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.
In 1996, Chevron also constructed a bore-hole with overhead tanks to compliment the one provided by DFFRI. The two boreholes serving the community have helped in improving the hygenic condition of Ajiran.
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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