Before the fall of Oyo-Ile, there was a time when the Authority of the Alaafin extended as far as Accra on the West Coast and the banks of Niger on the East.
Burns in his History of Nigeria says:
While the Alaafin of Oyo was at first in practice and later nominally the Suzerain of all the Yorubas Obas & Chiefs, it’s thought that the authority of Alaafin extended as far as Accra on the West coast and the banks of the Niger on the East, and the fact that King Sango, who was deified after his death and now god of thunder and lightning in the Yoruba mythology, is still worshiped throughout Yorubaland, Dahomey and Benin, is a fairly conclusive proof of the extent of the Yoruba kingdom or at least of its influence in early times.
Talbot in his History of Nigeria says:
In 1772 the Dahomies paid considerable yearly tribute in cowries and merchandise to his formidable neighbor, the king of Oyo….. At this period the Yoruba proper under the sovereignty of Alaafin comprises:
(A)In the North, Yoruba proper including the greater part of the present Oyo and Ilorin provinces. It was divided into four districts as follows:
i) The Ekun Otun province comprises all the towns to the west of Ogun River, of which the dominant were Shaki, Iseyin and Eruwa.
ii) EkunOsi province comprising the towns in the Eastern Oyo, the major ones being old Oyo, Ilorin Araro, Ogbomosho as well as Igbominas.
iii) The Ibolo province to the South East of Ekun Osi including Ede, Offa, Ikirun, Oshogbo etc.
iv) The Epo province or weeds, so called because they were the remotest part of the kingdom and were largely uncivilized.
“The Owus are sometimes classified under this section.
“The major town was Idide. In the other of importance were
• Ife Odan
• Ago –Oja
• Ilora etc
Ibadan and Ijaiye etc. were later added to the district.
(B)To the South, Egba….. Comprising also the Egbados to the South –East etc.
(C)To the West, there is Iketu, now part of Dahomey under Alaketu
(D)To the South-East, the Ijebus etc.
(E)To the South-West, the Ijeshas under the Owa
(F)The Ifes under Ooni
(G)The Ekitis under various Owa
(H)The Igbominas under Orangun of Ila
(i) The Owu under several chiefs
(J)The Owu between Ifes and Ijebus under Olowu.
Source:Federal Government of Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Information, National Archives, Ibadan
Hon Kola AMZAT(FCA,FCIB,ACS,MBA,Bsc)