William Christopher Adedoyin

William Christopher Adedoyin born in 1881, was the Akarigbo of Ijebu-Remo from 1916 to 1952. Adedoyin adopted the name of the first indigenous Nigerian lawyer, Christopher Sapara William, under whom he worked in his youth as a clerk. He was educated in Wesley School, Sagamu, from 1896 to 1899. Relocating to Lagos in search of modern life, Adedoyin learnt tailoring and also became a public writer. From 1905, he served as clerk to who would be his deposed predecessor, Oyebajo. Adedoyin became Akarigbo in the time when Remo’s unity with the Lagos Colony was just terminated, with the province returned to Ijebu.

In March, 1917 Adedoyin proceeded against popular feeling in his realm to Ijebu Ode for the Judicial Council inaugural meeting, signaling his acceptance of the merger of his Ijebu Remo to the rest of Ijebu. This decision will later appear to be half-hearted and a wise move to avoid hostility. His subsequent advocacy for an independent Remo initially attracted only little accolade from his people and definitely none from the British colonists.

From the early days of the Ijebu Native administration, Akarigbo Adedoyin had made endless futile requests for attention to be paid to the road that should pass through his Remo. This formed part of the indictment against the Ijebu central government for which Martindale in 1937 recommended the establishment of an Ijebu Remo Native Authority, which would be completely independent of Ijebu Ode, under the Akarigbo’s presidency.

Adedoyin’s leadership was regarded to be effective and persistent. In his time, ‘macadamized’ roads were constructed in Ijebu Remo with four-wheeled vehicle having footstep to the area. Oro festival was also eradicated. Akarigbo Adedoyin displayed considerable ingenuity in his scheme for making Sagamu an important center. He died in 1952.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer