Oyo Empire was the most politically organized entity founded by the Yoruba speaking people in the present day Nigeria. The empire was well organized and was influential and powerful. It at a time controlled the politics and commerce of the area known today as a southwestern Nigeria.

The political administration of Oyo Empire was based on complex system of checks and balances involving layer and structure of traditional rulers. At the center of the political structure is the Alaafin who was the king. Most powers were controlled by him. He wielded both political and spiritual powers. Under the administrative structure of the Alaafin was the Aremo who was always the first son of the Alaafin. In the early stage, if an Alaafin dies the Aremo takes over but it was found that some Aremo killed their father so as to rise to the throne. Later a decree was made demanding that the Aremo should commit suicide upon the death of an Alaafin. His administration was headed by three lieutenants namely the Ona Efa who was the Empires Chief Justice, the Otun Efa who was in charge of the Sango shrine and the Osi Efa who was the controller of he palace finances.

The next political structure was the Oyomesi. The Oyomesi was a council of prominent chiefs of the Empire numbering about six or seven sometimes. The Bashorun was the title of the head of the Oyomesi. The main function of the Oyomesi was to act as a check to the excessive powers of the Alaafin. The selection and dethronement of Alaafin was the exclusive powers of the Oyomesi. In a situation were the Oyomesi losses confidence on an Alaafin, the Bashorun is expected to present that Alaafin with a Calabash which signifies that the Oyomesi, ancestors, people have lost confidence on him. The Alaafin is then expected to commit suicide.

Another important political structure was the Ogboni headed by the Olowu. The Ogboni was made up of representatives of various lineages. The Ogboni acted as checks to the excessive power of the Bashorun. For someone to be a Bashorun, the Ogboni must give their own approval. In some cases the Alaafin made use of Olowu to check the unnecessary presentations of power by the Bashorun led Oyomesi.

Next in line was the army leaders headed by the Are-Ona-kakanfo that was the army commander. The Are-Ona-Kakanfo was responsible to the Alaafin and the Bashorun. They army officers were appointed by the Alaafin but their promotions were carried out by the Oyomesi. Are-Ona-Kakanfo was not expected to loose war. If he loses a war, he is expected to commit suicide or go into exile. This made most of the people that served the Empire as Are-Ona-Kakanfo to develop themselves into great warriors.

Other Yoruba areas that formed part of the empire were ruled by their Oba, council of Elders or the Ogboni confraternity. Each of these communities had an Alaafin supervisor resident in it known as Ajale. Because of communication gap Ajale enjoyed relative freedom making some of them corrupt. In order to check this, the Alaafin established very special messengers known as Ilari. Their role was mainly to supervise different Ajale under their jurisdiction. Some Ilari became corrupt and very oppressive.


One significant factor which contributed to the success of the jihad was the
early successive victories which the jihadists, despite their smaller number and
inferior equipment, won. What the Muslims lacked in number and weapons was
compensated for by high morale. Their morale was especially boosted by their
faith. They believed that they would benefit by participating in the jihad whatever
their fate. If they died, paradise was a sure reward. If they survived, a share in the
war booty would come, to be followed by the enjoyment of the paradise in heaven.
The early victories, such as the one at the battle of Tabkin Kwotto, rallied more
support as many who had been neutral became convinced that Allah supported the
cause of the jihadists. The jihad leaders took full advantage of such victories and
the feeling they generated by mounting a powerful propaganda machine —
publishing manifestoes and writing personal letters of appeal.
During his preaching tours, Uthman Dan Fodio made contacts which later
proved very useful when actual fighting began. Among those he met were Fulani
groups scattered all over Hausaland. He also became friendly with some non- Fulani people and Muslim scholars. For instance, he met Uthman Massa, a prince
of Kebbi, during his preaching tour of Kebbi before the jihad. Massa later became
helpful as he allied with the jihadists during their attack on Kebbi. In the same
manner, former students who returned to their respective states, such as Yaqub of
Bauchi and Modibo Adamu of Adamawa became followers and flag bearers of
Uihman Fodio and executed the jihad in their respective areas. The existence of
local supporters in different parts of Hausaland and beyond thus facilitated the
spread of the jihad within a short period.
Uthman Dan Fodio was a pious, charismatic Muslim and an erudite scholar.

He preached in Hausa and wrote pamphlets in Arabic. These attributes and the
attraction of his appeal for reforms made many, including students, Muslims and non-Muslims, to flock to him. The Hausa peasantry and the Fulani and Tuareg
nomads who hoped to benefit by the reforms advocated by Uthman dan Fodio were
either willing to support him or at least, sympathetic to his cause. This broad-based
support was crucial to the jihad movement when fighting eventually broke out.
Furthermore, once the community at Degel was established, it became a
place of refuge. For example, slaves escaped from their masters to become free Muslims.

There was also the quality of the leadership particularly provided by Dan
Fodio himself and his followers, especially Muhammed Bello (his son) and his brother, Abdullahi. Their scholarship, piety and devotion to duty inspired their followers.

But apart from the leadership given to the jihad by the scholarly group, the
solid support given to the movement by the Fulani group was crucial. The Fulani
were a very cohesive ethnic stock. Even though they could marry outside their
fold, they were not willing to give their daughters out to those from other ethnic
groups. Besides, there was close contact between the two Fulani and the cattle
Fulani. Very often the leading town Fulani owned large herds, and therefore
indirectly controlled a considerable number of the nomadic brethren. Fulani
scholars like Uthman dan Fodio had close ties with their kith and kin.

This situation strengthened their social solidarity and explains why they easily identified
themselves with the jihad.
In their migrations from the Senegal region to Hausaland the Fulani were
subjected to frequent attacks by the Bambara and the Tuaregs. In Hausaland the
nomadic Fulani moved from place to place in search of good pasture, settling in
semi-permanent conditions and getting accustomed to tough conditions. The Hausa
frequently raided them for cattle. Thus Fulani settlements were organized on a
defensive basis and each group had its own militia to guard it in times of attack. So
even before the jihad, the Fulani had some experience of fighting in their own

The ranks of the Hausa were divided and weak and could not therefore stand
against the jihadists. Many of the Hausa peasants joined Dan Fodio since they saw
in his movement a viable alternative to the heavy taxation and oppressive rule of
their kings. While the Fulani co-operated and helped each other, the Hausa Kings
did not respond to Yunfa’s appeal for help. The tradition of endemic hostility
among the Hausa States prevented their coming together to fight a common foe.
Thus, Zamfara initially supported the jihadists against Gobir because of its enmity
with the latter. Disunity arising from political upheavals also weakened some of the States. In Nupe and Ilorin, for instance, the jihadists successfully exploited
divisions among the ruling groups in these areas.



1.) The former Katsina State Governor initiated the Niger-Delta Amnesty Programme which saw hundreds of youth, particularly those that took arms against the state going abroad for studies and professional training.

2. Yar’Adua initiated the Abuja-Kaduna rail route which was commissioned by incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari in July 2016.

3.) He recommended the dredging of River Niger after 40 years.

4.) Reversed some of ex-president Obasanjo’s decisions considered to be against the national interest such as the sale of three refineries.

5.) He released the N10 billion Lagos State local government councils’ funds withheld by Obasanjo.

6.) Under his watch, the courts regained their freedom. They handed down verdicts that cancelled political victories even though his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was the victim.

7.) The late President completed 13 of major highway works he inherited from his predecessor.

8.) He was Nigeria’s first ever president to declare his assets.