Ibadan City

Historical Background of Ibadan Ibadan

Ibadan (Yoruba: Ìbàdàn or in full Ìlú ̀bá-̀dàn, the town at the junction of the savannah and the forest) is the capital city of Oyo State and the third largest city (in terms of population) in Nigeria, after Lagos and Kano, with a population of 1,338,659 according to the 2006 census. Ibadan is also the largest metropolitan geographical area. At Nigerian independence, Ibadan was the largest and most populous city in the country and the third in Africa after Cairo and Johannesburg.

Ibadan is located in south-western Nigeria, 128 km inland northeast of Lagos and 530 km southwest of Abuja, the Federal Capital. The city is a prominent transit point between the coastal region and the areas to the north. Ibadan was the centre of administration of the old Western Region in the days of the British colonial rule, and parts of the city’s ancient protective walls still stand to this day. The principal inhabitants of the city are the Yoruba people.

The year 1893 was a watershed in Ibadan history as the area became a British Protectorate after a treaty signed by Fijabi, the Baale with the British acting Governor of Lagos, George C. Denton on 15 August. The title Baale means ‘King of the Land; a baale is lower in rank to an oba, ‘king’ By then the population had swelled to 120,000. The British developed the new colony to facilitate their commercial activities in the area, and Ibadan shortly grew into the major tradingcentre that it is today.

Ibadan has been described in some quarters as the intellectual capital of Nigeria. The first university to be set up in Nigeria was the University of Ibadan. It also has the distinction of being one of the premier educational institutions in Africa. The Polytechnic Ibadan is also located in the city. Other noteworthy institutions in the city include the University of Ibadan Teaching Hospital also known as University College Hospital (UCH) which is the first teaching hospital in Nigeria; the internationally acclaimed International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER).

Others include the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), the National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT), the Institute for Agricultural Research & Training (IAR&T) and the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN). Ibadan is noted to be the home of the most sophisticated and liberal scientific and cultural community on the continent of Africa.

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