By Mutiat Titilope Oladejo
Title: Okeho Exodus: Regicide, Revolt, Relocation: A Historical Play
Playwright: Olutayo Irantiola
Publisher: Peo Davies Communications
Year of Publication: 2022
Reviewer: Dr Mutiat Titilope Oladejo
As a historian, I find it interesting to read Olutayo Irantiola ‘s book on The Okeho Exodus. I reviewed the book, and I am pleased to say that we have our story, and it is good that we can recreate them for our pleasure and for the future.
While lecturing at Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, I had the cause to visit Okeho to supervise students in teaching practice. I also visited other towns in Oke-Ogun. In my travels around Oke-Ogun, I am distraught by the level of development in that region of Oyo State. I even wonder if Ibarapa and Oke Ogun regions are ever on the map of development in Oyo State.
Okeho, a typical Yoruba town, maintained its identity to survive the nineteenth-century turmoil tensioned by the transition from the illegitimate commerce of the slave trade to the legitimate commerce of the Bible and plough.
Olutayo Irantiola’s play fiction, the Okeho-Iseyin uprising of 1916 to narrate the everyday realities of major events that aggravated the chaos. It is pertinent to note that it coincided with the period of the first World War. Britain, at this time, used colonial laws to encapsulate the colonies.
The book gave the impression that encounters with the Fulani and Dahomey already influenced the internal security issues of the town and its environs. This can’t be downplayed because the Fulani and even Nupe have years of integration into the Oke-Ogun region. Of course, Prof. Babatunde Ayeleru’s inaugural lecture gives us the impression that the Dahomey/French influence remains relevant in some parts of the Oke-Ogun region. Some doctoral students are also investigating the cross-border trade between Nigeria and Benin Republic via Oyo north.
The threats, then, made Oba Arilesire call for a common political identity between Okeho and the towns around. There was a merger that enabled cooperation against enemies. However, the death of the king and the emergence of Onjo Owolabi Olukitibi as the new king changed the status quo. Although the book gave the impression that the Ajele created havoc at this time, I disagree a bit because the Ajele was a revenue collection institution that existed since the eighteenth century. Little or nothing can the Onjo do to stop it. It is only the British policy of indirect rule that reinforced the Ajele. Taxation should not be the issue; the people were just estranged from the colonial influence on everyday life.
The uprising also emanated from rancour and mischief among the Baale. Pointedly, Baale Olele, Balogun Atilola, Alasia and Ba’Ogan were fingered as opposition to the reign of Onjo Owolabi Olukitibi. They wanted him out because he was considered an agent of colonial imposition.
The schema headed by Baale Olele was possible because the citizens preferred the traditional lifestyle. The book gave the impression that there was opposition to colonial rules against open defecation, thus compelling them to build toilets in their homes. Vaccination of children was also considered taboo as it was believed that it would affect their brains.
Courts were established, and it was considered a big threat to the existing gender relations. Women used the courts to snap out of oppression as they sought a divorce. To men, oppression is normal and should not be questioned. Statistics from the archives I used in my book: The Women Went Radical: Petition Writing and Colonial State in Southwestern Nigeria, 1900-1953, attest to this because Okeho and Iseyin had high rates of divorce in the 1940s.
Furthermore, Christianity was a threat as the custodian of traditional religion believed that the missionaries were causing havoc to the belief system. Men worked as labourers to survive the colonial economy, and the scope of authority that gave powers to the police angered them. The policemen (Akoda) were considered traitors.
Scholars have opinions on the issues, but the book sets us into an interesting fiction. Mofeyisara Oluwatoyin Omobowale, in “Okeho Uprising” in the International Encyclopedia of Revolution and Protest, concluded that the uprising was brutally suppressed. Prof. J. A. Atanda, in the article: “The Iseyin-Okeiho Rising of 1916: An Example of Socio-Political Conflict in Colonial Nigeria,” published in the Journal of Historical Society of Nigeria, 1969, affirms that taxation was not the problem but just a revolt against colonial imposition to all spheres of life.
The schema extended to Iseyin as the uprising was jointly executed to wipe out Onjo Olukitibi, the queen and the prince. Captain Ross responded swiftly by mobilizing the colonial army to capture Baale Olele and cohorts. They were sentenced to death by hanging.
The chaos led to the disruption that made colonial rule more pronounced. The people were compelled to move from Okeho Ahoro, the site of the uprising, to Okeho Ile to ensure effective monitoring by the colonial state.
I appreciate my friend for his patriotism in writing this book, the playwright and I attended Abadina College, the University of Ibadan, the University of Ilorin for undergrads and back to the University of Ibadan for postgraduate programmes.
I will like to mention that I appreciate my friends at the University of Ilorin who chose to return home after their studies. A number of them insisted they would be back home to teach, farm or work with the local government. I appreciate their patriotism! It also dawned on me that I also feel the same way about Ibadan city as my home.
Long live Oyo State!
Dr Mutiat Titilope Oladejo is of the Department of History, University of Ibadan
Educating Every Nigerian Child Our Priority—Stanbic IBTC Trustees
Stanbic IBTC Trustees Limited, through the Stanbic IBTC Education Trust (SET), has made assisting Nigerian parents and guardians to secure their children and ward’s academic future one of her top priorities.
SET is a flexible and easy investment plan with long-term benefits that support parents and guardians striving to provide quality education for their children and wards.
With SET, parents and guardians can ensure the payment of their children and wards’ school fees as education-related expenses are directly effected by the institutions of learning, be it elementary to tertiary levels. This action ensures that unforeseeable events do not cause a disruption in their education which may negatively impact their future.
Education trust funds are invested in conservative-type instruments and professionally managed and administered by a reputable Corporate Trustee and Fund Manager.
Parents and guardians can also nominate their children and wards’ SET accounts as a beneficiary for their life insurance policies; a clear example is the Group Life Insurance Policy. Situations like this would ensure that the portion allocated to each child’s SET account is received and utilized for the child’s education. This has proven to be extremely beneficial if the child is a minor (under 18 years of age) or still in school.
Speaking about the positive impact of SET on the Nigerian child, Mr Charles Omoera, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Trustees Limited, said that the organisation understands the significant impact of quality education on every child and the positive effect it will have in shaping their future.
Mr Omoera urged parents and guardians to put in place SET for their children and wards to help them address any adverse circumstances likely to halt their education. He stated that parents and guardians must always strive to give their children and wards quality education to position them for rare opportunities attached to the benefits of having quality education.
Stanbic IBTC Trustees remains committed to ensuring that Nigerian children have access to quality education from elementary to tertiary education to help develop their minds and contribute meaningfully to society.
Orevaoghene Whiskey Emerges InterswitchSPAK 4.0 Winner
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A student of Top Faith International School, Akwa Ibom State, Miss Orevaoghene Whiskey, has won the fourth edition of the prestigious InterswitchSPAK National Science Competition.
She is now the first female winner of the 13-week Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) show, which had over 20,000 applications across the country.
With the win, the 16-year-old best STEM student in Nigeria will receive the grand prize of N7.5 million in scholarships, among other exciting prizes.
InterswitchSPAK Nigeria is the corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative of Africa’s leading integrated payments and digital commerce company, Interswitch.
The programme aired on domestic and terrestrial television stations, providing a platform for brilliant young Nigerians to showcase their knowledge in STEM subjects.
In the fourth edition, Adesayo Elumaro of The Ambassadors College, Ota, Ogun State, clinched the second spot and went home with N4 million, while Precious Akinyemi of Rhema Chapel International School, Oyo State, grabbed the third position and N1 million in scholarship.
Speaking on the essence of the initiative, the Chief Customer Experience Officer at Interswitch, Ms Oremeyi Akah, emphasised the need for more young Africans to tow the STEM path, thereby underscoring the goal of the InterswitchSPAK National Science competition.
”Research by the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) reveals that less than 25% of African higher education students pursue STEM-related career fields,” Ms Akah said.
Based on this premise, she expressed concern about the retrogressive impact this could pose on Africa’s talent pool which may not be opportune to acquire the necessary tech skills to drive innovation on the continent in the near future.
However, she submitted that through initiatives such as the InterswitchSPAK National Science competition, hope holds sway because “Interswitch is inspired by its vision of a prosperous Africa, driven by the exchange of value and commerce; an Africa where Africans are equipped with the requisite knowledge to solve the unique challenges faced on the continent.”
She added that the reward and prizes totalled N12.5 million was a way to fund the “dreams and aspirations” of the winners as they work towards creating an impactful future for Nigeria and Africa in general.
Last season, 16-year-old Jubril Dokun of Brainfield College, Salolo, Lagos State, who snagged the first prize, also emerged among the top 10 highest scorers in the 2022 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Exam (UTME).
With a vision of a prosperous Africa, Interswitch has pledged to provide enabling platforms that encourage the future generation of STEM professionals who will contribute to the growth of Nigeria and Africa at large. This has been evidently demonstrated with InterswitchSPAK rewarding 12 outstanding STEM students with a total of N50 million over the last four years.
InterswitchSPAK 4.0 Finalists Nudge for N7.5m University Scholarships
As the semifinals of the InterswitchSPAK National Science Competition draws to an end, nine contestants are left in the race for the crown as the best Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) student in Nigeria.
The student who emerges tops will bag the grand prize of N7.5 million in scholarship for a five-year period, a brand-new laptop, and a monthly stipend. The second-place winner will go home with N4 million scholarship spread over a period of three years, a brand-new laptop, and a monthly stipend.
The third-place winner gets N1 million scholarship spread over a period of one year, a brand-new laptop, and a monthly stipend.
It is interesting to note that these students emerged from over 20,000 students that sat for the Crux Computer-Based Test (CBT) held nationally last year to compete for the bragging rights as the country’s best STEM student.
Preparations for the grand finale are in place and the excitement is high as followers of the show anticipate a stiff and rousing competition between the unusual mix of contestants left in the race.
While girls have made it through to the finale of previous seasons of the competition’s 4-year run, this season has the highest number of female finalists, they include Precious Akinyemi of Rhema Chapel International School, Oyo State, Joyce Onubogu of British Spring, Awka, Anambra; Towoju Atinuke of Seolad International College, Ogun State; and Orevaoghene Whiskey of Top Faith International School, Akwa Ibom State.
Other finalists equally competing for the grand prize include Zulqarnain Abubakar of Apt Scholars Universal College, Ogun State; Chimdubem Duruji of The Ambassadors College, Ota, Ogun State; Oraibi Okari of Jephthah Comprehensive Secondary School, Rivers State; Adesayo Elumaro of The Ambassadors College, Ota, Ogun State; and Stephen Nwaneri of Adedokun International Schools, Ogun State.
Over the years, InterswitchSPAK has remained committed to driving the interest of young African students in STEM subjects by encouraging and rewarding them in their pursuit for excellence. InterswitchSPAK is a flagship CSR initiative of Interswitch, Africa’s leading integrated payments, and digital commerce company.
To catch the grand finale, tune in to DSTV Africa Magic Family 154 on Sunday, 29th January 2023 at 5:30 pm, with a repeat broadcast on Wednesday, 1st February 2023 at 3 pm; and on the AIT Network at 7.30 pm on Sunday, 5th February 2023. You don’t have to miss the action while on the go, you can watch the show on platforms such as LinkedIn and YouTube.
Stay tuned for the finals. It promises to be nothing short of entertaining, educating, and thrilling. Bond with family while at it. What better way to inspire the budding generation than to give them something to aspire to, knowing that if they can dream it, they can achieve it.
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