Benin: A study in the budding crises in the polity, 1914 to 1939

Michael Ediagbonya

Abstract


The study examined the budding crises in the polity of Benin between (1914 -1939) it also assessed the conflict of interest between Oba Eweka II and the Iyase of Benin kingdom, Chief Agho Obaseki in the Benin Native Administration from 1914. It accounted for the crises of 1920, 1936, and water rate agitations. It also analyzed the agitations of the educated elite in Benin.

The study relied on documentary data and secondary sources like books, Newspapers, Articles, Journals, periodicals. The documentary data were sourced from intelligence reports, divisional reports, colonial letters, dispatches, government reports and correspondences. The data were subjected to internal and external criticisms for authentication and then to textual and contextual analyses.

The study found that crisis in Benin started in 1914 because the Iyase of Benin kingdom, Chief Agho Obaseki dominated the Benin political scene to the detriment of the newly crowned Oba, Eweka II. The study also found that the abolition of district headship generated more crises. The study demonstrated that Oba Akenzua II’s refusal to consult the people before signing the water rate regulation in 1939 led to attempt to depose him. The study also found that the denial of the educated elite in Benin to participate in Benin Native Administration was the last straw that broke the camel’s back.

Keywords


Crisis, Elite agitation, Oba (king), Confrontation, Resolution.

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