Thesis and Dissertation for the Department of History and International Studies


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    Studies on the history of disease occurrences, control and management within the humanities is a recent development. This thesis examined the history of Bubonic Plague in Lagos from the initial outbreak in 1924 up to 1959. The Bubonic Plague in Lagos between 1924 and 1959 accounted for a total of 1,947 cases with 1,813 deaths. This thesis examined the history of Bubonic Plague in Lagos from the initial outbreak in 1924 to 1959 when the pandemic was considered inactive by the World Health Organisation (WHO). While the peak of the virulence was marked in 1928 with 519 cases and 509 deaths, its lowest ebb was witnessed in 1931 with 5 cases and 5 deaths. Few existing studies on Bubonic Plague have focused on the geographical and biomedical dimension of the epidemic in Lagos thereby neglecting the humanistic socio-economic and cultural dynamics of the event. It is against this backdrop that this thesis examined the unprecedented historical landmarks created by colonial interventions and local responses to Bubonic Plague in Lagos. The objectives of this study were to: - (i.) examine the origin of transborder Bubonic Plague in Lagos; (ii.) historical pattern of transmission (iii.) evaluate colonial interventions and local responses, and (iv.) analyse the impact of the epidemic on the people of Lagos. A historical methodological approach and qualitative research design were adopted for the study, based on archival records, oral interviews, newspaper reports and the literature. The findings of this research were: (i.) Bubonic Plague was introduced to Lagos from the Gold Coast (Ghana) through transborder kola nut trade network in West Africa. The progression of the epidemic from Kumasi (Gold Coast) to Lagos (Nigeria) unveils a new pattern of disease process in the region brought about by globalization and European imperialism; (ii.) the rapid transmission and diffusion of Plague in Lagos was facilitated by colonial transportation and communication networks as well as animal reservoirs such as the black rats. Its endurance in the port city is due to the Eurocentric Urbanism that found expression in the segregation and social neglect of the native settlements; (iii.) colonial interventions included transborder disease surveillance and screening, quarantine measures, environmental sanitation, town planning and biomedical healthcare. On the other hand, local responses involved religious and ethno-medical diagnoses and treatment based on a widely accepted historically rooted alternative to colonial intervention and; (iv.) intercultural responses to plague led to the invention of a colonial epidemic landscape in policy and practice that was piloted by cultural preferences, economic and political concerns. Plague control in colonial Lagos brings to the fore, the impact of the fear of contagion on labour productivity, public expenditure, migration, trade, food security, built environment and social mobility. The study concluded that the history of Bubonic Plague unfolded the shortcoming within colonial administrative machinery the distinct socio-spatial nature of public health praxis in Lagos. The study recommended the same pragmatic approach adopted in combatting the Ebola scourge in Nigeria in any epidemic outbreak.
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    (UNIVERSITY OF ILORIN, 2018-05) ALABI, Oladimeji Mohammed
    Several scholarly works have been undertaken on warfare in Yorubaland and the Sokoto Caliphate. Both were events of the Nineteenth Century in which Ilorin was involved. Aspects of military technology, strategies, tactics and the structure of the Ilorin army in this period have been quite inadequate in the literature. More information is required on the role of groups like Fulani, Hausa, Nupe, Bariba and Kanuri in weapons production and field operation during Ilorin wars in the Nineteenth Century. The work, thus, explores the link between technology and warfare in the Ilorin wars of survival, expansion and consolidation from 1800 to 1920. The objectives of the study were to: (i) investigate the sources and types of weapons (physical and spiritual); (ii) examine inter-group relations and local technology in Ilorin military system; (iii) interrogate the force structure of the Ilorin army; (iv) assess military strategies, tactics and defence mechanisms; and v) analyse the impact of the military and warfare on inter-group relations and cultural integration among Ilorin people. A historical and multi-disciplinary approach was adopted for this study. This encompassed a careful and orderly collection, collation and evaluation of primary data comprising oral interviews and archival sources. This was complemented with a systematic and critical analysis of secondary data from published books, gazettes, journal articles, unpublished dissertations and studies obtained from libraries, Documentation Centres and Research Institutes. The findings of the study were that: i. weapons and horses were sourced through trade, limited local breeding, and importation from Sokoto, Borno and Nupeland. Physical weapons included clubs, swords, lances, bow and arrows while okigbe, asaki, egbe, ayeta, afeeri, arina, ilerukanmi, various kinds of bindings and amulets and some verses from the Quran were employed as spiritual elements in Ilorin warfare; ii. groups such as Yoruba, Hausa, Fulani, Nupe, Kanuri and Bariba contributed men, materials, intelligence, and physical and spiritual weapons through blacksmith, Muslim scholars and traditional healers to support the Ilorin army in its encounters; iii. the force structure comprised infantry and cavalry while the fighting troops were made up of professional soldiers, elites, free-born volunteers and slaves all drawn from the metropolis and the outlying territories of the emirate; iv. Ilorin war strategies included diplomatic alliances, espionage, divide and rule, while tactics used were cavalry, attack and retreat, siege warfare, guerrilla war, mob attack, and aerial incendiary as considered appropriate for any particular battle and; v. reminiscence of Ilorin military technology and warfare was indicated in the naming of compounds, emergence of several warrior-personalities, and the yearly durbar of horses known in Ilorin as Berende. The study concluded that diversity was a strength in Ilorin military technology as various groups supplied both physical and spiritual weapons, strategies, tactics and intelligence in the course of her wars. By the last quarter of the Nineteenth Century, Ilorin military strategies succumbed to pressure from the British leading to the imposition of colonial rule.The study recommended the preservation of the relics of the Nineteenth Century Ilorin wars for further historical reconstruction.