5.3d(v) Ajia Opele, Ajia Gaju, and Ajia Ogidiolu
Who was the interviewer: Mallam A.B. Adua
Date: 16 December 1989
Where the interview took place: At Ajia Ọpẹlẹ’s Compound, Ita Ajia, Ilorin
Compound of the informant: Ajia Ọpẹlẹ’s Compound
Approximate age of the informant: 55 years
Any other relevant details about the informant: He is the present Ajia Ọpẹlẹ.
Whether the informant was completely cooperative or not; and if not, why: Yes, he was cooperative.
Whether the informant wishes his/her name to be withheld
or not: [crossed out]Yes
Names of any other people present at the interview: Mallam Ayinla
1 Have you ever heard of the Ajia Ọpẹlẹ? Yes.
2 Is there still an Ajia Ọpẹlẹ today? Yes.
3 If so, what is the name of his compound, and where is it? Ajia Ọpẹlẹ’s Compound, Ita Ajia, Ilorin.
4 Where did the first Ajia Ọpẹlẹ come from? He came from Ilesha.
5 In the 19th century, were the holders of this title warriors? Yes.
6 If so, can you name any of these warriors? The first Ajia, Abdullahi; the second Ajia, Abdulkadir; and Ajia Katto.
7 What can you tell me about their military exploits? They fought in the Jalumi and Orimapo wars. They were said to have distinguished themselves in these wars.
8 Under whom did they fight? They fought with Balogun Gambari.
9 Was Ajia Ọpẹlẹ originally a slave title? Never at any time.
10 If so, whose slave was the Ajia? He was nobody’s slave.
11 If not, whom did the Ajia Ọpẹlẹ follow? He followed the Emir.
12 Did the holders of the Ajia Ọpẹlẹ title or members of their family become District Heads in the colonial period? Yes.
13 If so, where? Oke Onigbin and Isanlu Isin.
14 Did the Ajia Ọpẹlẹ own any land outside Ilorin? Yes.
15 If so, where? Idiẹmi; Odo- ọmọ; Olofe and Dugbe.
16 Do they still own that land today? Yes.
Ajia Gaju (Gajọ)
Ajia Gajọ did not belong to a separate Ajia family. He was a member of the Ọpẹlẹ family when he became an Ajia.
[The first two questions in the list sent to Dr. Bolaji are informed by colonial records, which mention this person]
1 Have you ever heard of Ajia Ogidiolu, who (together with Balogun Ajikobi and Magaji Gari) organised riots in Ilorin in the early colonial period?
2 If so, was he called “Ajia” or “Ajayi” or both?]
The information gleaned was the following: There is no Ajia Ogidiolu family in Ilorin. It could be speculated that he belonged to one or the other of the Ajia families—like Gaju belonged to Ọpẹlẹ. It was not possible to obtain evidence either way.