Karan was the despotic Alaafin of Oyo whose notoriety earned his name the epigram for which it is today used, “as cruel as Karan”. Appearing to have learnt no lessons from the life of his immediate predecessor, Odarawu, whose reign ended in disgrace, Karan continued in tyranny. Conspiracy thickened against him at Aga Oibo, during the expedition, which he sent out against the town.

Through clever manipulation of traditions, the king was stripped of his authority as the commander of Oyo army. All lieutenants who could have saved his honor were not left out in the plot. A siege was thereafter mounted against his palace and Karan fought back. It appeared he was alone in the battle and he died in the fire that was set on the palace. Karan’s short and inglorious reign thus ended. His son, Jayin succeeded him.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer