Òséméjì

With the authority of H.I.M Ooni Adeyeye Babatunde Ogunwusi Ojaja II, TellAfrica is TELLING at the Òséméjì festival, right from the Palace of Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji Aje Ogunguniso I.
It came to pass as it was divinely ordained that Òsé would leave heaven to the earth in order to become relevant.
Due to his nature, Òsé was said to have many enemies both on earth and in the heaven. Therefore, he was asked to make sacrifice in order  to conquer all these enemies;  he did as instructed by  Awo and he conquered in heaven and on earth ( Ose segun ni Aye ati Orun i.e. Ose became victorious in two places). Hence, he got a new name, he became Osegun-Meji which is believed to have been shortened to Òséméjì.
As predestined, Òséméjì came in to Ibadan and met the founder of the city Lágelú,  who asked Òséméjì to make a divination for him so as to make Ibadan big in terms of population.
Odu  ifa Òséméjì came specifically to Ibadan; this can be seen from some of the verses as it relates to Ibadan, it is as follows:
Ibere agba bi eni naro lori,
A difa fun Ose.
Ti ns’awoo re ode Ibadan
O ni Ode Ibadan ti oun nlo yii
Oun le rire nibe
Nwon ni ebo ni ki o waa ru
Nwon ni pipo ni rere re
O si ruu.
Osi ni Opolopo aje.
O ni be e gege
Ni Awo oun fenu rere ki Ifa
Ibere agba bi eni naro lori
Adia fun Ose
Ti nsawoo rode Ibadan
Aje de o niso.
O roo mi a da yaya,
Aje je nri o mu so kum
Aje je nri o mu se ide.
Lagelu and his people left the hill in the bush to  the present Ibadan after consulting the Ifa Oracle. This led to the total destruction of the  first, Ibadan settlement, because he rejected Awo Ateka’s prophecy. Again he consulted Awo Ateka for help about his proposed new Ibadan settlement but Ateka hesitated because Lagelu was deviant at first instance, but Awo Ateka later agreed after Òséméjì, a brother to Ateka intervened  and it was resolved that Òséméjì should help Lágelú with starting up the new Ibadan.
Thereafter,  Òséméjì asked Lágelú to leave the hill in the bush for a place called Oriyangi (which is now the present Osemeji Temple). However, Lágelú had to perform some  rituals before proceeding to his destination which later became the new Ibadan. As he would rightly ask, “ki l’ohun ebo?” The items for sacrifice are as follows:
Igba ahun = 200 tortoise
Igba eku = 200 rats
Igba eja = 200 fish
Igba abo adie = 200 hens
Igba akuko = 200 cocks
Igba ewure = 200 goats
Igba agutan = 200 sheep
Igba Igbin = 200 snails
Igba ilako = 200 molluscs
Igba Irere = 200 turtle
Igba Obi = 200 kola nuts
Igba atare = 200 Alligator-pepper
Igba Orogbo = 200 bitter-kola
Plenty of palm oil and a ( a man with  a hunchback) “Abuke kan” who will accompany the sacrifices to Orun.
All these items except the man with the hunchback were readily available for the sacrifice. Coincidentally, there was Fabambo omo awo i.e. Òséméjì’s Ifa apprentice whose back is hunched. Òséméjì sought his consent and he agreed to be used. Hence all rituals were performed by Òséméjì for Lágelú  and his people at Oríyangí.
Having completed the necessary rituals, sixteen people: eight males and eight females were chosen to carry the sacrifices as there were sixteen earthenware pots to be carried.  The people were divided in two groups following two different directions. Osemeji said that Ibadan would extend to wherever the carriers of “Ebo” stopped. History has it that the carriers never returned.
Therefore,  Òséméjì told Lágelú to ensure the worship Odu’fa Òséméjì every year, with the same set of materials used with the exception of the man with a hunchback (Abuké) who was later replaced to a big cow with hunch back. He also asked Lágelú to worship Òkè’Bàdàn, on the basis that “Ibi ti a ba ti gun ni ati te”. Òséméjì also ordered that Lágelú should be buried on the hill when he dies, he prayed that his brother, Lágelú would be prosperous and famous at his new settlement.
Òséméjì thereafter, pitched the tip of his Osun’s (opa osun)staff into the soil  “Opa Osun” and suddenly disappeared. He became a sand built ridge of heap meaning Oríyangí as named by the followers of Lágelú who later built houses and established a market and this became the very famous Ojà-Oba in Ibadan. As predicted, the settlement prospered and people from other parts of Yorubaland began to settle in permanently.
Lagelu and his people attributed their success to the kindness of Odu’fa Osemeji and the spirit of the hill.  Hence, Lagelu and his people had been worshipping Odu’fa Osemeji and Oke’ Badan to date.
Annually,  the people of Ibadan worship Oke’Badan while Lagelu’s grave had  become a shrine where the Ibadan people pay homage during the Oke’Badan festival.

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