STORY OF ONÍKÒYÍ

It was the land of brave warriors and Calvary officers who became the elite corps of the ÒYÓ army.

Instead of perceiving the sweet loving birds enjoyed in the modern Ikoyi of Lagos, it was infested by vultures, hawks that were always busy eating human intestines and eyeballs.

The Ęşó-Ikoyi were a class of military aristocrats that were just a rank below the Oyomesi (council of state in the old Oyo empire). They evolved from a prominent families in Ikoyi, in the metropolitan province of Oyo in the 17th and 18th centuries, manifesting and sustaining high standards of BRAVERY and PROFICIENCY with their own culture and code of honour handed down from father to son.

According to legend, the first Alaafin of Oyo was Oranyan. He chose a trader whom he named ONÍKÒYÍ because of his trade in Basket business to be one of his generals, holding command over 1469 men who are obliged to fight to death and never turn their backs to the enemies.

ONÍKÒYÍ, then is remembered first and foremost as a Warrior. His descendants became rulers of the town of Ikoyi under the Alaafin.

Onikoyi is one of the great warriors of Yoruba land and of record, a warrior that was not conquered throughout his life time.

Descendants of Onikoyi are warriors, whether consciously or unconsciously. Ikoyi settlements are found all over Yoruba land.

CHARACTERISTICS OF ONÍKÒYÍ and ESO-ÌKÒYÍ (Ikoyi war Lord and soldiers).

* It is a taboo for Ikoyi warriors receive arrows at their back rather they receive on their tongues.

*Anytime they received messages of very deadly battles instead of running away from the town, they employ drummers and praise singers in preparation for the battle and dance round the nooks and crannies of the town.

*ONÍKÒYÍ loves nothing but war.

*When others are planting yams, he is planting human heads.

* When others are thirsty and drinking wine and water, he is drinking blood to quench his thirst.

*When others reap fruits, he is reaping dead warriors.

* His community is always infested with Vultures and Hawks that are always perching and feeding on the intestines and eyeballs of dead warriors.

*Like most warriors’ communities in the ancient Yoruba kingdom, robbers are very common within the ancient Ikoyi community.

*While preparing for the battlefield, ONÍKÒYÍ goes with basket full of all his belongings and cooking utensils. In other words, he shift his home to the battlefield.

* It is a taboo for Ikoyi women to put basket on their heads because this is a reminder of fresh war for ONÍKÒYÍ and his warriors.

* It is also a great taboo for the Ikoyi lineage to eat rat. The reason behind this was the transformation of an ONÍKÒYÍ that transformed himself into a rat while escaping captivity by enemies on the battlefield.

*During terrible and deadly battle, the Eso-ikoyi don’t call themselves by name. They refer to one another as ÈSÓ (soldier) so as not to be emotionally distracted if a dear and close family member is killed in the war.

ORÍKÌ ONÍKÒYÍ ;

Ikoyi-ęşó

Omo ęrù fisanfisan

Omo akorogun jo

Omo orun y’órun

Ikoyi omo olófà şèlèlè

Omo igbo ni o ku si

Omo odo ni o gbe lo

Omo a ku yakata

Omo a sun yakata

Omo a ku rondo

Omo a sun rondo

Omo agba Ikoyi tó gbo’jo iku to lo re gba ìlù

Omo a ku yánanyànya b’òtè l’érù.

Omo afinju agba ikoyi, fìrí gba igba ofà s’ófun

Omo a t”òfun da igba ofà silę

Omo igunnungun ori àpé

Omo àkàlà orùn oşè

Omo ji’kan n t”ogun

Omo pa’kan n t’ogun

Àrònì gbo’gun ma şidi

Omo agbòn ti o r’iku sa

Onikoyi a di pelemo loju ogun

Ikoyi o ni sun’le àjà

E sa ba mi w’eke eyi to gun gogoro

Yanbinlolu

Omo orun y’orun

Ipinle Ikoyi won kìí j’okete

Ajugun ni baba won fi n şe.

Eşo-Ikoyi kii gb’ofa seyin

Ori ahón ni mu won.

Ogun a ja iweyin ni mu”le Onikoyi wun mi

Ogun ojoojumo ni mu”le won su mi i lo

Ijagbe Aroni o wa’le

Onikoyi o sinmi ogun

Omo odan ni yin

E ma ş’edi dandan te ba r’ogun

Eşo o r’iku sa

Ojo ogun le, eşo o pe r’awon loruko

Obinrin Ikoyi won ki gbe’ri agbòn

L’ojó ti won ba gbe’ri agbòn

Won fi ran oko won l’eti ogun ni.

Ìlàlá omo agbòn ti o r’iku sa

Ìrá ìràìrá ni baba yin gun ti o wa’le mo

O dijo e ba pa ìrà, p’òtòlò

Ke to gba baba yin lowo eranko.

Ijeni àgbé omo olè l’osun

Omo ogun l’osan

Omo olè l’óru

Olè aşo kó, t’èwù ko

Ibi ka r’omoge to da laarin ode

Ka ma muu fi ş’aya ni.

Yanbilolu l’ogun lo re k’eru

K’onikoyi to de, ole ko’le e lo

O wa pade baba olè l’ónà

Ni won ba be Onikoyi lori

Ori Onikoyi fo bìrì bó’lè

Mo mo eni to be Onikoyi lori

Mo mo eniyan to be ori Onikoyi

Mo m’eni Ikoyi ko’le ę lo

Mo m’eni t’onikoyi ko n’ile.

Ipanpa Tógunja oun ni Yanbinlolu be l’ori

Ikùnķùn kogunloju oun lo b’ęri Onikoyi;

Ìlàló omo a ş’ole ma şa f’owórá

Ipadenigbo oun lo lo ko’le Onikoyi

Esaogbin ni baba yin ja l’ole

Aşô eegun lo gbe………..

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