IJEBU-JESHA UNIONS CONFERENCE AND THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF IJEBU-IJESHA 1919-2010
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Ijebu-jesha Unions’ Conference is the Umbrella Organization for all Social and Cultural Societies in Ijebu-jesha. An organization, according to the Oxford Dictionary means, a group of people who form a business, club etc, together in order to achieve a particular aim. Therefore, Ijebu-jesha Unions’ Conference is formed by some Ijebu-jesha indigenes in diaspora who share the same motives. This research work principally focuses on the gradual progressive unions right from Egbe Omo Ilu Ijebu-jesha in 1919 and to Ijebu-jesha Social Club in 1923, Ijebu-jesha Union in 1933 and finally in 1946, the Ijebu-jesha Unions’ Conference after gathering other states and zones all over Nigeria and some parts of the world. Also it focuses on the socio-economic development of Ijebu-jesha from 1946 to date. In order to appreciate this work, it is pertinent to briefly examine the origin of Ijebu-jesha and its people.
Ijebu-jesha is one of the largest towns in Ijesha land in the present day Osun State of Nigeria. It ranks next to Ilesha in terms of historical significance, size and population. Ijebu-jesha town has twenty three settlements villages and small towns. Ijebu-jesha people have been known from time immemorial as adventurers who broke the barriers of the homeland to traverse many countries on the West Coast of Africa e.g Ghana, and every nooks and crannies of Nigeria. They were either as traders or as members of police and armed forces which in those days were commonly known as the West African Frontier Force (WAFF).
1.2 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The concern of this project is to examine Ijebu-jesha Unions’ Conference Progressive Unions which first emerged in 1919, as Egbe Omo Ilu Ijebu-jesha. Therefore, we will look at the groups before 1933 and between 1933 to 1946. Also from 1946 when the Annual Conference emerged, till present.
Furthermore, this project work will also examine the different progressive stages of development before the Ijebu-jesha Unions’ Conference in 1946, that is starting from the inception of the ‘Egbe Omo Ilu Ijebu-jesha from 1919-1923, the Ijebu-jesha Social Club from 1923-1933, Ijebu-jesha Union from 1933-1936, and from 1936-1946, the expansion of the Union to other branches, and finally the inauguration of the Ijebu-jesha Unions’ Conference on the 12th of January, 1946.
Consequently, the regime of each president from 1946 till date will also be discussed and the Socio-economic development of Ijebu-jesha Unions’ Conference from 1946 to present will also be discussed, with Educational impact, religious impact and the socio-economic impact.
1.3 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this research work is to examine Ijebu-jesha Unions’ Conference from 1933 to present, their impact and activities on the socio-economic growth of Ijebu-jesha town and Ijesha land, as a whole; also take a brief look at the events that occurred before 1933, when the Union emerged. How they operated before the Union, their impact and their contribution to Ijebu-jesha town. Also the structure made by the union. However, my research work will also examine the events that occurred between 1933 and 1946. The research work will also examine the various progressive and developmental stages in Ijebu-jesha Unions’ Conference. To do this, the work is divided into four chapters. The first chapter discusses the Introduction, Aims and Objectives, Scope of the Study, Research Methodology and Literature Review. Moreover, Chapter Two discusses the Ijebu-jesha Unions’ Conference before 1946. in it, is the Egbe Omo Ilu Ijebu-jesha from 1919 to 1923, The Ijebu-jesha Social Club from 1923 to 1933 and Ijebu-jesha Unions from 1933 to 1936 her expansion from 1936 to 1946. Also to conclude Chapter Two we shall discuss the inauguration of Ijebu-jesha Unions’ Conference in 1946.
Furthermore, in my Chapter Three, I will discuss the regime of each president from 1946 to present, which include the regime of Daniel Bosede Aloba from 1946-1966, Chief F.O Fatiregun’s regime from 1974-1984, Chief J.O Agunsoye’s regime from 1984-1991, Chief D.B Agunbiade’s regime from 1991-2002 and Prince Olatunde’s Olashore’s regime from 2002 to present. While in my Chapter Four, I shall discuss the Socio-economic Development of Ijebu-jesha Unions’ Conference from 1946 to present, which includes: the Educational impact to the Society, Religious Impact and Socio-economic Impact.
1.4 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
In this work, the researcher shall make use of the following sources for the collection of data; Primary Source: Information was obtained from old and active members of the Union, and also the indigenes of Ijebu-jesha town about the activities, achievements and constraints of the Union, since inception. Effort was also made to obtain document on the activities of the Union. Also about the history of the Primary School and Ijebu-jesha Grammar School, (I.J.G.S) and even the origin of Christianity and Islam in Ijebu-jesha. Apart from the Primary Source, I have got written account from a pioneer member, which I made use of, likewise the indigenes were interviewed in order to set first hand information. The internet was also consulted for information about the Ijebu-jesha Unions’ Conference.
Moreover, the problems encountered was that, book was not found in the library that deals with Progressive Unions and the socio-economic development of Ijebu-jesha Unions’ Conference, but only books of Yoruba History, History of Ijesha etc were found. Perhaps, due to the fact that the topic of my essay in question has never been attempted before, and their has been no single work that has been done comprehensively of the Progressive Unions and the Socio-economic Development of the Ijebu-jesha Unions’ Conference from 1919 to present.
However, the researcher faced the problem of lack of acute information on the topic. Therefore, I proceeded to the field to conduct interviews for Oral source. The Interviews were conducted in vernacular (Yoruba) and English, the interview were conducted at Ijebu-jesha and Lagos. Those whom I had personal interview with are the key members of the Union, like Mr.J.O Oginni, Pa Fademi, Mr D.B Agunbiade, Mr J.A Oderinde (Current Secretary), Mrs J.B Oluwi (The Current Treasurer) Prince Tunde Olashore (The Current President), Mrs Ojumu, Canon Ojumu, Engr. Ogundipe etc. therefore I did not only interview the members of the Union but also the indigenes who knew the Union, since her inception.
Although some of the pioneer members that I interviewed are old and have lost some memories, their voice were barely audible, so the researcher had to take them to extremely quite place where their would be no distraction and the interview was conducted in their house. While the current members are of middle age, who have sharp memories. In essence this work will serve as an essay containing new information and analysis.
1.5 LITERATURE REVIEW
One major problem a researcher in history is bound to face is the problem of Secondary Sources. Most of the published works are pamphlets which can at best be described as a brilliant summary in most cases, rather than detailed work. The bulk of the written materials on my work, emanated from dissertation and few unpublished thesis. I also have some Oral Sources. Oni’s “A HISTORY OF IJESHA” examines the origin of Ijesha people in respect to Ijebu-jesha town. He also discusses the economic activities of the Ijesha people. He also describes the geographical location of Ijesha land. “THE HISTORY OF THE YORUBA” by Johnson gives a detailed history of the Origin of the Ijesha and also a description of the various Political Kinship Systems and economic activities of the Ijesha people. He further discusses the major occupation of Ijesha people and their religions.
However, Yoloye’s “OLATUNDE OLASHORE’S ADVENTURES IN LIFE AND LIVING”, deals with the life and time of the current President of the Ijebu-jesha Unions’ Conference. Aribisala Oba Taiwo’s work “EGBOROLAND” discusses the origin of Ijebu-jesha. He goes further to examine how Ijebu-jesha was formerly known as Egboro land. Also, another work that needs to be mentioned in my research work is Fatiregun’s work “ITAN EGBE I.J.U” which discusses and narrates the events that occurred from 1919 when the I.J.U Lagos branch was formed till 1946. The event covered the period before the emergence of Ijebu-jesha Unions’ Conference. Another work that needs to be mentioned in my work is “en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/ijebu-jesha”. Here it tells us where Ijebu-jesha is situated. Also tells us how the people of Ijebu-jesha are the core of Ijesha and they are noted for their dogged industry.
Furthermore, the Ijebu-jesha Unions’ Conference in their work — “THE 70th ANNIVERSARY AND EGBORO DAY”– discusses the origin of Ijebu-jesha Union and the Ijebu-jesha Unions’ Conference journey so far, since her inception. Also they had the list of the past and current executives. “50 YEARS OF IJEBU-JESHA SOCIAL CLUB” by Akinyemi et al examines the relationship between Ijebu-jesha Social Club and Ijebu-jesha Unions’ Conference. Also the book discusses briefly the history of Ijebu-jesha and the founding of Ijebu-jesha and Local Government Administration in Ijebu-jesha. Also some pictures are given from this book. Similarly, another work that needs to be mentioned in my research work is Esugbohungbe et al’s work “A Comprehensive Factual History of Ijebu-Jesha”. In this work the writers discus a bridged factual history of the parental birth relation of the Oba Owa Ajibogun of Ijesha land and the Oba Owa Ojoba Agigiri of Ijebu-jesha. Also they discussed the history of the founding of the Anglican Denomination of Ijebu-jesha and the history of Ijebu-jesha Grammar School and Ijebu-jesha Mosque. These works have been a great deal of help to my research work.