Tuesday, May 27, 2008

HISTORY OF ARAN-ORIN TOWN

Here is the history of Aran-orin, a town in irepodun local government area of Kwara state, Nigeria. A home of diffrent cultural heritage, where visitors are treated like they are in their own home land. You will need to visit this town to see how everybody is welcome.

The saying of one adage will be a good defence to writing the history of one’s town, “no matter how small a man talks of himself, people will say he has said too much”. This equally makes me remember a wise saying, “however broadminded and enlightened a person may be, however global his outlook, there is always a natural tendency to attach some positive emotions to those things that appertain to home, sweet home.”

A world famous traveler is known to have said “l have sailed the Northern seas; I have gone from post. I have crossed the deserts of the world and known the beautiful cities of the world, indeed, I have been to almost all the corners of the world, but what I long to see most are my old hometown and my kith and kin”.

Writing the history of Aran-Orin is an arduous task. This is because there is no written records, no archeological excavations or carbon dating with which one determine date of settlement or migration. All I have are information from oral sources. History written from oral sources are subjected to so many questions or defects. There is absence of dates as I said earlier on. There will be lacuna. Nevertheless we must start from somewhere.


The origin:

We have various version of origin of Aran. One version say Aran originated from Ife, and that the compound from where Aran originated from Ile-Ife is called Ile Jaaran. I went personally to Ife in 1971. I went in the company of Chief Esinkin Abolarin, IIota compound, Aran-Orin and late Pa. Baranjoko, the Chief Inurin of Aran- Orin, Ile-Abagba, Aran-Orin. We went to Jaaran compound at Ife. There was a High Chief of Ife from that compound called Chief Jaaran.

Another version says, that the Aran people came from Oyo. Their justification is based on the tribal marks and use of traditional drums; dundun, bata, sekere, etc. In addition, the egungun festival is part of what some traditional historian claimed to have been brought from Oyo.

Whether from Ife or from Oyo, the fact remains that Aran has migrated from somewhere to where she is today. There is a point that needs to be exemplified here. You will observe that I have been mentioning “Aran” and not Aran-Orin. At present, we have three groups of Aran:- Aran-Orin, Aran-Omu, and Arandun. The three Arans have a common ancestor and a common origin. I will elucidate more on this in the course of this paper.

Who led Aran from ife? Where did the first leader first settled when he left Ife? And when did the leader leave Ife?

Historically, the Aran arrived Igbominaland before 1700AD. In fact some version of tradition confirmed earlier date. If he had arrived igbominaland before 1700AD it means, he would have left ife much earlier and reasonably must have settled somewhere before he got to his present site.

This leader was among the earliest arrivals. Others were Olupo of Ajasse-ipo, Elese of Igbaja, Olusin of Isanlu Isin, Elekan of Ekan and of course, the Olomu of Omu-Aran.


With the oral tradition version of Oyo origin the Aran on their sojourn to Igbomialand perhaps traveled through Oyo, settled briefly before continuing their journey. While at Oyo there might have been possibility of cultural interactions and contaminations, just as it happened to the Israelites in their sojourn from Egypt to the promised land.

Olupo, Elese, Olusin and Alaran were descendants of the same appellation or cognomen Olupo Maje, Olusin Maje, Alaran Maje and Elese Maje. This appellation ,“Maje”, which is common to the three rulers justifies the fact that at a time in the distant past, there was a close etymological affinity among Olupo, Elese, Olusin and Alaran.

According to Adeboye Babalola in his book 'Awon Oriki Orile' (Yoruba classics), Iwe Kini, he said, the son of Ologbojo was the Alaran. One is tempted to believed that he was the person who led them from Ife to Odun Alaro where he first settled in Igbominaland.

How Aran came in contact with Omu?

Oral traditions informed us that as a result of internecine wars, Aran moved from Odun to a closer place to Omu. In fact the moved was further strengthened by marriage. The chief and another kinsman called Esaba married from Omu. The two of them were said to have moved to Omu later to help their in-laws in their fight against their neighbours. At the restorations of the status, these helper settled down at Omu and were comfortably installed at “Ile Aran” along Aran-Orin road at a place called “Ogun Ajiki” where broken pots and plates, rusty metals in form of knives and cutlasses are found in large quantity.

At a time there was power tussle between two princes. The younger prince was rich, influential and popular. A group took side with the older brother while the younger brother had his own followers. The cause of their tussle could not be stated here. The younger prince, Prince Ose decided to move with his followers to Odun Alaro. He did not however move too far but settled at the present site at Aran-Orin. Here prince Ose was crowned as Alaran of Aran-Orin here.

When he died he was buried there at Aran-Orin. And with the oral tradition available at the time of this paper, he was the only Alaran of Aran-Orin who was never buried at the ancestral home of the Alarans at Odun Alaro, otherwise called “Igbo Orile” at Arandun. In fact the most recent late Alaran of Aran-Orin, Oba J. A.O. Fakayode, Ewuolaku II equally slept at the same ancestral burial ground at Odun Alaro.

All I have said happened before “Ajo confederacy”.

What initiated Ajo?

Ajo confederacy came when the Yoruba civil war threatenend the existence of many Yoruba town , hence the settlement at Ajo was on before the arrival of the british colonialists. This Ajo confederation was a conglomeration of many Igbomina towns. The site was a place between IIofa and Oko. There are still relics of walls at the site now if anybody cares to visit this place.

I wish the Igbomina Ekiti local government could make this site into a monument by the gazette to Ilorin province 1921 by K.V. Elphinstone. He referred to Ayo Iyangba as Ajo Niagba.

Ajo was disbanded in early 1906. This was after the Yoruba civil wars and the jihad of Usman Danfodio of 1804.

After leaving Ajo Aran-Orin decided to return to their settlement at Odun Alaro or near by. Some said the war had not ended as at the time Aran–Orin went back to their formal settlement which is their present site. It was one senior chief, Chief Olowa who led the first set of Aran remained at omu with Oba Buoye as head of Aran and Oba Momo as head of Omu.

Really, it was Ile Baba-Agba that has been adulterated to sound Abaagba.

Above was the situations until 1928 to 1932 when unhealthy jealousy sprang up between Olomu Momo and Alaran Buoye. The persecution and insults became so unbearable that Oba Momo told Oba Buoye “Osun meji kii gbe ilu” which literally means two Obas, or Kings cannot govern in a town at a time, Oba Buoye was asked to lead his remaining people to go and join his people at Aran-orin. This was what led another Aran group to leave Omu-Aran between 1930 to 1932. they stopped briefly at Aran-Orin for six months. All pleadings and beggings of Aran-Orin did not receive blessing of the king Oba Jeseph Ilufemi loye