EVOLUTION AND GROWTH OF CHIEFTANCY TITLES
Originally, Ilara was believed to have been formed five different groups which are maintained up-to-date. These groups/units are;
1. The Oke-Ode (luare). 2.The Udofin. 3.The Uro. 4.The Awo. 5.The ugbeyin.
But the Ugbeyin Unit or group is accorded the right to provide the paramount head of the entire community- The Alara. The Alara’s position and right makes him to be an equivalent and parallel of all other chiefs put together. The Alara is entitled to a halfof whatever is being shared in the council of the community. All the Ugbeyin people, their assets, land and other property belong to the Alara.Hence the people in the unit are referred to as Omo Ugbeyin children or elements of Ugbeyin.
The tradition of the people says that originally there were no other chiefs in Ugbeyin recognized along with Alara in that Unit, but for effective and efficient leadership, chief likes Ohunorun and the Asamo arose as a palace chiefs to advise and support the Alara’s interest, a lesser chief, the Obabire later joined the group to be a recognized informant of the Alara in towns and council of elders/chiefs. Eventually, too, the Osogbon continued up till date .Each of the other four groups – the Hiare, the Udofin, the Awo and the Uro has its own group or unit sub heads and lieutenants but they all bow to sovereignty of the Alara.
SELECTION AND INSTALLATION OF THE ALARA
The selection, appointment and installation of the ALARA is the bona-fide role and duty of the kingmakers. The Alara is to come from any of the ruling houses of the UGBEHIN unit of the town. From time immemorial, Ugbehin was a unit, but nowadays, there is the development of ruling houses. However, up till now, Ilara-mokin people are not sure of or certain of the number of kingmakers, some say they are twelve (12), but the gazetted number is nine (9). However, there is the evidence of reasons for the reduction in the number to nine (9) in the government paper and the perpetrator of the reduction owned up for the action and moved that the original twelve could be re-instated. The nine gazetted kingmakers are
- CHIEF LISA
Chief Lisa is the chairman of the Regency council. He also serves as the chairman of the appointment committee. He is the vice chairman of the town council, next to the Alara. He is the head of the ilara/Okeode units of the town. He serves as the director of the town’s affairs in the absence of the ALARA.
- CHIEF ODOFIN
He keeps the ALARA in his house for 7 days and equally provides the ALARA’s food. He is the head of the Odofin unit. He carries the view and opinion of his unit to the council. He acts for Chief Lisa if the former is incapacitated. He is a member of the regency council.
- CHIEF ALAWO
He is the head of the Awo unit. He represents the views/opinions of his people at the selection and installation of the new ALARA.
- CHIEF SAO
He is the head of the Uro unit and representative of his people. He serves as a messenger to the Oba.
- CHIEF OSOGBON
He is from the Ugbeyin quarters/unit, a right hand man, a messenger of the ALARA. He is a confidant of the oba. He is put in care of all the properties of the Oba. He is closer to the Oba than any other chief.
- EYE-ILE – The Head of women group
She is the head of women folk. She has a specific duty of providing food for the new ALARA at the period of installation. She carries the new ALARA on her lap for caring and nurturing. She’s the mother of all.
- CHIEF ODUNO
He is town-sanctioner of the new Alara. He carries the ALARA-elect to the ritual point where he, chief Oduno shows the ALARA-elect to the people to confirm their support and obligation to him. He carries him about for people’s recognition. At times, he speaks for the new ALARA, since the oba would not open his mouth in public.
- CHIEF SELEMO
He is Olofin’s priest. He houses the symbol of power/authority of the ALARA at his demise.
- Chief Ologun Risinkin
THE SERVICE GROUPS
It should be noted that in the addition to the traditional chieftaincy groupings, there are service groups appointed from the mixture of different sections of the community to perform some peculiar services.
- THE EJUA GROUP: They are assigned with the sharing of booties among the Alara and the chiefs. The group leader is the Asamo. He is always from the Alara Unit of the town- Ugbeyin. He represents the interest of the Alara. He is a palace chief, informant and an intelligence officer to the Alara. Members of the group – Ejua- are selected from the five different units of the town.
- THE ELEGBE GROUP (THE ARMY): The leader is the Ologun Risinkin, His signal og authority are ologidi not beads and swords or big cutlasses. He is war- leader but under the commanders-in chief, the Alara of Ilara. He is always from Uro group and other members are from the different town units/sections or groups.
- THE EGIRI GROUP/ULEDON GROUP: They are civil defense Unit of the town. They play the role of a police. Their leader is the Elegiri. They keep the peace and order of the town. They serve along with the Elegbes to run emergency errands for the peace of the town. They are to bring the new Oba-elect to perform traditional rites. Both the Elegbes and the Egiris are saddled with security and orderliness of the town. Besides the major groupings and the service group, the traditional gvernance recognizes the presence and utility value of the youth. Hence, each unit/section creates a forum for meeting the youth. Amongst the youth groups are;
- THE OWERE GROUP: This comprises of all the youths in the town with their leader- OLOWERE. He attends the meeting of the chiefs and leads the youths to perform a number of services e.g. fetching ritual materials such as rats and other peculiar meat and services. Clearing and cleaning of public places, working in communal spirit and mode.
Other youth forums incudes;
- Omo Lare
- Omo Ugbeyin
- Omode Owa