Background of the Study

Recent study in the social sciences and humanities have proven the need for research into culture and development, in relation, to their significance to society and how to recollect the past and connect this to the present for the shaping of a viable and memorable future (Omotosho et al, 2016). This ideal necessitated this research study for the purpose of carrying out investigations into the origin and cultures of a people called the Ondo indigenes of the South-Western Nigeria. Such study also helps the researcher to build upon current trends for the sake of knowledge production and contributions to research in some ways and in larger ways, to guarantee a viable nationhood that is sustainable and long-lasting (Heywood, 2007, Omotosho et al, 2016). Through recollections of histories, people are able to trace their origins and align properly with their affinities and sources. A country like Nigeria, which comprises of diverse elements that make it up from independence is able to identify its identities, form its cultures, and craft its national symbols and signs for national integration and peaceful co-existence. All of these cannot be achieved without a visit to the past and when the past cannot be traced, a nation may be existing in a vacuum and obscurity. This could cave in to disintegration in the form of secession and break up, which the country suffered from in the late sixties as a result of political differences and colonial distortions that tended to interpret Nigerians as different nations and not one entity (Abimbola, 1977).

In the South – Western part of the present day Nigeria lies the large and dominant ethnic group of Yoruba. This group, which again was sub-grouped into two descent systems of the south and north, comprising of several sub-ethnic groupings who all speak the same Yoruba language but with different dialectical intonations, has the Ondo Kingdom in its southern part with cognatic descent system. Cognatic descent system is one in which the descent of an individual can be traced through his ancestor in „both male and female lines‟ (Bender, D. R. 1970: 71 – 81; and Eades, J. S., 1980). This means that, while an individual in the northern kingdom can identify with only one descent group known as ‘agnatic’ which is patrilineal, the cognatic to which Ondo belongs allows for an individual to identify with both patrilineal and matrilineal (Bender, D. R., 1970; Eades, J. S., 1980; Johnson, S., 1921; and Ajulo, E. B., 2000). Nigeria is divided into six geo-political zones with thirty-six states, as a federation, together with the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, being the thirty-seventh. Among these states is the Sunshine State called Ondo in the South-West, where the Ondo Kingdom resides. It is sitting among the thickly forested planes, with several towns and villages, and located some 300km to the North-East of Lagos, Nigeria’s economic nerve centre and 45km away from Akure, the Ondo State Capital with all accessible ways from all parts of the country.

According to Olupona, (1991), Ondo kingdom, which shares boundary with modern Akure metropolis in Ondo State and Obokun areas of Ilesha in neighboring Osun State forms its boundary in the north and in the south with Ilaje/Eseodo Local Government Areas, terminating at Owena River in the Ifedore Local Government Area in the West, stretching farther to River Ooni, where Okeigbo, an adjourning town with mainly original Ife settlers, now part of Ondo division situates, ……” While the people of the kingdom, almost in unison, rejected a version that links its origin to the Old Benin Kingdom in present day Edo State as being the invention of its proponents, there seems to be some convergence on the other two accounts that trace the origin of the people to Ife and Oyo respectively.

The towns and communities that made up the Ondo Kingdom was located among the thick forest plains that characterize southwestern Nigeria, About 300 kilometers to the North – east of Lagos, Nigeria’s economic nerve and 45 kilometers west of Akure, the Ondo State Capital. The kingdom is easily reached by road from all parts of the country. The people are one of the largest Yoruba sub-groups, situated in the eastern part of the Yoruba speaking area of Nigeria. The weather elements that characterize the region are those typifying the rain forest region of sub – sahara Africa. The descent of Ondo people, as well as the geography of the kingdom does not reflect any significant deviation from those of other towns and communities peopled by the Yoruba of south – western Nigeria, who are virtually agreed on the common paternity of Oduduwa. However there exist in most historical collections about three separate accounts that explain the origin of the Ondo people. While, the people of the kingdom, almost in unison.

 The people of Idoko who were among the early settlers of Ondo worshiped spirits and they hated twin whom they always put to death. At one time, Oduduwa sent twins children, one male and the other female and their mothers away from the headquarters to the remote part of his kingdom so that they might not be killed and they finally settled at Idoko.       

One very fundamental historical fact is that Idoko  people settled in what is now known as Ondo town much before the founders of ode-ondo town arrived. Idoko  is one of the ancient towns in ondo and in Yoruba land. The Ondos met the Idoko s on the present site. In relevant areas all over the world the ABORIGINES, which the Idoko  people are, are not usually very many in number but they do not in consequence lose their identity but they are recognised in the scheme of things. Ondo and Idoko  are conglomeration of two (communities) towns in which ode-ondo is the seat of Osemawe as a part, while Idoko  the seat of Olidoko  is also another part

 The Idoko s are the original settlers, the aborigines of ondo kingdom and they are autonomous of the people of ode-ondo. The Idoko s have their own separate gods, shrines and a distinct facial mark which is a one vertical stroke on each cheek called “Ila Idoko” which is different from ondo “Gombo” facial mark as worn by the first Ondos who arrived at the present site and settled with the Idoko  aborigines. Even though it may appear to an outsider that Idoko  has almost fused with ode ondo, it still has its own historical and cultural identities, its identifiable population and territory, separate customs, distinct set of chiefs, its traditional markets. Its hierarchy of chiefs, its festivals, its shrines and its traditional gods

The history of the Idoko people shall be treated in details of their origin and characteristics, the part they played in the cultural influence amongst the Ondo and their socio-economic structure. Also it should be noted that the facts about the history of the Idoko people are based mainly on oral tradition.

Statement of the Problem        

The argument about the exact origin of the Idoko people and whether they are truly an Ondo Indigene or not. There was also the controversy amongst the local historian such as Adeakin Olumatire, Johnson Fasekomi and the host of other that people of Idoko had in those days Vassal or pay tax to either osemawe. These form part of the problems that this research work is out to tackle.

Purpose of the Study        

The main objective of the study is to investigate a socio-political history of Idoko people of Ondo kingdom.

Specifically, the study sought to;

i.                   find out who are the Idoko people in Ondo kingdom.

ii.                 examine the impact of Idoko people on the socio-cultural and economic lives of the people of Ondo kingdom

iii.              investigate political system in  Idoko kingdom.

Research Questions

Based on the above stated objectives, the following questions were raised.

i.                   What are the impact of Idoko people on the socio-cultural and economic lives of the people of Ondo kingdom

ii.                 To what extent does political system in Idoko kingdom affect economic growth of Ondo State.

iii.              What are the problems affecting the development of Idoko Kingdom.

Significance of the Study        

This research work on the Idoko people of Ondo kingdom is fashioned to eradicate some historical fallacies that were often told by some local historians of the Idoko people and Ondo kingdom.

It would also help to disclose the relationship between the Idoko and Ondo people.

In the face of different accounts of historical antecedent of the Idoko people, this research work has been equipped with suitable historical ingredients and relevant information that is sufficiently used as materials on the history of Idoko people.

This project work also serves as an historical measure in general by enlighten people within and outside Ondo State to learn about Idoko people.

Scope of the Study        

It would be much demanding to undertake a complete study of Idoko people of Ondo kingdom. Most of the towns and settlement that form this kingdom are scattered all over Ondo kingdom will be the major focus of the study. The researcher will also touch some neighboring towns in other to get information, in other way round, this research topic will not be able to cover the entire Ondo kingdom due to financial and logistic problems on the part of the researcher.        




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