Ibadan,running splash of rust and gold – flung and scatteredamong seven hills like broken china in the sun.
It is a poem that captures the soul of one of Nigeria’s historic cities. Ibadan is the capital city of Oyo State in south-western Nigeria. It is the country’s largest metropolitan geographical area. In fact, at the time of Nigeria’s independence in 1960, Ibadan was the largest city in the country and the third in Africa after Cairo and Johannesburg.
According to history, Ibadan came into existence in 1829. Legend has it that it once dominated all of Yorubaland economically and politically, successfully defending itself against the Fulani Caliphate in 1840.
Ibadan became a major trading centre when, under colonial rule, the British developed it to facilitate their commercial activities in western Nigeria. Ibadan has, for decades, been a major trade point for palm oil, rubber, cassava, cocoa, timber and cotton.
Not many know that Ibadan was at the forefront of development in Africa in the 20th century, and is home to Cocoa House, Africa’s first skyscraper. The city is also home to the first university in Nigeria, the University of Ibadan, which began life as the College of the University of London in 1948 but became the University of Ibadan in 1962. The university has produced many erudite scholars, including Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka.
The city is split into 11 local government areas, and the traditional ruler of the region is known as the Olubadan of Ibadan.
Mapo Hall: Ibadan’s city hall was built in 1929 and has recently been restored to its colonial glory.
Transwonderland: Ibadan’s amusement park
Golf: 2 fine golfing challenges await: Ibadan Golf Club and the IITA Golf Club.
Ibadan Cultural Centre, Mokola