Section 8:  Selected Archival and Related Material Containing Information on Slavery, Its Aftermath and Related Topics

8.1 O’Hear Collection: Extracts transcribed from Nigerian newspapers, late 1970s‒early 1980s:

8.1a Background information on extracts from Nigerian newspapers, late 1970s-early 1980s

8.1b Extracts transcribed from newspapers in order of date

8.2  Interior Mission to Yorubaland 1893: Extracts from the Diary of G. B. Haddon-Smith, Political Officer:

8.2a Background information

8.2b Notes on the extracts

8.3  Nigerian National Archives, Kaduna (NNAK), Nigeria. Consists of selected documents:

8.3a NNAK SNP 15 Acc No. 11, Ilorin Residents Reports 1900. Transcribed extracts.

8.3b NNAK Ilorinprof 4 814/1912, Land Tenure in Afon District Report by Captain Burnett 1912. Notes.

8.3c NNAK Ilorinprof 4/1/829A/1917, Ilorin Emirate Reorganisation of Districts. Notes.

8.3d NNAK Ilorinprof 17/1 NAC/30/c.1, Local Government Reform in the Metropolitan Districts of Ilorin Emirate (except Ballah and Afon Districts). Letter, 18 August 1955, and the report, 26 April 1955. Page 4 of the report is missing from the file. Transcribed file.

8.3e  Colonial Reports Annual: Northern Nigeria, 1900‒1913. London, 1900‒1914. Pages copied from bound volume 1900‒1911. Various specific references to Ilorin slavery. In my records, this is treated as a published work, but it seems more suitable to place it here, after the Nigerian National Archives Kaduna entries. Transcribed extracts.

8.4 Oxford, Bodleian Libraries, [formerly RH] Mss. Afr. s. 958, Dwyer, Dr. P. M. Extracts from Reports Ilorin 1902‒1908. Transcript containing selected material from Mss. Afr. s. 958.

Table of Contents

8.3c NNAK Ilorinprof 4/1/829A/1917, Ilorin Emirate Reorganisation of Districts. Notes.

Transcript of selected handwritten notes taken on material in this file. Not always the exact words of the original. Spellings of names reflect the original where possible.

para 2. letter from Elphinstone, Resident, 9 Oct 1917. no. 3013/1917
Land tenure already fully written on in my 716/13 of 6/4/13 & 474/13 of 15/3/15. . . .
[In some] cases the area forms a coadunate District eg. Lanwa district proper but in others the areas of the proprietors are small areas dotted about over the country side. There are also the pre-Filani land owners.

4. Disturbances throughout the emirate this year. Cause—the taking away of the authority of the Village Heads (VHs) by giving out 10% of the tax to the tiny farm hamlets & scattered compounds which go to form a village: There are no headmen of these hamlets & they had no right to the 10%, the giving of it was resented therefore by those compound owners who did not receive anything & the real VHs who saw . . . authority being taken away.

5. The villages are arranged according to Districts but it will be observed that not in all cases can the Sub-Districts (SDs) be completely done away with, owing to the fact that a single land proprietor has a large tract of land with several villages upon it too small to form a district.

6. McAllister amalgamated certain Districts—the amalgamations in some cases unpopular with Emir & people.
In 4 cases I request permission to do away with sub-districts by re[creating?] as districts:
Paiye               --    Paiye & Malete
Ajasse-Po         --    Ajasse & Igbadja
Lanwa             --    Lanwa & Ejidongari
Afon             --    Afon & Owode (including Ber [Berkodo?])

8. “The Administration of the Ilorin Yoruba goes hand in hand with the land question and this has proved to be the difficulty in this Province to form coadunate Districts; the rights in the land being divided between the farmer and the proprietor ie the man actually farming the land and the heirs or families of the men to whom the land was originally granted, with a few rights in the hands of the Emir.”

Akambi. Akambi District shows how difficult the grouping into Districts is; there are 6 different proprietors not counting the Kakara. It may be possible at some future time or on the death of the present District Head (DH) to amalgamate this district with some other.

8 village area heads (VAHs) as regrouped Sep. 1917.

Akambi line            Audu Salami
               Amodu (only recently put in; and no particular family claim)

Population of all: 5,100    
Proposed salary    Village Area (VA)    Original head        Tax    Notes    

₤15             Akambi        Akambi, slave of    ₤173
                       Emir Shita

₤15            Okpolo        Koro  (favourite of    ₤180    Joined with
                       Emir Audu Salami)        Akambi under
                                       Balogun Alanamu but                                         later by Mr Duff
                                       under Amodu

₤18            Ilota            Durosini (Yoruba    ₤187    vide supra
                       chief, scattered, but
                       reinstated by Audu

₤24             Magaji        Mamudu son of    ₤258    v supra
                       Abudu, 2nd Baba

₤24            Kulendi        Jobo (relation of    ₤106    Put under Akambi
                       Usumanu, 1st             by McAllister
                       Balogun Fulani)

₤6            (a) Tankeh                    ₤78    The only sub Unit in
                                       whole district. Others
                                       are all original units

₤6            Kangile        Kangile slave of Ali,    ₤54    Put under Akambi by
                       1st Balogun Gambari        McAllister

₤12            Karkara        vide notes        ₤96    v supra: no original                                             head. Gogurumo                                             made District Head                                             under Dwyer but on
                                       deposition of his                                             successor M. Giwa,                                             office lapsed & Bale                                             of Tegbesin put in

Afon District
Good example of difficulty in amalgamating into districts without formation of sub-districts.
Present district consisted originally of 14 independent units. Dwyer amalgamated Efue & Igbogun with Berkodo & Barla with Owode & the 8 villages immediately following Afon with Afon; afterwards he amalgamated Berkodo with Owode. McAllister amalgamated Berkodo (including Owode) with Afon.
   Berkodo & Owode should be parted [?] thus forming 1 district instead of 2 sub-districts (SDs).
   Efue & Igbogun should remain under Berkodo as they are cut off by Owode from Afon. The Emir wishes Berkodo & Owode to be taken out of this District again thus doing away with the SD.

Afon District: 19 VAHs as regrouped.

Afon line            Owode line            Berkodo
Bal. Usumanu (1)        Ajia Omo Ijesha        Amodu (Sarkin Dogarai)
Bal. Zubeiru (2)        Abdul Kadiri            Mohamadu (Sarkin Dogarai)
Dasuki (but no family                        Braimah
connection with the District

Population of all: 20,074

Proposed salary    Village Area        Original Head            Notes

₤12            Afon            Momodu follower        Reg: Emir Shita
                       of Magaji Gari

₤24            Ologbondoroko    Ologbondoroko        v supra
                       follower of Balogun

₤9            Odo-Ode        Mofoluku follower        v supra
                       of Garuba, 3rd 
                       Balogun Alanamu

₤24            Osin Aremu        Aremu follower of        v supra
                       Baba Isale

₤18            Ojoku            Ogunola            Reg: Emir Shita to 
                                       whom he did homage, 
                                       & put under Abubakr,
                                       son of Alimi

₤24            Ogele            Abdulahi slave of 
                       Emir Shita

₤15            Laduba            Kontan follower of        Reg: Emir Shita
                       Garuba, 3rd Balogun

₤24            Ila Oke            Shikunbi by fealty to        v supra
                       Usumanu, 1st Balogun

₤18            Oko Erin        Erin slave of Emir Shita

₤18            Owode            Ajia Ijesha slave of Emir
₤9            (a)Sokoto                        
₤6            (b)Wahrah                        forest reserve
₤9            (c)Otetere

₤9            Barla            Sanda follower of         Reg: Emir Zubeiru
                       Balogun Alanamu        Put under Owode by

₤6            Berkodo        Amodu (Sarkin Dogarai)    Reg: Audu Salami

            Efue            Otu slave of Afin, Head of    Reg: Audu Salami

            Igbogun        Igbogun slave of Emir

Igporin District
This district has one SD, namely Oke Oyo, consisting of Oke Oye, Oke Ose, Moya & Ileapa: this was made by Dwyer, Salau, a slave, being made sub District Head (SDH). Emir wishes this sub district to be done away with, but difficult—what to do with Salau. It is suggested that he be taken away from headship of the SD until he dies or can be found another job. His family has no rights.

8 village area heads as regrouped Sep 1917

Igporin line
Bako (1)
Awudu (2)   Morafa (3)  Alhasan (4)
Atairu (5)

Whole population: 23,316

Tax            Village Area        Original Head        Notes

₤286-16-0        Igporin            Allah Sariki        Rights in this land    
                       slave of Bako,        surrendered to Emir
                       1st Sarkin Gambari    Shita, who wanted it for
                                   Magaji Akiali

₤461-15-0        Apado            Bako, 1st Sarkin    Hamlet called Kure was
                       Gambari        Bako’s seat: DH now lives
                                   at Igporin
₤501-0-0        (a)Agbeyangi
₤106-5-0        (b)Pepele

₤743-10-0        (c)Oke Oye                    Salau put in as SDH by
₤174-5-0        (d)Oke Ose

₤208-10-0        Moya            Ojo, Hunterman. 
                       Given by Ali, 2nd 
                       Balogun Gambari

₤272-10-0        Ile-Apa        Warri follower of
                       Audu Salami

Lanwa District
consists of
(1)Lanwa District proper i.e. all [the way?] down to Ejidogari. Amongst these, Zaki had been put under Adio, Zaki will now be taken away again from Adio & thus form 2 villages, which is historically correct, doing away with the Adio SD.
(2)Ejidogari, properly a district, was amalgamated to Lanwa by McAllister. Within Ejidogari is the sub district of Ariori, made by Dwyer of Ariori, Amu, Babadudu and Okutala; this SD will be done away with, Ariori being put naturally under Ejidogari & Ama, Babadudu & Okutala following Ejidogari direct. SDH to draw salary till he can be found another job.
(3)If the Emir’s wish is carried out of remaking into 2 districts, Lanwa & Ejidogari, there will be no SDs.

Lanwa 27 VAHs as regrouped
Population  [of Lanwa to Zaki VAs] 17,185

Tax            Village Area        Original Head        Notes

₤434-5-0        Lanwa            Adendelu slave    Lanwa comprises all of
                       of Emir Shita        the following, (a) to (j).
                                   thus subdivided for fixed
                                   salary purposes. The
                                   respective Bales are rather
                                   as a staff to Adendelu than as 
                                   separate VA heads.
                                   Holding of Balogun Fulani.

₤109-15-0        (a)Ama                    First authentic salga-makers 
                                   in these parts.

₤94-0-0        (b)Bode Sadu                    Bode Sadu was a caravan
                                   camp. Bode = Toll gate

₤135-10-0        (c)Sulu

₤169-10        (d)Idowu

₤99-10            (e)Biri-biri                    Hunterman put here to escort
                                   caravans to Bode Sadu, as
                                   against Kontagora raiders.
                                   Hence this settlement

₤65            (f)Isakara

₤150            (g)Cata

₤116            (h)Awukunle

₤160            (j)Jebba        

₤337-10        Okemi            Abdul Kadiri
                       nephew of Emir
                       Audu Salami

₤227-10        Adio            Alfa Sadiku slave to
                       Emir Shita

₤53-10            Zaki            Alfa Zaki scribe to    Previously misplaced under
                       Emir Shita        Adio

₤345            Ejidogari         Umoru Sanda        Umoru gave the land to Eji
           [population—of    nephew of Emir    slave of Sarkin Dogarai,
           all the following    Audu Salami        afterwards exiled by Dwyer
           VAs—18,171]                    (a jealous Hausa farmer)

                                    (Remarks on Lanwa grouping
                                   are applicable to Ejidogari)

₤136            (a)Aniya

₤53            (b)Abike 1. [?]

₤130            (c)Ogunbo

₤101            (d)Olokiti

₤64            (e)Okuta Ila

₤133            (f)Ayede

₤45            (g)Ayetoro

₤69            (h)Iti-Giwa 

₤60            (j)Jeje

₤179            (k)Ariore                    Original holder a Hausa slave

₤100            Amu            Alegi son of Emir

₤121 [₤171?]        Babadudu        Balogun Ali, 2nd 
                       Balogun Gambari

₤159            Okutala        Magaji Akiali slave of
                       Emir Shita

Oloru District
Under Oloru there are 4 SDs—Oloru, Shao, Adio & Agodi. Oloru will remain forming part of the District. Under Shao was amalgamated by Dwyer Yeki & Asbomu; the SDH has just been imprisoned & therefore this fact does away with the SD, Yeke & Asbomu following the DH direct. In same way the SD of Agodi made by Dwyer consisting of Ogodi (Olomi[?]), Abuyanrin, Oroyewun, Alagbede & Yowere will be done away with, all following DH Oloru; the SDH is of the same family as the DH. Adio will remain as a SD for the time being.

Oloru—17 VAHs.

Population of all: 15,450

Tax            Village Area        Original Head            Notes

₤343            Oloru            Balogun Ali, 2nd         Presented by Balogun 
                       Balogun Gambari        Ali to his slave 

₤139            (a)Alara

₤59            (b)Tepatan

₤62            (c)Mamah

₤71            (d)Pakumah

₤76            (e)Olomi

₤180            (f)Abuyanrin

₤97            (g)Aroyewun

₤58            (h)Alagbede

₤41            (i)Yowere

₤58            Adio            Asaju slave of Emir Shita

₤64            (a)Yeregi

₤24            (b)Onibaramu

₤66            (c)Braimah Ayaki

₤236            Shao            Ajia Ati Kekere slave of Emir Shita
₤111            (a)Ashomu

₤50            (b)Yeke

Paiye District
as now arranged consists of (a) Paiye (b) Malete
   There are properly 2 districts but they were joined together by McAllister. Seems to be no way of getting rid of the SD of Malete; family of the Basambo have the rights in the land & cannot be made to give them up.

12 VAHs

Present DH Moma Jima (family of follower of Balogun Ajikobi.

Population [of all?] 1113

Tax            VA            Original Head            Notes

₤124            Paiye            Amodu Beki follower        M Jima DH
                       of Buari 3rd Balogun        follower of Balogun
                       Ajikobi            Ajikobi put in by

₤157            (a)Belo Ipa

₤135            (b)Inawole

₤137            (c)Guniyan

₤127            (d)Awuyan

₤60            Malete            Aliu Isola follower of
                       Abubakr, 1st Basambo 
                       (Emir’s own family)

₤79            (a)Jenkunu

₤67            (b)Ajanaku

₤84            (c)Gbugudu

₤38            (d)Logun

₤48            (e)Aga

₤60            (f)Paku

Oniri District
consists of 4 SDs all very small—Oniri & 2 villages; Alapa & 1 village; Fata & 1 village; and Awa & 1 village. Of these the family of Fata has disappeared & the SD is done away with. The SDs of Alapa & Awe are so small that the heads are now treated as village heads.

9 VA Heads

Oniri line:
       Abdul Kadiri (2)   Saliu (3)   Braimah (4)
        Belo (5)    Audu Salam (6)  Dan Saliu (8)  Aliu (7)

List of fief holds under filani tenure
Donor            Territory        To Whom Given        Description
Emir A Salami        1.Okemirin        Abdulkadiri            Nephew
           2.Gama        Magaji Arre            Ilorin chief
           3.Opolo        Koro                Follower
           4.Ilota            Duromi            Yoruba
           5.Ile-apa        Warri                Follower
           6.Bekodo        Amodu            Sarkin Dogari
           7.Efue            Otu                Slave
           8.Onire        Magaji Oguyekun        Warrior
           9.Fata            Kaye Mogaji Ogidi        Warrior
           10.Awe        Zarumi                Warrior
           11.Karkara        Ilorin farmers
Emir Shita        1.Shao            Ajia Atikekere            Slave
           2.Adio            Asaju                Slave
           3.Lanwa        Adenlolu            Slave
           4.Adio            Alfa Sadiku            Scribe
           5.Zaki            Alfa Zaki            Scribe
           6.Okuta-Ila        Magaji Okiali            Slave
7.Akambi        Akambi            Slave
8.Kaba Dogari        Kaba                Dogari
           9.Ogele        Abdulai            Slave
           10.Oko Erin        Erin                Slave
           11.Ologbondoroko    Zarumi                Warrior

Daniyalu (Shiaba)    1.Ajidongari        Shiaba                Son

Abubakare         1.Ojoku        Ogunlola            Yoruba
           2.Malete        Aliu Ishola            Follower

Emir Zubairu        1.Owode        Ajia Ijesha            Slave
           2.Amu            Alege                Son
           3.Igbogun        Igbogun            Slave

Sarkin Gambari    1.Igporin        Bako                1st Sarkin Gambari

Balogun Gambari    1.Oloru        Omodare            Slave
           2.Babadudu        Babadudu            Follower
           3.Moya        Ojo                Hunterman
4.Oke Ora        Ajia Opele              Follower    
                       Oloro                        Original head  
           5.Esiye            Balogun Ali  
                       Elisiye                          Original head
6.Agbanda        Kure Amoda              Follower         
Alakpa                       Original head  7.Kangile        Kangile            Slave

Balogun Ajikobi    1.Alapa        Lawani Giwa            Follower
           2.Paiye            Amodu Beki            Follower

Balogun Alanamu    1.Ballah        Sanda                Follower
           2.Ode Ode        Mofoluku            Follower
           3.Laduba        Kontan                Follower

Balogun Fulani    1.Ila Oke        Shekunbi            Yoruba
           2.Kulendi        Obo                Follower

Baba Isale        1.Osin Aremu        Aremu                Follower
           2.Magaji         Momodu            Son

Magaji Gari        1.Afon            Momodu            Follower

memo 829/1917/20     Ilorin, 18 October 1922
from Resident Ilorin Province to Secretary Northern Provinces Kaduna
re map illustrating fief hold tenure in Ilorin Province—
I find it indispensable as it enables one to put a finger at once on the Baba Kekere who is likely to be pulling the strings from Ilorin in any land dispute.
HBIV [?] Ag. Resident
[possibly H.B. Hermon-Hodge??]

8.3d NNAK Ilorinprof 17/1 NAC/30/c.1, Local Government Reform in the Metropolitan Districts of Ilorin Emirate (except Ballah and Afon Districts).


This is a transcription of a photocopy of a typescript containing a letter, dated 18 August 1955, and the report on local government reform in the Metropolitan Districts, with the exception of Ballah and Afon. Page 4 of the typescript (containing paragraphs 15-19 of the report) is missing. Various additional documents referred to in the text of the letter and the report are also missing. Transcriber’s note: I have transcribed as exactly as I can, although the words and figures in the documents are not always easily readable.

No. 6569/Vol.II/294,
Ilorin, 18th August, 1955.

[To] The Permanent Secretary,
Ministry for Local Government,
Northern Region,

Local Government Reform: Ilorin
Division: “Metropolitan

Referring to paragraph 3 of my letter No.6570/Vol.II/107 of the 10th of August I 
now submit my comments on the last of the local government inquiries in Ilorin Division—that in respect of the eight “metropolitan” Districts in the North of the Emirate. A copy of the covering reports of the committee which undertook the inquiry, together with a summary of the statistics compiled and full details of their report on Jebba are enclosed with this letter. [Only two pages, “Summary of Population Trends, Attendances at Meetings and Destination of Absentees” and “Summary of the Approximate distribution of Religious Beliefs” follow the report and recommendations.]

2. The population of the eight Districts, as recorded in the 1955 tax census, is 151,000. The population of Jebba Town, which provides the main local government problem in the area, is not at present known with any exactitude but is probably between six and eight thousand.

   3. The findings and conclusions which emerge from the Committee’s report can, with advantage, be expressed as comparisons with the conditions obtaining in the Igbomina and Ekiti areas. In the latter areas the people form large homogeneous masses which retain their indigenous institutions and, above all, their comparatively vigorous and democratic traditional village councils. It was the vigour of these councils which, in the 1930s, caused the collapse of the centralised District Headship system imposed on them between 1912 and 1918. In the northern “metropolitan” Districts on the other hand the indigenous (Old Oyo) Yorubas were largely replaced by the slaves and dependents of the Fulani and Hausa fiefholders and the indigenous institutions and social structure have been eliminated. There has resulted an unorganised proletariat, resistant to modern ideas and showing, as yet, little of the vigour and initiative of the more homogeneous indigenous groups of Igbominas and Ekitis. They have even resisted the infiltration of Islam in some Districts with some success. Forty five percent of the population of Ejidogari District and forty four percent of the people of Oloru District, for example, claim to be animists. There are of course exceptions to the rule but, on the whole, these people are far less ready or able to assume serious local government responsibilities than the people in the other parts of the Emirate.

   4. There also emerges from the Committee’s report a clear picture of the difficult local government problem which the town and village area of Jebba present. The problem is to reconcile the local government aspirations of the comparatively sophisticated immigrant population with the needs of the less experienced people of the village area whose loyalties centre on the Native Authority.

   5. The recommendations of the Committee of Inquiry will be found in paragraphs 24 and 25 of the covering report. The Ilorin Native Authority, in full session, approved all of the Committee’s recommendations but recorded the following riders:–

(a)The Jebba Village Area Council (including the representatives from Jebba Town) must remain subordinate to the Lanwa District Council:

(b)District Heads must not attend meetings of Village Area Councils either as observers or as members unless they are invited by the Village Area Councils to do so.

   6. The first rider stems from the fear that there may arise a demand for an “independent” Town Council at Jebba. It also indicates the anxiety of the Council to preserve intact the District of Lanwa. Lanwa District was never divided into fiefs but was retained by the Emirs of Ilorin as their personal property. Since the British occupation the District Head has therefore always been a close relative of the Emir.

   7. The second rider is a compromise between the traditional Councillors and the elected councillors and reflects the determination of the latter to resist what they choose to regard as interference by District Heads in the affairs of democratically elected councils.

   8. I support the recommendations of the Committee of inquiry in so far as they are not at variance with the draft instruments for establishing District and Village Area Councils forwarded to you under cover of my letter No.6089/S.2/98 of the 18th of July or with the draft electoral rules forwarded to me under cover of your letter No. MLG.542/S.42/iii of the 29th of July.

   9. The purpose of this letter is to acquaint the Premier and Minister for Local Government with the wishes of the Native Authority in these matters and to seek his approval of the recommendations in general terms.


C.W.M .[handwritten initials, standing for
                       C.W. Michie]
                       Resident, Ilorin Province.

                   26th April, 1955.

The Resident,
Ilorin Province,

Local Government Reform in the Metropolitan
Districts of Ilorin Emirate (except Ballah and Afon Districts).

    In accordance with your instructions I and the five members of the Local Government Committee appointed by the Ilorin Native Authority have undertaken and completed an enquiry into the local government organisation in the Metropolitan Districts of Ilorin Emirate, excluding the Bala and Afon Districts which have already been made the subject of a separate report.

    2. The area covered comprises the following eight Districts: Onire, Paiye, Malete, Oloru, Ejidongari, Lanwa, Igporin and Akanbi. They contain in all 92 Village Areas varying in size from Jeje, in Ejidongari District, with 51 Adult male Taxpayers, to Oke Oyi in Igporin with 954, and Jebba in Lanwa District with 1505. We held in all 29 meetings at centres convenient for two or three villages in each case, and these meetings were attended by a total of 9,808 people. For reasons which will be explained later we calculate that this figure represents a proportion of about 60% of those adult male taxpayers who [were] men residing in their villages at the time of our visits. A considerable part of the remainder were reported to be sick, and cases of guinea worm seemed very numerous.

    3. As in the previous enquiries carried out in Ilorin Emirate we were guided largely by the directions given in the speech prepared by the Minister for Local Government and Community Development and delivered on his behalf to the Ilorin N.A. Council at the end of November 1953, and by the provisions of the North Region Native Authority Law, 1954. Accordingly two of our major objectives have been to provide all Local Government Councils in the area with a majority of elected members, and to recommend such devolution of authority to these bodies as is within their present competence.

    4. The most important characteristic of the districts visited, which has given rise to the fact that they, together with the Afon and Bala districts, are generally known as the Metropolitan Districts, may be rapidly appreciated from a glance at the map. All are comparatively elongated in shape and radiate like the spokes of a wheel with Ilorin town as its centre, and all reach within a mile or two of the boundaries of Ilorin Town, separated only by a narrow belt of Akanbi District which almost encircles the town. They form the agricultural hinterland of Ilorin. Both their boundaries and the method of appointment of the District Heads is derived from the former fief-holding system of land-tenure, dating back to the period following the Fulani conquest, when large tracts of land were distributed by the first Emirs, some to their followers and others to the most important of the Yoruba title-holders whose support they wished to retain.

    5. Before the advent of the British, these districts were administered entirely from Ilorin and mainly through the hands of the fief-holding families. Often their fiefs were scattered here and there over different areas, but when the British insisted on division into districts, to be administered by resident District Heads, it was found possible in the majority of cases to appoint a District Head from the family “owning” the bulk of the land, and the boundaries were drawn so as to follow as far as possible the pattern of the former holdings.

    6. The system of fief-hold has left its influence up to the present day, mainly in the custom of the payment of annual tribute known as Isakole, by each farmer. It amounts usually to about six or eight yams and a small bundle of guinea corn each year. The vast majority of the Village Areas in the metropolitan Districts comprises only one fief-hold, and the Isakole is usually paid to the Village Head, who is either related to, or granted subsidiary rights by the original fief-holder. The Village Head then keeps a proportion, varying from a quarter to a half of the total contributions, for himself and his family, and sends the rest to the original fief-holder, who in many cases is in fact the District Head. In these instances, therefore, there is no conflict between this system and the structure of the present day administration.

    7. On the other hand there are some areas, mostly near to Ilorin and notably Akanbi and parts of Igporin District, when the Village Head has not got this traditional backing to his executive authority. In these areas the land is split up into a large number of small holdings belonging to various minor title-holders in Ilorin. Here it sometimes happens that a prosperous farmer who expands onto new land pays Isakole to two, three or even more different fief-holders in Ilorin.

    8. We are satisfied that those former fief-holders who are not now associated with the district and village administration, do not interfere in local affairs except over the matter of allocation of farm land, which remains in their hands and not in those of the Village or District Heads. When a dispute arises between the occupiers of lands “owned” by different fief-holders it is referred to the Emir for settlement.

    9. The payment of Isakole does not appear to be oppressive, nor is it resented by the average farmer. In view of the decision of the Ilorin N.A. Council when the previous Local Government Reports were considered, we refrain from any recommendation that Isakole should be abolished.

    10. A  comparison of the population figures given by the 1954-55 Tax count is given in the summary of Population Trends in Appendix A: comparing, District by District with the figures shown by Tax Re-assessments which were carried out in 1923 and 1924. These assessments were made in each District under the supervision of an Assistant District Officer, and it was recorded at the time that they were believed to have achieved a fairly high standard of accuracy. These figures show an actual increase of population over the thirty year period of 23%, but a decrease of 5% in the number of tax-paying adult males. As a result it can be seen that whereas in 1924 there was a proportion of one taxpayer to every three and a half person [sic], in 1954 this proportion had decreased to one taxpayer to between four and a half and five of the total populations.
   In Paiye District the proportion  was very nearly one to six, and it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that in this district a number of adult males have avoided having their names inscribed on the register, and will therefore be unable to take part in elections to their local Village Area Councils.

11. As in other parts of Ilorin Emirate we made enquiries in each village as to the number of taxpayers absent for short or long periods in Lagos or Western Region. Only in two districts, Igporin and Akanbi, did we find that a significant proportion of the taxpayers had gone to the Western Region in search of work and to earn money. Elsewhere the small number who were absent had gone only for short visits, often only for a few days, and the great majority for periods of less than one year. Only two people were reported as having travelled as far a-field as the Gold Coast.

    12. On the other hand almost everywhere in the Metropolitan Districts we found a large and constant flow of population taking place between the rural areas and Ilorin Town. The inhabitants of these districts are closely connected with the people living in Ilorin town, and throughout the dry season large numbers of them flock into Ilorin to work as labourers or to perform customary duties end [sic] ceremonies. The majority belong to families whose heads are living in Ilorin, or are descended from slaves of important people in Ilorin, and we commonly came across whole villages of twenty or thirty taxpayers, all of whom were absent in Ilorin for a marriage ceremony or rendering their customary duties of re-building or re-roofing the family houses in Ilorin. In all no less than 31% of the taxpayers were in fact in Ilorin at the time we held our meetings.

    13. This large scale absence of the taxpaying population raises the problem of how best to ensure, by suitable timing of the elections, that as many as possible of the taxpayers shall be able to take part in the elections for their Village Area Councils, when these are held. The majority of the people, in almost every village which are [sic] visited, expressed the view that the best time for the elections would be immediately after the Salla Laya, the Festival of ID.el.Kabir, when the majority of taxpayers return to their homes. Obviously it will be administratively impossible for all elections to be held at the same time in every village but we recommend that as many as possible should be held at this time, and the remainder, when practicable, during the rainy season when the majority will be at home in order to work on their farms.

    14. It has long been accepted that the population of the Metropolitan Districts is predominantly Yoruba, and this was confirmed by our enquiries. Nearly half of this substantial Yoruba majority claimed to be of Old Oyo origin: the remainder described themselves simply as Yoruba proper of Ilorin origin. This, however, included a considerable number descended from slaves of the Fulani and other war-lords, who were sent out from Ilorin to settle and work in the land granted as fiefs to their principal assistants by the early Emirs. The ultimate tribal origin of these slaves is obscure, but they are now thoroughly assimilated in language and customs to the Yorubas with whom they settled.

[Page 4 of the typescript (containing paragraphs 15-19 of the report) is missing.] 

    20. Another feature of the traditional order in the Igbomina and Ekiti areas which is largely absent in the Metropolitan Districts is the traditional form of Ilu or local village council of large numbers of elders and title holders. Although the majority of the people have only adopted Islam as their religion in comparatively recent years, they have for long been administered under close control from Ilorin by District and Village Heads and before then by prominent land-holders in Ilorin, who were and are all Moslem. Here and there traces of the old form of Ilu are to be found, notably in Shao which is still predominantly pagan, and in some villages in Igporin District. In a few places some of the traditional title-holders have been absorbed into the more common type of village council, found everywhere except in Jebba, which consists of the Village Head and three or four of the most senior and important compound or hamlet heads in the Village Area. These councils assist the Village Head in the exercises of his authority, when required, and settle disputes about local customs. They do not meet regularly, and their composition is not a matter of fixed tradition: the Village Head simply invites anyone whom he considers sufficiently senior, influential or wealthy. An interesting illustration of these came to light in Lanwa District, when the Committee visited four Village Areas during December 1953, before proceeding to start the enquiry in Offa Town. When we came to visit the rest of Lanwa District in January 1955 the notes on these earlier meetings could not be found, and further meetings were held with the people of the same four villages. Subsequently the relevant notes were discovered, and it was found that in all four villages the names of their Ilu quoted in January 1955 were quite different from those which had been given only a year earlier. Usually one or two members out of five or six were the same on both occasions, the rest being different. In our reports on these village areas we have included the later versions of the Ilus, but have incorporated some notes made on the occasion of the previous visits.

    21. In general it was clear that this type of semi-traditional, semi-arbitrary village Council cannot be representative of the population of the various village areas. We found everywhere a welcome for the suggestion that the majority of Councils should consist of popularly elected members representing all parts of the 
Village Area. There remains however a strong and widespread respect for the compound heads and traditional elders, and we recommend that approximately one third of the membership of each council should be made up of such people, nominated by the Native Authority. At each meeting the people were asked who they wished to have as nominated members; usually, after being given an interval for consideration, they chose some of those they had already named as members of their existing Ilu, but in some cases they showed their dissatisfaction with the present arrangement by rejecting the present members of the Ilu and nominating other senior and respected people, usually heads of the large hamlets or compounds.

    22. As regards the elected members, there exists no simple method of dividing each village area into smaller units for electoral purposes, and we have therefore adopted the same method as in the reports on other parts of Ilorin Emirate, and grouped the various hamlets and compounds listed in the tax register into electoral areas of convenient size. The taxpayers concerned agreed in every case with these arrangements, but we recommend that if and when proposals are accepted lists of the groupings should be sent to each Village Head for the information of the electors in his area.
23. Conclusions. In general we can say that our investigations throughout the Metropolitan Districts reinforced the conclusions drawn in the previous report on the enquiry carried out in the Afon and Bala Districts. The view expressed in paragraph 25 of that report regarding the attitude of the Village and District Heads, and the future potentialities of the Village and District Councils applies to all the other districts now dealt with, and the recommendations that follow correspond very closely to the recommendations contained in the Afon and Bala Report.
   24. Recommendations.

(1)Each Village Area to be divided into electoral areas as shown in the individual village area reports.

(2)The composition of each Village Area Council to be as shown in the individual Village Area Reports.

(3)Ex-Officio or nominated members to be appointed by the Native Authority.

(4)The Village Area Head to be appointed by the N.A. to be ex-officio chairman of each village area council.

(5)The Register of Electors to be the current tax register. We understand that instructions have been issued by the Ministry of Local Government that no one under the age of 21 years shall be eligible to vote in local elections. We recommend that effect should be given to this instruction simply by empowering the Returning Officer at any election [to] reject anyone under this age who presents himself to vote. We do not consider it necessary for a special register of voters to be prepared as distinct from the tax register. (See, however, special note on voting qualifications in the report on Jebba village Area. [The appendices on individual village areas, listed in paragraph 26 below, are missing from this copy of the report.]

(6)The Elections to be held in accordance with the arrangements to be prescribed in the Ilorin N.A. (Elections to subordinate Councils) Rules.

(7)Village Area Councillors to be elected for three year term of office, and to be eligible for re-election at the end of this period.

(8)Elections to be held as far as possible about the time of the Salla Laya, or Festival of Id-el-Kabir.

(9)We have noted in the various village area reports the number of members of the council recommended to form a quorum; these numbers tend to be a high proportion of the membership of the council, and we understand that the Minister of Local Government has commented on the previous reports that the quorums suggested were too high. We therefore recommend that the quorum for each council should be laid down by the Native Authority, in accordance with the following table:

Total membership of council               Quorum
     (including Chairman)

        5                        3                     
       6                        4
       7                        4
       8                        5
       9                        5
            10                        6
            11                        6
            12                        7
            13                        7
            14                        8
            15                        8
            16                        9
            17                                 9
            18                             10
            19                             10
            20                             11

We are aware that some theoretical authorities favour even lower quorums, but we consider that until the principle of elected councils is more generally understood and accepted the protection to the position of the elected members, which is afforded by a fairly high quorum, is necessary.

(10) The Native Authority to prescribe simple standing orders for the orderly conduct of Village Area Councils, laying down, inter alia, that meetings shall take place at least quarterly and that minutes shall be kept when possible. 

(11) Village Area Councils to be advisory to their District Councils on the following matters:

(a)The declaration and modification of native law and custom.

(b) The advisability or otherwise of ordering a stranger to leave the area which the council represents.

(c) The construction and maintenance of local roads.

(d) The opening and maintenance of markets.

(e) The need to levy a rate for any specific purpose.

(f) The use of communal labour for purposes recognised by native law and custom.

(g) Any other matter which the District Council may refer to it.

(12) Village Area Councils to have the following duties:

(a)To elect the members of the District Council, other than ex-officio or nominated members.

(b)To apportion general tax.

(c)To control the granting of the right to use communal lands and trees in 
accordance with native law and custom.

(d)To maintain law and order in the area under their jurisdiction.

(13)The council in Jebba Village Area to have the constitution and functions described in greater detail in paragraph 25, below, and in the Report on Jebba Village Area.

(14)District Councils to be established in each District, with the composition shown [in] the tables given in the Appendices dealing with each District. [The appendices on individual village areas, listed in paragraph 26 below, are missing from this copy of the report.] The elected members to be chosen by the members of the Village Area Councils in numbers approximately proportionate to the population of the respective village areas. In some cases certain small village areas have been grouped together for the purpose of electing members to their District Councils. These groupings should be regarded as provisional and the village area councils concerned, after they have been elected, should be asked to confirm the arrangements. When the groupings are accepted the village councils concerned should meet in joint session to choose their representative.

(15)Members of the District Councils to be elected for a period of three years, after which they would be eligible for re-election. Elections to District Councils to be held as soon as may conveniently be arranged after the village council elections.

(16)The Quorums of each District Council to be decided from the table given in sub-para. (9) above.

(17)The District Council to be advisory to the Native Authority on any matter which the latter may refer to it or which the District Council may raise of its own initiative, including the levying of rates for specific local purposes.

(18)It shall be the duty of the District Council:
(a) to hear appeals from administrative  decisions by Village Area Councils regarding the use of communal land and trees.
(b) to hear appeals from administrative decisions by Village Area Councils regarding the apportionment of general tax.
(c) to elect members to the Native Authority Council.
(d) to maintain law and order in the area under its jurisdiction.
(e) to submit to the Native Authority annually its proposals for spending District Council Funds in the coming financial year.
(f) to co-ordinate and submit to the Native Authority Council proposals for levying specific rates made by Village Area Councils.
(g) to supervise the expenditure of District Council funds and rates on local projects included in the approved Native Authority Treasury Estimates.
(h) to authorise the use of communal labour for purposes recognised by native law and custom.

(19)The Native Authority to consider delegating to each District Council the following addition[al] duties (the numbers refer to Sections of the Native Authority Law, 1954.)
(a) Power to establish markets (32(a))
(b) Power to order a stranger to leave its area (47)
(c) Power to authorise the construction of local roads.

(20) Rating to be introduced as soon as possible in all districts.

(21) Consideration to be given to redefining the duties and responsibilities of all District and Village Area Heads, as indicated in paragraph 25 of the Report on Afon and Ballah Districts.

[It appears that the paragraph immediately above marks the end of the very long paragraph 24, which contains many sub-paragraphs, so that the paragraph immediately below is correctly styled as paragraph 25.]

(25)As indicated in paragraph 24(13) above, we wish to include a further explanation of our proposals for Jebba Village Area, which presents certain features different from those of other Village Areas, and which have produced the pattern of Village and District Councils indicated in our recommendations. These differences are due to the cosmopolitan nature of the town, which in its turn is due partly to the large number of people employed by the Nigerian Railway, mostly st[r]angers, and partly to the situation of the town at the focal point for all trade and communications between North and South of the River Niger. On the other hand, traditionally, before the arrival of the railway and the construction of the bridge over the Niger, it was not an important place. Its situation had given it brief prominence in the early days of the British occupation, first with a Royal Niger Company Fort on Jebba Island, and later as the temporary seat of the government of the Northern Region. But these events had much less effect on the inhabitants of what had been only a small village than did the arrival of the railway. It therefore became our primary concern to consider how best to integrate the railway influence into a satisfactory system of local government, since this influence is, in proportion to the number of inhabitants, so much greater than in other large railway depots such as Offa. There were also to be considered the position of certain outlying hamlets, traditionally part of Jebba Village Area. It was necessary to reconcile their clear demand to remain administratively associated with Jebba, with the request of those actually living in Jebba for a Town Council. After due consideration of all the factors involved, we have concluded that Jebba Town by itself would be too small a unit to make the sort of progress in future which its inhabitants would like to see. We therefore recommend the inclusion under one Council of the whole of Jebba Village Area, subject to certain provisions. These provisions, together with full details of our recommendations, are set out in the Report on Jebba Village Area, under  Appendix ‘G’, Lanwa District. [missing from this copy of the report]

(26)The following are attached as appendices to this report [only Appendix A is included].

Appendix A:            General Statistics
Appendix B:                Onire District
Appendix C:                Paiye District
Appendix D:            Malete District
Appendix E:                Oloru District
Appendix F:                Ejidogari District
Appendix G:            Lanwa District
Appendix H:            Igporin District

Each appendix except Appendix A contains statistics for the District and a table showing the proposed composition of the District Council, followed by the detailed reports on each Village Area, containing specific recommendations for each Village Area Council.

(Sgd.) M.H. Orde.
M.H Orde, District Officer.
(Sgd.) Beluko.
Balogun Alanamu, Ilorin.
(Sgd.) M. Saidu Alao.
District Head Ballah.
(Sgd.) Aliu
Olupo of Ajasse.
(Sgd.) Oba Iloffa.
Oba of Iloffa.
(Sgd.) Agboola Aponbi.
for Oloffa of Offa.

[Transcriber’s note: This page and the following page constitute Appendix A. In the typed copy, it was presented on one foolscap-size page. For reasons of practicality, I have separated it into two parts. Readers may wish to check the totals.]

Summary of Population Trends, Attendances at Meetings and Destination of Absentees in the Metropolitan Districts of Ilorin Emirate
District                1923/24 Tax Count               1954 Tax Count
Total         Adult Male             Total        Adult Male
                   Population   Taxpayers            Population    Taxpayers
Onire            15,441           4,248                24,574          4,425
Paiye              9,659           2,835                13,889          2,337
Malete            8,208           2,264                10,146          2,205
Oloru            14,540            4,261                20,843          4,310
Ejidogari        15,417          4,201                16,302          5,491
Lanwa            19,847         5,783                20,166          4,344
Igporin            25,701         6,039                26,948          6,459
Akanbi            9,843            3,017                13,033          2,885



 Totals            118,650         32,648            146,003          30,865


Percentages      —                —                      —                100%
Percentages      —         —                23%         5%
change since                            Increase    Decrease

Summary of Population Trends, Attendances at Meetings and Destination of Absentees in the Metropolitan Districts of Ilorin Emirate
[Appendix A continued]

District   1954-5: No. of Adult Male Taxpayers            Percentages

District        Present at    Absent in         Absent in         Percentage                Meeting    Lagos or        other parts
                   Western        of Ilorin
Reg.            Emirate

Onire            1,327        449            1,563            30%
Paiye            689        261            928            30%
Malete        819        225            722            38%
Oloru            1,574        386            1,564            37%
Ejidogari        1423        187            810            41%
Lanwa        1,178        319            1,278            24%
Igporin        2,033        1,167            1,821            32%
Akanbi        765        749            887            27%
Totals            9,808        3,743            9,573            —        
Percentages        32%        12%            31%            —    
Percentages          —         —            —            —    
change since                                

Proportion: Adult Male Taxpayers : Total Population

1923/24    –    1 : 3½

1954        –    1 : 4½

Summary of the Approximate distribution of Religious Beliefs in the Metropolitan Districts of Ilorin Emirate

[Transcriber’s note: readers may wish to check the totals]
Districts    No. of Adult            Approximate No. of adherents of
       Male Taxpayers        Islam        Animism         Christianity
       1954 Tax count

Onire            4,423            3,153        1,256              16
Paiye            2,537            1,818        493              20
Malete        2,205            2,05[3?]2    173              –
Oloru            4,310            2,379        1,876              55
Ejidogari        3,481            1,363        1,581              37
Lanwa        4,844            2,863        1,663              318
Igporin        6,439            6,624        1,703              112
Akanbi        2,625            2,560        226              39
Totals            30,866        21,292    8,971              803
Percentages        100%            69%        29%              2%

8.3e  Colonial Reports Annual: Northern Nigeria, 1900‒1913. London, 1900‒1914


Excerpts  transcribed from a bound volume of annual reports from 1900 to 1911. The reports contain a number of (mostly brief) references to Ilorin slavery. The volume appears to be a printed work, but it seems suitable to place excerpts from it here, among the archival items, following the Nigerian National Archives Kaduna entries. The reports quoted here are those which were compiled by the High Commissioner for Northern Nigeria. They utilised material from periodic reports submitted by the various Residents (officials in charge of the provinces of Northern Nigeria), including Dr. P.M. Dwyer in Ilorin (see 8.4, which is a summary of slavery-related material in reports from Ilorin, 1902 to 1908).



Annual Report for 1900-1901

10. The Assistant Resident in Illorin assures me [the High Commissioner of Northern Nigeria] that the public slave market there is now a thing of the past . . .


Annual Report for 1902

80. Captain Abadie, Resident of Zaria, and Mr. Dwyer, of Illorin, report that it was the custom of the ajeles [tax gatherers] to extort money by a gate tax and by payments for hearing cases, also by seizing slaves . . .


107.  . . . the Emir of Illorin, who formerly was a malcontent, received a letter from a Sokoto chief accusing him of disloyalty, and urging him to foment disorder in his part of the country. The Emir brought the letter to the Resident and read it to the people, and, refusing its accompanying present, turned the bearer out of the town with the message that he intended to pay no more taxes in slaves or otherwise to Sokoto and had accepted British rule.


Annual Report for 1904

273, para. 156. . . . In 1893 the then Emir Momo decided to put an end to the chronic war with Ibadan, and requested the Governor of Lagos to arbitrate, and a peace was concluded. Momo was, however, too weak to control his Baloguns (war-chiefs), and/

274. Alanamu and Adama seized all real power and terrorised the whole country, selling the people as slaves . . .



276, para 165. I visited in Illorin in June . . . /

277. The Emir asked that their legal right to their domestic slaves should be recognised, adding that they all knew that slave-dealing was illegal. I replied that they had seen our policy for several years, and I had no intention of making any change in it.


Annual Report for 1905-1906

402, para 90.  [In Ilorin Province] Three slaves only were liberated. Slave-dealing is reported as non-existent, but pawning of the person is still prevalent.


Annual Report for 1906-1907

508. Five slaves were liberated in this Province during the year. The Resident informs me that it is very rare for slave cases to/

509. appear before the court. Domestic slaves form a great part of the population, but they appear happy and contented, and have no desire to escape from bondage.


Annual Report for 1907-1908

628. No slaves have been freed [in Ilorin Province] during the year. On the contrary, a well-to-do man has requested permission to return to his former position as slave to the Emir, in order to regain his old status and friendships in the Emir’s household. In former days serfdom to powerful Chiefs was commonly voluntarily undertaken for the sake of protection. Now that conditions have changed these voluntary serfs are quitting their protectors and taking up unoccupied lands for farming. But the process is not being conducted through the Courts, and is not causing trouble, the former protectors having no longer any need for keeping/

629. large followings, which were largely utilised for warlike purposes. Slave dealing is practically at an end.




8.4 Oxford, Bodleian Libraries, [formerly RH] Mss. Afr. s. 958, Dwyer, Dr. P. M. Extracts from Reports Ilorin 1902‒1908.




Oxford, Bodleian Libraries, Mss. Afr. s. 958, which consists very largely of extracts from Reports on Ilorin between 1902 and 1908, is drawn from the collections formerly held at the Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House (Rhodes House Library), Oxford. These collections are now located in the Weston Library (formerly known as the New Bodleian). The old “RH” reference numbers are no longer used; they are included here within brackets in order to alert readers who have been accustomed to the “RH” prefix.

          The Bodleian Library requests that the original material (here: any material from Mss. Afr. s. 958 that is directly quoted in the essay below) be cited in the form “Oxford, Bodleian Libraries, Mss. Afr. s. 958.”

          Special Collections at the Bodleian Library can be contacted at

          Note: in the following, where direct quotations are employed, I have utilised square brackets to enclose letters or words that are missing or unclear from the copy that I am using (for example, where the final word/words of a line are missing from the copy); I have also utilised square brackets where an insertion is needed for purposes of clarity or accuracy.





          Mss. Afr. s. 958 consists of typed extracts transcribed from periodic reports written by Dr. P.M. Dwyer, British Resident (senior colonial officer) in Ilorin, plus some communications from the High Commissioner for Northern Nigeria. They include extracts from reports written between 1902 and 1908 (excluding 1903 and 1907) in the city of Ilorin and its environs, and more broadly in areas that were (or had been) subject to some measure of Ilorin control. They range over numerous subjects, including conditions before the British takeover, problems and improvements in the governance of Ilorin in the period covered by the reports; tribute collection; the Native Courts; the Ogboni society in Otun (“Awton”) and elsewhere; and symbolic warnings of intended arson attacks. The reports also cover boundary disputes with Southern Nigeria; improvements in safety for long-distance traders; roadmaking; and the arrival of the railway and its effects.

          In addition to the topics listed above, the extracts that are contained in MSS. Afr. s. 958 (hereafter, “the Extracts”) include material connected with slavery: the seizure of people, slave dealing, the liberation of slaves, the treatment of slaves/former slaves; and the ex-chief Ajidungari (Eji), who was an elite slave. These topics comprise the bulk of this essay. In conclusion, I offer comments on some aspects of Resident Dwyer’s accounts as transcribed in the Extracts.


          The earliest Extracts dealing with slavery are from the year 1902:



As I have explained to Your Excellency on numerous occasions, since we took over the country the revenue of the Emir and Baloguns may be considered as nil. The chief sources of revenue in the past were:

(a)      Slave dealing.

(b)      Raids for farm produce.

(c)      Seizing people and holding them in pawn.

(d)      Attacking Caravans.

(e)      Collection of tribute as often as possible

. . . I have put a stop to all these sources of revenue, at least to a very great extent if not completely. If we have taken this revenue away . . . , it is only right we should find some means of collecting a revenue which would be fair and just to all parties.


The situation specifically after the Niger Company defeated Ilorin in 1897 is introduced in the following month’s report:


MAY 1902.

    When the Niger Company broke Ilorin the towns of the Province at once seized the opportunity and refused to pay any more tribute. . . .

    The Ilorins were afraid to attack the rebellious towns on account of the Company, the c[hief?] source of their income was gone and so they were obliged, and, I will say not against their will to seize traders and confiscate their goods and sell all strangers they could catch.


The lawless situation in the last years of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth is referenced again in the June report:


 JUNE 1902.

    Money was the ruling passion. . . . Justice was knocked down to the highest bidder and the most shameful abuses took place. The rich trampled on the poor always certain if they concocted a charge [it?] would be proven without fail. If a rich man seized a free man and sold him into slavery he [would get?] off without a fine because it could not be proved he knew he was a free man.


The Trade section of the report for July 1902, however,  painted a somewhat improved picture, as “now taxes and tolls have been removed traders can travel with safety, free from the constant dread of being raided by lawless bands.”


          A few months later, Dwyer travelled to the “Western Frontier” towns of Pategi, Lafiagi, and Shonga. In Pategi, he had discussions with regard to fugitive slaves, which shed some light on British policy:



I went to Patigi. . . . I had several long meetings with the Chiefs. I consider the [Emir] Isa to be a very useful man. . . . I again war[ned] him that slaves from Bida are not to be permitted to reside in the town. He and all his Chiefs declared no slaves had been permitted to sit down there since I had last warned him. He said many slaves passed through Patigi on the road to other places but they did not remain in his town.


          After this time, there is no reference to slavery in the Extracts until the report of March 1904, in which there is a note on freed slaves in Ilorin:


    Two male slaves were liberated during March 1904. They state that they came down from Hausaland during the Rammadan [sic] feast, and were sold at Ibadan. The small boy is very much grieved that the Yoruba markes [sic] were stamped on his face to prevent discovery.[i]

     They ran away from their mistress and wanted to live in the police barracks. This of course would not be permitted so they were sent in to the Home.[ii]


          In April, there is a further mention of a slave being freed in Ilorin:


    A boy aged about 14 years was granted his freedom. He was in a very bad condition. . . . He was ordered to make four hundred heaps of yam a day; this he did but he was flogged all the same. The master did nothing but flog and curse him. . . . Considering the state the boy was in I declared him free. 


          In July 1904, a very different slave is discussed: “The Resident of Borgu has granted the ex-chief of Ajidungari a piece of land to farm and I trust he will find him useful. Had he only had the sense to smother up his intense dislike to the Emir and Chief[s] of Ilorin there would have been no need to remove him.” Although the fact is not mentioned in the Extracts, this individual was actually a slave either of the Emir or of the Emir’s military slave the Sarkin Dongari, and he, like the Sarkin Dongari, can be classified as an “elite” slave. He had taken advantage of the chaotic conditions in Ilorin in the 1890s, before and after the Niger Company’s “breaking” of Ilorin, and had taken control of a large area northwest of the city (now Ejidongari District)  and set himself up as more or less an independent ruler.[iii]


          In his August report, the Resident again returns to the situation in the city of Ilorin before the British takeover. He notes the “consternation among the poor class” when the West African Frontier Force detachment was withdrawn. The poor people  “declared that “they would run away. . . . [T]hey would not

. . . risk . . . the old troubles or being seized and sold or thrown into prison until they had paid a fine.” Dwyer was obliged to reassure them that “there would always be a Resident stationed at Ilorin.”  He reports that “the Chiefs of Ilorin are a most contemptible lot and would gladly once more welcome the old days when they lived on plundering the poor.”

          Later in the same report, Dwyer turns to the conflict in the 1890s between Emir Momo (Moma) and Balogun Alanamu: the former, “having gained peace” (after the long war with Offa) “was anxious to retain the friendship of the Government,” and the latter was “declaring the town would have nothing to do with the whitemen.” He joined with Balogun Adamu (that is, Balogun Gambari, head of the Hausa community in Ilorin) and together they “tore away the remaining power of Momo who became a mere figure head. . . . Alanamu and Adamu ran riot over the country, seizing and selling slaves.”


          In his Annual Report for 1904, Dwyer returns to the story of affairs in Ilorin at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, recounting the situation he found when he took charge of Ilorin Province in 1900, as the second British Resident. Emir Suleiman (successor to  Momo, who had been driven to suicide in 1895)[iv] was a “puppet in the hands of the Baloguns or Chiefs,” the real ruler being Balogun Alanamu. “Crime was rampant in the town”; travel was unsafe for women and children, who “were more than likely to be seized and sold as slaves.” The senior Chiefs of Ilorin “held their own Courts and, seizing people, made them pay a heavy sum for their release.” When the Niger Company “broke” Ilorin, the large towns in the Province  “threw off all allegiance to Ilorin, declared themselves independent . . . and raided the smaller towns . . . for slaves and produce.” In the same report, however,  Dwyer also emphasises the “very great improvement” in the situation during 1902-1903, when the Emir “commenced to act up to his position,” with the support of the British and an income obtained from tribute.

          Among the areas of improvement, Dwyer highlights especially, and in considerable detail, improvements with regard to slavery and slave dealing. In 1904, only nine slaves were liberated, and of these, only “one case referred to Ilorin, the other eight having come down countr[y] with Caravans.”  He admits to the existence of “a large number of domestic or farm slaves in the Province,” but claims that these are


happy and contented and . . . useful members of the community. . . . [T]his statement . . . is nothing but the truth. The domestic slave almost in every case works on the farms; he is obliged to make 200 heaps of earth as a days [sic] work, which is absurdly light considering an ordinary hardworking farmer can complete anything up to 1,000 heaps. As soon as the slave has completed his allotted amount he has the rest of the day to himself.[v]


Dwyer continues to paint a benign picture of the life of the farm slave:


          He can till a portion of the farm for his own use, seed and spade [sic] . . . freely supplied by his master, and sell the produce . . . . [T]he proceeds . . . belong absolutely to himself. He can either use the sum so obtained to purchase his freedom or buy a wife, which is usually done. The slave is fed, clothed and housed by his master and very often looked upon as one of the family. It would be a bad day . . . if the Government insisted on the slave accepting that freedom he does not ask for. The farmers could not pay for sufficient hire[d] labour to keep the Province in its present flourishing condition. . . . [I]f these slaves were forced to be free, the old master would not be likely to feed and house them. . . . There would then be a great danger of them turning into highway robbers, as was the case when I took over. . . . As to these slaves running away, I had only five complaints during the year and in each case they were women who had gone off with some man.

          It would be . . . astonishing . . . to the people at home . . . to . . . see . . . the well fed, well dressed happy men and women who live in this ‘degrading’ condition.


          Dwyer completes his discussion of slavery in this report by noting that the greatest danger of slave dealing occurs during the Caravan season, when it is “impossible to keep watch on the crowds that come in from Hausaland proper”; and that it is generally believed in the Province that the slave buyers are men from Abeokuta, “which is even at this date looked upon as a big trading centre for slaves.”


          In the Annual Report for 1905, Dwyer praises the “loyalty” and “good behaviour” of the Emir and Chiefs of the Province, especially “when it is remembered that Ilorin only a few years ago were [sic] a truculent slave raiding tribe.” He admits that “abuses still make their appearance,” but considering their past history, he considers that “a very satisfactory condition of affairs has been arrived at.”


          The Annual Report for 1906 notes that one of his first actions in 1900, when he took charge of the Province, was to order “that anyone caught slaving or Caravan raiding would be severely punished.”


          No entries for the following year are included in these Extracts. However, in the Annual Report for 1908, Dwyer notes that “As I said in my last year’s Report, so must I repeat in this, that I cannot speak too highly of the loyalty and correct behaviour of the Emir and his principal Chiefs.” Clearly, with regard to the year 1907 he is referring to those who were loyal in the face of the near-revolt at the beginning of the year. He reports for 1908 that the Baloguns “as District Heads have toured their districts and not only collected the rents from the farms under them, but have assessed and collected from those that had escaped notice. They also examined into the condition of the people and redressed abuses when they found them.” He notes the great change in the behaviour of the Baloguns in comparison with the period prior to the establishment of British rule, and observes that most of the various District Heads “are going on satisfactorily and attending to their work.”


Concluding Remarks


          This collection of Extracts is something of a curiosity. I have no information about the identity of the compiler, the date of the transcription, or the reason why it was made. However, the main theme of the collection appears to be pacification, acceptance of colonial rule, and development of the Province, which would be pleasing to the British government and would cast its representatives in Northern Nigeria in a favourable light.

          This would mean placing the greatest emphasis on successes and downplaying failures. Two major instances of this in the Extracts are discussed below: first, with regard to the general political system in Ilorin, and second, with regard to the more specific example of slavery.


Dwyer reports the calamitous political situation and the general devastation at the end of the nineteenth century (with the major chiefs in open revolt, the Emir powerless, and the poor people subject to all manner of ill-treatment) and contrasts it starkly with the improvements in governance made in the early years of British rule. He emphasises the progress made by the chiefs, highlighting their loyalty and good behaviour, in contrast to the past.

          But  the extent of this loyalty and good behaviour is generally exaggerated. The Extracts generally consist of text that furthers the claims to development and progress: this is epitomised by the compiler’s decision to ignore the reports from 1907, in which Dwyer discusses the near-revolt at the beginning of 1907, led by disaffected chiefs: Balogun Ajikobi, Magaji Gari, and Ajia Ogidiolu. In one 1907 report he admitted that even before the near-revolt, he had been forced several times “to have these chiefs before my court and . . . inflict a fine for exerting a power they had no right to.”[vi]

          In his August 1904 report, Dwyer departs from his usual praises by declaring irritably that “the Chiefs of Ilorin are a most contemptible lot and would gladly once more welcome the old days when they lived on plundering the poor.”  And he was proved right by the near-revolt. It is an oddity that this almost certainly more honest assessment of August 1904 was included in the Extracts, given their usual emphasis on successes for the colonial government.


          Dwyer’s treatment of slavery in turn-of-the -century Ilorin, like his treatment of the political situation as a whole, is subject to exaggeration. Dwyer, like D.W. Carnegie, who had preceded him in Ilorin, emphasises the mildness of the institution,[vii] as seen in the quotations above. Such accounts, Paul Lovejoy warns, may paint an idealised picture of slavery, while in actuality “caliphate slavery was complex and sometimes contradictory.”[viii] This is borne out by the Ilorin case. While the accounts given by Carnegie and Dwyer reflect “idealised norms,” modern informants’ testimonies reflect a much more complex reality, showing that “not only were caliphate and Yoruba norms not necessarily followed in Ilorin, but also that Ilorin people did not even always pay lip service to them.”[ix] The picture of slavery as a mild, even beneficent institution was one which the Northern Nigerian government was promoting, to prevent massive social dislocation.[x]

          Thus, the accounts given by Dwyer and Carnegie tell only a partial and simplified story, which was deemed necessary for socio-political purposes. They do not attempt to tell the story of ill-treatment and stigmatisation of slaves; of resistance to slavery by flight and resistance within accommodation. Essentially, the Extracts cited in the present essay appear to be in large part designed to publicise British projects.

          For a recent, detailed discussion of Ilorin slavery and its complexity in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, please see Ann O’Hear’s 1997 monograph, Power Relations in Nigeria: Ilorin Slaves and Their Successors,[xi] which is reproduced in digitised form in the Dr. Ann O’Hear Archive, section 2, together with reviews of the work.







[i] “Stamped” seems an odd choice of word here. “Branded” may be a more accurate description of the process. Yoruba marks have also traditionally been created by incising.


[ii] This “Home” almost certainly refers to the Freed Slaves’ Home at Zungeru, which was formally opened in January 1904. See G.O. Olusanya, “The Freed Slaves’ Homes: An Unknown Aspect of Northern Nigerian Social History,” Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria, vol. 3, no. 3 (December 2966): 523-538. See, e.g., 527.


[iii] See Ann O’Hear, “Elite Slaves in Ilorin in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries,” International Journal of African Historical Studies, vol. 39, no. 2 (2006): 260. This article is available in Section 2 of the Dr. Ann O’Hear Archive.


[iv] See, e.g., O’Hear, “Elite Slaves,” 259, including note 56; O’Hear, Power Relations in Nigeria: Ilorin Slaves and Their Successors (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 63, including chapter 3, note 4. This monograph is available in Section 2 of the Dr. Ann O’Hear Archive.


[v] This account appears to be inconsistent with Dwyer’s own earlier report, quoted above, of a boy about 14 years old who was forced to make 400 heaps a day, and this, it may be implied, was burdensome, at least for a youngster. Dwyer’s assertion here that “an ordinary hardworking farmer can complete anything up to 1,000 heaps” seems extremely unlikely, especially given an estimate of 400 per day provided in March 1983 (information from H.J. O’Hear, following his interview with two farmers of Alara Village Area, near Ilorin). See Ann O’Hear, Power Relations, 30, and chapter 2 note 107. However, the 1983 estimate agrees with Dwyer’s previous assertion that slaves were obliged to make 200 heaps in, say, half a day, leaving time for them to farm on their own behalf and make money from what they produced.


[vi] Nigerian National Archives Kaduna (NNAK) SNP 15 Acc No. 154, Judicial Ilorin [1907], P.M. Dwyer, Resident Ilorin, to High Commissioner, Zungeru, 4 February 1907, para. 1.


[vii] For Carnegie’s accounts of slavery in Ilorin, see the Dr. Ann O’Hear Archive, 2.1b(ii), which is a transcription of extracts on slavery in the Ilorin area, from Ann O’Hear, “Introduction to the New Edition” of Carnegie, Letters from Nigeria; and 2.1b(iii), which is a transcription of extracts from the text of Carnegie, Letters from Nigeria.


[viii] Paul E. Lovejoy, “Slavery in the Sokoto Caliphate,” in The Ideology of Slavery, ed. Paul E. Lovejoy (Beverly Hills: Sage, 1981), 215.


[ix] O’Hear, Power Relations in Nigeria, 33.


[x] J.S. Hogendorn and Paul E. Lovejoy, “The Reform of Slavery in Early Colonial Northern Nigeria, in The End of Slavery in Africa, ed. Suzanne Miers and Richard Roberts (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 393-394, quoting Frederick Lugard.


[xi] Please see especially the following pages: 28-35 (Slave Use: On the Land); 39-44 (Treatment and Status of Slaves: Mildness, Benefits, Amelioration?; 50-59 (Flight by Slaves; Day to Day Resistance; Slaves’ Religion and Culture in Accommodation and Resistance; Women in Accommodation and Resistance); 63-66 (RNC Expedition: Slave Exodus; 71-76 (Early British Slavery Policies; Slave Exodus Renewed?; Slaves Who Remained: Reasons for Accommodation); 77-83 (Amelioration of Conditions for the Slaves: Possibilities of Renegotiating the Terms of Bondage?).


8.4a Background information on two items from the Bodleian Library, Oxford: Commonwealth and African Collections


These collections were formerly held at the Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House (Rhodes House Library), Oxford. They are now located in the Weston Library (formerly known as the New Bodleian). The old “RH” reference numbers are retained. Two items from the Commonwealth and African Collections are reproduced here.


8.4b RH Mss. Afr. s.958, Dwyer, Dr. P. M. Extracts from Reports Ilorin 1902‒1908. Typed extracts from periodic (including quarterly) reports: The reports include material on seizure of people, slave dealing, liberation of slaves, treatment of slaves/former slaves; and ex-chief Ajidungari (elite slave Eji).


8.4c RH Mss. Afr. s.1210, Michie, C. W. Local Government Reform in the Igbomina Area: 1954. Draft, mostly typed, some handwritten. Origins, government, relations with Ilorin. Useful for contrast with the Metropolitan Districts, for which see 8.3d NNAK (Nigerian National Archives, Kaduna) Ilorinprof 17/1 NAC/30/c.1, Local Government Reform in the Metropolitan Districts of Ilorin Emirate (except Ballah and Afon Districts).


Note on citations: These items are for read only purposes and all citations must be to the original papers in the Bodleian Library.



8.4b RH Mss. Afr. s.958, Dwyer, Dr. P. M. Extracts from Reports Ilorin 1902‒1908.



8.4c RH Mss. Afr. s.1210, Michie, C. W. Local Government Reform in the Igbomina Area: 1954.

8.1a Background information on extracts from Nigerian newspapers, late 1970s-early 1980s. 

This subsection contains extracts from Nigerian newspapers, published over various years between 1977 and 1984. These extracts are largely taken from the Nigerian Herald, published in Ilorin, and they contain material on the area known as the “Metropolitan Districts,” which became Ilorin, Asa, and Moro Local Government Areas. The area contained many descendants from slaves, who had been settled there by their masters or erstwhile masters, while it also contained some settlements which predated the arrival of the Fulani in Ilorin. The topics covered include the choice of district heads, the grading of chiefs, the return to party politics at the end of the 1970s, and the lack of development in the area.  

Newspaper interest in the Metropolitan Districts had actually begun in the second half of the 1950s. For extensive use of newspaper material on this earlier period, see Ann O’Hear, Power Relations in Nigeria: Ilorin Slaves and Their Successors (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 1997), pp. 147-169 and endnotes. The newspapers cited therein include the Nigerian Tribune, Daily Service, and Daily Times. The book is available in this Archive, section 2.1a.

8.1b Extracts transcribed from newspapers in order of date

Nigerian Herald, 18 November 1977, p.1. 
The Kwara State Government has directed that district heads in Asa and Moro Local Government Areas would henceforth be appointed [from] among the indigenes of the area.
. . . . 
[I]t is not the intention  . . . to change the present district heads . . . but where a district head dies, an indigene will automatically be chosen to replace him.
. . . . 
Such an indigene . . . would . . .  after being chosen by the town or district concerned, process his recommendations through the Asa/Moro/Ilorin Emirate Council to the military governor for final approval.

Nigerian Herald, 30 November 1977, pp. 9 and 15.
p. 9. Oke Moro and Oke Asa Development Union gave a press conference on the Kwara State Government decision on the issue of district heads in Moro and Asa Local Government Areas.
   Below is the . . . text.
   WE do not want to narrate our grievances, but we wish to express our joy and gratitudes to the Kwara State Government over its recent decision on the issue of appointment of district heads in the two Local Government Areas . . .
. . . .
   Ours is the sad history of a people who have for a long time been living in bondage and under the condemnable feudalistic system whereby “foreigners” were appointed to lord it over us, the existence of our own traditional rulers notwithstanding.
   Our sad experience under this system can only be fully appreciated by those who had at one time or the other been in the same condition like the Igbomina/Ekiti people in Irepodun and Ifelodun Local Government Areas or the Ibolos in Oyun Local Government Authority.
   Up to the 1950’s, our fathers were forced to carry on their bareheads thatched grasses from their respective villages, no matter how far, to Ilorin for the construction of the house of one Balogun or the other in Ilorin.
   We were compelled to contribute large portions of our farm products to feed the families of some overlords in Ilorin every year . . .
   Up to the 1960’s, our children were intentionally denied access to education because the overlords back at home in Ilorin felt we should have no right to education for fear that once we became educated, our eyes would be opened and we would cease to become “the soup ingredients” which they made us to be.
   All these maltreatments were made possible by the “foreign” district heads who were the baros [sic] in our midst and who were the principal agents through which all these inhuman acts were being perpetrated.
   In fact, our status under these “foreign” elements was that of a Serf, created to serve till death, their masters in Ilorin.
. . . .
   We have at last been liberated with the recent decision on the appointment of districts in Moro and Asa Local Government Areas of the state.
. . . .
p.15. We are aware however, that the recent government decision cannot be too  pleasing to all; there will be a few disgruntled external elements who would have loved to perpetuate the condemnable system and who will therefore do everything possible to cause unrest, disharmony and discord in our area.
. . . .
They will go to any length to show their resentment to the state government’s decision, all in a bid to perpetuate the obnoxious system.
. . . .
   One last request we would like to make to the state government concerns the status of traditional rulers in our Local Government Areas.
   We are appealing to the state government to accord the traditional rulers recognition and to grade those of them found qualified.
   There is not a single graded chief in the local government areas.

Nigerian Herald, 19 December 1977.
The people write
KINDLY permit me some space in your paper to write this open letter to His Excellency Brigadier George Agbazika Innih, Military Governor of Kwara State, as a rejoinder to an inspired letter of appeal credited to some fifteen out of seventeen village heads in Oloru district of Moro local government area to the military governor of Kwara state on the issue of the government’s recent policy to appoint henceforth only true and unadulterated indigenes of Moro and Asa local government areas as district heads whenever any vacancy occurs in any of the two local government areas . . .
I like to begin by saying outright that the 15 village heads were not speaking the minds of the taxpayers of their district.
   They were merely speaking for themselves with the selfish aim of protecting their future and the future of their sons and brothers who should succeed them when they die if the former feudal system should remain in force whereby the Emir and/or Baloguns of Ilorin were empowered to send their own loyal kinsmen to the districts in Moro and Asa as district heads whenever a vacancy occurred.
. . . .
The Asa and Moro people are Yorubas and it is the custom and tradition of the Yoruba people all over the country to appoint obas and chiefs from among their fellow indigenous natives . . .
. . . .
The argument of the inspired agitating village heads of Oloru district that the father of the chairman of Moro local government who is at present the village head of 
Elemere hails from Elemere compound in Ilorin town does not bite at all.
   It does not help their case in any sense.
. . . .
    The most disgusting . . . argument by some village heads in Asa and Moro local government areas against the new Kwara state policy on district heads . . . that because Ejidongari, Daniyan and Elemere, among others, were founded by Ilorin people, therefore the village or district heads for the area should continue to be indigenes of Ilorin town is absurd.
   It is clearly on record that Ilorin was founded and first ruled by indigenes of Oyo town but can the Alafin of Oyo now begin to appoint ward heads or an Oba for Ilorin town?
   Similarly, Offa was founded by indigenes of Ile-Ife but can the Oni of Ife send his nominees to Offa as the Olofa of Offa?
. . . .

Nigerian Herald, 30 December 1977, p.2
We are grateful
WE, the entire members of Oke-Oyi Oja community at home and abroad . . . express our profound gratitude to the Chief of Staff, Supreme Military Headquarters, Brigadier Yar’Adua, for his recent official visit to Kwara State.
. . . .
It is no gainsaying the fact that every decision of the Kwara state military government including the recent one (to recognise and upgrade traditional rulers, in Asa, Moro and Ilorin local government areas) was taken purely in the spirit of the local government reform or in other words in the best interest of the common people.
. . . .
   Our humble prayer to the Kwara State Military Government is to recognise and upgrade the Oluo of Oke-Oyi Oja when carrying out the exercise in Asa, Moro and Ilorin local government areas.

Nigerian Herald, 14 July 1978
Stories from FELIX AJIBOYE, Afon
The people of Asa LGA . . . have requested the Ekundayo Chieftaincy Panel to establish a separate traditional council for them . . .
. . . [The] joint memo [was] read on their behalf by . . . Mr. Wole Oke. 
He submitted . . . that before the advent of the Fulanis, the Yoruba traditions and customs had been fully established and deeply rooted among the people of Asa LGA. . . .
[He] further explained that at the advent of the Fulani hegemony, the traditional institutions already established were completely dislodged, adding, “the traditional rulers in these areas were reduced to nothing or at best they were regarded as ward heads.”
The people of Afon in Asa LGA of Kwara State told the Ekundayo Chieftaincy Panel that they wanted the Bale of Afon recognised and graded a first class chief.
   According to the spokesman for Afon community, Alhaji M.D. Baako, the Bale of Afon was the then vice-chairman of Afon District Council . . .
He submitted that Afon is an ancient “walled” town which has never been conquered in history by any other town.
Alhaji Baako explained that Afon was under Ilorin because it was a moslem town and that was why it accepted Ilorin rulership.
   He further submitted . . . that there are 12 villages under Afon . . .

Nigerian Herald, 14 July 1978
Stories from OMOBU APEH, Ilorin
   The Chairman of the Kwara State Chieftaincy Review Panel . . . has warned members of the public against baseless rumours aimed at discrediting the panel.
. . .
[He] assured the Emir of Ilorin . . . to have confidence in the panel.
. . . .
[The panel] has been told that Ogbondoroko is the oldest town in Asa LGA.
Testifying before the panel  . . . on behalf of the Ogbondoroko community, an Ilorin-based legal practitioner, Mr. J.O. Ijaodola, urged the panel to recognise the Ologbondoroko as an oba . . .
He also requested the panel to grade the oba to a second class chief or to any class it deems fit.
[He] submitted that Ogbondoroko has never been under any town in Asa LGA but there have been a number of villages under . . . Ogbondoroko.
[He] explained that the Ologbondoroko had direct contact with the Emir of Ilorin just like the Olofa of Offa . . .
Also testifying on behalf of Okeso community, Mr. Salimonu Akande urged the panel to recognise and grade the Daodu of Okeso to first class.
[He] stated that Okeso was founded over 200 years ago during the reign of Alafin Abiodun of Oyo.
[He] submitted that the founder . . . was a prince from Ede.
[He] further stated that when Okeso was founded, only Shao was there in the former Ilorin District . . .

Nigerian Herald, 15 July 1978
Story from OMOBU APEH, Ilorin
Panel urged to approve . . .
. . . .
Oke-Oyi community has requested the panel to recognise and grade the Oluo of Oke-Oyi, Chief Joshua Alao to a second class chief.
   Chief Alao, who gave evidence himself, said after the grading he would like to become a member of the Ilorin Emirate Council in order to bring his people nearer to the government.
   He also requested the panel to recommend the removal of the district heads posted from Ilorin . . .
   [He] said that his people were . . . Yorubas who emigrated from Oyo, their ancestral home.
   He . . . presented . . . Sango and Ogun gods to prove that Oke-Oyi people descended from Oyo, and . . . showed . . . his tribal marks which he said were the same as the tribal marks of Oyo people.

Daily Times, 19 July 1978  
   The Ajagun of Elesinmeta fought on the side of the Fulanis during the Jihad wars.
   The reason . . .was that the Fulanis promised the Ajagun, in Igponrin district . . . the post of a big chief, the . . . Panel was told . . .
   . . . the Fulanis gave him the post of a Magaji, . . . which the people thought to denote a big chief . . .
   An Elesinmeta community leader, Mr. J.A Otunola, who was testifying . . . said it was later discovered . . . that the post . . . was a subordinate one.
   He prayed the panel to upgrade the Ajagun . . .
. . . .
    . . . the witness [stated] that the village derived its name . . . from the fact that the Ajagun was in the habit of taking three horses to the battle front, so that if one was killed, it would immediately be replaced by another one.

Nigerian Herald, 17 January 1979
From Ademola Adetula, Ilorin
Moro people protest
The people of Moro Local Government area . . . have expressed their disapproval over the appointment of two district heads . . .
[They] . . . are . . . district heads of Oloru and Malete respectively.
   At a press conference organised by the Oke Moro/Oke Asa development union, its chairman, Mr. Wole Oke, accused the Kwara State Government  of double standards.
   Mr. Oke said the announcement . . . took them back because it was the state government that took the decision in November 1977 that non-indigenes will no longer be appointed as district heads for . . . Asa and Moro . . .
   He wondered why no consultation was held with the people . . . nor any reason given for this change of decision . . .
The reason that emphasis was on the federal government laid down procedure as being the basis for the latest appointment is unacceptable . . . Mr. Oke said.

Nigerian Herald, 25 January 1978
‘Save us from reign of terror’
The entire people of Ilofa in Akanbi district of Ilorin Local Government Area . . . have appealed to the Kwara State Military Administrator . . . to save . . . [them] from the reign of terror being established . . . . by the supporters of the Fulani Daudu . . .
In a release . . . [it was said that] the district head of Fufu in Akanbi district has been intimidating all those villagers who spoke before . . . [the] Chieftaincy Panel.
The district head threatened that the Emir of Ilorin had succeeded in influencing the state government to set aside the . . . panel report, all village heads who spoke before the panel against the system will be terminated . . .
. . . .

Nigerian Herald, 31 January 1979
   The Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) was launched at a mass rally held at Okutala in Ejidongari District of Moro Local Government Area . . .
   In an address . . . Mr. S. Wole Oke . . . implored the people of  Okutala and the surrounding villages to vote en masse for the party . . .
   [He] specifically mentioned that the UPN, if voted to power in Kwara State, will construct a network of roads . . . which will make it easy for farmers to transport their farm products . . .
. . . .
[He] told the supporters that . . . traditional rulers in Moro Local Area will be graded . . .
. . . .


Nigerian Herald, 7 February 1979
NPN begins ‘operation grassroots’
   The National Party of Nigeria . . . gubernatorial candidate for Kwara State, Alhaji Adamu Atta, begins a state-wide tour . . . today.
. . . .
   . . . the party has promised to introduce mobile clinics as an interim measure, pending the time when hospitals would  be built when voted into power.
. . . .
   Alhaji Atta . . . promised the people that his party placed . . . emphasis on the provision of basic health facilities and pipe-borne water.
   He enumerated other programmes . . .
. . . .
Meanwhile, Alhaji Adamu Atta has promised the people of Paiye in Moro Local Government Area . . . that his party . . . will reconstruct the existing roads from Ilorin to Paiye.
. . . .

Nigerian Herald, 14 February 1979
Suit against district head for March 5 
   An Ilorin high court will decide on March 5, whether an interim injunction would be granted to restrain the district head of Malete from performing his duties.
   The Bale of Malete . . . had sued . . . the new district head . . . challenging his authority.
   The Emir of Ilorin is also joined in the suit as co-defendant.
   . . . Mr. J.O. Ijaodola, counsel for the plaintiff . . . submitted that the appropriate authority to appoint the district head was not used.
   He adduced that neither the Emirate Council nor the Military administrator has any legal role . . . the appropriate lawful authority to appoint district head is the Local Government Service Board.
. . . .
   . . . Mr. Saka Yusuf, counsel for the defence said the appointment of  a district head is the prerogative of the government invested in the Ilorin Emirate Council.
. . . .

Nigerian Herald, 16 February 1979, p. 3
UPN sure of victory in Moro—Olawoyin.
   The Unity Party of Nigeria will win an overwhelming majority in . . . Moro . . . in the forthcoming general elections.
   This assurance  was given by the . . . gubernatorial candidate of the party, Mr. J.S. Olawoyin at all the centres [in which] he addressed his party’s support during his campaign tour of Lanwa, Ejidongari, Okutala, Igbo Emu, Adamo, Oloru and Mosankore.
. . . .
   [The priorities] are free education at all levels; free medical and health services; full and gainful employment and integrated rural development.
. . . .
   At Bode Sa’adu, Mr. J.S. Olawoyin told the people that  if the UPN is voted into power, special attention will be given to the development of Bode Sa’adu with a view to bringing the town up to a status befitting a local government headquarters.
   At Ejidongari, he said that . . . payment of poll tax . . . will be totally abolished.
. . . .
   He told the people of Oloru that . . . district heads who are being imposed on the people will be removed and indigenes will be appointed as traditional rulers . . .
. . . .
   The campaign tour continues . . . with visits to Amukoko, Alagbede, Apoya, Yeregi, Malete, Elemere and Shao.

Nigerian Herald, 16 February  p. 9
UPN ends tour of Moro
The electioneering campaign of Moro Local Government Area . . . was yesterday concluded with visits to Shao, Malete, Amukoko, Apoya, Yeregi and Alagbede.
. . . .
   At Amukoko, Apoya, Yeregi and Alagbede, Mr. Olawoyin was highly disturbed by  the type of impure and unhygienic water the people were being forced to drink . . .
   He assured the people that the UPN exists to improve . . . living conditions   . . . by providing pure and suitable water and other necessary amenities . . .
. . . .
   He told the people that the era of roots with thatched grass is past, and there is no reason why every family in the state should not be provided with a house covered with corrugated iron sheets . . .
   At Apoya, Mr. Olawoyin promised that . . . the Apoya-Saara-Agbogun-Elemere road would be reconstructed to link up with Shao-Malete road  . . . to facilitate easy evacuation of farm products . . .
   At each of the places visited, he emphasised the UPN’s determination to make education available to every citizen as a right.
. . . .
   At Shao, Mr. Olawoyin assured the people that the supply of electricity would be extended to the town . . .
. . . .

New Nigerian, 31 May 1979
‘INTERVENE IN KWARA STATE CHIEFTAINCY ISSUE—Communities appeal to General Obasanjo
From OLU OMOLE, Ilorin
   Five communities in the Oshin part of Ilorin Local Government area of Kwara State, have called on the Head of State, General Olusegun Obasanjo, to intervene in the recent decision by Kwara State Government on the Ekundayo Chieftaincy Panel Report.
   The communities are: Ilota, Apado, Mogaji, Oke-Oyi and Elesin-Metta.
   The State Administrator . . . had made a pronouncement that the White Paper on the report of the State Chieftaincy Panel . . . would not be released until the case pending in court would have been disposed of.
   In a joint petition . . . the people said that the only case pending in a high court was the one concerning Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Sulu Gambari, which they claimed, had nothing to do with the other local governments in the state.
   ‘We are entertaining fear that if we . . . wait for the matter to be disposed of in court, it might coincide with the handing over of the military administration to the civilians and the government which may take over . . . might do injustice to the report,’ the communities remarked.
. . . .
   . . . further . . . the panel was set up by a military administration ‘and we think that it is their duty to release the white paper . . .’
   [They] also said that the military administration was the only administration which could handle ‘this particular matter properly.’
   The communities . . . wondered how a single individual could take the public and the government to ransom on the matter.
. . . .

Nigerian Herald, 26 September 1980
Split Ilorin LG
Kindly permit me a space . . . to put my suggestion across to the authority concerned over the splitting of Ilorin Local Government into two local governments.
   Ilorin Local Government is divided into two councils comprising of Ilorin Town Council and Osin Area Council . . .
   . . . the Osin Area Council , comprising of Apado, Agbeyangi, Oke-Oyi, Ikponrin, Okaka and Elesin-Metta  with some villages, is over 100,700 [people].
. . . .
   Looking at the towns which make up the Osin Area Council, . . . there is no effort by the past administration to develop the areas.
   . . . there is no electricity supply . . . [or] pipe-borne water . . .
   . . . there is no secondary school . . . though the people have been making efforts to provide themselves with this.

Nigerian Tribune, 23 December 1981
THIS week I intend to focus attention on some letters written to me by some members of the public. The letters carry contents of importance.
   The first of the letters comes from Alhaji M.B. Ba’ako of Isale-Adere Compound, Afon, Kwara State. Here it goes:
   “ . . . I am a regular reader of your column. I am particularly [un]happy about the non-payment of teachers’ salaries in Kwara State . . . The non-payment of teachers’ salaries in Kwara State is the worst compared with that of Oyo State. The NPN-controlled Kwara State had failed us in her education policy—the so-called ‘qualitative education.’
   “The Local Schools Management Board (LSMB) of Moro and Orere LGA’s of Kwara State had found pleasure in issuing ‘bouncing[’] cheques to pay the salaries of their teachers for the months of August to November, 1981. In Asa Local Government (my own LGA), the LSMB wrote to all teachers employed in October, 1981, that they should not expect their salaries for the months of October, November and December, 1981, until the end of December 1981. . .
   “The population of Asa LGA is 90,733 with only one Government Secondary School established in 1976 by Brigadier G.A. Innih. The NPN has not thought fit to do more than that since 1979. . .  The only primary school established at Afor [sic], the headquarters of Asa LGA was in 1947. Up till the time of writing this letter (3rd December, 1981), there are not enough classrooms for our pupils. . . 
. . . .
. . . Asa[,] Owode, Moro and Orere Local Government areas of Kwara State are the most backward places in the provision and supply of social amenities. In Asa LGA, we cannot boast of a single doctor, lawyer, lecturer and so on. . .
. . . .”
[Note from  Ann O’Hear: 
The letter writer’s observations (see Nigerian Tribune, 23 December 1981, above) on education in Asa LGA echo the comments made by Mr. Ayotunde Raji, former Secretary, Asa Local Government Area, on this subject, during a discussion with me on 5 June 1978. Mr. Raji pointed out to me that there was no Asa boy at that time in the School of Basic Studies and maybe only one in the School of Education, both of which formed part of what was then called the Kwara State College of Technology, Ilorin. Mr. Raji stated that the Afon area was relatively better off than the other two districts, because at least it had some Grade 2 teachers. He told me that the University of Ilorin had offered entrance (remedial) to an Asa pupil, but the LGA was still looking for a candidate. He also noted that Asa people in the past had seen no use in education past primary school, since they could not get jobs in the Ilorin Native Authority—these jobs went to Ilorin natives. Some people migrated. Many had become drivers.]

Nigerian Herald, 20 February 1984
By Chidi Jite
   The Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Sulu Gambari, has been restrained by an Ilorin high court order from installing Alhaji Memudu Amosa as the Bale of Afon in Asa Local Government Area of Kwara State.
   . . . the appointment of Alhaji Memudu Amosa . . . has been declared irregular, null and void by the court also.
   Mr. Justice Bisi Adegbite gave this order in his judgment in a civil case instituted by Alhaji Baba Kososi and late Alhaji Abdullahi Adebara against Alhaji Memudu Amosa, Alhaji Nassamu and the Emir of Ilorin . . . 
   Mr. Justice Adegbite also awarded N150 costs to Alhaji Nassamu (second defendant) to be paid by Alhaji Baba Kososi (first plaintiff) while Alhaji Memudu Amosa [first defendant] is to pay Alhaji Baba Kososi N200 costs. [Note from Ann O’Hear: it seems odd that, in one case, according to this paragraph, costs were awarded to a defendant (who lost the case) to a plaintiff (who won the case). It is possible that the author of the article has made an error here.]
   In the writ of summons, the plaintiff wanted a declaration that the customary title of Bale of Afon cannot, under the native law and custom of Afon people, be conferred on any person not a member of the Bale Shuaibu [Ruling House] of Afon. 
   That the selection, recommendation and approval of Alhaji Memudu Amosa as the Bale of Afon was not made according to Afon native law and custom because of the irregularities and omissions in the said appointment.
. . . .
The plaintiff also sought court injunction restraining the first defendant from being installed Bale of Afon by the Emir of Ilorin, as well as restraining the Emir from accepting the recommendation of the second defendant that the first defendant was selected by the Afon King-makers as Bale.
. . . .
   [The judge] said : “On the evidence before me . . . I intend to believe the plaintiff’s version that it is the ruling house that will decide which among its members . . . should be presented as Bale of Afon.”
. . . .
   He also held that from the native law and custom of Afon, only the ruling house could choose among its members who is to be the next Bale and such Bale-elect would be presented to Magaji Gari.
. . . .

8.2a  Interior Mission to Yorubaland 1893: Extracts from the Diary of G. B. Haddon-Smith, Political Officer. Background information

The Interior Mission was a journey through Yorubaland led by Governor Carter of Lagos, accompanied by G.B. Haddon-Smith and a group of soldiers. On his visit to Ilorin, Governor Carter talked with the emir. On leaving Ilorin, the party travelled toward the war camps of the Ibadan and Ilorin armies, with the aim of bringing to an end the long-running war between the two states, which had hampered movement and trade. Carter held meetings with the leaders of both sides, and succeeded in getting them to accept the Awere Stream as the boundary between Ilorin and Ibadan, and to agree to breaking up their camps.

The material provided here is taken from my notes on typewritten extracts from the Diary. Of interest here are various references to slaves, including two major elite slaves of the emir of Ilorin, an account of a visit to a slave market in Ilorin and a further report on slave-selling in markets in the town.

This work was formerly held in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) library. It had been recorded in the 1964 Catalogue of the Colonial Office Library, London (Boston: G. K. Hall). It has been transferred as part of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Historical Collection to the Foyle Special Collections Library, King’s College London (see King’s College Library catalogue). In addition, a copy of the work has been deposited in the University of Birmingham Library, bound as two volumes: G. B. Haddon-Smith, Interior Mission to Yorubaland 1893: Extracts from the Diary of G. B. Haddon-Smith, No. 1; and G. B. Haddon-Smith, Interior Mission to Yorubaland 1893: Extracts from the Diary of G. B. Haddon-Smith, No. 2. 


8.2b  Interior Mission to Yorubaland 1893: Extracts from the Diary of G. B. Haddon-Smith, Political Officer. Notes on the extracts

22 February. His Excellency and the Political Officer visited the slave market, which is held in the Ghambari [Gambari] market from 3pm to 5pm. “There were a number of slaves in two sheds, about 30 altogether, comprising old men, old women, middle-aged men and women, and children. Their clothes were rather scanty, and they did not appear to suffer from overwashing; otherwise they appeared alright. They evidently were well fed and did not seem to mind their position with the exception of one woman who had a very sad expression. Behind the slaves sat the dealers, who appeared to be fairly well-to-do Mohammedans.”
[See also “Slave Markets” in the section titled “Notes on Ilorin,” below.]

24 February. The messengers from the camp authorities arrived and the emir sent them to the governor. The messengers were from the four Ilorin baloguns; also the messenger of “the Magaji, who represents the Emir in the camp . . .  [they said] that they were all slaves of the Emir’s, that they were the messengers from all the Baloguns at the camp.”

8 March. Meeting with the Ibadans—
The Ilorin delegates included “Ogunkojoli, alias Alihu.”

12 March. Reference is made to Alihu, the emir of Ilorin’s representative, who has been taking a “leading part seeing after the evacuation of Offa.” “He had some trouble with Adamu [Balogun Gambari of Ilorin], but soon brought him to his senses by threatening to behead him.”

13 March. Reference to “Alihu, the confidential slave of the Emir.”

[Re: entries for 8, 12, and 13 March: Ogunkojoli (Ogunkojole) also called Alihu, was an important royal slave in Ilorin, who for some time enjoyed considerable power. However, having remained loyal to Emir Moma during the emir’s struggle with the baloguns (war leaders and ward heads), he shared the emir’s fall in 1895, and he committed suicide together with the emir. See Ann O’Hear, “Elite Slaves in Ilorin in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries.” International Journal of African Historical Studies, vol. 39, no. 2 (2006): 258-259, including note 51.]

Notes on Ilorin:

Emir’s Officers: there follows a list of “the chief officers” of the Emir.
Included was “The Dongare the jailer and chief executioner. He has a number of prisoners in his own yard in chains, only a few being kept in the Emir’s. The name of the present man is Salihu.”
[The Sarkin Dongari/Dogari/Dongare was an elite slave of the emir. See O’Hear, “Elite Slaves,” 252-253, including note 26.]

Slave Markets: There are two slave markets in Ilorin, one in the Gambari market and the other in Oja Oba, a market in the rear of the Emir’s palace. Slaves are “exposed for sale” from 2pm to 5pm. “The rule is that no slave is to be exposed after that hour, and I must say from what I saw it seems as if the rule was obeyed. The slaves for sale are handed over to a class of people called “Bilalis” [dilali = middleman], who act as agents of the owners.” For each slave they sell they are entitled to 5 heads of cowries. This is paid by the purchaser “exclusive of the purchase money.” When a bargain has been concluded, the purchaser pays an advance of 5 strings of cowries. “This advance binds the bargain.” The slave is taken home by the purchaser and nine days as a rule are allowed for final payment. “The time is given for the detection of organic diseases. If any be deleted the sale may be cancelled or a deduction made in the amount. The price of slaves varies from £5 to £8, boys and young men fetching the highest price.”


8.3a NNAK SNP 15 Acc No. 11, Ilorin Residents Reports 1900. Transcribed extracts.

At some point page numbers were added to this file. The pages are numbered in the order in which they were found in the file, but this does not always reflect chronological order. I have followed the page number order, which means that the extracts transcribed below do not always appear in correct chronological order. All of the documents in the file pertaining to the year 1900 are handwritten.

p.1. Ilorin 
5 November 1900  [written by P.M. Dwyer]
Condition of Town and District
. . . .
p.2. No trouble except Lanwa and small place called Oke Werhu. . . . At Oke Werhu the headman named Aibebu Eko was convicted of employing men dressed as soldiers to raid farms seize people as he was too old to put in prison I wired for your sanction to turn him out of District This has been done.

p.30. July [10] 1900 [written by the Hon. D.W. Carnegie]
I have the honour to report that during the first days of July I handed over to Mr Dwyer all papers etc connected with the post of Assistant Resident at Ilorin.
[he also states that he has left Ilorin] . . . . 
p.31. Ajidungari I have already mentioned in a previous report [see p. 37, Ap.12-May 3]. The district over which he has extended his sway is considerable (for this part of the country) . . . He is tributary to the Emir of Illorin and I have told him that he must continue to pay a tribute to the Emir, a matter that he has neglected of late. This is not an exceptional case. Many smaller Bales have given up paying tribute to the Emir, saying that they had instructions from the Whiteman to do so. . . . I have insisted that the old methods of payment shall be again practised.

[Ajidungari (Ejidongari) was the name both of the head of the district and the district itself. The head of the district was actually an elite slave who had managed to carve out a great deal of independence for himself.]

p.37. 1900 Assistant Resident, Jebba, Report [author appears to be Carnegie: see p. 31 above]
Ap.12-May 3. (2) Native Courts
at Ajidungari. The King (same name as town) has been in the habit of judging all cases and has a court house. He desired me to give him a letter as a protection against raids from neighbours to which he is occasionally subjected. This I gave him adding a clause to which he agreed viz. that so long as he was allowed to hold his court he must employ a Mallam to keep a record of the cases, which must be sent into Jebba & that he should settle no important case without first consulting the proper [? word unclear] authority at Jebba.
At Illorin.
. . . .
p.38 [debt pawnage] Moneylending A man lends money to another. He charges no interest in money—but until the capital is paid back half the debtors day’s labour is for the benefit of the lender and half at his own disposal. Thus in one day a borrower must not only set aside half the days profit for the man from whom he borrow[ed] but must in the other half day make sufficient to keep himself and set aside a sum to go towards making an amount equal to the capital.

p.66. 5 November 1900  
. . . .
(2) Native Courts are working well no serious case having been tried so far. Have warned [unclear] chiefs anyone found slave trading will get 14 years imprisonment. 

[signed by Pierce M. Dwyer, Assistant Resident, on p. 67]


p.68 [no date, but written by P.M. Dwyer]
Native Courts
. . . . I  am sure your Excellency will make great alterations in the warrant issued As I was not in a position to take up a strong line on the slavery question I thought it advisable under the circumstances to allow them to settle Dispute re slave and owner thus avoiding the danger of giving a decision which might have caused irritation. I however informed the Emir and Baloguns that if I found anyone slave raiding or buying or selling slave I should punish them with 14 years imprisonment. I am glad to say on several occasions the Emir has at once returned  children & people who have been seized without my having to order it he stating it must not be done.

p. 76 [these must be transcriptions of telegrams]

To High Commissioner, Lokoja.
(Ilorin, 31/10/00).  Excellency. Wish to turn out of district Abibu Eku, headman of Okawehra—offence, employing men as soldiers to raid farms and seize people—is to old to imprison. Will you sanction?

Assistant Resident, Ilorin.
(Lokoja, 31/10/00).  I concur. . . .
                       High Commissioner.      

8.3b NNAK Ilorinprof 4 814/1912, Land Tenure in Afon District: Report by Captain Burnett 1912. Notes.

Transcript of selected handwritten notes taken on material in this file. Not always the exact words of the original. Genealogical trees not reproduced here. Spellings of names reflect the original where possible.

[for the first section, see Hermon-Hodge’s published Gazetteer, 1929]
for example:
land near Ilorin in this Division is split up into many small estates—these estates are intermixed, no landowner owning much land in same place.

Class 1—landowners in Ilorin holding estates in the country. These men, having acquired their lands from the Emir in early days of Fulani invasion, brought out friends, followers and slaves and put them on their lands, returning themselves to Ilorin leaving a representative on the land.
All those given lands paid yearly rent to proprietor.

para 24. As for the Baba Kekeri, they can be wiped out without any great cause for complaint, but it will have to be done very carefully, as the landowner & Baba Kekeri (BK) in some cases are very nearly allied.

para 25. Now that a general tax is collected from each individual, the landowners gain very little from their tenants: if however they are cut out altogether from any say in their lands they would I think have a cause for complaint. There being so many landowners, & the lands being so split up, it would be impossible to give them office over their own lands under the District Head (DH) nor would an interchange of lands to amalgamate the lands of big landowners for working purposes be satisfactory.

para 26. I would suggest that if inheritance of land combined with Native Authority is to be kept up the following might be carried out: Do away with all Baba Kekeri & protection from Ilorin & instead of DH sending his messengers with [to?] the landowners or their tenants, landowners whoever they may be should send their messengers to DH’s Court & if not satisfied refer the case to final court of Ilorin.


Case 1. Town & lands of Olobondoroko, how obtained & held in reign of Emir Abdul Salami of Ilorin
Olobondoroko, Okanniki and Brimah Sabegana obtained the lands & farmed & built a town & stocked it with their followers and slaves. Olobondoroko was the leader holding title of Magaji, but each man obtained his own lands and paid tribute to Emir direct.

1st proprietor of Olobondoroko lands, Magaji Olobondoroko, received title of Zarumi. 4th proprietor also given title of Zarumi. 5th and present proprietor, Budamashe, also given title of Zarumi.

Present proprietor of Okanniki’s lands is Lawane.
Present proprietor of Brimoh Sabegana’s lands is Tukeru.

 The whole town follow the present Zarumi & give him presents from time to time. The Bale is chosen by the people & sanctioned by the Zarumi. At present the Bale is a farmer & follower on Olobondoroko lands. The title of Zarumi is not hereditary. The people having increased & land round the town having become exhausted many farmers rent farms near Jagusi or Ogbomosho.

Case 2. Lands & town of Laduba
In reign of Emir Shitu, Konta a follower of Balogun Alanamu of that time obtained the lands of Laduba; his grand nephew still holds them & follows the present Balogun Alanamu (Baba Kekeri).

Present proprietor is Iliasu.

In this case Mamadu was the eldest son but he gave up his right when he became a Pagan Priest, but this did not affect his sons.

Case 3. Tenant on Olobondoroko land

First tenant received farms from Olobondoroko to whom he paid rent.
Present tenant is Mamawari.

In this case the present tenant’s land is little used, his sons & brother’s sons farming on the other lands to whom they pay rent (at Oboto and Ajagusi).


Case 4. Lands of Ologoso & outlying farms
In reign of Emir Shitu, Haruna gave up the farms of Olu Ladi & obtained land at Ologoso & outlying farms near Laduba. He followed Basambo, son of Emir Shitu.

Present proprietor Belo is a follower of Abdul Salami (Baba Kekeri) son of the Emir.

Case 5. Lands of Osi
In reign of Emir Abdul Salami, Agbian (Baba Sali [Isale] title) was given what now comprises the farms of Osi. The Yoruba title of Baba Sali always follows the old Yoruba King Are [the Magaji Are].

Present proprietor is Tukuru (Baba Sali).

In this case when 6th proprietor Oye Dokan died, the only man of age in the family was Obe (7th proprietor) son of Abdu (2nd proprietor); he succeeded to the lands. When Momadu (8th) died, his brother Mamudu was not of age so Tukuru succeeded. This is a custom which is most common among the old Yoruba stock.

Case 6. Land of Ero Aba
Brimah a follower of Emir Shitu was given the lands now called Ero Aba. He married Umo a daughter of Aliu, Shitu’s son. They had two children, a son who died young & Mukpe a daughter who married Abdul Kaderi a son of Balogun Fulani. When Brimah died, Mukpe was under age & the lands were taken possession of by his wife as there were no other heirs when she died. Mukpe succeeded. Note. had Umo not been of the Emir’s family she would only have held the land in trust till her daughter married.

Present proprietor Mukpe.

Case 7. Lands of Ogele  Emir’s lands—Farms
These lands were taken over by Emir Shitu; they go from Emir to Emir, with the slaves on the land.
Shitu put one of his head slaves Audali to look after the farms and other slaves. Audali’s son is now Bale & collects for Emir. Many of the farms are let to free men who pay rent to the Bale but follow some big man in Ilorin.

Proprietors listed are the Emirs, in turn, from both lineages. Present proprietor Emir Sule.
Bales listed are Audali (1) then his sons.

Outlying farms on Ogele land let to followers of different chiefs in Ilorin, these pay rent to the Bale of Ogele but follow different men in Ilorin:

            Baba Kekeri
Abosede        Magaji Baboko
Abo Kede        Emir direct
Akumaju        Dogari
Olesunde        Arsaju slave of Emir
Alaboru        Musa slave of Emir
Egba            Sumanu son of Emir
Dudo Ogede        Yagba son of Emir
Enedunda        Moru son of Emir

Case 8 Lands of Idiomo [Idieme?]
In reign of Emir Shitu, Ajia Opele obtained these lands, his slaves & followers farmed the land he returning to Ilorin. Three years ago the farms got used up, these farmers now farm on Enejabata’s land who is an Ogbomosho man. They pay rent to him, but live in Idiomo [Idieme?]; nothing is given to the Ajia just now except his slaves. When Idiomo land is ready for farming again rent will be paid to the Ajia.

Present proprietor and Ajia Opele is Salu.

Case 9. Lands of Iekali
Beamena a Fulani received these lands from Emir Shitu to whom he pays tribute. He left a slave Ennetan to look after the land. His son Sumanu is the present Bale and caretaker, he lets the farms & collects his rents for Usufu present proprietor.

But: In the genealogical table, Sumanu is given as (2) and Usufu as (3) present proprietor. Sumanu appears to be the eldest, then Usufu, then Belo, who is noted as the heir.

Tenant Mamadu rents a farm from Usufu but follows Dogari in Ilorin.

Case 10. Lands of Elebugele
In reign of Emir Shitu, Tiwo who was a follower of Lalota a slave of the Emir, obtained the farms of Elebugela [sic]. When Amadu (3rd proprietor) son of Tiwo died, the only male left in the family was his son Tukuru, who was a child. A sister of Amadu had married Sanusi a farmer on the land who was considered the leading man. He now holds the land in trust for Tukuru. When Tukuru marries, he will be shown the boundaries & given the land. Sanusi follows Lasako a son of the Emir.

Case 11. Lands of Eleuri
Abu (Magaji Gari) obtained the lands from Emir Shitu putting a man on the land to look after it.

Abu is given as first proprietor. The others are his descendants.
Proprietor 3 is Sada, arrested by Dwyer & sent to Yola.
Present proprietor (4) is Salu.
Lalotan the factor also rents farms from Serikin Fawa.

Case 12. Farm lands on Olobondoroko obtained by Brimah Sabagana
and given to a friend Olokan who paid rent to him as tenant. These farms have remained in Olokan’s family but rent is always paid to Brimah’s successors.

Genealogical tree notes that Olokan rented farms from Brimah since time of Abdul Salami Emir of Ilorin.  Present tenant is listed as Alege.

Alege pays rent to Tukuru grandson of Brimah Sabagana.

Case 13. Odore lands
In reign of Emir Shitu, Bankere a follower of Leman Bebane obtained the lands: he let them to 3 men, Madele, Suli and Ogunola. When Bankere died the lands reverted to the Emir as Bankere had no family. Madele obtained the lands of Jaju & Ogelabi from Shitu—he was tenant on Odore & Proprietor of Jaju and Ogelabi lands, no Baban Kekeri.

Present Tenant and Proprietor
Sumanu  [apparently a descendant of Madele] lives at Ogelabi & looks after or rather owns (as his father Abeodau [or Abeodu] is a very old man & cannot move) the lands of Ogelabi, Jaju & Budo Giwa. He pays rent for his father’s farms on Odore (little use now) tribute direct to Emir for his lands at Ogelabi etc. The distinction is rather fine but they seem to understand it.

Case 14. Ele Wetu & Onijokan lands
Elewetu obtained his lands direct from Emir Shitu
M. Abdul Kaderi Present Proprietor.

Case 15. Lands of Pankpo
Balasa a follower of Magaji Gari obtained his lands from Emir Shitu.
Abdul Baki Present Proprietor is follower of present Magaji Gari.
The population of Pankpo has increased, many farmers farming on Ogele land to whom they pay rent.

Case 16. Opele Omalaso lands
Aredage obtained his lands from Emir Shitu but followed no one except Emir. His grandson  Brimah the present landowner was the first to have a Baban Kekeri. Brimah follows Oloko slave of Emir.

Case 17. Lands of Allase
In reign of Shitu, Ata & Aiya obtained their lands. Ata was the leader but Aiya obtained his straight from Emir; they followed Ajenaku in Ilorin. When Ata died he left no family & Aiya took over his lands. They should by right have gone back to the Emir, perhaps they did; but it is said that Ajenaku took the land and gave it to Aiya. This may have been done with the Emir’s sanction.
Present Proprietor Mama.

Case 18. Lands & Village of Ago
In reign of Emir Shitu, Isokan, a son of the old Yoruba King (Are) who was killed by “the Salami,” was granted the lands of Ago. 
Present Magaji Are is the Proprietor.
Bale Brimah is the present landlord’s factor.

Case 19. Lands of Abeokuta
Nyaka a son of Emir Zuberu received the lands form his father. 
His son Ola Tunde is the present Proprietor.
Bale & overseer is Lawani.



Case 20. Ode Odde Town & Lands
1.In old days this land belonged to Ajagushi an important king among the Igbolo Yoruba. Kobite who was a hunter and a friend of his was given the lands now owned by his family & paid tribute or present to Ajagushe.
2.When the Fulani came, Ajagushe & Kobite ran to Ilorin. When Kobite was in Ilorin he put himself under protection of Balogun Alanamu  & regained his lands from Emir Shita. When Ogun Bome succeeded to the lands he followed Balogun Fulani as does the Present Proprietor . He has many outlying farms who pay rent to him but follow different Baban Kekeri in Ilorin.

Tenants of Ode Odde: 

Name of Farm        Rent                    Follows:
Abekpe              Yearly 2 loads yams, 2 loads dawa              Balogun Fulani
Alanwa               Yearly 2 loads yams, 2 loads dawa             Balogun Fulani
Budo Olia           Yearly 1 load yams, 1 load dawa                 Yo ke lu [?] son of Emir
Egbola Oda        Yearly  2 loads yams, 2 loads dawa            Balogun Gambari
Alatere               Yearly 2 loads yams, 2 loads dawa              M. Are
Eeyesela            Yearly 2 loads yams, 1 load dawa               Balogun Fulani

Case 21. Aiekali lands
Suli (or Sule), 1st & Present Proprietor states he followed Balogun Fulani during the Offa war. After that he farmed on Ajagushi land but when Ajagushi returned he left & found bush land near Afon which he farmed. He then went to Esiaku a son of Emir Sule & asked him to get Emir’s sanction which he did. He owns the land from Sule following Esiaku.

Case 22. Asakpa lands
Magaji Ajara obtained the lands from Emir Aliu. His brother Belo succeeded him about 10 years ago his slaves on the farms died and Lawani (a free man) rented them & does now, paying 4 loads yams, 4 dawa yearly to Belo.

Case 23. Abuju lands
Mama while hunting found some good land, when he returned to Ilorin he asked Emir Abdul Salami if he might have it, he was given it, paid tribute or present 5 loads yams, 5 dawa yearly. Present Proprietor Suman.


Case 24. Afon lands
In reign of Emir Shitu, Abu, Magaji Gari obtained the lands, he was succeeded in his Afon property by his son Sule now an old man. Siboo the present Bali is his factor. Title of Magaji Gari went to Brimah a brother.

Case 25. Lands Yaya
Obtained by Yaya in reign of Emir Shitu. Present Proprietor Sumanu.

Case 26. Lands Obate
Obtained by Obate in reign of Emir Shitu. Brimah Present Proprietor is follower of Magaji Gari.

Case 27. Lands Soko [sp?]
Obtained by  Ali, follower of Abudu, in reign of Emir Aliu.
Present Proprietor is Abadu, follower of Balogun Fulani.

Case 28. Okaka lands
In reign of Emir Shitu, to Balogun Fulani Usumanu.
Present Proprietor is Balogun Fulani Zuberu.
Tenant Taffa rents, 4 loads yam, 4 dawa per annum.

Case 29. Arogbo [?] lands
In reign of Emir Aliu, to Abudu.
Present Proprietor Usufu, follower of Alaje son of Emir.

Case 30. Lands of Ajagushi (belonging to Igbolo Yoruba)

  1. Formerly the town of Ajagushi (which was c. size of present town of Offa) & surrounding country from Afon to Ikauton belonged to Ajagushi a small chieftain under Olafin of Oyo.

  2. When Idou succeeded to the lands, Maijia the Nupe warrior overran the country & broke the town of Ajagushi with many others. The people from Ajagushi & its surrounding villages fled. Some to Ibadan (which was then bush) others to Ogbomosho a small village. Adon [sic] & his son with a following ran to Ilorin & settled down in Oke Mora.

  3. Maijia the Nupe did not succeed in taking Ilorin but returned or was driven back to Bida by the Fulani & Gambari population of Ilorin.

  4. Then came the Fulani rising & the taking over of Ilorin & surrounding country. Adou [sic] in meanwhile had put himself under the protection of the present B. Fulani’s father & returned with his 2nd son Lawaye & farmed his lands or the part of them near Ajagushi. Adou died & was succeeded by Lawaye.

  5. Shortly after came the Offa war when the Ibadans were called in to help the Offa people, they came & laid waste any land under Fulani protection they could find. Ajagushi was again broken & many people  killed. Lawaye escaped & ran to his eldest brother Oedele who was a hunter & had allowed his brother to succeed him in the land.

  6. After the Offa war was over, Odele [sic] & his brother put themselves under present Balogun Fulani & got him to get Emir Gale’s [Gate’s? Gata’s?] sanction for their return to their father’s lands.

  7. About eight years ago the case was brought before the Emir by Balogun Fulani & with the sanction of the Resident, Odele was given back a great part of his father’s lands.

  8. He returned to Ajagushi or rather to where the town used to be & settled down, a messenger of the Emir & Balogun Fulani going with him. He now resides on his farms & is recognized by the title of Ajagushi. He has many tenants farming on his land but few followers. He follows present B. Fulani.According to the genealogy, Idou’s brother Adebiye fled from Maijia to Ibadan, never returned; Oedele is Present Proprietor, and Lawaye, who fled to Ilorin to his brother before the Ibadans, “is now here.”

  9. Ode Odde & Ipetu used to belong to Ajagushi; both fled before Majia the Nupe on their return were given the lands by the Fulani & no longer follow Ajagushi. Ipetu was allowed to return from Oshogbo four years ago & given his lands on the understanding he paid Government tribute & followed the Emir. He is now a follower of Balogun Fulani.

  10. I am informed that the present chief of Ibadan is from the old town of Ole Ole formerly under Ajagushi now bush. They fled before Maijia & founded present town of Ibadan.


Ajagushi lands some of the farms on it
Tenant            Farm        Whom he follows in Ilorin    Rent paid yearly to Ajagushi
Mama Jimo        Idiofian        Balogun Fulani    4 loads yams, 4 loads dawa
Abibu            Akrage            Balogun Fulani    4 loads yams, 4 loads dawa
Amadu            Adowore        Balogun Fulani    2 loads yams, 2 loads dawa

Case 31. Ipetu lands
Present owner states that his grandfather was given the lands of Ipetu by Oyo. One Petu his grandfather followed a chief called Elokoye just over the border. When Maijia the Nupe came they fled to Ogbomosho. One Petu & his son Lanage died there. Oni, the present man’s elder brother, heard that Ajagushi had gone back to his father’s land so he came to him & told him he wanted to go back to Ipetu lands which used to belong to his grandfather. Ajagushi took him to Ilorin to Balogun Fulani who got the Emir to give him back his lands & the Resident said he might stay there if he was content to pay his tribute as others did on this side of the border. This was four years ago, his brother died & Tio now holds the lands & follows Balogun Fulani.

Case 32. Foko lands
According to the genealogy, Foko 1st proprietor obtained the land from Oyo. His elder son ran to Ibadan. His younger son, Oka Kunle, 2nd proprietor, ran to Ilorin recovered the lands from Emir. Still alive very old?
Present Proprietor Amadu follows Balogun Fulani.

Case 33. Ikauton town & lands
1.Ogo a son of the Alafin of Oyo was given the lands of Ikauton by him. He settled there & built a town.

2.Asamu his son succeeded him, soon after Maigia the Nupe came & broke the town. Asamu ran to the town of Ajossa [?] in the Ekiti country of Southern Nigeria. When Maigia was driven back to Bida Asamu came to Ilorin & got leave from the Fulani to go back to his lands; he returned from [should be “to”] Ikauton & died there.

3. Bolode succeeded his father Asamu & lived and died at Ikauton.

4.Oke [or Oko?] ode succeeded his brother Bolode soon after the Ibadans came; before their arrival, Oke ode & his followers fled to Ojuku. The Ibadans burnt Ikauton & returned to Ibadan. Oke ode died at Ojuku: in old days Ojuku followed Ikauton.

5.Toduku succeeded & went from Ojuku to Ilorin & obtained the lands of Ikauton through the B. Fulani whom he followed. He rebuilt the town [new sentence starts?] soon after the Offa war broke out, he ran to Ilorin, his cousin Dawa ran to Oyo. Ikauton was deserted & destroyed. Toduku died at Ilorin.

6. Dawo [sic] on death of Toduku was sent for by B. Fulani; on his arrival at Ilorin he was declared heir to Toduku & given the lands & title Olu Kauton by the Emir. He naturally followed Balogun Fulani. He rebuilt Ikauton, many of his followers returning to the town.

7.The present man, Ogo son of Toduku, succeeded Dawo two years ago. They say formerly Ojuku, Idou & many other villages used to belong to them. They are not Igbolo Yoruba; many tenants on the land follow different chiefs in Ilorin. The present man follows Balogun Fulani.

Case 34. Ojuku town & lands
1.The people of Ojuku state that formerly they came from the Niger. Lanlu & his four brothers came & sat down at Oko & were given the lands of Ojuku; they paid tribute straight to the Alafin of Oyo.

2.His son [that is, Lanlu’s son—or descendant?] Ogo Sulu followed Are of Ilorin. Malam Alimi the Fulani was in Ilorin at that time. They escaped the ravages of Maijia.

3. His brother [that is, Ogo Sulu’s brother] Osalulu followed Ilorin. Latugo 4th proprietor [given as Labujenjo? in genealogical tree] paid tribute to Abdul Salami. When the Ibadans made war Ojuku escaped, Shitu was then Emir.

4.When Latunga was in possession, the Offa war broke out & Ojuku was destroyed & Latunga & the immediate heirs ran to Ilorin. Latunga died there.

5.When the war was over Fiede (10) returned with sanction of Emir Mama & rebuilt the town; he followed Ba Sambo as Baba Kekeri.

6.Ayola (11) was deposed & Brimah (12) only succeeded for c. eight months before he died.

7.Present Bale is Ladosu (13), he follows Adasona [sp?] the Emir’s slave.

Notes referring to the genealogical tree:
In this case the succession runs through 1st, the brothers, eldest 1st, then their sons eldest 1st. Ajeboye is said to be the next heir [son of Ladosu according to the genealogical tree], but this will have to be decided at a meeting after Ladosu’s death. Goke & Lanier [older brothers of Ladosu according to the genealogical tree] might be chosen as eldest.

Case 35. Badja town & lands
It is said that Igbadja Mija, a follower of the Alafin of Oyo, quarrelled with his brother the Bale or [of] Argun a village in Southern Nigeria. Igbadja came with his following & built the village of Badja. He followed Oyo. Tio, his son, came under the Fulani. Ekandie succeeded his father but was taken to Ibadan by the Ibadans & died there. Bankole his brother ran to Keke & died there. His son Fakorede (present proprietor) fought under Balogun Fulani against Offa & and at the close of the war received the old lands of Badja from the Emir. He follows Balogun Fulani.

Case 36. Oke & lands
It is said that Yagba & Shekumbe sons of the Time [Timi] of Ede a town near Oshogbo came & took up the lands of Oke; they followed the Alafin of Oyo & when Shekumbe held the lands, Maijia the Nupe came & broke the town, he fled to Ilorin. Ewola, Yajba’s son, put himself under Fulani protection & rebuilt the town. The town was again broken by the Ibadans & Oyewole fled to Ilorin; he returned after the war & rebuilt the town. Present Proprietor Lawoye follows Balogun Fulani. Formerly Oke owned much more land than at present.


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