Ogun Okuta

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The Ogun Okuta or Stone War was the first indigenous revolt in Akureland in 1931. It was fought against the alleged obnoxious tax regime of the British officials and the then Adesida I.[1]


in 1917 the Native Authority Revenue Ordinance introduced a direct tax system into the Southern Provinces of Nigeria by Frederick Lugard, 1st Lord Lugard, the Governor-General of the amalgamated Northern and Southern Protectorates. However, by 1931 the tax was increased from three shillings to six shillings which infuriated the people. There was little recorded resistance from the people such was the mass protests to the king’s palace at Abeokuta, Iseyin and at Ikirun. But none of these was of sufficient proportions to make the colonial administration re-examine its position.[citation needed]

The Uproar

In Akure the development was met with strong resistance from the people but it was a general practice of all the Customary Court at this period that when anyone wanted to file a case, the litigant must bring six shillings for the form, some tubers of yam, a cock, a load of firewood and a big bottle of locally made gin before his case could be heard in the Court. This made life hard for the people and made some people to report the case to the District Officer (D. O.), Mr. G. G. Harris at Ado-Ekiti who issued a query to one of the court clerks involved, Mr. F. S. Adeoba. It was at this period that the payment of six shillings ‘head tax’ was to begin, the people of Akure rise against it and the movement was led by one Mr Akomolede (also a court clerk), Odopetu Ajolehinogun (a traditional chief and second in command to the Deji), Dukudu Ologuneyon (a prominent traditional chief) and Osue Eruoba (a prominent High-Chief) among others, they accused the Deji of single handedly spending the money and also criticised him for sending all the princes and princess to study overseas.[citation needed]

On July 27, 1931, the D. O. in the company of Native Authority Police and tax collectors assembled at the Akure Native Court No I Hall with Oba Afunbiowo in attendance. They sent for the Akure people to pay their tax – a directive with which minority of the natives complied. The spokesman; Mr. Akomolede was brought to the D. O to pay the reduced tax of five and half shillings. He refused and asserted that he could only pay three shillings. Because of this, he was arrested by the N. A. police and taken to lagos. The news of his arrest spread like wild fire. On hearing this, the people of Akure threw stones at the king Deji Adesida I and the Resident, G. G. Harris inside the court (hence the nomenclature of which the war derived it name), In a fit of anger, they rushed inside the court, turned the tables upside down and disorganised the Court Hall. As a result of this, N. A. police besieged Akure up to August 11, 1931. They spent several month ransacking the city before some of the leaders of the revolt could be arrested and after they had jailed many Akure indigenes and forced many to go on exile. Several farm products; livestock’s and other valuable goods were destroyed.[2]


  1. "The Lion King and the Cubs, By Wunmi Akintide". Nigeriaworld.com. 1998-03-28. Retrieved 2020-08-15.
  2. Afe, Adebayo Emmanuel. "Contemporary security challenges in Nigeria: Historicising the 1931 'Ogun Okuta' (stone war) in Akure". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

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