Iwe Irohin

Iwe Irohin was the bilingual newspaper published by the Church Missionary Society in Abeokuta from 1859 to 1867. The principal contents of the paper were marriage announcements, church news, post office notices, advertisements, trade reports, cotton statistics and general news. During the years of its existence, it had remarkable impact on the local administration of the independent Egba country and concerned itself with public affairs of the Alake and chiefs and of the quasi-bureaucratic administration of the Egba United Board of Management.

Although Iwe Irohin maintained a level of objectivity it equally provided alternate opinion on policies such as the closing of Ogun River to trade with the aim of preserving warriors from the temptation of capitalism. It was lamented in the article that “this weakness of the Government is a source of vexation…it is very necessary to know the real position of the government body, to strengthen the government and to weaken the privileged association that association that benefit from the Ogun River policy”.

The death of Iwe Irohin in 1867 is directly linked to the Ifole Uprising, and though this is taking as a serious setback in the modernization of the 19th Century Abeokuta, some recommendations featured in the newspaper such as the weakening of certain nobles to boost Alake’s power formed elements of McCullum, the Lagos colonial Governor’s recommendation to the Egba in 1898.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer