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Ijebu-Ode

town, Ogun state, southwestern Nigeria. It is situated along the highway between Shagamu and Benin City. Ijebu-Ode was by the 16th century established as the chief town of the Ijebu people (a subdivision of the Yoruba). As the seat of the awujale, the Ijebu political and spiritual ruler, it served as the capital of the Ijebu kingdom, which for several centuries dominated the trade between the ports of the Lagos Lagoon (including Lagos, 44 miles [70 km] west-southwest) and the Yoruba hinterland (especially Ibadan, 38 miles [60 km] north). During the Yoruba civil wars of the late 19th century, Ijebu opposed Ibadan and closed the trade routes to the coast. By defeating the awujale at Ijebu-Ode in 1892 and thus destroying the Ijebu trade monopoly, the British convinced the rest of Yorubaland to come to terms under their protection

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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