The Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, HRM Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, CFR, Okukenu IV, stated in an interview with TVC News on Tuesday that Egbaland was first an independent nation with a well organised and functional governmental system before the amalgamation in 1914.
He disclosed that Egba signed a treaty of friendship with the British in 1983 on certain conditions, among which are; to stop human sacrifice, and also to stop broken trades passing through the Egba territories
Egba had a great administrative system; the Ogbonis were the judges and were also in charge of internal security, the warlords prevented outsiders from forcing the Egba citizens into slavery, the Parakoyis handled the commerce section of the Society and other parastatals were also set up and we’re very effective at the time.
The British officials saw that Egba was able to work out her government on her own and that she had a settled order of conducting governmental affairs.
He further added that due to her strong administrative system, it took Lord Lugard another eight months after the amalgamation in January, 1914 to bring Egba into it. It was an agreement between two nations of which a single person naturally had no right to implement, thus, making the fusion a great disaster to Egbaland at the time because she had never been part of the rest of Nigeria
He disclosed that Egba even had other things that put her ahead of the colonisers, one of which is an Extended Family System. “We do not allow people to die or suffer because they have nobody to take care of them; all Egba descendants were bounded by love and recognized by one another as family.” He explained, adding that the system further helped in improving the mental health of the Egba people
Mental devastation which has now become a scourge in today’s society as families are going more nuclear than extended had a solution in the in the administrative system of Egba nation as it was before colonisation.
It was further stated that Nigeria has a lot to learn from Egba considering the fact that the latter was a nation before the first and also being first to produce a Church, a Lawyer, a Chartered Accountant and lots more in the nation at large.
Speaking on the upcoming Lisabi Festival, the Alake stated that Lisabi is celebrated annually to promote selflessness among the Egba people as the great warrior; Lisabi has epitomised this virtue and fought greatly to liberate the Egba people from the captivity of the then Oloyo by killing their 250 representatives in one day which weakened their security system and enabled Egba to prevail.
The Egba Monarch mentioned that Patriotism would take out many ills of the society today from the Country as he urged all Nigerians to be selfless and to love one another
He added that government workers should think more of the Country than their individual pockets and work hard toward the development of the nation.
“Egba has a lot to be proud of and to recommend to the rest of Nigeria, the Egba Culture has so many values that will be extremely beneficial to the nation as a whole and that will foster unity among all Nigerians.” He said.
“This year’s edition of the Lisabi Festival will deliberate more on Culture, inviting people from around the globe and within Nigeria to explore the Egba Culture. The festival will feature lectures and seminars that will promote Culture as a way to the Economic growth of Egbaland, also encouraging tourism in the land; having the first Presidential Library in Nigeria which is first of its kind in the whole of Africa, the Oldest Bible in Nigeria which is situated at the Ake Palace and lots of other historical achievements.” He added.
He also recalled that over the years Egba has been celebrating the need for educating the girl child rather than sending young girls to hawk which is injurious to them and to the nation as a whole, Skill acquisition has also been promoted to develop citizens in their various professions
The Egba Monarch concluded that he is a true believer in the experiment called Nigeria and that no matter how well a system is working; it needs to be reviewed in order to enhance better performance.