Yusuf Saad Omoiya
University of Ilorin
The history of Ilorin can be said to be a microcosm of Nigerian history because of its diverse ethnic population. The presence of two of the three major linguistic groups in Nigeria, Hausa and the Yoruba in Ilorin, among other linguistic groups of minor status, Fulani, Kanuri and the Nupe, has continued to make the history of Ilorin relevant to the reconstruction of both the Yoruba and Caliphate history.
A good number of academic works have been undertaken in various aspects of Ilorin history. This has generated controversy among scholars of Yoruba and Caliphate history, in locating Ilorin within Nigerian contest. This book intends to provide more information to illuminate the gray areas, to enhance the understanding of Ilorin history.
Located about 300 kilometres north of Lagos, on latitude North 80-30’ and longitude East 40-35’, its topography, vegetation and climate provided it opportunity of attracting settlers from the 17th Century. Ilorin has evolved a distinct culture that is an hybrid of many Nigerian ethnic groups.
The establishment of the British colonial rule in the area from 1900, initially disrupted the socio-political system that had sustained the polity before then, where the Balogun-Agba rather than the Emir was the de-facto authority. Later accommodation of ethnic balancing in the administration of the area, represented by the Balogun and other institutions such as Aare and Baba-isale by the British, through the implementation of the1913 Palma’ Commission Report, helped to consolidate the social, economic and political Institutions that sustained the unity of Ilorin.
ISBN 9783895862885. LINCOM Cultural Studies 04. 316pp. 2008.