OYO EMPIRE EXTENDED TO ETHIOPIA
BY FATAI OLASUPO
Your Imperial Majesties, Ooni of Ife, Alaafin of Oyo, Awujale of Ijebuland and Obi of Onitcha, this is to bring to your notice the discoveries of two eminent Professors – Professor Adewale Adeniran of the faculty of Arts OAU and the Nobel Laureate, Professor Wale Soyinka.
For Professor Adewale Adeniran, Oyo Empire extended to Ethiopia where there is a town called Yeriba (that is Yoruba) Oramiya (that is Oranmiyan).
According to Professor Adeniran, the ancient people of this town, Yeriba Oramiya, in Ethiopia, are called Yebus which in Yoruba is Ijebus. Just as we have Opa Oranmiyan in Ile-Ife, so do we have Ope Oramiya at Yeriba Oramiya. Opa Oramiya in Yeriba Oramiya has a symbol of resurrected Lord on it while that of Ile-Ife has the word “Oranmiyan” engraved on it in Jewish letters, according to Oba Adedapo Adewale Tejuosho.
Also, that the ancient people of this Oramiya are called Yebus in Ethiopia writing which is similar to Ijebu in Yoruba and they were people of tribal mark. Below is the picture of Opa Oramiya in Ethiopia and Opa of Oranmiyan in Ile-Ife.
Professor Wole Soyinka on the other hand, in the year 1990, was said to have visited a town in Jamaica known as Bekuta or what in some literature is referred to as Abekita; met “The single old woman who kept the village alive had died by his second visit, and so Bekuta itself”. In Wole Soyinka first visit “He met an aged woman, on deathbed in Bekuta village in rural Jamaica who affirmed that Bekuta was a corruption of Abeokuta, the original name of community of freed Yoruba slaves of Yoruba stock founded at the end of 19th century” (Bekuta).
Bekuta or Abekita “was a 19th century settlement in the Waterworks country of Westmoreland, Jamaica, formed by a group of Yoruba slave descendants who were called Nagos”. Bekuta or Abekita as the case may be “is the corrupted name of the city of Abeokuta in Nigeria, said in Soyinka’s memoir, You Must Set Forth at Dawn”. The place was named “Abeokuta by slaves because of its rock hills served to remind settlers of home, and one of the hills is said to share semblance, especially in its size with that of Olumo.
Such was the poignant symbolism that Bekuta carries that visiting Fela Sowande, who was a renowned composer from Abeokuta in Nigeria broke down in tears, overwhelmed by it”
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