ILU AJE(Town of Witches)
A town in Oyo state.

There is a small town on your way to Oyo, just behind Fiditi.
It's called "Ilu Aje" which literally,translates to "Town of Witches".

Ilu Aje is relatively large rustic community with vast lands located between
Ilora and Jobele towns in Afijo Local Government Area of Oyo state.

In the late 80s, there used to be a sign board in Fiditi that pointed to the path to the village,the signboard had the inscription.

A lot of people used to fear the Indigenes of Ilu Aje.

Because it was said that every man in Ilu Aje is born of a witch.
And every woman in Ilu Aje is a witch!

But that is not the case.

Some source claims that it was
when Aláàfin Ladigbolu was on the
Throne , while some claims that it was when Aláàfin Adeyemi 11, the father of the reigning Aáàfin Adeyemi 111 was on the throne.

A prince got missing!

A prince's son get missing ke?

Ewo Orisa!!

Fear and grief enveloped the town,men and women.
Old and young.
People were awed in misery over the missing prince.

Every nook and corner of Oyo town was searched. Every crevice was checked.

Yet the Aláàfin's couldn't be found.

The chief priest, herbalist,dibias, magician were called upon from Oyo to Ife
From Egbado to Ilaje.

Divination were made,but the son remained missing.

Kabiyesi was unhappy,Olori was heartbroken, Oyomesi were worried, the king's household in turmoil,the whole empire was

Hours upon days,weeks passed and yet,the prince could
Not be found.

Then on one market day by noon,an old tattered man landed in the market square asking for directions to the Aláàfin palace.

The market women looked at him in disdain as a result of his dirty and tattered look.

After much fuss,he was to the
He was led to the palace.

He was restrained by protocol to see the Aláàfin.
He stood firm that the matter is only for the Alaáàfin ears.

He was turned down until one of the guard told the others that they should seek audience with the Aláàfin and ask his
For his consent.

One of the palace guards notified the Aláàfin of the old man's presence,he was beckoned to see the Aláàfin.

As the Aláàfin and chiefs were in the open court deliberating on the issue.

Akinyolu entered into the palace court with his apo ifa
(oracle bag).

Everyone looked at him in askance,
"Baba kin le fe,
kin le wa se nibi,
Ta ni e fe ri?"
(Baba, what do you want,why are you here? who do you want to see?) We are in the middle of a serious issue.

"Kabiyesi o, Akinyolu greeted the king.
I am a Babalawo from a remote and secluded part of the outskirts of town,I have come to help you,find your missing son".

The chiefs laughed Kikiki, Babalawo and Onisegun of high repute have attempted and fumbled.

Who do you think you are? Please get out.
Kabiyesi was not interested but he asked Akinyolu to go ahead but make it snappy.

Iwaju opon o gbo
Eyin opon o gbo
Olumo otun olukanran osi
Aarin opon ita orun

Hear o north of the universe
Listen o south of the universe
Hear o wise ones of the east
Listen O knowledgeable ones of the west.

Akinyolu made his divination and told the king this:

Kabiyesi,you need not to stress yourself,in 7 days time, when the sun is directly over the head, and stands upon his own shadow,get 5 chiefs to sit under
The (Ígí Emi) shea butter tree at the Eastern border of the town.

They should be dressed in white, and they should continuously clap their hands rythmically in unison.

On the 21st clap, the Aláàfin's son would reached.

The next morning, Akinyolu,with the
Permission of the Aláàfin,told the towns dibia's to all assemble under a big tree for seven nights.

This was to go hand-in-hand with a special ritual to be led by Akinyolu.

On the seventh day,the dibias were told to clap 21 times with eyes closed.
Around mid-day, right in the middle of the ritual, come a loud noise from the town.

The Aláàfin's son had been found, the prince walked in from no where.

The whole town was overjoyed and celebrated the prince comeback.
When the prince was brought to the Aláàfin and events narrated,the Aláàfin was said to have asked;

"Iru Babalawo adifase bi aje wo ni Babalawo un?"

(What sort of herbalist who makes divination that comes through like a witch's proclamation is this)
The king later told Akinyolu, to request for anything that he would be ready to oblige.

Akinyolu said"your highness,all I ask for at my advancing age is that I go back to my forest in peace,you may choose amongst your slaves to follow me back to the forest
To live our own life there".

Akinyolu was made the Baale of the old forest now a thriving town.

"Ilu Aje" which literally means "the witch town".

For a long time, when people want to describe the area where the herbalist lived,they would say
"Ilu Adifase bi Aje"(One who divines or foretells with recision like a witch).

Overtime, people just started shortening it to "Ilu Aje" they omitted the "Adifase".

That was how the town got her name and Akinyolu rule as the first Alaje of ilu Aje.
Courtesy:Arakunrin Ayoola Faseyi.

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