5.3d(iv) interview on Ajia Ogbonde (Bonde)
Who was the interviewer: Dr. E.B. Bolaji
Date: 2nd October 1989
Where the interview took place: Ajia Ogbonde’s Compound at Agaka Isalẹ, Ilorin.
Compound of the informant: Ajia Ogbonde’s Compound
Approximate age of the informant: 64 years
Any other relevant details about the informant: He is a titled chief in Ilorin and leader of the compound.
Whether the informant was completely cooperative or not; and if not, why: He was cooperative.
Whether the informant wishes his/her name to be withheld: [no response recorded]
If not, what is the name of the informant: Alhaji Ibrahim Abdulrahman—Ajia Seriki Ogbonde
Names of any other people present at the interview:
Alh. Abubakar Ọladimeji
Alh. Saliu Abdulrahman
Mr. Mahmud Jimoh Ọlayinka
Mall. Folorunshọ Ajia-Ogbonde
Dr. Saliu Bọla Ajia
1 Have you ever heard of the Ajia Bonde Ogbonde? Yes.
2 Is there still an Ajia Ogbonde today? Yes.
3 If so, what is the name of his compound, and where is it? Ajia Ogbonde’s Compound, Agaka Isalẹ, Ilorin.
4 Where did the first Ajia Bonde come from? Futa Jallo.
5 In the 19th century, were the holders of the Ajia Ogbonde title warriors? Yes.
6 If so, what can you tell me about their military exploits? They were courageous in war. The family was so famous that one of them, Aliyu, became a Balogun, and fought during Offa, Erimope, Aiyede Ekiti wars.
7 Under whom did they fight? Did not serve under anyone.
8 Can you name any other titles or positions which have been held by various Ajias Bonde? As stated, one of them, Aliyu, became a Balogun. Before him, there were no Baloguns in Ilorin.
9 Was Ajia Ogbonde originally a slave title? No.
10 If so, whose slave was the Ajia? Was not a slave.*
11 If not, whom did he follow? Ajia Ogbonde was responsible only to the Emir.
*Note by Dr. Bolaji: The informant (as well as those in attendance) asserted that unlike theirs, there are Ajias which were slave titles. Despite pressure they did not name any. A case of “we are more illustrious than they are”?
Additional information from the interview
The first Ajia Ogbonde was Sadiq who came to Ilorin (from Futa Jallo) around 1830. He came in quest of Sheu Alimi who was then sojourning in Ilorin and had a wide reputation as a famous Islamic scholar. Sadiq’s sons in Ilorin were Ajia Aliyu, and Barde-Garaje. Aliyu’s heir was Umar who became Ajia after his father was made Balogun. Aliyu’s second son, Abdulkadir Ijaodọla, also became Ajia after his older brother Umar. On the death of Abdulkadir, Umar’s son Abdulrahman became Ajia, and after him came Ajia Abdulrahman the son of Umar [here the text seems to give the same information twice]. After him came Ajia Jimoh, the son of Ijaodọla. Next is the present Ajia who is the son of Abdulrahman.
Settlement: The family was first settled at Foomọ (c. 1830) with hundreds of cattle. During the reign of Emir Abdulsalam, the family was urged to move closer, leading to settlement at the present Agaka Isalẹ site which was supposed to accommodate more cattle. Agaka Isalẹ is now in the heart of Ilorin.
Title: Ajia Ogbonde was an honoured title, and the name of Ogbonde was given because the first Ajia had an Onde (amulet) which he used to make himself invisible in war. He became Ogbonde (wearer-of-amulet).