Legacies of Egba Empire: The 6th Alake of Abeokuta - The People's Voice


Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Legacies of Egba Empire: The 6th Alake of Abeokuta

By Our Correspondent

Oba  Gbadebo I, the 6th Alake of Abeokuta, photographed in England in 1904. The Oba was on a State visit at the invitation of the British monarch, King Edward VII.

During his stay, Alake Gbadebo was given a copy of the Holy Bible to replace the one given to his father, Alake Sagbua, by Queen Victoria.

The Bible bore the following inscription:

"Presented by Edward the Seventh, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India, to the Alake of Abeokuta, July 1904, to replace the Bible given by Queen Victoria in 1848 to Sagbua, father of the present Alake which was lost in a fire twenty years after."

Abeokuta is a Yoruba city in the south west of Nigeria. It was founded by Sodeke, the leader of refugees in flight from the disintegrating Oyo Empire. In the successive Yoruba civil wars which took place in the late 19th Century, Abeokuta, whose people form a substantive part of the Egba clan, fought in opposition to the Ibadans. They also fought and defeated the Dahomean army of King Gezo.

It was a walled city and its resilience in local wars owed something to the natural protection afforded by Olumo Rock. 

The paramount status of the Alake among the chiefs of the Egba clan was instituted during British colonial rule.

Photo Credit: Louis Adolph Langfier (Gelatin Silver Print).

No comments:

Post a Comment