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Overlooking Abeokuta.jpg
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Location in Nigeria
Coordinates: 7°9′39″N3°20′54″E / 7.16083°N 3.34833°E / 7.16083; 3.34833 Coordinates: 7°9′39″N3°20′54″E / 7.16083°N 3.34833°E / 7.16083; 3.34833
CountryFlag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria
State Ogun State
   City 879 km2 (339 sq mi)
66 m (217 ft)
 (2006 [1] )
   City 451,607
  Density510/km2 (1,300/sq mi)
Climate Aw

Abeokuta is the largest city and state capital of Ogun State in southwest Nigeria. It is situated on the east bank of the Ogun River, near a group of rocky outcrops in a wooded savanna; [2] 77 kilometres (48 mi) north of Lagos by railway, or 130 kilometres (81 mi) by water. As of 2006, Abeokuta and the surrounding area had a population of 449,088.

Ogun State State in Nigeria

Ogun State is a state in southwestern Nigeria. Created in 1976, it borders Lagos State to the south, Oyo and Osun states to the north, Ondo to the east and the Republic of Benin to the west. Abeokuta is the capital and largest city in the state. The state's appellation is "Gateway to Nigeria". It was created in February 1976 from the former Western State. The 2006 census recorded a total population of 3,751,140 residents.

Nigeria Federal republic in West Africa

Nigeria, officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa, bordering Niger in the north, Chad in the northeast, Cameroon in the east, and Benin in the west. Its coast in the south is located on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. The federation comprises 36 states and 1 Federal Capital Territory, where the capital, Abuja, is located. The constitution defines Nigeria as a democratic secular state.

Ogun River river in Nigeria

The Ogun River is a waterway in Nigeria that discharges into the Lagos Lagoon.


Geography and economy

Abẹokuta lies in fertile country of wooded savanna, the surface of which is broken by masses of grey granite. It spreads over an extensive area, being surrounded by mud walls 18 miles in extent. [3] Palm oil, lumber, natural rubber, yams, rice, cassava, maize, cotton, other fruits, and shea butter are the chief articles of trade. It is a key export location for cocoa, palm products, fruit, and kola nuts. [2] Both rice and cotton were introduced by the missionaries in the 1850s and have become integral parts of the economy, along with the dye indigo.

Savanna Mixed woodland-grassland ecosystem

A savanna or savannah is a mixed woodland-grassland ecosystem characterised by the trees being sufficiently widely spaced so that the canopy does not close. The open canopy allows sufficient light to reach the ground to support an unbroken herbaceous layer consisting primarily of grasses.

Granite A common type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock with granular structure

Granite is a common type of felsic intrusive igneous rock that is granular and phaneritic in texture. Granites can be predominantly white, pink, or gray in color, depending on their mineralogy. The word "granite" comes from the Latin granum, a grain, in reference to the coarse-grained structure of such a holocrystalline rock. Strictly speaking, granite is an igneous rock with between 20% and 60% quartz by volume, and at least 35% of the total feldspar consisting of alkali feldspar, although commonly the term "granite" is used to refer to a wider range of coarse-grained igneous rocks containing quartz and feldspar.

Palm oil edible vegetable oil from fruit of oil palms

Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil derived from the mesocarp of the fruit of the oil palms, primarily the African oil palm Elaeis guineensis, and to a lesser extent from the American oil palm Elaeis oleifera and the maripa palm Attalea maripa.

Abeokuta lies below the Olumo Rock, home to several caves and shrines. [4] The town depends on the Oyan River Dam for its water supply, which is not always dependable. [5] The dam is situated in the Abeokuta North local government area of Ogun State in the West of Nigeria, about 20 km northwest of the state capital Abeokuta. The dam crosses the Oyan River, a tributary of the Ogun River.

Olumo Rock is a mountain in south-western Nigeria. It is located in the ancient city of Abeokuta, Ogun State, and was historically used as a natural fortress during inter-tribal warfare in the 19th century. Its patron spirit is venerated in the Yoruba religion as an orisha. Olumo Rock is annually celebrated with lots of sacrifices.

The Oyan River Dam is in Abeokuta North local government area of Ogun State in the West of Nigeria, about 20 km north west of the state capital Abeokuta. The dam crosses the Oyan River, a tributary of the Ogun River. It is used primarily to supply raw water to Lagos and Abeokuta, but has potential for use in irrigation and power generation.

Abeokuta is the headquarters of the federal Ogun-Oshun River Basin Authority, which is responsible for development of land and water resources for Lagos, Ogun, and Oyo states. Included in this are irrigation, food-processing, and electrification. [2]

Land solid surface of Earth that is not permanently covered by water

Land, sometimes referred to as dry land, is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently covered by water. The vast majority of human activity throughout history has occurred in land areas that support agriculture, habitat, and various natural resources. Some life forms have developed from predecessor species that lived in bodies of water.

Water Chemical compound with formula H2O

Water is a transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's streams, lakes, and oceans, and the fluids of most living organisms. It is vital for all known forms of life, even though it provides no calories or organic nutrients. Its chemical formula is H2O, meaning that each of its molecules contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms, connected by covalent bonds. Water is the name of the liquid state of H2O at standard ambient temperature and pressure. It forms precipitation in the form of rain and aerosols in the form of fog. Clouds are formed from suspended droplets of water and ice, its solid state. When finely divided, crystalline ice may precipitate in the form of snow. The gaseous state of water is steam or water vapor. Water moves continually through the water cycle of evaporation, transpiration (evapotranspiration), condensation, precipitation, and runoff, usually reaching the sea.

Lagos State State in South West, Nigeria

Lagos, sometimes referred to as Lagos State to distinguish it from Lagos Metropolitan Area, is a state in the southwestern geopolitical zone of Nigeria. The smallest in area of Nigeria's 36 states, Lagos State is arguably the most economically important state of the country, containing Lagos, the nation's largest urban area. It is a major financial centre and would be the fifth largest economy in Africa, if it were a country.

Local industries include but not limited to fruit canning plants, plastics, breweries, sawmills, and an aluminum products factory. South of town are the Aro granite quarries. [2]

Canning food preservation process

Canning is a method of preserving food in which the food contents are processed and sealed in an airtight container. Canning provides a shelf life typically ranging from one to five years, although under specific circumstances it can be much longer. A freeze-dried canned product, such as canned dried lentils, could last as long as 30 years in an edible state. In 1974, samples of canned food from the wreck of the Bertrand, a steamboat that sank in the Missouri River in 1865, were tested by the National Food Processors Association. Although appearance, smell and vitamin content had deteriorated, there was no trace of microbial growth and the 109-year-old food was determined to be still safe to eat.


Abeokuta is connected to nearby Lagos by a railway that was completed in 1899, with a length of 77 kilometres (48 mi). Roads connect it to Lagos as well as Ibadan, Ilaro, Shagamu, Iseyin, and Ketou. [2]

Rail transport in Nigeria

Railways in Nigeria are operated by the Nigerian Railway Corporation. Nigeria's rail system consists of 3,505 km of 3 ft 6 in gauge lines and 507 km of standard gauge lines. Efforts are underway to develop the Cape gauge network as well as construct a new standard gauge network that can help transportation through this means to be suitable.

Ibadan Metropolis in Oyo, Nigeria

Ibadan is the capital and most populous city of Oyo State, Nigeria. With a population of over 3 million, it is the third most populous city in Nigeria after Lagos and Kano; it is the country's largest city by geographical area. At the time of Nigeria's independence in 1960, Ibadan was the largest and most populous city in the country, and the second most populous in Africa behind Cairo.


Ilaro, Ogun State is a town in Ogun State, Nigeria. Ilaro town houses about 57,850 people. Ilaro is the headquarters of the Yewa South Local government, now known as YEWALAND which replaced the Egbado division of the former Western State, and later became a part of Ogun State of Nigeria. Ilaro town is about 50 km from Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, and about 100 km from Ikeja, the capital city of Lagos State.


Chief Sodeke first settled Abeokuta (meaning literally "the underneath of the rock" [6] or indirectly "refuge among rocks") [2] in 1830 as a place of refuge from slavehunters from Dahomey and Ibadan. The village populations scattered over the open country to take refuge among the rocks surrounding the city. Here they formed a free confederacy of many distinct groups, each preserving the traditional customs, religious rites and the names of their original villages. [3]

The original settlers of Abeokuta were of the Egba nation, descendants of Eso Ikoyi chiefs that had followed the first Alake of the Egba when he left Oyo during the reign of an early Alaafin and joined him to establish the Egba homeland in the Egba forest. [7] Later, when their descendants fled said homeland in the Oyo Empire (which they had previously been subject to and which was now collapsing spectacularly), they began to wander from place to place - a state of affairs which continued until they finally discovered Abeokuta. [2] Eventually, some members of other Yoruba clans came to the settlement as well. Baptist and Anglican missionaries from Great Britain began to serve the area in the 1840s, [2] [7] in addition to Sierra Leonean creoles and Brazilian returnees.

Because Abeokuta was in a key location for the palm oil trade and because it was the so-called capital of the Egbas, Dahomey soon became hostile. In the 1851 Battle of Abeokuta, the Egba, with assistance from missionaries and armed by the British, defeated King Gezo and the Dahomey incursion. They again beat back the Dahomey military in 1864. [2] [7]

The 1860s also saw problems arise with the Europeans, namely the British in Lagos, which led to the Egba first closing trade routes, followed by the expulsion of missionaries and traders in 1867. [2] Between 1877 and 1893 the Yoruba Civil Wars occurred, and Abeokuta opposed Ibadan, which led the king or alake of the Egba to sign an alliance with the British governor, Sir Gilbert Carter. This occurred in 1893, which formalized the Egba United Government based in Abẹokuta which became recognized by the United Kingdom. [2] In 1914, the city was made part of the colony of Nigeria by the British. [2] [7]

In 1918, the Abeokuta Riots took place which was related to the levying of taxes and the policy of indirect rule by Sir Frederick Lugard, the British Governor-General. [2]

The Abeokuta Women's Revolt, led by the Abeokuta Women's Union (AWU), took place in the 1940s. It was a resistance movement against the imposition of unfair taxation by the Nigerian colonial government. [8]

In 1976, Abeokuta became the capital of the newly created Ogun State.

Notable buildings

Abeokuta was a walled town and remnants of the historic wall still exist today. Ake, the traditional residence of the Alake, along with Centenary Hall (1930), are both in the Egba Alake's territory. There are secondary and primary schools and the University of Lagos Abeokuta Campus opened in 1984. [2] This campus specializes in science, agriculture, and technology. This has since been changed to an independent full-fledged tertiary institution, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (UNAAB) in 1988.

The Green Legacy Resort is a large resort/hotel built by former president Olusegun Obasanjo and investors. The Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) is also located within the grounds of the resort

The Governor's office located at Oke-Mosan is also a notable building. The Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) located at Alabata road in Abeokutra is also one of the notable buildings in Abeokuta and one of the most beautiful public University campus in Nigeria. [9] [10]

Egba Anthem

Abeokuta Abeokuta, beyond The Rocks.jpg

Atop the mountains and the valleys

there, I was born

Such is the place where I was bred and brought up

the land of freedom.

I will make Abeokuta my glory

I will stand tall on Olumo Rock

Rejoice in the name of Egba

I, a child of Lisabi.


Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice

on Olumo Rock

Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice

atop the Rock of Olumo

Abeokuta, the Land of the Egba

I will never forget you

I will etch you on my heart

Like the land beyond the Niger River

I will continue to rejoice on top of Olumo Rock

I will make this glory in my heart

that it is in a famous town

that the Egba people dwell


Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice

on Olumo Rock

Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice

atop the Rock of Olumo. [11]

Notable natives and residents

Related Research Articles


The Ẹgbado, now Yewa, are a tribe of the Yoruba people, and inhabit the eastern area of Ogun West Senatorial District, Ogun State, in south-west Nigeria, Africa. In 1995 they changed their name to the Yewa. Yewa clan now comprises 4 local Governments Yewa South, Yewa North, Imeko-Afon and Ipokia, while the Ado-Odo/Ota LGA forms the 5th Awori part of the senatorial district

Iseyin LGA and town in Oyo State, Nigeria

Iseyin is a city located in the Nigerian state of Oyo. It is approximately 100 kilometers north of Ibadan. The city was estimated to have a population of 236,000, per a United Nations 2005 estimate, which increased to 302,990 in 2011. Iseyin is centrally located and accessible via road networks from Ibadan, Oyo, Abeokuta, and Ogbomoso. There are expanses of land which can be used for industrial, agricultural and institutional purposes in and around the city. The title of the monarch of Iseyin is "The Aseyin of Iseyin".

The Egba people are a subgroup of the Yoruba people, an ethnic group of western Nigeria, a majority of whom are from the central part of Ogun State that is Ogun Central Senatorial District.

Chief Bisoye Tejuoso was a Nigerian businesswoman from Abeokuta. She was born into the family of an Egba farmer who was also a chief in Abeokuta. She herself held the chieftaincy of the Iyalode, a fact which made her very prominent in Egba affairs.

Ijoko City in Ogun State, Nigeria

Ijoko is a town in Ifo local government, Ogun State, Western Nigeria, located north of Lagos and south of Abeokuta.

The ethnic people of Owu (Owus) are part of the Yoruba people of West Africa. Ago-Owu in Abeokuta is where the Owus are mostly concentrated, however large Owu settlements are found throughout the Yoruba kingdom. The Yoruba kingdom extends beyond the boundaries of Nigeria into the Republic of Benin.

Gbalefa Peninsula Place in Ogun, Nigeria

Gbalefa Peninsula is an area of land located south of Abeokuta and north of Lagos city. Gbalefa Peninsula was named after Akindele Gbalefa, the outstanding Owu warrior who led the Owu/Egba war against Ilobi, Ado-Odo and Dahomey.

Egba Alake Traditional state in Ogun State, Nigeria

Egba Alake is one of the five sections of Egbaland, the others being Oke-Ona, Gbagura, the Owu and Ibara. It is a traditional state which joins with its bordering sections to form something of a high kingship. The Alake of Abeokuta, or Alake of Egbaland, is the traditional ruler of the Egba clan of Yoruba in the city of Abeokuta in southwestern Nigeria.

Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo III Alake of Egba, Nigeria

Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo III is the current Alake of Egba, a clan in Abeokuta, Nigeria. He has ruled since 2 August 2005.

The Abeokuta Women’s Revolt was a resistance movement led by the Abeokuta Women’s Union (AWU) in the late 1940s against the imposition of unfair taxation by the Nigerian colonial government. The women of Abeokuta believed that, under colonialism, their economic roles were declining, while their taxes were increasing. Additionally, they argued that until they were granted representation in local government, they should not be required to pay taxes separately from men. As a result of their protests, four women received seats on the local council, and the taxation of women was ended.

Israel Oludotun Ransome-Kuti Nigerian educationist and clergyman

Israel Oludotun Ransome-Kuti was a Nigerian clergyman and educationist.

Josiah Jesse "J.J." Ransome-Kuti was a Nigerian clergyman and music composer. He was known for setting Christian hymns to indigenous music, and for writing Christian hymns in Yoruba.

Eso Ikoyi is an aristocratic attribute amongst the Yoruba people which denotes an eminent warrior. It has been used as everything from a chieftaincy title to a part of praise poetry.

Oba Sir Ladapo Samuel Ademola KBE, CMG (1872–1962), also known as Ademola II, was the Alake of Abeokuta from 1920 to 1962. Before he was crowned Alake, Ademola was involved in the affairs of the Egba United Government. As a member of the Egba council, he was a leading participant in negotiations with the Lagos State colonial government in 1889 for the rights to construct railway tracks passing through Egbaland. In 1904 he travelled with Alake Gbadebo to the U.K., where they were received by King Edward VII. He succeeded Oba Gbadebo in 1920 with overwhelming votes from the Egba council.

The Ibarapa are a Yoruba people group located in the Southwestern corner of Oyo State. The name of the group is derived from a local cultivar of the melon plant, known locally as Egusi Ibara, which was historically acknowledged by neighboring peoples such as the Egbas, Ibadans and Oyos to be extensively cultivated in the area.

Lanre Tejuosho

Omoba Olanrewaju Adeyemi Tejuoso is a Nigerian politician. He is currently serving as the senator from Ogun State.

Iju, Ogun Town in Ogun, Nigeria

Iju also known as Iju Oloko [idʒou ɔ:lɔkɔ], is a Nigerian town located in southern Ogun state and about 18 kilometers from Lagos state, a major commercial hub in West Africa. The town is inhabited mostly by Owu and Egba natives whose ancestors settled there between 1842 and 1845.


  1. "FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA : 2006 Population Census" (PDF). Web.archive.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 March 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Hoiberg, Dale H., ed. (2010). "Abeokuta" . Encyclopædia Britannica. I: A-ak Bayes (15th ed.). Chicago, IL: Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. p. 27. ISBN   978-1-59339-837-8.
  3. 1 2 Wikisource-logo.svg One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Abeokuta". Encyclopædia Britannica . 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 42.
  4. Kola Tubosun (16 April 2014). "Abeokuta's Living History". KTravula.com.
  5. Dimeji Kayode-Adedeji (February 23, 2010). "Water scarcity bites harder in Abeokuta". Next. Archived from the original on June 10, 2015. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  6. Bennett, Eric (2010). Encyclopedia of Africa. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN   9780199733903 . Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  7. 1 2 3 4 Canby, Courtlandt. The Encyclopedia of Historic Places. (New York: Facts on File Publications, 1984), p. 2.
  8. Byfield, Judith A. "Taxation, Women, and the Colonial State: Egba Women's Revolt." Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism, 3.2 (2003): 250-77. Web. 4 Mar. 2013.
  9. "Is This The Most Beautiful University Campus in Nigeria? [See Pics]". 21 December 2016.
  10. "is this the most beautiful university campus in Nigeria?". NigerianFacts.com. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  11. Adenekan, Hakeem. Abeokuta: BEYONDTHE ROCKS.

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