Agitation and Protest against the British Colonial Policies in Ilorin 1823- 1936

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Faculty of Arts, University of ilorin


Discontents, protests, and agitations were not peculiar to ilorin Community during the colonial period. Rather, they were rampant among various communities in Nigeria as it was the case in the other colonized nations. The Aba Women's Riot of 1929 over the fear that women were going to be taxed is an example. There were several types of violent resistance. Some were carried out by individuals like King Kosoko of Lagos, or Nana of Ebrohioni, while others were by organizations, such as the Ekumeku of Asaba and the Ezza of the Ibo. Further still, other forms of resistance were mixtures of violence and diplomacy. The Aro of Arockhukwu offered the impression that they were friendly and that they would embrace colonial administration if the colonizers would hold talks on the subject with them. By this method, the Aros contained the British for more than five years between 1896*'and 1901 (Aghenta, 1978:60-63). Other types of resistance or protest were spontaneous as a result of certain measures by the British that were totally unacceptable to those concerned such as the Aba Women's Riot, the Okeho Iseyin uprising of 1916, and the liorin revolts. Equally, some resistance may be non¬ violent. The famous in this category was the case of King Jaja of Opobo in 1887 (Ikime, 1977: 41-43). On the theory of "protest", AM A Mazrui categorized it into four; protests of conservation, restoration, transformation and correction, (Mazrui, 1970:185-196). These were the methods by which peoplereacted against, and rejected, the imposed foreign politica!, social and economic rule. yc The people of llorin therefore, having noticed the gradual disintegration of their much cherished traditional values and authorities, took measures, not only to react but also to protest (Alhaji Ubadanwaki, 1999). This work is therefore aimed at examining the peoples' reactions against imposition of colonial taxes and other administrative changes. Though the revolts were brutally crushed and major participants were punished, most of what they reacted against were equally removed by the colonial authorities.



agitation, protest, British colonial policies, Ilorin, Taxation