Brief History of Chieftaincy System in Ibadan
The history of chieftaincy system in Ibadanland is dated back to the reign of Maye Okunade (1810-1831), soon after the second break-up of the settlement. Maye became the generalissimo; Labosinde became the Baba Isale while Lakanle became the leader of the Oyos.
However an open inter-class struggle in 1801 between Ifes and Oyo-Yoruba escalated into war between the Ifes who attracted support from Edun-abon and Ipetumodu, and the Yoruba who also received assistance from Ijaiye, Ede and Iwo, where there otrher pockets of refugees resided. The Oyo-Yoruba won, and Ibadan then became Oyo-Yoruba. It was after this war to as (Gbanamu war) in 1833 that the warlords resolved to make Ibadan their home and arranged for a settled government and took titles. Oluyedun the son of Afonja became the Bale and he was given the title of Are-Ona-Kakanfo of Yorubaland. However, a republican system of Obaship did not start until 1842 when Oluyole took over the leadership of Ibadan.
The innovation became a regular feature whereby there evolved two separate chieftaincy lines, namely Bale Line and Balogun-Seriki Line. The Bale title gave the holder mainly civic responsibilities while the Balogun-seriki line comprising war chiefs, held purely military titles.
Further recognition of two lines was strengthened during the formation of Ibadan Traditional Council (Egbe Igbimo Ilu) in 1879 by Resident F.C. Further. The council was made up of 11 senior chiefs, five chiefs from Bale line and six chiefs from Balogun line. Principal additional titles were introduced by Fijabi 1 (Bale 1893-1895): Fajimi (Bale 1897-1902); and Apapa (Bale 1907-19120). A few of the present junior titles have been created since 1910. Besides the two main line of obaship, the younger and unproven warriors had their own line that was headed by <strong>Seriki</strong> (a young warrior of distinction). A fourth line was created to represent the women folk. The women line was civil and headed by <strong>Iyalode</strong>. Once a family had a chief of any importance, that family will acquire some sort of prestige in the society. The chief’s successor (which as a rule in pertained) is recognized as <strong>Mogaji</strong>, a Hausa word meaning heir. The Mogaji needs not be the first son of the late Mogaji, more often the eldest man in the family is chosen, but ability and character are usually considered.