Ipara-Remo

Ipara is in the northern part of Remo Division. You approach Ipara town from Saapade. It is a one road town. This is the old Federal road from Lagos – Sagamu – Ode Remo and from Saapade to Ipara. Ipara has boundary with Fidiwo a town-let in Obafemi Owode Local Government in the north. In the South-east, it has boundary with Isara and Ode-Remo. In the West, it has boundary with Obafemi – Owode farm-land with villages. Before the Lagos  Ibadan Express Road was constructed, Ipara was a port of rest for vehicles travelling long distances to Ibadan and the far North.

Ipara was particularly a business centre then for it was very popular for its good palm-wine and bush meat. The drivers enjoyed their stay in Ipara then. The present Lagos-Ibadan Express road is not in favour of Ipara as regards its position and trade. Ipara is a gateway town to Remo Division. It has served as a gateway town from its foundation.

Ipara Remo was founded at the Northern part of the division. It served as a boundary town in the Remo North, or a gateway to the division. The founder of Ipara Remo in the early part of the history of the Yoruba people was called Oguola. Oguola lived in Ile-Ife. It is asserted that he was of Royal blood. It was not confirmed who were his parents. It was believed that Oguola left Ile-Ife with his wife Iroye about 12 A.D. which is about two thousand years ago. It was believed  that he left Ile-Ife as a married young man. There were no children for the marriage before he left Ile-Ife. Oguola was said to be a great hunter and a ruthless warrior. He wandered through jungles from Ile-Ife through Apomu, Ikire and passed through the land now known and called Ibadan. He continued south to reach the present site of Ipara where he settled down.

From this settlement, Oguola started rearing children. History said other people joined Oguola at this settlement and the settlement started growing gradually and a village took- off. It was believed that Oguola left Ile-Ife with a beaded crown, a crown with sixteen birds. This confirmed his blood relationship to the royal throne. Oguola became the first leader of the new settlement.

The early settlement of Ipara took- off without a name attached to it but gradually a name came into existence. The settlement was called Ipara-IPARA. History said Oguola had a long sword, the sheath was made of bamboo. Oguola as a hunter went on hunting expedition which at times took long time before coming back to the Ipara settlement. There was a time he went on his hunting trip and he did not come back in time. At the time of his arrival to the settlement, the sheath of his sword which was a bamboo had got rotten with time. Termites had done the sheath very good work leaving only their earth work. He remarked thus: Opa-ra. This meant that the bamboo sheath had rotten or eaten up by the termites. The name of the settlement was taken from “Opa ra” and IPARA became the name of the settlement.

There are records of feats that worth mentioning in the history of Ipara. Oguola the founder and the father of Ipara people was a warrior of no small means. History says he was never defeated in any war he took part in. He was even hired by other Yoruba warriors to assist them as a paid warrior. After the demise of Oguola, there were many men of valour in Ipara and mention must be made of Balogun Keere, alias Ogbo ri Olori ka ri. Keere was a great warrior during the Yoruba internecine wars. He participated in the Ijaiye war, the Owiwi war, and the Egba wars with Remo people. He was not just an ordinary warrior. He had affinity for wars and this made him to be hired by other neighbouring Yoruba towns like Ibadan, Oyo, Ijesa etc. to help in their various internecine wars. Keere was so powerful in Juju that if he was beheaded in the battle, he would pick whichever head near him and put it where his own head was severed. After the battle he would look for his own original head and replaced it. This was why he was called “O GB’ ORI OLORI KA RI” meaning, someone who puts another man’s head on his neck.

Keere had the power to command the mother-earth to open up, create a vacuum, and in this vacuum he would ask the Ipara people to enter for protection from attackers. (The people went into the vacuum, and Keere would command the vacuum to close up and the people were saved . At the close of the war, Keere will command the mother earth to open and the Ipara people who were kept inside would come out all safe and sound). The site where this feat took place in Ipara town is still recognised by the Ipara people till today. It is very necessary for the Ipara Community to make the site a tourist centre instead of the shopping complex built on the site. The site where the Ipara people were kept under the mother earth is called OLODORU in Ipara township today.

Oguola’s wife, Iroye, was not forgotten in the Ipara Community. She was fondly remembered by the Ipara people and this brought a cognomen for the people of Ipara – “IPARA, OMO IROYE, IBITI IRO NYE NI, TI IKA NGBE ENIA.” Iroye the wife of Oguola assisted the Ipara people whenever there was war. Iroye would prepare bean cakes (AKARA) and carried the bean cakes for sale to the attacking soldiers’ camp. Any soldier who bought the bean cake and ate them was as dead as the frozen fish. The attacking soldiers were reduced in numerical strength and got demoralised. The Ipara soldiers would attack and send them away in disarray.

The settlement grew steadily because Oguola was a warrior. He often brought war captives to his settlement. He did not enslave them. The war captives joined the existing Ipara people and boosted the population. Some Egbas who were war-troubled found Ipara a comfortable place to settle without any molestation. They were added to the population.

There is a river in Ipara with magical powers. It is called Odo Lisa (Lisa’s river). The river is propitiated annually. The peculiarity of the river at the annual libation is that the actual ritual materials are never taken to the river side. At the river side, the river is called, adoration given, the river then sends out all the ritual materials by itself one after the other for the libation. The Chief priest and his colleagues collect the ritual materials and use them to perform the necessary annual rituals. This is an annual event at Ipara.

Babanle is one of the gods in Ipara being accorded an annual worship. It was the god that appears to the people annually when it is being propitiated at its shrine. Ipara elders said the front and the back of this god looks the same. It only appears during that night when it is being worshipped. It was said that the god presents gifts of sheep and goats to people at will. The shrine of the god is right inside Ipara town very close to the Police Station.

There is a place in Ipara called “IPARUFU”  (a place where there is plenty of sand). It is asserted that the place called “IPARUFU” was holding the lagoon in the olden days. The lagoon was sent away through incantations but the sand continues to exist unabated.      Ipara has a large span of land, hence, there are fourteen prominent villages under the Onipara. These fourteen villages have Baales as their heads. The Baales are responsible to the Onipara of Ipara. History had it that some of the fourteen  village Baales were brought from the villages to rule as the Onipara of Ipara.

History had it that there had been twenty-five reigning Kings or Baales in Ipara numbering them from the founder, Oguola. The current Onipara of Ipara, Oba Fatai Adedisa Sorinola is the twenty fifth on the throne of Ipara. There were nineteen rulers without any written records. Their history and records were from oral tradition. The other Kings from the twentieth up to date have clear records.

As at today, there are four ruling houses in Ipara. They are as follows:

(a)          Adumari Apekunjoye              (b)  Olumasa       (c)  Amororo            (d)Agbagunote

There are twelve King makers and these are as follows:

(i)            The Osugbo group:

1.          The Oluwo (Oliwo)

2.          The Apena

3.          The Olotu Iwarefa

4.          One member chosen from the Osugbo

(ii)           The Odi group:

5.          The Ogbeni Odi                     6.Ekeji Ogbeni Odi                         7. The Asipa Odi                         8.Ekeji Asipa Odi

(iii)          The Eno group:

9. Olotu Eno                  10.Ekeji Olotu Eno                 11. Asipa Eno           12. Ekeji Asipa Eno

Listed below are the leaders, Baales and Kings that led Ipara Community since inception.

1. Oguola- the founder                2. Alakuro         3.Likosi         4. Onitesi        5. Lasore       6.Onigboku       7. Oloroku             8. Alasan           9. Onisamo        10. Gbasemo            11. Agbowosuna               12.  Alakefa     13. Eleredo       14. Oloroki         15. Onikitimbi           16. Alagira              17. Lasore          18.Agboguote I            19. Keresunwon I

20. Adumati I  1780 – 1812  (32 years)

21.          Olumasa I  1814 – 1879  (65 years)

22.          Amororo I  1881 – 1913 (32 years)

23.          Keresunwon II  1916 – 1944 (28years)

24.          Adumati II  1945 – 14/6/1993 (48 years)

25.          Olumasa II  18/9/2001 to date

There were periods of interregnums however short.

The prominent quarters and compounds in Ipara are the following:-

1. Itun Igodo           2. Itun Sepe              3. Itun Karo        4. Itun Ejina            5. Itun Ijabata        6. Itun Iraye       7. Keresunwon compound

The Ipara Community took off with the Yoruba traditional religion. This was in line with any other Remo town. There is the worship of various gods and goddesses of the Yorubas such as Oro, Eluku, eegun, Agemo, Olomolu, Ogun, Yemoja, Obatala etc. During the last decade of the nineteenth century came the introduction of Christianity and Islam into Ipara. The first Mission was the C.M.S., this was followed by the Methodist. Islam came last.

Holy Trinity Anglican Church Ipara-In 1893, a group of converts started going to Iperu for their Sunday services and other church activities. They were Ogunbelu, Akinwunmi, Ogunbiyi, Ajayi, Onasile, Ewusi, Sekere and Akinsanya. These people were converted outside Ipara township. They started the first ever Anglican church and church services in Ogunbelu’s bamboo house. Sekere who was also a member of convert worshipping in Ogunbelu’s bamboo house assisted in getting the church a land. The first ever church in Ipara, The Holy Trinity Anglican church, was built. The members continued to multiply.

The first school in Ipara started in 1908 and the first teacher was Mr Owolaja, a native of Ogere Remo.Messers Adesoro and Famade came next.

Methodist Church Ipara – The pioneers of Methodism in Ipara were Onasile, Ajayi, Olasubiaro, Somi and Madam Ewusi. They became Christians through Ode Remo Methodist church in 1893. The converts met stiff opposition from the Osugbo and Ogboni members but they persevered. The present site of Ipara Methodist church was requested and given to the members. They built their first church there and continued to multiply. The church served as the school before it was separated. The first Baba Ijo of the church was Chief Abraham Ifekoya Onasile one of the first adherents. The first Iya Ijo was Mrs. Otunwobi Bammeke.

Islamic Religion in Ipara – The Islamic religion was introduced into Ipara by three people:

(a)          Sanni Lawal, a native of Abeokuta

(b)          Suberu, a native of Ilorin and

(c)           Sule, a native of Ado-Odo.

The date when Islam started in Ipara could not be remembered. The first adherents were Agbaje, Shittu Oshiname etc. Sanni Lawal was the first Chief Imam. Quranic school was introduced. The first mosque was built at Itun Iraye, it was a booth. The present mosque was built at Oke Aro near the Ipara market. The current Chief Imam is Alhaji Ashiru Mustapha. The first Alhaji in Ipara was Alhaji Kelani Sadiku.

Education – It was usual with the Christian Missionaries to introduce the school along with the church in order to make meaningful Christian converts. The church gave the Ipara children ample opportunities to go to school and imbibe Western Education. The Local Authority added its own school to the existing ones in1955. The two Mission schools were united by Rev. W. F. Mellor to become Ipara United Primary School. There is the Ipara Community High School. There are Private Nursery and Primary Schools in Ipara and there is also a private Secondary School.

From these schools, Ipara has been placed on a high pedestal through many of their children on National and International levels.

The Remo gateway town is extending left, right and centre. Ipara is a peaceful community.

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