HISTORY OF IYAH GBEDE
Iyah Gbede is a town in Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State . It was formerly in the then Northern region of Nigeria and located 23KM from Kabba town; the then capital of Kabba province. Along Kabba, Mopa, Isanlu, Egbe Illorin Road, you will locate Iyah Gbede at a right turning point of about 23KM where Jemibewon International Academy is located and from there you turn into Iyah Gbede on Abuji asphalt road. It is about 3 and half hours drive from Abuja, via Lokoja, Obajana Cement Factory (Dangote Cement) to Kabba and to Iyah Gbede. It is in the North east of Ondo and Ekiti State.
Iyah Gbede is known as the cradle and custodian of Yoruba Okun Cultural and Traditional Values. Despite the infiltration of foreign religions, which have made a tremendous in-road and influence on the people of Iyah Gbede, the majority of Iyah Gbede community is adherents and admirers of the traditional religion called “Oro Imole”, which manifested itself in “Epa Festival” yearly.
The history of Iyah Gbede started at Iyah Old Site called “Iyah Loke” which is about 4KM up the hill, from the present day settlement. “Iyah Loke” naturally evolved into a bigger village under three groups called “OKE META”. These three groups are Okeya Group, Ganran Group and Okekiti Group.
The present day Iyah Gbede settlement popular called “Iyah New Site” commenced with a movement from “Iyah Old Site” in about 1965/66 and was completed in 1985- a period of about 20 years. It is strategically located at a point between Aiyetoro and Aiyegunle Gbede on a fairly flat, high ground. The boundary between Iyah and Aiyetoro is demarcated by Jemibewon International Academy; while that of Ayeigunle is by a stream called “Omi Oso”.
The present settlement is blessed with a very beautiful landscape. The hills around the town are distant from the center and the town itself is surrounded by low savannah forests and grasslands, with very few palm trees scattered all over the place and beautiful scenery all round the year.
The new town is developing very rapidly into a modern society; new and modern buildings are springing up by the day, these are in addition to already established private hospital, Primary and Secondary Schools, and a befitting Town Hall.
Iyah Gbede town is blessed with many illustrious individuals, few amongst, which are; General David Medaiyese Jemibewon (Rtd), Professor K.O. Ologe, Doctor Yemi Omole, Chief Samuel Ayinmode, Chief Z.O. Mowaye, Chief Aye Ologe Mr. Dan D. Kunle and Barrister Tunde Ayeni.
Iyah Gbede is known and famous for its artistic and acrobatic mystical heritage which manifest in their ability to tap palm wine and palm oil from the rich palm trees vegetation of the entire locality. All the surrounding villages and towns in Okun land visit Iyah weekly, to enjoy palm wine drinking, which is equivalent to the modern day European wine production.