You won’t believe that I have lived in Ibadan for over 5 years now and I have never intentionally taken time out to visit some historic sites in the city. Reason, I don’t even know but a safe haven is to blame that on work. Anyway, I saw a post in I.G about a free bus ride to some historic places in Ibadan courtesy of Fabal Entertainment and Tourism, sharp sharp I just utilize the opportunity. By the way, Fabal Entertainment and Tourism is gradually becoming a household name promoting local tourism and entertainment. They are currently planning a Trip to Obudu Mountain Resort, Cross River State, Nigeria, which will take place between 26th to 29th December 2017 and am so looking forward to having some of my readers join me on the trip.
So on this tour, I get to visit three historic sites in Ibadan. One is Mapo Hall. Second is Irefin Palace and the third is Oke Layipo (Bowers Towers). Oya siddon make I give you full gist.
The first place of call was Mapo Hall. Mapo Hall is located on Mapo Hill (“Okee Mapo”), the heart of the indigenous section of Ibadan, first settled in 1829 by warrior refugees fleeing the ravages of the Fulani wars in the guinea savanna. Mapo Hill was an obvious strategic position for military defensive purposes because it gives a view of the surrounding country for miles around. It is believed to be the centre of Ibadan.
The Mapo hall is said to look like the ancient Roman Empire. The hall was built under British colonial rule, during the residency of Captain W.A. Ross. It was designed and constructed by Engineer Robert Taffy Jones and commissioned on October 5, 1929, by Sir Creame Thompson, British Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Nigeria at the time. The hall was refurbished during the administration of Governor Alao Akala in 2008, and now wears a new look. The hall is surrounded by the popular Oja Oba market.
The next place of call was the Irefin Palace. The Irefin Palace which was built with mud and timber (wood) is said to be over 200 years old. I find that quite amazing. So the palace has survived centuries of rainfall and sunshine and has not collapsed! Yet some modern building will just be collapsing anyhow. (smh)
It is believed that the Irefin clans were warriors in the days of old who settled in the Ibadan area known then as a resting settlement for travelers. The palace was the abode of a powerful chief in Ibadan enclave, called “Ba’ale Irefin”, who ruled from 1912-1914. Preserved at the ancient palace are ancient diaries showing old records of events that took place at the Erefin Palace in the olden days. Among the numerous rooms in the palace are the clan’s ‘spiritual powerhouse’ and the judgment room where misunderstandings within the clan are resolved or punishment meted out to the iniquitous. Also, if you have ever seen the movie “Saworoide”, then you must have seen some part of the palace as some scenes in the movie were shot in the palace.
Then we went to Layipo…
Bowers Towers, popularly called Layipo was erected in 1983 in honour of Captain Ross Bowers, the first resident travelling commissioner of Interior YorubaLand. It is believed that the people of Ibadan nick named Bowers Tower as Layipo because it is the first place in the city where to have spiral staircase, hence you have to go round and round to get to the top. Climbing the narrow spiral staircase was very tiring eh, but it was so much joy when we got to the top. Beware, if you are a plus size, don’t dare climb the stair, I am just been my sister/brothers keeper.lol
Bowers Towers is located on the summit of Oke- Are, Ibadan North Local Government, and it earns Ibadan the nickname of the ‘City of Layipo.’ Right from the top of the tower, I caught glimpses of Premier Hotel, University College Hospital (UCH), Mapo Hall, Cocoa House, Beere, Mokola, Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Cultural Centre, Dugbe, Oje, Yemetu and several brown rusty roof. There are several other myths surrounding the origin and meaning of the “Layipo” name.
Although I enjoyed visiting and learning a lot about these places, it however saddens my heart to see these these historic places in such deplorable state. The state of our tourism facilities is nothing to write home about. Hopefully, something worthwhile will be done about them soonest.
Incase, you visit Ibadan or you are based in Ibadan, please endeavour to visit any or all of these places. You will be glad you did. its so amazing to see history come alive. BTW, why did they stop teaching History in schools?
For details of the TRIP TO OBUDU MOUNTAIN RESORT contact Fabal on 08030757053 or on I.G on @fabal_ent_tour. I really look forward to have some of my readers on the trip. Am so counting down to the date.
Incase, you missed my trip to Gberefu Island, you can catch the juice here https://hephzybee.com/2017/07/05/hephzy-in-gberefu-island/