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8.3e Colonial Reports Annual: Northern Nigeria, 1900‒1913. London, 19001914

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

Annual Report for 1900-1901

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

Annual Report for 1902

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

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

Annual Report for 1904

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

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

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

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

Annual Report for 1905-1906

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

Annual Report for 1906-1907

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

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

Annual Report for 1907-1908

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

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

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