THE HISTORY OF EGBALAND
Abeokuta has not always been the abode of the Egbas. Before they made it their home, a rebellious event that would forever change their lives occurred.
It is said that the Egbas are warriors.
It was between 1775 and 1780, under the leadership of one Lisabi who was a resident of Igbehin but was born in Itoku.
At the time, the Egba people were under the sovereignty of the Alaafin of Oyo Empire.
Lisabi organized an insurgent group and disguised it as something else: A traditional mutual aid society.
He would later use the insurgent society, in1890, to free the Egbas by simultaneously killing all the collectors of tribute representing the Alaafin in all the Egba settlement.
Over six hundred of them were wiped out in one day.
Upon hearing the news, the Alaafin dispatch an Army to crush the rebellion. But the Egba people knew beforehand that the response from the headquarters won’t be otherwise.
They defeated Alaafin’s Army in the Egba forest and established their freedom.
However, the unity among them was not strong enough to sustain their unifying force. And it was this lack of cooperation that made it possible for them to be routed during the Yoruba wars.
Thus, it happened that between 1825 and 1830, when the Egba people could no longer withstand the frequent attacks of the slave hunters from Ibadan and Dahomey,
The Egba people, on the directives of the Ifa Oracle, was led by chief Shodeke on an exodus to the western side of what is known as Olumo Rock.
The Egba people speaks North-West Yoruba (NWY) dialect of the Yoruboid languages which belong to the larger Niger-Congo language phylum.
Apart from Egba people of Abeokuta, NYW dialect is also spoken in Ibadan, Ọyọ, Ogun, and Lagos (Eko) areas.
Top, Buba, and Agbada
Cap, Fila (a beti aja)
Other: Ipele – Piece of cloth placed on the shoulder or wrapped around the waist
Lafu, (White Amala) and Ewedu soup; badan
Geographical location and economy
Abeokuta is situated in the fertile country of wooded savanna, the surface of which is broken by masses of grey granite.
It is spread over an extensive area, being surrounded by mud walls 18 miles in extent.
Palm-oil, timber, rubber, yams, rice, cassava, maize, cotton, other fruits, and shea butter are the chief trading products.
It is a key export location for cocoa, palm products, fruit, and kola nuts.
Both rice and cotton were introduced by the missionaries in the 1850′s and have become integral parts of the economy, along with the dye indigo.
It lies below the Olumo Rock, home to several caves and shrines. The town depends on the Oyan River Dam for its water supply.
Abeokuta is the headquarters of the Federal Ogun-Oshin River Basin Authority, which is responsible for the development of land and water resources for Lagos, Ogun, and Oyo states.
Included in this are irrigation, food-processing, and electrification.
Local industries include but are not limited to fruit canning plants, plastics, breweries, sawmills, and an aluminum products factory. South of town is the Aro Granite Quarries.