A HISTORY OF THE TRADITIONAL POLITICAL SYSTEM OF OKA-AKOKO PEOPLE IN AKOKO SOUTH WEST AREA OF ONDO STATE.


Content

ABSTRACT

The study will Centre on the traditional political system of Oka - Akoko people in Akoko South West Ondo State. It will throw more light on the system from the pre­colonial era.

Primary and secondary data were used as a method to gather detailed information for the study, primary data comprise of oral sources and traditions from generation to another involving the researchers personal observation as an eye witness accounts. A survey was, carried out based on certain numbers of people and places through a selective interview Oka- Akoko.

While secondary data like historical text books, magazine, thesis and Journals etc. Historical method which comprise the techniques and guidelines by which historians use primary sources and other evidence to research, were used to analyze the data collected. It is a field of research, which uses, narrative and descriptive to examine and evaluate the stages of event in Oka Akoko.

The study revealed that Oka Akoko is one of ancient cities in the course of human history and Endeavour with major historical land marks in the map of Nigeria history. The results examined the positive and negative impacts of the political system on the socio- Economic history of the Oka - Akoko people.

Their historical importance in the making of modem and civilized Nigeria especially in the area of religion, Education and tourism.

The project also examined the origin migrations and settlement pattern in a Akoko, secondly the research gave available evidences to the broader and manifestation of political division, rivalries, succession disputes, and the relationship between the traditional rulers and the people making Oka - oko attain the position of Lime light in Nigeria. The First town to experience political development in the south west region of Nigeria, and secondly one of the oldest Kingdom in Yoruba land, with its origin from Ile-Ife migrations.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page

Certification

Dedication

Acknowledgement

Table of Contents

Abstract.

 

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1    Background to the Study.

1. 2    Statement of the Problem.

1. 3    Aims and Objectives of Study.

1.4     Significance of the Study.

1. 5    Scope of Study.

1. 6    Limitation of Study

1.7     Research Questions.

1. 8    Definition of Terms.

1. 9    Methodology

Notes and references.

 

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW

2.0     Introduction                                                           

2.1     The Precolonial Era of Oka-Akoko.                                        

2.2     The Political Development since 1890s                                                

2.3     Settlement Patterns and Political Divisions.                                                  

2.3.1 Administration of the Town.                                               

2.4     The-Epic-Court Case of 1992                                               

2.4.1  The Roles of Exercised by the District Officer in the

Succession Disputes.   

2.4.2 The Roles of the Local Governments in the Administration of the Town.  

2.5     Some Aspects of Precolonial History of Oka Akoko  

2.5.1 The Establishment of British Administration in Owo, Akoko

Relations Notes and References.

 

CHAPTER THREE: ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT OF OKA – AJOKO PEOPLE & ECONOMIC, POLITICAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES. .

3.1     Origin of Akoko people                                                

3.2     Development of Oka Akoko People                             

3.3     The Economy of Oka Akoko                                        

3.4     Polities of Oko Akoko                                        

3.5     Socio – Cultural Heritage                                                       

Notes and References                                          

 

CHAPTER FOUR:

THE IMPACTS OF THE SYSTEM ON THE PEOPLE

4.0

Introduction

 

4.1

Impacts on the Politics (positive)

 

4.1.1

Negative Impacts

 

4.2

Socio - Economic Impacts (positive)

 

4.2.1

Negative Impacts

 

4.3

Impacts on Contemporary History

 

 

Notes & References

 

 

CHAPTER FIVE:

SUMMARY, CONCLUSION,  AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1 Summary

5.2 Conclusion

5.3 Recommendations

5.2 Conclusion

BIOLIOGRAPHY

APPENDIX:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

 

1.1     BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

According to Olukoju (2011) says: Oka lies on latitude 7O28 North and  Longitude 5050" past. It is about 90km North East of Akure, the Ondo State Capital. Its neighbours are Epinmi and Upe in the East, Akungba in the west, Ikare in the north and Oba in the south, Oke-Oka the major Oka settlement located some 400 meters above sea level, is perched on, the highest peak in Akoko land which is itself, "the hilliest and most rugged part of Yoruba land", The area is well endowed with rainfall and the vegetation is mainly rainforest though the soil, especially at Oke-Oka, is generally granitic.

Kolawole (2009). The traditions of origins and migrations of the Akoko have been described as vague and indefinite probably, because every town, with the possible exception of Oka, was conquered by or submitted to the Nupe or Tapa of Bida, Nonetheless, these traditions claim Ile-Ife, Benin, Akoko-Edo (Kukuruku) and Yagba origins for the Akoko people. One could explain the diversity of origins as reflected in the tradition in terms of the topography of Akoko, which made the area an ideal meeting place for diverse peoples and cultures from the west, east and north. This is diversity is reflected in the dialectal plurality in the area, Yoruba is, however, the main language.


Olukoju (2011) says that Oka was a kingdom consisting of fifteen Chiefdoms. These chiefdoms now called "quarters" were subdivided into two wards - Ogban Asin (better known as Siru) and Ogban Olusin (Sifa). The first, under Ebo and Ebinrin (which constituted the Siru subsections of this Ogban) and Ibaka, Ikese, Korowa, and Okia (The Sirin subsection headed by the Olubaka of Ibaka). The second, Ogban Olusin, comprised Iboje, Idofin, Owaase and Owalusi (in one subsection under the Olusin), while Agba and Ikanmui formed another subsection under the, Alagba. The overall Leadership of the ogban was vested in the Olusin of Owalusin,

Kolawole (2009): The traditional explanation for these groupings is that chief chiefdoms of quarters in one Ogban were the children of the same father, while children of the same mother formed the constituent subsections.

 Given the diversity of origins of the Oka people, this seems to be a rationalization of relationships forged by co-migrations, geographical proximity, and more social interaction or shared vicissitudes, It is instructive that these groupings are named after the number of  their members, Erun (five) in Siru; Eerin (four) in Sirin, and Efatsi) in Sifa.

However, the fact that the groupings have not been based on mere territorial contiguity has ensured that they are not divisive, factors in Oka politics.

Adewunmi (2008) says that: Most of the fifteen chiefdoms or quarters of Oka in turn had subdivisions. Sometimes, as in Agba, Oke-Ikanmu and Oka-Odo, the quarter chief was also the head of Odooju and the Olokia, the head of Isaba. The quarter chief was assisted in the administration by a council of elders (Ihare) and the general council of youths which comprised age-grades from 18years to 60 years. The council of elders which was headed by the eldest man in the community (Opan) administered the chiefdom or quarter during an interregnum, the village assembly (Apejo) provided forum for discussing affairs of the community and its decisions were binding on the members. The age-graders (Etu or Egbe) executed such decisions, maintained law and order, constructed of cleared footpaths which led to other settlements and the farmlands and maintained the community's sources of drinking water. The age grade between fifty years and sixty years was a link-between the, .younger ones and the Ihare. It supervised the execution of communal decisions, it was known as in Agba, Ela in Ibaka, Akala in Ikanmu arid Egbe in Iroho (Okia) .Akomolaje (2008) says that: Administration at the level of, the town was federal, with a large measure of autonomy at the level of the, chiefdom. Indeed the quarter chiefs were addressed as Kabiyesi, the normal honorific for kings. Consequently, a council comprising the Asin, of Oka- Odo, the quarter chiefs and, at critical times, co-opted community leaders administrated Oka. The extent of the powers of the "Leader" or paramount ruler is unknown, but apart from occasionally "raiding" the market, he did not exercise absolute or dictatorial powers. In any case, the council of chiefs, the elders and the Ifa oracle made the appointment of the ruler. The power of the chiefs in this exercise was demonstrated, as we have seen, in the case of the Olubaka Olategbon Omowa II in 1936. In the even of an interregnum, the Olusin of Owalusin acted as regent has been the case since the demise of Oba Omowa II in 1992.

 

1.2     STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

Akoko is a large North East Yoruba settlement in Yoruba land, the area spans from Ondo State to Edo State in South west Nigeria. Akoko takes a large percentage of the Local Governments in Ondo State. Out of the present 18 Local Government council it takes four, Akoko North East, Akoko North-West, Akoko South-West, Adekunle Ajasin University, a State owned University, is located in Akungba-Akoko. A state specialist Hospital is at Ikare-Akoko, while a general hospital is located-in Oka- Akoko.

Despite all the attributes the community has faced so many challenges from the past till 2011.

1.     The Rivalry between the paramount Ruler and a High Chief

2.     Succession disputes among the quarters Chiefs Territorial disputes and boundary settlements, between, Oka and her Neighbours.'

3.     Negligence of Natural Resources and Agricultural products for politics,

4.     Corruption, crimes and wars between Oka and other towns.

5.     No regard for Tourist Attraction, which made the inhabitants lack behind in the preservation of cultural heritage.

 

1.3    AIMS ANI) OBJECTIVES

The sole aim of this study is to examine the developments that have taken place in the transitional political organization in Oka-Akoko South West of Ondo State, and more so to investigate the principal actors in the political system and structures in the region, Thus, suggested possible method will be used by the researchers to go deep into the political pillars that have long been existing in the area. Also it is the desire of the researcher to look into the succession disputes, rivalries in the political system, the role played by the local government council, the customary law court and the challenges facing the entire cabinet of the paramount ruler.

 

1.4     SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY

This Essay will enable the inhabitants and my fellow students to have the deep knowledge and the opportunities to be acquitted with the fact that a political organization has long been existing before the post-colonial era, and to ensure that the organization faced so many challenges.

Also, to shed more light on the roles and responsibilities exhibited by the political cabinets and roles played by the people within the vicinity in relating with the system, furthermore, in securing a peaceful environment, the essay will encourage the people of Oka-Akoko South-west the right answer to the problems of their community, observing strictly the bye-laws without waiting for supervision and co-operation of the leaders. Above all individual must be able to be the watch joy of himself or herself ensuring that the town becomes developed and extends to a higher level.

 

1.5     SCOPE GF STUDY.

Although, there are not less than Two hundred Thousand people in Oka- Akoko South West local government area of Ondo State, but this study mainly focuses on few people and about five places whose Selection is carefully made, potting into consideration some variables, such States, Location, Time, Age and experiences in those places and people. It is hoped that the limiting factors would not affect the geniuses of the outcome of the study.

 

1.6     LIMITATION OF STUDY

The research study normally should have covered a wide field of Akoko’ South West to make for representative study. However, it is limited to Oka-Akoko so as to minimize transportation and communication problems and other unforeseen difficulties. However lack of fund, insufficient, materials and inadequate or all tradition may be part of the challenges the research work will be facing. It is hoped that the identified problems will not adversely affect the outcome of the research study.

Sequentially, the research work shall dwell much on the effect of the challenges facing the political structure, developments and peace the aforementioned area.

 

1.7     RESEARCH QUESTUONS.

The following questions are formulated to guide the investigations on the developments in the political organization.

a.            Where is the present palace located?

b.           Was the paramount ruler (the king) recognized with is absolute power?

c.     Was there any duty Assigned to the local government in terms of Administration?

d.    What are the roles of the districts officers and were they recognized?

e.     Was the customary law court in use?

f.     Why is the oponship title restricted to Owalusin Alone? :

g.     Why does the council of elders possess absolute power than the Paramount Ruler?

h.    Has there been any Rivalry between the Asin of Oka-Odo and the paramount Ruler? The Ruler?

j.     Did the late General Ramat Muritala Muhammed actually criminate into the creation of Akoko South local government with Oka?

 

1.8     DEFINITION OF TERMS

During the course of research and to further comprehend the research topic under discussion, the following terms are defined as follows.

OGBAN: The quarter which consists offsite chiefdoms, which was later subdivided into two wards.

OGBAN ASIN: The first group that emerged during the division consisting of five communities and later known as SIRU” and culminated into nine communities.

OGBAN OLUSIN: The second group that emerged during the division consisting of six communities and later known as "SIFA".

OLUSIN, OF OWALUSIN: The overall leader of the ogban (The Chiefdom quarters) Regent.

IHARE: They assisted in the administration of the quarter chief, general council of youths, which comprised age-grades from 18years- 60years.

OPAN: They serve as Judges in the customary law court. They are the head of the council of elders, the oldest man in the community is the only person entitled to the post.

APEJO: A place where public opinions are raised, is cussed and settled, also known as the village assembly, where its decisions were binding on the members

ETU OR EGBE: Are the ones executing such decisions, maintained Law and order, constructed or cleared footpaths which led to other settlements and the farmlands and maintained the community’s source of drinking water.  

KABIYESI: Also known as the Asin of Oka-Odo, which consisted of the ones executing such decision unmaintained law and order, constructed or cleared footpaths which led to other settlements and the farmlands and maintained the community's source of dirking water.

KABlYESI: Also known as the Asin of Oka-Odo, which consisted of the quarter chiefs, the normal honorific if for kings.

IGIA: They are assigned a crucial role in the 'coronation of an olubaka.

IBAKA: The chosen and most suitable place for the administrative head office

OLUBAKA: the paramount Ruler who was later recognized.

UDE OR EDULA: The second her of administration in the council of elders. These are those who just graduated from the lower ranks, the age of graduation was between 70 and 75 years.

EMBA: This is the lowest unit being occurred recognition' by the community and can be represented by a title or non-title head;

 

1.9     METHODOLOGY

This work relies heavily on the use of primary and secondary sources. The primary sources are in form of oral interviews, while the secondary sources can notes the use of several Literature such as books, magazines, Journals, newspaper, academic works, internet search and, available oral traditions;

 

 

 

 

 

NOTES AND REFERENCES

Adewunmi R.D (1977) pg. 12-13 "Succession to Obaship among Oka-Yoruba: a case study in political conflict" B.Sc. Special project, Department of, Sociology and' Anthropology U.N.N, Nsukka

Akomolafe C.O (1935) "The establislunent of British and its impact on Owo Akoko relations" published by lbadan University press, 1970.

Kolawole D.O (2009) "A History of' Oka". Alabisi of' Ikanmu-Oka, Chairman of Akoko South Local Government" published in Nigeria by: Demman consultancy and partners.

Olukoju A.O (1980) pg. 10-11 "Some Aspects of the pre-colonial history of Oka-Akoko, origins, migrations, sentiments and inter group relations", B.A Special project,' Department of History and Archaeology, U.N.N~ Nsukka.

 

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