Eee son e son ,
Ero Ado me ison tenrenren (2ice)
Ado gb’ogun w’Ogho
Ogho y’oo p’Ado ooo
O mu’le Oba Ado s’ogun ja
E e son , e son
Ero Ado mee ison tenrenren (2ice)
Translation in English
They are weeping profusely
The Ados are weeping profusely and gnashing their teeth (2 times )
Ado invaded Owo
But Owo conquered Ado
Ado went back to fight their King
They are weeping profusely and gnashing their teeth
GREAT STORY: OWO VS ADO (BENIN)
Trenches were constructed round the town. Poisoned bananas were spread at the entrances leading to the ancient town of Owo. Tension was high . The natives’ hope was hanging in the air while they carried out the instruction to the letter according to how Oshogboye commanded them . Yes! men and and women were battle -ready but without instruments of war like spear, gun, sticks and what have you.Their weapons of war were the trenches dug round the ancient town and the poisoned bananas used as bait that scattered at the entrances of the town .What of their Ado ( Benin) enemies?, they were well equipped with their instruments of war for their mission was to plunder the ancient town of Owo and make them surrender as other neighbouring towns did . As planned , in the middle of the night the Ado warriors invaded the ancient town, Owo unfortunately they all met their Waterloo.
According to stories, while some of these invaders ate the poisoned bananas and died hundreds of the soldiers fell into the prepared moats and perished. Only few returned home to vent their anger on their Monarch .
When the Owo people became victorious and saw how they defeated their enemies by their tricks , they danced and sang songs of freedom from their enemy- Ado invaders. Since then the song became a national anthem for Owo natives.
HOW TRUE IS THE STORY?
The story though an oral tradition from one mouth to another , from one generation to another as there were no written documents to back it up but it was real .The story though is over 500 years old has iota of facts. It is not a myth as evidences to prove are still there!.
”My son, if you go round Owo communities you will still see the traces or remnants of these trenches there”, Oba Okikiola Folagbade Adetifa III, the Alale of Ulale the 88-year old Monarch said, as he sang the song again., Ado gb’ogun w’Ogho….. ee son ee son ero Ado me ison tenrenren, the community leader’s treble voice echoed in the Hall.
OSHOGBOYE 1600 AD
The song is the song of victory, freedom and emancipation from their oppressor, Ado ( Benin) of which they sang during the reign of Olowo of Owo Oba Oshogboye who rescued the town from their enemies .He reigned in 1600 AD . According to history, many towns were constantly invaded and conquered by the Ado ( now Benin) . His Royal Highness Oba Adetifa III narrated the story of how Owo had never been conquered by enemies , he said the Alale has been here from time immemorial and not only versatile and authoritative in the story but also had these trenches they dug in his area during the said story.
The Monarch continued ”Anytime the Ado natives (Benin) were about to wage war against the people of Owo they always bring along an object called ogbiigbii which was heavy and had structure like a car or caterpillar , and this object ogbiigbii would destroy any object it hit to a pulp. No matter how strong the material is, the ogbiigbii would destroy the object even if it is a earth -moving caterpillar it would destroy it. ”They said these Ado people used juju to construct the mysterious ogbiigbii” .Oba Adetifa continued ”When the news filtered in that the Ados were preparing to wage another war again on Owo , the Alale consulted Ifa Oracle and Ifa told him he would win the war. Alale then instructed his men to construct ditches round the town and when the said ogbiigbii was coming again to Owo ,it went down into the ditches and perished. Later the Ados retreated and went to bring battalions of their soldiers to invade Owo , so when they came they were deceived by what they saw -everywhere was shining, the roads, the sands, the trees and so on , then they hide somewhere and planned their invasion in the middle of the night , with the hope of destroying or plundering the town while they met their doom as they all perished but those who survived went back home to tell Oba Ado that Owo was a sacred town they cannot be conquered .That was where the war ended !. Nobody has ever waged war against Owo and won.Never in the history of Owo”,
To prove this the monarch said ”these ditches are still present in the ancient town till date. If you go round Owo you can still see some of these trenches visible evidencing the over 500 years old story .This is not a fiction but real as it has become a blessing that Owo has never been conquered in war”,the Community leader boasted, beating his chest with satisfaction.
Corroborating this story , the community Head of Upo, Adewale Ojo in one of the interviews granted said the trenches dug during the ancient wars are still visible in Upo to date, ”the trenches dug in those days were for protection and defence during the war between the Ado and Owo, No warrior have the effrontery to invade this village, Upo despite its smallness .Then they were not respected due to their small number and the town,they were feared because they fight in trenches”.
Prince Olanrewaju Abegunde the Olunaun of Unaun said ” from history no man born of a woman has ever waged war against Owo and won, not only because Owo is battle ready all the time but it has been there from the time of our forefathers.We are not boasting -it is real .The story of Ado (Benin ) is authentic”, Olunaun of Unaun added that ” when the warriors were massacred those who escaped from Owo in annoyance went back to Benin to wage war against their own King (Ado mule B’are s’ogun ja).”, Olunaun stated with total confidence.
OSHOGBOYE’S MYSTERIOUS JOURNEY
BACK TO OWO
Omi kikon ino amo.
Ukere maa soo dale
Ado gb’ogun w’Ogho
Ogho yi pado
O mu li iba’re s’ogun ja ee
E ee son e son ero Ado mee i son tenren ren
Ado s’okun ogede wa ri je..…
Mrs. Morenike Famulagun Olajide a retired teacher , an Historian and a theatre artiste said ” if you watch the film of Oshogboye you will see the whole story there .
she narrated the story thus:
” During the time of Oshogboye , Oba of Benin used to capture territories and Oshogboye was a Prince and had gone to Benin to be trained in the palace .While there Oshogboye taught the king and his children the art of medicine .Later he (Oshogboye ) was in care of the Oba of Benin’s Military men. But when the Benin Monarch saw how successful they were in capturing slaves as a result of the training he gave his soldiers and the juju Oshogboye possessed and when it was time for Oshogboye to return to his home , Owo , Oba of Ado refused to release Oshogboye . While all efforts by Oshogboye to free himself from him failed , he one day started singing for Oba Ado, but the king angrily asked him to go to his home , it was later Oshogboye’s eyes opened asking where he came from. He then made away with the mysterious ogbiigbii calabash [ a mysterious object that warns when war is looming], its a Calabash that gives sign by groaning and making noise like human being when war is looming. Oba Ado discovered that the mysterious calabash had disappeared and knew who took it. When the king realised what happened he commanded the ground to confuse and destabilise Oshogboye’s journey , and it happened while Oshogboye became confused and did not know the road leading to Owo again. Oshogboye too, a powerful man then turned his back to Owo and walked backward to Owo facing Ado (Benin) yet holding the strange calabash with him, that is why in Owo panegyrics (oriki) we say Owo oma a kohin si i bere, (Owo native who will turn his back to where he is going ) .That is ,he faced Benin and used his back to walk down to Owo. When he got to Owo , he told them his experience , and went to hide the ogbiigbii’‘ .
PLAN AGAINST ADO (BENIN)
Famulagun Olajide continued ” when Oshogboye got home , he narrated the ordeal he went through and told them that the Benin would be after him and wage war but they should prepare poisoned bananas and put them on the road for it is Ado’s (Benin’s) delicacy . He advised them further to dredge trenches round the town while the banana should be spread on all the roads that led to the town. All was done and the real battle was prepared for. When the hungry warriors saw the banana they ate them and all died . The corpses of those who consumed the banana were pushed into the trenches., some others fell into the trenches alive and died there!.Those who managed to escape went back to Benin to revenge on their Monarch who sent them on the suicide mission”
Thus the Owo people came out rejoicing that they had defeated their enemy and they sang their song of freedom.
However Robert Sydney Smith in his book Kingdoms of the Yorubas-Kingdoms of the east ) wrote ”Owo was attacked again by Benin Army ………..however, that Oshogboye , heir to Olowo Omaro was sent as a young Prince to Benin for his education at Oba’s Court and enrolled as a page to the Oba[emada , literally means ‘sword bearer’) when Omaro died Oshogboye seems to have returned to Owo to claim the throne without first obtaining the Oba’s permission to leave the palace, and when messengers were sent to him from Benin he feigned illness. As soon as his coronation had been performed , Oshogboye set about fortifying the town against an attack from Benin , causing a ditch to be dug (and presumably also erecting a wall) .The History of Owo implies that an attack was made and repulsed”.
Dr. Oladipo Olugbadehan an authority on Owo History described the history of Owo as very interesting and inspiring especially on Oshogboye who reigned and fortified the ancient town on his return from Benin.He said ” I extensively dwell on the political and administration of Oshogboye .Oshogboye left Benin for Owo and he ruled. Many stories and angles were used on the story but the main point is that they were able to win the war the Benin waged against them”
Professor Rowland Abiodun , Art Historian corroborated the story and said ”Oshogboye went to Ado ( Benin) for a purpose, he had a mission and the mission was to be a Spy in order to know all the secrets of Ado people. He was the confidant of Oba of Benin, he prepared all the charms of the Monarch , he knew all their secrets .Now that he escaped they did not know how to deal with him .He had sworn that he would not betray them .But mark you the wisdom or idea the Olowo of Owo Oba Maro had then was super as he sent his son, Oshogboye to Benin as a spy .They had told Oshogboye to learn all what they were doing , he was a very smart young man and he learnt all. All these made Owo to win Benin in the war”.
Abiodun continued ” All the towns like Akure, Ado Ekiti and some other towns were all paying tribute (isakole) ,but Owo did not!”
Abiodun confirmed the invaders’ story , ” there are many things found in the trenches and if one goes to some of these trenches today one could still find weapons of war in those trenches ”
The Art History professor also confirmed the story of how Oshogboye left Ado, he said ” When Oshogboye was on his way to Owo , he faced Owo road but his eyes became cloudy and could not see but when he faced Ado ( Benin) road his eyes would be clear and visible. So he had to find a way to come back home and by facing where he was coming from (Benin) and walked backward to where he was going (Owo)”
According to Abiodun it is only Owo that did not have an outsider or non native as their Monarch .Olowo bears Olowo of Owo while others like Ewi of Ado -Ekiti , Deji of Akure, are from Benin names its only Olowo of Owo that cannot be changed .No non- native ever ruled or become a King in Owo , never in history .Non native has never become Olowo of Owo .But all these towns like Ewi of Ado,Deji of Akure ,all of them changed their fathers’ names because of the pressure of Benin. Olowo was not changed , they cannot change it. A Benin man has never become an Oba in Owo!. Non native has never become Olowo of Owo, never in the history of Owo .As powerful as Benin was, with their artillery they have never become Olowo! .When Benin fought war , or all wars in all places but when they got to Owo , they gave Owo honour and respect”.
When Owo was ”invaded” by some ”warriors” ( armed robbers ) in 2015 and many people were killed , the late Olowo of Owo Oba DVF Olateru -Olagbegi III said ” this is war against Owo and nobody has ever waged war on Owo and win.These armed robbers would be caught”. Not less than two weeks the robbers were caught while some were shot where they went to rob.This added to the age long history and evidence that the ancient town of Owo can never be conquered.