Ilaro is a town in Ogun State Nigeria. Ilaro is home to 57,850 people. Ilaro is the administrative center of the Yewa South Local Government, currently known as YEWALAND, which succeeded the previous Western State’s Egbado division and eventually became part of Nigeria’s Ogun State.
Ilaro town is around 50 kilometers from Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State, and approximately 100 kilometers from Ikeja, the capital of Lagos State.
The town hall named after the honorable warrior “‘Orona’ Hall” is located near this monument. The Oronna and his Leopard statue (seen above) is still visible to tourists and history buffs.
Osata was a 19th-century Ancient Ilaro prince who sacrificed his own son so that his people could experience abundant rainfall during a drought in Ilaro.
The Egbado dialect is the one spoken in Ilaro. When Ilaro people gather outside their homes, the yell “Omo Oluwewun” has a mystical ability to bring the “Ilu Aro” people together.
The Yewa/Egbado people’s main profession used to be cultivation of arable crops and cash crops like cocoa, coffee, kola nuts, oranges, and pineapples. Cassava, yam, okra, rice, bananas, plantains, water leaf, and spinach were among the other farm crops. Phosphate and limestone are two mineral resources found in Ilaro.
The Ilaro soils are generally loamy and humus, rich in manure and components that promote the cultivation and mechanized growth of cocoa, cashew, pawpaw, kola nut, maize, sugarcane, and potatoes.
The Ilaro people’s main source of income is the timber sector, which is supported by a dense forest. Several timber milling enterprises are located on the outskirts of town, producing boards and plywood for both domestic and international demand.
The local fufu and gari processing industries, the timber/plank producing industries, the local Aso Oke weaving industry, paint factory, and cement industry are all located a few kilometers from Ilaro town and a few minutes walk from Ibese town.
Ilaro was created in the 18th century by Aro, who moved from Oyo town to Igbo Aje, a small hill in the town’s center from which he and his soldiers could see adversaries approaching from afar (mainly slave merchants from the neighboring Benin republic, then known as Dahomey). Aro was a formidable warrior and hunter. Ilaro got her name from “Ilu Aro,” which means “Aro town,” and was eventually shortened to Ilaro for simplicity of pronunciation. Orona and Osata ranked the files of Ilaro history since the town of Ilaro was blessed with wonderful farmers, hunters, and warriors.
Apart from saving their kinsmen’s lives from the invading Dahome and other warriors, news had it that Orona, with his “Ekun” (Leopard), when he grew old and wanted to show the potency of His powers, entered the ground and told his people to call upon him whenever there was a problem, i.e. in times of war.
The Orona Shrine, where Orona and his Leopard vanished into the ground, has been rebuilt and constructed as a memorial for history buffs and tourists. It is also where the coronation of each new traditional ruler of the town takes place. The Orona Ilaro Festival is held every year to commemorate the great warrior.
Ilaro served as the Egbado land’s headquarters during the Nigerian Civil War, producing valiant warriors who battled for the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s unity. Late Major General Olurin (Rtd), late brigadier general Samuel Adegoriola Oniyide, late Major Onifade, and late Major Ibikunle Armstrong are among these patriots.
Apart from warriors, the Ilaro town produced renowned Yoruba literature master Prof. Afolabi Olabimitan, who later became a politician and a delegate to the Nigerian Constitutional Conference in 1999.
In 1967, he released his debut novel, Kekere Ekun. He’s also the author of “Ta lo p’omo Oba?” “as well as other literatures He was a member of the “Akomolede Yoruba” till he died “club and a former Don at Nigeria’s University of Lagos.
The aforementioned individuals contributed to the development of Ilaro town in various ways, including as moralists, educators, religious devotees, principals of secondary schools in Ilaro, former sole administrators / governors, former speaker of the Ogun state house of assembly, Minister of State for Education, secretary to the Yewa south local government, philanthropists, Senior Advocates of the Supreme Court.
Apart from these individuals, Ilaro people can be found in cities and towns across Nigeria, as well as in Europe, the United States of America, Asia, numerous islands, and several African nations such as Ivory Coast, Ghana, Libya, Senegal, Cameroon, Niger Republic, and the neighboring Republic of Benin.
Furthermore, indigenes of Ilaro are related with several Iga (Compounds) and communities, which provide each individual with a point of reference to the particular compound or community from which he or she originated within the town. Iga Ekerin, Iga Badagunro, Iga Babaolu, Iga Saatun, Iga Papa-nla, Iga Modeolu, Iga basasin, Iga sawo, Ile-Eeleri, Ile-Olooja-meje, Iga keeke, Ita Alaran, Ilu-Ata, Oju-okeke, oju-Alumuwa, Oju-Obe, Oke-Ibese. Oju-Omofe, Oju oronna, Ona otun, Ona-Osi, Ona-Ola, Isale Idomo, Ile marun, Oju Yewa, Iga elemo. etc.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, Ilaro town had a strong relationship with European missionaries. According to legend, the town of Ancient Ilaro was visited by the late Lord Lugard and the late Mary Slessor. Many missionaries spent their entire lives in Ilaro town as chaplains and medical doctors, and in honor of them, the city’s longest street, Leslie Street, is named after J. Leslie.
The Ilaro people have a long and illustrious cultural history. The “Bolojo” and “Gelede” dances were created by the Ilaro people. At Gelede dances, the language of communication is songs known as “EFE,” which are primarily produced to expose and cure the evils committed by people in the neighborhood.
A visit to a Bolojo dance performance or the Gelede dance stand, where unique songs are written and rendered to one’s hearing, will reveal that one is being recognized at every terrible step one takes.
If you listen to the EFE, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to laugh your stress and sorrows away. Ona – Otun’s Adebowale and Atolagbe families, as well as Ilaro’s Isale Idiroko compounds, are noted for their mask and breast plate sculptures (In general the costumes for the Gelede dance performance). Bolojo dances are frequently held at the Oronna hall or at venues for annual events such as independence days, children’s day festivities, and so on.
Gelede dances are organized in the market square during the summer to allow all Ilaro residents, young and old, to participate. The Egungun Masquerade festival, which usually lasts three months and features almost daily dance and magic performances at the Egungun play ground in Ilaro’s “Ago Ishaga” neighborhood, the Oro Festival, the Ogun Festival, the Sango Festival, the Elegbara, the Alamuwa, the Iya Ala festival, the Igbala festival, and the Igunuko festival are among the Ilaro festivals.
The Orona Ilaro festival, on the other hand, is the most important in terms of attracting culture and tourist fans to the town. The Sisi Ilaro beauty pageant, a football match, masquerade presentations and festival dances, a talent hunt, and other activities are frequently included in the festival.
A popular promoter of the Yoruba culture in the movie industry popularly known as “Ogogo” was born and bred in Ilaro. Ilaro indigenes have as part of their appellation “Ogogo ‘kulodo”, “Ogogo T’alujofe”, “‘Omo Eribigbo Oyo Mako- tracing the history back to the Oyo town” etc.
Rivers such as the “Odo Ela”, “Odo Ogburu”, “Odo Yewa” and “Odo Oniru” are major rivers in Ilaro. Others are Odo Iran, Odo Ponpola, and Odo Ontede. The rivers serves a twofold purpose of grazing and watering the rich farmlands of the Yewa/Egbado people and is also dammed to produce potable drinking water to the entire inhabitants of Ilaro. The Ilaro people have their farmlands located in: Oke Ela, Igbo Igbin, Oteyi, Gbokoto, Abobado, Apakoso, Ona Egbo, Olorunda, Igbeji, Igbogun, Iwoye, Olute, Igbo Adaaro, Ebute Igbo Iro, Oke Ibese, Iweke, Igbo ewe, Ijado, Ilobi, Eredo, Olorulekan, to mention but a few.
Without trying “Idobesi Apara” and “Oso,” a trip to Ilaro would be incomplete. With Apara, Oso, and Eko, the ancient Ilaro people welcome visitors as well as their sons and daughters in faraway nations back home. The Ilaro people use kola and bitter kolas for special occasions such as Ogun (Kola) worship and child naming ceremonies (Orogbo). “Ogboni” is a term used to refer to senior members of a family. As a result, Ilaro people commonly say “Ba mi ki Ogboni e O.,” which means “send my greetings to your father” (or the leader of your family). In nature, the Ilaro family is generally extensive. These extended families are still housed, gated, and designated Iga in the old / ancient portion of town.
Iga Adebari, Iga Bada, Iga Keke, Iga Babaolu, Iga Ekerin, Iga ‘Modeolu, and other compounds are famous in Ilaro. The fact that these extended families have specific / unique symbols for recognition as character, art and craft, trade, chieftaincy title, or Ilaro Kingship eligibility is noteworthy (heirs to the throne).
Ilaro is currently a mixed-religion town. There are as many mosques as there are churches in the world. The Ahmadiyat Muslim Mission and the Nawar-ud-deen Missions, respectively, have Muslim Missionary training centers.
Religion and western education were introduced to the people of Yewa Land by the missionaries. Churches and schools were established, including the Christ Missionary Church and School (CMS), as well as the first secondary school in Egbado area, Egbado College Ilaro, now Yewa College.
Ilaro Neighboring Towns
Ajilete, Oke-Odan, Owode, Ibese, Oja Odan, Pahayi, Idogo-Ipaja, Papa-Alanto, and Imasayi are towns near Ilaro.
Ilaro has schools that provide pre-primary, primary, secondary, and tertiary education. The Egbado Teachers Training College, Ilaro, and the Federal Polytechnic Ilaro, www.federalpolyilaro.edu.ng, both founded in September 1979, are higher learning institutions. Within the Ilaro town, there are various privately operated pre-primary education and kindergarten schools. Ilaro also has the Polytechnic Staff Primary and Secondary schools in addition to the Federal Polytechnic.
Road travel is the most common mode of transportation. There is, however, a locomotive railway line that connects the town to Lagos and Abeokuta via Ifo Junction, as well as the terminal of the Lagos Ifo rail trunk line “Idogo.”
The +234 8083.., +2348084…., +2348082…. +2348085…. +234 039 4 area codes are used to communicate with the outside world from Ilaro town. Commercial browsing places are located in the town square, on Leslie road, at the Orita Pahayi, and on the Federal Polytechnic campus.
The Olu of Ilaro, who is also the Paramount Ruler of Yewa Land, is based in Ilaro. His Royal Highness Oba Kehinde Gbadewole Olugbenle, who ascended the throne on April 14, 2012, is the current paramount ruler. His Excellency, The Governor of Ogun State, Gov. Ibikunle Amosun, selected Oba Kehinde Gbadewole Olugbenle as the Paramount Ruler of The Yewaland, exactly four years after the death of Oba Samuel Adekanmbi Tella II, who ascended to the throne of Obaship in 1976 after the death of The Late Oba Adetona Amerika.
The Olu Ijana of Ijana town, the Oni Igbeji of Igbeji town, the Oloja of Oja Odan, the Oni Idogo of Idogo Ipaja, the Oni Iwoye of Iwoye town, the Olu of Eredo, the Olu of Owode, the Olu of Imasayi, the Baale of Iweke, and other traditional rulers in Yewa.
Government-operated and privately owned hospitals, government-run dispensaries, public libraries, electricity plants, water works, and road networks linking the town to nearby towns and even the neighboring country, Republic of Benin, are among the town’s social amenities. There are a handful of high-quality hotels scattered throughout the city. Governor Gbenga Daniel dedicated the Ilaro International Stadium in January 2009. The stadium can accommodate international and national sporting events.
There are various banks in Ilaro that cater to the requirements of individuals, farmers, and companies.
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