboos. All these modes of education made an average Ila citizen earn a living and, at the same time, be an acceptable member of any Yoruba community. It did not leave any chance for unemployment. Unfortunately, it lacks literacy and record keeping. Everything had to be committed to memory. It made knowledge not easily transferable from generations to generations.
In the meantime, between 1842 and 1882, throughout the rest of Yoruba land, the Christian missionaries had been introducing primary schools of western civilization to teach Reading, wRiting and aRithmetics (the three Rs) in aid of Christian religion. Earlier on, since about 1820, the Fulani Jihadists were capturing communities and establishing Islamic Emirates at Borgu, Ilorin, Lafiagi and Kabba in the neighbouring Northern parts of Yoruba land. After the Jalumi wars of 1878 when Orangun of Ila and his chiefs went into exile within Ilorin Fulani Emirate and when all the Ila people scattered and took refuge in the neighbouring Igbomina, Oyo, Ibolo, Ijesa and Ekiti countries, they came into contacts with the Islamic priests together with Arabic literacy and with Christian missionaries learned in western educational literacy.
On the piece-meal returning from exile between 1886 and 1893, Ila people were accompanied with flocks of aids, spouses, friends and people with mixed ancestors and faiths. The community, first of all, was confronted with a variety of strange foreign influences, religions, trades, and vocations. At the same time, before settling down to normal traditional life, the processes of British colonisation of 1914 and the British government’s involvement in educational regulation had begun.
During the reigns of Orangun Folayanka Atobatele (1909 – 1923) and Orangun Oyinlola Arojojoye (1923 to 1936), the Christian missionaries have begun to introduce primary schools to Ila Orangun. Also, in 1932, the colonial government’s Native Authority (N.A.) School was opened at Oke-Aloyin. In 1939, during the reign of Orangun Adetoyi Orimadagun (1937 – 1947), the Southern Provinces of Nigeria had been split into Wetern and Eastern Provinces of Nigeria.
The era of Orangun Adedapo Agboluaje II (1947 to 1961) was heralded by the Richards Constitution of 1945 which came into effect in 1947 together with a lot of political revolutions beyond the intellectual scope of the products of these local schools. The magnitude of these political revolutions were such that stressed the capacity of the layers of the Ila illiterate senior generations that formed the bulk of the Ila citizenry since Orangun Amesomoye led Ila people back from exile. By 1947, when Orangun Adetoyi Orimadegun passed on, only N.A. school, Oke Aloyin had a full primary school class facilities (Junior and Senior primary classes) while the remaining three missionary primary schools (ie St Mathew Anglican school, Olukori, St Julius Catholic school, Isedo and Baptist school, Okejigbo) were mere Junior primary schools.
From 1955, the introduction of free primary education, by Obafemi Awolowo’s government of western region of Nigeria, changed the school system from eight year two stream system to six year one stream system and drastically increased the number of primary schools and the pupil enrolment population in every community within Yoruba land. In the meantime, since 1952, the principles of ‘tradition and acceptability’ which the white men relied upon in ruling the local people through the Native Authority were already waning. Self-government by political elites also whittled down the colonial powers. In the 1953 local government laws, native administrations became democratised such that the powers of the Native Authority (Obas and Chiefs) were transferred to local government councillors in the western region. To assuage their pains, a regional House of Chiefs was established, as the upper chamber of Parliament, in the western region. In 1952, Orangun Adedapo Agboluaje II, without any rudiment of western education, became an automatic member of the western region House of Chiefs at which the official lingual-franca was English Language.
At Ila, the first set of elected local councillors inaugurated in 1955 were also mainly illiterates who had no capacity for perusing the new Local Government laws nor the minutes of meetings. On behalf of the Ila local government, the western region government established a Modern School in 1955 while, through self-help efforts, by 30th January, 1960, just less than one year before Ila Charity Club was formed by some young teachers, Ila grammar school, established by Ila community, was opened as the first secondary school in Ila Orangun. The western provinces which became western region in 1951 and western state in 1967 was split into Ogun, Oyo and Ondo states in 1976. The Ila community was establishing Igbonnibi grammar school as a second secondary school when Bola Ige’s government of Oyo state introduced free secondary school education and thereby established several additional grammar schools in Ila, Oyi-Aiyegun, Oyi-Obasinkin and Ajaba.
Even though, Oba William Adetona Ayeni (1967 – 1999) that succeeded Orangun Adedapo Agboluaje had no high school education, he was widely exposed to the colonial military and politics and enjoyed an era of better stratum of literate community that enabled him to face the challenges of the political vicissitudes of his reign.
Ila within Independent Nigeria
The fifty years between 1951 and 2000 – mainly during the reigns of Orangun Adedapo Agboluaje II and Oba William Adetona Ayeni which was also the period of transition to self-government and after the Independence – Ila witnessed tremendous expansion in population growth, human and physical developments. In 1951, Osun Division was created by splitting Ibadan Division into two thereby relieving Ogbomoso, Iwo, Ejigbo, Ede, Osogbo, Ikire, Gbongan, Ikirun, Okuku, Oyan, Ada, Igbajo, Iresi, Ilobu, Iragbiji, Iree and Otan from the yoke of Ibadan Native Authority. In 1953, Native Authority was democratised and converted to Ila District Council, within Ife Division, under the administration of elected councillors with a chairman chosen from among them-selves. Nigeria was granted political Independence in 1960 when Ila Charity Club was being formed and shortly before Orangun Adedapo Agboluaje joined his ancestors in 1961. There was a protracted seven-year battle for succession to the throne of Orangun of Ila before Oba William Adetona Ayeni was installed in 1967.
The Military In Power
The Nigerian Army had forcefully and violently taken over powers since January 1966. By a military decree, before the new Orangun settled down on the throne, Ila District Council had been merged with Osun Division; and, at the same time, under the same decree, Osun Division had been split into four with Ila District having been classified with Osun North-East Division. Shortly after, a white paper was released with a proposal that all District Councils within Osun North-Division be merged into one by the name of Oshun North-East Local Government with an head-quarters at Ikirun. This white paper provoked a lot of criticism, protests and petitions – particularly from Ila people. While suggestions were rife that Ila be made the head-quarters of an all-embracing Osun North-East Local Government, the position of the Ila Union from Lagos and Ila Charity Club prevailed in the end.
The catch was that if Ila supported the all-embracing option, a majority vote by others for having Ila, which was not central and with no accessible roads, as the capital town would have been difficult.
In their petitions, the merger was absolutely rejected and a plea was submitted for the retention of the old and historical Ila local authority at Ila-Orangun with a proviso that any other town or towns desiring to merge with the the Ila local Authority at Ila-Orangun should be encouraged to do so. This was to protect the integrity of the ‘Ila capital town’ which the first Orangun was said to have been compelled to protect when Ketu and Owu kindoms were forced to relocate southward originally and which Orangun Amesomoye protected when he was being cajoled by the British to surrender to Ilorin emirate after the Kiriji wars. In the end, Ila Local Government which included Iressi, Otan, Oyan, Aasi, Asaaba in addition to Ora and Oka-Ila was created in 1971 under a Management Committee. In 1975, the western state carved out of the western provinces of Nigeria (otherwise known as western region) was split into three states by military decrees. Oyo Province to which Ila Local Government belonged thereby became Oyo state.
The military handed powers to civilian government in 1979. During the transition to military disengagement from politics, Oyan, Aasi and Asaaba had been remerged with a new Odo-Otin Local Government while Iressi had also been merged with Ifelodun Local Government in some minor reforms of 1976. However, Otan preferred to remain with Ila Local Government until 1991 when it became the hedquarters of Boluwaduro Local Government. On the same day in 1991, Osun state which included Osun, Ife and Ijesa divsions minus Ogbomosho was carved out of Oyo state by military decree while Ora and Oke-Ila was carved out of Ila Local Government to become Ifedayo Local Government. Confirming the age long history that Orangun of Ila has always been one of the mostancient and most recognised traditional rulers in Yoruba history, Oba William Adetona Ayeni was appointed the first chairman of Osun State Council of Obas. Unfortunately Oba William joined his ancestors in May 1999; and happily, after a five year interregnum, Oba Wahab Oyedotun succeeded to the throne in May 2003.