Dr Bolaji Aremo, a retired Associate Professor of English and ex-Head, Department of English, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, has suggested that while Igbos were Aborigines of Ile Ife and once lived there with their Yoruba cousins, they left long before the arrival of Oduduwa the Great who founded the Ooni of Ife Dynasty.
While speaking to Ggenga Adeniji of The Punch, the don who wrote the book ‘How Yoruba and Igbo Became Different Languages’ (published in 2009), also stated that the two languages are historically from the same parent language. He describes this language as Proto Igbo/Yoruba language and states that if someone who spoke that language were to come back to Nigeria in this age, he would neither understand Yoruba nor Igbo.
The linguistics expert further stated that Niger Delta dialects of Igbo like Ikwerre and Ika are indeed Igbo dialects.
A very interesting interview.
But One Question, Sir: If the Igbo Aborigines of Ife left long before the arrival of Oduduwa (as you suggest), then who were those Igbos that Yoruba heroine Lolo Moremi Ajasoro met at Igbomokun?