Iperu Remo is one of the ancient towns in Ogun State, Nigeria; founded by a woman called Akesan, a settler from Ife. Iperu Remo, has a unique tradition of governance. Fifty years ago, the traditional ruler, Alaperu, and by extension the ruling houses got government approval as a recognised ruler in the Western Region. Today, the community noted for peace making remains peaceful in spite of its diverse and growing population. REMI AMELE spoke with Ambassador Segun Olusola, a chief from Iperu on the socio-cultural significance of the Alaperu.
What is the socio-cultural significance of Alaperu?
It looks very simple. Iperu was derived from the nature of the place where the first settler had her abode. Akesan was reported to have settled at a place where a palm-tree got sunk into the ground. The interpretation of it in Yoruba ‘Ibiti ti Ope ti ru’ Ope, meaning, where the palm-tree has sunk or “where a palm-tree bore a hole into the ground.”
From “Ibi Ti Ope Ti Ru, it became Operu until it took the present name Iperu. That was many years ago. Iperu has other communities within Iperu, Ilobido, Ilisha and many more.
What is the lineage like?
I know that there are at least three ruling houses. The Alaperu of Iperu Chieftaincy title was approved on 4
thFebruary, 1958. This approval finally confirmed the number of the ruling houses to three namely: Agbonmagbe, Amororo and Odoru. “According to a story by the late Oba Abraham Olayimika Okupe, the first Oba to reign in Iperu hailed from present Oba Joseph Olutayo Ogunfowora Amororo House. ( published in the pamphlet issued on the 16th December, 1978.
What about succession to the throne, is it by promotion ?
No, anybody cannot be Alaperu of Iperu. You’ve got to be a member of the ruling houses. In that household, the rule of succession would be primogeniture, i.e through only male successors. In later years, it would be male children born when the previous monarch was still on the throne, as an Abidagba. However, there are three ruling houses. They are still there. When it is the turn of ‘A’ ruling house, that ruling house will present their choice candidate.
The succession pattern in Iperu is very orderly, I know that the last time the present Oba came on throne there was no struggle at all because it was obvious that it was the turn of his lineage. As a matter of fact, one of the key princes who in normal circumstances could have been put forward to be an Oba, became the Baba Oba..
What is the place of Iperu Remo in Ogun State?
Iperu Remo is the physical geographical centre of Remo 33 communities. It has always occupied the place of settlers of quarrel; the peace makers. From the moment we were born, we discovered that the elders of Iperu and the peace makers occupied a very significant part of Remo community. You can find out the Place of Iperu Remo through the Irekefe commission of inquiry, the place of Iperu Remo in the configuration of what place should be the headquarters of Ogun State.
What is the historical evolution of Iperu Remo?
The town now known as and called Iperu was founded many years ago. It may be about the thirteenth or fourteenth Century ago. Akesan is the founding mother of Iperu. A woman who had travelled vast kingdoms, beginning from Ile-Ife settled at a place where Akesan market is now situated. It is the only institution in Iperu that unites the people. On the other hand, Akesan was also supposed to have been a princess of Oyo, she being a daughter of Alafin. It might be plausible to reconcile the divergence revealed in this origin of Akesan by saying that Akesan was a sister of Alafin whose origin might be traceable to Ile-Ife.
We talk about Iperu Remo and all the original 33 villages that surround Remo. Remo is the name giving to these founding communities. We call it Remo metalelogbon. Those days we had Iperu, Ilishan, Ilara. It was inevitable that one federation was expanded to include the other federation and we now have 33 communities forming Remo. What we call ‘Remo metalelogbon’ consists of Iperu and other Remo places, Shagamu and the settling communities of Shagamu. All of that is now what we call Remo metalelogbon.
Iperu is one of the principal members of those 33 communities.