Eminent Yoruba leaders are getting set for the reawakening and restoration of Yoruba History and Culture between September 22 and 23 with the celebration of the 134th anniversary of the end of Kiriji War.
Leaders of thoughts that are gearing up for the event include the President-General of Yoruba World Congress (YWC), Professor Banji Akintoye, Afenifere Chieftain, Pa. Ayo Adebanjo, Pro-democracy crusader, Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu (rtd), Chairman of Yoruba Council of Elders, Justice Ademola Bakare (Rtd), and renowned Professor, Adetoun Ogunseye among others.
On September, the event will hold at Okemesi in Ekiti State, and Imesi Ile, Osun State, where the war started and Igbajo, Osun State, where the peace treaty that marked the end of the war was signed while on September 23, the expansive Secretariat of YWC in Ibadan, Oyo State, will host Yoruba Traditional Rulers including the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oladunni Oyewumi, and the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, who will all address the Yoruba People.
The Kiriji War, also known as the Ekiti-Parapo War, was a 16-year long civil war between the Yoruba people where all the sub-ethnic groups either supported Ibadan or the Ekiti.
The war, according to the Oxford History Library, was an attempt by the Ekitis to halt the expansive efforts of the Ibadan city-state, which attempted to replace the Oyo Empire as the dominant region in Yorubaland while Ibadan wanted a unified Yoruba nation similar to that of the Oyo Empire and Ekiti wanted a loose confederation of cities that had existed in the Ekiti region.
During the war, Ibadan was led by the Aare Ona Kakanfo, Obadake Latosa, the military commander-in-chief who had the support of people of Modakeke, Offa, and Oyo while the Ekiti Parapo, led by Fabunmi from Oke-Mesi, and later supported by Saraibi Ogedengbe, the Balogun of Ijeshaland, were aided by soldiers from Ijebu, Ife, Egba, Akoko, Igbomina, Ilorin and Kabba.
The war came to an end on September 23, 1886, which marks the beginning of the unification of Yoruba Land as one and Yoruba Elders met and agreed that September 23, the day that the Kiriji War ended is now to be celebrated as Yoruba Nation’s Day.
According to a statement issued by Arc. George Akinola, on behalf of the Conveners of the event, the purpose of the two-day ceremony is to unite the people of Yoruba Land towards achieving prosperity and development.
“The Owa Ooye of Okemesi, Oba Gbadebo Adedeji, JP, CON, Owa Ooye of Imesi Ile, Oba Ademola Akinyemi and the Owa of Igbajo, Oba Adeniyi Fashade of Okemesi, Imesi Ile and Igbajo, shall be the Chief Hosts for the event on September 22 in their respective communities while the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, shall be the Chief Host on September 23 at Ibadan. More also, all the First Class Yoruba Traditional Rulers from Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo, Kogi, Kwara, Edo, Oyo and Lagos States respectively have been specially invited to attend the event,” the statement said and urged all Yoruba sons and daughters worldwide to make their presence felt at the events, both physically, or morally.