The internecine battles might have played a part in the decline of the Oyo empire but make no mistakes about their intellect, organizational skills and their ability to govern themselves….
The people to whom you refer as employing a few foreigners in Ilorin to maintain some administration were probably the fulanis, not the yorubas, different tribes, methods and levels of advancement.
The epistemic importance conferred upon these great works of art is very well known and it’s pretty much the same sort of importance accorded to the Elgin’s marble or the works of the artists of the renaissance….
To hold on to the written word as the paradigm for progress is fundamentally flawed….
You might find a kindred spirit in Hugh trevor roper, rudyard kipling, cecil rhodes,but you must know that british colonialism was nothing but a complete fraud and an almighty mess…..
It was Jack straw, the British foreign secretary in 2003 who said that Britain was responsible for a huge amount of the mess in the world and the readers of The Times newspaper took the view that you have expressed on this medium.
To seek to attribute progress to the written word or the British empire is simply nonsensical….