Ekiti Paraapo refers to a great and successful alliance that was accomplished by the Ekiti and Ijesha people during the “Kiriji war”, which is referred to as the world’s longest civil war by any ethnic group or tribe, it lasted for sixteen years between 1877 and 1893. This war came as a result of the collapse of the old Oyo empire and the rise of the ancient city of Ibadan in a bid to display its authority in the Yoruba land, set up a centralized political system, assemble a command military structure, create a large empire like that of the old Oyo empire, and make other towns subject to it. The war got its name (Kiriji) from the thunderous sound “kiriiiiiiiiji” of the cannon guns which the Ekiti Paraapo alliance purchased in large numbers via the Ijebus, and used admirably and strategically.
This ain’t world war II and there’s no Hitler, just some enchanted and rickety gun wielding locals
Initially, the Ekiti, Ijesha, Ilorin and Ila people separately fought the Ibadan empire but lost in very disastrous manners. Afterwards, the Ijesha and Ekiti people strategically teamed up together under the leadership of one brave, clever and noble Ijesha warlord, Ogedengbe (born as Orisarayibi Ogundamola). Sounds like an “Avengers” setup led by Captain America. In 1878, Ibadan officials in Ijesha, Igbomina and Ekiti were injured and killed by the revolutionists. The Ibadan army pitched their camp at Igbajo while the Ekiti Parapo camped at Imesi-Ile. The appointment of Ogedengbe (Captain Paraapo), significantly influenced the turn of events as Ogedengbe was a famous military strategist and general. He received his military training in counter insurgency and infantry at Ibadan, more like betraying his benefactors. Apparently, there’s nothing new under the Sun.
There’s this popular and strange myth about Ogedengbe, in which his head was cut off, after which he staggered back, rolled, picked up the head and fixed it back on his body.
One of the reasons why the Ekiti Paraapo alliance was highly successful was because other towns and Yoruba tribes that were affected by the sudden Ibadan dominance joined them in battle. They had tribes like Igbomina, Awori, Akoko, Ijebu, Egbe, Kabba, Egun, Egba and Oworro. Ilara Mokin in present day Ondo State was said to have been the headquarters of the Ekiti Parapo secret service (I guess CIA got a cue from this). Ibadan suffered greatly during this war against a strong alliance and their effective allies.
The war later came to an end due to the intervention of the British colonial government under the leadership of Captain R. L. Bower, and a treaty was signed in 1893 to represent the end of a long and tragic war.