THE SECOND ATTEMPT TO EXPEL THE FULANIS AND RECOVER ILORIN: THE MUGBAMUGBA WAR
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After a short respite, the Yorubas again rallied and resolving to rid the country of these hordes of marauders the Jamas, made an alliance with Monjia, the King of Rabbah, that he may help them to extirpate the pests.
The war took place somewhere between March and April at the time when the locust fruit was ripe for harvest. The country was already devastated by the late wars, many towns were left desolate, and consequently, there were no farms for foraging.
The food there was in the Ilorin farms were soon eaten up, and both the besiegers and the besieged were without provisions and had to live on the locust fruit (igba). Hence the war was termed Mugbamugba.
The Yorubas were again unsuccessful in this expedition. They had not yet learnt how to cope with cavalry and the Fulanis were expert horsemen. From successive defeats, the Yorubas lost all courage, and victories one after another made the Ilorins more confident so that in the open fields they gained easy victories over the Yorubas.
Also, when they were protected within walled towns the Fulanis reduced the Yorubas by long sieges and famine. On this occasion, the Ilorins attacked the allies to advantage.
They hid their horses in the rear of the allied armies and while A party of horsemen engaged them in front of the main body of the cavalry suddenly bore down upon them from the rear and routed them.
Monjia fled precipitately to his own country, leaving the Yorubas at the mercy of the victors. The Fulanis in Ilorin followed up their victory and swept away all the towns in the direction of Offa, Erin, Igbona etc.
The Olofa with Asegbe his favourite and wise Ilari escaped to Ikoyi.
On Woven History next week Wednesday, anticipate for a continuation; The Battle of Kanla, a continuation of the Mugbamugba War
- Samuel Johnson; The history of the Yorubas, Lagos, CSS Limited; 1921; pg. 126-128
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