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10.2l Yakubu, Abdulrahman Ayinde. “Rural-Urban Relations: A History of Balogun Gambari Ward of Ilorin, c. 1823‒1976.” B.A. diss., History Department, University of Ilorin, 1985.

Selected notes.

Nineteenth century:

p. 35. In some villages, agents & families of overlords had large areas of land, cultivated for them by village inhabitants either free or slaves. This was known as asingba (ref: Mallam Yakubu Akanni, 60, Magaji of Oloru,  ([either 29 or 30] Dec 1984). Women slaves were also used for menial farm work.

p. 37. The rural people were used as labourers on farms owned by the families of the Balogun Gambari or the Sarkin Gambari or their representatives. They carried loads from their villages to Ilorin. They also carried part of their harvest, grass to feed Balogun Gambari’s horses, wood, cloth & firewood to Ilorin. This was also known as asingba.

p. 39. Most of the people from Ilorin living in these villages came from Gambari Ward, particularly Okelele. The people from this area in the 19th century were known for unislamic practices. “Therefore their infiltration into the rural areas reinforced the traditional values and beliefs of the rural people.”

p, 40. Reference is made to the annual Iyalomo festival, celebrated in Oloru Village till today. Many people from Gambari Ward “trooped into the village” to take part. Sacrifices were made to ancestral gods to “shower blessings on the people” & both urban and village women asked for fertility (ref: Mall. Yakubu Akanni, 30 Dec 1984).

Marriages often occurred between a woman from the villages & a man from the urban area but not vice versa. It was “derisive” for a woman from Gambari Ward to marry a village man in the 19th century.


p. 55. Junior district staff who were often members of families of District Heads (DHs) were also corrupt & not satisfied with their wages. They collected “illegal money” from villagers. Also the staff would raid markets collecting various wares from sellers. These were often shared with DHs (ref: Alfa Ayinla, c. 80 years old, farmer, Isale Oja Iponrin, interviewed 29 Dec 1984).

p. 62. Islamic activities became prominent in Sao through the activities of Islamic mallams from Gambari Ward. The first notable mallam in Sao was Alfa Kuranga who came from Ile Safura in Gambari Ward in 1953. He converted many people—e.g. Alh. Jimoh & Alh. Saka—now learned mallams in the village (ref: Mall. Yusuf Afolabi [Ohoro of Sao?]. After Alfa Kuranga came many others. Before 1953, the impact of Islam in Sao had been minimal.

p. 63. Towards the end of colonial rule, most of the people of Sao, Iponrin, Elemere, Oke Oyi and other villages went to the town to erect personal buildings. The majority were built in Gambari quarter (ref: Alfa Ayinla, Iponrin; Mall. Yusuf Afolabi).

After independence:

p. 72. The DH still interfered in local politics in the districts. This occurred in Oke Oyi in1972.,when a new Oluo was appointed. The Sarkin opposed the Oluo/

p. 73. who is the present chief of the village. A court finally made it possible for the new Oluo to be crowned (ref: Chief Alao, 29 Dec 1984).

p. 74. All “oppressive collections” —isakole, aroja and others—were abolished by the military government. After this, people only gave DHs voluntary gifts of food stuffs (ref: Chief Alao, 20 Dec 1984).

p. 92. Sample interview:

Alfa Ayinla Isale Oja

Language: Yoruba

Occupation: Farmer

Age: c. 80

Interviewed 29 Dec 1984 at Iponrin.

Q Who was the fiefholder of Iponrin?

A Iponrin was given to Sarkin Gambari Bako by Shitta. The Sarkin was also given Apado.

Q Any relationship between Iponrin and Gambari Ward during the colonial period?

A “Iponrin had been under Ilorin before the advent of the Europeans. Some citizens of Ilorin had even settled in Iponrin during that time. When the white people came Iponrin was put under a District Head from the house of Sarkin Gambari. The people of Iponrin carried some of their goods to Gambari markets where they would sell to middlemen. You see the people were not allowed to sell directly in these markets, there was what is called asingba. The Sarkin had plots of land where people would work for him free. They also offered him tributes and gifts in form of farm produce. Indeed a lot of things went on between Iponrin and Gambari Ward during the colonial period.”

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