The devastating British-Abeokuta war — the Adubi war of 1918

Dave Partner
2 min readDec 26, 2020

The British-Abeokuta war took place in 1918. It lasted for 3 weeks. Cause of war: The British introduced forced labour and taxation, the people of Abeokuta refused.

The British arrested 70 Egba chiefs and held them to ransom until the people agree to start paying taxes and go under forced labour.

Follow me on

The people refused, 30,000 Abeokuta people revolted, attacked the rail way line, derailed a train and killed the Oba Osile, the leader of the north-eastern Egba district for allegedly supporting the British. The British soldiers mobilized to put down the revolt, it went on for 3 weeks before being repressed.

The British officers that put down the revolt received special military medals tagged “The African General Service Medal”. They then went ahead to revoke the Abeokuta independence in 1918 and put everyone under forced labour for decades. After which they introduced the same tax the people tried to revolt against.

Here is the interesting statistics


British: 2
Abeokuta: 600


British: guns, machine guns, explosives, knowledge of advanced warfare against well armed groups especially since that was the last year of the second world war.
Abeokuta: machetes, stones and probably charms.


Follow me on