Ode Remo

Alaiye Ode was one of the children of Awujale Geje. He was a sibling to the Onibeju of Ibeju. It was recorded in history that one of the Alaiye of Ode, by the name Oshinloye, was accused of murder in 1902 and was found guilty by the Sagamu court and fined £150. After Osinloye, Dipeolu became king, but was dethroned in 1928 with the charge that he opened the doors of his palace and made negative remarks about the town masquerades (Oloro).

History of Ode Remo

The people of Ode Remo originated from Ile-Ife, the cradle of the Yorubas. Specifically, they came from Ilode and Iremo quarters of the ancient city of Ile-Ife. They migrated through thick forest, rivers and streams until they got to a point at the Ijebu Waterside where the people attempted to settle, that place is now known as “Ode Omi”. However, the oracle which was the guide, directed them to move on until the people reach the present day site where they settled. Having migrated from Ilode and Iremo quarters of Ile-Ife, the two names were interchangeably used until the present name Ode Remo became permanent as the name of this historical town.

The story of the migration from Ile-Ife has been passed on from generation to generation by our ancestors but the origin of this town from Ile-Ife has now been confirmed by Dr. M. A. Fabunmi the Odole-Atobase of Ile-Ife in his book on the city of Ife.    

The founders of Ode Remo and Makun were said to be brothers who left Ile-Ife with their people together. They both settled first at the Ijebu Waterside. While the settlement of the first brother is now known as “Ode Omi”, that of the other brother is called “Makun Omi”. It is generally known and believed that Ode Remo and Makun were founded by the two brothers on the same day. In this area, we usually say in Yoruba “ijo ti a da Ode l’ada Makun” – meaning that “Makun was founded on the same day Ode was founded”. There has always been great affinity and kinship between the peoples of Ode Remo and Makun, especially between the Alaye Ode and Ewusi of Makun who are the children of Obaruwa-Muda, Ekewa-Olu of Ijebu-Ode. There was no town or entity called Sagamu at this time but there were towns like Ofin, Makun, Soyindo, Batoro, Ijokun, Ado, Ibido, Ijagba which shifted their bases and later formed Sagamu in 1872.  

Concerning Ode Remo, it must be noted that the Nloku of Iraye (an Oba in his own right) and his people first settled in the area. They came from Iraye Quarters of Ife. He and the Olode agreed to move nearer to each other to form one town. Originally, the land area of Ode Remo extended to the frontage of the former Odemo of Isara, Oba Samuel Akinsanya, but the 1936 boundary adjustment shifted the boundary between Ode Remo and Isara to a little spot beyond the Lakoro Hill, to the extent that the land on which St. John’s Church stand today and the Veterinary Office which is now the Divisional Police Office at Isara previously belonged to Ode Remo. Even in the time of Oba Samuel Akinsanya, it was the “Osugbo” Ode from Nloku of Iraye that performed funeral rites for dead residents of this area because the people on that side were then regarded as Ode Remo people. The 1936 boundary adjustment, however, used the “Apowo” and Lakoro” streams as the dividing line. This is the present official position of the boundary between Ode Remo and Isara. The people of the two towns being kiths and kins, Isara people can now be found building and living on portions of land traditionally belonging to Ode Remo.  

While the Nloku of Iraye has retained his traditional title from immemorial, the traditional rulers at Ode Remo bore the title of Olode for a long time until the 17th century A.D. when Obaruwa-Muda (the 10th Oba of Ijebu-Ode) came to camp at Ode Remo. He was known as “Ekewa Olu” and he stayed many years at Ode Remo, bearing many children. He planted an “Akoko” tree and ordered that the leaves be placed on his children when being installed as Oba. From this time, the title of Oba changed to “Alaye-Ode” of Ode Remo, as decreed by Obaruwa-Muda ,Ekewa Olu and all traditional rulers bearing the title Alaye-Ode are generally referred to as the children of Ekewa-Olu (Omo Ekewa Olu).  

It must also be noted that the 11th Alaye-Ode, Oba Reson was from the Sataloye line but when he ascended the throne in 1845 he adopted the personal appellation of “Aniunleru bi Oyinbo”. His son Oba Osinloye, while adopting the appellation “Afesogboye” retained the appellation of his father and ruled as “Aniunleru II” from 186. As a result, the 1958 Chieftaincy Declaration of the defunct Western Region, acknowledging the rights of both Sataloye and Aniuleru families, fused the two of them together as Sataloye/Aniuleru Ruling House, from where the former Alaye-Ode, Oba Funsho Adeolu emerged as Sataloye II. If this Ruling House has retained Sataloye without interruption, Ode Remo should now be having Sataloye IV on the throne. 

Before the year 1939, the Alaye-Ode had always been independent of Akarigbo, who was then known as the Akarigbo of Sagamu but in that year the Martindale Report which recommended the creation of the old Ijebu Remo Native Administration was implemented. Because of the special status of Alaye-Ode, the implementation of the report on the creation of the Native Administration could not be achieved without the consent of Alaye-Ode of Ode Remo. The then Akarigbo, Oba Williams Adedoyin worked strenuously to obtain this consent from the Alaye-Ode and that of Ewusi of Makun whose consent was also necessary. The meticulous and painstaking Oba Williams Adedoyin worked through Rev. W. F. Mellor to achieve this aim, since all the three Obas were great Methodist under the religious guidance and influence of the great Methodist Minister (please refer to “Baba Mellor“ by Rev. Olusola).   

On the inception of the old Ijebu Remo Native Administration, the Akarigbo became Chairman of the Council and the Alaye-Ode, Oba Joseph Adesanya Adeosin became the Deputy Chairman. The Akarigbo from then on became the Akarigbo of Ijebu Remo to enhance his status.  

Before the advent of politics in Nigeria, Ode Remo contributed significantly to the social, cultural, educational and economic development of Remo land. Apart from Sagamu, Ode Remo served as Headquarters for Native Administration, Police, Native Court and Medical Centre. It was also the seat of education for all the neighbouring towns and villages. Significantly, Ode Remo in the past had the only private Grammar School which was the only post-primary Institution in the whole of the old Ijebu Province.  

The Institution, LAHUSI Grammar School, Ode Remo was established by our indefatigable, illustrious and highly foresighted father, the late Rev. D.O. Epega. It was the first attempt at establishing a privately-run Grammar School. It is on record that graduates of the defunct LAHUSI Grammar School included late Otunba Ade Tuyon and the late Prince Odufunmilade both of Ijebu-Ode; late Mr. M. O. Awolesi of Ode Remo; and the late Akarigbo of Remo, Oba M. S. Awolesi. It was the same Rev. Epega, a great educationist and traditionalist, who had the foresight and inspiration of compiling the History of Ijebuland (“Iwe Itan Ijebu”) in 1919. This little book became an acclaimed authority on the History of Ijebuland.