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 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: