Home news Detailed Historical Account of Ajiran Land In Eti-Osa (A MUST-READ)

Detailed Historical Account of Ajiran Land In Eti-Osa (A MUST-READ)

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The modern day Ajiran Land situated in the heart of
Eti Osa was founded by a valiant hunter called Mogisho. Going by oral history handed down from past generations,
Mogisho was a brother to Olofin Ogunfunminire
both of whom settled at Isheri when
they left Ile-Ife.
From Isheri,
Mogisho, along with his two sons – Osuwon
Akojo Ote
and Owonronwonron
moved across the lagoon around the I5th Century, and made their first stop at a
place now called Iberekodo Onife.
Olofin, on his part,
made a home for himself at a location in the present day Iddo. Mogisho and his
two sons were great hunters who after each hunting expedition, retired to a
spot near the lagoon from where they crossed over to Iberekodo and ate their
meat. This spot later became known as Aj’
iran
– (a place for eating meat). 
During one of his
hunting expeditions, Mogisho met a stranger known as Ejo. After customary exchange of pleasantries, the stranger told
Mogisho how he arrived at that spot after migrating from Ile-ife.
According to him, he
first settled at Isheri before moving on to Irewe. Ejo went further to tell Mogisho that he vowed never to
return to Irewe after which he transformed into a boar in a fit of anger and
swam away from Irewe until he emerged at the exact spot they met. This historical
spot is now referred to as Oju Egun.
The two men agreed to settle there and be at peace with each other.
Both Mogisho and Ejo
were both powerful medicine men who were versed in the use of supernatural
powers. .
They both lived to
old ages before they died. Prior to the death of Ejo (he died first), he was
said to have left instructions that in the event that his two sons – Oluwen and Olukolo both of whom he left
behind at Irewe, came looking for him, the people should invoke his spirit
during Olokun Festival. He also left
instructions that his sons should be buried at the Oju Egun, through which he
himself departed at his death.
When death came
calling on Mogisho, the brave hunter simply ordered one of the deities – Ajade – to vacate its shrine at Eregun and sent it across the lagoon to
Ijede (in present day Ikorodu Local Government) where it is still
being worshipped to date by the people of Ijede. Mogisho also left words that
he should be invoked every three years during the Ayala festival with a dog obtained from the Alajede as the sacrificial
animal for his worship
.
Ejo’s sons, Oluwen
and Olukolo, eventually showed up at Ajiran years after their father’s death.
On arrival at Ajiran, they made a home for themselves at Idumojokun quarters where their father had earlier lived.
Oluwen gave birth to
Akisan, Olukolo begot Ayeloro while Mogisho’s eldest son, Osuwon akojo-Ote had Osolo.
Thus the emerging Ajiran
Community evolved a simple administrative structure within the knowledge of the
early settlers. But with time, six quarters have emerged with each under a
traditional head. 

Ojomo of Ajiran, Oba Adetunji Akinloye’s palace (Pic: Mac Suchi)

These quarters
include:-
·       
Odofin quarters

·       
Ejo or Idumajo
quarters

·       
Ido Ijebu
quarters

·       
Ojomo quarters

·       
Idumawen quarters
and

·       
Sateru quarters.
The geographical
location of Ajiran is one of the factors that has contributed to the slow pace
of development in the community. Ajiran as an offshoot of Iddo, it naturally
has historical links with Lagos. All the Aworis are also offspring of Olofin.
While the founders
of Ajiran moved to the South East area, others moved to the South West area,
this explains why Ajiran stands out as the only settlement in the area. The
others who came with the Olofin went to the South West area mingling with the Egbas and the Eguns.
This isolation has
contributed in no small way to the slow growth of Ajiran. Another factor was
the powerful nature of the founders of Ajiran. Interestingly, Oral tradition of Ajiran credits Olofin
and Mogisho with feats beyond human comprehension.
Each time Mogisho
wanted to travel, all he needed to do was to spread his magical mat on the
Lagoon and he would be at the destination of his choice. The powerful nature of
these men separated them and their community from the main stream of the larger
society.
However with the
advent of canoes, outsiders began to visit the isolated domain of the
descendants of Mogisho and Ejo. These early visits marked the beginning of an
emerging bigger Ajiran community made up of people from different parts of the land.
        
In all, there are
about two hundred and one (201 deities)
in Ajiran land. This is reflected in the people’s cognomen Omo Orisamokanle Lugba. The popular traditional festival are the Olokun and the Ota festivals.
Apart from this,
there is the weekly traditional rite called Ose-Igba. As in most Olofin traditional set ups, the Ojomu III, the company of the Odofin
offer prayers to the gods especially the Olokun and the Olosa. Muslim and Christians as well, offer prayers for the clan
during this period for peace and protection. This is done every (9) ninth
market day. It is a call on the ancestors
for peace and protection
. This is one of the traditional festivals of
Ajiran land that have survived the assaults of western civilization.
There is also a
festival known as the Ota festival. This comes up once in every three years.
The Olokun is done once in a life’s time when the Oba is in Ipebi (Seclusion,) After the Ipebi, the
Oba has to go to Oju Egun and offer prayers to his ancestors. This tradition is
known as Oju Egun Ela. The god of
the sea is offered prayers, for protection and peace.
The last five years
have been the eldorado years of
Ajiran land. The mud huts with thatched roofs that characterized the landscape
have been demolished and in their places now stand houses built of blocks, with
corrugated iron sheets. The narrow foot path that once led to the heart of the
community has also given way to a motorable road.
L-R:
HRM Oba Tijani Adetunji Akinloye (Sateru II),  
Ojomu
of Ajiran and HRM Oba Idowu Abiodun Oniru, 
Oniru
of Iruland during the presentation of staff of office 
to
the newly crowned Oba Saheed Ademola Elegushi (Kusenla lll)
Elegushi of Ikateland
“All these” in
the words of His Royal Majesty, Oba
Tijani Adetunji Akinloye, JP (OON), Sateru II, the 14th Ojomu of Ajiranland

“have been made possible by communal efforts”. The tide of change
blowing through Ajiran has left in its wake an enviable touch of modernity
which is a sign post of the direction Ajiran is heading.
In August 1993, the
community launched itself on the path of self-sustained communal efforts with
the installation of two generators -1.2S0KVA and 100 KVA installed to supply
electricity to every home in Ajiran.
A year later in
1994, the DFFRl gave the collective
communal efforts of the people of Ajiran a boost with the provision of a
bore-hole which was powered by the community’s generators.
The education of
children of Ajiranland is a recurrent decimal in the developmental-plan chart
of the Ojomu. He is obsessed with the dream of raising the literacy level of the
younger generation to equip them for the challenges of the years ahead.
“It is our
collective goal when I assumed office to reduce the problem of children going
to school outside the community,” Oba Akinloye points out, “some of
our children attend schools in Victoria
Island
and Igbo-Efon. It is
quite a pathetic sight to see these children going as far as three kilometres,
under the scorching sun. And of course, there is the danger of the express
road. The most touching aspect were reports of road accidents involving school
children”.
In October, 1996 a
primary school was established through communal effort and the co-operation of
the Lagos State Primary Education Board
(SPEB)
. The school took off from an existing building acquired by the
Ajiran Community. The school has now been relocated to its permanent site with
the construction of seven block of classrooms.
“Our hope is
that this school will become a model, first of its kind in Lagos State.”
Oba Akinloye’s optimism is anchored on the community’s plan of building
separate block of classrooms to accommodate science subject and computer
library.
“We have
discussed with SPES and they have shown support by given us teachers”. Oba
Akinloye and the progressive elements in Ajiranland are determined not to leave
any stone unturned in ensuring that the children of Ajiran and by extension
school children in the whole of Eti- Osa are given the best legacy -education.
In 1994 sons and
daughters of Ajiran who had undergone artisan training in different trades were
assisted with up-to-date working tools. The hand-over ceremony of the working
tools was performed by the then Military
Administrator of Lagos State, Col. Olagunsoye Oyinlola
.
“This
year”, Oba Akinloye was emphatic, “our focus is the model primary
school. We are going to provide books in four core subjects – Mathematics, English, Social Studies (for
children in junior classes)
and Integrated
Science
. We are also going to provide exercise books, and enough teaching
materials for teachers”.
In the area of
health two organisations have shown interest in the area of improving the
health, standard of Ajiran community. Proposals have been received from the Nigeria Peace Committee and the UNESCO. All things being equal, there
is a high hope that a comprehensive health centre will be located in Ajiran in
not too distant future. As far back as 1971, Oba Akinloye has been in the main
stream of the struggle to improve the health standard of Ajiran and its
environs. He was a member of the team of volunteers who came to Eti-Osa that year to carry out a health
survey on the lives of the people. The report of the survey team has been very
useful to the Local Government Authority in implementing health policy in
Eti-Osa.
Oba Akinloye is full
of praises for the supportive role of Chevron in the provision of social
amenities in Ajiran. “Chevron and HFP”, he notes with pride, “have
helped in making our evening to be unique with the provision of medium street
lights on the express road from Ikota to
Maiyegun roundabout
. With these street lights, road users now find it
convenient to drive at night with a clear and beautiful view of the vicinity
under the orange illumination of these lights”.
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Adebayo Folorunsho-Francis is a communicator, Journalist, blogger, business coach and, of course, a prolific writer. He has Dip (Journalism) and B.A. (History & International Relations) from the Lagos State University (LASU). The self-effacing young man has worked for national, regional and local newspapers. He had worked with THISDAY covered community news for ISLAND NEWS and corresponded with P.M. NEWS (evening tabloid). Presently, he is the editor of CITYPULSE MEDIA and senior correspondent of PHARMANEWS, West Africa foremost health and pharmaceutical journal.

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