|• Local Government Chairman of Ogbomosho North||Olamijuwonlo Alao-Akala|
|• Local Government Chairman of Ogbomosho South||Olajide Adisa Isaac|
|Elevation||347 m (1,138 ft)|
|• Density||253/km2 (660/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (WAT (UTC+1))|
Ogbomosho (also Ogbomoṣo) is a city in Oyo State, south-western Nigeria, on the A1 highway. It was founded in the mid 17th century. The population was approximately 245,000 in 2006 census. The majority of the people are members of the Yoruba ethnic group. Yams, cassava, cashew, mango, maize, and tobacco are some of the notable agricultural products of the region.
An early missionary described the town: "Ogbomosho in 1891 was a walled city, the gates of which were closely watched by day and securely closed by night. There was little or no communication between it and Oyo and Ilorin which were only thirty miles to the north and south. The town, picturesque and well watered was isolated from the rest of the Yoruba towns. Political relations were maintained with the Ibadans, for the country depended on its security on the warriors of Ogbomosho and Ikirun... The strength of Ogbomosho lay in the wall and moat surrounding the town, and the warriors made full use of it by sitting close and tight.."
The tale behind the name Ogbomoso
Olabanjo Ogunlola Ogundiran was of Ibariba descent. He came to the area now known as Ogbomoso in pursuit of his hunting profession. He stayed under ajagbon tree (still by the side of the palace) and used the branches for hanging gears. The whole place was at this time (around the middle of the seventeenth century), a dense jungle. He Ogunlola was an expert archer and brave hunter. Later he and his wife, Esuu, built their hut by the side of the ajagbon tree.
Ogunlola (Later Soun) noticed smoke oozing from some nearby locations. He took courage and approached these places and discovered other hunters. The first one named Aale at a site now called Oke-Elerin quarters, the second called Onsile at the site now known as Ijeru quarters, the third Orisatolu at Isapa quarters and the fourth Akande quarters. The descendants of the first three of these hunters are still today the Bales of Oke-elerin, Ijeru and Isapa quarters respectively. There is no more Bale Akande.
Egbe Alongo (Alongo Society)
Ogunlola, after the discovery of these hunters, took the initiative to invite them to form the Alongo Society. The Primary objectives of the society were: Defence against Sunmoni (slave prowler) raids Group hunting of wild animals, and Mutual assistance. At the take off of the society. Ogunlola was, made the chairman. After each day’s hunting, they retired to Ogunlola’s hut where they were treated to beans and other meals and were served with sekete wine brewed by Ogunlola’s wife from fermented guinea corn. They also engaged in discussing current affairs and planning.
Later, other settlers came and built their thus and huts formed the nucleus of a small village. Ogunlola‘s hut became the place for setting disputes and other matters. He, Ogulola had the final say. The groups of huts being on the north-south highway from Oyo-ile became popular as aroje (a place to stop for refreshment and other ‘knick-knack’ by travellers).
Esuu, the wife of Ogunlola introduced the worship of Orisapopon to Ogbomoso. This object of worship is the same as Orisala and is worshipped in different towns under different names. The worshippers are distinguished by white beads worn round their necks and wearing only white dresses. Drinking of palmwine is forbidden to them. The name orisapopo was probably derived from the fact that Ogunlola’s hut was on the north-south route therefore the Orisala being worshipped in the hut was name “Orisapopo” (idol by the highway). The importance and influence of ‘Orisapopo’ among the citizens of Ogbomoso is immense. It can be described as the patron “Orisa” of Ogbomoso.
HOW OGUNLOLA’S SETTLEMENT BECAME OGBOMOSO AND OGUNLOLA BECAME SOUN
During the time the Ibaribas under the leadership of Elemoso attacked Oyo-Ile near Ilorin, Ogunlola was already in detention there, awaiting trial for an alleged offence. Elemooso caused a devastating havoc among Oyo’s so much that they feared him in battle. Elemoso consequently laid total siege on Oyo causing famine and untold hardship among the people. Ogunlola therefore, told the Alaafin that if he could be released, he would kill Elemoso. This was granted and Ogunlola was shown where he could find Elemoso.
Ogunlola after studying Elemaso’s tactics took proper aim and shot him down from his hiding place Ogunlola quickly beheaded him and brought the severed head to the Alaafin. Elemeso’s army was therefore routed. Alaafin was so impressed by Ogunlola’s prowess that he, the Alaafin, requested him to stay in the capital Oyo-Ile instead of returning to his settlement. Ogunlola politely declined saying “Ejeki a ma se ohun” meaning let me stay yonder” His majesty, the Alaafin, granted Ogunlola’s wish to return to his settlement.
Later, travellers passing to and fro, used to refer to the settlement as of him who beheaded Elemaso meaning “ido eni ti o gb’Elemoso”. This was later contracted to Ogbomoso.
Eventually the authority of Ogunlola became greater and more respected. He was consequently made the head of the settlement under the title of Sohun to reflect his request from the Alaafin, ‘let me stay yonder’. His compound by the Ajagbon tree then became the Soun’s palace and a rallying point for all Ogbomoso citizens.
Ogbomoso, because of her strategic location, quickly grew from a village status to a medium size town. Her people were also renown warriors. During the Fulani wars of the 19th century many towns and villages, about 147, were deserted while their people took refuge in Ogbomoso. The influx of people further enhanced the size and strength of the town.
Alagba is believed to have been born in the year 1675 in the old Oyo town, which is now being referred to as Ogbomoso. He was reputedly said to have been brought from the forest by the 3rd Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Ikumoyede who ruled from 1770 till 1797. In deference to its age, it is called Alagba, which means ”the elderly one” in Yoruba. In Ogbomoso, where the legendary tortoise lumbers about in the palatial grounds of the king, it is almost a sacrilege to refer to Alagba as a mere tortoise. The tortoise played host to many monarchs in Ogbomoso in the past.
Alagba became popular upon the ascension of the throne of the current Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oladunni Oyewumi. The tortoise has its own good shelter and health support during its sojourn on earth. Thus, Alagba became popular because Oba Oladunni Oyewumi, Soun of Ogbomoso used his personal resources to cater for her well being. The tortoise had two staff members of the palace, dedicated to her. They provided food, health support and other logistics, so as to make sure she gets the best treatment. Oftentimes, Kabiyesi Oladunni Oyewumi shares great moments with Alagba. On a daily basis, Alagba, had tourists visiting it from different parts of the world.
Last days on earth
The sacred tortoise, which was believed to the oldest in Africa, was sick for a few days before her demise on October 5, 2019.
The palace household, Ogbomoso community and stakeholders in the tourism sector are reportedly mourning Alagba’s passage because of the great impact left behind. Plans are underway to preserve Alagba’s body for historical records.
Ogbomosho has three degree-granting institution of higher learning. Ladoke Akintola University is named for the illustrious Ogbomosho son and Premier of the old Western Nigeria, Samuel Ladoke Akintola (SLA). LAUTECH is ranked at the top of the later generation universities in Nigeria. It awards degrees in science, engineering, technology and medicine.
The Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in Nigeria and the first to offers degree programs in theology, sociology and philosophy in Nigeria. The Seminary serves the Baptist Church in Nigeria, The Nigerian Baptist Convention, which also has its headquarters in Ibadan, Oyo State.
Bowen University Teaching Hospital Ogbomoso- BUTH A first-class Christian Teaching Hospital marked by excellence and godliness for the training of doctors and other medical professionals. Originally established in March 1907 as a missionary medical facility and through the years developing into the Baptist Medical Centre and later transformed to a Teaching Hospital in 2009. BUTH now boasts of over 250 Bed Capacity, over 420 Staff and Students, Multidisciplinary Facility, Family Medicine Residency Programme, Nursing and Midwifery Courses, 50,000 Outpatients and 10,000 Inpatients, Fully Accredited Training Programme.
Ogbomosho has about 257 surrounding villages and emerging towns which amalgamated to the rulership of Soun. The major economy in the land is Agriculture: Cashew plantations are widely distributed across the land, Mango plantations are widely distributed also. Ogbomosho is one time the largest planter of cassava across the globe. The people of the land also engages in trading, in rearing of domestic animals like goats and sheep. Also, a very prominent veterinary hospital exist in Ogbomosho for vaccination of livestock. The people are widely traveled.
Other industries include trading, banking, small-scale manufacturing and constructions. There are two radio stations namely Parrot FM and Ajilete FM, and a television station, NTA ogbomosho.
Prebendalism, incongruity among the diverse monarchs, conspiracies, and selfish interests are major obstacles obstructing the economic growth of the town. Coupled with these facts is the location of the town on an unattractive terrain to manufacturers and investors. The roads networks are not very good too.
The main street in Ogbomosho is the Oyo-Ilorin road. One of the prominent landmarks is the central mosque, which towers over the traditional walled compounds of private houses and the parts if the old wall that remain. Ogbomosho has other mosques, several churches and is the headquarters of the American Baptist Church of Nigeria and its theological seminary. The closest airport to Ogbomosho is Ilorin Airport which is approximately 42 miles away. There are two radio stations namely Parrot FM and Ajilete FM. It has a television station, NTA ogbomoso.
- Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola, a lawyer, politician, aristocrat, former western region premier. He was murdered during the Nigeria first coup of January 1966.
- Maj. Gen. Oladayo Popoola OFR. Former Military Governor, Oyo State . Former Military Governor, Ogun State . Chairman/CPO, Daybis Ltd.
- Late Col. Ibrahim Taiwo, Former Military Governor, Kwara State , Northern.
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- Pinnock, 1917, p. 43-44
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