From mid 1700s to mid 1800s Yorubaland witnessed series of wars between Yoruba kin and against outsiders.

November 1st every year marks the end of  one of them,  the Jalumi War.

Akinade Owoade writes:


After the success of the jihad against the Muslim Hausa Sultanate in Gobir, the Sunni Islamic Fulfulde speaking ethnicity called the Fulanis set their sights southward, against the Káàárooojíire land in their quest to wash their swords in the Èkó ocean after the carnage, but nature and the men of this land showed them that was a wrong choice.

The excuse for the Jihad against the Hausa rulers was that they were corrupt and has to be replaced by Fulani Mohammedans, but their grouse against our homeland was that we were enslavable pagans.

After many jihad successes in Yoruba land, following their murder of Aare Afonja, the sun set on the murderous march of the Fulanis with the coming of Ibadan to the stage, a city of many warlords from different parts of Yoruba land.

The final push of the Fulanis came at a very difficult time for the Yorubas, for we were engrossed in a bitter civil war about the treatment of the other parts of Yorubaland by Ibadan, in the middle of all these, the Fulanis of Ilorin took sides with the anti-Ibadan coalition, to get the behemoth out of the way for a smooth ride to the coast.

After a rash decision by the Aare Ìlọ̀rí a relatively incompetent Osi-Balogun and a heavy drinker, was selected and given the greater part of the battalion to face the invaders, after the battle, the Fulanis prevailed and captured Ìlọ̀rí along with many of his soldiers.

On the 20th of October 1878, the Ibadan army, under the control of the Aare Ona Kakanfo, paid obeisance to Oranmiyan, the deified first Alaafin of Oyo, in readiness for war.

The Yoruba war standard then moved northward towards the town of Ikirun, where the Fulanis have made a seat of carnage. If not for the precariousness of the situation, that time of the year was a very bad season to march an army out, the closing rains of the year were falling, as such, all rivers were overfilled, and sadly, many of the Yoruba soldiers met their death in these river crossings, even before meeting the enemy!

The army never stopped, it set its sight towards the common enemy and not even the shootings of a band of Ekiti men, about 1000 soldiers strong, a fallout of the ongoing Yoruba civil war, would make them look back, the greater headache was camped around Ikirun.


On getting to the battlefront on the first day of November, 1878, Balogun Akintola met an ongoing battle between a contingent of the Ibadan army and the men of Ikirun already engaging the Fulani invaders, these soldiers were highly reinvigorated on seeing their Balogun, whose Second-in-command, the Osì-Balogun, they had come to rescue.

The whole Yoruba forces began to sing Akintola’s warcry “Ìrèké ò ní’bùdó”, such that when the final charge was ordered, the soldiers couldn’t wait to tear the invading army apart!

The Fulanis were badly defeated. On finding Ìlọ̀rí, he sadly had been beheaded by the retreating forces. The men of Ọ̀ffà made this victory complete by cutting the bridge on the River Otin, and the river swallowed what was left of the invaders.



Watercolour paintings of Northern Nigeria Durban Festival by Akintunde John




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