The Fulani vs Afonja war over Ilorin in 1817


The superiority battle between the Fulani and the Afonja(Yoruba) descendants over who will take over Ilorin emirate has been in existence for a long time ago. 

The Yoruba(Afonja) people claimed that Ilorin was founded by their forefathers and their entitlement to the throne of leadership of the emirate ought not to be tampered with in all cases. While, the Fulani people also claimed that they had been the monarch of Ilorin from inception. 

History was in support of the Fulanis claim over the land even though, Alimi(from Sokoto) who was the progenitor of the Fulanis was Afonja’s tenant. However, the death of the duo(Alimi and Afonja) made the eldest son of Alimi, Abdulsalami emerged as the first ever ruling monarch of Ilorin. 


In the 19th century, history sources have it that the Ilorin we have today was founded by Afonja, the sixth Aare Ona Kakanfo of the old Oyo Empire who used Ilorin as his military station. It was the station he used to carry out his war enterprise for Alaafin of Aole whose father was Alaafin Abiodun.

READ ALSO>>>How Ogunlola beheaded Elemoso to found Ogbomoso

Alaafin Aole ruled between 1789 and 1796 and was succeeded by Alaafin Adebo(1796-1797).

Alimi with his tribesmen went to Ilorin and he was hosted by Afonja. Later, Alimi took Ilorin as his settlement. However, a misunderstanding broke out between Alaafin Aole of and Afonja. 

The rift was so intense that the two of them had to take up their weapons. Afonja sought for the support of Alimi due to his spiritual and military prowess.

Alimi helped him to mobilize his military men and he(Afonja) defeated Alaafin Aole. The defeat however led to the migration of Alaafin to a new site known as Oyo today. 

Afonja enrolled his children to learn secrets of powers from Alimi who supported him during his war with the Alaafin.

 After the death of Alimi and Afonja, Abdulsalami who was Alimi’s son continued his father’s duty by teaching Afonja’s children the secrets of powers. 

Abdulsalami became the ruler of Ilorin in 1831 and holds allegiance to the Sokoto Caliphate till today.

Photo source: Wikipedia


  1. […] After the Fulani people had taken over the Ilorin kingdom in 1817,the people of the old Oyo Empire were sacked and ordered to leave the territory with immediate effect. Remember, that the Ilorin/Afonja war was between Alimi(who migrated from Sokoto) and Afonja(the then aare ona kakanfo of Yoruba land). The battle was lost to Alimi which resulted to Abdulsalami(Alimi’s son) being the first king in Ilorin. Read more>>>The Afonja vs Fulani war in 1817 […]


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here