Addo Kingdom: The Pioneer Of Yoruba Nationalism In Africa.

By: Fanuvi Samuel

In The Year 1887, the British colonial government sought the protection tf The British flag in Addo kingdom (present day Ogun State, Nigeria). The Olofin refused to grant the British permission to hoist the Union Jack in his Country.

In 1891, the Awori tribe of Addo kingdom put a blockade on the trade route from the interior of Lagos. The Addos who were located North-East of Lagos did this to charge customs from traders coming through Addo trade routes that link Lagos.

The ruler of Addo kingdom, Olofin Ashade Awope Oteni, also shut the Badagry trade route which denied Lagos trader from making any trade.
However, the British government was obviously not too happy about these and persuaded Olofin Oteni to open the blockade. The traditional ruler refused to do so on several occasions.

Things would change in February, 1891. Captain George Denton, a British acting Governor took with him troops mostly made up of Hausa constables to meet the Olofin.

The plan was to convince the Olofin to open the blockade so that there could be free passage of goods to Lagos. After much persuasion, the Olofin agreed in that compensation be made for the loss of custom duties which served as revenue. Unfortunately, this deal did not last too long.

The Olofin would seize canoes from Ajilete traders and other British subjects who refused to pay him tribute.
This act pissed off the British government. There was an order to use force on Addo kingdom.

On 11, March 1891, a detachment of armed Hausa constables with British troops sailed from the Lagos Lagoon to Addo kingdom.
The Olofin was apprehended by British troops and forcibly removed from his territory to Lagos.

At the capture of the Olofin by the British, his hands were at first bound very tightly behind his back and then brought forward and kept in Irons. He was led almost naked to the ship, having been dragged out of his palace. His palace was pillaged by the British troops and money, artifacts and valuable cloths were looted.

In May 27, 1891. The Eletu Odibo of Lagos and the Olumegbon of Lagos with other Lagos Chiefs requested the permission of the British government to release Olofin Ashade Awope Oteni.

The Olofin was pardoned and allowed to return to his kingdom.
On his release and signing of the peace treaty with the British in August 1891, the British began conquering diverse Yoruba kingdom in the Hinterland, starting with the Ijebus in 1892, Oyo 1895, Benin 1897 and the Sokoto caliphate in 1903.

The Addos, with their valiant Olofin Ashade Oteni actually pioneered Yoruba nationalism in Africa.

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