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Ijebu people are considered to be the first among the Yoruba speakers to come into contact with the Europeans, who came to them in the beginning of the 14th century. Ijebu Empire has always been (and still is) an organized and strong nation that was able to protect itself from harm. The nation was divided into five parts: Ijebu-Igbo, Ijebu-Ife, Ijebu-Ososa, Ijebu-Ode and Ijebu-Remo. (Somehow the author does not include Ijebu Waterside) Now, it remains the largest ethnic group among all Yoruba people.
What is curious – Ijebus were the first Yoruba-speaking people to invent money. The empire was big on metal work and metal production, so it is not surprising at all that it decided to create their own coins. They were called Owo Ijebu, and many nations in Africa and Europe accepted the coins. There was also money made out of cowry shells that were called Owo Eyo. It was also accepted in many Yoruba kingdoms.
IJEBU-ODE is a historic Yoruba town in Ogun State, which was established in the 16th century. It is about 15 minutes away from Ijebu Igbo. The city is located between Benin City and Shagamu. It is considered to be the largest town where Ijebus live. It is also known for being the capital of Ijebuland. The Ijebu Kingdom ruler or Awujale, has his residence there.
Today, it is a quiet and cozy city in southwestern Nigeria, which lures people in with its history, culture and tranquility.
Understandably the largest city inhabited by the Ijebus, a sub-group of the Yoruba ethnic group who speak the Ijebu dialect of Yoruba, it is historically and culturally the headquarters of Ijebuland. The name “Ijebu-Ode” is a combination of the names of two persons namely, AJEBU and OLODE who were conspicuous as leaders of the original settlers and founders of the town.
(**Taken from three separate but consensual accounts on the subject).