During the era of the British having access to various states and territories in Africa, including nations, they built a strong guard within that, which would also increase their domination and fight in the territory they had occupied.
This didn’t include the Benin, which as such had a warrior that stood on his ground to prevent the penetration of the British into the land yet fell as a result of neglecting instructions.
The Benin Punitive Expedition of 1873 marked the first Benin Punitive Expedition by a British force of 12,000 under Sir Harry Rawson. His troops captured and destroyed the city of Benin during Nigerian Colonialism.
However, the British invasion, alongside their strength to occupy the land, was a result of the trade the Royal Niger Company found in Irksome, full of natural resources that included rubber, palm oil, and ivory, that attracted the Empire to be occupied by the British, even with the description of Richard Burton when he visited Benin in 1862.
Due to this, pressure was mounted on the Benin people by British leaders even after Benin had gained independence but sought a British Protectorate with Henry Gallwey, who signed a treaty with the oba of Benin that partially sold the Benin rights to the British.
Following the Protectorate of the British, on an account to allow the British to have major rights over the trade of resources found in Benin, which lies within the irksome kingdom.
The Cause of the Benin Expedition After the treaty was approved as a freedom to permit British transactions among Benin and with a clause naming Maxwell MacDonald as consul general of the oil protectorate, he was assigned to oversee the British Marchant.
Little did the Benin know of their intention when Ebrohimi, a major place of great resources, was captured by the British. This brought about the recruitment of more soldiers against the British from South Benin, ready for war.
On the other hand, Benin’s refusal to comply with the change on their resources and the refusal to sign for the British invasion, the Benin Expedition, in September 1895, meant that the British had already made an increase in price and required that the residents pay their attribute as well.
But by March 1896, the Benin resident decided not to pay more than the price that had previously been set.
Aside from that, the British devised a system through which they could compel them to submit to their request, and they planned a system to depose the Oba of Benin.
The idea’s creator, James Robert Phillip, also spoke with his superiors in London to ensure the invasion’s success, and he also discussed the ivory that occupied the king’s palace, which would be used to replace the expensive items that would be incurred while seeking exile among the upper class of British leaders.
To make the plan work, Philip and his men tried to deceive the king by discussing the growth of the city so as to build businesses and exploit the land, but the residents of Benin already saw the future where the British planned to attack the land.
The Rise Of Benin In Battle With The British
Philip derived a means that he wanted to negotiate business with him, but the Benin told him that the whites were after war.
Oba didn’t mind and decided to allow the Philip party access to the land in order to learn the truth about them.But the lyase of Benin ignored the king’s order and decided to take action, which led him to take Philip and his troops unawares with an ambush planned against him.
They caught Philip and his guard while trying to penetrate the land on January 12, 1897. This was called the Benin Punitive Expedition. After that, the war between the two parties began.
The British captured and massacred the Benin through the formation of apoba, “Gwato,” and “Main” columns by the British leaders, who fought much to the death of many Benin leaders.
However, the accession of a weak leader to the throne, revenue loss as a result of the abolition of the slave trade, the diversion of trade from Ughoton to Badagry, and revolts by the vassal states all contributed to the downfall of the Benin Empire.
General Asoro, The Benin Great Warrior
During the battle, there were heroes and heroines who had fought as warriors and played vital roles that were highly recognized, including General Asoro, who is a figure in Benin history whose strength and command stood out during the Benin-to-British war.
He fought gallantly and he led other warriors to see that the Benin Invaders didn’t penetrate the land as at the period of its expendition. He, too, remained and declared that no one, not even the British, passed the road leading to the Benin kingdom except the Oba of Benin.
His name and actions have gained him recognition even after his death, as his statue was made at the onvoromwen square at the beginning of Sakponba Road in Benin City, where it was believed to be the spot where he died.
He was also the king’s sward bearer, who fought and won numerous battles with his poisonous arrow. In each of his battles, he is said to have had the most crushing victory that could spare his life in combination with his power, but had to follow the instructions that were not to look back at his shoulder or else he died.
However, Asoro, not until his swards fell from him, was frustrated in his search for his missing arrow, violated the rule by looking back over his shoulder to pick up his sword, only to see the messenger of death (Ofoe). Following the disobedience, Asoro finally fell victim and was killed by his enemies.