HISTORY OF REMO KINGDOM
LIST OF ALL AKARIGBO OFIN OF REMO KINGDOM
12.Faranpojo the Great (Responsible for the relocation of the capital from Remo to Shagamu, during the Yoruba Wars mid 19th century)
18Adeniyi(Also known as Sonariwo)
19.Babatunde Adewale Ajayi, Torungbunwa II the present Oba.
Historically, it is on records that 33 Towns/Villages make up to what is known today as REMO KINGDOM. (They used to be known popularly as REMO METALELOGBON.)
It is believed that the REMO people migrated from Ile Ife, in the present day Osun State, during the quest for survival, expansion, growth, sovereignty, independence and most especially because of the then PREVALENT inter tribal war.
The paramount ruler of Remo Kingdom is known as the Akarigbo the first Prince form Ile Ife.
Akarigbo is the head of all the Kings in Remo land. The first Oba Akarigbo was Igbodein, child of Aka, who was married to Onigbo. Onigbo was one of those that followed Obanta into Ijebuland originally. King Igbodein’s poetic praise (oriki) was:
“Owa Mojo-nmogun ofin.”
After he settled down at Oke Iyemule, he was quoted as saying: “Ore mo!” This was because he relocated to the new home in anger around the year 1450.
It was Aroyewun Akarigbo who moved the people out of Iyemule and relocated them to orile Ofin. The other Akarigbos at this early time were: Luyoruwa, Radolu, Koyelu, Muleruwa, Tewogbuwa, Arioko, Liyangu, Otutu bi Osun, Erinjugbotan, Faranpojo, Igimisoje (who was renowned for leading his people (in 1872) to settle in the place now known as Sagamu, on a land owned by a man named Bammowu, after the Makun war of 1862.
Shortly after this settlement, the people of Imakun came back from their hamlet and found Ewusi Makun at the current location as the first stteller, Alara, and Alado. After that, the Elepe, along with his friends, also arrived and settled Ofin was the last to come into the new settlement in Sagamu.
Shortly after, there was a dispute between Akarigbo and Elepe over crown and this resulted in war. It was during this battle that Akarigbo was quoted as saying: “Bi n ko tile ju osandie, emi ni Oloja Remo.” This new settlement, at that time, was called Sagamu because it was close to a river.
The present Akarigbo resides in SAGAMU, and is by the name Oba Babatunde Ajayi. It was gathered that the original name of Sagamu used to be ORISAGAMUEWA, named by the first settlers, Ewusi Olukokun.
Twelve Remo villages/towns joined Makukun at the present location Sagamu, because of the then war for security and protection at Orisagamuewa.
After the secession of the inter tribal war, some villages/towns went back to their original settlement while others became comfortable at Orisagamuewa and they stayed back at Orisagamuewa. Some of the Towns found as at today in Sagamu-Remo include the following;
MAKUN, EPE, OFFIN, SIMAWA, BATORO, SOYINDO, IJAGBA, IJOKU, OKO, IWELEPE, ILARE, SOTUBO, ADO AND AGURA.
These Towns are all REMO TOWNS. It is also on records that because of the creation of States and Local Governments, some Remo Towns have been put in another State or different local government. For example, the following towns are originally REMOS and they speak the Remo Dialect but they are now in Lagos State.
Some of the towns include IKORODU, IBESHE, ODOGUNYAN, ISARA,IGBOGBO and AGBOWA IKOSI. Some other Towns that are now in other different bloc in Ogun State include AIYEPE, ODOGBOLU, OKUN OWA and IJESHA.
Ogun State today has twenty (20) Local Governments and three (3) Senatorial Districts namely Ogun West, Ogun East and Ogun Central. Remo Division or Remo Bloc is under Ogun East Senatorial, since the creation of Ogun State, no Remo citizen has become Senator of the state.
Well, as at today, REMO BLOC has three (3) local governments. The local governments are as follows; Sagamu, Ikenne and Remo North.
The following towns are all REMOS; ODE-LEMO, OGIJO, OGERE, IPERU, ILISAN, IKENNE, ILARA/AKAKA, IROLU, IPARA, ISARA, SAGAMU and ODE-REMO.
These kingdoms vary in size and are grouped into North and South. Most of the ones in the north like Ode-Remo, Ogeere, Ipara and Iperu did not always see eye to eye with those in the South like Ofin, Ilara, Ikenne, Ilisan and Makun. Towns in the immediate east of Remo as historically belonging to Remo, including Ijesha-Ijebu, Agbowa and Okun-Owa (Itakete).
Some even claim Odogbolu and Aiyepe in periods of expansiveness. In their myths of origin, there was no unanimity about where the founding fathers came from but the majority of the Remo kingdoms claimed origin from Oduduwa, the eponymous ancestor of the Yorubas.
By the 19th century shortly before the advent of British imperialism, Remo land was largely controlled from Remo. There were periods of rebellion against the Awujale but most of the time these rebellions were put down in detail because Remo land always found it difficult to be united against a common foe. In any case, even in relatively modern times, there were some elements in Remo who did not believe in severing ties with Remo.
The British extended the boundaries of Lagos to Southern Remo particularly to Ikorodu, one of the important Remo Kingdoms. Some of the leaders in Remo exploited the presence of the British and particularly British missionaries of the Methodist church in their struggle for separate identity from the rest of the Ijebus. A certain Pythagoras Haastrup later known as Ademuyiwa Haastrup played decisive roles in Remo's struggle for her identity as a separate Kingdom.
Ademuyiwa Haastrup was born in 1853 to an Ifa Priest and was adopted by Wesleyan Methodist Missionaries and educated in Lagos. His parents originally came from Ofin and he was able to use his connection with royalty in ofin to influence the Akarigbo of Ofin that British influence and Christianity could bring Remo stability and progress. He used his considerable influence with Akarigbo in prevailing on the latter not to support the Awujale who was determined to block the trade-route from Lagos to the hinterland a situation that was later to lead to the defeat of Remo in 1892 without Remo suffering any military attack.
The influence of the Methodist in Remo land was not only limited to the activities of Haastrup alone because even the British Misssionary, Reverend William Fredrick Mellor who had virtually gone native in Remo land and had become a member of Osugbo had considerable influence in Remo and worked very hard to ensure Akarigbo's as Paramount Ruler of Remo and as a separate Kingdom from the Ijebus dominiaring attitudes. .
Remo’s history is characterised by internecine warfare between one Remo town and another leading to migrations, resettlement, coalescence, while retaining the old names in the various places in which they resettled. Thus in many of the Remo towns, one finds more than one ruler. In each settlement which are replications of old destroyed towns, they try to maintain separate identities by retaining their former rulers. Inspite of the attempt to maintain separate identity, there are institutions that provide a semblance of unity and common identity among the Remo people.
These institutions include the titled heads (Obas), Osugbo, Eluku, Oro and later on Egungun apparently signifying Oyo’s influence. Remo by the middle of the 19th century realised that to save itself it must be united. It was in this situation that several towns came together to found Sagamu in the Southern part of Remo land.
The kingdoms that came together to found Sagamu following the invitation between 1866 and 1872. Ewusi Olukokun of Makun to other Remo towns were Ado, Batoro, Epe, Ibido, Ijagba, Ijokun, Ofin, Oko, Sonyindo, Latawa and Ipoji.
Two other towns were added later namely, Igbepa and Ranmiken. The new settlement of Sagamu was some kind of confederation with each of the settlements maintaining its identity and rulers even though they accepted the Akarigbo of Ofin as overall Suzereign.
Some of the important Northern towns like Iperu, Ode-Remo, Ipara and Isara refused to join the people in Sagamu. The two most important quarters of Sagamu were Makun and Ofin. With the centralisation in Sagamu, the Remo people faced the challenge of how to overcome even within Sagamu fissiparous tendencies tearing the settlements apart and the hostility of the Awujale to the settlement.
This was because the new settlement constituted an economic challenge to Remo which hitherto controlled the trade route to the coast.
The British in Lagos would of course not have Remo disrupt trade between the coast and the hinterland. This was the reason why Governor of Lagos, William Carter signed with the Akarigbo, Oyebajo Torungbuwa in 1894 a treaty declaring Remo land a British protectorate while the Akarigbo was made to cede Ikorodu district to Lagos as part of Lagos colony.
Ironically, the Akarigbo was not unhappy about declaration of British protectorate. In fact left to him, he would have preferred to join Lagos as part of the colony.
Ikorodu and the history of Remoland The history of Ikorodu is as rich as the enviable track record of its sons and daughters who have not only excelled in their chosen careers, but have also left their footprints on virtually all the strata of our national history for posterity to see.
It is the history of a people whose ancestors, according to available history, descended from the Remo stock of Yoruba tribe who came settle on a plateau and named it Ikorodu, a shortened word from-Oko Odu-which literally means Odu farm.
Odu now in extinct vegetables specie used for cloth dying, grew luxuriantly on this plateau, hence the early settlers for want of a better name, found it convenient to name their new found settlement after this abundant vegetable. With time, Okorodu changed to Ikorodu.
The fact of the history seems to tilt in favour of Oga as the founder of Ikorodu. This by extension, confirms the Remo link in the origin of Ikorodu. The males among the early settlers in Ikorodu had facial tribal marks found among the Remo.
The late Oba Adenaike Alagbe had such tribal marks. The new settlement in the heart of a massive forest was first used by the sons of Akarigbo, Koyelu of Orile Offin Shagamu-Oga, Lasuwon, Rademo, Anoko, Osonusi (alias Ogbonyari) Igimisoje, Otutubiosun, Oladepo and Seku made.
The extended area now known as Ikorodu was used by these sons of Akarigbo of Remo for hunting and farming. As to the time of founding of the first settlement, we found it convenient to repeat ‘Igbogbo E Ko Do, KI Pakodo I do, KI Koodu I do.’ Soon after, some large contingent of Benin migrants came by land through Iki in Ogun state (where almost the whole land belongs to the Olisa family of Ikorodu) to the area now known as Ikorodu.
This group of Benin people was led by a wealthy and powerful man called Eregbouwa (now called Rebugbawa in Ikorodu) from the ancient royal family of Oliha of Benin City.
In Benin language, Ere means king and Uwa means peace and prosperity, hence Eregbuwa mean king of peace and prosperity.
The Benin people settled down amicably with the children of Akarigbo and the farm started to grow into a large settlement. This was about 1630.
The institution of Obaship was conceded to the line of Akarigbo while the institution of Olisaship was conceded to the Benin settlers. In effect the Oba became the reigning monarch while the Olisa became the Kingmaker of the city-state.
This high position of the Olisa as the next in rank to the Oba in the city state was borne out in his attribute or cogno men in the Yoruba metaphor: AJUWE Akoye Orulu egbin o ru’lamuren a worun meaning – a noble gentlemen who administers the town. This of course, is done subject to the authority of the Oba and it presupposes that the cordiality between the Oba and the Olisa should be impenetrable.
This was the tradition arrangement. The institutions and deities such as the Osugbo, the Awo Opa, the Inomu and the Eluku were designed for the good administration and peace of the town. Prior to the advent of the Benin people, Oga was the head of the establishment. He and Lasunwon lived in a hamlec called Agbele at the presence site of NITEL.
Agbele was also called Egure and so Oga became the Elegure of Egure. Lasunwon was Odofin of Shagamu. But when the Binis came and Oga died. Lasunwon was installed the first Oloja of Ikorodu by Olisa Rebugbawe, the first Olisa of Ikorodu. Lasuwon and Eregbouwa (Rebugbawe) were therefore the first Oloja (Oba) and the first Olisa of Ikorodu respectively. There are two Ruling Houses for the Obaship namely Lasunwon and Rademo Ruling Houses. Traditionally Ikorodu is divided broadly into three for ease of representative democracy. These divisions are Ijomu, Aga, and Isele, which are represented, in Osugbo-the highest administrative organ in the town headed by the Olisa as chairman of Iwerefa (while Oluwo is administrative head). The smaller divisions called itun in the town are subsumed in the three major larger divisions.
With this arrangement, the emerging administrative structure of Ikorodu ensured that the Obaship and Olisaship belong to the two primordial families of Oba (Lasunwon and Rademo) and the Olisa respectively.
They are traditional and hereditable titles. As the settlement grew with influx of more migrants, city wall sprang up top provide buffer zones against intruders. The city wall which modernity had wiped out, ran through present day Ireshe road to Ota-ona, right through Eluku street/Alhaji street, to Owolowo street and back to Ireshe road.
The near spherical settlement within the wall was the totality of the old Ikorodo. The early town grew around a nucleus of settlement referred to as Itun, which covers a specific location with boundary.
There is Itun layeodo, people by migrant from Ode-Remo, Itunsoku is said to be people by migrants from Isokun quarters in Shagamu; Itagbodo was originally peopled by settlers from Oke-Gbodo, Itun Elepe is said to be the quarter started by people of Elepe stock in Shagamu; Itunwaiye was originally the quarter of people from Iwaya in Ogun State; Itunsoku was originally peopled by migrants whose roots were traced to Isokun quarters in Shagamu; Itunojoru was the quarters people by migrant of Egba origin in Abeokuta.
The cosmopolitan outlook of the emerging settlement became the catalyst for development. Apart from farming, the early settlers were astute traders, who developed coastal market at Ebute.
The flourishing trade in cloth dying, fishing farm produce attracted traders from far-flung location in the hinterland.