Adeona Fusigboye

Adeona Fusigboye, born in 1863, was crowned on 3 May, 1906 as the Awujale of Ijebu land. He was the son of Ademuyewo, the famous nineteenth century ruler whose pro-Ibadan stance in the Imagbon war was unpopular. Like his father, Adeona was a difficult man for the British to deal with, and he, with the help of his former rival to prestige,Joseph Odumosu, successfully overturned the notorious Brown concession, purported to have been signed by him and his chiefs, which gave a British timber business man the right to exploit mahogany over a 600 square mile east of Oshun River. A similar document were purported to have been signed in 8 September, 1906, which gave all mineral rights at ten pounds for every 300 feet borehole and fifteen pounds more if oil was discovered, to the colonial Governor of Southern Nigeria. Adeona never resigned his mind to the reality that his Ijebu land has been taken over by the British, but he could do no more, asides his persistent insubordination, than make fetish efforts in the hope that the white man would vacate his domain.

The District Commissioner of Ijebu, Charles Partridge, punished Awujale Adetona by pruning his judicial powers, and excluding him or any traditionalist in the newly formed District Council. Against the District Commissioner’s projection however, the Council refused to be hostile to Adetona and insisted on consulting him on every important matter. For Partridge’s divisive manipulations, he suffered disgrace form superiors who recommended his dismissal especially after the 5 April 1913 disturbances which broke out between Adetona’s supporters and the much fewer supporters of the British officer who had been beneficiaries of the Minor courts set up purposely to spite the Awujale.

Although Adetona’s ambition of expelling British rule from Ijebu ended in failure, like his plea for the restoration of Remo, Ikorodu, Epe, Agbowa and other towns and villages forcibly taken away from his predecessors, he was able to preserve the pride of his Ijebu land till he breathed his last on 16 September, 1915.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer