Jaguna

Jaguna
Character Designs For Chess Pieces by Olusola Akinseye depicting a Balogun also called ‘Jagu’

Jaguna was an Egba military rank that existed prominently in the pre-1827 times. This was before the tribe fell under the influence of the Oyo/Ibadan army under the warlord, Maye who acted like the Field Marshal in the war against the tribe. The Jaguna title is virtually exclusive to the Egba, but it has lost its allure by the time the people migrated to Abeokuta. The fight over this title which means “Ajagun-loju-ona” (he who fights in the middle of the road) had led to the Ilugun War in which the old Egba pre-Abeokuta-migration village was sacked on account of the insolence of a contender for the post, Asalu, who was a member of that Egba village. Ilugun War was a military strife that emanated within the ranks of the Egbas in the pre-1827 era when the post of the Jaguna, was still the most courted. Two great men, Asalu and Depolu contended for this post that was made vacant by the death of its holder. The contention soon developed into a Civil War that ended in the sacking of Ilugun, the town from which Asalu hailed from.

Lisabi, the man who led the Egba tribe against the Oyo empire in the fight for independence was perhaps the first Jaguna, the people being before then, unwarlike. After a long time, the controversy of who is superior among the honorary military titles of Egbaland has been determined in favor of the Jaguna, but by then, the Balogun has been accorded recognition by the government and the post gazetted above others.