Ibadan Insider History: Oluyole Bashorun of Ibadan (3)

Ibadan Insider History: Oluyole Bashorun of Ibadan (3)

Hello Everyone, thanks for joining us again in our Ibadan leaders  series. Today we continue our series on Bashorun Oluyole and today’s article which is the third in a series of four, w we look at the concluding part of the wars and rebellions that took under during Bashorun Oluyole’s rule.

With Elepo’s escape to Ijaiye ( and his subsequent death under Kurumi), Bashorun Oluyole was rid of one of the sharpest thorns in his flesh. His influence over the city of Ibadan increased even more. He had been cruel before the Elepo rebellion, after the rebellion, he became a downright dictatorial ruler as none of the other chiefs had the wherewithal to challenge him.  Not long after Elepo left, the Ilorin still smarting from the defeat the rest of the Yoruba had inflicted on them during the Eleduwe war decided to attack Osogbo again. The people of Osogbo appealed to the Bashorun for help and the Bashorun promptly sent six of his  top commanders, Oderinlo(whom we shall talk about at a later date), Ogidi (whom you remember as one of the last prominent Ife people in Ibadan after Maye Okunade’s death),Olubodun, Lajubu, Akinluyi and Akinlade to Osogbo to help. When the warriors reached Osogbo, they fell on the Ilorin and soundly beat them back again.

It was then that these chiefs thought among themselves, “Why should we need to fear the Bashorun? We were able to beat the Ilorin scoundrels back without his help after all. So they rebelled against the Bashorun on their way back to Ibadan. When they got home, instead of going to give a report of the campaign to Bashorun Oluyole and giving him his share of the captured loot as is due to the leader of the town, they declared war on him and told him to prepare to fight a civil war in the same manner he had led them against Lakanle.

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Bashorun knew he could not win against all six generals in a street war, in the same way, he had done with Lakanle and Elepo he was able to do some horse trading with some of the rebels and draw them to his side. When he had enough rebel commanders on his side, he suddenly launched an offensive against the last two commanders who didn’t accept his peace overtures, Lajubu and Akinluyi. Lajubu and Akinluyi fought bravely, but they could not match the strength of Oluyole’s forces.  Akinluyi was captured and publicly executed in the middle of Ojaaba, while Lajubu ran away to Ijaye. Like Elepo Kurumi welcomed him and gave him part of his army to control. Lajubu started to rise to prominence once again. Oluyole, afraid that Lajubu could become stronger once again and get Kurumi’s backing to revenge against him (Oluyole), sent peace overtures to Lajubu promising him that if he returned to Ibadan, the Bashorun will restore him to his former position and return everything he (Lajubu) lost in the rebellion to him. Lajubu not suspecting that the Bashorun might have ulterior motives returned to Ibadan. A few months after his triumphant return to Ibadan, Lajubu suddenly died. Everybody knew the Bashorun was responsible. And that ended that particular episode.

The Batedo War- around 1844

As Oluyole was quelling rebellions at home, he was also facing wars outside Ibadan, It is believed that starting from the Eleduwe war which hastened his rise to Bashorun, Bashorun Oluyole could have fought anything between five to ten wars. The next major war He fought was the Batedo war or the First Ijaye war.

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The seeds of the Batedo war had been sown even before the Eleduwe war, even before Kurumi was made Aare Ona Kakanfo and Oluyole became Bashorun.  Once the Eleduwe war ended the way it did, the Batedo war was inevitable. This was how it went down:

Kurumi, (remember him as the general who helped Ibadan defeat Maye at Gbanamu) was one of the last members of the generation  that included Afonja , Alaafin Aole, Alaafin Oluewu, Maye Okunade, and Lakanle.  In fact he was made Aare because he was the last warrior of his caliber left.  Because of this, he regarded Bashorun Oluyole and Alaafin Atiba who were very much younger than him as  juvenile upstarts  who are not fit to rule, while Oluyole and Atiba viewed him as a powerful and unruly overlord they could not control.  Kurumi’s lack of respect for both Atiba and Oluyole was further deepened by a series of incidents that happened during the Eleduwe war itself. When Atiba was still a prince, He and Alaafin Oluewu, the Alaafin who was killed in the Eleduwe war were bitter rivals, and both had been looking for ways to get at each other before the war started. Luckily for Atiba, Oluyole, the leader of Ibadan happened to be a distant relative. Thus historians  speculate that it is possible the Fulani’s destruction of Oyo Ile and the death of Oluewu in the Eleduwe war,  was as a result of sabotage which was planned between Atiba (who felt it was better to lose Oyo Ile altogether than to let Oluewu have it) Oluyole of Ibadan and the Timi of Ede at the time Timi Bamgbaiye. If that is true, it could have affected Kurumi’s attitude towards the duo of Atiba and Oluyole, as he must have regarded them as untrustworthy rogues.

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After Oluyole had subdued all the towns around Ibadan and brought them under his control, there remained one town that had resolutely refused to bow to his authority, that was Ijaiye under Kurumi the Aare Ona Kakanfo, Oluyole like Alexander the Great decided he wanted  to be the ruler of all he surveyed. He sent messengers to the Aare in Ijaiye that the latter should come to Ibadan submit to his authority since he Oluyole now controlled more territory than Kurumi. Kurumi, considering that as an insult refused. This made Oluyole promptly declare war on Kurumi. Alaafin Atiba hoping that Oluyole would win and cut Kurumi down to size did not mediate in the tussle between the two giants at the initial stage. However as the Batedo war wore on, and both armies lost men, Kurumi started to get the upper hand over Oluyole.  The Alaafin seeing  that Kurumi was in danger of winning the war, sent an image of Sango his ancestor on the throne of the Alaafin to the warring parties  that if they did not respect him, at least they would respect his predecessor. With that, both combatants reluctantly sheathed their swords and returned home.

TO BE CONTINUED

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