The Fall Of Kunrunmi Of Ijaye - Orile

Ijaye Orile became a seat of power for the whole of Yorubaland, the town began to witness military and land expansion, welcoming refugees in great numbers for protection and turned to a secured trade route. Foreign religion began to flow in as well. According to Prince Olaniyan and some versions of history accessed, as far back as 1854, the founder of the Baptist Mission, which has now developed to become the Nigeria Baptist Convention, under the late Reverend Thomas Bowen, started Sunday School at Ijaye.
Another church that was said to have been in Ijaye before its fall was the Christian Missionary Society (CMS) which was represented by Rev. A Mann.

Time runs, Alaafin Atiba then asked Kunrunmi, Ibikunle and Oyomesi rulling council to allow his Son Odelu to ascend power as next Alaafin whenever he dies. Meanwhile, the tradition instituted by one previous Alaafin and some members of Oyomesi was that whenever any Alaafin dies, his first son should be killed as well. Everybody agreed but Kunrunmi refused, he claimed that tradition should prevail over anything. But he was a party to a confederacy that bolished this tradition before hand.
Alaafin Atiba died in 1859 and Odelu ascended the throne but Kunrunmi refused to recognise him as Alaafin and did not attend the coronation.

Different powerful people were sent to Kunrunmi as emissaries to plead to him but to no avail. Kunrunmi chose war instead and challenged Oyo and Ibadan. This turned out to be insult on Alaafin, Bashorun Ogunmola, a very young and fierce warrior in Ibadan, who was once a captive under Kunrunmi preferred they go into war with Kunrunmi. All efforts not to fight with Kunrunmi proved abortive as they know that Kunrunmi was too powerful and Ijaye and his controlled territories were fast growing and Yorubaland may not be able to afford the fall of Ijaye kingdom.


By and large, Ibadan-Oyo military was left with no choice to go into war with Kunrunmi. Bashorun ogunmola and Balogun Ibikunle led the military, launched the battle. Ibadan positioned their armies on the side of river Ọsẹ while Kunrunmi millitary were also securely positioned on the other side of the same river Ọsẹ. Ibadan has been usually sending unarmed Spy 'Alami' to Ijaye to learn Ijaye war strategies, Alami got to know how to copy Ijaye style of beating drum which usually indicates that '' the troop should advance'
Alami of Ibadan sounded the drum beat and Kunrunmi’s second in command ordered Ijaye troop to cross the river, they advanced..Alas! They met their waterloo! Kunrunmi pe Ogun, O r’ogun.In a surgical commando strike, Ibadan special forces attacked at night his troops in Iseyin and wiped out the entire rear brigade. All of Kurumi’s five children who were company commanders died same day in that attack. Like his name, Aare Kurumi was wasted by death, indeed. I-k –ú-r-un-mí.
Ibadan trapped them and massacred them en mass. Ibadan managed to send the chopped-off head of Kunrunmi's son to him as a sign of lost battle. Kunrunmi received the message, what a big casualty, he lost all his five children at a row in just one war.

Iku ya ju ẹsin lọ, Kunrunmi chose suicide as the only option in 1860. Ijaye fell, an important militarily and economically growing Yoruba regime crashed. One side of the story says, Kunrunmi, magically entered the ground at the river Ose while the other side says, he might have killed himself in the bush but the truth of the matter is that his dead body was nowhere to be found.
Ibadan warriors unleashed their anger on Ijaye town, residential buildings were brought down, monumental structures pounded and pulverised, farmlands destroyed and food supply routes from the neighboring towns shut down. Famine ravaged the land and Ijaye people scattered all around to Oyo, Ogun and Lagos states of today and formed communities such as Agbado-Ijaye, Ifako-Ijaye and the likes.


After many years, inability of Ijaye Orile town to bounce back to lime-light baffled people of Yorubaland, a certain rumour has it that Ibadan warriors buried two hunchbacks opposite to each other after the war which is preventing the growth of the town back to it's original status
Either the rumour is true or not, Ijaye suffered a stunted growth and United Native African Church came back to the land as the first building to be erected when the town was being re-established in 1895 and the first mosque, according to Prince Olaniyan, was built in 1908. All promised to cast out any possible curse on Ijaye Orile if there is any but till today:

- It is sad that Ijaye Orile, a town that was once holding a military seat of power of the whole Yorubaland cannot even hold an important sitting in Yorubaland anymore.


- Very sad indeed that a community regarded as an important town in 19th century is no more in that class in the 21st century.

- A town that was already welcoming inflow and outflow of about 40,000 people in 1850 when Ibadan, the third most populated City in Africa after Johannesburg and Cairo, was with 60,000 residents.


- A metropolitan town where Rev Bowen himself and his wife, conducted their first Sunday school in Nigeria, lived, died and buried, was not even considered when University of Bowen in Iwo was to be built to immortalize Bowen.

Ìbẹrẹ Ogun láámọ, ẹnì kan ò kìín mọ ìparí ẹ.



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