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Ondo City is the second largest city in Ondo State, Nigeria. Ondo City is the trade center for the surrounding region. Yams, cassava, grain, and tobacco are grown. Cotton is also grown, and is used to weave cloth called Aso Oke fabric. Ondo City is the largest producer of cocoa products in the region The title of the king of the town, who reigns as a direct descendant of the fabled Emperor Oduduwa, is “Osemawe”. The serving incumbent is Dr. Victor Kiladejo, who was selected in September 2006 following the death of the former king, Dr. Festus Ibidapo Adesanoye.
The Ondo people are one of the largest subgroups of the Yoruba people. There are three different origin stories of the Ondo kingdom. Firstly, the tradition of Ondo town which is highly celebrated to this day claims that Ondo was founded by a wife of Oduduwa, the progenitor of the Yoruba who had migrated from Mecca to Ile-Ife. Oduduwa’s wife, Pupupu, gave birth to twins, which were regarded as unlucky and resulted in her exile with her twins. She moved southward until she came to the current location of Ondo City. Pupupu became the first ruler of the Ondo Kingdom in the 16th century and her descendants wear the crown today. Historian Samuel Johnson accounts a similar story but that Pupupu was the wife of Ajaka, the grandson of Oduduwa. A final origin myth contends that Ondo was founded by people from the Kingdom of Benin during the reign of Ozolua.
A military coup removed Pupupu in power and appointed her son, Aiho (or Airo in some versions) as the ruler. Aiho established the basic political structure for the Ondo state linked largely to his royal lineage and built the royal palace The royal lineage revolves largely around four different houses, each founded by one of Aiho’s sons (although one house died out because of a lack of male heirs) From these different lineages, an Osemawe, or primary monarch for the Ondo kingdom, is selected. The current Osemawe is Oba (Dr.) Victor Adesimbo Ademefun Kiladejo and in 2010 the Kingdom celebrated its 500th anniversary.

 

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