Akarigbo

The Akarigbo of Ijebu-Remo at a conference of chiefs of the Western Provinces at Mapo Hall.
1943- The Akarigbo of Ijebu-Remo arrives at Ibadan, Nigeria, for a conference of chiefs of the Western Provinces, held at Mapo Hall. Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

Akarigbo is the paramount ruler of the Remo people, who traditionally ruled his own session of Ijebuland on behalf of the Awujale. Originally, the Akarigbo’s authority was limited to Ofen (now Ofin), one of the Sagamu twelve communities, which in turn was one of the Remo towns, west of Ijebu, that coalesced during the nineteenth century as a result of the Yoruba civil war, to form composite towns for defense purposes. The Akarigbo enjoyed the status of primus inter pares among the rulers of Ijebu-Remo. The title grew in importance in the time of Oyebajo who started to exercise his own authority in his area. Following an official inquiry, Christopher Adedoyin’s claim for paramountcy in Remo was established. After Adedoyin’s death in 1952, Obafemi Awolowo, the emerging Yoruba leader, supported the installation of his party, Action Group member, Awolesi, as the new Akarigbo of Ofin, thereby trading the resentment reserved for this ruler by some Remo towns for political comradeship, Awolesi now being seen as representing their party political views.