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A Historical Reconstruction of Sharẹ Town



Sharẹ is an ancient Igbomina town located in Kwara State, Nigeria. The people of Share are descendants of Yoruba race from Oyo empire. Their ancestral affinity posits them to have been an Igbomina extract, a language cluster belonging to the Yoruboid family. Having left Oyo in the 17th century, they migrated to Aun in the late 18th century, precisely, 1793.

Aun was situated in the southeast corner of the borders of Yagba country. The settlement in Share was in two successive exoduses. The first progenitors of Share were Osoja Jogi, Oyi Andi, Majapo Ajibodede and Alapo Adifashola. This team was led by Osoja Jogi himself. They were predominantly hunters and were Igbomina clan that spread across the landscape stretching from Ọtun Èkìtì (Awtun), to River Niger in Jebba, Ogudu and other riverine areas around the Niger-Benue confluence. The reason for fleeing to Aun was because of fear of being attacked by Ibadan slave raiders. In 1793, they later moved to a new settlement which today became known as Share.

The second group led by another powerful hunter and an expert basket weaver, Awodo, which left Aun but did not meet the former group there, later migrated to a place called Sakama. Awodo’s team, probably, left Sakamo again because of fear of being attacked by enemy forces. This was about 1808. In search of a safe haven, they sought a new settlement seven miles away from the south-west and settled at Share. Upon arrival, Awodo team discovered that another team led by Osoja Jogi had established a settlement at the same spot about fifteen years earlier, 1793-1808.

The two groups of emigrants, having discovered they were aboriginals of Ọ̀yọ́, established harmonious relationship and mutual understanding and therefore co-existed peacefully. A political administration was set up and the two leaders ruled concurrently without friction but Awodo was second in hierarchy to Osoja. Meanwhile, due to his incessant hunting expeditions, Osoja Jogi later relinquished the leadership mantle to Awodo because the latter was more settled and available in running the affairs of the people. This was made possible courtesy of his weaving vocation. Thence, Awodo became the de-facto leader. Awodo was saluted as “Olupako” meaning “The best Bamboo” or “The king of the Jungle” probably because of the preponderance of Bamboo in Share at that time and his dexterity as a hunter. His son, Akinyode, succeeded him as the first Olupako of Share and thus became the progenitor of the Olupako chieftaincy stool.

Etymologically, the word “Share” is bi-syllabic: “Sha” and “Rẹ” i.e “Sha” meaning choose and “Rẹ” connoting cut. This was so because Osoja, apart from being a hunter, was also a honey harvester and seller of same. As people approached him to buy honey, they often expressed in Yoruba language “Sha-rẹ nio” i.e “Choose the best (honey)” or “Harvest the best”. This was in reference to the honey that they wanted to buy. Thus, the name “Sharẹ” was coined.

Sharẹ is topographically characterized by three elemental forces which have generic historical importance to the ancient town. The first is the Agbonna Hill, a circular protective hill into which people could flee if attacked; the second is Odo-Soose a spring water which rises at the ground foot of the hill; and Igi Aimo, a mysterious tree whose physical features and location change from time to time. Except by the “diabolical” power of the Olùpakò, its current location is hitherto unknown by the people. These three ancestral forces cum historical sites, including but not limited to “Oke-Abiku” (The Stillbirth Cave), are some of the appealing, jaw-dropping and awe-inspiring tourist attractions in Sharẹ.

Sharẹ has a number of neighbours but the most important one with a long term historical affinity is Tsaragi, an adjoining Nupe town of centuries cultural, socioeconomic and political relations. Despite a slight history of hostility emanating from boundary disputes, the two indigenous communities have continued to live together in peace.
Predominantly, Share people are Muslims and Christians with a significant number of core traditionalists. The traditional worshippers worship deities like Egungun (masquerade), Sango (God of Thunder), Ogún (God of Iron), Ifá (Oracle), Ọya (goddess of wirlwind), Yemeja (River Goddess) , Orisa-Oko (Farm God/Goddess), Odo-Soose and Ọbatálá (God of Creation) among others.

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Agriculture is one of the economic mainstay of Share people. Crops like yam, cassava, maize, guinea corn, rice, soya beans, locust beans and groundnuts are grown in the arable lands and beautiful vegetation of the town. Suffice to this are the amazing flora and fauna of the land. Other economic activities in Share include trading, hunting, craft works, and vocations like handloom weaving, Aso-Oke, Kijipa, pottery, dyeing, calabash carving, wood carving etc. Popular markets in Share include the “Ọjà Butuhu” (operated in the morning) and “Ọjà Oba” or “Olùpakò market” (operated in the evening).

Sharẹ is rich in cultural heritage. Tribal marks were used as adornments, scarifications and beautifications on the faces of people including Pele, Abaja, Okan and so on. Other traditions include Oriki (cognomen), foster system, widow inheritance (Opo Sisu), to mention but few. And for sports and entertainment, are , Ayo Olopon, snail-shell (Okoto) Bambara, moonlight play, moonlight stories, Egungun (Aiyendero) festival and the rest. Generally, Share has a varieties of wonderful and rich cultures. Modernism has however eroded some of these norms and many have been replaced by civilization.

Prior to the advent of colonialism, Sharẹ once fell under the hegemony of the Fulani in the 18th century but later regained freedom. Colonial administration became effective in Share in the early 20th century. Districts were created and Share became a district head to effectively administer tax census and collection for the colonialists under the auspices of Native Authority.

Following the attainment of independence, Share became the headquarters of Ifẹ̀lodun local government area in 1976. The local government covers a landmass of 4,000sqkm and a population of 206,042 by 2006 census with well over 1,000 towns and villages. Sharẹ currently boasts of 97 compounds/Areas, over 73 villages and 66 farm settlements under her district. Presently, Ifẹ̀lodun local government is the largest in the federation by size.

The town has penchant for educational development and this cut across elementary schools (public and private), secondary and tertiary institutions including Community Primary School, Muslim Primary School, UMCA School, CAC primary School, Government Secondary School, Agbonna High School and Adeshina College of Education etc. This is gradually turning the town to an educational hub.

Sharẹ is famous for her self-help community projects ranging from water projects, construction of school blocks, building of town hall, construction of road networks, drainage system, financial institutions and procurement of electricity transformers for the community and its environs.

Notable and eminent personalities in Sharẹ are numberless but mention must be made of a few: Alh. Abdulfatah Ahmed, the immediate past Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Dr. Adeshina Yakub Laola-Shalashi, Prof. Sulaiman Jamiu, Prof Ayo Salako, Prof. Abdulfatai Jimoh, Alh. Mohammed T Lawal, Hon. Abdulraheem Olajide Jimoh, Bar, Sulaiman Atolagbe, Arch L.A Aliu, Alh Maryam A. Garuba and a host of others. The Olupako of Share was HRM Alhaji Abubakar Garba Akande Dosunmu ll. The 10th Olupako, who was elevated to First Class Kingship status in 2016, reigned between March 10th 1967 to November 2nd, 2019 (52 years). As at the time of compiling this work, a new Olupako had not been installed.

Generally, the people of Sharẹ are very hospitable, peace-loving, accommodating and famous for high-level self-help developments efforts.

Amusa Afeez Onireke (Rèké)
Phones: 0818 776 5649, 0816 048 2356
November 8, 2019

Published With Permission by:
Jimoh Taofik Adekunle
(Jimson Jaat Taofik)

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