This is a short history of what took place in the kingdom of Benin this offers a snapshot of a relatively well-organized and sophisticated African polity in operation before the major European colonial interlude. Military operations relied on a well-trained disciplined force. At the head of the host stood the Oba of Benin. The monarch of the realm served as a supreme military commander. Beneath him were subordinate generalissimos, the Ezomo, the Iyase, and others who supervised a Metropolitan Regiment based in the capital, and a Royal Regiment made up of hand-picked warriors that also served as bodyguards. Benin’s Queen Mother also retained her own regiment, the “Queen’s Own.” The Metropolitan and Royal regiments were relatively stable semi-permanent or permanent formations. The Village Regiments provided the bulk of the fighting force and were mobilized as needed, sending contingents of warriors upon the command of the king and his generals. Formations were broken down into sub-units under designated commanders. Foreign observers often commented favorably on Benin’s discipline and organization as “better disciplined than any other Guinea nation”, contrasting them with the slacker troops from the Gold Coast
“When trouble sleep and yanga go wake am, wetin him dey find? Na palaver him dey find and na palaver him go get” -Fela Anikulapo Kuti.
You were so selfish, inconsiderate, insensitive, ungrateful to a large extent that you dared the entire people of Benin to war with your people when they didn’t ask for it. You thought you would win the war with your magical powers neglecting the fact that the people of Benin are a more powerful people than your own.
This is what happens to those leaders who fail to seek advice from the people around them. Those leaders think that being in power is a birthright. Those leaders think that they can do as they wish and nobody can stand up against them.
Adesuwa, the firing princess of the Benin warlord tells us the story of the war that ensued between the people of Benin and the Ibo people for a very long time coming. watch the short movie attached