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Alaafin Kori


The late King having no surviving son, Erankogbina was left to manage the affairs of the kingdom. The only hope of a direct successor to the throne was the child of Iyayun still in utero; hence sacrifices were offered frequently on the grave of Aganju praying him to grant Iyayun a son if his name is not to be forgotten, and the dynasty end with him. When in due course therefore Iyayun gave birth to a son, the joy of the populance was unbounded. He was named Kori.

During Kori’s minority, Iyayun was declared Regent; she wore the crown, and put on the royal robes, and was invested with the Ejigba, the Opa ileke and other royal insignia, and ruled the kingdom as a man until her son was of age. It was during this reign that Timi was sent to Ede and not in Sango’s reign as was supposed.

The Ijesa’s proving very troublesome to their neighbours by kidnapping them in their farms, and molesting caravans to and from Apomu a frontier town where a large fair is periodically held for the exchange of goods with the Ijebu’s, and also getting frequently embroiled with the King of Ido their neighbour, complaints from time to time reached the Alaafin of Oyo. It was now determined that a stop be put to these inroads; for this purpose the King sent a notable hunter to that district who succeeded in checking these marauders. He took up a position at a place called Ede as his headquarters, and there he subsequently established himself as a kinglet with the title of Timi

Timi was a famous archer; notable for his deadly arrows was appointment. As Timi duties required all his time, skill and valour, he had no time left to provide for himself and family; the traders and caravans being now well protected, he obtained the permission from the Alaafin to levy a toll of 5 cowries each on every trader; by this means he soon had more than enough for the support of his family, and as a good and loyal subject, he paid the surplus into the royal treasury.

After some years of this act of loyalty, he abruptly stopped the tribute. When the King missed the usual tribute, he sent to demand the same, but Timi refused to pay it, and gave his reasons for not doing so. That whatever he could collect this way should be his own by right as compensation for loss of the advantage of a city life, as well as a reward for his labours. After Timi’s several disobedience, the King resorted to force, a body of troops was sent to arrest him, and seize all his belongings. But Timi was prepared for this; he resisted with all his might, and routed the King’s forces.

But the King was resolved to punish Timi as a warning to others who might follow his example. Eliri-Onigbajo the Gbonka was appointed as proposed to him, since he was the only one equal to the task.

The fight was limited to a single combat between the two chieftains, Timi armed himself with his bow and arrows, but the Gbonka carried a shield with which to defend himself against the powerful darts of his assailant. His own weapon of offence was a viol containing a drug with strong narcotic properties when inhaled, and by means of this Timi was soon rendered unconscious, and in this state, he was dispossessed of his weapons, and taken bound to Oyo.

The King pretended to be dissatisfied with the issue of the contest, doubting its fairness, except the same could be repeated in his presence and witnessed by all present. The King ordered the Timi’s weapons to be restored to him, and fight resumed. To his mortification the Gbonka was again victorious amid shouts of applause from the people. Timi was instantaneously killed by the victor before the King and without orders.

The Gbonka to show further what he could do, and to strike terror into the King, Ordered a pile to be made, and pots of palm oil, nut oil, and shea butter to be poured on it; he then went coolly and sat on top of it, and ordered it to be set on fire. All present were anxious for the consequence; but when the pile was ablaze, the Gbonka disappeared.

Courtiers now began to congratulate the King on the fall of his enemy by his own hands; but he was apprehensive of some other issues “Not too fast” said he, “we must first wait and see.” Tidings soon reached the court that the Gbonka followed by drummers, was seen dancing about the town.

The Gbonka knowing the public feeling towards the King, and his unpopularity, entered the palace and challenged His Majesty to display feats similar to his own and said if he could not, he would be rejected. There being no alternative, the King took poison and died. Esugbiri succeeded Erankogbina as Bashorun during this reign.