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The Ijebu Kingdom / British-Ijebu War.

Posted by Walter Gido on

The Ijebu Kingdom / British-Ijebu War.
Ijebu (also known as Jebu or Geebu) was a separate kingdom in pre-colonial Nigeria. It was formed around the fifteenth century. Its ruling dynasty was founded by Obanta of Ile-Ife and was part of the Oyo Empire.The kingdom was one of the most developed in the region with a complex and highly organized government. The capital was at Ijebu Ode where the Awujale had his palace. The traditional belief that governed the monarchy was similar to that of the Chinese Mandate of Heaven.
Counterbalancing the Awujale was the Osugbo (known as the Ogboni in other parts of Nigeria), a council of all free born, titled men that acted as the kingdom's courts.Like other African society Ijebu was divided into three age ranks, and these groups each had their own leaders.The Kingdom stretches to parts of Lagos State and borders Ondo State. These towns includes Ijebu-Igbo, Imota, Ikorodu, Epe, Lagos, Ijebu-Isiwo, Ogun Waterside, Iwopin, Lekki in Lagos State, Ijebu-Imushin, Ijebu-Ife, Apunren, Erunwon, Isonyin, Ososa, Odogbolu and Ago-Iwoye.
The kingdom rose in power in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, mainly due to its important position on the trade routes between Lagos and Ibadan. The kingdom imposed sharp limits on trade, insisting that all trade through the region be conducted by Ijebu merchants.The monopoly brought great wealth to the kingdom, but also annoyed the Europeans, who had made a treaty in 1852 with the Ijebus.The Ijubu Monopoly accepted but later disregard and reject the treaty. In 12th May 1892, the British attacked Ijebu in response to its trade barriers.
With help of soldiers from Ghana, Sierra Leone and Hausa cities the British were later successful by 21st May and occupied the capital, burning the meeting hall of the Osugbo.
The British army employed Maxim guns During the war where thousand of Ijebus died during the war.The main cause of the war was the prowess of the Ijebu merchant who traded with the Portuguese merchant, this angered the British who were intruding into the Area to control the economy of the people.

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