HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF IKENNE REMO
IKENNE REMO is a local government area in Ogun state, Nigeria. Its headquarters is in the town of Ikenne at 6°52’N 3°43’E. Ikenne is a town after Sagamu and before Odogbolu and near Ilisan-Remo. It has an area of 144km2 and a population of 118,735 at the 2006 census. The Postal code of the area is 121. Ikenne Local Government as a whole is a semi-urban, comprising of five major towns namely Iperu, Ilisan, Ogere, Irolu and Ikenne, the headquarters. Ikenne Local Government Area is endowed with good Weather, typical of rainforest. The climate and geographical location of the Local Government Area is supportive of the wide range of economic activities such as agriculture, industrial and commercial activities and also one of the Thirty-Three Remo Traditional towns and town-lets. There are two communities in Ikenne Remo which are Ikenne and Idotun. The name Ikenne Remo embraces the two communities; however, the two communities are independent of each other. Ikenne is a few kilometers from Sagamu through the old Sagamu-Ijebu Ode road. Its Northern boundary is Odogbolu, the Capital of Odogbolu Local Government. Odogbolu is a few kilometres to Ikenne. Its Eastern boundary is Ayepe. To the West of Ikenne is Ilisan township. The Sagamu-Benin Express Road is the dividing line between Ikenne and Ilisan. Ikenne and Ilisan are almost the same community today if not for a little bush separation especially towards the Northern part. Around the De Labo Hotel of Ilisan and Ikenne there is no borderline as both towns have common boundary with the Sagamu – Benin Express Road. Within the next few years, Ikenne and Ilisan Township will have no serious dividing lines as buildings both right and left of the Sagamu-Benin Express Road would have been all in position.
Remo towns are so much adjacent to one another. They are all within short distances of one another except Emuren which is far away. Ilisan, Idotun and Ikenne are almost connected and strangers can have the belief that the three towns are one but indigenes know their boundaries and they can demarcate the three towns without hitch or hindrance. The surrounding towns are almost equidistant with an average of five kilometers. Ikenne is on a knoll. You descend the knoll while driving out of Ikenne on all sides and you climb the knoll while driving into Ikenne township. The knoll is a good advantage to Ikenne as it has very good drainage system. It cannot be compared with Iperu which is on a table-land and is affected by serious erosion problem. To the North of Ikenne is the Uren stream which serves the town with its drinking water. The Uren stream is very close to the Ikenne township. It is approached from many areas for the collection of their drinking water.
Almost all Remo towns claim their ancestral leanings to the ancient town of Ile Ife. Ikenne is not an exemption among the claimants. It is asserted that the founders of Ikenne came from Ile Ife. Research could not give the name or the names of the leaders that brought Ikenne Township into existence.There are varied assertions about the history of Ikenne as regards the origin, migration, partial settlement and final settlement. The various assertions should be looked into critically and one can deduce from the varied assertions the one that is suitable to hold if it stands the test of history. The present generations do not know when their ancestors came, settled and started the township developments. It is from the various assertions that we picked what we have as the history of the community. It is asserted that the present Ikenne, Irolu and Emuren took off together from Ile Ife at an unspecified year and time, but probably about 100 B. C.
SOCIAL AND POLICAL HISTORY OF IKENNE REMO
The social and polical history of Ikenne Remo by Messrs A. Akinsanya and Oyesanya Sofule” (1892 to 1960) has the following on the origin, migration and settlement of Ikenne. I quote:“The people of Ikenne came from Ile Ife. They first settled at Eesu where many houses were built. But because of war and incessant fire out-break, the people had to move away from the site otherwise known as Orule (Ikenne homestead). Ogbodo who was a Babalawo and Obara, a hunter had already settled on the present site of Ikenne. When the people of Ikenne left Orule, they passed the settlement in this place known as Yawa. Their settlement in this place was short-lived due to out-break of a deadly disease that claimed many lives, especially those of children. The people, therefore, decided to move and settle with Ogbodo who had been living happily without problem. They therefore moved from Yawa and settled at the third and present site very near Ogbodo. Ifa oracle was consulted by the people at Ogbodo’s hut and it spoke well of the place. Thereafter, the people decided to settle with Ogbodo”.
HISTORY OF SAINT SAVIOUR’S ANGLICAN CHURCH IKENNE REMO
A Comprehensive History of Saint Saviour’s Anglican Church Ikenne Remo by Chief John Olubanjo Soriyan has this on record. I quote.
(“When the Ikenne, Irolu and Emuren groups of immigrants reached the area later known as Irolu, they could not find the ingredients for existence and development to satisfy the three group as a whole at the place. Ikenne and Emuren groups moved out but the Irolu group stopped there to await the rest families before proceeding to meet their kith and kin, the Ikenne and Emuren immigrants. They pleaded among themselves, “E je k’a ro ara eni lu nibe k’a ra la bo won” meaning,’Let us collect ourselves together here before going to meet them”. When those expected eventually came, those waiting had temporarily settled down. They pleaded with the new arrivals to join them to settle down permanently there in the following words, “E je k’a juku ro lu si be” meaning” Let us just settle here together”. It was from the adverbial phrase “Ro lu”, (settle together) the town’s name was coined out.”)
The first and second assertion corroborated, Irolu, Ikenne and Emuren migrating together. The historical inaccuracies in the first and second assertion are that neither Irolu nor Emuren admitted migrating together with Ikenne. The leadership and routes of migration of Emuren were kilometres apart from that of Ikenne. There was no link in any form.
It is asserted that Ikenne took off from the ancient town of Ile Ife like many other Yoruba towns. In some cases, the leaders of the immigrants are mentioned when they are not out of their memories. The routes and stop overs are mentioned if they can be remembered. In the case of Ikenne, the leadership or the originators of their migration are not mentioned and there is the need to know them.
The Patriarchs must not be left out or forgotten. The Patriarchs, the time of movement from Ile Ife, the routes, the partial settlements are all left out until they got to the place now known as Irolu. More research work will unfold the missing points in the future.
The three communities, Irolu, Ikenne and Emuren according to the assertion were together up to the present site of Irolu. At the present site of Irolu, there was separation; Ikenne and Emuren continued together their migration exercise. The two communities, Ikenne and Emuren got to a place called ORITA -‘DO. Orita-Do is very close to the present site of the Mayflower School, Ikenne. Orita-Do is also not far from the Uren stream. The Ikenne people settled down. The name of the place where they settled was called Eesu. The Ikenne community settled down between Orita-Do and the Uren stream permanently for the first time as determined by their history and the place was called Eesu. The people abandoned Eesu their first permanent place of abode because of pestilential problems which claimed several lives of their people.
This plague caused the loss of several lives among the two communities, for fear of total annihilation the Ikenne group packed their belongings and crossed the Uren river to the present site of Ikenne. Here they came across a large extensive land overgrown with tall grasses called “Iken”. They settled down and abandoned Eesu. They named the new settlement Yawa. The Eesu settlement is now a farmland.
The Emuren group seeing the attitude of their people of Ikenne also moved out of Eesu. They did not follow the Ikenne people but wandered into the unknown until they came to the present Emuren site and settled down. This is at variance with Emuren history.
The Ikenne people were comfortable at their new settlement called Yawa. The long grass “Iken” was very good for feeding their goats and sheep. The land was good for arable cultivation. Not quite long, the plague that drove them out of Eesu surfaced again claiming the lives of the people.
The epidemic forced them to look for another alternative site. Hence, they sited a place which had been occupied by an Ifa priest in the name of Ogbodo, and his people. Ogbodo consulted his Ifa digits, he interpreted the Odu Ifa which is Eturupon Balufon. There was good omen, hence, the Ikenne community moved out of Yawa to co-exist with Ogbodo and his people. The Ikenne people and the aboriginal inhabitants fused together as a single community in the traditional name “IKENNE”. Another historical assertion says that Ogbodo and Obara were members of the Ikenne group from Ile Ife, however, may be there was settlement separation after arriving at Eesu.
The Ikenne community did not take a name until they settled down at the present site of Ikenne. The name Ikenne was derived from the word “Iken” meaning “We have plenty of Iken” In all indications, all Remo towns and town-lets did not take off from Ile Ife with a name. Their names were derived from prevailing situations and circumstances where they settle in Remoland.
In Remo central towns, there are eight towns. Only Ogere starts its name with the letter “O”, all the other towns take off with letter “I”. Explanation was sought for these names but unfortunately nobody was competent enough to explain why these towns, Idena, Idarika, Iperu, Ilisan, Irolu, Idotun and Ikenne take off with the letter “I”.
There are certain peculiarities among all the individual Remo towns. Unfortunately today, there are no elders or historians to explain all the peculiarities and show how and why they are like that to the current generation. Perhaps it was because they all hailed from the same quarter in Ile – Ife.
There is the usual discussion that there are two communities in Ikenne, Ikenne and Idotun. It must be highlighted that there is another community in Ikenne that people do not recognise or know. This is a part of Oko community of Sagamu. When Oko community was moving to Sagamu, only two third of the community left for Sagamu. The remaining third moved to Ikenne and co-exist with them. This is known to only very few people. The Oko people in Ikenne do not show themselves as a community. They acted in line with Ilara, Egudu, Iworu of Ilisan. Oko exists in Ikenne but as they do not pronounce themselves as a community, it is not my duty to publicise the Oko people there. The only historical fact is that there are people that are of Oko descendants in Ikenne. One of the ruling houses of Oko in Sagamu is from the part of the Oko community of Ikenne. The current Aminisan of Oko is from the Ikenne Oko group. The issue of selecting an Oba for Oko community of Sagamu is not surprising. Batoro of Sagamu has a ruling house in Ikorodu and whenever it is their turn to be on the throne, the Oba – elect moves to Sagamu for his royal appointment.
Ikenne and Idotun co-exist together. If you were anywhere outside Ikenne, you talk about Ikenne not minding that there are two communities there. There is nothing extra-ordinary in this since Sagamu with its thirteen traditional communities is regarded as one community outside and inside the township except on special cases. Many traditional and communal activities are done together in Ikenne. There is the Ikenne Development Association (I.D.A) an umbilical cord which binds every member of the Ikenne community together. The human resources in Ikenne are equally regarded as one. The whole community is administered together in a unit form. This gives a rapid extension and expansion of the community.
The Ikenne people are skilled crafts men. This is because the land use in Ikenne is very small. They do not have large span of land like some other Remo towns. In actual fact Ikenne is not the only town in Remo that do not have large span of land, Iperu, Idena, Idarika, Ode Remo, Iraye, Eposo, Ogunmogbo, Are and Ilisan are in the same boat. Many of the Ikenne people of old were skilled craftsmen. The small resources of land available to them was well utilized. They were known very well for cocoyams and groundnuts.
ECONOMIC, EDUCATIONAL, PERSONALITY AND EVENT IN IKENNE REMO
The Ikenne Local Government host many industrial / commercial establishments which include Ona’s pure water company, Ona’s foam and mattress, Babakawo computer and internet services, channel one beer parlor, A to Z beer parlor, Sky Entertainment, Twins Berger, Dee Brother and Ariya to name a few, while agriculture and allied activities also contribute the most important economy activities of the people living in Ikenne Remo some of the government and private company that are into agric business are as follows IART, Agro service, IITA, master meat, Amco farm and Kola agroproduct etc there service include planting of food crop like maize, cassava, melon and cash crop like kolanut, oil palm trees, rubber, timber and also selling of fertilizers, manual and chemical for killing weeds on the farms.
Different type of livestock are also reared this include cow, goat, chicken, turkey, snail, pig etc. Ikenne is also knows for its educational values starting from primary to tertiary level.
This school includes O and A primary and secondary school, Mayflower primary school, Mayflower Junior and senior school, community junior and secondary school, Ogun state model school, Olabisi Onabanjo School of health science ,Classic Computer school, Babakawo Computer Engineering and Internet Service Limited, Faith More Computer School etc. Also Ikenne is known to be the origin of some powerful and highly place personality in the country.
This person include Late Chief Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo, Kehinde Sofola (Senior Advocate of Nigeria), H.I.D Awolowo, Doctor Adewale Ayuba (musician) etc to name a few. Ikenne has Ikenne Development Association committees and youth president who is Tomiwa and the pass one is Morris, The Team take active work towards the development of the youth and the community in general. Ikenne is known to celebrate the annual EREKE fiesta which comes up with a lot of activity such like dancing completion, marathon race, beauty pageant and so much more.