The Role of Slaves in Ibadan Wars and Diplomacy in the Pre-Colonial South Western Nigeria, 1835-1893
The paper examines in the main the role of slaves in the prosecution of wars and the diplomacy that went with such wars of conquest in the pre-colonial Ibadan. It underscores the skill, the agility and the speed with which these human military machines conquered territories to consolidate the hold of Ibadan on the adjoining towns and villages. It also argues that but for the slaves, Ibadan wars of conquest and consolidation would have been a pretty difficult venture. The work adopts strictly a historical methodology in which both primary and secondary source materials are used. In this regard, this paper submits that the people of Ibadan in our period developed a military means and exalted military virtues and ideals above all other means to build a society that served the needs of their time. Such was the importance of the Ibadan slaves in war and diplomacy till the end of the nineteenth century Yoruba civil wars.
Keywords: Slaves, Wars, Ibadan, Pre-Colonial, Diplomacy, Militarism