After the Fulanis systematically captured and made Ilorin their territory, they sacked the old Oyo Empire in 1835/1636 .

They were still not satisfied with their victory; they wished to extend their rule deep into the heart of Yoruba land. Thus in 1840, they set to capture Osogbo , a Yoruba town. The Fulanis, under the command of Ali , the Hausa balogun of Ilorin, laid siege on Osogbo.

They were still not satisfied with their victory; they wished to extend their rule deep into the heart of Yoruba land. Thus in 1840, they set to capture Osogbo , a Yoruba town. The Fulanis, under the command of Ali , the Hausa balogun of Ilorin, laid siege on Osogbo.

When the king of Osogbo realized that the Ilorins were too strong for the Osogbo army, he summoned the Ibadans for help. Ibadan immediately sent some auxiliaries to Osogbo under the command of Obele alias Mobitan , and Alade Abimpagun. As this force could not stop the Ilorins, another contingent was sent to Osogbo under a more experienced leader. But still the Ilorins won every battle and gained more ground.

When Ibadan realized that the Ilorins were becoming more threatening to Yoruba land, they sent a large and stronger force under Balogun Oderinlo to crush the intruding forces and Jammas of Ilorin . When Oderinlo and his men arrived at the battlefield, they realized that things had gone worse than they thought.

They could not show their faces in the open field for the fear of the Ilorin horses, and for about 20 days after their arrival at Osogbo, they could not fight outside the town thickets. Oderinlo suggested that Elepo, a brave Ibadan warrior was badly needed at the war-front. Elepo had been rejected by the war-chiefs of Ibadan for his actions at the late Agbamaja expedition.

As soon as the message from Oderinlo reached Ibadan, the Bashorun wished he could send Elepo to Osogbo but could not go against the wish of other war-chiefs. The Bashorun gave Elepo a cow to worship his god, Ori , and pray for the victory of Ibadan at the war-front.

At the war-front, the Ibadan could not attack the Ilorins during the day because Osogbo was practically in a plain and the Ilorin horses might have advantage of them with disastrous results.

They decided to attack at dusk when the Ilorins would no longer be able to use their horses. About 2:pm, the well prepared Ibadan army left the gate of Osogbo for the battlefield. They were to keep a strict watch and arrest anyone suspected to be a spy.

About a mile from the Ilorin camp, they halted and arranged the order of the attack.

The Osogbo army and the earlier auxiliaries were to handle the center of the battlefield, chiefs Abitiko and Labuju were to command the right wing, Balogun Oderinlo with the rest of the Ibadan war-chiefs were to form the left wing of the army. The Ilorin camp was then attacked at midnight. The watchword was “ Elo ni owo odo? ” (How much is the ferry fare?).

The reason this watchword was chosen was because the river Osun had to be crossed in entering Osogbo from the south, and anyone who could not tell this was likely to be an enemy.

Stampede engulfed the Ilorin camp as the Ibadan army set it on fire. The Ilorins could not offer the slightest resistance; they were smoked with the gunpowder of the Ibadan guns.

This attack was a success for the Ibadan. Some Ilorin war-chiefs were captured in the attack. Prominent ones were:

1. Jimba the head slave of the Emir;

2. One of the sons of Ali the commander in chief;

3. Chief Lateju;

4. Ajikobo the Yoruba Balogun of Ilorin.

The first two were released while the latter two, being Yoruba by birth, were regarded as traitors and were executed. This was a huge victory for the whole of Yoruba land.

After the Osogbo victory,

Ibokun, an Ijesa town not far from Osogbo was taken by the Ibadans for being an ally of Ilorin.

After this war, Ìbàdàn later became a force building a formidable war machinery than later prosecuted many other wars with resounding victory.

Notable among the wars was the KIRIJI WAR where the Ibadan warlords formed a historic alliance with the Igbajos. Even though Igbajo became the war front for many years that the war lasted, it was never captured by the raging Ekiti parapò warriors. Rather it was a place where many of them met their Waterloo.

Notable among the warriors were Fabunmi Okeemesi, Ogedengbe Agbogun gboro of the Ijesas, Apasikoto pasigegele of Igbajo and Latoosa of Ibadan to mention a few. There were many more great warriors of the time.

It’s worthy to note that the KIRIJI WAR was the last war in Yoruba land. It’s also recorded as the longest native war between in Africa.

Since then the Yoruba people have continued to build strong bonds among themselves and they have sustained the peace.

We must continue to tell our children the history of the Yoruba people and the bond which our father had built so that we can continue to see ourselves as one. If the Ibadan people can sacrifice their lives for the people of Osogbo in other to safe other towns and villages in Yoruba land and in essence the carnage of innocent people were prevented, then, we the modern Yorubas have no reason to divide ourselves for political reasons or any reason at all.

Our leaders must continue to put their lives in the forefront to safe the land from all aggression.

And we have the responsibility to support, to advise and to pray for all our leaders.

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The Commander, U.S. Africa Command, U General Stephen Townsend, wrapped up a three-day West African visit February 22-25, 2021, with a stopover in Nigeria to meet with the nation’s leaders and further the long-standing partnership and security cooperation between the two countries.

A press statement by the Embassy on Friday, said: “During the visit, Townsend met with the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Babagan Monguno, to discuss regional security issues and to express the command’s gratitude for the assistance provided during a hostage rescue operation last year.

“When we asked for their help, the Nigerian government answered the call. Our hostage recovery mission in October would have been impossible without their support.

“They quickly provided assistance that helped the U.S. military to save an American life. That is a strong example of our partnership with Nigeria.”

Townsend also met with senior military officials, including the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magash, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, to talk about on-going cooperation in the region and greater maritime security and threat mitigation.

Nigeria is a key partner in countering violent extremist organizations throughout the Lake Chad Basin.

Townsend said furthermore: “The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. is built on several pillars including security cooperation.

“U.S. Africa Command will do our part to advance the security cooperation pillar, so that Nigerians can enjoy the more secure future they all deserve.”

As close partners, the U.S. and Nigeria have worked at ensuring the collaborative relationship continues to grow to include a commitment to interoperability. Nigeria purchased 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, which will be delivered later this year.

“Nigeria’s purchase of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is another example of their commitment to interoperability and security in the region,” he added. “Our economic relationship with Nigeria is already strong, and we look forward to the continued strengthening of security relationships. Nigeria’s leaders understand the importance of a collaborative approach to ensuring stability in West Africa and partnering on areas of mutual interest.”

The Commander also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

Leonard said: “General Townsend’s visit to Nigeria demonstrates the strategic importance the United States places on our bilateral relationship with Nigeria.

“Our security cooperation partnership with Nigeria’s military will strengthen the country’s capabilities to secure land and sea borders, enhance overall security, and combat terrorism in the North East.”

As part of the visit, Townsend participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Nigeria Military National Cemetery to honour those who have given their lives in the service of their nation.

During the visit, the delegation expressed their condolences for the seven service men killed in the crash of a Nigerian Air Force aircraft in Abuja.