Yoruba Civil Wars


Welcome to class! 

In today’s class, we will be talking about the Yoruba civil wars. Enjoy the class!

Yoruba Civil Wars

Yoruba Civil Wars classnotes.ng


Yorubaland was engulfed in a series of civil wars throughout most of the nineteenth century. She was also attacked by the Fulani jihadists from the north in the first half of the century.

Causes of the war

  1. The collapse of Old Oyo and desire of Ibadan to dominate other Yoruba states.
  2. Oyo refugees after her fall, moved southwards to establish new states.
  3. Struggle to control trade routes
  4. Personal ambitions of warriors.

Yoruba civil wars

  1. Owu war (1816- 1823):

It involved Owu, Ife and Ijebu. Owu attacked a town called Apomu( one of Ife’s towns)in 1811 on the instruction of Oyo whose citizens were kidnapped by Ife. Owu attacked Apomu for economic reasons. In 1816, Ife and Ijebu fought Owu until she eventually fell in 1823.

  1. Ijaiye wars (1860 – 1865):

Alaafin Atiba nominated his son, Adelu as his successor before his death contrary to tradition that the since dies wit his father. Kurunmi of Ijaye did not accept but In accepted. Ijaye attacked Ibadan in 1860 with a joint force from other Yoruba states like Abeokuta, Ijebu etc. Ibadan was able to conquer Ijaye with the help of Remo and the British in 1862. Ijaye allies; Abeokuta and Egba attacked Ijebu Remo and the British but they were also defeated.

  1. Ekitiparapo war (1877 – 1893):

It involved Ekiti, Ijesha and Ife who formed an alliance called Ekitiparapo against Ibadan. War broke out in 1877 when Ibadan tried to break Ijebu and Egba control over trade routes. A peace treaty was signed initiated by the British in 1886 which recognized the Independence of Ekitiparapo alliance. War broke out again in 1890 but was brought to an end by British military intervention in 1892-93.

Consequences of the Yoruba civil wars
  1. Loss of life and property
  2. Rise of new states and towns.
  3. Rise of warriors
  4. A great change in the art of war.
  5. Encouraged the slave trade
  6. British began to exercise control over Yorubaland.
General evaluation
  1. State the causes of the wars.
  2. Explain the Civil wars in Yorubaland
  3. What were the consequences of these wars?


  1. War chiefs and their importance in the Civil wars


In our next class, we will be talking about European Explorers.  We hope you enjoyed the class.

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