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stories and histories HISTORICAL CONTEXT OF BUILDING THE FORTIFICATIONS OF THE SHABè

Historical context of building the fortifications of the Shabè

The circumstances which led the Shabe to build fortifications are manifold.
By the turn of the 18th century, all Yoruba institutions were threatened by a political crisis that rocked the Oyo Empire, with the abolition of the constitution and the successive rebellions of the egba kingdoms against Lisabi's rule. At the end of this century, Afonja who was named Are ona kakanfo by Alààfin Aole reigning since 1789, rebelled against him. Thus in 1796, Alààfi Aole committed suicide. Adebo succeeded him. But Afonja who wanted independence and the consolidation of his power sought the help of Sheikh al-Salih still called Alimi, a Muslim Fulbe preacher in Ilorin around 1817.The latter formed a powerful army and took the opportunity to introduce into Yoruba territory the reformist idea that Othman Dan Fodio had begun to spread through Jihad or "holy war" against the Habe chiefs in Hausa country since 1804. The Jihadists led by Alimi, then by his son Abd Salaam, seized power in Ilorin. Extracting this large city from the Oyo empire, they will organize systematic assaults against other cities of the empire between the years 1820 and 1830, then from 1835 to 1837 (Bagodo, 1978: 30; Atanda, 1980: 30-36; Palau Marti, 1992: 204). It was during one of these wars, the battle of Ilorin also called Eledue war in English-speaking historiography in general, and Nigerian in particular, that Alaafin Oluewu and the king of Borgu Eledue or Sero Kpera Ilorin kpunon were vanquished and killed (Bagodo, 1978: 168-183). It was the decline of the Oyo Empire. The deserted capital lay in ruins. It is therefore from this period that bands of Fulbe riders will appear in Shabe country to introduce the "Jankare War", named after General Baatonu, Dankoro who led the central wing of the army of 'Oyo to the sideby Alaafin Oluewu. The Fulbe incursions into Shabe must have been between 1837 and 1840. The Fulbe ravaged farms and villages in the northern Okpara area and large settlements were also attacked, including the capital Shabe Idadu, Ikinmon and Kokoro (Palau Marti, 1992: 204-205).

After the restoration of the institutions of the new Oyo, Alààfin Atiba entrusted the defense of the territory to the two most important chiefs, Kurumi of Ijaye and Oluyole of Ibadan, conferring on them the titles of 10th Are Ona Kakanfo (Marshal) and Basorun respectively.

Under Alafin's theoretical authority, they were responsible, one for the western part of the empire, and the other for the eastern part. Thus, Kurumi and Oluyole behaved as independent leaders and die-hard rivals. They often went to war with each other, and others often found themselves involved in their strugglesthus certain Shabe villages which were said to be favorable to Ibadan over a dispute between Alàfin and Basorun were classified as enemies of Oyo; This is why the Are Ona Kakanfo declared against Shabe and carried there war.
Warfare conflict battle then, Kurumi, the warrior chief of Ijaye, waged a cruel war on the Shabe people. During this war Sakis forces are said to have fought alongside the Ijaye warriors against the Shabe. in the chronicles of Saki City, these campaigns are known as Ogun Sagaun, the "Sagaun War". The villages attacked during the first campaign are listed: Sagbo, Lado, Awaiye, Wasimi. Ateni's Abeokuta and Tui were later attacked. These events took place during the reign of Okere Adeniyi between 1841-1844 (Palau Marti, 1992: 209-210)

In the new Oyo, during the reign of Alààfin Majotu, Dada Ghezo of Daxome (1818 to 1858) renewed the challenge of his predecessor Adandozan (1797 to 1818), refusing to pay the annual tribute. As a result, Alàfin decided to bring the war to the territory of Daxome. Oyo's troops, led by the mighty Balogun Ajanaku, crossed Shabe territory to attack the Daxome. in the process, Shabe reinforcements joined Ajinaku's troops. The Oyo-Shabe army passed through Ofe and stopped near Pahouignan before advancing against Agbome (Abomey). But Dada Ghezo did not wait, and went in front of the enemy army which he attacked by surprise causing a great massacre. this battle took place in Hunjiro or Hunjuro at the same location where the village of Igbomina (Glazoué) is located today around 1821 (Palau Marti, 1992: 196-97). It was after the fall of Hunjuro that the Idahomi intensified their forays into Shabe country. During one of the expeditions against Shabe Idadu, the capital was ravaged. other villages were reportedly devastated with large numbers of dead or captives. As a result, Shabe country, in these turbulent times, was the almost uninterrupted theater of tragic episodes. Insecurity was the daily life. to rebuild the capital and prevent invasions or attacks from the east (Oyo) and south (Idahomi), the Shabe had to build multiple fortifications.

Example of fortification: The stone rampart of FIDITI
it is a defensive work requiring know-how and having to protect the populations or promote their defensive action with the sole aim of thwarting the wishes of the adversaries. it is a stone wall of height varying between 2 and 4 m and made up of small blocks of granito-gneissic rocks arranged one on top of the other, from the basal glacis attaching to the floor to mid-top of these domes thatculminate at 418 m on the udders, the relief is dominant, imposing and very visible about ten kilometers from the entrance to the town of Savè.
The rampart is a veritable observatory for detecting and preventing danger. it goes around the inaccessible city over a length of 2 kilometers. He suffered damage from the action of the man especially the woman who came to collect these stones for her crushing activity. nevertheless, vestiges of the defensive rampart still exist today on the site...


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