The grave site of the Yoruba Generalissimo, Ogedengbe Agbogungboro is an eyesore.
Inspite all his war exploits , his grave is unmarked.Taiwo Abiodun was there .
BoN and Chief Obanla IV at the graveside of Ogedengbe
He was a great warrior and known for his war exploits. When he was beheaded in the war front , he acted fast and beheaded a woman , put her head on his neck then searched for his own head, found it and replaced it , then returned the woman’s head on her neck and the war continued!. It was not a fiction, it was real. His war jacket was very, very heavy that two hefty men cannot lift it up but surprisingly it was always hung on the spider’s web [ faran owu].
Imagine this scenario : When his foot soldiers were weak and tired in the war front and the battle was hot he touched the trees with his bare hands and the trees turned to soldiers and the fight continued . He appeared and disappeared at will with his magical power . He was very powerful as he shot arrows from his house attacking enemies in the battle field without getting there. He was feared by the natives and non natives.He was honoured and respected. His eyes, hands,legs, infact all parts of his body were instruments of war. This is ORISARAIBI OGEDENGBE AGBOGUNGBORO of Ilesha!
He was a chain smoker and was extra ordinarily careful as he always avoided being poisoned, he used to send his wild dog to buy tobacco from the market and the dog must be greeted by all and sundry .And whoever did not salute the dog will attract fine or punishment from the Generalissimo .According to stories , the dog was not seen again after Ogedengbe’s demise.
According to High Chief Oyekanmi Ogedengbe Obanla IV who presently holds the tittle, he said ” In Ogedengbe’s compound were cell rooms where he used to punish his erred slaves in his courtyard.Not only this, he had some rooms where he kept his charms , juju , arms and ammunition , daggers, swords and other war materials . He had specialized heavy saucers he used to eat from”.
He added ”The warrior had a big shrine where he worshiped before embarking on his war.He fought the Kiriji War allegedly caused by a woman”.
Some of his guns, swords
The High Chief took this reporter round the compound and some rooms , he said ”Some of the jujus and ammunition are still in some rooms till this day, infact there are some objects you must not touch and rooms forbidden to enter! .Some rooms have no windows.”, adding that there are about four courtyards in the compound .However, one needs a torch light or a candlelight to go into these dark rooms, and some of the rooms look secretive and fearsome., but inspite all these , most of the iron and woods used for the building which could be about a century old are still strong .
The High Chief put on the Warrior’s charmed ‘war clothes’ and said ” this is the war cloth and attached with all types of juju gourds.But the High Chief says he is not happy for the grave of the great Yoruba Generalissimo is not befitting.Asked whether he contacted the Government , he said ” the Osun State government promised to turn this place into a monument while we are still waiting” .
Ogedengbe Agbogungboro house in Ilesha
Ogedengbe’s Grave in the compound
A visit to his grave site in the compound could make one cry as one would be surprised that inspite the fame, power and exploits of this man called O SOKO EKITI, SOKO AKOKO (Husband of Ekiti and Akoko) his grave site is unmarked.
The heavy eating saucers he used
When he was being taken into exile by Captain Bower, one of Bower’s aides who came with him struck Ogedengbe’s second in command, Alimoro’s head but the sword cut into pieces and Alimoro cut the aides’s hand .As Ogedengbe saw the hand on the ground he picked it up , blew air on it and glued it back to the stump!
”We offered sacrifice every week here in the compound and worship Ogun , the god of iron called Iwude.
”We keep a monkey here called Gboroko Kapee for a purpose,the late Ogedengbe had four, my late father Ogedengbe has three while my late brother Ogedengbe who did not live up to one year had also”. He spoke about the mystic behind the monkey, according to him a man once came here to harm my late father who was on the throne but the monkey started behaving strangely and attacked the ma , when he was searched we found charms he brought along to harm my father..Again a strange bird , an owl came here which is a bad omen and the monkey started screaming , a lovely person was reported dead the following day.
Asked where Ogedengbe’s charmed war cloth is , the man looked up and said ” sadly enough they took it away , however some untrustworthy fellows must have conspired for without that they couldn’t have taken it away.
His war jacket was very, very heavy that two people cannot lift it up but surprisingly it was always hung on the spider’s web [ faran owu]
High Chief Oyekanmi Ogedengbe Obanla IV
The High Chief said ”War is a profession that runs in our family, many of Ogedengbe’s grandchildren are in the Military, Police among others”.
The late Chief Ogedengbe was born in Atorin , which is about 20kilometeres to Ilesha in the present Atakomosa East Local Government area.His father’ s village was Oke Orisa Village.
He always floored his mates in wrestling competition thus he was given the nickname of Ogedengbe while his real names are Orisaraibi Apasanforijiwa.He was once captured and taken to Ibadan and that was where Basorun Ogunmola they gave him facial marks in order to humiliate him .
On the walls of the living room are some old pictures of the great generalissimo with gourds ( ado and strings ) tied on them evidencing his power, and also a photograph of some of his warriors. But the most painful aspect of this story is that of his grave which is unmarked .
Is it fair for such a powerful man of high caliber, a Yoruba generalissimo to be forgotten despite all his exploits?
Author: Taiwo Abiodun
I am a blogger . taiwoabiodun.com and TAIWOABIODUN.BLOGSPOT.COM View all posts by Taiwo Abiodun