Offa town was founded by a hunter: Olalomi Olofagangan, around 14th century. The people of Offa are descendants of Oduduwa and Oranmiyan.
Offa was founded by Olalomi Olofa-gangan who happened to be a crown prince from Oyo.
Olofagangan was a hunter and his first settlement was near a river called Maika.
History has it that Olofagangan left Oyo and settled in several places until he finally arrived at the present location of Offa.
As a frontier town in the old Oyo Empire, OFFA featured in intra and inter-tribal wars and defended itself against the Nupes and the Fulanis.
Location and other details
Offa is a city located in Kwara State, central Nigeria with a population of about 120,100 inhabitants.
The town is centrally located in the midst and middle of many neighboring towns like Erin Ile in the south, Ijagbo in the north, Igosun and Ipee in the east and Ilemona, Irra, Ikotun and Ojoku in the west.
The main religions practised in the town are Islam, Christianity and traditional religions.
The town is on the railway line from Lagos, the former capital of Nigeria, and Offa served as the railway terminus before the line was extended north to Kano and Nguru.
The town is the second largest town in Kwara state, located in central Nigeria with geographic coordinates of 8’9N 4’43E.
All Yoruba names of towns and villages reflect the manners or the ways they were founded by the persons believed to be the original founders.
The names of places or compounds in the towns or villages indicate the types of idols or gods often worshiped at the time.
The names or titles of the people or worshipers were determined by the idols they worshiped. Such names or titles served as simple or easy means of identification.
The town derives its name from an oyo prince and son of the Alaafin, Oranmiyan. From birth, he was call Olalomi. Olalomi grew up to be skilled and dexterous in the use of bows and arrows.
Ofa means arrow in the Yoruba language. Ofa is a tool, hunters used to kill wild animals and wage wars.
History of Olalomi (first OLOFAS)
Olalomi became known as Olofa, ‘’a person who owns an arrow’’ which he usually carried around, hung on his shoulder ad side, conspicuously.
For even those who did not see him physically, the name gives a mental picture of “ Olofa gangan,’’ reflecting the way he moved around with his bow and arrow and his unrivalled prowess as a marksman in his various hunting expenditures in Yoruba land.
He was to undertake a hunting expedition to a virgin land which was later named Offa after him.
Olofa Is the custodian of the settlement, where ‘’ Offa stands for the place of abode whereas ‘Ofa’ stands for the weapon or arrow.
The two words are related but do not mean the same thing mentally and reality.
Olofa Is the authentic custodian of the settlement called Offa, deriving from his name, Olofagangan, the word which reflect his mastery in the use of weapon.’Ofa’ for hunting and warfare.
History has it that Olofagangan left Oyo and settled in several places until he finally arrived at the present location of Offa. Olofagangan died at OFFA Eesun in the course of his migration.
Oriki is a kind of Yoruba literary genre used to inspire people. It is usually in the form of poetry, consisting of songs of praise.
Oriki can also take the name form as well. One must learn, memorize, and be able to chant the oriki of individuals and families.
Ede okin olofa mojo, olofa omo ola nlomi ab’isu joko ijakadi loro Offa, ija peki abe owula, bi ko ba se oju ebe l’Offa, as óju poro l’oko, iba soju oloko iba la won, osoju agunmona l’Offa , O soju agbele yarara, o soju aporuba ka ‘ko, kinni se kagun-kakanrun ni ile oba, oka ni se kagun kankanrun, Agbado ni agun-mona l’Offa,
Eree ni agbele yarara, isu ni aporubu ka ‘ko, omo odi meta mete meta me ti nbe l’Offa mojo, odi iwaju ti olusan, t’ehin ni se ti olumiran, t’arin gungun ni se ti olugbenise omo ayejin, omo odo meta meta ti ntun nbe l’Offa mojo, okan ni apa erinla boo un ki oun dókun, okan ni apa agbo boo un ki oun d’osa, okan ni ki apa akuko gagara boo un ki oun di agunloko l’Offa oba ni okookan Offa ti t’agbo ra,
ododo won ti to erinla pa sugbon ni okan ba d’okun, ti okan ba d’osa nibo ni ako omo yebiye wonyisi. Eyi ti won wapa akuko ganga boo a ni owa di agunloko l’Offa olofa omo la ki Offa kun tele, olalomi ede okin olofa mojo Olofa Omo laare ki o dogba, okan ko gbodo ju kan bi okan ba ju kan, oba ni ko won roro, oba ko wa ri ti awa d’iran peki mob a odofin dimu, mose ojomu Karin, mo fi ehin saawo ra’le l’Offa o m’aka Arijasoro, olalomi lo laare.
Offa o m’aka egun wole l’Offa to ju ti omo okuta meta nsese, okan ko mi lese okansemi pele, okan semi nrora, Okan n’gbati emi mona , kinni mo wade ilu ete okan n’gbati emi ko mona kinin mo wa de ilu ero Okan n’gbati emi mona , kinni mo wa de ilu awon-won ni ile olalomi ti omi ti won ti oju lo Ede
Okin timo ri okin bamuiti mofi abata sin ese l’Offa ti mo wari abelenje boju mo la k’Offa okun keekee Aral ale, olalomi omo orubo nla ti osubu l’aro papa ni ohun bata, oki mi o nla mi, olalomi tani osehun ninu ara won ileyi ko gbaye, a ko lo si loffa nigbati iloffa o gba wa a ko lo s’Offa oro nigbati Offa oro o gba wa, a ko los’Offa irese nigbati Offa irese ko gba wa, ako losi igbolutu nigbati igbolutu ko gba wa mo, a tun pada si Offa Eesun nigbati Offa eesun o gbawa mo ni awa kowa si Offa Arinlolu olofa se pele o aro ko ya bumu,
Ede olele aro ko ya buwe Ede olele aro ko ya buboju igun ni a rini a dasa geru, Akala nia rini a sasa l’edo olofa imole ni arin ni a wa dasa lami labe lapa se olofa lo ni omo , ko si Eku ti oju Offa o di oyo olofa ni oni omo gbengbeleku ni ara yoku nsan ni nwon ki olalomi iyeru okin.
IDI RE TI WON FI NKI AWON OMO OFFA NI
Iyeru okin olofa mojo omo laare olalomi omo abisu jooko ijakadi l’oro Offa lo ni omo, Gbegbeleku ni ara yoku nsan..
Offa cultural symbol
The town was founded towards the end of the 14th century by a Yoruba prince from Oyo. Offatedo in Osun state, Iyana Offa in Oyo State, Offa in Cote d’Ivoire are peopled from Offa.
The praise name of Offa is “Ijakadi Loro Offa”, a Yoruba phrase meaning “wrestling is our game”.
The city’s mascot is the peacock bird which is one of the most prominent exotic avian species in the region and also because the town is a beautiful place.
The supreme traditional ruler (king) of the town is the Olofa who is assisted by four High Chiefs namely Essa, Ojomu, Sawo, and Balogun.
There are two hundred and five thousand traditional households.
Ijakadi Offa Festival
The town is the cultural headquarters of the Ibolo people, which was regarded as an integral part of old Oyo Empire. The Ibolos are also found in the present Osun State.
The major traditional ceremony is ‘Onimoka’, which is an annual event to celebrate the memory of Queen Moremi an Offa indigene who saved the Ile-Ife kingdom from invaders.
During the ceremony, wrestling contests are held in which the traditional Chiefs including the Olofa will engage in mock wrestling contest (Ijakadi).
Ijakadi festival is a 14th century cultural festival of Offa Kingdom in Kwara State. It was enacted around 1498 AD during the Moremi Festival.
Moremi was an Offa woman who became the queen of Oranmiyan of Ile-Ife. She single handedly rescued the people of Ife from their enemies.
Ijakadi is a mock wrestling bout between the Olofa and Essa, his second in command, while the whole town cheer. Thus goes the popular saying “Ijakadi loro Offa,” a Yoruba phrase, meaning, “wrestling is an Offa game,”.
The colorful ceremony features traditional drummers, singing and dancing groups and hunting display. The symbolic winning of the bout by the Oloffa is a constant reminder of his indisputable authority of the town while the Essa would always give excuses for his loss.
All his excuses elicit ovation of “Kabiyesi o” from the crowd..
The festival takes place in December and is a meeting point for indigenes from all walks of life and coincides with the eating of the new yam characterized by the cutting of the yam into two halves which is referred to in vernacular as “la’are”.
It is a festival, which reinforces a tradition that abhors laziness and docility but encourages strength and determination, showcasing a culture that projects equality among the indigenes and between the Olofa and his subjects.
Speaking at the event, which took place at the Offa Township Stadium, the monarch of Offa, Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi Okikiola EsuWoye II, said his firm support for the festival was due to his burning desire to renew the rich culture of his people and to further open Offa town to visitors and investors, as well as enhance tourism for the town and the state at large and that new activities were being introduced to make the festival bigger in scope and more attractive to potential tourists.
Activities that featured during the last edition of the festival included a Road Show which paraded the five districts of Offa in their dazzling colours, the Arewa Offa Beauty Pageant, which celebrates the traditional Offa woman, a Food Expo which showcased different dishes of sweet potato-Offa’s main food crop and Traditional Wrestling.
There were displays by various cultural groups, paying of homage by district heads to the Olofa, as well as the presentation of trophies with cash awards to the participating districts.
The Ijakadi Offa festival will henceforth be included in the list of national festivals being promoted by the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation because of its consistency and rich cultural content.
Commerce and economy
The vegetation in Offa is savanna vegetation and the town is noted for its weaving and dyeing trade, using vegetable dyes made from locally grown indigo and other plants.
Offa is well known for cultivation of Sweet potatoes and maize which also formed part of the favourite staple foods of the indigenes in the town.
Offa in one of her eulogy is being address as the home of sweet potatoes. Cattle, goats and sheep are also raised in the environs.
Offa is also well known for the Owode market, the foremost market and pivot of economic activities not only for Offa and its environ but also for Kwara and neighbouring states.
Offa has more recently become well known in Nigeria for being home to Adesoye College, one of the most prominent private schools in Nigeria.
The school’s proprietor, Chief Adesoye was also the founder of Okin Biscuits. Both institutions brought him and Offa fame throughout Nigeria.
Educational Institutions in Offa
Primary and Secondary Schools
Goodness Royal College Offa Kwara State
Offa Grammar School Offa Kwara State
Adesoye College Igosun Road, Offa Kwara State
Oyeleke Memmorial College Oyeleke College Road, Offa Kwara State
Hamdalat International School 69 ,Atari Road, Offa Kwara State
Al-Hikmat Islamic Academy Obanimomo, Offa Kwara State
Lifeword Christian Academy,Ojoku Road, Offa Kwara State
A U D College Irra Road Offa Kwara State
Victory Model College, Halleluya Street, Lamodi, Offa Kwara State
Mustapha Extramoral Classes Orita Merin, Offa Kwara State
Goodness Group Of Schools, Lamodi Street, Offa Kwara State
Olaitan Group Of Schools, Gusau Road Afelele, Offa Kwara State
Omolabake Group Of schools osunte area offa kwara state.
Offa community secondary school Offa kwara State
Moremi Comprehensive High School Offa kwara State
Bulala International School Offa kwara State
Adeola Memorial College Offa kwara State
Government Day Secondary School Offa kwara State
Iyeru grammar School Offa kwara State
Ansaru l Islam Primary School Offa Kwara State.
Olugbense primary school Osunte, Offa Kwara State.
Great Land Cambridge school, Amuyo Offa Kwara State.
Queen Jolade Nursery and Primary School Olohunkuse, Offa Kwara State.
Ayo ni o Nursery and Primary School, Offa, Kwara State
Tawakalitu Secondary School Offa, Kwara State
Anglican Comprehensive College Offa, Kwara State
Bimaks International School Offa Kwara State
Bright Generation International School Offa Kwara State
Biljof Nursery and Primary School Offa Kwara State
Moradeyo Dolapo Nursery and School Offa Kwara State
The Apostolic Model LGEA School Offa Kwara State
Abdulsalam Atoyebi kiddies Academy Offa Kwara State
Abdulsalam Atoyebi College Offa Kwara State
Ifeoluwa Baptist School Offa Kwara State
St. Cyprian LGEA Offa Kwara State
St. Mark CMS Model LGEA Offa Kwara State
St. Mark Junior Secondary School Offa Kwara State
St. Clair’s Girls Anglican Grammar School Offa Kwara State
Calvary Nursery and primary Offa Kwara State
St. Thomas LGEA school Offa Kwara State
Olalomi College Offa Kwara State
Sunny day Private school Offa Kwara State
Foluhunsho Nursery and Primary Offa Kwara State
Barack International School Offa Kwara State
Little saint Nursery and primary Offa Kwara State
Mustapha Omowunmi Standard School Offa Kwara State
Mustapha Standard School Offa Kwara State
Abubakar Siddik Islamic Model School Offa Kwara State,
Flourish Day Care Offa Kwara State
Mayowa Seed School Offa Kwara State
Nurul Haq Quranic and Arabic School Offa Kwara State
An-Nur Model School Offa Kwara State
Ta’awun Model School Offa Kwara State
Toaheed LGEA Offa Kwara State
Kofoworola Nursery and Primary School Offa Kwara State
The Prince Model School Offa Kwara State
Opwa LGEA School Offa Kwara State
Supreme Model School Offa Kwara State
Dayowumi Nursery and Primary School Offa Kwara State
Oroyinyin Nursery and Primary School Offa Kwara State
E-prime rose Model School Offa Kwara State
ECWA LGEA School Offa Kwara State
Canaan spring Nursery and Primary School Offa Kwara State
Standard International School Offa Kwara State
Olajumoke Nursery and Primary school along Anilelerin Offa Kwara State
Ogo Oluwa Nursery School Offa Kwara State
Salvation Nursery and School Ogidiri Offa Kwara State
Teke Nursery and Primary School Offa Kwara State
Johnson Nursery and Primary Besides General Hospital Offa Kwara State
Excellent View Nursery and Primary School Offa Kwara State
Muhammad Lawal Arabic and Islamic School Lamodi Offa Kwara state
Higher institutions in offa
The Federal Polytechnic Offa, Kwara State
Lens Polytechnic Offa Kwara State
Grace Land Polytechnic Offa Kwara State
College of Education Ilemona-Offa Kwara State
School Of Preliminary Studies Osunte area Offa Kwara State
Summit University Irra road,Offa Kwara State.
Offa University Km3 Irra road,Offa Kwara State.
Offa Railway Station
Offa Railway Station is located at Ajasse-Ipo Road, Kwara.
This was built in 1896.
Built by the british colonial government in 1896.
This is an inter-state train station. As one of the main stations along the Lagos-Ibadan-Ilorin rail line, if you plan on journeying by rail to Lagos and other parts of the country, this is your starting point.this rail line adequately links up the South-Western part of the country with the North.
PAST RULERS OF OFFA
THE CHRONOLOGY OF OLOFAS
Since the founding of the town in late 14th century, twenty four Kings, (Olofas) have ruled as follows:
(1) Oba Olalomi Olofagangan ( Hunter Prince of Oranmiyan Descendant Ife-Oyo) – (1397 – 1448)
(2) Oba Olutide (Engaged in war with the Nupes, settled at Offa- Eesun) – (1448 -1491)
(3) Oba Olugesinde (Moved to Offa Igbo-Olotu) – (1491-1526)
(4) Oba Oluwole (Engaged in war with Nupes – (1526-1567)
(5) Oba Okunmolu ( Settled on Present site- Offa Igbo Oro) – (1624 – 1624)
(6) Oba Olusanle (Assisted Alafin of Oyo to expand) – (1679 – 1726)
(7) Oba Olusanmi – (1679-1726)
(8) Oba Olugbense (Opened up roads in Offa- Reported Offa/ Erin-Ile dispute to Alafin of Oyo) –
(9) Oba Bamgbola Aremu Agbojojoye (Peacful Reign) – (1789-1800)
(10) Oba Amodu Agaka ( Fulani wars with Oyo affected Offa during his reign) – (1800-1803)
(11) Oba Olumorin Anilelerin ( Nupes invaded Offa, fled to iddo-osun, later moved to iseyin,
defended iseyin against gezo) – (1803-1832)
(12) Oba Alade Alebiosu ( Supreme overlord of ibolo kingdom) – (1832-1844)
(13) Oba Ariyibi Omolaoye – (1844-1850)
(14) Oba Morohunfolu Okunoye ( 13 Years with Ilorin in War, Jalumi War) – (1850 -1882)
(15) Oba Atoloye Adegboye (Offa sacked by fulanis, fled to Iddo – Osun) – (1882 – 1886 & 1902 –
(16) Oba Arokanorisa Otaogbaye ( Reigned when Adegboye was in Iddo-Osun) – (1887 – 1902)
(17) Oba Oyeniran Ariwajoye I – (Train passed Offa, Became 2nd Class Oba, Christianity came, 1st
Primary School, St. Mark’s opened, Ibolo district officer stationed in Offa. Trade flourished ,
but staff of office surreptitiously withdrawn because people refused pay tax thinking that the tax
was as a result of the Oba’s new status as 2nd Class Oba) – (1906-1917).
(18) Oba Arojojoye Adeboye – ( Offa – Erin-Ile road; constructed by Offa) – (1917 – 1920)
(19) Oba Abidoye – ( Liked by everyone, civic disturbance in town caused his deposition) – (1920 –
(20) Oba Esuwoye – ( Roofed the palace with iron sheets) – ( 1926 – 1936)
(21) Oba Wuraola Isioye – ( Rebuilt Onimaka Shrine , deposed Oba Adeboye returned to Offa , Offa
Grammar School Founded, more schools founded, Central Mosque rebuilt, O.D.U formed,
Deposed 1957,went into exile in Ogbomoso, General Hospital rebuilt during his reign) – 1920 –
(22) Oba Mustapha Keji – ( Bishop Smith Teachers College moved to Ilorin, Pipe borne water and
electricity in Offa, St. Clares’s Grammar School ,founded. Offa headquarters of Oyun Division.
Wuraola Isioye returned to Offa as a citizen. He was deposed. –( 1959-1969)
(23) Oba Mustapha Olawore Olanipekun, Ariwajoye II – ( 1970 – 2010)
(24) Oba Alhaji Mufutau Mohammed Gbadamosi Okikiola Esuwoye II – ( 2010 to Present)
The umbrella socio-cultural organisation in Offa is Offa Descendants Union (ODU) which was founded in Lagos, Nigeria by Offa indigenes on 13th October 1935.
All other socio-cultural groups in the town are affiliates of ODU. The Union has branches in all states of Nigeria and abroad.
It has been involved in development efforts like establishment of secondary schools, encouragement of investors, medical outreaches, supporting artisans and other professional bodies.
For further reading
The ancient tradition for which the town is known is wrestling. Offa’s rich history is comprehensively documented in a book written by James Bukoye Olafimihan an educationist and clergyman titled ‘Iwe Itan Offa’, literally translated The Book of the History of Offa.