Iperu is the most centrally placed town in Remo division. Iperu is on a table land, hence, it has erosion problem. The Sagamu – Ibadan road which is a Federal road passed through Iperu. Iperu is about five Kilometres to Sagamu, which has a common boundary with it from the south. It is about three kilometres to Ogere which is a western boundary. It is about four kilometres to Ode Remo which is a northern boundary. Iperu land is already in close touch with Ode Remo township. It is about four kilometres to Ilisan, its eastern boundary. You cannot move a kilometre distance without reaching a human habitation among all the Iperu boundary mates. Iperu and its surrounding towns will come together as a unit town within a few years looking at the rate of extension and expansion of all the towns.
The thirty-three Remo traditional towns were located within few kilometres of one another from the beginning except Emuren. Iperu was sited on a plain ground, a table land. No other Remo town is located on a table land like Iperu.
There are several assertions as to the founding of Iperu. All the assertions have their merits and demerits. From the various assertions one can determine the one which is near accurate.
It is asserted that Iperu is an off – shoot of Ijebu Ode. The opinion of some historians about the Remo traditional towns was that Makun, Ogere, Iperu, Isara and Ode Remo have their genealogical attachment to Ijebu Ode.
The second assertion is that the founder of Iperu was a woman in the name of Akesan. Akesan was a woman traceable to have migrated from Oyo Alafin. The assertion further indicated that Akesan was a daughter of one of the Alafin of Oyo. Akesan was married to Ajagbe. They left Oyo and wandered unto the unknown until they reached the present site of Iperu and settled down. From several historical records, towns, town-lets, hamlets etc. were founded by men. In the case of Iperu, history had it that Iperu was founded by Akesan. In some Remo traditional towns thus founded, the new emigrants met people on the site, however few.
In the case of Iperu, it was not on record that Akesan and Ajagbe met any existing community at the site of their place of settlement. It was also not mentioned during the research work that Akesan and Ajagbe left Oyo with a group of people. Akesan and Ajagbe settled down at the present site called Iperu. People came one after the other and settled with them, thus the town of Iperu was founded.
In another historical assertion, the third, it was gathered that Akesan migrated out of Ile Ife with her husband, Ajagbe. They came to Oyo and settled down briefly. They later left Oyo for the unknown until they
got to the present site of Iperu and settled down. This assertion is at variance with the one which said that Akesan was a daughter to one of the Kings of Oyo.
In another historical assertion, the fourth, Iperu was said to have been an off shoot of another town in Remo. This is Epe of Sagamu community now. The historical foundation was not given to details of how Iperu was an off shoot of Epe which is part of Sagamu today.
The name Akesan is popular in the ruling house of Oyo as indicated by another information. There is a big market of ancient record in the history of Oyo. There is also a market in Iperu, the only market, and it is called Akesan Market.
History has it that when Akesan came to the present site, she settled where the present Akesan market is. History says Akesan was a trader selling boiled corn. One could raise the issue of some omission in the history. If Akesan was selling boiled corn, who were the purchasers or the customers? If she came only with Ajagbe her husband or that they met other people at the present site of Iperu as some other Remo towns like Ilisan, Ogere did, they settled with the aboriginal inhabitants.
Ajagbe, the husband of Akesan was a hunter and a farmer. Ajagbe and Akesan lived together at a quarter called Ijesu. Ijesu is a quarter in Iperu up till today. The first settled place, where the Akesan market is now, was where Akesan used as a selling spot, or a market place. The place has remained a market and it is named “Akesan market” after the founder.
From all the historical assertions about the originality of Iperu, the migration of Akesan and Ajagbe from Oyo Alafin stand best of all the several assertions. Akesan and Ajagbe are names that daily ring in Iperu ever since its formation. Any Iperu man or woman met outside Iperu is greeted Akesan baale Oja, alarala Ogbe de mu gbe de mu. They smile broadly to the statement.
This greeting showed the importance of Akesan in Iperu history. It is confirmed that Iperu is related to Ile Ife, Oyo, Ijebu Ode, and Epe in Sagamu by consanguinity traits and related to Lagos by religion. Eyo festival took off from Iperu and was taken to Lagos many years ago.
The time of settlement in Iperu cannot be confirmed as there were no written records. The current area associated with Remo of Ogun State was not void of people before Remo settlement. Remo towns and town-lets did not arrive at the same time. They arrived separately. It was asserted that a handful of people were met all over Remoland at the arrival of Remo people. The new arrivals settled with the earlier settlers. In essence the possibility of the existence of human habitation in Remo dated back to about 100 B.C.. The speciality in the settlement of Iperu is that history does not confirm Akesan coming to settle in the present day Iperu with a retinue of people or did it specifically indicate what people were met in the present Iperu site. However, the settling of Akesan at Iperu may be about the twelve or thirteenth century A.D.. This date is purely a guess and cannot be relied upon.
It is reasonable to talk about the derivative of the name of the town Iperu. It is necessary to inform the populace how the name IPERU came into being. All Yoruba names have meanings. The names are associated with one thing or the other. There are many assertions about the name IPERU. These are as follows:
1. Akesan was said to have settled at the present Akesan market where she sold cooked maize. It was said that there was a palm tree that had sunk close-by where she sat to sell her cooked maize. In essence there was a hole where the palm tree sank, meaning in Yoruba “ Ibiti ope ti ru”, the sentence was abridged to “IPERU”.
2. The second school of thought about the name “IPERU” was that there were plenty of palm-trees where and around the place where Akesan was selling her cooked maize. The place where there were plenty of palm-trees or the place where palm-trees flourished meaning in Yoruba “Ibi ti ope ru”. The sentence “Ibiti ope ru” was shortened to the word “IPERU”.
3. The third idea in the name IPERU was that Iperu was an offshoot of Epe in Sagamu. Epe in Sagamu is not a quarter but an independent town of itself. A chip off of Epe town moved out of Epe to develop another town. This can be compared with an establishment of a branch of a company in a new environment. The name of the company remains and only attached to the new location. From the town EPE, the name “IPERU” was coined. The Odu Ifa Iperu pointed out that Iperu will be greater than Epe. The possibility of Iperu being a chip off of Epe cannot therefore be ruled out.
4. The fourth idea about the name IPERU was quite different from the first three. It was said that Akesan the founder of Iperu has an earthen pot with which she cooked her boiled maize. One day, the bottom part of the pot caved in due to old age, this in Yoruba means “ape ru” The word “ape” in Remo dialect means “POT” and the word “RU” means caved-in. From the sentence “Ape ru”, the name of Iperu came into being “IPERU”.
From all the four assertions of the name IPERU one cannot confirm the most authentic or the most realistic. One can only argue which one is close to the actual meaning or name. The one about a sunk palm tree will not be truly correct as a palm tree has fibrous roots. The nature of fibrous roots cannot make a palm tree to sink. The last three cannot be defended as each of them are true to life. However, the town had been named and it has carried this name all along the centuries now. The town is “IPERU” and it is “IPERU” forever if the inhabitants are not ready to change the original name.
In Yoruba culture, one cannot lay hands on any adventure except it is rooted through Ifa, the god of palm nuts. Ifa is believed to guide the Yorubas in whatever they wanted to do. It informs them of the fate in
the future, in another word, it shows what the future has for the enquirer. It also indicates how to go by what one wants to do and how to embark on it. The Ifa potends good or bad omen depending on the Odu. The Yoruba man believes so much in the Ifa that whatever the Ifa prognosticates is taken hook, line and sinker. As the Yoruba man believes in the efficacy of prayers, so the Yoruba man believes in the pronouncements of the Ifa divination.
As it was done in other Yoruba practices, the founding of the town Iperu did not take place without consulting the Ifa oracle. The divination was done and the result was “Idi meji” The basic facts from “Idi meji” are fortune for the new town:
(a) that Iperu will be great. It will grow from a village into a big town.
(B) that she will not lack the support of God and man.
(c) that no enemy will suppress the town.
(d) that Iperu will be greater than Epe of Sagamu.
(e) that the Akesan market will never be deserted or desolate.
(f) Iperu community should relate with God and it will be prosperous.
It is very clear that other people from far and near came to Iperu
to settle. They settled and made Iperu their home. They settled permanently as the environment was conducive to their likings. The founders, the settlers, through the un-ending years of togetherness have become one family “Iperu indigenes”. The infusions of the founders and the settlers have made Iperu community a monolithic town.
Idarika and Idena are two different communities on their own and only related to Iperu through accommodation. Iperu as a town of its own stands out with its King and people and the Alaperu as its King.
There are over thirty separate quarters in Iperu as at the time of writing. These are Ilisa, Ijesu, Ejina, Amororo, Odoru, Ojubode, Iregun, Imobido, Jalugba, Itapara, Sewolu, Safetedo, Orubo, Lugoke etc.
It is asserted that a direct son of Akesan and Ajagbe took the leadership or Obaship of Iperu. This assertion is not ruled out, and surely the descendants of Ajagbe and Akesan should have been holding the reigns of leadership in Iperu administration ever since. Owing to family extensions, the various descendants of Ajagbe and Akesan have grown into such a large number of people, thereby creating different ruling houses. In Iperu, there are ruling houses that do not hail from Ajagbe and Akesan. These are Agbonmagbe and Mogunsen ruling houses. History stated that these Iperu ruling houses were settlers in Iperu at the early settlements. They were the exiled Egba people or Egba settlers. These two ruling houses should have been of princely family from Egbaland or war leaders and people of honour. The princely blood and their leadership traits led them to be well recognised in the Iperu Community. They eventually held leadership positions and finally they were led into holding ruling houses in Iperu.
In Iperu, there were five ruling houses at the initial stage. These are:
It was asserted that Agbonmagbe and Ewaye ruling houses are identical or, relatively, the same ruling house. They were fused into one so that the other ruling houses are not cheated. History about the Fibigbuwa ruling house was that the ruling house became extinct or ruled out of the ruling houses because of abomination. It is the custom of the Yoruba that if any person however highly placed died of certain diseases or crime, he has committed abomination. Such a person should not be buried in the town. Such a person cannot enjoy any funeral rites. The abomination happened when a son of Fibigbuwa was on the throne of Iperu. The reigning King died of smallpox and the common language then was that “the King has taken away the King”. “Oba ti mu oba lo.” It is asserted that smallpox is caused by Obaluwaye, one of the most dreaded of the Yoruba gods and goddesses. When the incident happened, the Fibigbuwa ruling house was axed, hence, it could not present any candidate to the Iperu Obaship stool.
Amororo ruling house took off from one of the settlers from Iperu. It was asserted that a prince from Osile in Egbeland migrated to Iperu and settled there. History says that the prince was very handsome and very amiable. He became an Oba and was known and called Mogunsen. At the point of his death he directed that one of sons should take up his title as Mogunsen, and another he told to take the title of Onimale. He gave the two of them the paraphernalia of office. The Mogunsen title was changed to Amororo in later years. The change came into existence because of an illness. It was asserted that the Mogunsen who was on the throne was taken ill, and was confined to bed for a long time. When he overcame the illness, the complexion changed into a yellow, fine body and the people commented that the King looked like crystal. From this change in complexion, the King was nick named “AMORORO.” Hence, the ruling title was changed from Mogunsen to Amororo. By this assertion, the Amororo ruling dynasty are settlers in Iperu. The dynasty is not from Ajagbe and Akesan descendants.
The Kings who had reigned in Iperu had numbered fourteen including the incumbent, His Royal Highness Oba A. A. Idowu Basibo JP. All the list of the reigning Obas are not available for the records, especially the early rulers.
In Yoruba history, some Obas took off from Ile Ife with crowns. These were not many compared with the number of Obas in Yorubaland. There are many Yoruba towns and town-lets with Obas without crowns. They are regarded as Obas of their communities. Development and civilization especially during the Colonial era uplifted some of the Obas. Fibigbuwa ruling house has been restored. The crowned Obas or the Traditional rulers bringing crowns from Ile-Ife started giving the Obas under their jurisdiction beaded crowns and coronets. The first Oba to wear beaded crown in Iperu was Oba Owokolade Obasibo Odoru IV. The beaded crown was presented to him by Oba Theophilous Adenuga Folagbade, the Awujale of Ijebu Ode vide letter Ref. No . 1/1/6/L/1926 dated March 22,1926. An amount of one thousand pounds was paid to the Awujale. The one thousand pounds paid to the Awujale was collected from the Iperu community.
Presently, there are four ruling houses in Iperu instead of the former five mentioned supra. The current ruling houses are:
Three ruling houses came to stay since February 4, 1958. Ewaye and Fibigbuwa issues had been discussed above explaining how they faded away from the Iperu ruling houses. Recently, Fibigbuwa ruling house was restored.
There are nine King makers in Iperu and they are as listed.
1. The Olisa of Iperu
2. The Oliwo of Iperu
3. The Apena of Iperu
4. The Jomu of Iperu
5. The Balogun of Iperu
6. The Seriki of Iperu
7. The Asiwaju of Iperu
8. The Ogbeni Odi of Iperu
9. The Oja of Iperu.
The nine King makers are grouped into three sections.
a. The Osugbo (1-4)
b. The Lopere (5-7)
c. The Odi (8 and 9)
The administration of Iperu before the Colonial days was not limited to the Obas only. The King, the Osugbo, the Pampa and Lopere group joined hands together in the administration of Iperu township. Listed hereunder are the Obas who reigned in Iperu whose names and periods are traceable.
1. Obasibo Odoru – ? – 1882
2. Okupe Agbonmagbe – 1882 – 1912
3. Sode Mekun – 1912 – 1916
4. Owokolade Odoru – 1917 – 1932
5. Soyebo – 1932 -1939
6. Abraham Olayinka Okupe – 1939 – 1976
7. Joseph Olutayo Ogunfowora – 1978 – 2002
8. A. A. Idowu Basibo – 31/3/2002 – Date
There were several war attacks against Remo by the Egbas, Dahomey, Oyo and Ijebu-Ode. Iperu had been, on several occasions, the centre of attraction and war base. Such wars were the Iperu war or Kutuje war. The Egbas attacked Iperu after the Ogere war of 1833. Iperu with the assistance of Ibadan repulsed the Egbas. The Egba and Oyo war-mongers attacked Iperu in 1862, this was called the Kutuje war and the combined soldiers were defeated. Ibadan warriors attacked Iperu in 1864 and they were defeated. One thing that was spectacular in the Yoruba internecine wars is that today Egba would come in aid of Iperu against Ibadan. At another time Ibadan will come in aid of Iperu against the Egbas etc. Iperu and Ibadan were at logger-heads during the Ijaye war, 1862 to 1864. Iperu was lucky in the sense that despite the series of attacks and sieges by the war mongers it was never sacked. Makun, Ogere, Ode Remo, Isara and Ipara were defeated in their different wars in which they participated. These series of wars that affected all the Remo towns affected some towns like Are, Eposo, Ogunmogbo and Egudu to the extent of deserting their aboriginal settlements up till today.
The religious practices in Iperu are not at variance with other Yoruba religious practices. They believe in the existence of a supreme God. They also believed in the lesser gods and goddesses, these are Esu, Ifa, Obatala, Yemaja, Sango, Ogun, Orisa Oko, Aje,Olokun, Oluweri, Obaluwaye etc. These gods and goddesses are propitiated as at when necessary by the community.
In the late nineteenth century, came the introduction of Christianity and Islam. Christian activities took off with the introduction of churches and schools. There were various religious sects such as the Anglican, Methodist, the African Bethel, the Catholic etc. and in very recent time a host of Pentecostal churches.
Islamic religion does not lag behind as this too was introduced since the early twentieth century. Its adherents are very many in Iperu. There is a Central Mosque and many other mosques scattering all over the township in almost all the various Iperu quarters.
The introduction of the Christian religion has made Iperu great. The school which came along with the Christian religion assisted many Iperu sons and daughters. As young children were sent to school, they imbibed Christian education. Very many sons and daughters of Iperu who passed through the schools are great men and women today. There are many of them who are globally renowned. Several of them are National figures, business tycoons and commercial entrepreneurs of importance all over the country.