Before 1800, Ajaokuta which is on the Niger River South of the Niger Benue confluence area had already evolved elaborate organizational structures based on clans and lineages. By the 1800’s European explorers and traders became increasingly involved in the affair of the Niger region, particularly as it affected economic activities. Upto the second half of the 19th century the Attah’s representatives on the Niger controlled trade on his behalf. These representatives gradually became powerful, wealthy as a result of their involvement in the trade and politics of the area and had considerable followers. During the second half of the 19th Century, the Attah was faced with challenges especially on his economic prerogatives on the Niger, particularly, by the Europeans who by this time had become increasingly involved in the economic activities of the region. When the Attah discovered the changing roles of the Europeans and his ambitious representatives, he further intensified efforts to maintain his power and wealth enforcing absolute control over trade of the Niger….
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