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History Of Ibadan And Its Past Ba’ales/Obas



Ibadan, coined from the phrase “Eba Odan”, which literally means ‘by the roadside. Recorded history begins in 1829, after the region was convulsed by extended intertribal wars.

In that year the victorious armies of the Ife, Ijebu, and Oyo kingdoms camped at Ibadan and formed the nucleus of the modern city. The British colonial government assumed control of the city in 1893.

Ibadan, located in Western Nigeria, is the country’s second largest city and capital of the Oyo state. A 2006 Nigerian Census shows the population of Ibadan at 1,138,639 citizens. Home to the University of Ibadan, it is a leader in the nation’s institutions of education, health, and economics. The dominant religions are Christianity and Islam.

Although literature suggests the initial creation of the city as circumstantial, the growth and transition of Ibadan into one of the dominant cities in West Africa confirms its relevance and impact.

The history of Ibadan had long been preserved through oral history but written records place its official founding in 1829. After the collapse of the Yoruba Empire towards the end of the 18th century, the area which is now Ibadan had been populated by Yoruba rebels.

Located between the forests and the plains and surrounded by seven hills, it functioned as a sanctuary for the fighters that fled. Ibadan served that purpose again in the early 19th century when the intertribal conflict that led the Ife, Ijebu, and Oyo ethnic groups to flee the Fulani who were expanding into the region from the northwest.

When the British extended a protectorate over the region in 1893, Ibadan had roughly 120,000 residents. The British colonial administration built a railroad that reached Ibadan in 1901 and eventually reached Kano in Northern Nigeria by 1912.

As a major trading center along the rail route Ibadan grew rapidly and prospered because the surrounding region produced cassava, cocoa, cotton, rubber, timber, and palm oil. As its population grew, the city also developed manufacturing and service industries.

In 1948 the University of Ibadan was founded as a branch of the University of London. As such it was the first institution of higher education in the most populous colony in Africa.

Two years following Nigerian independence in 1960, the University of Ibadan became independent as well. With its University College Hospital and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, the University of Ibadan remains one of the leading institutions of higher education in Nigeria and the rest of Western Africa.

Ibadan’s government, like that of Nigeria, began the process of decolonization in the 1950s. At independence in 1960, Ibadan was the third most populous city in Africa after Cairo and Johannesburg.

During the first years of independence, however, from 1960 to 1980, the powerful Western State government dominated the city administration and monopolized the taxing authority.

By the early 1990s privatized services such as schools, health facilities, and even roads emerged due to the inability of Ibadan’s government to provide basic services.

In 1991 the Nigerian federal government returned control and especially taxing authority to metropolitan Ibadan which in the same year became capitol the of the newly organized and smaller Oyo state .

Below is the list of Olubadan

1. Ba’ale Maye Okunade (1820–1830)

2. Ba’ale Oluyedun

3. Ba’ale Lakanle

4. Bashorun Oluyole 1850

5. Ba’ale Oderinlo 1850

6. Ba’ale Oyeshile Olugbode 1851–1864

7. Ba’ale Ibikunle 1864

8. Bashorun Ogunmola 1865–1867

9. Ba’ale Akere I 1867–1870

10. Ba’ale Orowusi 1870–1871

11. Are Ona Kakanfo Obadoke Latosa 1871– 1885

12. Ba’ale Ajayi Osungbekun 1885–1893

13. Ba’ale Fijabi I 1893–1895

14. Ba’ale Oshuntoki 1895–1897

15. Ba’ale Fajinmi 1897–1902

16. Ba’ale Mosaderin 1902–1904

17. Ba’ale Dada Opadare 1904–1907

18. Ba’ale Sunmonu Apampa 1907–1910

19. Ba’ale Akintayo Awanibaku Elenpe 1910– 1912

20. Ba’ale Irefin 1912–1914

21. Ba’ale Shittu Latosa (son of Are Latosa ) 1914– 1925

22. Ba’ale Oyewole Foko 1925–1929

23. Olubadan Okunola Abass 1930–1946

24. Olubadan Akere I 1946

25. Olubadan Oyetunde I 1946

26. Olubadan Akintunde Bioku 1947–1948

27. Olubadan Fijabi II 1948–1952

28. Olubadan Alli Iwo 1952

29. Olubadan Apete 1952–1955

30. Oba Isaac Babalola Akinyele 1955–1964

31. Oba Yesufu Kobiowu July 1964 – Dec. 1964

32. Oba Salawu Akanni Aminu 1965–1971

33. Oba Shittu Akintola Oyetunde II 1971– 1976

34. Oba Gbadamosi Akanbi Adebimpe 1976– 1977

35. Oba Daniel ‘Tayo Akinbiyi 1977–1982

36. Oba Yesufu Oloyede Asanike I 1982–1994

37. Oba Emmanuel Adegboyega Operinde I (1994– 1999)

38. Oba Yunusa Ogundipe Arapasowu I (1999–2007)

39. Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade I (2007–2016)

40. Oba Saliu Adetunji (2016– Current)

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Hammed Tajudeen is the editor in-chief of Blaze News, holds Higher National Diploma(HND) in Mass Communication, graduated from Osun State Polytechnic, Iree.

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