The history of Ikeja which is the capital of Lagos state is not known by many. The origin comprises of two major components which are Ipodo Quarters and Isale-Awori Quarters.
Ipodo Quarters were founded by an Awori called Ikudehinbu while Isale-Awori Ipodo Quarters were founded by Amore who came from Otta. Ikudehinbu was the progenitor of the present day Odu Apena family and he settled in Ipodo Quarters.
Due to the proximity of the area to a stream, Ikudehinbu named it Ipa-Odo. This name has now been shortened over time to Ipodo. Lalulo, the progenitor of the present day Aina Aromashodu Family joined Ikudehinbu in settling at Ipodo Quarters.
Amore was the first to settle in Isale-Awori Quarters in Ikeja. He emigrated from Otta with his younger brother Amosu. The Amore first settled at Ogudu and lived there for some time. Although Amore was a Farmer, Amosu was a fisherman. Ogudu being a Riverine Area was very conducive for Amosu but it was a different case for Amore.
Amore’s search for a suitable farmland brought him to the place we now know as Ikeja. He was the first person to settle in the Virgin land of Isale-Awori Quarters in Ikeja land. He then commenced work to make it more habitable.
After some time on the land, he married Mavarnl from Ojoko family in Isheri and brought her to Ikeja. They had four children called Matemi, Faluyi, Omolabake, and Aileru.
When Amore was in Otta, he was an ardent worshipper of Akeja deity. The deity belongs to the Iga-Iyanru people; the village Amore migrated from. On getting to his new settlement, he introduced the deity to his people and it attracted a lot of followers. The deity soon became very popular in the area which is now known as Ikeja.
Aside from being a farmer, Amore was also a hunter and an Ifa priest who is very familiar with a good number of Ifa songs. He became friends with Oladiti Oshoja from Ekoro and invited him to come settle with him. Oladiti Oshoja became the second person to settle in Isale-Awori Quarters of Ikeja. Amore brought more deities to Ikeja and they are still worshipped by the people in the city till date.
These are some of the deities Amore brought to Ikeja
Amore granted more people settlement including the Egungun worshipers despite the fact that their faith was different from his. The deity is now very popular in Ikeja.
The Balogun family brought Islam to Ikeja while Kushemi Moses, a Baptist brought Christianity to the land. The first Baptist church was built by Moses’s family.
It is pertinent to note that in ancient times, Ipodo and Isale Awori Quarters were two different autonomous communities and each had its own Baale ruling it. However, the two baale’s stools were later merged to form the elevated stool of Oba now known as Olu of Ikeja Land.
The stool of Olu of Ikeja land is now one of the five paramount traditional stools in Lagos state council of Obas and Chief. The Oba of Lagos is the Permanent Chairman and is ably assisted by four permanent Vice Chairmen of which Olu of Ikeja is one.
Below is the ranking of the five paramount rulers in Lagos state
Oba of Lagos Chairman
Ayangbunren of Ikorodu 1st Vice Chairman
Olu of Ikeja 2nd Vice Chairman
Akran of Badagry 3rd Vice Chairman
Alara of Epe 4th Vice Chairman
The Oba of Ikeja land, Oba Amore Matemi 1, joined his ancestors in the year 2014. May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace.
This article, Brief History of Ikeja was culled from a magazine called Ikeja city Award