Mapo Hall

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Mapo Hall
Mapo Hall image.jpg
A view of the hall as seen from the road

Mapo Hall is the colonial style Ibadan City Hall, perched on top of Mapo Hill, in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.[1] Mapo Hall was commissioned during the colonial era by Captain Ross in 1929.[2]

It was designed and constructed by Engineer Robert Jones. [3] Officially Robert A.Jones (1882–1949), "Taffy" was a Welsh man who worked in Southern Nigeria between 1910–1944 and was seconded to Ibadan Native Authority in 1923 as a road engineer, where he remained until his retirement to his native Wales.[4]. He is also ascribed as being the engineer who built Manor House in Iseyin.[5]

The cost of construction was £24,000 and construction took four years between 1925 and 1929.[6] The foundation stone was laid in June 1925 by Capt. W. A. Ross (The Resident, Oyo Province) and it was completed and declared open by His Excellency, Sir Graeme Thomson during the traditional leadership of Oba Shiyanbola Ladugbolu, the Alaafin of Oyo and Oyewole, the Baale of Ibadan.[7]

The hall is renowned for its seven columns, probably depicting the seven hills upon which the ancient city was built. The architecture of the hall, modelled after St George's Hall Liverpool, is a constant reminder of early British influence in the administration of Ibadan as part of the Oyo Province. The hall serves as an important landmark that could be seen from most part of the city, especially from the other six hills between which the city spreads out. Labour was provided by the natives, probably by the prisoners held here as tax defaulters and other slaves.

It was renovated in 2006 amid some controversy.[8] and the renovated hall was commissioned by former President Olusegun Obasanjo on 6th September 2007.

Over the years, the hall had played host to major political and social events in the city, shaping the socio-political direction of Nigeria in general. The Sixth Annual Convention of the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons was held here on May 5, 1955 an it was here that Nnamdi Azikiwe delivered his presidential address[9]. On May 1967, the Western Leaders of Thought also met here and it was here that Chief Obafemi Awolowo outlined his thoughts on the ongoing Civil War in Nigeria and stated that "I can see no vital and abiding principle involved in any war between the North and the East." In Campaigning for the 1983 elections, Chief Obafemi Awolowo also held a campaign rally here in 1983 where he made the famous quote - “Kaka ki Kiniun se akapo Ekun, kaluku a ya se ode ti e l’ototo ni.” meaning that the Lion would rather hunt separately rather than be the bag bearer for the Tiger. It was also here that the present day Governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, chose to coronate 24 new kings in Ibadan land.

The hall hosts a mini-museum where the relics of the chains used to hold tax evaders in the colonial era, are hung. There are also pictures of all Olubadan (King) that have reigned in Ibadan.

Mapo Hill, the site of the hall, is the oldest part of Ibadan city and is a high density area occupied mainly by the indigenes of the town. The hall itself is built on a piece of land measuring 5,969 acres[10] surrounded by roads with its main entrance on Ogunmola Street. It is directly facing Mapo Road. Getting to the hall from Ogunmola Street is through ascending a series of very wide steps which also serve as seats for spectators and residents during the innumerable occasion that the hall was used for major events. The palace of the Olubadan of Ibadan is a few minutes walk to its left and Iba Oluyole statue lies a few minutes walk to its right.

It is currently owned and managed by Ibadan Local Government Properties Company Limited.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mapo Hall on wikimapia
  2. ^ "Mapo Hall: Ibadan indigenes kick against Obasanjo", The Daily Sun, 6 September 2007[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ http://www.greatmirror.com/index.cfm?countryid=1827&chapterid=1820&picid=8&picturesize=medium
  4. ^ Of Planting and Planning: The Making of British Colonial Cities By Robert K. Home
  5. ^ Inside Independent Nigeria: Diaries of Wolfgang Stolper, 1960-1962 edited by Wolfgang F. Stolper, Clive S. Gray
  6. ^ ‘UI, Ibadan and Nigeria: reflections of a Visiting BNET Fellow by Dr. Simon Heap, 26 May 2012
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ "Mapo Hall: ICPC moves Oyo commissioners to Abuja", The Punch newspaper, 14 February 2008[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ Zik: a selection from the speeches of Nnamdi Azikiwe By Nnamdi Azikiwe
  10. ^ TRANSFORMATION OF IBADAN BUILT ENVIRONMENT THROUGH RESTORATION OF URBAN INFRASTRUCTURE AND EFFICIENT SERVICE DELIVERY By: Tomori M. A.