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Ilesa (Yoruba: Iléṣà) is a city located in the Osun State, south west Nigeria; it is also the name of a historic kingdom (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,Ibokun, Ibodi and many others.
The Ilesa Monarchs
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. Ilesa is known for its deposits of gold. 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:
|Owa Owaka Okile|
|Owa Obarabara Olokun Eshin|
|Owa Owari||1466 - 1522|
|Owa Owaluse||1522 - 1526|
|Yeyelagagba||1588 - 1590|
|Yeyegunrogbo||1588 - 1590|
|Owa Biladu I||1652 - 1653|
|Owa Biladu II||1653 - 1681|
|Owa Bilaro||1681 - 1690|
|Owa Bilayiarere||1691 - 1692|
|Owa Bilagbayo||1713 - 1733|
|Yeyeori||1734 - 1749|
|Ori Abejoye||17.. - ...|
|Owa Bilajagodo "Arijelesin"||... - ...|
|Owa Bilatutu "Otutu bi Osin"||1772 - 1776|
|Owa Bilasa "Asa abodofunfun"||1776 - 1788|
|Owa Akesan||1788 - 1795|
|Owa Bilajara||1... - 1807|
|Ariyasunle (1st time) -Regent||1839|
|Ariyasunle (2nd time) -Regent||1853|
|Owa Aponlose||1858 –1867|
|Owa Agunlejika I||1868 - 1869|
|1871 Vacant||4 Jun 1870 -|
|Owa Oweweniye(1st time)||1871–1873|
|Oweweniye (2nd time)||1873–1875|
|Owa Adimula Agunloye-bi-Oyinbo "Bepolonun||1875 - 1893|
|Owa Alowolodu||Mar 1893 - Nov 1894|
|Vacant||Nov 1894 - Apr 1896|
|Owa Ajimoko I||Apr 1896 - Sep 1901|
|Owa Ataiyero [Atayero]||1901–1920|
|Ajimoko "Haastrup" -Regent||1942 - 10 Sep 1942|
|Ajimoko II "Fidipote"||10 Sep 1942 - 18 Oct 1956|
|J. E. Awodiya -Regent||18 Oct 1956 - 1957|
|Owa Biladu III "Fiwajoye"||1957 - Jul 1963|
|.Ogunmokun... -Regent||Jul 1963 - 1966|
|Owa Agunlejika II||1966–1981|
|Owa Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaran II||1982 - ?|
- T. M. Aluko OBE OON
- Samuel Olatunde Fadahunsi, Commander of the Order of Niger, CON and President of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN)
- Hon. Justice Kayode Eso. Retired justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria
- Late Lawrence Omole. An Ijesha business mogul, cocoa merchant and entrepreneur per excellent
- Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, Former Nigeria's Minister of Foreign Affairs and a Professor of Political Science
- Moses Olaiya, (aka Baba Sala) a frontline Comedian
- Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, former Governor of Osun State
- Isaac Folorunsho Adewole the Nigeria Minister of Health and Former Vice Chancellor of University of Ibadan
- Pastor Enoch Adeboye is an Ijesha man from Ifewara
- Pastor William Kumuyi, General Superintendent of Deeper Christian Life Ministries
- Ayo Mary Laurent ( Princess Mary) is a British Film Director & Actress and the great-granddaughter of the Ilesa Monarch Ajimoko II “Fidipote” (10 Sep 1942 - 18 Oct 1956)
- "Osun 2014: Ijesa North Traditional Rulers Declare Support for Aregbesola". thisdaylive.com. Archived from the original on 2015-02-06.
- "From Ancient to Modern Cities". thisdaylive.com. Archived from the original on 2015-02-06.
- "Ajayi Emerges New King of Erinmo-Ijesha". thisdaylive.com. Archived from the original on 2015-02-06.
- "Osun 2014: The Battle for Aregbesola's Job". thisdaylive.com. Archived from the original on 2015-02-06.
- "Yoruba Hometowns". google.com.
- "Ilesha". Litcaf. 2017-02-16. Retrieved 2017-06-04.