AN ASSESSMENT OF THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN ODO-OWA DURING THE COLONIAL PERIOD
1.1 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
This work is aimed at ensuring that socio-economic development of Odo-Owa in Oke-Ero Local Government Area of Kwara State during the colonial period is articulated and written down for historical purpose, thus ensuring that the basic information about the socio-economic activities of the people is documented.
It also aims at examining the colonial rule system, the various changes and activities during the colonial period. It hopes to advance the history of Odo-Owa from essential political history to socio-economic history, the research also aims to show the major areas of concern which are the social and economic developments that took place the town during the colonial period.
It must be noted the sources employed form this work have been made use of just to ensure that the authencity and originality of what will be written down about the socio-economic development of Odo-Owa during the colonial period is right.
The objective of this work is to look into the socio-economic activities in the town before the colonial period, and the changes brought as a result of the colonial presence.
1.2 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this work can be seen form the socio-economic development of Odo-Owa before the colonial rule; how the colonial rule influenced the development and its effect. There are different activities and event during the colonial rule, the people of Odo-Owa community were mostly farmers and because of this the children are taken along with them to the farmland.
As a result of colonial rule people did not show interest in farming as it was before the colonial period some people now preferred white collar jobs, while some farmland and left vacant and people have build houses on it.
It should be added also that as a result of the lack of transportation system, the traders most especially have to treck along distance. At times they spend two or three days before getting to neighboring village and this was because they had to trek long distance.
1.3 SIGNIFICANE OF THE STUDY
The significance of this will be paramount on the relevance of socio-economic development in Odo-Owa community. It is important to study the socio-economic development of Odo-Owa for intending researchers to know how the economic and social endeavour of the people could be influenced.
This relevance can be seen in the different activities and practices of the people of Odo-Owa during the colonial period. It was believed that since agriculture is the major occupation of the people of Odo-Owa, their children were also taken to the farm with them, they were not literate. When western education was introduced they were unwilling to allow their children to go school, thinking they might be armed or killed1.
The people that had three or more children may allow only one they thought was not so useful to be educated. But late they discovered tat educated children were literates and knowledgeable compared to those going to far. They later allowed their children to be educated 2.
Another importance can be seen in the religious beliefs of the people of Odo-Owa which is gradually waning away, which is part of the significance of our insight into the historical relevance of socio-economic development Odo-Owa3.
Also, the people of Odo-Owa who were majorly worshippers of Imole which is believed to be a spirit living inside a Rock called Imole Boja Rock shelter the rock is no more duly worshipped as a result of modernity4.
It must be added also that the people of Odo-Owa are majorly farmers but also traded with other communities around them. As a result of bad roads, and lack of transportation system. They had to travel long distance trekking. The construction of roads and availability of transportation system during the colonial period which made it easier is another issue that will be addressed5.
1.4 RESEARCH METHOD AND PROBLEMS
The socio-economic development of Odo-Owa during the colonial period is a very challenging but also interesting work of history with information, extensive reading and research method obtained through oral tradition.
Extensive interviews with various personalities in Odo-Owa were also done and this was an uphill task as a result of complexities and perplexities experienced and systematic steps would be taken in the course of sourcing, gathering and collecting data for this essay.
The challenges encountered varied from the fixing of an appropriate time for interviews and consultations with well informed people such as Pa. Isrel Oladele, His Royal Highness the Olota of Odo-Owa and few other people in the community whose parents told them about the history of the town during the colonial period useful assistance was fond at the National Achieves Kaduna, University of Ilorin Library and Kwara state Library.
1.5 LITERATURE REVIEW
Since a good historical writing should be objective in its conclusion and authentic in it’s choice of materials, some few books that have a link with Odo-Owa’s been carefully carried out to adduce truths economic development in Odo-Owa during the colonial period.
According to Egharevba, in his work, he gave a very clear description of Odo-Owa’s origin, which he traced to Ilesha one of the ancient towns I Oke-Ero Local Government Area of Kwara State and one of the largest in population. The town is located in crescent valley about 4km East of Omu-Aran along Ilorin-Kabba express road with neigbouring towns such as Osi, to the East, Etan and Erinmope to the south, Oko and Idofian to the North and Ilofa to the West.
According to Egharevba “Oga Atakumasa” left Ilesha where he was Oba of Benin with a view to placing his complaints before Oba Egbenbude around 1578 because he was one of the most dreaded Kings in Yoruba and I those days.
Another word that discussed Odo-Owa did not adequately discuss the socio-economic development of the town during the colonial period but lightly mentioned the esparto between Odo-Owa and Ilofa.
The separation of Ilofa from Odo-Owa came up in 1935. The reason for the separation was that the Olu Of alias Oba Ilofa told the Emir of Ilorin that his people were migrating else where as a result of bad treatment meted on them by the village tead Oba Olota. According to Oba Ilofa’s statement it reads,” All my towns men are running away and did no return”. They went away because they don not want to be with him. The reason why I came to you (Emir) is that is should separate them from him, and if I refuse they will go away.
Another book titled Odo-Owa in the 19th and 20th century by Kehinde Jacob only examined the traditional lifestyle of the people of Odo-Owa looking into their origin and background. He also deviated to the crowning of the Olu ofa.
The Olu-ofa was not formerly a crowned king as capping was forbidden from where he came from. But when his people saw his other companions capping they approached the Olota of Orota, now Odo-Owa to grant permission to Olu-Ofa to be capped. Then the Olota and his traditional councilors, after full consideration granted the request.
The Olota and his councilors then appointed a special date to hare the ceremony performed on the appointed day capping the ceremony was performed amidst a lot of people. When cap was about to be placed upon Olu-Ofa’s head the Olota of Orota now Odo-Owa said, “Take upon this cap and wear it at anytime as permitted and approved by me and my councilors, but from henceforth you will be known and titled as “Inarinmode”.
While these renewed literature were only concerned with the origin and traditional life of Odo-Owa from the cultural and political aspect. It is believed that this work on the socio-economic in Odo-Owa L.G.A. will be a good compliment to what we already hear about the history of Odo-Owa.
NOTES AND REFERENCES
1) Akintoye S.A. Revolution and Power Politics in Yorubaland 1840-1893
Longman 1977 (p. 42-49).
2) EBHAREVBA J. A Short History of Benin; Ibadan University Press, 1968, 4th Edition (Page 31-33).
3) Prof. Dopamu, ESU: The invisible foe of man
4) Chief M.O. Ashaolu, Ipekun Family Group,
Interviewed in Odo-Owa
6) Kehinde J.A Odo-Owa in the 19th century to the present 1984 (p.24-26)
7) Community Watch (Special Edition) series 4,
Jan. 1998, page 4