It is the third in rank in the inner Cabinet of Oba of Akure known as the IWAREFA. Its all important position and eminent role within the Cabinet in particular, and Nay, the traditional council in general confirms the accepted belief that the Elemo Chieftaincy is a pillar within the Chieftaincy caucus. This explains the titles cognomen of “Opo Eketa Iaare” (meaning “the pillar and third in the rank).
Records show that ERURUBIOLOYE, the founder of the Elemo dynasty ascended the Elemo Chieftaincy throne about the same time as ASODEBOYEDE who was the founder and first Oba and Deji of Akure. ERURUBIOLOYE was reported as having come down to Akure in company of Asodeboyede from Inamu near Ile-Ife.
The first Elemo scouted round and settled at the present site of llemo directly opposite the house of ALAKURE. Ilemo was coined from the activities of a man called Moro who came from Oba with his wife Eyelogun. He and his wife were living in a bush in Akure and nobody notices any living being could be living there. Moro was living a criminal life, perpetrating his nefarious act and ran back to his hidden abode thereafter. One day, the smoke of fire from his hut attracted people around and it was traced. On meeting him at his hiding place, the people then exclaimed, ”ha! ibi lo wa, Ile mo o l’oni”. Ile mo o was later reduced to ILEMO the present abode and quarters of all Elemos.
Elemo was very friendly with the Deji and very popular with the settlers. He was a very reliable friend of the Deji and his dependable confidant and counsellor. It is pertinent to note that this chain of friendship, counsellorship, confidence and loyalty and indeed mutual honesty of purpose had remained unbroken from the time of their founding of the community now known as Akure.
Tradition has it that the Elemo title is a hereditary title and never has an outsider interrupted the succession line. The Elemo is the treasurer of the Iares and the traditional speaker for Akure people. He conveys the views of the Oba-in-Council to Akure people and reports the views of the people to the Oba and his Chiefs. In other words the Elemo is the traditional link between the “Crown” and the populace and vice versa.
The Elemo in addition to his political and cultural functions which are countless also have religious functions to perform in the interest of peace and stability in the town. The Elemo hosts the “OLIKI” and the “EYE OGBOO” among others. These are in Akure mythology the two most important guiding spirits for peace and tranquility. The Elemos are reputed for their longevity. This accounts for the relatively few Elemos as compared with important Chieftainces since the inception of Akure as a community.
In appointing a new Elemo, the family exhibits always exhibit a unique tradition. It is only a male child of a male lineage of the Elemo chieftaincy family that is eligible to be elected an Elemo. A committee of elders of the family has huge responsibility in this matter when a vacancy occurs. In their peculiarly tradition way the Elders elect one of the eligible contestants for presentation to the Deji. The contest for the Elemoship by tradition is never a public issue, it is purely domestic within the family.
Elemo land extended to Ulula, Odo Ashao and Ilado, also called Ilado Elemo along Odudu and Ipinsa
The Deji is the consenting authority to the appointment of any Elemo.
- Abariwon Oju Eya
- Agidigba Jola (Asirigidi Ija)
- Atoosin (Aropomolawesi) 1831-1896
- Adekunle Adedipe I (Agbarirekoya) 1897-1916
- Adejuyi Adedipe II (Ololagbaramole) 1916-1919
- Komolafe Adedipe III (Arulefela) 1920-1958
- Josiah Orisabinu Adedipe IV (Oboloyelekikan Yagboyaju) 1959-1972
- Bolanle Adedipe V (Amororolagba) 1977-2012
- Olusegun Adedipe VI (Oporua Ademolawe) 2016 till date.
Elemo stool is currently occupied by 15th Elemo with the 47th Deji on the throne of Akure. It is believed that most Elemos are appointed at a very young age and they live long on the throne. The first Elemo Erurubioloye started with Asodeboyede.