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History of Idofin in affiliation to Igbomina, Ajo Camp

History of Idofin in affiliation to Igbomina, Ajo Camp, is a Yoruba Northern Frontier, where some of Omu-Isanlu district like Omu-Aran, Aran Orin, Arandun, Oba, Oko and others with some of Ekiti country; like Ilofa/Odo-Owa, Ekan meje and Ilale fled to as a refuge camp (security purpose) before the colonial era.
The Igbomina are in the territory of Oyo Empire until reign of Alafin Abiodun and Aole, when the autonomy confederacy military force of vassal state (provinces) of Oyo Empire over power centre military force of Oyo Empire that led to the fall of the great Oyo Empire due to political, security and economic reasons.
The problem started from Bashorun Gaa, Egba, Ijaye, Dahommey, Ijebu and Ibadan leading the course of war in 1754 to end of that century before Afonja (Are-Onakakanfo) play major role in the fall of Oyo Empire in 1817 by the help of funlani jihadism (Alimi), that is the beginning of Yoruba civil war and Jihad war, where as Afonja was killed in 1823, Ibadan military force invaded Igbomina before 1850 and Igbomina fled to Ajo Camp, a fortress forest around River Ajo, a tributary to River Ero in the locality of Idofin land, a rich forest for farming, it share boundary in the West with Oko town and in the South with Ilofa/Odo-Owa and North East with Idofin-Igbana.
Before Omu-Isanlu district country came to Ajo camp, Idofin has a good military forces structure in Existence, Idofin was divided into Eight wards by Oba Okandobobata from Idofin Mobba in the second half of 18th century where Isapa town join as 9th ward. These are the name of those wards: Eredo, Ebido, Iketa, Igbon from Idofin Mobba (now Idofin Igbana), Aiyekale, Odo-Aga, Omo-Aro, Ehinafo from Idofin Ogbolu (now Idofin Odo-Ashe) and Isapa. Each wards is under generalismonism (Elegbos) commandant of military force, this military structure make Idofin so powerful that it never subdue by Ibadan invaders or jihad.
For instant, before 1850, five Elegbos has come from Eredo ward as example:

  1. Elegbo Akansina Kainkain             –        Moo clan
  2. Elegbo ke pon ke jokopon            –        Odo-Agbede Clan
  3. Asa kuta kun saka                        –        Itako clan
  4. Igba re gun baba tani je gun iya     –        Igbede clan
  5. Afofun Ala                                    –        Okelere clan

When Omu-Aran people came to Ajo camp, the traditional institution change from chiefs Olomu to Esinkin, the commandant of military force, likewisely the pattern of Idofin military structure in existence and probably is not possible for stranger to become oba or chief in another man’s land of refugee.
Now alliance forces from Ila-Orangun in the old Oyo Empire through Omu-Aran join by some Ekiti country which is autonomy confederacy military force (Ajo-Iyangba) form for political, security and economic reasons.
In 1877-1893, this Igbomina, Ila, Akoko, Ekiti, Ijesha join force with Ilorin Jihad to pursue Ibadan force from taken over leadership power of Ilorin Emirate (Fulani) and Ekiti parapo war (Kiriji war) which originated from Ekiti and Ilesha protest against Ibadan.
As life continue in Ajo Camp with Igbomina and Ekiti country, the Iyangba confederacy foster unity between them to the extend, they were doing things in common; in terms of administrative, culture, security and economic wise.
Cultures: masqueraders like Egungun elewe dancers from Oyo are rotating between Ajo Iyangba town and villages, also drummers that use instruments like dundun and bata are rotating meeting at interval of three month within Ajo Iyangba villages and towns Sango from Oyo (Arugba) which have shrine at Idofin Igbana is the principal figure in Igbomina and Ekiti of Kwara State.
The culture of customary marriage of female to female of Ekiti country was abolish at Ajo camp due to the influence of interaction of neighbouring Igbominas in Ekiti country except Eruku, where Iyagba of Kogi state neighbouring have influence of interaction likewise of Igbominas neighbor on Ajo camp.
Economic: The ideal of rotating market days with interval of five days between villages and towns in Ajo camp was oscherated and it is still in use till present day.
Security common goal of Ajo Iyangba have already said earlier, that Ajo Iyangba autonomy military force join hand with Jihad to fight kiriji war (Ekiti parapo war) in 1877-93 against Ibadan military force.
Administrative: After Afonja was killed in 1823, the Jihad started ravaged most of Yoruba land but Egba join force with Ibadan to defeat Jihad at Osogbo (Osogbo war) in 1840 but Jihad continue to ravage Igbomina, Ekiti, Akoko, Ila, then Ajo Iyangba join force with Ilorin Jihadism against Ibadan force, since then Igbominas/Ekitis has been in the side of Ilorin.
But when European traders penetrate Bight of Benin and Biafira successfully after several attack from local villages under bee croft as counsul and Lagos conomy by Campbell as consul. British government send Lord Lugard to Nigeria as counsul general to take over Northern part of Nigeria in 1894, because Northern part (Inter land) is not easy to penetrate due to religious bigotory (strong beliefs in Islamic), it is difficult to attack North with peace treaties but with full? military force.
Niger constabulary was raised up (a military force under direction of trading company) Royal niger company 1895 Niger constabulary force have their barrack at Idofin (Idofin –Igbana) and many part of North, at this time, Afonja descendants make attempt to take power back from emirate by killing Emir momo and burn the palace before Niger constabulary captured Ilorin in 1897.
Thus Igbomina/Ekiti became part of the Northern until present day, attempt to come back to South West with several petitions failed.
During Niger constabulary stay at Idofin and Omu-Aran, Idofin became the headquarter of Osi District, Now, Ekiti and Oke-Ero local government area and Omu-Aran became headquarter of Omu-Isanlu district now Irepodun and Isin local government area.

Before Ajo disintegrated, corps of communities such as Oko, Omu and Aran fallibilities and greed exhibited, to the extent of intermittently raided the farms of Odo Owa and Ilofa,? force the owners of crops to abandon their crops and seized wives of neighbours and rape them at will. The matter was brought to the notice of the then colonial administration at Odo-Otin now Osun state by the host community (Idofin Moba), during the reign of Oba Akangbe Alomilogba.? The then district officer sent his army led by Captain Bower to dislodge them at Ajo camp. The Esinkin, Petu, Odofin were arrested by the Colonial army and were detained at odo-otin for seventeen days.
In 1896, after the arrival of Niger constabulary force, Ajo Iyangba (Ajo Camp) started disintegrated, Omu-Isanlu district, Omu-Aran, Arandun, Aran-Orin go back to their former place (Omu-Aran) before Arandun, Aran-Orin move to their former place of present term some where about (1931-4) and Ekiti country go back to their former places.
The foster unity at Ajo Iyangba still continue after the disintegration in administrative wise by married the two blocks together, calling Igbomina/Ekiti division during colonial era in Ilorin province of Northern Nigeria, Its later become Igbomina area council and Ekiti area council.
In 1976, Kwara state local government reform, we have Ajodun area council (Ajo camp sweet) during George Innih as Governor of state and? later transform to Irepodun local government area that comprises of Igbominas and Ekitis before the comprises disintegrated to Ekiti, Oke-Ero, Irepodun and Isin local government area.
In conclusion, Idofin as a case study: Idofin is from Otun-Ekiti, the first settler of Ekiti Kwara but probably due to the neighbouring Igbominas at Ajo camp (Ajo Iyangba) interactions and immigrants from Igbomina country to Idofin before wars influence their language, cultures and others. The language changed from Ekiti to Igbomina, the pattern of building changed from Ekiti to Igbomina style.
Thus some traditional cultures of Idofin align with Igbominas as in the passage above, fielflord and land tenure system of Idofin during colonial era is of Ekiti culture but now Igbominas culture. For instance, Iketa and Igbede clans of Idofin are collecting tributes from Ilofa/Odo-Owa and Oko farming on their vast rich landed area of Ajo camp and moo clan are collecting tributes from Olla and Ilofa/Odo-Owa, farming on their land, at Alaganran and Odo_Omu near Olla in Isin Local Government area of Kwara State, Probably, initial settlement of Omu_Aran people before they moved to present day of Omu Aran town. Type of drums deviate from Agbe drums to Dudun, Bata, Agogo, is no more notice but we can still notice Agbe in some occasion.

Food Culture; Igbomina is well known with habit of eating Ewu Iyan, Ikasin-Oka and Eko-Eda in which Idofin is not left out.

Administratively, Idofin is included: its rear to mention villages and town in Igbominas without including Idofin among the villages and towns in Igbomina despite the fact that Idofin is Ekiti, thus Idofin history is related with Igbomina.

A sango shrine in Idofin Igbana. The arugba Sango, the Large figure with bowl, is the principal sculpture found on Sango shrines in Igbomina and EKiti towns. This carving is in the style of the Work shops in Osi Ilorin in Northern Ekiti. Nigerian National Museum Archives, Lagos, Idofin, Igbana Nigeria 1961. Photograph by P.Allison.


  1. Afolabi F. Igbomina land in the context of Yoruba History Ikeja 2006
  2. Ekundare R. O.: An economic history of Nigeria 1800 – 1760 London 1973
  3. Ogunremi O. and Adediran B.: Culture and society in Yorubaland 2002
  4. Omu-Aran Social Club: The chronicle of Omu-Aran Oduduwa age to 2002, Lagos 2002.


  1. Omu-Aran development association, the memorandum submitted to Ekundayo chieftaincy, review and upgrading panel 1978
  2. Abiodun M. O. settlement and their evolution in Omu-Aran district from earliest times to 1968. B. A. dissertation university of Ilorin 1985


    • Adedeji r. O.: Origin of Omu-Aran before and after colonialism. N.C.E Dissertation College of Education, oro 1984
    • Esorua W. O.: Historical and Social aspect of change and continuity in Igbomina 1850 – 1959. B. A. Dissertation University of Ilorin 1981
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    • Gazette of Ilorin provine 1921 by K. V. Ephinstance Ilorin Assessment Report G. C. Whitely 1916
    • Traditional institution of Omu-Aran change at Ajo: Afusat Ayinla Omolara; Department of History and Inter Relation University of Ilorin 2011


      • Notes on Tribes of Nigeria (Northern Nigerian Tribes and Emirates) Page 390 by O. Temple (Mr V.F. Biscoe and Mr P.M. Dwyer)