Maye was the commander of the joint army that waged war against the Egba tribe following the fracas at Apomu market in which the people of Owu were pitched against the Ijebu. Although Owu was originally involved, Maye’s army had extended hostility to Egba villages, thereby causing them to unite in a relatively safe place to the west called Abeokuta. Maye’s army sold many Egba people into slavery, some of who were saved by the British anti-slavery squadron and ferried to Freetown in Sierra Leone from where they had their first contacts with Western education.

Okunnade, the Maye, was the 19th Century commander of the Ile-Ife army and leader of the camp of Oyo, Ile-Ife, Ijebu, and Egba warriors who after an impressive showing in the war against Owu between 1821-25 became leader of the camp of allied soldiers. Serving under Maye in the war was Kale, the Balogun of Ijebu section, and Lakunle of Oyo and Ege of Ife. He acted as the Field Marshal above these Generals. Maye allowed the Egba who were at the time his captives to migrate to Abeokuta which is today their home. Maye was finally defeated when he repented of his decision, when he trailed them to Oke-Ona, the place they temporarily camped before moving to Abeokuta. Following this, Maye’s Ife warriors was  left with the Oyos at the camp and a quarrel ignited by Maye’s killing of an Oyo soldier led to a war in which Oyo triumphed.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer