Amalgamated Cultures Of 1914 By AMBROSE EKHOSUEHI Last Modified: 03/07/2014 09:02:31 Amalgamated culture is the coming together of different cultures as one in a Union. National African Company and the British consul for the oil Rivers has made series of treaties that gave Britain Claims to all the Lands bordering the Niger River up to its confluence with the Benue River. The hinterland of the Niger-Benue confluence had been secured on paper by treaties made with its spiritual over lords. French ambitions on the lower Niger had been successfully thwarted by Goldie, whose ruthless price war had driven the French out of business. The most spectacular expedition undertaking by the Niger coast protectorate was against the great empire of Benin, which has withdrawn into isolation from the outside world, efforts at bringing it effectively into the sphere of British influence had failed. Britain was given the occasion to subject Great Benin to control when in a renewed attempt to bring Benin under British trading influence. Acting consul-General James Phillips set off to negotiate with the Oba of Benin. Phillips was from the start an advocate of the occupation of Benin but did not receive sanction from London, for his plans for Military expedition. At the time, the Oba was celebrating the great Ague Festival, the occasion of rededication of the Benin’s to the King, when no gun shot should be fired, and no stranger should be seen by the Oba, Phillips had gone to the trouble to inform the Oba Ovonranmwen, of his impending visit. James Phillips did not wait before setting out to receive a reply as to its conveniences. James Phillips and his party were massacred enroute, when he was met by the Chief who brought him a message that Phillips should not come to Benin at that time. A punitive expedition was sent the same year to Benin City, the town fired, the great treasures looted. Benin put up strong resistance. The Oba seems to have lost all initiative in the face of the invader and probably exaggerated by the invaders, desperate appeal to the gods to stave off what man could not. With the conquest of Benin, Britain was master of the whole coast line and the peoples of the hinterland were not finally pacified until the end of the First World War. The occupation of south was considerably more complex than that of the North. In the south, occupation had been effected by conquest and diplomacy. The occupation of the North was by straight conquest, largely achieved by the British Government itself. Sir Frederick Lord Lugard was sensitive about the role of the Military in Civil administration, and felt it necessary to justify the appointment of Military Officers as Civil residents. It is indeed a characteristic of the British Officers that when in Civil employ his rule is often marked by less “Militarism” than that of the Civilian, and he is more opposed to punitive expedition. On July 24, 1914, Oba Eweka II was crown at Usama in Benin City; He was accompanied by a detachment of soldiers as guard of honour. In November, about 100 years ago in 1914, His Excellency, the Governor General paid a visit to Benin City to see the Omo N’ Oba, N’ Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba of Benin, Eweka II. The task of rebuilding the Oba palace had just begun and the Great World War I or First World War had started. Europe had become divided into two armed camps by rivalry colonies, Great Britain and France, two great colonial powers were in alliance with Russia. Germany, Austria, Hungary with only a few colonies was in another alliance. There was fighting in both Eastern and Western Europe in 1914. Benin Kingdom was incorporated as a part of the various British protectorates that metamorphosed into the Nation State-Nigeria. Benin contributed the cost of one aero-plane to the British Government, sent many men to take part in the Cameroom and East African campaigns. For the First time, West Africa troops were used outside the continent, notably in the Burma campaign. Towards the end of the War, the Duke of Devonshire, who was then under secretary of State for the colonies, declared that West African troops in Burma has performed great feats of arms and that he had been immensely impressed by the success with, which the enormous expansion of Africa forces had been carried out, and with the smartness and keenness of the men. In Burma, the African troops became indispensable not only as soldiers better suited to the conditions of jungle warfare than their white comrades but as carriers who could transport supplies through territory where no vehicles could pass. African troops fought in the Abyssinia campaign where they acquitted themselves with distinction. These soldiers were recruited on voluntary basis, though, since Chiefs were used as the agent of recruitment it is difficult to know how voluntary it was but recruiting was pushed as far as possible but no pressure was employed. The emancipation of all slaves was proclaimed through out the whole of the former Empire of Benin. Thousands of slaves streamed to Benin City from Ekiti, Eka, Esan, Ondo, Akure and elsewhere. Pole was erected in the centre of Oba Ozolua’s quandrangle in the palace, around which they were made to dance before being free to become free persons. Later in the year Chief Obazuaye and Chief Eson were sent by the Oba to Ogwashiuku to make peace between the Obi and his subjects. They also made tour through out Esan, Ora, Kukuruku-Afemai and Eka divisions of Benin Empire, Benin Chiefs were made judges of Native Courts. The Northern and Southern protectorates of Emirates, kingdoms, Empires, or caliphates were amalgamated by the Lord Lugard’s British Government thus, Bringing the people into an administrative entity and to promote administrative convenience but to the subjects, it was a forceful act of subjugation and oppression against their own will of culture in 1914.
Posted on: Sat, 08 Mar 2014 14:13:11 +0000
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