Aiyetoro Community Island Ondo State

Aiyetoro Island Ondo

Located on the Atlantic coast, Aiyetoro was founded by a group of Ilaje “rebel” priests of the Cherubim and Seraphim Church in 1947. The founders were inhabitants of scattered Ilaje communities bordering the Atlantic Ocean to the West and Okitipupa to the East. In the days when the Ilaje killed their twins because they believed they were evil and for preaching against the practice, the priests were expelled from the community.

The priests, citing the leading of the Holy Spirit, moved to another location close to the Atlantic, founded Aiyetoro on the principles of justice, equity and communalism and ruled, according to them, by direct dictates from the God. They founded the Holy Apostles Church from where all political decisions were made and were binding.

The community flourished, partly because of the ingenuity and obstinate determination of the founders and also because of the political and social system which ensured equality and a sense of belonging for all the citizens. By 1960, according to public records, proceeds from fishing made Aiyetoro one of the richest rural community in West Africa.

Aiyetoro Island Ondo1

In the 1970s, oil was discovered in commercial quantities in the waters of Aiyetoro and multinational oil companies descended on the town to drill its offshore oil. And that, according to Eretan, the burden bearer of the community, opened the floodgate of doom.

From all indications, it seems Aiyetoro is coming to an end and the people try to make the best of whatever is remaining of their time on the island. Every night, aided by the flicker from the street lights, Broad Street comes to life, petty traders ply their wares on the road, music blares from loud speakers, boy meets girl. Not far away, the angry roar of the ocean could be heard.

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Aiyetoro Community Island
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