The present Yoruba inhabitants of Osogbo have an oba (“king”) who functions in an advisory role and holds the traditional title of ataoja (“he who stretches out his hand and takes the fish”), first given to Laro, one of the town’s founders, who, according to legend, fed the fish of the Osun River and in return received a liquid believed to be effective against sterility in women.
The river and its personification and namesake, the goddess Osun (or Oshun; a Yoruba heroine deified for her role in saving Osogbo), are honoured at an annual festival in the town in August. Two chalk- and camwood-covered shrines are connected with this worship—the Ile Osun (at the oba’s market), in which are stored the idols of the cult, and the Ojubo Osun (on a bend of the river at Laro’s original settlement), which is the centre of the worship.
The city is also home to several progressive groups and associations, such as the Osogbo Descendants Progressive Union (ODPU; formerly Osogbo Progressive Union - OPU), the Mbari Mbayo Club for African writers, artists and musicians,  the Osogbo Professionals' Initiative (OPI), the Osogbo Affairs, the Osogbo Development Action Group (ODAG), the Osogbo National Students' Union (ONSU), the Oroki Social Club (OSC), the Ataoja Palace Project Initiative (APPI), the United Associates Osogbo and the Igbonna Progressive Club.
According to tradition, In Ipole Omu, seven rulers reigned before Olarooye in the following succession: Adefokanbale, Aikanya, Ogbogba, Saso, Luberin, Laege (also known as Adetuturinrin; father to both Lajomo and Larooye), Lajomo and Olarooye.
The then Ipole people became much dejected, worried and uncomfortable over their losses involving their farms, domestic animals and human beings. The Oba Olarooye was worried and disheartened by the situation at Ipole Omu. He wanted emergency solutions to inevitable and uncountable losses. This was the time he ordered the chief hunter at Ipole-in the person of Timehin-and his co-hunters to go on expedition and look for greener pastures. Timehin and the other hunters courageously took up the challenge and moved out in search of a better place for settlement. The expedition discovered River Osun.
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