Self- Government in Western Nigeria

In March 1953, Anthony Enahoro at the age of 29, moved a motion for internal self- government for various regions in Nigeria.  He submitted that Nigeria should be granted independence in 1956 but this was met with stiff opposition from his fellow parliamentarians who ensured that the motion was killed. The motion for Nigeria’s independence was not successfully moved in the Nigerian Parliament until 1957.

By 8th of August 1957, The defunct Western Nigeria was granted self-government (political). ATÁYÉSE a Yoruba self- determination organization propelled by the vision and commitment to accomplish;

  • Autonomy of the Yoruba nation within a truly FEDERAL UNION OF NIGERIA and the furtherance of Yoruba interest worldwide;
  • Generation of inform discourse, debates and ideas on economic, political, social and cultural policies aimed at making Yoruba nation a highly developed and value – oriented society.

Under the distinguish Chairman Chief Tokunbo AJASIN and Secretary Comrade Wole AINA, organizes event to celebrate commemoration of this historic feat annually. The aim of the celebration is to look back to history, in re- evaluating and redressing the past of the Yoruba peoples to know and ascertain that the present and future of the region can be better, it should also be noted that feat was critical, and celebrating it is believed to help bring forth the memory of the building of an egalitarian society by the for bearers.


R-L Chief Tokunbo Ajasin, Com. Wole Aina and Myself at an event in Ibadan.

The 2012 edition which I was privileged to attend was organized as lecture with the theme: 1957 Self- Government: The foundation of Yoruba demand for Internal Self- Government succinctly delivered by Prof. Ezekiel K. Ogundowole formerly of the department of Philosophy, University of Lagos, at the Banquet Hall of Premier Hotel Mokola, Ibadan, while that of 2014 was hosted at the Freedom Square, Lagos.


Artist at the celebration of commemoration of Self Government of Western Region in Lagos.

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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.  

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