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Alaafin Jayin

JAYIN

Jayin was the son of the late King Karan. He was an effeminate and dissolute prince. He had his harem full of all sorts of characters. His son Olusi was kind and generous; he was the idol of the nation, and on him they built their hopes for a better future for the country.

Brought up amidst such demoralizing influences, in an evil hour, he fell under the charms of one of his father’s numerous wives and was caught in her embraces. The father already jealous of the son’s popularity with the people never forgave this offence. According to one account he summoned the prince before him, and whilst reprimanding him for his conduct, he was for a moment off his guard and thus betrayed himself by letting out the feeling ranking in his breast. “Villain” said he, “the citizens of Oyo prefer you to me, and you are at one with them against me.” Whilst speaking thus to him, he had in hand a club, the top of which was spiked and tipped with poison; this he pressed upon his head to the point of bleeding, and the poison proved fatal to him.

According to another account, it was a poisoned cake made of beans that his father gave him, and of which he partook that cause his death. They had a strong suspicion of foul play and were determined to avenge it. The King gave it out that his death was due to an accident from the kick of his horse. The secret however was divulged by one of his wives, and the disappointed citizens became much disaffected towards their King.

The late Olusi had a public funeral, a national mourning was proclaimed, and the public undertook to perform his funeral obsequies. His Egungun was brought out, i.e. an appearance of his apparition clothed with which he was known to have been buried. The Egungun was said to have repaired to the palace, as was usual to pay honours to the chief ruler of the town, and as soon as the King showed his face, he was grasped by it. He was then told to die, having been touch by an Egungun.

But according to another and more probable account, when the King heard that his late son’s Egungun in the company of others was coming to the palace, knowing what the most probable outcome of such a visit must be, hastily took poison and died. And this has passed into a proverb “O ku dede ki a ko iwi wo Akesan, Oba Jayin te ori gba aso.” (At the approach to Akesan of a company of chanting Egunguns, King Jayin buried his head in a shroud.) Used of one who anticipates the inevitable?

It was during this reign that an Ilari “Agbeja-ile” was sent to settle a land dispute between the Aseyin Odo, and the Olowu Ipole; he became the first Awujale of the Ijebu’s. Iba Biri was appointed Basorun in place of Woruda deposed.