Osogbo War of 1840 Revisited

Written by Adewuyi AdegbiteTuesday, 06 September 2011


The Fulani Jihad, led by Sheik Usman Dan Fodio that began in 1804 in Sokoto, and spread gradually to Hausaland and down south of the River Niger, had telling effects, not only on Northern Nigeria, but virtually the whole of modern Nigeria. The cause, course and effects have been well documented by scholars, particularly historians. One lasting effect is the spread of Islam. Other consequences include restructuring of political setting and tribal maps in some parts of modern day Nigeria, including Yorubaland.


Ilorin and its region, which were on the northern fringe of Oyo Empire was sacked by Fulani elements domiciled in that nascent town in 1823 and it therefore, became a satellite of the Sokoto caliphate and a base from where the Jihadists attempted to penetrate, subjugate and Islamise Yorubaland.


Revisiting the Osogbo war of 1840 becomes imperative because many historical works on this aspect of the 19th century Yoruba history have ascribed or attributed the feat to debar the Fulani marauders from penetrating Yorubaland solely to the efforts of Ibadan warriors. Of importance among these wars is the Osogbo war of 1840 under discourse. That supposed feat and Ibadan’s role in subsequent battles during the Yoruba internecine wars had led many scholars to also refer to Ibadan as the successor state to the ‘erstwhile’ Oyo empire.