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History of Kisi/Kishi

Exploration of dual origin of a people
As back as the 12th Century precisely, 1301 A.D., the town (Kisi/Kishi) was already in existence. It began as different settlements, adventurer camps and hamlets. The area that began as old Kishi, since came into being; there has been no relocation or resettlement of the people in the ancient kingdom. The town also had an impregnable defence network against external aggression and never conquered throughout its existence. It also blessed with alot of historical sites.
Kishi is located on latitude 9005’N-907”N and longitude 30 50” E-30 52”E. The exact spot (90N05’50” & E51’59”) where the town is situated was founded by the legendary Prince Kilishi Yeruma, who was said to have come from the Benin Republic. The area is covered by landscape of hills and mountains mixed with following streams and perennial rivers of Tege, Ajangba, Tesi, Gbandara, among others. It is a natural attraction of people and vegetation. The vegetation comprises of rain forest and savannah green land. Kishi is about 30km of old Oyo. All these combined to make the entire landmass a fascinating and good for settlement, hunting and farming respectively.
Kishi is founded as a unity town from scores of settlements by Prince Kilishi Yeruma fron Nikki kingdom of Benin Republic, who became her first king. The Kilishi Yeruma, from history was a grandson of Nikki’s great priest, Kisra (A short history of Nigeria by C.R.Niven 1937; pg 61), who was the spiritual leader of the Borgu tribe. Priest Kisra was said to have migrated from the Arabia peninsular enroute famous Borno Kinngdom. King Kilishi Yeruma was also the first son of Sabi (It is a royal custom for the first son born on throne to be named Kilishi), one of the three warlord sons of the Priest Kisra. Sabi was the Prime king of Nikki, Borgu province of Benin Republic he founded. The remaining two, Woru and Bio, successfully founded ILLO (Sokoto State) and BUSSA (Borgu part in Niger State, Nigeria) respectively.
However, the dual lineage of Kishi/Kisi was established with the marriage of king of Kilishi Yeruma to a regent from Oyo empire; Adasobo. History reported that the Premier Iba of kishi/kisi reigned when Alaafin Oranmiyan founded Old Oyo (1390/1400 AD).
Due to the historical motherly role of Yeye Adasobo throughout the Kishi/Kisi countryside, sons and daughter in town and in environs were given Yoruba names; likewise, the Yoruba language was also embraced.
The name kishi/kisi, was ellipsed from KILISHI/KILISI, the first name of the founder king Kilishi Yeruma of the ancient town (the royal name for first son on throne).The record analysed that, the accomodating nature of the town favoured the inflush of different immigrants of Old Oyo Kingdom during her trial times. Thus, the popularity of going to the town of Kilishi aided the historical elipsation to KISHI perfectly. As Kilishi Kingdom of the time has a formidable defence network against external aggression,especially from Ilorin and Nupe emirates.Not only that,the town serves as trans genuine savanah caravan route terminus from southwest (Ibadan/Iseyin) to seat of Sokoto caliphate (Babs Fafunwa;History of Education in Nigeria Pg 68).
The dualism of Kisi and Kishi is a natural circumstance. This with respect to historical lineage of the town from two different sources of Ibaruba and Yoruba (can you spot any similarities of last four alphabetical letters and pronunciation in the two).
The Kisi derivation perfectly suited the Yoruba adventurers and immigrants of the time. Take note that letter S in Kisi is a Yoruba alphabetically consonant (i.e. phonetic for SIT), whereas, our brothers from Borgu countryside (in both Nigeria and Benin Republic i.e. batonous and bokobarus in Nigeria, and those of Nikki, borgu province of Benin republic) can only pronounce the name Kishi conveniently. Their pronunciation tallied with Arabic phonemic symbol (ﺵ) with English example Shi, as rightly written and pronounced as in YASHIKIRA (town in baruten LG), Kilishi Yeruma (royal name given to first son on the throne), and many other respectivelly.

Therefore, the name Kishi, favours Ibaruba lineage, as Kisi goes with the Yoruba side. Thus, an earlier documentation of The Borgu Kingdom Official website Data recognised KISHI, as kisi thus serving as corrupted version of KISHI both in documented and flowing correspondences of local and western worlds.
This has made the name Kishi to be on official records in the National Data bank on town and villages. That is reason why the name KISHI always reflected on Federal Government establishments correspondences. For instance in the Highway codes of the Federal Ministry of works, KISHI is official one. The National Vehicle identification by the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) also recognized KSH for vehicular plate numbers of IREPO LGA, etc.
Not only that, the documented page of the town, from Sir Fedrick Lord Lugard’s Diary (F.O. 2/167,Pg.178) addressed the great town as Kishi,on the occasion of Lugard’s carravan visit to the kingdom during the reign of HRM.Iba Folawiyo (1894) on 11th-15 october,1894. The treaty signed that day in releasing kishi kingdom to government of Lagos was titled; “The Kishi Treaty No. 13”.
Henceforth, any correspondence still addressing KISHI as Kisi is done out of ignorance of dualism nature of the ancient town in the southwestern Nigeria.Thus the royal title of Kishi Kingdom is The Iba of Kishi ;derived from Ibaruba of Kishi Kingdom.

Credit: Jimoh Tiamiyu
Publisher-News Index Magazine,
General media practitioner @ kishi,Oyo state,Nigeria.
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