Ekiti People of Southwestern Nigeria and Socio-Economic Self-Reliance Before 1900

F. Jumoke Oloidi


The Ekiti people had all the needed infrastructures of civilization and, therefore, development before the implantation of colonial rule in Ekiti Division of the old Ondo Province of Western Nigeria. The territory was well organized with highly functional socio-developmental structures that naturally or organically formed the foundation of colonial rule. People’s settlement patterns acknowledged the effort of high civilization. Also, socio-culturally, socio-politically, spiritually, artistically or technologically, the land was self-reliant. This was why the first Travelling Commissioner to Ekiti, Major W.R. Reeve Tucker, concluded in 1899 that the Ekiti people already had all the basic, though traditional, infrastructures that would facilitate modern development. The system of education was morally and professionally assuaging. Their religious practices were efficacious and focused on people’s survival, while various progressive social and administrative activities acknowledged the success of a stable and organized society. Technologically, many craft and artistic experiences, for which they were known, gave them technical power over their material environment. Apart from having its own system of currency and efficient trade activities, Ekiti also had workable judicial and other systems that made it a complete state before colonization.

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