From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Ile-Ogbo is an agrarian community near Iwo in Osun State. It is the headquarters of Aiyedire Local Government. It is 42 kilometres to Osogbo, and 44 kilometres to Ibadan, Oyo State capital. Ife and Gbongon are located to the East of Ile-Ogbo.
The history of the town is fascinating. One of the things that made it unique is the presence of sacred Ore tree. This gave birth to Ore Festival. The famous Yoruba adage, “A kii fi omo Ore, bo Ore”, actually originated from Ile-Ogbo.
The Ore festival comes up once a year attracting people from far and wide. The Ore tree is said to be the protector of Ile-Ogbo citizens.
The tree is said to be older than the first settlers of Ile-Ogbo, hence the people of Ile-Ogbo could not tell the age of the tree.
When Daily Sun visited the site of the tree, there was a white cloth tied round the tree, depicting the place to be a sort of shrine or spiritual centre in the town founded in the 18th Century.
Historians said the name Ile-Ogbo came from an old Yoruba folktale that the people in the town had a very long life span. Ile-Ogbo means the land of the old. The settlers used to have a saying, “Ile-Ogbo mi ni mo de yi,” meaning, “I have reached the place where I will live till I am very old.” The name was later shortened to Ile-Ogbo.
The tree is manned by Baba Abore, a male and Iya Abore, a female, appointed on the advice of the king. One of the past Iya Abore from Olukoun’s Compound nicknamed the tree Alhaja Jarawu. The name is not unconnected with the female spirit the tree is said to shelter. Some traditionalists considered Ore (Oluwere) as a strong protection against any havoc in Ile-Ogbo. The tree does not shed its leaves under its shade.
The recent 10th coronation anniversary of the Olu of Ile-Ogbo, Oba Habeeb Adetoyese Agbaje Arowookun-joye II, actually took this reporter to the town. That was when the Ore tree was sighted.
The Oba thanked God and his ancestors for giving him the opportunity to ascend the throne 10 years ago and for supporting him thus far. He was delighted at the positive development that Ile-Ogbo witnessed in the past 10 years. He also has his eyes on greater development in the future.
The monarch promised to work with illustrious sons and notable daughters of the town to ensure that Ile-Ogbo is not denied its rights.
National President, Ile-Ogbo Unity Forum (IUF), Anthony Owolabi, said:
“The 10th year anniversary of Kabiyesi is a source of joy and a way of celebrating the goodness of God on Ile-Ogbo through the coming of our king 10 years ago.
“Since he ascended the throne, good things have been happening. One of the latest is the laying of foundation of a magistrate’s court, facilitated by one of the sons of the land, Justice Jide Falola of the Osun State High Court.
“The sons and daughters of Ileogbo are ready to complete the project in record time. On completion, we will hand it over to government for it to start operation immediately.
“The coming of Kabiyesi is a springboard that has galvanised a lot of programmes or projects. We have about five-kilometre solar powered streetlight. We also have Lanre Sports Academy, which is of international standards in Ile-Ogbo. It took off with admission of 50 students in the last quarter of 2021. Two of such schools were approved for Nigeria; one for the South and one for the North.
“The one for the South is at Ileogbo, courtesy of one of our children, Olanrewaju Adeleke. He is the proprietor and chairman of the academy.
The Lanre Sports Academy is made up of an 18-hole golf course, stadium main bowl, four practicing pitches and a lot of other sporting facilities.”
Owolabi also confirmed the story surrounding the Ore tree: “A kii fi omo Ore bo Ore means you cannot sacrifice Ore’s children to Ore. You cannot open your eyes and allow your children to be killed in your presence.
“The adage originated from Ile-Ogbo. Though many people do not know this. But and you have known the origin of the adage now.”
Justice Falola spoke on the Magistrate’s Court: “We targeted laying of foundation of this Magistrate’s Court at the 10th coronation anniversary of our king. We thank God that the project has taken off.
There have been contributions in cash and in materials for the project.
“Our king deserves to be celebrated. His reign has become a turning point in the history of Ile-Ogbo. As a young man, who grew up in the city, he brought out a lot of dimensions in royalty and traditional administration. We wish that several decades of celebrations like this will meet him on the throne by God’s grace.”
Chairman, Ayedire LG, Adejare Adigun, commended Justice Falola for facilitating the Magistrate’s Court. He also congratulated Oba
Adetoyese for the anniversary. He added that he would work together with leaders in the council to restore the lost glory of Ile-Ogbo.