The comprehensive history of Ara town in Egbedore local government area of the state of Osun,Nigeria.

by Adabanija Kamorudeen

The comprehensive history of Ara town in Egbedore local government area of the state of Osun,Nigeria.

Introduction: Ara is one of the three oldest town located within the former Ede local government Area. The other two oldest towns in this area are Ojo and Awo,the headquarters of the newly created Egbedore local government,and Ojo located between Ara and Ede. Upon the creation of Egbedore local government,in the year 1989 and Osun state in 1991,Ara along with Awo and Ojo were incorporated into these new administration units.

The Genesis of Ara👇

Ara is an ancient town. The founder of Ara was Orira,who migrated from Ile Ife possibly as earlier as 10th century.
Orira was a son of Aranfe,one of the sons of Olofin Oduduwa the forefather and the source of the Yorubas. When Orira sought permission from his father,Aranfe to travel and establish his own settlement,his father granted permission and prayed that wherever he settled,the place should be used to accomplish something unique (Àrà in Yoruba). Orira named his settlement Ara based on his father’s prayer. Ara was established long before Ede came to be. When Ara was given a beaded crown by his grandfather,Oduduwa,when he was coming to establish his settlement of Ara.
Orira marriage was blessed with six sons each of whom became Alara in succession after the death of their father. The Obabon,Apaja,Onilepa,Okege,Oyelami,and Lalu.
Each of these sons was blessed with children,although Lalu,the youngest had no son.
The five senior brother of Lalu who had sons formed the ruling houses in Ara. Lalu has no ruling house because according to the culture female daughter of Alar has no right to be chosen as Alara.
Orira,like each of his five sons Obabon, Apaja,Onilepa,Okege and Oyelami sank in to ground alive when each of them reached his life span limit. There are six Alara in that manner in those days,the inhabitants had to desert their settlement and found a new one wherever the new Alara chose to resettle.
Oyelami, the fifth son of Orira and the sixth Alara sink in to the ground was the Alara to sink alive instead of having a tomb. Oyelami instructed the Royal family members before he sank that no Alara after him should sink again. Rather they should die and be buried in tombs. Since then the Alaras have been buried. The Alaras succeeding Oyelami in the original town of Ara were Lalu, Adumari,Ajadi, Laagbo,and Adedijo.

In summary, eleven Alaras reigned in the original Ara in the following order: 👇
(1) Orira the founder.

(2) Obabon

(3) Apaja

(4) Onilepa.

(5) Okege.

(6) Oyelami, Alara who sank last.

(7) Lalu.

(8) Adumari.

(9) Ajadi.

(10) Laagbo and Adedijo.

THE GENESIS OF THE FIVE RULING HOUSE IN ARA.

(1) Obabon beget the Odusina ruling house.
(2) Apaja beget the Laagbo (Olawoagba) ruling house.
(3) Onilepa beget Adejijo Ruling house.
(4) Okege beget the Ajadi Ruling house.
(5) Oyelami beget Adumari Ruling house.
(6) Agbetusi was added with 1979 declaration.

During the reign of Alara Adumari,the eight Alara, a local conflict called the Ijesha war about 1755-1760 threatened the Ara community,the Ijesha warriors were kidnapping children from Ara and other nearby communities.
As a result of this war, the Alara of Ara, the Olójo of Ojo,and the Alawo of Awo, met together and delibrated on what step could be taken to combat the horrible impact of the Ijesha war on their ancient communities. These Obas resolved to send a delegation to Sango Olufinran,the fourth Alaafin of Oyo to ask that he provide them with someone who could help to  protect the three communities.On arriving in Oyo, the delegation tabled their case. The Alaafin received them warmly and asked them to wait until his Eso (Warriors) return from a particular war, when the Alaafin Eso, Gbonka and Alapotiemi were coming back from war, the Alaafin called the delegation of Alara, Alawo and Olojo to point to their choice among the Esos, the delegation pointed to a particular Eso who hung the heaviest charm bag on his shoulder, Alapotiemi whose name means the (heaviest charm bag owner) his actual name is Agbale Olofa Ina and became the founder and first Timi of Ede.
After their choice, the Alaafin  willingly released Alapotiemi now called Timi to be follow any external aggression or attack. The Timi established Ede for this purpose.
Despite the relationship with Timi Ara was raided during the Eleepo war with Ibadan. The Eleepo war forced the inhabitants of Ara to flee,resulting to the end of the original community of Ara, the Ibadan warrior Eleepo.
This period of Yoruba intratribal warfare occurred between 1850 and 1864.

NEW ARA

After some years, the Royal sons of Timi, Ara decided to refound Ara on the site of present Ara town. After reestablishment of the present  Ara, the first Royal to become first Alara in the new Ara was Odusina the son of Alara Obabon.
When Odusina and his brothers were coming to re-establish their forefather’s town of Ara, they first went to inform Alara Oyelami’s daughter Mogbesola who was married to Oluwo of Iwo, when Mogbesola briefed her husband,the Oluwo on the matter,he was very happy to hear that Odusina and his brothers would re-establish his inlaw’s town. To show his support, Oluwo asked one of Mogbesola’s sons Omoleke to follow Odusina and others to help them re-establish new Ara. Several decades after the new Ara had been properly settled Omoleke was installed as Bara of Ara land. The Bara is therefore the most senior chief among the Alara’s chiefs.

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