Ogun State is a state in southwestern Nigeria. Created in February 1976 from the former Western State. Ogun State borders Lagos State to the south, Oyo State and Osun State to the north, Ondo State, and the Republic of Benin to the west. Abeokuta is both Ogun State’s capital and most populous city; other important cities in the state include Ijebu Ode, the former royal capital of the Ijebu Kingdom, and Sagamu, Nigeria’s leading kola nut grower. Ogun state is covered predominantly by rain forest and has wooden savanna in the northwest . Ogun State had a total population of 3,751,140 residents as of 2006.
Nicknamed the “Gateway to Nigeria”, the state is notable for having a high concentration of industrial estates and being a major manufacturing hub in Nigeria.
Ogun State is predominantly Yoruba, with the Yoruba language serving as the lingua franca of the state. Ogun State is noted for being the almost exclusive site of Ofada rice production. Ogun is also home to many icons in Nigeria in particular and Africa in general. Some of the tourist centre in Ogun state are:
BIRIKISU SUNGBO SHRINE
The Birikisu Sungbo Shrine is a popular tourist destination located in Oke Eri in the Ijebu Ode LGA. The shrine is believed to be the burial site of the Queen of Sheba, one of the concubines of King Solomon. Legend has it that the Queen of Sheba, an Arabian princess, migrated to Oke Eri in her old age where she died and was buried.
Birikisu Sungbo’s grave has been shrouded in mystery and sustained by religious curiosity at a rustic village called Oke Eri in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, Nigeria.
In her lifetime, she had many slaves and many important visitors came to her from far and near whom she hosted, lavishly. Sungbo herself travelled widely, possibly to return the visits made to her.
Birikisu was believed to have supernatural powers. She was believed to have dug pits around the village with a mere needle. These pits could be found throughout Ijebu area and could have been dug to serve either as remembrance of her greatness after her death by her devoted slaves or as a source of water supply in the dry season. The pits are generally called Sungbo Rivers.
On her tomb no weed has ever been known to grow there and on the spot where she was washed before being buried.
Women, according to the culture of the place, are forbidden access to the real tomb.
It was claimed that a European woman, the wife of Captain Ross, the Resident in Ijebu Ode, who put the taboo to test, died soon after she deliberately stepped on the grave.
Both Christians and Muslims are convinced the grave is a sacred place, so thousands of Christians and Muslims come to pray there every year.
OLUSEGUN OBASANJO PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM
The Museum and Library is the centerpiece of the Library complex.
The complex is made up of two striking buildings, the Arrival Pavilion, designed and built by Nigerian contractors, and the Museum building itself, a white magnificent edifice that faces north, the gleaming steel and concrete structure housing exhibits that illustrate the life and times of Olusegun Obasanjo.
The presidential library complex is strategically located at the intersection of two major roads that lead into the city of Abeokuta from two different directions, namely, The Presidential Boulevard and The MKO Abiola Way.
The first leads to Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub, and the second leads to Ibadan, formerly the largest city in Nigerian and West Africa.
NATIONAL MUSEUM ABEOKUTA
The people of Egba land (Abeokuta) have a very rich culture that they hold in high esteem. The knowledge about the history and the way of life of Egbaland people can be fully accessed for exploration with a visit to the Abeokuta National Museum. The museum houses arts, handcrafts, and artifacts that tell the story of Prehistoric Nigeria.
These stories are centered around weapons of war that were used by the ancient inhabitants of Abeokuta and strategies used amongst the legendary warriors of Egbaland. Lovers of archeology will find a lot to learn from the museum as it is indeed a repository of the culture and tradition of Egbaland and its people. The National Museum in Abeokuta displays the heritage of the people in a revealing and educative way.
The Egba clan, originally under the Oyo Empire, became independent following the spectacular collapse of Oyo in the first half of the 19th century. Wars with Dahomey, in which the Egbas were successful partly due to the protection afforded by the Olumo Rock, led to the founding of the city of Abeokuta, which literally means “under the rock”.
The Egba nation is made up of the following subdivisions: the Ake, Owu, Oke Ona and Gbagura, each with its own king. The Egba National Museum is situated Inside Baptist Girls College, Idi-Aba, Abeokuta, Ogun State Nigeria.
There are curators on site to take you around and also provide information about any item that catches your interest. A visit to this museum will leave you much more acquainted with the people of Egbaland than you have ever been.
CENTENARY HALL ABEOKUTA
Located opposite the Ake’s Palace, the Centenary Hall in Ake area of Abeokuta was constructed in 1950 to commemorate the one hundred years that Abeokuta had been in peace after the last inter-tribal war.
The building of the Abeokuta Memorial Centenary Hall emanated from His Majesty Oba Ladapo Ademola II, KBE, The Alake of Egbaland to commemorate the Centenary (100 years) of Egba settlement in Abeokuta. This idea was wholeheartedly supported by the Egba Authority at a meeting held on Thursday, 2nd January, 1930.
Arrangements were put in place immediately. The foundation stone ceremony of the Hall was performed by Alayeluwa Oba Ladapo Ademola II on the 19th of July, 1930 with his assistance from the Administration Inspector of Works, Mr. E.W. Chubb and Capt. H.J Brock who was the Engineer for Egba Native Authority.
OSUURU WATER SPRING IMEKO
The Osuuru spring is situated at Imeko town of Imeko/Afon local government area. The spring flows from a rocky hill and its torrents gushes forth onto a flat space and then down a valley in a way that makes for a perfect, visual scenery.
The Osuuru spring is said to have no apparent source and flows even in dry seasons. Adventurous visitors are welcome to find the source. That is, if they can.
You can also enjoy horse racing or even walk the trails to improve on your health.
OYAN RIVER DAM ABEOKUTA
The Oyan River dam is located in Abeokuta North local Government area of Ogun State ,in the west of Nigeria ,about 20km north west of the state capital.
The Dam crosses the Oyan River and it’s a tributary of the Ogun River. It is used primarily to supply water to Lagos and Abeokuta Environs, but has potentials for use in irrigation and power Generation to a lot of cities.
The lake is in the Savannah region ,with sparse trees and grasses and low fertility. The dam cover 4,000 hectares and has a catchment area of 9000km2. The dam also has a rest length of 1044m and height of 30.4m.
The total Water Storage is 270 millions mx3. The dam was commissioned on 29th March 1983.
OMO FOREST RESERVE
Omo Forest Reserve is a preserved area of tropical rainforest in the Nigerian state of Ogun, in the south-west part of the country. It is located about 135 km (84 mi) northeast of Lagos and 80 km (50 mi) east of Ijebu Ode. This nature reserve covers an area of 130,500 hectares (322,000 acres).
The average rainfall is around 2,000 mm (80 in). The terrain is largely flat and well-drained, with some low rolling hills, and forms part of the Omo River watershed. This forest reserve consists of a large area of tropical rainforest covering 130,500 hectares (322,000 acres).
In the northern part of the reserve, the vegetation consists of a dry evergreen mixed deciduous forest, while in the south, it consists of a moist, mixed, semi-deciduous forest. Parts of the reserve consist of primary forest with mature trees, especially near the watercourses.
However, large portions have been disturbed, with the felling of the original trees and the establishment of plantations. At the centre of the reserve, a plot of 640 hectares (1,600 acres) has been designated a strict nature reserve.
Sungbo Eredo in Ijebu-Ode was bigger than Rome! A rainforest surrounded by a wall that stretches 100 miles long and seventy feet high in places, second in size only to the Great Wall of China. These buildings and walls are more than 1,000 years old dating almost 800AD! They discovered what they call the royal palace which had living quarters, courtyards, and shrines. There may still be smaller buildings hidden by the forests, that are yet to be found.
The Eredo site has been described by discoverers as a breathtaking find with many of its remains relatively intact, though overgrown by the rainforest. Of course, the civil wars and British arrival eventually broke the kingdom’s Lagos lagoon trade monopoly. Much of the Eredo lies in ruin, or hidden in the nearly impenetrable rain forest, ignored by locals and African Government officials.
It is implied that a highly organized kingdom existed in the rain forest at least three centuries earlier than previously believed. The locals say Queen Sungbo built the monument for her beloved people as a personal memorial. Her territory had a gold and ivory trade as well as all kinds of different incense.
ABEOKUTA GOLF CLUB
Ranking with the best in Nigeria, they have a 4.5 kilometer course comprising four par three, four par five and 10 par four holes. The course is surrounded by hills, one of which the clubhouse sits upon giving a bird’s eye few of many parts of the course.
The club-house is a lively place to unwind after a hard day on the course. Continually attracting new members because of its exclusivity and environment, the club extends a warm reception to intending members and visitors alike.
A serene and picturesque golfing and leisure spot, this is a members club that boasts a beautiful yet technical course that can give the experienced golfer a good challenge while remaining forgiving for the less experienced player.
It is a prestigious and highly sought club in Ogun State.
JUNE 12 CULTURAL CENTRE
A declining cultural centre that attracted all the wrong sorts, the Ogun State Government rehabilitated and renovated it in 2012 into this impressive architectural edifice that is used for cultural performances and shows, conferences, and events.
Painted with the Ogun State colors, it blends the cultural richness and tradition that Ogun is known for with modern technology and design. There is a large hall, the gem of the centre, where major state events are held.
Built to commemorate the June 12 annulled elections of 1993, this rehabilitated cultural center houses a swimming pool, convention center, an amusement park. This cultural centre is one of the major landmarks in Abeokuta.
ALAKE OF EGBALAND PALACE
This is home to the traditional ruler of the Egba clan, whose title is Alake of Egbaland. The present ruler built a new palace behind the old palace, and so one first goes through the period of old mortar and bricks with its history, onto this modern period of advanced technology.
When the palace comes into view, the first things you notice are the two magnificent pillars that anchor the gate. They are decorated with the Alake’s emblem and a bar connects them together.
Inscipted on the bar are the Yoruba words, “Aafin Alake Ti Ile Egba” which translates to “Alake of Egbaland Palace”.
Walking inside, one immediately sees the old palace. It is still well maintained and one can see its majesty and the awe it inspired in visitors of old. There are statures, busts and figurines adorning the compound, each telling its own tale. Asides the palaces, there is an ICT centre, a squash court, and a n office for the Egba Traditional Council.
The palace is rich in art, culture, history and the tradition of the Egba clan. Everything about it boastfully displays the pride of the Egba people.
There are palace staff who will take you on a tour of the palace but unless you have a royal appointment, you may not enter the palace chambers itself nor see the Alake. However, there are a lot of intriguing sights to grip your fancy.
When you think of Ogun State, you usually think of Olumo Rock. It is one of Nigeria’s and Africa’s most visited tourist destinations. Abeokuta is home to the Olumo Rock. It is one of Abeokuta’s most intriguing destinations. According to legend, the city got its name from the rock, which means “below the rock.”
During the inter-tribal warfare of the 19th century, the Olumo is supposed to have functioned as a fortification for the people of Egba. Olumo Rock has attracted both local and international visitors over the years.
From History, Olumo Rock was discovered by a hunter by the name Adagba, who used the rock as means of fortress during the intertribal war in the 19th Century. The Egbas were part of the Oyo Empire before the empire collapsed.
The rock also served as a vantage point for the inhabitants at the time as it enabled them have a clear view of enemy’s advancement in a war they eventually triumphed.
The name “Olumo” is the combination of two words – “Olu” (God) and “Mo” (Moulded), the combination of these words is translated as “God has ended our troubles and sufferings”. Olumo Rock was turned into a tourist site in 1976 and commissioned on the 3rd of February 2006 by the former president of the country, Olusegun Obasanjo.
Around the grounds are shops selling artworks and artifacts, as well as cafés where tourists may buy food and relax. Olumo Rock is located at the heart of Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital at exactly the intersection between Ijemo-Alape Road and Ita-Bayinbo Street in Ikija area, under Abeokuta North local government of the state.
Olumo Rock stands at a height of 137metres above sea level which is almost half the height of the Eiffel Tower, Paris which stands at 300metres. Also the height of Olumo Rock cannot be compared to Zuma Rock in the state capital, Abuja which stands at 725metres above sea level.
One of the attractive thing about Olumo Rock however is the fact that it is easy to climb. Even before the recent renovations, Olumo Rock had stairs carved into it for easy climbing.
For those who do not wish to go through climbing through the rocks can use staircases or elevators to reach the summit.
YEMOJI NATURAL SWIMMING POOL IJEBU ODE
Yemoji natural swimming pool was established 1937 by the colonial masters after a war that took place in 1894. The river has its source for 20km away. The river is navigable all the way to Lagos and was a means of transportation in the ancient days. This little resort is located along ijebu-ode to Epe expressway.
Legend has its that the river in Yemoji has its source in the blessings of a sojourner who came to the village looking for water and was finally offered water in Ilone village which is 20km away from Ijebu-ode.
She proclaimed that the village shall never lack water, hence the River came to be. We are told that river gifts pets to people that come to swim in the water.