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History of Igbara-Oke

Igbara-Oke, a nodal town that is located on a mountain top, with a panegyric, "Omo Eleye Ti N Ke Weye". A town that has never lost any battle, and has never been conquered by any town during the inter-tribal war. According to the historian, it was reported that the then Oba of Ilesa sent emissaries headed by Ogedengbe to Olowa when they heard of the performances of Igbara-Oke at the war.

Every town and domain has their history, and where they started or migrated from. The history of Igbara-Oke could be traced back to the fifteenth century, when they migrated from Ile-Ife, under the hierarachical supervision of Olowa Arajaka and his children, Alarelu and Adeyiba, who were then known as brave warriors.

Olowa Arajaka was known as OLOWA AJAKA, the son of Obanifon, the sixth Ooni of Ife, who was the first Oba to use beaded Crown. When Olowa Arajaka left with his two sons, they left with a crown given to them by Obanifon, as well as the sword of Alayere, Igba-Ifa, guns and some farm implements.

Although, they stopped and stayed briefly at numbers of places before they arrived at the present day Igbara-Oke. Amongst the places they stopped were present day Ilesa, Alaaye, Igbo Onigbagbara, Onikolo. They later settled temporarily at Olowinrin for thirteen years.

At Olowinrin, Arajaka, the leader of the group gave birth to twins, Alarelu and Adeyiba. The people at that time suffered great disaster at Olowinrin. An epidemic broke out and claim the lives of Olowa Arajaka and other people. This disease forced the people to leave Olowinrin, and went in two different directions.

Alarelu and his group departed South wards of Olowinrin to Odo-Oko, which later became Igbara-Odo, while Adeyigba went upwards to Oke-Oko, which later became Igbara-Oke.

The name Igbara was gotten from a forest called "Aigbara" where Adeyiba was born. The forest also contains a kind of leave called "Ewe Aigbara" that serves as herbs to cure diseases during that time.

When the two brothers parted ways to settle at different domain, Alarelu, the elder son took the name "Arajaka", and his brother, Adeyiba chose to bear "Olowa" from their father's name, OLOWA ARAJAKA. That is why we have Arajaka in Igbara-Odo and Olowa in Igbara-Oke.

Adeyiba later became the first king of Igbara-Oke, and he divided the town into six quarters, with a Principal Chief as the head of each quarters. These six chiefs also have minor chiefs under them who were given responsibilities for conflict resolutions, peace, security, and sacrifices to the gods and welfare matters.

The general believe that Oluji was the first Oba of Igbara-Oke is very untrue. Oluji came to Igbara-Oke for hunting.

Oba Adeyigba gave birth to three children, namely, Oberubese, Ogidi and Aruogbon. After Oba Adeyiba, different Olowa from the three ruling houses, Oberubese, Ogidi and Aruogbon have ascended the throne. The Olowas that have ascended the throne are:

1. Oba Adeyiba Aboaba
2. Oba Otete Obaji
3. Oba Agbonyin Lamuditokun
4. Oba Ojodu Agan Oberubese
5. Oba Aruogbon Adekoye
6. Oba Fatile
7. Oba Adejuri Ogidi I
8. Oba Faleke Aropupa Biodide
9. Oba Aladesoyin Oberubese
10. Oba Adetiloye Aruogbon
11. Oba Aderibigbe Agbede
12. Oba John Adebimpe Adepoju JP

His Royal Majesty, Oba Dr. Francis Adefarakanmi Agbede, Ilufemiloye is the 13th Olowa of Igbara-Oke kingdom, from the Ogidi Ruling House.

However, the reign of all these Obas have been highly significant and they played prominent role in rural development, social and economic integration.

For the record, the Olowa of Igbara-Oke is one of the 54 recognised kings in Yoruba land that wears beaded crown, as prescribed by the Ooni of Ife in which was documented in the 1902 Federal Republic of Nigeria Gazette.

Igbara-Oke is a town that shares border with three states in Nigeria, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti states. Igbara-Oke is a tripatite town. An entry point into Ondo State when coming from either Osun or Ekiti State. A land of peace, unity, love and harmony. A land that is viable for industrial and infrastructural development. Igbara-Oke has Thirteen (13) Satellites towns and vilages that are being headed by Baales. The towns are:

1. Ajebamidele
2. Olorunda
3. Owode Owena
4. Onijaka
5. Elemo
6. Araromi I
7. Araromi II
8. Kajola
9. Aro
10. Olorunsogo
11. Aje Oku
12. Bolorunduro
13. Odofin/Alaranogun

All these towns are economically viable

In Igbara-Oke, there are twenty-four traditional festivals that are celebrated annually, namely:

1. Alabasaba
2. Ibegun Obaji
3. Ijobi Ode
4. Ijobi Aro
5. Ijobi Olua
6. Ijobi Obanifon
7. Odun Opa
8. Odun Ogun Oye
9. Odun Oke-ile (Ipaka festival)
10. Ipagbon Aro
11. Igbagbon Aro
12. Ikedi Olua
13. Ijesu Aro
14. Airegbe
15. Ijesu Olua
16. Ijesu Obanifon
17. Idasu Igbara Kete
18. Oja Eran
19. Aruleje Arulemu
20. Idasu Ogun
21. Ibegun Olowa
22. Ibegu Igbara kete
23. Ijesu Olowa
24. Orikadun

Igbara-Oke was involved in many Yoruba inter-tribal wars against the Ibadan, Ijesa and Ekiti Parapo. Igbara-Oke rebuffed the Ogedengbe warriors and was victorious at the Akurin and Oboto wars. However, by the middle of 19th Century, Igbara-Oke was defeated by the Benin forces, thereby subjecting the town to Benin administration.

Administratively, Igbara-Oke is the Headquarters of Ifedore Local Government Council. An Agrarian town, most of the residents are farmers. Christianity was first introduced to Igbara-Oke in 1884. Also, in 1911, the first primary school was established in Igbara-Oke, with standard six.

In 1958, Igbara-Oke became the first town to have Secondary School in Ifedore Local Government, Anglican Grammar School. Records also show that after Ado-Ekiti, Igbara-Oke was the next town that have standard six class in the then entire Akure Division.

Igbara_Oke is the town of Chief Augustus Adebayo, a seasoned Public Administrator and former, Head of Service, and Secretary to the Western States Government between 1973 and 1975, and the town of Professor Julius Olujimi, the first Professor of Urban and Regional Planning in Ondo State, Nigeria. Igbara-Oke sons and daughters are doing well in their different field of endeavors both at home and in diaspora.

At the last count, Igbara-Oke has more than One hundred doctors (Medcine and Academics), and about fifteen professors. The town has produced two Vice Chancellors of World Class Universities.