August 14th, 1893.
To: G. C. Denton, Acting Governor.
Your Excellency, — We are not unmindful of all the kindness done to us by Her Majesty the Queen, nor are we unappreciative of it : and, in order to be frank we desire to state to you our fears in objecting to a Resident European which we trust Your Excellency will see to.
First, we fear the authority and respect of the Bale and Chiefs will suffer deterioration, as there may be two courts of appeal.
2. We fear our slaves will assert their freedom by running to the Resident.
3. We fear our wives will be taken by the soldiers which will be a source of great offence to us.
4. We consider our land as our inalienable property inherited from our forefathers, and never subject to sale. We consider it also our greatest wealth bestowed upon us by the Almighty and we do not desire it to go out of our hands.
If the Governor will see that our rights are not trespassed we make no scruple to sign all the terms of the Treaty.
We are your good friends,
Fijabi, the Bale
x (his mark).
And OTHER Ibadan Authorities.
The following was the reply to the above letter by the Acting Governor : —
August 14th, 1893.
Gentlemen, — In reply to the letter of this date which was handed to me by you this morning, I have the honour to inform you that the conditions of the Agreement you tell me you are prepared to sign, do not contemplate interference with the Native Government of Ibadan in any way.
2. I may also say that the officer in charge will not as at present proposed hold any court or take any action opposed to local customs and observances so long as they do not conflict with the ordinary principles of humanity.
3. The officer placed in charge at Ibadan will be instructed that it is not the intention of the Lagos Government to interfere with the domestic slavery so long as it is conducted on humane principles, as the country will still remain vested in the Ibadan authorities.
I fail to see that slaves will obtain their freedom by running to the Resident.
4. Any Hausa who takes a woman of the country away from her home, against her will, will be severely punished.
5. With regard to the question of land, the Agreement only deals with a place for the erection of quarters for an officer and men, and sufficient grounds for a construction of a line of railway should it be deemed advisable to undertake such a work.
6. In neither case can it be said that alienation of the land is contemplated. And that there may be no mistake on this point, I am quite prepared to guarantee that in recognition of your right, rent be paid to you for what land is utilized under
7. I can with safety promise you that your rights will not be infringed by the Lagos Government, the only object aimed at being to preserve peace, to secure open roads and reasonable freedom of action to the inhabitants generally.
I am, gentlemen.
Your good friend,
G. C. Denton, Acting-Governor.