29th September 2023


As wars ravaged through Yorubaland in the 19th century and as death threathened many households, able-bodied men emerged to defend their homes, they took up arms and built armies therewith. One of such men was “Aduloju” a contemporary of Ogedengbe Agbogungboro of Ìjèsà, Ààrẹ Latoosa and Ajayi Ogboriefon of Ibadan.

In 1824, Adéyeyè, the wife of Chief Ategbomoro, the Edemo of Ado Kingdom gave birth to a strange baby. He was named Fasawo Okunkolade, this child had matured teeth like that of an adult, his face was also extremely dark that they nicknamed him “A DÚDÚ LÓJÚ”. No one liked this strange child, his mother was mocked and despised. The aggrieved mother threw the baby into a pit but as fate would have it, Fayusin, an elderly woman found the baby and adopted him.

Aduloju grew up to become a strong-hearted young man, unlike his peers he didn’t venture into farming instead he learnt Ifa divining and sold charms and amulets. He gradually attracted some youths (probably his customers and mal-adjusted youths like himself), they soon gathered to become a small band of army.

In 1862, Aduloju’s army joined Efon in the Ijesa-Efon war though the Ìjèsàs proved too powerful, Aduloju’s gallantry was quickly noticed by Ogedengbe who commended him and established a future military alliance. The two fought side-by-side in the Igbo Alahun war of 1873 a coalition of Ilesa-Akure-Ado-Ita Ogbolu-Emure against Ibadan led by Ajayi Ogboriefon. Yet again the news of Aduloju’s dauntless army reached the Aare Ona Kakanfo Latoosa.

After the war Latoosa invited Aduloju to Ibadan and some how initiated him into the Ògbóni Fraternity, in addition he gave him an Oranyan sword and a gong. This initiation proved a turning point in the life of Aduloju, he ceased to engage in a conflict against Ibadan even when he became the Balogun of Ado in 1874. He chose instead to sack Iṣẹ and other towns in the Akoko area. He also refused to participate in the Kiriji War despite several pleas and threat from Ogedengbe and the Ado armies including Fabunmi of Oke-imesi. He however, appointed his lieutenant called Falowo but while preparing for the war the overzealous Falowo mistakenly shot himself and died afterwards.

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In 1894, When Captain R.L Bowen (first British resident at Ibadan) drafted the list of troublesome war chiefs in Yorùbáland. Aduloju was on his list, he, Fabunmi and Ogedengbe were arrested. Upon his release he returned quietly to Ado where he lived the rest of his life and died in July 1902.

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