Military Technology And The Dynamics Of Warfare In Ilorin 1800-1920

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Several scholarly works have been undertaken on warfare in Yorubaland and the Sokoto Caliphate. Both were events of the Nineteenth Century in which Ilorin was involved. Aspects of military technology, strategies, tactics and the structure of the Ilorin army in this period have been quite inadequate in the literature. More information is required on the role of groups like Fulani, Hausa, Nupe, Bariba and Kanuri in weapons production and field operation during Ilorin wars in the Nineteenth Century. The work, thus, explores the link between technology and warfare in the Ilorin wars of survival, expansion and consolidation from 1800 to 1920. The objectives of the study were to: (i) investigate the sources and types of weapons (physical and spiritual); (ii) examine inter-group relations and local technology in Ilorin military system; (iii) interrogate the force structure of the Ilorin army; (iv) assess military strategies, tactics and defence mechanisms; and v) analyse the impact of the military and warfare on inter-group relations and cultural integration among Ilorin people. rnA historical and multi-disciplinary approach was adopted for this study. This encompassed a careful and orderly collection, collation and evaluation of primary data comprising oral interviews and archival sources. This was complemented with a systematic and critical analysis of secondary data from published books, gazettes, journal articles, unpublished dissertations and studies obtained from libraries, Documentation Centres and Research Institutes.rn The findings of the study were that:rni. weapons and horses were sourced through trade, limited local breeding, and importation from Sokoto, Borno and Nupeland. Physical weapons included clubs, swords, lances, bow and arrows while okigbe, asaki, egbe, ayeta, afeeri, arina, ilerukanmi, various kinds of bindings and amulets and some verses from the Quran were employed as spiritual elements in Ilorin warfare;rnii. groups such as Yoruba, Hausa, Fulani, Nupe, Kanuri and Bariba contributed men, materials, intelligence, and physical and spiritual weapons through blacksmith, Muslim scholars and traditional healers to support the Ilorin army in its encounters;rniii. the force structure comprised infantry and cavalry while the fighting troops were made up of professional soldiers, elites, free-born volunteers and slaves all drawn from the metropolis and the outlying territories of the emirate; rniv. Ilorin war strategies included diplomatic alliances, espionage, divide and rule, while tactics used were cavalry, attack and retreat, siege warfare, guerrilla war, mob attack, and aerial incendiary as considered appropriate for any particular battle and;rnv. reminiscence of Ilorin military technology and warfare was indicated in the naming of compounds, emergence of several warrior-personalities, and the yearly durbar of horses known in Ilorin as Berende.rnrnThe study concluded that diversity was a strength in Ilorin military technology as various groups supplied both physical and spiritual weapons, strategies, tactics and intelligence in the course of her wars. By the last quarter of the Nineteenth Century, Ilorin military strategies succumbed to pressure from the British leading to the imposition of colonial rule.The study recommended the preservation of the relics of the Nineteenth Century Ilorin wars for further historical reconstruction.

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Military Technology And The Dynamics Of Warfare In Ilorin 1800-1920

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