Friday, 19th July 2019
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HRM Oba (Engr) Kabir Adewale Shotobi. The Ayangbure of Ikorodu. Grand Patron of IOA.
The pavilion building for chieftaincy title holder in Ikorodu.
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Ikorodu Oga Ejina Market Place
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Ikorodu Oga statue erected by IOA
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IOA Family Photo Gallery 2006
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Commissioning of Health Centre Refurbish by IOA
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Ikorodu City Main Market Place
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Religion

 In 1892 Christianity made an advent into Ikorodu. Late chief Aina Odukanmade (the 1st Mosene) an Iwarefa and one of the most popular and wealthy chiefs with four others welcomed the early missionaries and hoisted the British flag on the soil of Ikorodu. With the backing of the Oloja of Ikorodu, Aina Odubote, Balogun Jaiyesimi and Odukanmade the Lisa of Ikorodu, Christianity started on a good footing. The first church in Ikorodu was the C.M.S. Church, Obun Ale. When the building finally gave way to the evening market, it resurrected on its present location at Ijomu.

 

The coming of Islam to Ikorodu is not unconnected with the history of slavery in the West African sub-region. The year Samuel Ajayi Crowther regained his freedom from the bondage of slavery, marked a turning point in the history of Ikorodu. Alli who was one of the freed slaves brought the torch of Islam into Ikorodu. On account of his pioneering role in the propagation of Islam, Alli became the first chief Imam of Ikorodu. The first mosque erected in Ikorodu was located at Isele where it stands till today.

 

During the Agbala war between Ikorodu and the Egbas, Tairu a fiery soldier-scholar versed in the holy, Koran was invited by the people of Ikorodu through Alli Tairu succeeded Alias the next chief Imam.

Ancestors

Perhaps the pivot on which the stability of Ikorodu rests was the legal recognition given to only two ruling houses-Rademo Royal Family and Lasunwon Royal Family. To date, the two ruling houses have produced eighteen traditional rulers. The first recognised traditional ruler was Lasunwon. At his demise, Rademo took over the reigns of power. There was Lugbekan (from Lasunwon); Dotelu (Lasunwon), Kaalu (Lasunwon); Oguntade 1 (Rademo); Petu (Rademo); Kuyinu (Rademo); Ireshe (Lasunwon); Idowu Alagbo (Rademo); Orelaja (Rademo); Ogunlaru (Lasunwon); Aina Odubote (Rademo); Odunjumo Araba (Lasunwon); Ajayi Owujebe (Lasunwon); Adenaike Alegbe (Lasunwon); Samuel Oladega (Lasunwon). The incumbent, traditionally ruler, His Royal Highness Oba Salawu Oyefusi is from Rademo, and the third Ayangburen.

 

Late Oba Adenaike Alegbe, the Oloja of Ikorodu was installed Adegorushin on Monday 3rd June 1929 at the age of 75. He was formally crowned the Ayangburen of Ikorodu.

 

Oba Alagbe is recognised in Ikorodu history as a transition-ruler. Not only for being the last Oloja and the first Oba to be crowned Ayangburen, he was also instrumental in the movement of the palace from Awofin in Ajina to Alyeluja when the community felt it was high time they built a befitting new palace for the traditional ruler of the town. A new world was discovered on the other side of the city wall, the present location of the palace Ayangburen of Ikorodu.

 

With this development, Oba Alagbe succeeded punishing the frontiers of Ikorodu beyond the ancient city walls, to begin the town’s march into a new era.

The last forty years has witnessed a tremendous growth in Ikorodu. The town is now six times its original size as a circular town. The frontiers of the Local Government now stretches as far the new industrial lay to the north at Odogunyan, to the far reaches of the Ogun River in the east. When fully developed, the industrial Estates at Odogunyan will be the largest industrial estates in black Africa.

 

The construction of Lagos-Okorodu road which was completed in 1953, and the coming of electricity three years later in 1956 opened a floor gate of business activities that laid the foundation for today’s economic development and inherent gains.

 

It is interesting to note that commercial activities that brought Ikorodu to the threshold of history and national prominence was spearheaded by sons and daughters of the town-who asatsu traders, had established themselves as first among equals, and relevant in the international business sphere of the time.

 

These pioneers, come across as visionaries, men and women in the thrall of belief so powerful that they ignore all else to ensure that reality catches up with their dreams of lifting Ikorodu up the ladder. The emerging commercial, enterprising spirit produced such business tycoons as late Chief Joseph M.Shonubi popularly known as Owolowo. He was one of the earliest business magnates in Nigeria and easily one of the richest Nigerians of his time. Apart from running ferry services from Ikorodu to Lagos, Shonubi was recognised by all, from far and near, as the most prosperous trader in the stockfish and tobacco trade.

Geography

Ikorodu lies on a plateau’ that assertion by my teacher holds good today. Ikorodu town is 5.3sq Kilometres from North to South. It stretches from Gbasemo (Aga) and Oriya stream in south to Agbala/tokin road in the north. It is bounded in the west by the Majidun River and in the cast by a straight line that connects Itamaga to Abel Abu factory on Igbogbo-Ipakodo road.

 

The top of the plateau is gently undulating. The most important streams are Apeka, Etunrenren, Erikorodo, Melegoke, Yewa, Eri-Ijomu, Ota Ona, Ota-Igbo and Erunwen. Most of these streams have now been savagely polluted by environmental resultants or modernity.

 

These streams were the sources of cool, smooth potable water to Ikorodu of yesteryears. Ikorodu town lies 30 30’ East of Greenwich and 6075 "North of the equator. Glimpses of what it used to be in the past could be seen at present day "Oro groves"-Igboti. Ikorodu lies a few kilometres north of the Lagos Lagoon and, in actual fact, less than 10 kilometres North of the Atlantic Ocean (the bright of Benin). I remember that when I was young, after rainstorms, especially in the quiet hours of early morning, on my bed at Aga. I used to hear, loudly and clearly, the rumbling and roaring noise made by the breaking of waves on the Atlantic shores.

 

This was before the noise pollution of these days as a result of the invasion of electronic sound gadgets. How I wish we could sleep in Ikorodu and have the refreshing and sublime quiet of those days!

 

Our fathers were rain forests farmers and hunters. Their Arabic crops were mainly yams-different varieties-Akosu, Obisu (Ewura) and Isu alo, Maize and vegetables, beans (Ewapupa)- which I believe is almost extinct now Ewa ewuje and popondo. They also grew melons. They also cultivated cassava which was used to make garri and a large quality of which were reserve for the feeding of animals especially goats which were very many within the town. They had paw-paw, oranges, plantains and the native banana (Ogede Omini) but most of these fruits were never harvested because of the absence of markets and sales outlets for them. They were mainly left to rot away on the trees or were consumed by birds and animals.

 

The first settlement around here was Igbogbo, then followed by Ipakodo and lastly, Ikorodu’. It is interesting to note that ‘Ewu-Elepe’ is even older than Igbogbo in age. The chronological sequence of the four settlements is almost exactly the reverse of their present day size. -‘The first shall be last, and the last first.’

 

1. Ita Efulase- this is still our popular "Ita-Efulase O, kero wa wejina Olokobo, Ita-Efulase, kero wa wejina Olokobo".This is Ajina the venue of all traditional festivals – the amphitheatre of traditional display, dancing and drumming. The hub of the ton’s social and religious activities.

 

2. Obun Ale: The only night market of those days and it is still in existence today. One important thing to note is that, socially, Obun Ale provided the venue where young men and women met in order to profess their love for one another than at any other venue. An unmarried would be full of expectations of meeting a suitor at Obun Ale.

 

3. Obun Oke: This is still an extant market. However one recollects that there were some " Aba trees", about six of them, dotting over the landscape of the market. These trees had disappeared. Their role was to announce the death of any traditional chief because of such an occasion; the trees had the most expensive ‘Aso-Oke’ tied around them for upwards 14 days to signify woven cloths were never stolen. Go and try such for 10 hours today. They will disappear into thin air.

 

4. Ita Aro: Ita Aro is a minor daily market for food items only.

 

5. Ita Elewa: This was a water logged open space. There were two very tall, coconut trees at one end and a very tall Akoko trees on a spot now opposite the entrance of the present day Methodist Church. Later, Ita Elewa was transform into a children’s playing ground before it yielded place to a motor part on the completion and commissioning of the Lagos Ikorodu road in 1954.Ita Elewa had the reputation of harbouring ‘Elegbere’ (spirits) in those days and only the most courageous and daring would pass by that area at night.

 

6. Early Morning Markets; These were markets that were held between 5.00am to 7.00am. They were located at Ojubode, Ota Ona and Oju-baba (opposite the present salvation army church Itumaja). These early morning markets enabled those who were going to the farms to buy food they would consume on the farms. Main commodities were ‘dipon’ (Adaluewa), Igbalo (robo) and Igbalo Elewe, gari offered in small measures, smoked fish, etc. These markets have naturally by now become extinct.

 

7. Native Authority Prison; There was a native authority prison on the site on which you have ‘Exclusive Club House’ today. The prison was closed down around 1938. We were told the prison got closed down because the inmates mutinied and incarcerated their warder.

Native Court; The assessors were Oba Adenaike Algbe, Oba Ogunlewa and Balogun Jaiyesimi. Of the trio, Oba Ogunlewa, Oloja of Igbogbo was literate. He was a product of Methodists Boys’ High School, Lagos.

Industrial

To date, there are well over thirty industrial concerns located in Ikorodu. That is not all, the town also serves as the nation’s communication gateway. The transmitters of the FRCN, External Service (Voice of Nigeria); NITEL transmitters and that of the State Broadcasting Corporation (Radio Lagos and LTVB) are located in Ikorodu.

 

These enviable landmarks are in consonance with the achievements of unforgettable sons and daughters of Ikorodu. It is on record that the Late Chief Michael Olutusan Onafowokan was the first Nigeria graduate Architect and Town Planner. It is to his credit that he designed and supervised the road, which links Lagos to Ikorodu. He was also involved in the design of Nambe-Bamida Road, which links Nigeria with Cameroon.

 

Chief Theophilus Owolabi Shobowale Benson, the first indigene of Ikorodu to qualify as a Lawyer, is a figure to reckon. In his pursuit of excellence and professional fulfilment, he went ahead to register the name of Ikorodu in the hall of fame as the first Federal Minister of information and Broadcasting.

 

Otunba Adeniran Ogunsanya, the first Attorney General of Lagos State; and one time Federal Minister of Housing and Survey is another illustrious son of Ikorodu who has made a mark for himself and also by extension, written the name of his town in gold.

 

There is practically no aspect of our national life where Ikorodu indigenes have not made their marks. The town has produce five senior Advocates of Nigeria-late chief Adebayo Adebola Ogunsanya; Chief Babatunde Olusola Benson; Chief Theophilus Owolabi Benson; Otunba Adeniran Ogunsaya; and Mrs Folake Solanke (the first woman SAN)

 

The tireless drive of matching dreams with reality, has also provided an array of personalities who are not used as yard-sticks and seen as trail blazers in their professional callings; Dr. Rashedat Ojelade, on indigene of Ikorodu is the first woman in Nigeria to bag a PHD in Islamic studies; late Professor Bolaji Idowu, was the first patriarch of Methodist Church, Nigeria Tony Benson, who at a young age started the first discotheque in Nigeria, adds shine and breadth to the image already carved by his late father Bernard Olabinjo Benson (Bobby) who introduced the first professional orchestra in Nigeria-Bobby Benson Jam Session. It will also remain in the evergreen memory that Rasheed Gbadamosi economist, writer, became at the age of 29, the youngest commissioner ever in the history of Lagos State.

 

In the academia, Ikorodu can with all relish brandish its enviable laurels for being blessed with over ten university dons including the Vice Chancellor of Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta and a former deputy Vice Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. In fact, one of these illustrious sons of Ikorodu-late professor Ayodele Awojobi crowned his academic excellence with the highest degree in the field of science –Doctor of science (DSc), Awojobi, left his inventions – AUTONOV (1,2,3)-a mechanical design in military vehicle which can be manoeuvred in both directions.

 

This galaxy of successful personalities have turned obstacles around them on their way up the ladder to a pathway to keep on course the history of a town aptly described as Ikorodu Oga, Ilu kekere oko ilu bantabanta. They have also in their strides for excellence, toned down wherever drab shade left around to bright colours.

 

It is in the glow of this bright colours of fulfilment that Ikorodu indigenes and well-wishers from all walks of life are here gathered today to celebrate a successful twenty five years sojourn of Alayeluwa Oba Oyefusi in the corridors of power as the Ayangburen of Ikorodu. This odyssey spanning a quarter of a century has brought unprecedented changes into Ikorodu. And it is all too obvious that the attendant prosperity has robbed off on practically all aspects of life in the town-an increased virile population, an enviable industrial growth, increased volume of trade and peaceful co-existence of all tribes that inhabit Ikorodu.

Commerce

Modern Ikorodu terms of commercial activities have behind, it a long history dating back to very early days. Suffice it now to say that such Ikorodu magnates as late Chief Shonubi, Alias Owolowo, was one of the early business tycoons of Nigeria and early one of the richest Nigeria of his time. Apart from running ferry services from Ikorodu to Lagos, he established a lead in the stockfish and tobacco trade. He was the son of Lyalode Efun who was also reputed to be the richest individual in Ikorodu or her day. She had the only motor in Ikorodu in the early forties. Another commercial outfit that gained worldwide fame was the Ikorodu trading company (ITC) which exhibited the finest in commercial organisation qualities and acumen. The founding fathers of ITC. Alhaji (Chief) S.O. Gbadamosi and Alhaji Rabiu Allison are today of blessed memory. Today, the name of Papa Gbadamosi is known throughout the length and breadth of this great country of ours as a very successful businessman and industrialist.

 

It will be a futile exercise to try to compile a list of Ikorodu sons and daughters who are business tycoons. You know all them. Let us however mention those who daily make contributions towards the commercial/industrial activities in Ikorodu of today.

 

I will mention them not in any particular order-Bab Shariff (A printing and light packaging outfit, Expo Aluminium) (One of the best in the fabrication of Aluminium windows, doors, failings etc.) Ragolis spring pure natural water, Abel Abu Garment Industry, Olokunola Polythene Bag Industries, Romo-Polythene Bag Producer, Construction one Nigeria limited and Koya Construction Company and Oriwu Sun Newspaper limited.