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Ogbomosho Ajilete
Ogbomosho is located in Nigeria
Ogbomosho shown within Nigeria
Coordinates: 8°08′N 4°15′E / 8.133°N 4.250°E / 8.133; 4.250Coordinates: 8°08′N 4°15′E / 8.133°N 4.250°E / 8.133; 4.250
Country Nigeria
StateOyo State
 • Local Government Chairman of Ogbomosho NorthAjagbe Ibrahim
 • Local Government Chairman of Ogbomosho SouthEngr. Damilare Amusan
347 m (1,138 ft)
 • Total354,690 (2,006 census) 551,474 (est. 2,020)
 • Density253/km2 (660/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+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.[2] The population was approximately 245,000 in 2006 census.[3] 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.[4]


According to an early missionary, "Ogbomosho in 1891 was a walled city, the gates of which were closely watched by day and securely closed by night. 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.."[5]

The tale behind the name Ogbomoso

Olabanjo Ogunlola Ogundiran was of Ibariba descent. He and his wife, Esuu, built their hut by the side of the ajagbon tree.[citation needed]

Ogunlola (later Soun) noticed smoke oozing from some nearby locations. He took courage and approached these places and discovered other hunters. There is no more Bale Akande.[6]

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 prowlers) raids group hunting of wild animals, and mutual assistance. 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.[citation needed]


Esuu, the wife of Ogunlola, introduced the worship of Orisapopo to Ogbomoso. 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 northsouthern 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.[7]

How Ogunlola's settlement became Ogbomosos and Ogunlola became Soun

During the time, the Ibaribas, under the leadership of Elemoso, attacked Oyo-Ile near Ilorin. Elemoso caused a devastating havoc among the Oyo people, so much that they feared him in battle. Elemoso consequently laid total siege on Oyo, causing famine and untold hardship among the people.

Alaafin was so impressed by Ogunlola's prowess that he, the Alaafin, requested Ogunlola 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. This was later contracted to Ogbomoso.

Eventually, the authority of Ogunlola became greater and more respected. 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.[8]

Alagba Origin

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.[citation needed] 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.

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 5th October, 2019.[9]

The palace household, Ogbomoso community and stakeholders in the tourism sector are reportedly mourning[when?] Alagba's passage because of the great impact left behind. Plans are underway to preserve Alagba's body for historical records.[10]


Ogbomosho has three degree-granting institution of higher learning.[citation needed] Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) 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.[11]

The Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary (NBTS), 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 (NBC), which also has its headquarters in Ibadan, Oyo State.[12]

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[13] 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 400 Bed Capacity, over 800 Staff and Students, Multidisciplinary Facility, Family Medicine Residency Programme, Nursing and Midwifery Courses, 50,000 Outpatients and 10,000 Inpatients, fully Accredited Training Programmes which includes; B. Sc Anatomy, B. Sc Physiology and MB/BS.[14][15]


Ogbomosho has about 257 surrounding villages and emerging towns which amalgamated to the rulership of Soun[citation needed]. 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.[citation needed]

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[citation needed].

Inadequate government investment in infrastructural facilities and policy guidance for local initiatives have undermined economic growth and development of the town. The location of the town on terrain unattractive to manufacturers and investors, with the road network being poor.[citation needed]


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 of the old wall that remain[citation needed]. Ogbomosho has other mosques, several churches and houses the headquarters of the American Baptist Church of Nigeria and its theological seminary.[16] The closest airport to Ogbomosho is Ilorin Airport which is approximately 42 miles away.

Notable people[edit]

Christopher Adebayo Alao Akala, Former executive governor of Oyo State.

  • Lt. Col. Shittu Alao, former Air Force's Chief of the Air Staff.


  1. ^ "Oyo (State, Nigeria)". population.de. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  2. ^ "Ogbomosho". Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved 1 April 2007.
  3. ^ "FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA : 2006 Population Census" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 March 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  4. ^ Chernow, Barbara A; George A. Vallasi, eds. (1993). "Ogbomosho". Columbia Encyclopedia (5th ed.). Columbia University Press. p. 1997. Retrieved 2007-04-01.
  5. ^ Pinnock, 1917, p. 43-44
  6. ^ Reporters, Emporium. "Origin of Ogbomoso, Oyo state". Emporium Reporters. Retrieved 2021-09-18.
  7. ^ "THE FULL HISTORY OF OGBOMOSO | WOVEN HISTORY". MY WOVEN WORDS. 2019-03-13. Retrieved 2021-09-18.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-11-23. Retrieved 2016-03-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Does this photo really show a 344-year-old tortoise?". The Observers - France 24. 2019-10-14. Retrieved 2021-09-18.
  10. ^ "12 things to know about the oldest tortoise in Africa, Alagba".
  11. ^ "Ladoke Akintola University". lautech.edu.ng. Ladoke Akintola University. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  12. ^ "The Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary". nbts.edu.ng. The Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  13. ^ "6: Christian Missionary Activities in West Africa – History Textbook". Retrieved 2021-09-18.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-08. Retrieved 2016-03-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "History of Bowen University Teaching Hospital Ogbomoso". www.buth.edu.ng. Retrieved 2020-05-28.
  16. ^ "Britannica". www.britannica.com/. Britannica. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  17. ^ Ejigiri, Damien; Adu Frimpong, Augustine (2018-10-29). "African Intellectuals and the State of the Continent: Essays in Honor of Professor Sulayman S. Nyang, edited by Olayiwola Abegunrin and Sabella Abidde". African and Asian Studies. 17 (4): 427–429. doi:10.1163/15692108-12341412. ISSN 1569-2094.
  18. ^ "Daybis - Home". daybis.com.ng. Retrieved 2020-05-28.

External links[edit]