Nature of Ibadan Traditional Institution Before 1936 CONTD.


       

     The new Ibadan arose as a base for military operations against the Egba following the defeat of the Owu, whom Egba had supported against the combined forces of the Oyo, the Ijebu and the Ife. Two types of power struggle thus resulted within the settlement in the early period of its history. The first was a struggle among the allies- the Oyo , Ijebu and Ife which resulted in the victory of the Oyo, who have continued to dominate the affairs of the city almost entirely, whilst the Ijebu contnued to occupy rather unobtrusively a quarter of the city known as Isale-Ijebu. Only once has a member from this group managed to rise to one of the positions of power in the city.

      The other type of power struggle was that between the military and civil authorities on their relative position in hierarchy of power. In an age of violence, instability and considerable turbulence, it was inevitable that the military authorities would emerge as the more important group. As a result, one fins that in Ibadan the
quarters developed not so much on the basis of ties of kinship, but largely on the basis of dependence on particular chiefs appropriated a large   tract of land to him, both within the city and in neighbouring rural districts. Thus, whilst his ‘war boys’ raised their buildings all around him in the town, his slaves stated on the farms and provided the food necessary to sustain this wide circle of dependants.

     The absence of any hereditary right to titles within the settlement led to the evolution of a peculiar system of succession to the title of Olubadan. At first, this title limited to chiefs responsible for civil administration. More recently both the ilitary and civil chiefs are eligible to provide candidate for the office. Because of this situation, no official palace exists in Ibadan, but rather as the office of Olubadan passes from one family to another so shifts the residence and other paraphernalia of office not until now that the project of building a universal place is carried out. An integral aspect of the political system was the intense conflict for power. The leading elite were always engaged in power politics and the balance shifted from one person to another on the basis of wealth, influence and size of followers.

     The arrangement in Ibadan allowed the chiefs together with the lineage head (Mogaji) to carry out civil administration. The lineage was important for every individual for it was thrugh its membership that a person has access to land and exercised civil rights. Every lineage had a spokesman, the Mogaji who together with the other elders, administers the compound in Ibadan Township and village. In Ibadan, there was no room for dictatorship. All elites, normally conspired to prevent the emergence of anyone who would wield absolute power, Bashorun Oluyole and Are Latosa, who tried to create a dictatorship, akin to Kurunmi’s model did not succeed.

See also
Nature of Ibadan Traditional Institution Before 1936


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Nature of Ibadan Traditional Institution Before 1936


   

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Ibadan. The city of rusctic roofs.

     The traditional political system of Ibadan differs from that of other Yoruba towns. Ibadan has no sacred king – a fact which may be explained by the peculiar origin and early growth of the town. Men, usually the Mogaji of their lineages, are appointed by the chiefs to vacant titles of the lowest rank. As each chief dies, those ranked below him rise in theory one place, thus creating a vacancy at the bottom (in practice some leap frogging of place is recorded).  At the top of the ladder is the office of the Bale since 1936 termed Olubadan. Between 1820 and 1850, the structure of government reflected the dominance of the military. Maye took thew title of generalissimo, OLuyedun took the title of Are-Ona-Kakanfo, being the title of his late father, Afonja of Ilorin and Oluyole took the title of Bashorun from Alaafin Atiba in 1839. By 1851, a republican system of Obaship had emerged Oyesile Olugbode became the Bale while Ibikunle became the Balogun, Sunmola Laamo was the Otun Bale while Ogunmola became the Otun Balogun.

       Beside the Balogun that headed the military line, the Bale was the head of the civil line. The younger and unproven men had their own line, which is headed by Seriki, a young warrior of distinction. A fourth line was created and represented women. The women line is civil, headed by Iyalode. The Ibadan traditional council, before the advent of the colonial administration, was the supreme organ of state while in the exercise of power; the bale was the chief executive. Its membership line was made up of high chiefs from Bale line and Balogun and council decisions on most important issues were final. Among the most important issues deliberated upon was diplomacy, war, custom duties, appointment, promotion and discipline of chiefs, military and security.

            Before 1850, when the three major Yoruba groups namely the Oyos, Egbas, and Ifes, who occupied the city in 1820 were still struggling  to evolve an acceptable system of administration which referred to as transition period, the political organization was largely confined to the city itself and its surroundings farmlands. The situation changed dramatically when Ibadan Army invaded and subdued the entire Ekiti country and much of South-Western Oyo to create the “Ibadan Empire”. Ibadan Administrative region up to 1893 therefore, extended over a land area of about one-third of Yorubaland. Its population as early as 1890 was estimated to be over 12, 00013. The establishment of British Administration in 1883 brought to an end the control of which Ibadan exercised over the Ijesha and Ekiti territories of Yorubaland. The Ibadan administrative region was therefore drastically reduced to encompass only Ibadan Province, which was made up of Ibadan Division, Osun Division and Ibarapa Division.    

See also 
  CHIEFTAINCY IN IBADANLAND


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