Patronage in Pre-Colonial and Colonial Ibadan, Nigeria

Monday, July 14, 2014: 11:15 AM
Room: 315
Distributed Paper
Ayokunle Olumuyiwa OMOBOWALE , Sociology, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

This paper conducts a comparative analysis of patronage in pre-colonial and colonial Ibadan, Nigeria. Starting up first as a camp of marauders and later a military settlement after the collapse of the Oyo Empire, Ibadan thereafter emerged a military empire with sovereignty over a large spectrum of Yorubaland by the end of the 19th Century. Ibadan developed a unique patronage structure based on the babaogun clientelistic system. The babaogun system entailed a network of military warlords who had clients who provided military and civil services in exchange for protection. Indirect rule introduced by the British integrated the babaogun system into governance, equipping the chiefs with economic and coercive powers, which of course sustained a transformed clientelistic system that was only subverted by the educated elite by the 1950s in preparation for independence. Hence the foundations of contemporary patronage system in Ibadan in particular and Nigeria in general could be traced to the political economy of colonial patronage and succeeding neo-colonial system. Using archival and ethnographic methods, this paper provides the context of patronage in Ibadan in pre-colonial and colonial eras.