1855 photo of Ijebu town of Ipara
Gateway to Remo Ijebu town of Ipara shown in a c. 1855 drawing here was a port of rest for vehicles travelling to Ibadan and far north before the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. Photo: Church Mission of Gleaver

Remo is a geographical and cultural division in Ogun state situated between Lagos and Ibadan. The Remo towns, traditionally thirty-three, were part of the Ijebu kingdom with capital in Ijebu-Ode where control over external affairs of the entire kingdom lay. The identity that they shared had been reinforced when they coalesced during the nineteenth century disturbance of the Yoruba territory, to form composite towns for defense purposes. Two years after Ijebu territory lost its independence to the British, in 1894, Remo was politically detached from the rest of Ijebu. Sagamu, Ilisan, Aiyepe, Ilara, Ikenne, Iperu, are all Remo towns.

Under Justice Martindale, an official inquiry was launched to determine the status of the area as related to Ijebu. The inquiry was favorable to claims for independence and Remo received its own native administration in 1938 as a District within Ijebu province. A District officer was stationed near the Akarigbo’s palace in Sagamu, where meetings of the Native Administration Council were held. Remo obtained its own treasury but continued to pay £400 annually as a contribution to Awujale of Ijebu’s stipend. It is alleged that the Remo reintegration into Ijebu was as a result of the need to subsidize colonial projects in Ijebu Ode by inclusion of Remo taxpayers in the financial structure of the province. Many Remo leader filed behind their king, Akarigbo Christopher Adedoyin in the struggle for independence, because of this charge.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer