History of Iwo in Brief

The history of Iwo will be incomplete without looking at her historical antecedent.  Available evidence and the tradition of origin attested to the fact that Iwo takes her origin from Ile-Ife. Iwo like any other Yoruba-speaking people had originated from the cradle, Ile-Ife. In fact, its kingship has also been traced to Ife. In his book ‘Origin and Formulation of Luwo Kingdom’, Alademomi claimed that the after the death of the fifteenth king of Oni of Ife named Otaka, the next to throne was a woman known as ‘Luwo’. She was the person whose Ife of the period called ‘Luwo Gbagida’. Her marriage to one of the Ife chiefs named ‘Obaloran’ which this title is still in existence today, gave birth to ‘’Adekola Telu’ who would later become the first king of Iwo.
The first king which people claimed to have found this ancient city was Adekola Telu who after leaving Ile Ife settled in Ogundigbaro, Igbo Orita before later concluded his journey to Iwo. The book mentioned above also gave a list of Oluwos’ who have ruled this beautiful city from Adekola Telu to S.O. Abimbola II. It must be noted that the Alaafin of old Oyo Empire had a lot of influence in the selection process of its kingship. It becomes imperative at this juncture, to briefly discuss the event unfolding the settlement of Iwo to her capital today. It could be traced to a place where there was one big tree which accommodates birds called ‘Parrot’. The king of those birds’ leaves in this particular tree which makes every one of these birds moved round the tree as sign of respect and salute to their king. Throughout the Yorubaland this place was known as the ‘Home of Iwo’. When the king got there, he consulted Ifa oracle and discovered that the place was suitable for habitable, he decided to settled there and called the title of Oba the ‘Oluwo’.
Alademomi gave a list of Iwo communities i.e. their territories, names and titles of their leaders and the origin of those communities. He talked about eulogy of the Iwo and some villages under the Iwo hegemony. The Iwo towns’ primary economic activity is agriculture with primary crops being cocoa, yam, corn and palm oil. They also engage in textile and weaving activities. Part of minerals agro raw materials which have been discovered in Iwo according to Raw material Research and Development Council of Federal Ministry of Science and Technology are Beryl, Kaolin, Granite, Feldspar, Laterite, Ball Clay, Silica sand, Gravel, Millet, Cocoa, Cashew, Pineaple,Citrus, Cassava, Yam, Cocoyam, Beans, Soya beans, Oil palm, Sugarcane, Plantain, Pawpaw, Banana, Cotton, Mango, Guava, Bamboo, Sunflower, Livestock, Maize, Fishery, Kolanut, Timber, Vegetable and Orange. They also engage in artisants and all walks of life.
Iwo, before the colonial contact was known to be practicing African Tradition by worshiping ‘Popoyemoja’. By the time of their contact with Arabs they accepted Islam as a religious of the community. Even tough, the Christian missionaries and British invaders tried to evangelized people but little they could get converted to Christianity and perhaps to acquire Western Education. Iwo is very rich in culture. They celebrate Egungun Festival, Iwo day to mention but few. ‘Eki’, a species of beans is the well-known delicious food of typical Iwo citizen.


Oluponna situated in the South of Osun State, bounded in the West by Iwo, in the North by Ileogbo, in the East by Oke Osun and Ikire, and in the South by villages at the boundary of Iyana Offa at the periphery of Ibadan Lagelu Local Government. One of the four main components of Aiyedire Local Government. The other three being Ileogbo, Kuta and Oke Osun. Oluponna is located in the rich tropical farmland of South West of Nigeria. It occupies a landmass of many hectares and has a population of about thirty two thousand people.
Two major rivers in Osun State namely Odo Osun and Odo Oba form sort of boundary to the East and West of the sprawling Town. Other small rivers which serve its inhabitants are Olowo, Laake and Odo Ogbo. The inhabitants are predominantly farmers who engage in the cultivation of cocoa, cassava, yam, maize and fruits farm.
The history of Oluponna cannot be divested from the history of the monarchy because the founder of the Town as it happens in most others towns in Yorubaland is also among the first settlers and ruler of the Town. Over four century ago Momiloye, the founding father of Oluponna settled at Moosa, the seat of the first Oluponna, which is now about one eight (1/8) of a kilomtre to the palace of the present incumbent of Olu of Oluponna, Oba Emmanuel Onaolapo Oyebamiji Fadare II. History has it that Momiloye, a prince of Igbonna (Kwara State), who’s Oba wore a beaded crown, left Igbonna accompanied with followers which included sons of Chiefs of Igbonna. Those Chiefs’ sons become chief during Momiloye’s reign at Moosa. An egungun incident at Moosa when the masquerade’s veil fell off from his face caused pandemonium and death of some people. This necessitated payment of a ransom by the culprit one Aiwosi to the Oluwo because such an incident was taboo. That was how the first Oluponna was deserted and the movement
away from Moosa by the entire inhabitants to the present site of Oluponna.
Another version of the history of Oluponna stated that in the early 18th century and long before the Fulani invasion of Yoruba Towns, the Oyo people left the first capital at Igboho following internal dissension to settle at what was later known as Oyo Ile. The family head, Olaojo left with his children, relations and people carrying with them the Orisa Osun (Osun deity) and first settled at a convenient place known as Igbo Orita or Osun Shrine which is later known as Oluponna.
However, the earlier stated history was preferred by the High court of Justice of Oyo State in the judgement at Osogbo in the suit No. HOS/22/82 between Josiah Adubi Oyediran and others Vs. the Governor of Oyo State and others principally because it gave a credible and complete history of Oluponna without a gap from the founder who was the first ruler (Momiloye) up to the present Oba. Please also see the following:
(a) Report of Ayoade Public Enquiry into Baale of Oluponna Chieftaincy Declaration
(b) Court of Appeal Judgement in Governor of Oyo State and others Vs. Sule Oyebamiji Fadare and others in suit no. CA/1/78/86
Two reasons have been adduced for the name ‘’OLUPONNA’’. The first is that the name came about because it was believed that Osun which they worshipped gives barren women children and its shrine is called ‘’Oju pon anu’’and that ‘’Oju pon anu’’ later came to be called OLUPONNA. However, the most credible history behind the name is the fact that ‘’Olu’’ i.e. mushroom grew in abundance everywhere at the new site then and so the statement ‘’Oluponna’’ which later became Oluponna.
The founders of Oluponna and his followers came with deities, which they worshipped Osunleye Momiloye’s sister, for instance was a devout worshipper of Osun. Other deities worshipped were Orisa Ogiyan, Egungun, Ifa, Ogun, Ajangele etc. Only later in its development was Christianity and Islam introduced by missionaries to the people.


At the demise of the founder and the first ruler Momiloye, Akingbeyin ascended the throne, later Fawusi reigned. Omotankaye, Aina Alu-Oku, Aina Olamewu, Oyebaokun, Aiyebaokun, Aiyelabowo I, Aregbesola I, and Bamgboye followed in succession. Then Fadare I, Fadepo, Oyekanmi Aregbesola II, and Adiatu Olaniola Aiyelabowo II also came on the throne. Oba Emmanuel Onaolapo Oyeleso Oyebamiji (JP) Fadare II now on the throne has permanent seat in the council of Obas. All these Baales and Obas are the direct descendants of Momiloye. Up till 2008 there was only ONE (1) ruling House, but the prayer of the Oba, Princes, and Princess was granted by the Executive Governor of Osun State Dr, Chief, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola when a declaration creating Two (2) ruling houses namely: Aregbesola and Aiyelabowo was approved.



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