The Mugbamugba War – Second Attempt by Yorubas to Regain Control of Ilorin

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The Mugbamugba War – Second Attempt by Yorubas to Regain Control of Ilorin

After the Fulani Jamma murdered Are-Ona-Kakanfo Afonja and seized control of Ilorin, Abdulsalam, the son of Shehu Alimi, became the first Fulani ruler of Ilorin.

Abdulsalam ruled with the title of Emir and not Oba which proved that the Yorubas had completely lost control of Ilorin, a Yoruba town, to the Fulanis.

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In a bid to restore the control of Ilorin in the hands of the Yoruba people, Toyeje, the Baale of Ogbomoso and the new Are-Ona-Kakanfo, led an attack on Ilorin to expel the Fulanis but failed

After sometime, between the months of March and April when garden egg (Igba) was ripe for harvest, another attempt was made by the Yorubas to chase Fulani people out of Ilorin but failed again.

During this period, the whole land was already devastated by the previous wars and consequently there were no farms for foraging. Ilorin had also ran out of food, so both sides had no food to eat than garden egg (ìgbá) thus the war was named Mugbamugba.

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The Yorubas suffered untold defeat in the Mugbamugba war. They did not know how else they could fight the Fulanis who were expert horsemen with potent charms. Monija, the king of Rabbah and a mercenary fighting on the side of the Yorubas, fled to his town leaving the Yorubas to their fate.

To crown their victory, the Fulanis of Ilorin attacked all towns in the directions of Offa, Erinle and Igbona. The Olofa of Offa with Asegbe (his Ilari) escaped to Ikoyi.

References:

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Johnson, Samuel; The History of the Yorubas; Lagos; CSS Limited; 1921; pg. 80-81

Omipidan, Teslim; The true and sad story of how Afonja lost Ilorin and its kingship to Fulani people; OldNaija

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