Elders-Still-Exists: Socio-Cultural Groups and Political Participation in Colonial Ibadan

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Adeboye, O.
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Bookcraft Press, Ibadan
The establishment of colonial rule in Ibadan in 1893 did not only bring about political change. It also brought in its wake considerable social change which represented the culmination of the interplay of exogenous and indigenous factors. This, among other things, provided the stimulus for the rise of new associations. The most prominent of such groups in the early days of colonial rule was the Egbe-Agba-O-Tan, (Elders-Still-Exist Organization) formed in 1914. This group was made up of the educated elite in Ibadan and its environs. The Egbe was new in terms of its organizational structure and techniques for collective action which were tailored to suit the socio-cultural complexities introduced by the colonial state. The Egbe constituted an intelligentsia called Olaju (the enlightened). It was the vanguard and arrow head for change as far as the local community was concerned. It sought to integrate indigenous socio-political paradigms with the new ideas of the colonial state. Initially, Egbe members were more interested in the preservation of Yoruba culture and other pan-Yoruba activities with their newly-acquired Western literary skills. But later, they developed new interests and functions, the pursuit of which made them to be more active and visible in Ibadan local politics. The different strategies they adopted constitute some of the issues examined here, particularly with regard to their participation in indigenous governance in Ibadan. This chapter examines the Egbe’s roots, composition, activities and socio-political significance in Ibadan in particular and Yorubaland in general. It views the Egbe as an agency that internalized change by attempting to synthesize old and new values. It is also the view of this article that the search for a more secure local base made the Egbe to lose sight of its pan-Yoruba cultural ideals and become embroiled in Ibadan affairs. This underpins the role of the social environment in directing the ultimate thrust of the activities of interest groups.
Scholarly articles
Political participation , Ibadan , Socio-cultural , Colonial , Research Subject Categories::HUMANITIES and RELIGION
Adeboye, O. A. (2003). Elders-Still-Exist: Socio-Cultural Groups and Political Participation in Colonial Ibadan in Olufemi Vaughan (ed.), Indigenous Political Structures and Governance in Nigeria, Ibadan: Bookcraft Press, 195-230