Posted by / Sunday, 26 June 2016 / No comments

The functions of the Oyomesi in the pre-colonial Oyo kingdom

Select a new Alaafin
One of the functions of the Oyomesi was to take part in the selection and replacement of the Alaafin or king when he died or abdicated his throne.

Installation of a new Alaafin
Another function of the Oyomesi was to take part in the installation of a new king after a candidate was found. The installation of kings was one of the high points in the administration of the empire and the Oyomesi made sure they partook in all its activities.

Initiate laws
The Oyomesi had the power to initiate laws for consideration and subsequent adoption if deemed necessary for the efficient administration of the empire.

Checks on the powers of the Oba
The Oyomesi served as a check on the powers of the Alaafin or king. Led by the Bashorun, the Oyomesi could dethrone the Alaafin if the people lost confidence in his administration.

Ensured policies were implemented
The Oyomesi was tasked with making sure that the policy decisions taken by the state was implemented throughout the empire. This was to ensure that there was full compliance.  

Religious functions
It was duty of the head of the council of Oyo Mesi, the Bashorun, to consult the Ifa oracle for the approval of the gods. Though the appointment of a new king was the duty of the Oyomesi, the new Alaafin was seen as an appointment by the gods. 

Advised Alaafin on good governance
It was the duty of the Oyomesi to advise the Allaafin on matters of good governance.

1. Highlight six functions of the Oyomesi in the pre-colonial period in Yorubaland  

Related Posts