Ikirun is situated in the north-eastern part of Osun state of Nigeria in Osun northeast division Ikirun is located within latitude 7 degree 50 feet north of Equator and longitude 4 degree 40 feet east of Greenwich meridian. The town is located in a valley surrounded by 2 hills. Obagun/Gbogi hill to north and Aafo hill to the south and Alaroka and Idi-olo mountain to the east.
Ikirun is centrally located in Osun north-east division of Osun state. It is bounded on the north by Inisa town in Odo-otin local government area. On the south by Osogbo, the Osun state capital. To the east by Iragbiji town in Boripe local government council. And on the west by Eko-Ende town also in Ifelodun local government council.
Ikirun is a town that derived its name from the first ruler of the town called Akinorun. There was a hunter named Basetan. Basetan was uthe premier settler and the founder of the present day Ikirun. As stated earlier, Basetan was a hunter. And in his hunting expedition, he came across nearby habitation in "Igbo Irele", a community headed by a man called Akinorun.
Basetan urged Akinorun to join him in present day Ikirun,and he agreed with Basetan. And since then Basetan left the governing of the settlement in the wardship of his new friend Akinorun, with the understanding that he would stand as the subordinate whenever he is around. With this arrangement,the rulership was progressively released to Akinorun and his descendants with Basetan as the Eesa, i.e., the second in command and till this day,"the Eesa" always come from the lineage of Basetan.
In acknowledgment of this arrangement, whenever a new Akinrun is mount on the throne, he is required to spend sometime in the Eesa’s palace as the Eesa’s guest (his original proprietor) before moving into his own palace. In due to this,it is captured In the oriki of the Basetan descendants as "omo arile gba ofe kunrin, which literarily means “he who has enough capacity in his compound to harbor male guests).
There is a memorial pillar in Oja Oba in Ikirun to date with the inscription; “Basetan, ode to te ilu Ikirun do, which literarily means “Basetan, the hunter who founded Ikirun.
TRADITIONAL IRELE FESTIVAL IN IKIRUN
The Irele festival comes up in July every year to coincide with harvest of new yams. In Ikirun, Ikirunnew yams must not be brought to the Obas market for sale until after Irele yam festival is held.
Irele festival is celebrated to commemorate the companion of founder of Ikirun. History has it that Akinorun came with a companion, named Irele. Like Akinorun he was a powerful hunter and warrior. They both first settle in what is known as Igbo Irele. Not quite long after their arrival at Igbo Irele, Akinorun took ill. He called his companion and his people, and handed the leadership over to Irele. Thereafter he died. The administration of the town and welfare of all that was left by Akinorun were in the hands of Akinoruns children and Irele. He took up the challenge and whenever war threatened Igbo Irele, he quickly rose and founght gallantly.
It was in appreciation of what Irele did for Ikirun when he was alive that the people deified him and made a covenant that they would worship him and offer him sacrifices every year during the month of July to coincide with harvest of the yams.