Section 8: Selected Archival and Related Material Containing Information on Slavery, Its Aftermath and Related Topics
8.1a Background information on extracts from Nigerian newspapers, late 1970s-early 1980s
8.1b Extracts transcribed from newspapers in order of date
8.2a Background information
8.2b Notes on the extracts
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 Bodleian Library, Oxford: Commonwealth and African Collections
8.4a Background information on the two items included here
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. Note on citations, section 8.4c: These items are for read-only purposes and all citations must be to the original papers in the Bodleian Library.
Table of Contents
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.
YOU CAN PICK DISTRICT HEADS: KWSG RULES ON ASA, MORO LGAs
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.
IT’S GREAT TO LAUGH AT LAST
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
REJOINDER TO CHIEFS’ APPEAL
REJOINDER TO THE INSPIRED APPEAL BY SOME DISGRUNTLED BUT POLITICISED VILLAGE HEADS IN OLORUN DISTRICT OF MORO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA TO THE MILITARY GOVERNOR OF KWARA STATE, BRIGADIER GEORGE INNIH
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.
FOR & ON BEHALF OF OKE-OYI OJA DESCENDANTS UNION
Nigerian Herald, 14 July 1978
Stories from FELIX AJIBOYE, Afon
WE WANT TRADITIONAL COUNCIL—ASA PEOPLE
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.”
‘GRADE OUR BALE’
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
WE’RE NOT AFTER THE EMIR—CHIEFTAINCY PANEL
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.
. . . .
‘RECOGNISE OLOGBONDOROKO AS OBA’
[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
‘WHY WE FOUGHT JIHAD’
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
UPN ‘WILL GRADE’ MORO CHIEFS
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.
BANJI A. ADEBOLA
Nigerian Tribune, 23 December 1981
THE SEARCH CONTINUES
LETTERS . . . LETTERS
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
COURT RESTRAINS EMIR
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 is likely to have been transferred as part of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Historical Collection to the Foyle Special Collections Library, King’s College London, but up to the present (June 2020), I have not been able to ascertain whether it has been identified and catalogued there. However, 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.
Readers wishing to cite the diary should refer to the University of Birmingham copy.
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.
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  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.
. . . .
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]
. . . . 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. . . .
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]
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:
Abosede Magaji Baboko
Abo Kede Emir direct
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.
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
₤15 Okpolo Koro (favourite of ₤180 Joined with
Emir Audu Salami) Akambi under
Balogun Alanamu but later by Mr Duff
₤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
₤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
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
₤24 Osin Aremu Aremu follower of v supra
₤18 Ojoku Ogunola Reg: Emir Shita to
whom he did homage,
& put under Abubakr,
son of Alimi
₤24 Ogele Abdulahi slave of
₤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
(b) Wahrah forest reserve
₤9 Barla Sanda follower of Reg: Emir Zubeiru
Balogun Alanamu Put under Owode by
₤6 Berkodo Amodu (Sarkin Dogarai) Reg: Audu Salami
Ehue Otu slave of Afin, Head of Reg: Audu Salami
Igbogun Igbogun slave of Emir
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
Awudu (2) Morafa (3) Alhasan (4)
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
₤461-15-0 Apado Bako, 1st Sarkin Hamlet called Kure was
Gambari Bako’s seat: DH now lives
₤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
₤272-10-0 Ile-Apa Warri follower 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
₤227-10 Adio Alfa Sadiku slave to
₤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 Babadudu Balogun Ali, 2nd
[₤171?] Balogun Gambari
₤159 Okutala Magaji Akiali slave of
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.
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
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.
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
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
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 Oku 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. Ajidongar 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. Osin Aremu Aremu Follower
2. Magaji Momodu Son
Magaji Gari 1. Afon Momodu Follower
memo 829/1917/20Ilorin, 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.
Ilorin, 18th August, 1955.
[To] The Permanent Secretary,
Ministry for Local Government,
Local Government Reform: Ilorin
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
Resident, Ilorin Province.
26th April, 1955.
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.
(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
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
(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.]