Place

Akure

Akure town (city) is the capital of Ondo state, in the southwestern part of Nigeria. The Akure people are Yorubas, Akure lies “in the southern part of the forested Yoruba Hills,” (1). Akure is at the junction of roads from Ondo, Ilesha Ado-Ekiti and Owo, its neighbouring towns.

Akure is regarded as an Orthodox Yoruba state located in present-day Ondo state Nigeria. Also, the oldest human fossil to have ever been unearthed in West Africa also came from this region (about 11,000 years ago).

Myth of Origin

It has since been ruled by a ruler with the name ” Deji of Akure ” There have been numerous mystical tales of its origin but the general tradition regarded Omoremilekun, a Yoruba prince,  as the founder of Akure.

Omoremilekun was from the ancestral bloodline of the legendary Oduduwa. One notable thing to take note of this kingdom is that it had a long history with the Benin people of the South. The word “Ado Akure ” is a testament to this claim.

Ado Akure in Pre-colonial Times

Ado Akure in Pre-colonial times was a mixture of Yoruba and Beni. What primarily brought about this was “Trade “. Although the Benis later conquered these people, they first had trade with them and in so doing, were somewhat assimilated into their culture in the sense that some Benis started taking up brides of Yoruba blood and this made the “Deji” carve out this ward for them.

The people of Akure were under the rulership of the Benis for the most part of the 18th century, however, they later regained their independence only for them to be recaptured again by the very same Benis in the 19th century.

Legitimate Trade

During the era of the  ‘Legitimate Trade,’ Akure was one of the major producers of cash crops like corn, bananas, cassava, oil and rubber, as well as pumpkins; this means it was definitely only of the most blessed Agrarian state in Nigeria.

Akure Under Colonial Rule  

A recent account of their history starts with the establishment of a protectorate over this area by the British Empire and just like the rest, they ruled this area indirectly with native authorities.

Ogun Okuta, the first indigenous revolt to occur in Akure, occurred during the era of colonisation. During the reign of Adesida I (the colonial era), the indigenous people of Akure Kingdom tired of the British obnoxious taxation system, and the excessiveness of their Oba waged massive revolt in 1931 against the duo oppressive elements- the king and the colonial masters.

Resources

Written by Ogbemudia Peter, student, department of history and international studies, University of Benin, Edo State, Nigeria.

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About the author

Tadese Faforiji

I am Tadese Faforiji, a history student of the prestigious Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State- 21st-century University, properly called. I am a blogger and an avid writer.

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