THE SURVIVAL OF IGBOMINA INDIGENOUS POLITICAL STRUCTURE UNDER THE ILORIN EMIRATE SYSTEM IN THE 20TH CENTURY
1.1 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The motivation to undertake this study on “the survival of Igbomina indigenous political structure under Ilorin emirate system in the 20th century” is born out of increasing question on the identity and tenacity of the culture of Igbomina people and more especially their political system.
For over a century, the Igbomina people were under different powerful political authorities. While places like Oke – Ode and Babanloma were under the Nupe authority, places like Oro, Igbaja, Omu- Aran, among others, were under Ilorin. The influence and impact of these authorities over the Igbomina speaking people are indeed, lasting. While the dressing of some of the traditional title holder has been seriously influenced, religion and custom has not been battered.
The totality of this situation has naturally been generating questions that this research study tend to provide answers to.
1.2 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this work is to critically examine how Igbomina indigenous political system survived till date despite that the polity undergone series of incursions at different times in history.
Equally important is the era of Ilorin emirate hegemony over the Igbomina people. The influence of Ilorin emirate has also been given serious treatment in this essay. It should be noted however, that within the establishment of imperial presence through the planting of fiefs and appointment of agents called “AJELE” to oversee various Igbomina community by Ilorin emirate, the impact of it was felt in the whole of Igbominaland. In particular, the Igbomina groups that are in Kwara state. The role of British colonialists in sustaining the authority of Ilorin emirate over Igbomina is also worthy of appraisal.
1.3 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study is to discuss the integration of Ilorin culture into Igbominaland. Especially the stock in Kwara state. The specific focus would be on how the Igbomina indigenous culture have survived under different subjugating authorities.
The study covers from between 1900 -1999. This would be largely because the Ilorin emirate imperialism on Igbomina reached it apogee and decline in the 20th century. This study will also touch on various aspects of history on the incursion in Igbomina land. The relationship between Igbomina people and Ilorin before the emergency of emirate system in the mid 19th century. The situation would be treated along the administrative structure of Igbomina indigenous political institutions and the structural changes recorded after the era of established authorities over the Igbomina peoples.
1.4 METHODOLOGY AND PROBLEM
Different methods were adopted in collecting data for this essay. Basically, an historian must start by critically evaluating the existing or related literatures on the area. This effect did not only enhance the understanding of the researcher but it also open up his mind on the topic of study. The library study is followed by visit to the Archives and be concluded with the collection of oral data. This, complement confirm or correct the data obtained from the other sources of history. By this, both primary and secondary sources were employed to address the research.
Naturally, no research effort is undertaken without its own problems. To obtain relevant or literatures that were directly related with the chosen topic, actually demanded a lot of time to be at the library. Since the work falls into the category of historical efforts that can be said to be new, obtaining materials were generally difficult.
The problem encountered during the visit to the Archives at Kaduna is another worthy aspect of my problems. Even though the journey from Ilorin to Kaduna gave no problem, accommodation and operation at the National Archives Kaduna is another aspect where I had to endure.
Despite some of these problems, collection of data for the research study was indeed, stimulating and challenging.
1.5 LITERATURE REVIEW
It should be noted that, much has been done on the historical reconstruction of Igbominaland in general, but attempt have not been made on the survival of Igbomina indigenous political structure under Ilorin emirate in the 20th century. Therefore, relevant materials have to be scouted for. Some of the literatures examined are as follow.
Samuel Johnson, in his book, The History of Yoruba, gives a general historical account of Yorubas. The book traces the origin of the Yorubas and how Alaafin Ojigi took interest on Igbomina people to have extended Oyo empire authority to the area. The extension of Oyo Empire’s authority, where Laderin, the progenitor of Aare Afonja served as the first Ajele of Old Oyo Empire in Ilorin.
Akintoye, in his book, Revolution and Power politics in Yorubaland, 1840 -1993, did a thorough job on the origin of Igbomina as a group that settled in Kwara state. He also goes on to discuss at length the impact of Ibadan warriors on Igbomina.
Suffice to say, while Akintoye claimed that Oke – Ode and Ora were founded by the Oyo immigrants, available sources have shown that the settlements were by Ife immigrants.
Fatai Afolabi’s Igbomina Land in the Context of Yoruba History, is a literature that gives details account on migrational history of Igbomina origin, people and also how Igbomina people are found in Kwara and Osun states of present day political structure in Nigeria. The literature also analysis how the Igbomina people agitated for regrouping during the colonial era.
Even though the literature dealt more on Igbomina history, never the less the vacuum of the survival of Igbomina indigenous political structure was not filled.
Sources of Yoruba History by S.O. Biobaku, analysis different Yoruba indigenous political entity as well as structures without ruling out the social cultural settings of the Yoruba kingdoms and chiefdoms. It also contributed in no small measures to the explanation of the relationship between different Yoruba kingdoms, especially during the Yoruba civil war.
It is worthy of note that, the literature dealt mostly on Yoruba civil war of 16years. The literature did not extend to discuss the history of Igbomina people.
R.S. Smith in his book, Kingdoms of the Yoruba, a good account of Igbomina and other Yoruba kingdoms although in a comparative form. It did not cover the aspect on the survival of the Igbomina people.
Afolabi Fatai, Igbominaland in the context of Yoruba History, Ibadan, Scepter Prints Limited, 2006.
J. Pemberton, Festival and Sacred Kingship among the Igbomina Yoruba: National Geographical Research: Vol II, 1986.
R.S. Smith, Kingdoms of the Yoruba 3rd edition, London,
James Currey, 1988.
Rev Samuel Johnson (Ed. Dr. O. Johnson), The History of the Yorubas, Lagos, CSS Bookshop Ltd, 2009.
J.A. Atanda, An introduction to Yoruba History, Ibadan, University Press, 1980.
P.O.A. Dada, A Brief History of Igbominaland, Ibadan, Matanmi and sons printing company Ltd, 1985.
Robin Law, The Oyo Empire: the history of Yoruba state; ‘c1600 c1836, London, 1977.