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Òwu Kingdom and Efforts Towards Unification


Agọ-Òwu in Abeokuta is where the Òwus are mostly concentrate, however large Òwu settlements are found throughout the Yorùbá lands.

After the war, Òwu migrated southwardly. But unlike previous settlements, the Òwus did not attempt to fight against the army of Ìbàdàn but instead settled in peacefully because the rulers of Ìbàdàn had sent peaceful emissaries to the Òwus after getting intelligence of the Òwus’ supposedly imminent attack on their town.

The rulers of Ìbàdàn offered land to the Òwus to settle on, spreading from Ìta Lisa to Owu Ìpólé near Ikire.

These happened after the Òwus left their fortified City after its destruction about 1826. From these outskirts, they marched onand across Ogun River and finally arrived at Òkè Ata near Abẹ́òkúta where Ṣọdẹkẹ, an Ẹgbà authoritative leader, persuaded
the gallant Òwus to settle in Abẹ́òkúta
about 1834.

It is important to state that the present Orílẹ̀ Òwu is the same place
as Òwu Ìpólé where the Òwus from Iwo and other places resettled in the early 20th century. The people of Érúńmú (founded by the older brother of an earlier Olòwu from the Amọroro Ruling House) were always loyal to the course of Òwu Kingdom. It would be remembered that during the Òwu war, when destruction was emminent, the Olòwu was carried on his back (to disguise his escape) from Orílẹ̀ Òwu
(Òwu Ìpólé) to Orílẹ̀ Érúńmú, guarded by a combined team of his royal guards and Ọba Érúńmú’s royal guards. After Orílẹ̀ Òwu was devastated, the remaining Òwu
army retreated to defend Orílẹ̀ Érúńmú
against the allied army of Ìjẹ̀bú and Ìfẹ́.


Before Orílẹ̀ Érúńmú was also devastated and razed to the ground, Olòwu and Oluroko of Érúńmú devised strategies to ensure that the royal lineages and the Crown inherited from Odùduwà was preserved.

The Olòwu entrusted the Ancestral Crown of Òwu to a warrior,simply referred to as Akọgun (Òwu’s first documented Akọgun warrior. Akọgun is a title similar to an army Defense Chief), Ijaọla and a few of the king’s closest aides.

When the siege on Érúńmú began, Akọgun was assigned to the warfront
with the hope that he could turn the
tides of war while Ìjàọlá was sent on a
mandatory royal assignment to Ìbàdàn with a message for Maye, the Ìbàdàn warlord. Before these two Crown trustees left to carry out their respective orders, they had to entrust Òní (a skilled and specialized trader and farmer, and also the older stepbrother of Ìjàọlá) with safeguarding of the Crown. Òní and
other men entrusted with the Crown
mingled with the refugees that eventually settled in Abẹ́òkúta. These men had strictinstructions not to disclose thewhereabout of the Crown in the absence of the Akọgun and Ìjàọlá, unless they receive news of their death.


In 1855, the Òwus crowned Ọba Pawu as the first king Olòwu of Òwu of the Owus at Òkè Agọ-Owu, Abẹ́òkúta. Notably, there was a 21 year interregnum betweenthe settlement of the Òwu sojourners in Abẹ́òkúta and the crowning of Pawu as the first Olòwu in Abẹ́òkúta.He reigned for 12 years.

The reason for the interregnum may be attributed to the deterioration of the socio-cultural bond that became evident during the journey between Orílẹ̀ Òwu and Abẹ́òkúta. Hardship had made these Òwu families insensitive to each other’s welfare. The worst affected were the
people of Érúńmú because they were
fewer. As a result of their minority status they were marginalized by other Òwu indigenes. Òní the keeper of the Crown was convinced that if he revealed the Crown to a people who had grown insensitive to the needs of their brothers, he would allow despotic rule to hold sway over the townships of Òwu, Érúńmú
and Àpòmú (the Òwu kingdom in
Abẹ́òkúta). Over the years, Akọgun arrived in Abẹ́òkúta, but he could neither locate Ìjàọlá nor Ìjàọlá’s stepbrother, Òní. Also, unknown to the Olòwu and Oluroko, Ìjàọlá returned to Érúńmú but had to hide on a farm settlement to escape capture. He later settled in Ìwo town where there was a community of Òwu refugees and began to trade in commodities and prisoners of wars.

It was in the course of this trade that he re-connected with his stepbrother
through another itinerant Òwu merchant who was based in Abẹ́òkúta. Eventually, all arrangements were made for Ìjàọlá to
migrate to Abẹ́òkúta where he re-settled the people of Érúńmú in Ìta Érúńmú (now called Totoro, after a tree). After Ìjàọlá, Akọgun and Òní consulted with each other, revealed the Crown of Odùduwà 21 years after the Òwu people

Sadly, Òwu Kingdom is scattered all over South-western, Nigeria. There are now places bearing Òwu – having it either as prefix or suffix, here are most of them:

  1. Orílẹ̀ Òwu (Ọsun State)
  2. Òwu Kuta (Ọsun State)
  3. Òwu Ilé (Ọsun State)
  4. Òwu Ilẹmowu (Ọsun State)
  5. Òwu Ọgbàgbà (Ọsun State)
  6. Òwu Ìwo (Ọsun State)
  7. Òwu Ilé Ogbó (Ọsun State)
  8. Òwu Epe Iléṣà (Ọsun State)
  9. Òwu Ejigbo (Ọsun State)
  10. Òwu Ilóbù (Ọsun State)
  11. Òwu Ọdẹ-Omú (Ọsun State)
  12. Òwu Modakẹkẹ (Ọsun State)
  13. Òwu Abẹ́òkúta (Ògún State)
  14. Òwu Ìjẹ̀bú (Ògún State)
  15. Ómú Ìjẹ̀bú (Ògún State)
  16. Odòl’Òwu Ìjẹ̀bú (Ògún State)
  17. Odòl’Òwu Ìjẹ̀bú Aiyepé Ìjẹ̀bú (Ogun State)
  18. Òwu Ìjẹ̀bú Igbó (Ògún State)
  19. Òkèolòwu Ìjẹ̀bú (Ògún State)
  20. Òwu Ifo (Ògún State)
  21. Òwu Ewékorò (Ògún State)
  22. Òwu Ayétóro (Ògún State)
  23. Òwu Érúńmú (Ọ̀yọ́ State)
  24. Òwu Ìbàdàn (Ọ̀yọ́ State)
  25. Òwu Ogbomoso (Ọ̀yọ́ State)
  26. Òwu Ajaàwa (Ọ̀yọ́ State)
  27. Òwu Ọ̀yọ́ (Ọ̀yọ́ State)
  28. Òwu Ikosi (Lagos State)
  29. Owu6 Gbawọjọ (Lagos State)
  30. Òwu Mushin (Lagos State)
  31. Òwu Igboye (Lagos State)
  32. Òwu Ìsìn (Kwara State)
  33. Òwu Ọbaloyàn (Kwara State)
  34. Òwu Igbotẹ́lẹ̀ (Kwara State)
  35. Òwu Òkè-Òde (Kwara State)
  36. Òwu Òkèyà-Ipò (Kwara State)

Òwu in Diasporal:

  1. Òwu Tosso (Rep. Of Benin)
  2. Òwu Wydah (Rep. Of Benin)
  3. Òwu in Great Britain
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Òwu Anthem ‘Òwu L’akọda’

Owu L’akọda is a phrase popularly used by Òwu people and Yorùbá generally to denote that Ajibọsin
(Alias ‘Asunkúngba’dé’), the first Olòwu was also the first among the offsprings of Odùduwà to recieve a Crown from the great progenitor of the Yoruba race, and his Kingdom of Òwu, being the first to be created by any Odùduwà’s offsprings, was the most ancient and most powerful in the whole of Yorubaland outside Ile-Ife!


Òwu làá kọ’dà ooo
[Òwu is the first Kingdom established (after Ilé Ìfẹ by any of Odùduwà descendants)]
Òwu làá kọ’dà ooo
[Òwu is the first Kingdom established (after Ilé Ìfẹ by any of Odùduwà descendants)]
Bẹẹ d’Òwu ẹ béèrè wo
[Make enquiries when you get to Òwu]
Bẹẹ délé ẹ ka ìtàn wo
(When you get home, read history)
Òwu làá kọ’dà ooo
Òwu is the first Kingdom established (after Ilé Ìfẹ by any of Odùduwà descendants)]
Bẹẹ délé ẹ ka ìtàn wo
(When you get home, endear to read history)
Ẹ ka ìtàn wo
(Endear to read history)
Ẹ ka’tàn wo o
(Endear to read history)

Royal Union of Owu People (ROUP) is a body which Unites Owu Sons and Daughters in Nigeria and the Diasporal.

Royal Union of Owu People (ROUP) is a body which Unites Owu Sons and Daughters in Nigeria and the Diasporal.

In brief, idea of this organization came from the Late Chief Akin Olugbade, The then Balógun
of Òwu Kingdom, Abẹ́òkúta. He had a
vision that after the War of 1821-1826
which caused the dispersal of Òwu people from their homestead, effort should be made to get Òwu people together and be unified for a Purpose. He then Identified some Òwu sons and daughters under the Chairmanship of Chief Afọlabi Fadairo who was then the Ọgańlá of Òwu, Abẹ́òkúta.

Chief Akin Olugbade went to most Yorùbá nation and invited some notable Òwu sons and daughters to a Dinner at Gateway Hotel, Abẹ́òkúta in 1986. After that dinner, not much was heard about this Union.

Sometimes in 1992, General Olusẹgun
Ọbasanjo called very few Òwu sons to a lunch at Ọtta Farm. There, he raised many pertinent issues concerning Òwu People.

General Ọbasanjọ said that one of the great achievements of Chief Akin Olugbade was this unification of Òwu People and that he will not like the good intention and plan of Chief Akin Olugbade to die just like that. After
that lunch, tentative meetings

The Following Òwu Leaders were
present at that luncheon;

  • Dr Ọ̀nàọlápọ Solẹyẹ
  • Prince Bọlá Ajibọla
  • Bashọrun Doja Adewọlu,
  • Alhaji M. Ọlá Yusuf
  • And, Arc Wálé Adisa Ọdẹlẹyẹ

Alhaji.M.Ola Yusuf took up the challenge tobmove round the Òwu settlements and carry out the plan to bring the Òwu People under one umbrella. He was supported by
some prominent Òwu sons like:
* LateOlusọji Ìdowu
* Alhaji Adisa Adewọlu
* Alhaji Agboke
* Alhaji Ganiyu Ẹgbẹ́yẹmi
* Alhaji Tajudeen Ẹgbẹ́yẹmi
* Bàbá Olede,
* Chief Fẹmi Òkè tokun, among others.

The Grand Finale of the establishment of this Union was held in 1992 at General Olusẹgun Ọbasanjọ’s House, Ìta-Eko,Abẹ́òkúta.

Many distinguished Òwu sons
and daughters all over the world were present. These included

  • Hon. Justice Fakayọde (of
    blessed memory)
  • Chief Omololu Olunlọyọ
  • Chief Duro Oluyẹmi
  • Prince Gbogboade
  • Prince A. Adewara
  • Prof. Joseph Mokuolu,
  • Prof. Alani Fabunmi
  • Dr. Ọ̀nàọlápọ Solẹyẹ
  • Bashọrun Dọja Adewọlu
  • Barrister Adisa Adewọlu
  • Chief Mrs Adepatẹ Ọjẹsina
  • Chief Mrs Gbogboadé
  • Chief Akin Ogunpọlá
  • Hon Gbọ́lahan Ìjàọ̀la

The Opening Address at this august
occasion was delievered by the Chief Host, General Olusẹgun Ọbasánjọ. He paid tributes to Ọbas of Òwu and all the intellectuals that were present at the gathering.

In attendance were:
* Prof. Akin
* Prof. Ade Ajayi
* HRM Ọba Ọdẹbunmi, the then Olòwu Ìjẹ̀bú
* HRM Ọba Moses Adejobi, Olòwu of Orílẹ̀-Òwu
* HRM Ọba. Surv. Oshosami, Olòwu of Agbowá Ikosi
* HRM, Ọba Anilelerin, Olòwu of Ìsìn
* Olòwu Ilemòwu-Òwu
* Baálẹ of Ẹrúńmú, Ọ̀yọ́ State
* And, a Representative of Òwu in Ọ̀yọ́ Town

After the Convention in 1991, Alhaji M. Ọlá Yusuf started to lead the Union and therefore went from one zone to the other for a meeting. The Meeting of the Union holds on first Sunday of Every Month.

Major Ọlawọyin was the Secretary, while Dọja Adewọlu was the Treasurer. Alhaji Aransi Suberu was the Deputy President from 1991 to 1997. Election of Officers was conducted in 1997. Alhaji Akewula became the Treasurer, Engr. Toyin Jokosenunmi was the 1st Vice

Alhaji Aransi Suberu later became the
President and was suceeded by Chief Dọja Adewọlu ; Elder Wọlé Oyèlẹsẹ, Vice President, Chief Adéwara was Elected6 the Treasurer, Alh. Bar. Adisa Adewọlu was elected as the legal adviser of the Union.

For a very long time, due to some logistic problems, the Union could not be registered with Corporate Affair Commission until 2010 when the name Royal Union Of Òwu People (ROUP). Thanks to the relentless
efforts of the then President of the Union, Elder Wọlé Oyèlẹsẹ, and the Legal Adviser, Barrister Adisa Adewọlu.

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