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Ikire is a town in Osun State, Nigeria.

Historical Background

PRINCE AKINRERE, a renowned elephant hunter from Ile-Ife, founded the Ikire Township. Prince Akinrere was said to have sought the permission of his father Ewuwemi, the Ooni of Ife, to undertake an adventure for establishing his own town that he would reign as Oba.

As it was the custom in those days, Ifa Oracle had to be consulted before important decision could be taken.In view of the pronouncement of the Ifa Oracle, Prince Akinrere was directed to worship Osakire, one of the most important deities in Ile Ife before commencing the adventure. The Prince was a favorite of his father Ooni because of his bravery and devotion to the worship of Osakire, which he later adopted upon founding his own town. While leaving Ile-Ife, Ooni Ewuwemi gave an all white-beaded Crown (Ade Seseefun) to his son with an instruction that he should not wear it until he succeeded in establishing his own town and raised a shrine for Osakire.

Prince Akinrere later settled at a location now called Oko Adesile, a few kilometers off old Ibadan - Ife road. At that time, the place was called Odi Ayan-Nnagi. Ayan-Nnagi, “Idaro Omo_Oba Nla” was Prince Akinrere’s pet name given to him by the admirers of his military prowess and ruggedness. Olaberinjo took after his father Akinrere as a wonderful archer who had earned the reputation of killing elephant from a very tender age. Olaberinjo distinguished himself within a short time as a great hunter and later got married. His father Akinrere died as his wife gave birth to a baby boy who was later named Kujemilayo meaning literally: DEATH DEPRIVED ME OF JOY. Much as he would have rejoiced over the birth of his first son, the death of his father ironically made it almost impossible, lamented Olaberinjo. Kuje, his son, also grew up to inherit the family’s profession of elephant hunting. At a later stage, things were becoming increasing difficult for the inhabitants of Odi-

Ayan Nnagi due to acute shortage of water. Olaberinjo already ageing, instructed his son, Kuje to intensify his search for water (this later led him to the bank of River Osun) and that he should also not forget to carry along with him the deity of his father as well as the white beaded crown brought from Ile-ife to enable him establish firmly as a direct crown Prince from Ile-Ife wherever he might choose to settle. Kuje had many children with whom he moved to the bank of River Osun otherwise known as Ikire-Omi, that is “Ikire by the water side” while Osakire was located at Moosa, both within the vicinity of the present-day Ikire. Principal among Kuye’s children are Disamu, Oladekan, Olanbeloye, Onsokan and Akintula - Most of the past Akire’s were descendants of these Kuje’s children. Shortly after settling at Ikire-Omi, Kuje fell sick and died. His children faced yet another problem, this time not that of a drought, which drove them to their present site, but paradoxically, floods, as Osun River wad incessantly overflowing its banks, thereby destroying their camps and other valuables.

This terrible situation set them off on a journey in search of a permanent flood and drought free settlement, which led them to the present site of Ikire over four centuries ago. Akire, which is the official title of the ruler of IKIRE, is a contraction of Akinrere; the founder of IKIRE while the town itself derived its name from Osakire, which is the Chief Deity of IKIRE.

The old Irewole Local Government with its headquarters in Ikire was created in 1976 following the Local Government Reform of that year. In 1989 and 1996 the present Ayedade Local Government and Isokan Local Government areas respectively were carved out of the old Irewole area. With this development the present Irewole Local Government is made of people of Ikire who share common ancestry. Local Government Area in the South and Ayedire Local Government in the North. Irewole Local Government shares common boundaries with Ayedaade Local Government Area in the East, Ife-North Local Government area in the South East, Egbeda Local Government Area of Oyo State in the West, Isokan Irewole Local Government is situated in the South Western part of Osun State with altitudes of between 121.92 meters and 298.704 meters above the sea level.

Its landmass is about 978.67m2 with over 300 villages and hamlets. It lies in the rainforest belt of the country. Going by the provisional figure for the headcount of 1991,Irewole Local Government has an estimated population of 77,884. With the active participation of the people in the 2006 Census the population of the area will definitely record an increase.

Geographical Feature

Irewole Local Government, Ikire is highly blessed with a conducive climate. The availability of the fine climate has broadly enhanced the cultivation of Arable and cash crops, which has further contributed to the economic development of the area. In addition, the vegetation cover of the Local Government Area is typically evergreen rainforest that is normally luxuriant during the raining season. The presence of the evergreen luxuriant forest has aided the rearing of cattle and other domestic animals at the Irewole Local Government Area.

Category:Populated places in Osun State