Iba Oluyole: The First Mornach Of Ibadan

Ibadan, the capital city of Oyo State back in the days, is known to be a camp of notable war soldiers mostly from Egba, Ife, Oyo, and some other parts of Yorubaland.
One of these warlords whose name must be mentioned whenever the creation and survival of the city are being discussed however is Ibasorun Oluyole. After Lagelu’s first and second Eba Odan, as it used to be called, being an abandoned settlement, was discarded by raging wars across the Yoruba land back in the 16th century, Iba Oluyole ruled over what is today referred to as Ibadan land. In fact, he was said to have commanded enormous respect among warlords back then. Having been born into the house of a warrior; his grandfather, Yamba Bi Ekun, was Basorun in Oyo during the reign of Alaafin Ojigi. His father’s name was Olukuoye Ajala.
His mother, Agbonrin was the daughter of Alaafin Abiodun 1. Though Oluyole’s age couldn’t be ascertained, he was said to be born around 1740-1750A.D. At the initial stage, Oluyole learned the trade of Blacksmith and thereafter specialised in modeling weapons of war. But he was later to become a fearless warrior. Probably because of his background, as the grandchild of Basorun, Oluyole was said to be very vast in charms. The source or logic behind this his diabolical powers, nobody knew.
It was also recorded that Oluyole, alongside Alaafin Atiba, Kunrunmi, and other warriors fought gallantly to protect Oyo and indeed Yoruba kingdom from being captured by Fulani, in what was tagged the Eleduwe war.
After this particular war, Aladeleye Atiba installed the Alaafin in Ago Market and he made Oluyole his second in command (Basorun) and Kunrunmi as Aare Ona Kakanfo.
During the Ota war, Oluyole was said to have fought on the beach where he met Eleko of Eko and a Portuguese who liked his war skills and later presented him with a brass rod which he always held. Oluyole was later to be installed as the first Baale of Ibadan land after the demise of Aare Oluyedun who ruled for less than a year. As Baale, Oluyole’s influence was phenomenal; he lived like the great war commander that he was. He was said to have married over 30 wives out of which 25 bore him children. His bravery, achievements, and immense contributions towards stability, and development of Ibadan land can’t be over-emphasized as it was well documented and has been historically confirmed by many writers.
He founded what is today referred to as Oja Iba in Beere area of Ibadan, where his statue is stylishly placed, and Oja Bode in Molete area.
As it is appointed to every mortal, he passed on in 1850, after ruling Ibadan for fourteen years.
In his remembrance, the Ile Iba clan of Oja Iba led by the family head, Alhaji Nureni Akanbi packaged a program in year 2017, which had several important personalities former Governors of the state, Chief Akin Fagbemi (Mogaji of Agunleyinju Compound), prominent chiefs of Ibadan land and a whole lot of others in attendance.
According to the Head, Iba Family clan, Alhaji Nureni Akanbi, the present and current Ibadan was the third Ibadan to have come to existence after two previous settlements has fizzled out of existence. And that was made possible by Galant efforts of Iba Oluyole alongside other warriors. Among them we believe are the likes of Bashorun Ogunmola who came under Iba Oluyole's tutelage mentorship, when he submitted to Iba's authority after initially leading a rag tag rebel militia to attack Oluyole in his house.
Bashorun Ogunmola's exploits at leveling the current Ijaye to rubbles, after defeating at Ose river the highly dreaded Aare ona kakanfo Kurunmi, who had hitherto held sway and held Oyo empire into ransom, is a glowing testimony of his mentorship by Iba Oluyole.
For the records, the first Ibadan was discarded, and the second one went the same line. It wasn’t called Ibadan then, it was called Eba Odan. So the third Ibadan that again came into existence that Iba Oluyole ruled over is the one we are in now.
According to the family head Alhaji Nureni Akanbi, there is nothing like Oja-Oba in Ibadan, the market we have here is Oja Iba, which was formed by Iba Oluyole. The Oja-Obas in Ibadan is Oba Aleshinloye and Oba Akinbiyi. Though there used to be a market called ‘Labosinde’ beside Oja Iba. Their family is the one occupying the post of Oluwo Afobaje of Ibadan land now.
Another notable and significant feature is that Iba Palace in Ibadan is still existing on a 10 acres of land and all the occupants of the houses on this land are direct descendants of Iba Oluyole.
Alhaji Nureni Akanbi said, "Oja Iba is on two acres of land and it is own by Iba Oluyole. And in this part of Ibadan that we are, we only share a border with Ijebu and Egba, up to Ogunmakin and Mamu. Other warriors have lands in Ibadan around Oje, Gate, Mokola, and so on. But here, about seven local governments are presently on Iba Oluyole’s land. Ibadan South-West, which has now been divided into two; part of Ido Local Government; Ona-Ara; Egbeda and others are some of these local government".
Mogaji is an Hausa language, Am the family Head (Arole) and I’m the 11th Family Head for Iba Oluyole. My role is to see to the family affairs and properties and make peace within the family. We have so many properties that we are taking care of and we are not selling. Though many of these properties have gone into other peoples’ hands but thank God that the remaining ones are blessed. There is no way you will have so many properties and some will not go to other peoples’ hands. On how a Head of Family is chosen, Mogaji Nureni Akanbi said "Whenever there is vacancy, heads of the twenty five branches, which must be direct descendants of Iba Oluyole and be eighteen years of age and above, whether male or female as the case maybe, will seat down to choose the next Family Head. Part of the criteria they look at is the antecedents of the proposed candidates. They interview them to know their plans for the development of the family. They choose the best among them and sometimes put it into voting when the candidate are more than three. The chosen name will then be forwarded to Olubadan for confirmation".