Friday, May 24, 2024



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By the time Àjàká was summoned back to the throne, he was another man entirely. It was what can be termed “Ìpadàbọ̀ Abìjà”. He was wisdom combined with action. He was aware it is not enough to be wise, practical application of wisdom is necessary to pilot the empire. He was before a man of thought while Sango was a man of action. Now he has combined the two. No wonder he was able to hold the empire together.


Àjàká was called the second time and he answered the call. That means he saw the necessity to subdue ego and tuck away self interest or self pity. How many people have hurt you in the past and you have decided not to render help for the benefit of all again? We need to work for the common good irrespective of those who have let us down in the past.


Do you know the humiliation that comes with being dethroned? Coupled with the fact that his younger brother was summoned to the throne in his stead. Aláàfin Àjàká weathered the storm like a man. He did not commit suicide, he did not confine himself to bitterness for the rest of his life. He came out a better man. He had learnt his lesson. You also need to rise from the ashes of your fall like the legendary Àjàká. You think I will say Phoenix? No. While Phoenix remains a mythical bird, Àjàká Òkò alias Ajuan was a man in flesh and blood who rose up again. He is the real Phoenix.


Once bitten, twice shy. Àjàká came down with full force upon his enemies both within and without. He forgave those who he can and dealt with snitches and fifth columnists. Among those whom he forgave are the people of Ọ̀yọ́ itself. They must have jeered at him when he was leaving, but he did not unleash terror on them to be slaughtered. Otherwise there will be no empire for him to rule. Also, he would have played into the hand of his enemies as a frustrated psycho. No he didn’t visit his anger on those who had jeered at him. Rather, he faced the real enemies which were those threatening the empire with war.


Being a king who knows the value of knowledge in statecraft and war, Àjàká was the first to gather brilliant minds across all Yorùbá land in service to the empire. Although they were called oníṣègùn and oṣó then, these people were geniuses of their time using their brain power to defend the land. They included Ẹ̀gbẹ̀jí (sounds familiar right?) Atagboin, Tẹ̀tẹ̀oniru, Abìtìbítí, Alari baba isegun, Elenre etc. His vassals at ẹkùn ọtun and ẹkún òsì includes Wise men like Olúgbọ́n, Aresa and Oníkòyí.


Can you imagine where these brilliant minds gathered to defend an empire how it will fair? It was on record that Àjàká used firebird technology to fight during his reign. Wither the powerhouse of wisdom that created this nowadays? The firebirds helped him a lot and he crossed odò Ọya which we now call River Niger to advance his military campaign. He got a resounding victory.


And do you know the sweetest thing to his victory? It seems he got the nod from his father Oranmiyan himself!!! How? Check pages 148 – 154 of Samuel Johnson ‘s History of the Yoruba which detailed the reign of Oranmiyan, Àjàká and Sango in Ọ̀yọ́. If you don’t have the book come and buy from me. I have said it many times that all Yoruba should have this very interesting history book of the Yorùbá.


There, it is written that Oranmiyan had retired back to Ilé Ifẹ̀ at old age. Then one day he decided to visit Ọ̀yọ́, perhaps they still don’t have a worthy king to lead them. Upon getting close to the royal city, he heard the sound of kàkàkí and came down from his horse to inquire from passers-by to whom the king’s trumpet is being used to honour. He was told they have a new king now in Àjàká Òkò, Afìmọ̀joyè, son of Oranmiyan. The Great Oranmiyan Ẹkùn, now disguised as an aged, hoary visitor to the royal city must have smiled to himself. A smile of satisfaction by a proud father that his son is of true royal blood. He returned to Ifẹ to live his life to the fullest, leaving a tactical warrior to his throne up north.


To be continued…


The third part of this story of Àjàká Òkò shall dwell much on the intrigues between him and his medicine men. It is full of suspense. Stay tuned, share and invite your friends to like this page for more on how we can use the past to build a vibrant Yoruba world even within Nigeria.



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