By Ike A. Offor
These are the indubitable facts about the history of Yoruba, and the presence of Benin and Igbo, Nupe in the ancient and consequently in the present day Yoruba race.
Many renowned history scholars have written about how much the Igbo and Benin are involved in the history of Yoruba race and some have been very blunt about the make up all these three groups, Igbo, Benin and Nupe. Igbo, Yoruba, and Benin are found in each others land at different times in the ancient historical records.
It is intended that by considering the examples, the reader will be able to form a good impression of how the languages have diverged over time. And the items listed include: agba (or akpÍ, akpå)/agbÍn (= ‘chin’), awÍ /ewu (= ‘grey hair’), aga (or Ëga)/agan (= ‘barrenness, infertility, a barren woman’), Ígwå/oogun (= ‘medicine, poison, charm’), dimkpa/ igiripa (or giripa) (= person in prime of manhood, strong man, man of strength and courage’), Ëra (or Íra, Íha, Ísa)/ara (or ira (CY)) (= ‘the citizenry, the people, the masses, the public’), onye/ eniyan (or Íniyan(CY)(= ‘person, anyone, someone’), agå/ ¹kun (= ‘tiger, leopard’), enyin/ erin (= ‘elephant’), anwå /oorun (= ‘sun, sunlight’), ifufe (or ifufu)/af¹f¹ (or efuufu) (= ‘wind, breeze, air’), ogbodo/ogberi (or ogbere (CY)) (= ‘person not yet initiated into a masquerade or similar secret cult , a novice’), and akårËkÍ /iharihÍ (or ihaahÍ) (= ‘charred part of food which adheres to the pot or sauce pan’).
Oduduwa( Benin Prince Izoduwa) was never the founder of the Yoruba race nor the founder of Ife town. He met people there. A man known as Obatala was ruling a section of the Yorubas before Oduduwa surfaced. No less a personality than the Olugbo of Ugbo( Ilaje’s paramount Ruler) agrees with this. He put it directly to the Ooni of Ife recently.
The Yoruba are from Nupe,Benin and Igbo stock. Confirm this from the objective historian Odia Ofeimu. Ife is an Igbo divining CENTRE until the warrior Prince Izoduwa took it from them and made himself the theocratic governor of the place.
Nupe attacked old Oyo and sacked it because they believe they are the owners of the land.
The Ooni of Ife is not from the lineage of Oduduwa. No Oduduwa son remained at Ife to succeed him in his priestly role.
Like his father Ogiso Owodo,Prince Izoduwa( Oduduwa) had only one son whose name was Okanvbi( Okanbi in Yoruba). Note that, Okanvbi in Edo means ” I seek justice or I do not seek vengeance( a name Oduduwa may have given his son to remind him of his travails in his homeland,Benin) It was Okanvbi who had 7 children amongst whom we have the youngest Omonopopo( Prince Oramiyan).
All the current Yoruba clans have their separate history as a people and over 95% of them have no link to Oduduwa or the mythical Yoruba empire. The Ilajes and Akokos for examples. They all have their languages too which are clearly not dialects of the recent Yoruba language developed in Lagos and Ibadan.
Lagos at every point in their history was a Benin settlement and vassalage and never under any Yoruba power.