Isara is built round a range of hills bounded by beautiful ridges and scenery. The set-up position confers several advantages on the town. Isara is on a knoll. Being on a knoll, it has the best natural advantage
of a drainage system which other towns lack. Isara is not affected with erosion. The best naturally blessed town like Isara is Akaka. The geological structure of Akaka makes it a watershed from which many perennial rivulets and streams are in existence. Isara is not a watershed like Akaka.
Isara western and northern boundaries are Akaka, Ode Remo and Ipara. It has boundaries with Ago-Iwoye, Ijebu North Local Government. It also has boundaries with Orile-Oko and Obafemi-Owode Local Government. Isara can boast of over one hundred villages. Isara people are seasoned farmers and this is because they have a large span of land stretching over thirty kilometres. In population, Isara comes next to Sagamu despite the fact that it is not a federated town.
The founder of Isara Remo was Adeyemo Ode-Omo. The other name ascribed to the same person was Adeyemi Ade-Omo. Whichever name that is adopted, history of Isara is pointing to the same person. I am making use of Adeyemo Ode-Omo not Adeyemi Ade-Omo, the name is referring to the founder of Isara. Adeyemo Ode-Omo was an Ife prince, a descendant of Oni Osikanlu. He was the founder of Isara Remo, a town north of Remo division. The historical assertion says that Adeyemo Ode-Omo was a hunter from his youth. He had his hunting exercises first around the areas now known as Modakeke, Ipetumodu and Edun-Abon. Adeyemo Ode-Omo as an adept hunter had good kills. To evacuate his kills, he made use of an Ifa priest whose name was Ise-Orunmila. Ise-Orunmila was from Ilase quarters of Ile Ife. Adeyemo Ode-Omo also made use of another man who was efficient with the use of charms. His name was Ara. Ara was wise and very intelligent. He was popularly known and called Aramfe. The name was abridged to ARA.
It was the usual behaviour of Adeyemo to ask his Ifa priest to talk with the Ifa in whatever action he wanted to take. The Ifa responded and the Ifa digits were read and interpreted to Adeyemo. Whatever the Ifa says, Adeyemo adheres very strictly to the interpretation.
There was a day Adeyemo Ode-Omo wanted to go a hunting. He called his Ifa priest’s attention to his hunting intention. Ise the Ifa priest divined the movement. The Ifa digits were read and interpreted. The message of the Ifa was that Adeyemo Ode-Omo has a long journey before him and this long journey would lead him to a new land. Adeyemo Ode-Omo being a very courageous man told his Ifa priest to prepare for the journey predicted by the Ifa immediately. He called on his people and told them about the new development. He told them to get ready for the journey. Within a short time, Adeyemo Ode-Omo left Ile Ife with his family, his Ifa priest, Ise, and his juju man, Ara. The small group under the leadership of Adeyemo Ode-Omo trekked towards
the present Ibadan area. Ise, the Ifa priest consulted the Ifa periodically for guidance and whatever the Ifa says, they obeyed. According to the assertion, the movement was circuitous as the trek took the group to the present area of Ore in Ondo State. In the trek, history says that some other people met, attached themselves to the group, hence, there was increase in the number of the people in diaspora. One important man who joined the trek was carrying a god. The name of the god was BIRAKU. History has it that the god was carried to the site of their finalsettlement which is Isara. BIRAKU is still carried in Isara up till today during the Isara Agemo Festival.
During the great trek, after leaving the present Ore area, it was asserted that the team passed an Ose tree. Sources said that the seeds of the Ose tree were collected. This meant that they were attracted by the Ose tree. It was asserted that the Ose seeds were planted in their final settlement. The area where the Ose tree grew in Isara is called, IMOSE up till today.
It is asserted that the team trekked down south and got to Ijebu-Ife, the domain of Ajalorun. Ajalorun of Ijebu-Ife met Adeyemo Ode-Omo one on one. Adeyemo Ode-Omo moved out of Ajalorun’s domain towards the present Oru and Awa. During his occupation around Oru and Awa, he shot an elephant. The elephant died at a place now known as Ilaporu. The King of Ijasi, Ijebu-Ode heard about the killing of the elephant and he pleaded with Adeyemo Ode-Omo to come down and assist him to exterminate the menace of elephants in his domain. Adeyemo Ode-Omo moved towards Ijebu-Ode to assist the King of Ijasi. It was said that he had a partial settlement called Okerekere Itase which is very close to the present Oko Mayan not far from Okun-Owa.
The name Okerekere came out in the movement of Adeyemo Ode-Omo twice. The first Okerekere was Okerekere Itase which was close to Oko Mayan. The second Okerekere was close to Isara final settlement of today. One cannot confirm whether history is relating the same site or not. However, the first one was Okerekere Itase and the other one was Okerekere at the present area of Saapade which was the last to the Isara settlement.
During Adeyemo’s stay at Okerekere Itase, the King of Ijasi whose name was Osin asked Adeyemo once again to assist him to disorganize the elephants in his domain. Adeyemo left Okerekere Itase to assist Osin. He killed four elephants and the others left the area for safety sake. This feat created a mutual relationship between Osin and Adeyemo. Adeyemo was honoured with the title of EKERIN OLU of Ijebuland. There is the assertion that any time Adeyemo visited the Awujale, it was on record that his chair was covered with the skin of a tiger. This was in recognition of his service to Ijebuland in disorganizing the menace of the elephants. The tradition has stopped .
After the time he finished his assignment at Ijebu Ode, he came back to his settlement at Okerekere Itase and settled with his people. From here he left his people for Ile Ife. He went to Ile Ife to meet his father. After a brief stay with his father, he prepared to come back to his settlement at Okerekere Itase. At his departure, his father gave him royal materials such as a crown, royal beads and some images representing some Yoruba gods and goddesses. Adeyemo was advised by his father to desist from his hunting activities. He was also advised to create the masquerade show. A man who was involved in masquerade activities was handed over to Adeyemo and that he should follow him. The name of the man was IBA. Adeyemo left Ile Ife and came to his settlement at Okerekere Itase. The name of the masquerade given to Adeyemo Ode-Omo was called Ademukomi. The masquerade was introduced into the settlement and had since then been the Odemo’s masquerade. Ademukomi Orisa is the most powerful and respected masquerade in Isara ever since.
At this settlement, Adeyemo had eleven children and seven of them were albinos. The other settlers had children too, more of the children were also albinos. Adeyemo at a time asked his Ifa priest to ask from Ifa why their children were more of albinos than coloured children. The reply of Ifa was that the settlement should move to another place. The Ifa told them to move to an area where there are four rivulets which are close to one another. They moved from Okerekere Itase and started looking for the area described by the Ifa. According to the information, the place described by the Ifa was located. They found the rivulets, they are Asongbongbon, Apo-Uwo, Pele and Ori-Oru-Muse. Here they settled. After the settlement, Ise died and after a short time afterwards Ara died. Adeyemo Ode-Omo lost his two powerful men, ISE and ARA. In remembrance of these two wonderful men, Ise and Ara, the two names were harnessed and ISARA was coined.
There is the assertion that Adeyemo Ode-Omo left Okerekere Itase to the new area watered by four rivulets. They left again towards the north and settled somewhere in the present Ipara township. Here they planted the seeds of the Ose tree taken long time ago. History had it that the Isara settlement at Ipara was very close to the present Ipara market. It was said that the Ose tree planted by the Isara settlement was there for many years. Isara met Ipara on ground.
The settlement again moved their site to the area close to where Saapade Grammar School and Afotamodi block Industry are sited today. It is part of my findings that this place is called Okerekere. This is quite different from Okerekere Itase which is in Ijebuland. I have raised the issue in one of the above paragraphs. All problems raised at Okerekere Itase were again raised in the present Okerekere of Saapade area but with some other important issues than the last site. The problem of albinos forced them to leave the present site. The settlement again moved upwards and resettled at the area where the present Isara General Hospital was built. They settled down on the hill top. The problem of albino births which bedevilled the settlement at Okerekere became a thing of the past. Okerekere land which was the immediate past site of settlement is now called “The King’s Land” (OKO OBA) The Isara clan gods and goddesses are left behind there at the time of the shift. These gods and goddesses are still propitiated at the various shrines at Okerekere. Ise and Ara, the close allies of Adeyemo Ode-Omo were re-buried at Idi-Isin at Isara homestead. Whenever an Oba is installed at Isara, it is mandatory for the newly installed King to call at the Isara homestead to perform some rites and rituals. At the close of all the ceremonies, the King leaves the homestead and he does not visit the place again in his life time.
The name ISARA was coined from events and circumstances. It was asserted that the name ISARA was coined from the names of ISE and ARA, the close allies of Adeyemo Ode-Omo. The letter ‘e’ is removed from the name of ISE and the first two letters were joined to that of ARA, hence, the formation of ISARA.
This was in the recognition of their priestly assistance to the Adeyemo Ode-Omo community. The cognomen of ISARA is AFOTAMODI. Isara descendants are very proud of this name. AFOTAMODI simply means they whose city walls are built with ammunitions. When you see an Isara indigene and you greet him or her thus “Afotamodi k’ ogun ma ba ja ‘lu” he or she looks happy and radiant.
It is asserted that Isara has genealogical relationship with Ijebu Ode. Isara history says that there is no blood relationship between Isara and Ijebu Ode. The relationship of Isara and Ijebu Ode is the assistance given by Adeyemo Ode-Omo to save Ijebuland from the menace of elephants. Adeyemo Ode-Omo was honoured with the title of “Ekerin Olu” The title compensated his assistance to Ijebuland. The only blood relationship of Isara outside Remoland is with the Oni of Ile Ife. It is part of the assertion that Odemo has a royal seat at the palace of Oni of Ile Ife. The seat according to the assertion is personal to the ODEMO and to no other royal person.
The Oni of Ile Ife recognizes the Odemo of Isara. Odemo is coined from Ode-Omo of the Oni of Ile Ife. The name of the founder of Isara that stands better is Adeyemo Ode-Omo. The relevance is better than that of Adeyemo Ade-Omo.
It is on record from one or two write-ups on Isara that Isara was founded in 1471. The accuracy of this date is doubted, though the date is written in the affirmative. Western Education came to Remo in the last decade of the nineteenth century. The first elementary school in Nigeria is Saint Thomas School Badagry which was established
in 1854. The first elementary school in Remo is the Sagamu Wesley School (SWS) which was founded in 1892. There were no records of permanent stay that yielded Remo any dividend by the Missionaries not until 1892. How Isara came to such an affirmative date of final settlement as 1471 needed some historical backing. However, Isara no doubt is one of the thirty-three Remo traditional towns that came to settle in this division.
Isara took off with the traditional religion. It is part of our history that Adeyemo Ode-Omo after a partial settlement went back to Ile Ife to meet his father, Oni Osikanlu and briefed him of his success in establishing a community of his own. There was the claim that the father gave him royal paraphernalia of office among which were the traditional gods and goddesses, Eluku, Oro, Agemo, Obatala etc. These were brought to the new settlement and practised. The traditional worship took off. The masquerade which his father gave him was added.
Missionary stations were founded in Isara in 1893 by both the Anglican and the Methodist. The Anglican came first with the founding of Saint Peter’s Anglican Church, Isara. The early converts were David Osiyalo, Igun Ilori, David Solade, Abraham Oyefuga and many others. The early converts were shepherded by Evangelist I.H. Wrights who came from Sagamu, his pastoral seat.
The Wesleyan Methodist came to Isara in December 1893, so the birth of Methodist Church, Isara today. Among the early converts were Miriam Martha, Oni Foyesina, William Leshi, Joshua Sonoiki, Moses Ogunyebo, Ezekiel Osolade, William Oduja, David Gbokoyi, David Odufejo, David Ogunlana, Daniel Kumapayi, Benjamin Ajayi and a host of others. Isara Wesleyan Methodist early workers were Messers T. J. Williams, Isaac Gantua, S. James, Joseph Adeosun, J. I. Odubiro, Peter Soneye, J. A. Olusola, J. Ojo, Albert Z. Cadmus etc.
The government of the Isara community was very peaceful under the Obaship of the Odemo. The Osugbo was the apex ruling council with the Ogbonis as the members. There were the Erelus but they had no say in the government of the town. The system of government had since been changed through the introduction of politics. The terrestrial powers of the Odemo and that of the Osugbo are still respected by the community. The roles of the Kabiyesi and that of the Osugbo and its members have not been jettisoned because of the new system of government. Today, more power is in the hands of the Chairman of the Local Government than the Kabiyesi on the political side. The traditional set up of the old fathers has not been abandoned. The tradition is still respected. Isara is a peaceful community.
Adeyemo Ode-Omo had eleven children. The most important among the children were Adeniji, Adeniyi, Adebimpe and Adegoke. After the death of Adeyemo Ode-Omo, Adeniji became the King of the Isara settlement. He was followed by Adeniyi, followed by Adebimpe. After Adebimpe Poke Bi Owula reigned as the Odemo of Isara. Each of the reigning King was making use of the crown brought from Ile Ife by Adeyemo Ode-Omo, their father.
There had been thirty-six reigning Kings in Isara up to His Royal Highness Oba Idowu Onadeko. Some of the names of the reigning Kings were not available for our records. Some of the reigning Kings too did not complete the traditional rites and rituals that should be completed before they passed into glory, hence their names could not be recorded. However, the reigning Kings in Isara up to Alayeluwa Oba Idowu Onadeko had numbered thirty-six. Every effort to get to the roots of all the names of all the Odemos was not possible. However, this book and its record will assist us to get the other names as our various readers who are able to have records will release them for insertion in the next revised publication.
Isara created six ruling houses. They are:
1. Igan Ruling House
2. Rokodo Ogunsere Ruling House
3. Erinsiba Ayoledoye Ruling House
4. Otete Ruling House
5. Poke – bi – Owula Ruling House
6. Afonlade Ruling House
The following listed names had reigned in Isara:
1. Adeyemo Ode-Omo
5. Poke Bi Owula
8. Ogunsere Gboko
13. Saka saka-mi-Woro-woro
16. Sekeloye o joye-koye-wuni-i-je
17. Atokobo wa gbuwa-Poke bi owula Poke III – 1915 – 1941
18. Oba Samuel Akisanya – 1941 – 1984
19. Oba Adeboye Osideinde – 1989 – 1994 – Igan II
20. Oba Adebayo Idowu Onadeko – 1996 – 2007 July
There are twelve King makers in Isara
A. The Osugbo Group
1. The Oliwo
2. The Apena
3. The Olotu Iwarefa
4. A member from osugbo group
B. The Odi group
5. The Ogbeni Odi
6. Ekeji Ogbeni Odi
7. The Asipa
8. Ekeji Asipa
C. The Ena group
9. Olotu Eno
10. Ekeji Olotu Eno
11. Asipa Eno
12. Ekeji Asipa Eno
Isara people imbibed Western Education eagerly when it was introduced by the Missionaries, the Anglican and the Methodist. Very many of Isara indigenes that had passed through the schools since their establishment had made very useful opportunity of the education. There had been teachers, doctors, lawyers, engineers, politicians etc. of high status in the Isara community. These have made good the name of Isara.
Development had reached Isara since the period of the Rev. W. F. Mellor. Apart from the two elementary schools, Rev. W. F. Mellor built a Training Institute for Catechists at Isara. The development has since been effective in Isara. This was later removed to Sagamu after many years. The roads are developed and tarred. Only very few roads are not tarred in Isara, these are in the remote areas. All its major streets are tarred. There are social amenities like the Isara General Hospital, there is the maternity centre, the Isara Town Hall, Isara Micro-finance Bank Nig. Ltd. Isara is the seat of the Remo North Local Government.