By Demola Atobaba
In what could be described as reawakening and restoration of Yoruba History and Culture, eminent Yoruba Leaders of thoughts, including the President-General of Yoruba World Congress (YWC), Professor Banji Akintoye, Afenifere Chieftain, Pa. Ayo Adebanjo, Pro-democracy crusader, Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu (rtd), Chairman of Yoruba Council of Elders, Justice Ademola Bakare (Rtd), and a Renowned Professor, Adetoun Ogunseye, among others, will on Tuesday 22nd and Wednesday 23rd September, 2020 converge to celebrate the 134 years anniversary of the end of Kiriji War.
The 22nd September event holds at Okemesi, Ekiti State, and Imesi Ile, Osun State, where the war started and Igbajo, Osun State, where the peace treaty that marked the end of the war was signed while the 23rd September event holds at the expansive Secretariat of YWC in Ibadan, Oyo State, where well-meaning Yoruba Traditional Rulers, including the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oladunni Oyewumi, the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji and Owa-Ooye of Okemesi, Oba Michael Gbadebo Adedeji, will address the Yoruba People.
The Kiriji War, also known as the Ekiti-Parapo War, was a 16-year long civil war between the Yoruba people where all the sub-ethnic groups either supported the Ibadan or the Ekiti.
The war, according to Oxford History Library, was an attempt by the Ekitis to halt the expansive efforts of the Ibadan city-state, which attempted to replace the Oyo Empire as the dominant region in Yorubaland. In addition, Ibadan wanted a unified Yoruba nation similar to that of the Oyo Empire, while the Ekiti wanted a loose confederation of cities that had existed in the Ekiti region.
During the war, the Ibadan, were led by the Aare Ona Kakanfo, Obadake Latosa, the military commander-in-chief who had the support of people of Modakeke, Offa, and Oyo while the Ekiti Parapo, led by Fabunmi from Oke-Mesi, and later supported by Saraibi Ogedengbe, the Balogun of Ijeshaland, were aided by Soilders from Ijebu, Ife, Egba, Akoko, Igbomina, Ilorin and Kabba.
The war came to an end on 23rd September 1886 which marks the beginning of unification of Yoruba Land as one.
The Organizer of the Kiriji War Anniversary said Yoruba Elders have met and agreed that the 23rd September day that the Kiriji War ended is now to be celebrated as Yoruba Nation’s Day.
According to a Statement made available to EKITI ON on Sunday by Arc. George Akinola on behalf of the Conveners of the event, the purpose of the two-day ceremony is to unite the people of Yoruba Land towards achieving prosperity and development.
The Statement reads that “the Owa Ooye of Okemesi, Oba Gbadebo Adedeji, JP, CON, Owa Ooye of Imesi Ile, Oba Ademola Akinyemi and the Owa of Igbajo, Oba Adeniyi Fashade of Okemesi, Imesi Ile and Igbajo, shall be the Chief Hosts for the event on 22nd September in their respective communities while the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, shall be the Chief Host on 23rd September at Ibadan.
“More also, all the First Class Yoruba Traditional Rulers from Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo, Kogi, Kwara, Edo, Oyo and Lagos States respectively have been specially invited to attend the event”.
Akinola said the event on 22nd September will commence at Okemesi by 10am, Imesi Ile 12noon, Igbajo 3pm while that of 23rd September will kick-off by 11am at Ibadan.
He urged all Yoruba sons and daughters worldwide to make their presence felt at the events, both physically, or morally.
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