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Oduduwa the reputed founder and ancestor of the race is really a mythical personage. The Etymology of the term is from Odu(ti o) da Iwa. Whatever is usually large as a large pot or container is termed Odu: the term then implies the great container the author of existence. According to Ife Mythology Oduduwa was the son of Olodu Mare, i.e. the father or lord of Odumare implies cannot go beyond i.e. the Almighty. Oduduwa was sent by Olodumare from heaven to create the earth. Olokun i.e. the goddess of the ocean was the wife of Oduduwa, Oranmiyan and Isedale their children, and Ogun a grand-child.

The Destruction of the Epos and the Death of Ojo Amepo Notwithstanding the Fulani devastations, there were not wanting still among the Yorubas powerful generals, who could successfully oppose them if only they would act together. One such was Ojo Amepo the Kakanfo. Ojo Amepo was one of the generals of the late Kakanfo Afonja of Ilorin ; he inherited the lion-like spirit of his chief. After the fall of Afonja he resided at Akese, where
he found employment for his enterprising spirit in waging intestine wars with the Epos, and became a great man and a terror in that district. Thus Ojo Amepo usurped the prerogatives of the AlAfin in that district. He took Iware, Okiti, Ajerun, Koto, Ajabe, towns near Ijaye, and he assumed the title of Kakanfo in opposition to Edun of Gbogun whom, however, he survived (as Edun himself formerly did in opposition to Toyeje of Ogbomoso) showing the state of anarchy in the kingdom as there can be but one Kakanfo at a time. Amepo was a good horseman and an intrepid warrior. Ago was one of the towns in the Epo district.

Oja the founder perished at the Kanla war as we have already noticed, and the only man of power then in that town was Prince Atiba formerly of Gudugbu, and he was in friendly alliance with the IL grins and abetted them, when they were resolved upon subjugating the Epos. Chiefs Amepo, Salako, and Ojomgbodu were opposed to the Ilorins, and the latter soon found a pretext to wage war upon them and to destroy their towns. The Ilorins encamped at Ago Oja against Ojomgbodu which was about 6 or 7 miles distant. The Kakanfo at Akesfe sent Dado his commanderin-chief at the head of a detachment to reinforce the beleaguered town ; associated with Dado were Adekambi, Soso, Dese and Lagbayi, all distinguished men. A portion of the Ilorin army was encamped against Wonworo at the same time, and the Kakanfo also sent Ayo another distinguished war chief to protect the place. Both these places were obstinately defended and, but for the tragedy which befell the Kakanfo at home, they might have held out longer even if they could not repel the enemy.

Amepo, the Kakanfo being anxious about his men when he heard no news from the seat of war, rode out one morning dressed in his red uniform with only about 20 boys as his attendants. He took the path leading to the seat of conflict to listen if perchance he would hear the sound of musketry showing that his people were still holding out and the town not yet taken. He dismounted under a large tree in the fields, and most unfortunately for him was discovered from afar by a company of Ilorin horsemen, who had made excursion into the warring farms, and were returning to their camp at Ago-Oja by way of Akese. He found himself in a
predicament all too late, his body guards were, alas ! too young to defend him, and his corpulence prevented him from springing at once upon his horse and making good his escape. So he was slain there under the tree,
and his head and hands were cut off and carried in triumph to the camp before Ojongbodu. But before doing so, the Ilorin horsemen rode back to Akese and called upon the town to surrender under threats of immediate
destruction. The Kakanfo being slain, and the war-chiefs absent at Ojongbodu, the town Akese surrendered at discretion; but as soon as the horsemen were gone the inhabitants packed up and deserted the town. The
Kakanfo’s army at Ojomgbodu of course did not know of the tragedy that had befallen their master at home until they were informed the next morning in the battlefield by the Ilorin horsemen taunting them. To confirm
the truth of their statement, Amepo’s speckled hand which was cut of was thrown to them within the town wall for identification. ” Know ye whose hand that was ? We have slain your master ! What is the use of further
fighting ? Woe betide you if you do not surrender at once.” The men were panic stricken and would have fled there and then but for the presence of mind and brave speech of Dado the commander-in-chief. He said to them “The death of our master is no reason why we should give way, let us fight like brave men and not show the white feather.” Turning to the besiegers he said ” We are here to defend the town not our master whose misfortune is only an incident though a lamentable one. You prepare yourself for a battle to-morrow, for you shall receive such a severe encounter as you have never experienced before ; you will then know how brave men can resent treachery.” This speech created order among the troops and the Ojomgbodu people also were re-assured ; but it was only a ruse in order to make good their escape, for by daybreak, before the Ojomgbodu people knew that they were deserted. Dado had retreated with his army in good order and escaped to Ika-Odan.

Prince Atiba : His Early Life and History
Prince Atiba was the son of King Abiodun by an Akeetan woman. According to one account, he was born in the city of Oyo, his father died when he was but a child, and when Abiodun’s children were being ill-treated by King Aole his mother fled with him to her own town in the country. But another account was of a more romantic interest and is more probable, as being characteristic of that age. According to this account, his mother, a slave at Gudugbu, was given as a hostage to the Alaafin of Oyo. She had an intimate friend who was much distressed by this separation. After 8 or 10 weary months, she was resolved at all costs to go up to the city to visit her friend with whom she had been associated from childhood. The Gudugbu hostage was too insignificant to be noticed among the crowd of women in the King’s harem until- this strange visit of her friend drew the King’s attention to her. The visitor from the country loitering within the precincts of the palace was
asking all whom she saw coming from the women’s quarters to call her EniOlufan one of the King’s wives, but no one knew who that was. At length King Abiodun was told that a woman from the country was asking for one of his wives, and this unusual incident aroused the King’s curiosity. The Gudugbu woman was called to his presence to state the object of her visit. She replied ” May your majesty live long. The young woman from Gudugbu given as a hostage was my bosom friend, and for the past 8 months or more I have had no one to talk to, and hence I was resolved to visit her.” The King then said to her, ” Are you not afraid to come here and
to enquire for my wife ? Suppose I add yourself to the harem or kill you or sell you ? ” She replied, ” For my friend’s sake I am prepared to undergo any treatment, and if your majesty make a wife of me I shall be happy as my friend and I will see each other every day.”

The King greatly admired their friendship ; he gave permission for her to be lodged with her friend, and was by this led to pay some attention to the Gudugbu hostage. For three months these two friends enjoyed each other’s company and as the King’s wife was now in the way of becoming a mother, he was graciously pleased to send them home. He sent for both of them one morning, and after a few approbatory remarks on their friendship, he loaded them with presents, and said to his wife’s friend, “I am sending your friend home with you in order that you may not fail to have some one to embosom your mind to as hitherto. I make you both my deputy for that part of the country. All matters to be referred to Oyo will henceforth be brought to you
for decision, all the tribute monies will be paid to you also, and as my wife will be unable to undertake a journey, I expect your visit here as often as you can come.” With this instruction he dismissed them and sent several Eunuchs and Ilaris with them as escort and to commend them formally to the care and protection of the Baale of Gudugbu. Both these women returned to Gudugbu in quite a different capacity from that in which they left it. The little town was all astir on their arrival, and many were the private murmurs against EniOlufan’s friend for the heavy responsibilities she had brought upon them. Great deference, however, was paid to them both, and they became practically the supreme rulers and judges of that district. The King’s wife in course of time gave birth to a son who was named Atiba ; her friend also (who was a married woman) gave birth to a son named Onipede. The intimacy existing between the two mothers re-appeared also in the boys from childhood up to manhood.

This account is reconcilable with the first as it is possible that as an infant, Atiba may have been taken to Oyo to see his father, and may have been there till Aole’s reign when the mother had to flee with him back to the
country as stated above. Atiba grew up a wild and reckless lad. When he was of age, his father ordered that the mother should apportion to him the tribute money of that district, this continued until the succeeding reign
when the country was thrown into confusion and anarchy. This circumstance probably led his mother to remove with him from Gudugbu to Akeetan her own home. Here Atiba was under the care of his maternal uncle who was now head of the house and the family estate. Atiba was brought up as a tailor, but he preferred a wild and predatory life, for which the circumstances of the times afforded great opportunities. A story was told of him that once being very hungry, he asked his uncle for a yam, and the uncle not only refused it him, but took the opportunity of reprimanding him sharply for living the idle life of a kidnapper. ” If I had lived on manstealing like you,” said he, ” I could not have got any yam,” But Yesufu the younger uncle felt sorry for his nephew and said to Atiba that whilst he (the uncle) was living, he (Atiba) would never suffer the pinch of hunger. This incident had its reward hereafter as will be noticed in its place. From Akeitan Prince, Atiba made several incursions into the Gudugbu farms, and was generally a pest to the country round about. In order not to bring trouble on the Akeetan people, Atiba was urged to remove his residence to the town of Ago where
he would find in Oja- the chief of that place a man of a like spirit to his own, of a warlike disposition, and he did so. But when Atiba arrived at Ago, Oja was strongly advised not to let him settle down there, because a man like him would eventually become master of the town. Elebu, Oja’s brother was the chief opponent. But Oja did not follow this advice. ” How can I,” said he “an officer on the staff of the Kakanfo, and a title bearer in the kingdom, turn away my prince ? ” Oja continued friendly to him until his fall in the Kanla expedition. Their kidnapping expeditions were at that time chiefly directed against the Egbas in the Oke Ogun districts near Sagaun. They found them so simple and unsophisticated in those days that when a kidnapper had captured several of them and was in quest for more he had only to leave his cap or his spear or any other personal property by the side of them, and bid them wait for him there, and should another kidnapper fall in with them he was to be shown the sign of prepossession, and thus they would be left untouched until their captor returned. These captives never made any effort to escape. Atiba rose to importance by committing acts of violence and extortion with impunity, from the great deference paid to his high birth. In that age of anarchy and confusion he collected around himself all lawless men, insolvent debtors, slaves who had deserted their masters. His wealth was continually augmented by fresh marauding expeditions, his men behaving like the Jamas, himself at the head of them. By his address and largess Atiba won to himself the following chiefs of Oyo, viz., Aderinko, Ladejobi, Olumole, Oluwajo, Oluwaiye (the Alagba), Adefumi, Lakonu, Told Maje, Falade, and Gbenla.

Elebu succeeded his brother as the Baale of Ago. As might be expected he was not on good terms with Atiba ; but the latter had already risen to such a height of greatness and popularity that Elebu could neither crush him nor turn him out of the town ; they remained antagonists till Elebu was drowned in the river during the Gbodo war, as related above. Before Elebu’s death, Ajanaku of Ilorin to whom Ago Oja paid tribute summoned them both to Ilorin and asked Shitta his sovereign to effect a reconciliation between them. The turban was given to both as a sign of brotherhood in the Moslem faith. This reconciliation was only on the surface, but by no means real. It was at this time that all children born at Ago had Moslem names given to them and many adults and aged people changed theirs in order to be in good favour with the Jamas of Ilorin, who then infested the country Atiba had nearly lost his life in the Gbodo expedition; his horse was shot dead under him and the Baribas were pressing hard behind him in pursuit. His life-long friend Onipede galloped past him paying no heed to the despairing cry of his friend and master: ” Onipede here am I, will you leave me behind to perish ? ” Onipede notwithstanding this rushed on into the river Ogun and swam across safe to the other side. But when Atiba’s uncle, Yesufu came up and saw him in such straits he dismounted and offered him his horse. Atiba declined to take it, but Yesufu forced him to accept it, saying “