“Excerpts from EDE MAPO AROGUN: A Celebration of a City, its History, Monarchy and People. | Edited by Prof. Siyan Oyeweso
The Story of His Installation, HRM Oba Tijani Oladokun Ajagbe Oyewusi (Agbonran II) (1976-2008) by Prof. Siyan Oyeweso
It was Kubolaje, the Timi of Ede, who moved his town southwards across the River Osun as a precaution against Fulani raids and set about attacking and reducing neighbouring towns in the Ibolo province. – R.C.C. Law
…It was in the reign of the 13 Timi, Kubolaje Agbonran Gbokanija, that under threat from the Fulanis Ede moved to its present site on the south side of the River Oshun… A new palace was built, an outer and an inner town wall, cach protected by a moat, and peaceful life was carried on, broken frequently by the need to join with other Yoruba towns to repel Fulani raiders to defend themselves against their neighbours…-R.E. Crookall.
Dateline: June 18. 1976. To many ethnic nationalities in Nigeria, June 18, 1976, was just like any other day in our 365-day Gregorian calendar year. It was, however, an historic day and a milestone in the annals of Ede history. It was on this day that a Prince from the Agbonran Ruling Family of Ede, Prince Tijani Oladokun Oyewusi (Agbonran II), was formally installed as the Timi of Ede, The Military Governor of Oyo State, at the time, was the no-nonsense soldier-statesman. Brigadier-General David Medaiyese Jemibewon. He was truly the instrument in the hand of God that made the installation of Timi Agbonran Il possible. For keen students and observers of Yoruba history, Timi Kubolaje Agbonran was the authentic founding father of present-day and one of the foremost warrior-rulers of the 19th century. He belonged to the generation of Kakanfo Afonja, Otun Kakanfo Toyeje of Ogbomoso, Adegun, the Onikoyi, the Ojele of Gbogun, Abdsalam, the new Emir of Etsu Majiya of Nupe and Alaafin Majotu of Oyo. It is on record that Timi Agbonran reigned between 1817 and 1825?
Between 1825 and 1975, the Agbonran dynasty could not and, in fact, did not produce any other Timi of Ede. Evidently, it took 15 years before the Agbonran dynasty could produce Agbonran II in Oba Tijani Oladokun Oyewusi who was formally crowned, amidst pomp and pageantry, on 18 June, 1976.
Agbonran’s road to the throne was laced with intrigues, booby traps and landmines. Powerful interest groups conspired to deny his right to the throne in spite of the fact that he was the consensus candidate of the Agbonran Family. When all roads seemed dashed. the Military governor, David Jembewon, intervened on a very decisive and positive note too. The road-blocks to his emergence were cleared. The unfolding situation is best captured in the words of David Jemibewon. (A Combatant in Govemment (Ibadan: Heineman Books, 1978), pp. 146. – 147)
In the process of the appointment of the present incumbent of the Timi of Ede chieftaincy can be round yet another instance of conflict between the ruling house and the kingmakers. Even where there is no conflict between the provisions or the law and the declaration or the customary law regulating appointment to a chieftaincy, the agents or appointment, i.e. the king-makers in this case can use the provisions of the enactments to the detriment of the community at large in a bid to satisfy their selfish ends. Following the demise of Oba Adetoyese Laoye II. the Timi of Ede. on 18 May 1975, all the functionaries connected with the appointment to the stool were directed to set in motion the necessary machinery for filling the vacancy in accordance with the provisions or the chiefs law and the approved and registered declaration or the customary law regulation appointment to the chieftaincy.
The king-makers at their meeting of 18 February 1976. by a vote of 4:3; rejected the candidature of Prince Tijani Oladokun
Ajagbe Oyewusi (the only candidate nominated and presented by the Agbonran ruling house) on an alleged reason that he lacked the popular support of the majority or the Ede community. Evidence in support of this allegation produced. and the al legation could only vitiate his nomination if there were two or more candidates presented for the stool under section l1(ii)(e)(iii) of the chiefs law.
On consultation with the Ministry of Justice, it was advised that the rejection of the candidate by the king-makers on grounds not covered by the provisions of section 10 of the chiefs’ law tantamounted to failure to perform their duties which could be cured by invoking section 13(1)(b) of the same law, i.e. appointing warrant kingmakers to perform duty I directed that the advice to be conveyed to the king-makers with a view to making them see reason and reconsider their decision. The king makers (or rather the four king-makers) who rejected Prince Oyewusi refuse to yield.
As I could not allow things to get worse or allow the stare or affairs to drag on indefinitely. I declared the king-makers in default and ordered the appointment of warrant king-makers to perform their duty under section 13 of the chiefs law. Accordingly, the warrant king-makers met and declared Prince Tijani Oladokun Ajagbe Oyewusi duly appointed as the new Timi of Ede with the appointment papers forwarded to Ibadan for approval of the executive council. It might have been proper to limit the number of warrant king-makers to four so as to allow the three willing king-makers to exercise their right.
Discreet investigations were made as to the cause of rejection of the candidate by the candidate by the king makers. My official state tour which took me to Ede afforded me the opportunity of assessing the feelings of the community. I had discussions with some eminent personalities including princes chiets and the king-makers till night of my visit. What transpired during the discussions was that Prince Oyewusi was rejected because he did not bribe his way through and did not offer the customary gift, otherwise, they all admitted, he was qualified to ascend to the throne. Here again, it is sad reflection on leaders entrusted with grave responsibility that they should refuse to do what is right and expected of them simply because they have not received personal gratifications.
The warm reception accorded me at Ede strengthened my determination to bring Prince Oyewust’s papers of appointment to the executive council for approval. Thus the council eventually gave on 2 May 1976, thus putting an end to the intransigence of those for king-makers and yet another turbulent chieftaincy dispute in Oyo State
Subsequently, Brigadier David Jemibewon dissolved the existing traditional king making council and constituted a new set of warrant kingmakers. Please find below the list of warrant kingmakers who appointed Oba Oladokun Oyewusi Agbonran II
1. Chief LO. Oyedemi – The Babasanya Chairman
2. Chief A. Adeleke – The Ashipa Balogun
3 Chief Nafiu Adeagbo – The Agbakin
4 Chief TO. Adewusi – The Ejernu
5. Chief Yesufu Oyeyomi – Ekerin Balogun
6 Chief B. Adewunmi – The Are Onibon
7. Chief R. Akinpelu – The Are-Balogun
8. Chief W. Oloyede – The Olukosi
9. Chief L.O. Ojo – The Majeobaje
10. Chief S. Akanni – Ekefa Balogun
11. Chief A. Adekunbi – Otun Iyalode
Source: Wale Folarin, The Beaded Crown, Ibadan: Gold Top, 1996), P 103