Ede is a town in Osun State, southwestern Nigeria. It lies along the Osun River at a point on the railroad from Lagos, 112 miles (180 km) southwest, and at the intersection of roads from Oshogbo, Ogbomosho, and Ife. Ede is one of the older towns of the Yoruba people. It is traditionally said to have been founded about 1500 by Timi Agbale, a hunter and warlord sent by Alaafin (King) Kori of Old Oyo (Katunga), capital of the Oyo empire, to establish a settlement to protect the Oyo caravan route to Benin (127 miles [204 km] to the southeast), a purpose similar to that of other Nigerian towns. Nearby towns include Awo, Iragberi and Oshogbo.
Its traditional ruler is known as the Timi Agbale, popularly referred to as Timi Agbale Olofa-Ina. According to myth, he is the man whose arrows bring out fire.
The present Ede was established by Timi Kubolaje Agbonran around 1817 along with his siblings: Oyefi, Ajenju, Arohanran and Oduniyi, all being the descendants of Lalemo. The former Ede is known as Ede-Ile.
Ede is predominantly Muslim town with about 90% of the population. This can be traced back to 19th century during the reign of Timi Abibu Lagunju as the King of Ede, who is most likely the first Muslim Oba in Yorubaland given the fact that he was already on the throne for a few years when in November 1857, the Baptist Missionary, W.H. Clarke visited Ede. Clarke record thus: This young follower of the Prophet (Prophet Muhammad), a short time since became the ruler of this town in the place of his father (Oduniyi), the deceased, and brings with him into office, the influence of his new religion (Islam).
Historically, Ede was an important town in Yorubaland. Egungun festival is still widely celebrated, like many other traditional festivals, but Ileya (Eid-il-kabir) and Christmas are the main festivals. Throughout Nigeria, Ed-il Kabir is celebrated most in Ede. Many people celebrate Christmas and New Year's Day as well.
The most prominent Timi in recent history is Oba John Adetoyese Laoye. The late monarch is reputed for making the "talking drum" popular. This has made Ede a reference point in the art of drumming, specifically the talking drum. With his group of skilled drummers and poets, the late monarch entertained the Queen of England when she first visited Nigeria and thereafter in her palace in England. He died in 1975.
Ede is well known as a hospitable land. Locally made food includes "Eko and Ila". Also sons and daughters of Ede can be found all over the world and works of lives. There are several compounds in Ede towns including Ile Agate, Agboja, Imole, Ile Idigba, Ile Obadina, Ile Alusekere, Ile Yemope, Ile Mogaji, Ile Oluyinka, Ile babanla Pegba, Jagun Olukosi, Ile Olorigogoro, Ile Batetu, Ile Alagbede, etc.
The name of the present King is Oba Munirudeen Adesola Lawal (Laminisa 1).
- Saka Layonu is the first man from Ede to become Minister of Nigeria.
- Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke: The first Executive Governor of Osun State
- Adeoye Shehu Adedayo : rtd. Deputy Inspector General of Police The 'B' Department (Operations) 2006-2010.
- Rilwan Lanre Babalola: Minister for Power during Umaru Yar Adua regime
- Adetunji Tajudeen Ajagbe: Member House of Representative.
- Olagoke Kamordeen Adebayo:Chairm Ede North LG('99-'03),Executive Ass & S.A on local gov. matters to Gov. Oyinlola '03-'10
- Dr. Olusegun Lawal : The President & Chairman of Council, Institute of Environmental Accountants of Nigeria.
- Imam Akajewole Mashood: the present Imam of Ede Land.
- Abdulkabir Adisa Aliu: Executive Chairman Matrix Energy Limited.
- Sheikh solahudeen Olayiwola: President of Osun Muslim community & Owner of ICC ede
The town is currently represented by Hon. Akanbi Adebowale Kamardeen at the state house of assembly.
Notes and references
- MLA Style: "Ede." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopaedia Britannica Student and Home Edition. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2010
- W.H. Clarke, Travels and Explorations in Yorubaland 1854-1858. (ed) J.A. Atanda, (Ibadan: University of Ibadan Press, 1975), p. 114
- Siyan Oyeweso, The Eminent Yoruba Muslims of the 19th and 20th Centuries.(Ibadan: Rex Charles Publication) p. 11, ISBN 978-2137-02-2