History & Culture

Alaafin Aole Arogangan: Slave involvement, Royal Influence, Despotic Ruling of Oyo Kingdom

Alaafin Aole Arogangan

Alaafin Aole Arogangan

1789 – 1796.

Oyo Kingdom’s Status

Alaafin Aole Arogangan was an Alaafin in the Old Oyo kingdom in the 17 century. He was infamous to be a despotic king, slave merchant before is ascension on throne and his curse on the Yoruba kingdom.

Since Adam and existence of the Yoruba race, The Oyo kingdom had been an Apex kingdom of the race with a high profile royal lineage. Any command and order made by the Alaafin (King) must be granted no matter how reluctant the affirmation of the order can be to the people. The Old Oyo Kingdom consist of Oyo town, Ilorin (its Arsenal), Ilobu and some other mini towns in the Kingdom. It was created by Oranmiyan, the last son of Okanbi.

Ife Ooye

Ife in the other hand is the Root of all Yoruba Race; it is mythically classified as the town where daylight shines from (ibi ojumo ti n mowa) which is now believed to be Switzerland. The Royal Head of Ile – Ife is the Ooni of Ife. Ife is also a kingdom with a very high stature and status in her Royal Lineage, any judgement made by the King must pass too, it is said to be second in command to Oyo. This is compel to be, Ife is the First.

Provincial Head (Baale)

Mini – town which are not yet mature to have a king are giving a provincial head known as Baale, the bale are subjected to the Kings (Oyo and Ife), they have power to give order but there rule can be override by the kings.

Slave – Trade: Yoruba Involvement.

Apomu is the central market of the Yoruba Race where people from all origos of the Race including Ijebu, Oyo, Ile – Ife, Owu and other town came to buy and sell goods.
When Slave trade became rampant in the Oyo Kingdom, it is noted that slave were been trade by the anonymous merchants at the Apomu Market, report where taking to the Alaafin, Ooni and Awujale that such atrocities is being happening in the Market, when the then Alaafin Abiodun(ii) heard this he send a report to the Baale of Apomu town that he should appoint undercover officers to secure outskirt of the towns, ports and the whole vicinity of the whole kingdom.
The Baale of Apomu takes swift response of the message and appointed officers (Akoda) to all targeted points.

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On a fateful day, Aole Arogangan took his intimate friend and exchanged him for a size of Snuff (aasa) to a Slave dealer on a rock named as “Apata Odaju”.

Fortunately a farmer (woman) saw the scene of the transaction and quickly went to the Baale to report what he saw. The Baale with immediate alacrity sent his ad –hoc soldiers to arrest the slave traders, the soldiers saw them and went after them and they caught the buyer (the dealer) and arrest him to the Baale’s Palace.

Getting to the palace, he confessed that a son of the soil sold the slave to him and revealed the person to be Prince Aole Arogangan (later King) who is royally born to a royal chain of Obaship in the Yoruba Kingdom. The slave dealer was juried and took to the prison.

Because of the status of Aole (ori – ade) his punishment was severed. He was only punished to receive certain lashes of cane, and was temporarily banned to visit the market for a certain period.

Alaafin Aole Arogangan on Throne: Order of Revenge and Unforgiveness.

Some years after the slave trade incidence, The then Alaafin Oyo, Alaafin Abiodun(ii) died. According to my research, Alaafin Abiodun is a very kind and generous king with a very nice Kingship charisma. His reign was said to be one of the most peaceful one in the Oyo kingdom, there is a particular song the people of the time composed and it’s still relevant in this century.

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“Laaye olugbon moge iborun meje, ao ma fiwe loyin
Laaye aresa moge iborun meta, ao ma fiwe loyin
Laaye Abiodun awo sanyan wo aran, wo sanyan baba aso afole
Lole pe igba re kodun afole”.

As soon as Alaafin Abiodun died, the next royal chain was channeled to the Aole lineage, and Aole Arogangan was crown to the most respected royal seat. When he got to power, the unforgiving and unforgettable Aole took his royal influence to deal with people who has offended him before he became king. He quickly remembered the Baale of Apomu who disgraced him for his misdeed and decided to punish him.

He then appointed a Provincial Officer (ajele) to go to Apomu and ordered the Baale’s Head to be brought to him in a calabash before 14 days of getting to the town. He added that during his stay in the town the power have been subjected to him, all taxes and leverage will be taking to him and he was treated like a king, he also added that a house should be built for him at the entrance of the town, he as well added that failure to follow his order before the 14th day will result to a war from the Oyo kingdom. He then served as Onibode of Apomu.

A Yoruba adage says “oba ba lori oun gbogbo” another one says “iyi loba fori bibe se, oba kii muje”.

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Oyo can never be overrated when it comes to anything, The baale had no choice that to follow the superior though reluctant order, he order his chiefs to behead him after he had took poison and give it to the Onibode to take it to the Alaafin before the 14th day. He killed himself for the sake of his people. The chief did as he ordered and gave the head to Onibode. Before he got back his to abode it has been set ablaze and he was compelled to leave the town by false. This is where a Yoruba cliché came from “ilo yaa Onibode Apomu”

Alaafin Aole Arogangan used his royal influence over a serving Royal Head for dealing with his misdeed.
He also used his royal influence to fight the then Aare Ona Kakanfo which is Afonja but he didn’t succeed.

The Aole’s Curse on the Yoruba Kingdom.

The story of a king that cursed his subjects also falls on Aole’s reign. After many other atrocities he committed which include waging war against other Yoruba kingdom, fighting Yoruba people and their Generalissimo. He was advised by the Oyemesi (consist of 7 chiefs that sees to the appointment of king in Oyo) to look into his crown because of his unmannered and despotic rule.

Before he poisoned himself, he cursed his chief and the Yoruba race that “the Yoruba chiefs and the Yoruba race will never know peace and unity”. So anytime there is problem in Yoruba chieftaincy, and inter – towns war, they relate it to the Aole’s Curse.

Written by Kehinde Ayanboade,


Akeyo: A yoruba movie. (2016)
History of the Yoruba by Samuel Johson (1813)
Wikipedia: the free encyclopedia
Reliable Websites on Google.

About the author


Oyo Affairs is an independent news media with the main focus on Oyo state news, politics, current events, trending happenings within and around Oyo state, Nigeria

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