SHAGAMU: Akarigbo is the head of all the Kings in Remo land. The first 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 Akarigbo, Alara, and Alado. After that, the Elepe, along with his friends, also arrived and settled. 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. After this era, Deuja became the Akarigbo in 1880. In 1895, Oyebayo became the Akarigbo, and it was during his era that another war ensued between him and the Elepe (in 1903) over the ownership of a crown. This war was so fierce that then Governor, the Hon. William MacGregor, had to intercede and mediate. During the mediation, then Ooni agba Olubuse was called as a witness and he gave a testimony to the effect that he did not know who the Elepe was, but he knew Akarigbo, and as a matter of fact, he received fifty pounds (£50) from the Akarigbo before giving him the crown in dispute. The governor eventually settled the rift and seized the crown from the Elepe. It was later reported that one Mr. E.S. Ajayi (B.Sc.), on his return from studying abroad, affirmed that he personally identified the crown on display at a museum in London. It was not too long after this incident that there was a conspiracy against Akarigbo Oyebajo and he was removed from the throne and banished to Calabar in 1914. Then Oba Awolesi became the Akarigbo in 1916. It should be noted that Akarigbo Adedoyin I was enthroned in 1916 but his reign was short-lived. It was in 1917 that the Akarigbo colluded with Awujale Ademolu and agreed to annex all land in Remo with Ijebu-Ode so both can become one.
In 1924, the Akarigbo sent emissaries to the Ooni of Ife to request a crown for him. In response, the ooni sent a crown through his emissaries. As the Ooni emissaries were entering Ijebuland, they stopped by the Awujale Ademolu’s palace to pay homage. They told the Awujale the purpose of their journey, and on learning why, the Awujale became angry and promptly sent messengers to the Akarigbo, summoning him to come and explain the rationale behind his requesting a crown from the Ooni. Both Messrs H. D. Lamuth and T.B. Dew (then Counsel-General) chastised the Akarigbo for what he did and appealed to the Awujale to exercise patience and understanding. Then, the Ooni emissaries were sent back to Ile-Ife and Akarigbo returned to Remo to undertake appropriate rituals for his crowning ceremony.
In 1936, another dispute ensued and this led the Akarigbo to be quoted as saying: “Mo kunle mo fi apo ko; mo duro owo mi ko to mo.” This statement became so controversial that the government had to send the Hon. Martin Dale to investigate the matter. It was during this investigation that the Akarigbo retained a lawyer named Palmer. At the conclusion of the investigation, Mr. Martin Dale recommended that Remo should be separated from Ijebu-Ode. Additionally, he also recommended that Remo should be paying four hundred pounds (£400) annually as land royalties to the government of Ijebu-Ode. This agreement was signed in 1937 and Mr R.T. Minne was made the District Officer for Remo area.
However, on July 27, 1946, the Akarigbo Oba Adedoyin I, as well as Laperu, Ologere, Ewusi, Odemo, Alaiye Ode, Alalisan, Onipara, Alakenne, Onirolu and Elepe, all gladly visited then Oba Awujale Gbelebuwa II, who received them warmly. After a long discussion, Oba Akarigbo rose to say that all the misunderstandings of the past have come to an end, because, as he put it, all of them are Ijebu, and Remo should not be different. Then according to custom, kolanuts were broken into pieces and all of them took pieces and ate. Others at this August meeting were The Rev. W.F. Mellor, Attorney Adeleke Adedoyin, The Hon. T.A. Odutola and other palace Chiefs of the Awujale.
Finally, on January 9, 1952, the Akarigbo announced publicly at the send-off ceremony of the Hon. A.F. Richards that he (the Akarigbo) would henceforth, refrain from being involved in any public discord or battle. This Akarigbo became deceased on March 21, 1952. A memorial service was held for him on April 20, 1952. Shortly after his death, his son, Prince Adeleke made himself the Akarigbo, but was promptly removed by the people through an order of the court.