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Ilesa (Yoruba: Iléṣà) is a city located in the south west of Nigeria; it is also the name of a historic state (also known as Ijesha or Ijesa) centered on that city. The state was ruled by a monarch bearing the title of Owa Obokun Adimula of Ijesaland. The state of Ilesa consisted of Ilesa itself and a number of smaller surrounding cities.
The Ijesa, a term also denoting the people of the state of Ilesa, are part of the present Osun State of Nigeria, Osun State was part of old Oyo state. Some of the popular towns of the Ijesa are Ibokun, Erin Ijesa, Ipetu Jesa, Ijebu Jesa, Esa-Oke, Ipole, Ifewara, Ijeda,Iloko, Iwara, Iperindo, Erinmo, Iwaraja, Idominasi, Ilase, Igangan, Imo, Eti-oni,Iboku, Erin-Ijesa, Ibodi and many others.
The Ijesa are very good in commerce and have cut a niche for themselves as the architect of 'osomalo' business which is a popular trading method that allows customers to pay for goods installmentally.
Ilesa is home to the famous Fajuke Family and prestigious Ilesa Grammar School, a school founded by Egbe Atunluse Ilesa and alma mater to many Nigerians including a former Chief Justice of the Federation, Alfa Belgore, a former Governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, the former Vice Chancellor of University of Lagos, Prof Oye Ibidapo Obe, the former Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University Ile Ife, Prof Omole and the current Vice Chancellor of University of Ibadan, Prof Isaac Adewole.
The state of Ilesa (Ile ti a sa which means a homeland we chose), Traditional Headquarters of Ijesaland and the capital of the first Local Council in Nigeria (Ijesa/Ekiti Parapo Council) named by the British Colonial Administrator on 21 June 1900 comprising the present day Ondo and Ekiti States of Nigeria. Founded c. 1350 by Owaluse, a grandson of Ajibogun Ajaka (Ubiquitous Warrior)Owa Obokun Onida Arara, the most accomplished son of Oduduwa, the progenitor of the Yoruba race of South-Western Nigeria and Benin Republic. The city described by Rev. Williams Howard Clark in 1854 as: For its cleanliness, regularity in breath and width, and the straightness of its streets, the ancient city of Ilesa far surpasses any native town I have seen in black Africa. POPULATION: 310,000 There are four royal houses amongst which accession to the throne is supposed to be rotated: Biladu, Bilagbayo, Bilaro and Bilayirere. Rulers have been as follows:
|Bilagbayo||... - 17..|
|Ori Abejoye||17.. - ...|
|Bilajagodo "Arijelesin"||... - ...|
|Bilatutu "Otutu bi Osin"||... - ...|
|Bilasa "Asa abodofunfun"||... - ...|
|Bilajara||1... - 1807|
|Ariyasunle (1st time) -Regent||1839|
|Ariyasunle (2nd time) -Regent||1853|
|4 Jun 1870 Agunlejika I||1869 -|
|1871 Vacant||4 Jun 1870 -|
|Oweweniye (1st time)||1871–1873|
|Oweweniye (2nd time)||1873–1875|
|Sep 1892 Adimula Agunloye-bi-Oyinbo "Bepolonun"||1875 -|
|Lowolodu||Mar 1893 - Nov 1894|
|Vacant||Nov 1894 - Apr 1896|
|Ajimoko I||Apr 1896 - Sep 1901|
|Ajimoko "Haastrup" -Regent||1942 - 10 Sep 1942|
|Ajimoko II "Fidipote"||10 Sep 1942 - 18 Oct 1956|
|J. E. Awodiya -Regent||18 Oct 1956 - 1957|
|Biladu III "Fiwajoye"||1957 - Jul 1963|
|.Ogunmokun... -Regent||Jul 1963 - 1966|
|Oba Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaran II||1982 - ?|