Historical Treaties: Jaja of Opobo
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On July 23,1884,Britain signed a treaty of “favor and protection” with the king of creek town in calabar and on July24, 1884 a similar treaty was signed with the king of Duke Town in calabar. Earlier a similar treaty was sent by Britain to the King Jaja of Opobo who refused to sign. Instead he asked Britain to define what “protectorate” meant.

Consul Hewett for Britain in a letter of July 1, 1884 replied replied king Jaja of Opobo as follows” I write as you request with reference to the word “protectorate” as used in the proposed treaty that the queen does not want to take your country or your market, but at the same time she is anxious that no other nation should take them. she undertakes to extend her “gracious favor and protection”, which will leave your country still under your government” Jaja then signed .

culled from 100 years after the invasion of Benin by Richard Akinjide,a former attorney General and Federal minister of justice. He is senior advocate of Nigeria .

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