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The Ijebu people inhabit the South-central part of Yorubaland in western Nigeria. They are bounded in the North by Ibadan, in the East by the Ilaje and Ondo people and the west by Egbaland. The southernmost borders of Ijebuland are defined by the lagoon waters of Epe, Ejinrin, Ikorodu, and Ogun Waterside. Despite the political division which has placed some of these towns in Lagos State and the main part of Ijebuland in Ogun State, the Ijebu people have always regarded themselves as one entity.
Ijebu (also known as Jebu or Geebu was a Yoruba kingdom in pre-colonial Nigeria. It formed around the fifteenth century. According to legend, its ruling dynasty was founded by Obanta of Ile-Ife.
The kingdom was one of the most developed in the region with a complex and highly organized government. The Kingdom is made up of several towns that stretches to parts of Lagos State and borders Ondo State. These towns includes Ijebu-Remo, Ijebu-Igbo, [ Ijebu Imota] Ikorodu, Epe, Ijebu Waterside, Iwopin, Lekki in Lagos State, Ijebu-Imushin, Ijebu-Ife, Isonyin, Ososa, Odogbolu and Ago-Iwoye.
The Ijebu nation consisted of 5 divisions: Ijebu-Ife, Ijebu-Igbo, Ijebu-Ode, Ijebu-Ososa, Ijebu-Remo
There are immigration legends which tend to link the Ijebu with the biblical Jebusites and Noah (hence Omoluwabi — omo ti Noah bi — the children of Noah) but these are farfetched. Other immigration legends trace the origin of Yoruba people, and by implication, the Ijebu to Mecca where Oduduwa, the legendary ancestor of the Yoruba, was said to be the son of King Lamurudu. Oduduwa, according to the legend, had to be expelled from Mecca when he resorted to idolatry. This is another unacceptable story in that it implied that the Yoruba must have come into existence as a group after faithful Muslims expelled Oduduwa some 1,500 years ago.
Ijebu traditional historians tend to stick to the migra¬tion legend that the people migrated to their present territory from a region of Sudan called Waddai which means that the Ijebu had a parallel migration wave just like other Yoruba who believe they came to their present abode via Oduduwa. That claim seems to be corroborated by a publication by one Hailemariam which states that “the most powerful people that the Negede Orit (ancient Ethiopian immigrant into Africa) met in East Africa were the Jebus.” Their King was claimed to be so influential that he appointed the gover¬nors of Yemen. If that king was the same Olu-Iwa, the legendary first Ruler of Ijebuland, we do not know. The regional capital is Ijebu- Ode, The commercial capital is Sagamu, The spiritual capital is Ijebu - Igbo.

 

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