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The Kiriji War

  • Date Submitted: 11/05/2013 10:57 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 51 
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THE KIRIJI WAR
By: Mustapha Kariola
From an epistemological perspective, the term Kiriji is not native to the Yoruba speaking people. It was said to have been derived from the onomatopoeic booming of the cannons echoed by the rocky terrain of the war field; the cannons which were acquired by the Ekiti Saro merchants in Lagos through their trading with the Europeans.

The Kiriji war was researched to be the first civil war among the Yorubas to herald the usage of weapons of precision, such as the cannons. It's been a war of bow and poisoned arrows; Cutlasses and swords with knives and black power in the previous battles.

It is generally believed that a war is staged to solve issues, or display superiority over another entity; issues being power, people or economy. It had sometimes been wife or gods that had caused the issue of war in some cases. But oft times, otherwise is the case, as it brews more intractable problems than it intended solving.

According to E. A. Ayandele; a professor of history and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calabar, he asserts that "the Kiriji war can not be analyzed in isolation, seeing that the Ijaye war (1860-1865) broke out partly because the Owu war (1820-1827) had settled nothing but brewed more problems, just as the first world war. The following problems remained unresolved after the wars before the Kiriji war: The Egbas had strengthened there war fort through contact with the Europeans; There was no edifice to replace the traditional Old Oyo Empire; The Egbas were partly dismembered and dislodged from their original homes; The emergence of Ijaye and Ibadan from the defunct Oyo empire changed the political map of the Yorubaland. The Kiriji war in turn acquired the problems not settled by its predecessors. There were a number of other fresh problems created in sequel to the previous wars. The principal of which was: the Irredentist movement among the educated Egbas and Ijebus to free their fatherland from the...

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