Lagos Historical Review

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Progressive Unions and Development in O’kunland, 1900 – 1950

AT Ekundayo


The development process in O’kunland, like in any other society, has been complex and problematic. Problematic, in the sense that new forces impinged on the society making local communities unable to determine their own destiny. Prominent among these forces were the British whose mode of operation and pattern of development entailed the restructuring of the existing socio-economic and political order for their own administrative convenience and economic exploitation. In the new colonial environment,
there emerged a generation of young elite who, by the middle of the 1930s, would not just accept at face value colonial policies and actions. Interested
in the development of their area, this elite formed different progressive associations to actualize their aspirations. Though without much physical impact, they helped to focus attention on burning local issues, coordinated
and articulated reactions against colonial policies in O’kunland. This paper discusses colonial socio-economic superstructure and the role of the emergent elite in responding to various communal challenges. It also focuses on the moves by these unions to forestall socio- economic backwardness.
AJOL African Journals Online