The Egbas: Yoruba’s Iconic People

The Egbas are a major sub-tribe of the Yoruba who inhabit south western part of Nigeria. They are the biggest of the four ethnics groups within ogun state, one of the 36 states making up the federal republic of Nigeria.

The Egbas share boundaries with the lagosians of Lagos state, the Ibadans and Ibarapas of Oyo state and the benoise of the republic of Benin.

For occupation they are largely farmers and traders, while in religion, they follow Islam and Christianity, with a small number still adhering to African traditional religion. The Egbas are culturally rich as depicted in their mode of dressing, food, festivals, and other ceremonies.

The Egbas are warlike people once occupying a vast territory, known as egbas, forest, extending eastwards to awe now in Oyo state and westward to the edge of Lagos lagoon. They once came under Oyo empire but soon librated themselves through a cooperative strategy schemed by Lisabi. however in the early nineteen century they suffered a crushing defeat in the hand of up and coming Ibadan forces who drove them out of their lands, and assassinated their commander in chief , Balogun Lamodi. The Egba command then refuge in 1830 ‘’beneath the rock’’ named OLUMO. This known as Abeokuta was located on the farmland of Aaagba, an itoko farmer.

The new settlement grew rapidly into a well-secured town which gave the Egbas sufficient confidence to extend an invitation to the fleeing own squad, heading for Egbado country or Badagry in search of safety, to stay with the Egbas in Abeokuta.

Food :Lafu, (White Amala) and Ewedu soup

No other group in Nigeria had given so much to the Nation as Egbaland, yet they seem to have got little in return. There is no major Federal presence in Egbaland. Even though Egbaland was the cradle of Western Education in Nigeria and the birthplace of Christianity in the Country, it took decades after the establishment of the University College of Ibadan in 1948, before a full-pledged University was sited in Abeokuta in the form of the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.


Written by PH

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