Attractions

ONDO CITY

Sitting among the thickly forested planes that characterize southwestern Nigeria are the towns and communities that make up the Ondo Kingdom. Located some 300kilometres to the north-east of Lagos, Nigeria's economic nerve centre and 45kilometres west of Akure, the Ondo State capital, the Kingdom is easily reached by road from all parts of the country. The Ondo people are one of the largest Yoruba subgroups, situated in the eastern part of the Yoruba speaking area of Nigeria. The weather elements that characterize the region are those typifying the rainforest region of Sub-Sahara Africa. The descent of Ondo people, as well as the geography of the Kingdom does not reflect any significant deviation from those of other towns and communities peopled by the Yoruba of south-westernNigeria, who are virtually agreed on the common paternity of Oduduwa. However there exists still, as in most historical collections, about three separate accounts that explain the origin of the Ondo people. Oduduwa, the progenitor of the Yoruba was one of the sons of Lamurudu, who was believed to have migrated from Mecca, Saudi Arabia, after some sectarian disagreement. He held the title of Olofin Adimula before he left Mecca. This perhaps explains why most Yoruba Obas are still referred to by that title to date. Oranmiyan, one of the sixteen sons of Oduduwa who left Ile-Ife, probably out of sheer ambition or mere adventure, was the first Alaafin of Oyo and the father of Oluaso, who gave birth to Pupupu, the first paramount ruler of Ondo Kingdom. Pupupu, a female, was one of the twin children of Oba Oluaso, who was said to have reigned in Oyo in the 15th Century. The other twin, a male, was named Orere. Twin birth in those days was considered an abomination and a strange phenomenon, esemawe, as a historical source interpreted it. Conventionally, the twins and their mother were instantly put to death, to prevent the imminent bad omen which was believed to be synonymous with their arrival. But because Olu, the mother of the children was one of the favourites of the King, her life and those of the twins were spared. They were however with an entourage of slaves under the guidance of a hunter called Ija, sent out of the palace with a beaded crown and an Akoko tree, signifying their royalty. Those were to accord them the dignity and the reverence due to royalty. Again, their father against the tradition of multi tribal marks of Oyo, incised two long tribal marks, one on each side of the cheek. Oluaso was apparently conscious of the fact that he may not set his eyes on the children for a long time, hence those facial marks were incised on them, so that they would be recognizable any time they were seen or if they came back home. This explains the origin of the tribal marks of Ondo to date. The Ondos are known to be traders, farmers or produce merchants. Their staple food is iyan (pounded yam) made from yam. The Ondos have their own peculiar dialect and very hard working. It must be noted however that Ondo emigrants settlers also founded many towns like Igbado, Igbindo, Ajue, Igburowo, Odigbo, Oro, Imorun, Ilunla, Erinla, Igunshin, Araromi, Araromi Obu, Ajebandele, Agbabu, Oboto, Bolorunduro, Fagbo, Tekuile, Owena, Oke-Opa, Aiyesan, Laje, Oka, Oke-igbo and etc. Although, we have lost some villages now towns such as Ajue, Odigbo, Ore, Agbabu, Ajebandele, Omotosho and etc to the creation of old Ifesowapo Local Government now Odigbo Local Government with its Headquarter at Ore. The first Osemawe Palace was built by late Oba Airo (first son of Oba Pupupu) who became 2nd Osemawe in 1530 AD. Late Oba Adeuga Fidipote 11 built the first ancient modern Palace in Ondo when he became 40th Osemawe in 1935 AD while late Oba Festus Ibidapo Adesanoye - Osungbedelola 11 built the multimillionaire and befitting Osemawe Palace in Ondo after he became the 43rd Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom in 1992. The Ondo Chieftaincy title groups are the Iwarefas, Ikules, Elegbes, Ijamas, Olojas and Baales headed by the Osemawe. The Upoji Chiefs (Female Chief) is headed by Her Royal Highness Olobun of Ondo (Oba Obirin – Female Majesty). The Popular traditional festivals in Ondo are as follows, Odun Oba, Odun Ogun, Odun Oramfe, Odun Moko and etc. The recent society modernisation or civilisations of the 21st century generation enhance us to enact Ekimogun Day Festival for developmental efforts with aspiration to bring all Ondo sons and daughters together every year to celebrate our heritage. I pulse here with due respect to honour and say kudos to His Eminence, late High Chief Ilemobayo Oreoluwa Akinnola MFR ‘Ojo Gbogbo Bi Odun’ (Lisa of Ondo Kingdom 2001 - 2013) who mute the remarkable and historic idea in 1987. The Ondos embraces Roman Catholic Christianity in 1875 and accepted by late Oba Ayibikitiwodi while late Oba Jimekun accepted the CMS Anglican Communion in 1884 and Islam in 1888. The first Ondo citizen Catholic Priest late Rev. Father John Akinwale was ordained in 1947. The first Ondo citizen to be ordained as Anglican Bishop was late Rev. D.O. Awosika while late Rev. T.O. Olufosoye was the first ondo citizen to be ordained as Archbishop of Anglican Communion Diocese of Nigeria. The first Chief Imam of Ondo, Alhaji Muhammed Alimi was installed in 1888. In conclusion, the Ondos are not proud as other people think but usually defend their integrity at all time with genuine facts. .

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