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Abeokuta

Abeokuta

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'''Abeokuta''' is the largest city and capital of [[Ogun State]] in southwest [[Nigeria]] and is situated at {{coord|display=inline,title|7|9|39|N|3|20|54|E|region:NG_type:city(500000)}}, on the [[Ogun River]]; 64 miles north of [[Lagos]] by railway, or 81 miles by water. As of 2005, Abeokuta and the surrounding area had a population of 593,140. == Geography and agriculture == Abẹokuta lies in fertile country, 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]], [[yam (vegetable)|yams]] and shea-butter are the chief articles of trade. It lies below the [[Olumo Rock]], home to several caves and shrines. The town depends on the [[Oyan River Dam]] for its water supply, which is not always dependable. == History == [[Image:Kutoroad.jpg|thumb|left|Kuto Road in Abeokuta.]] Abeokuta (a word meaning "under the rocks"), dating from 1825, owes its origin to the inroads of the slavehunters from [[Dahomey]] and [[Ibadan]], which compelled the village populations scattered over the open country to take refuge in among the rocks surrounding the city. Here they constituted themselves a free confederacy of many distinct groups, each preserving the traditional customs, religious rites and even the very names of their original villages. The original settlers of Abeokuta were of the [[Egba]] nation. Later, some members of other [[Yoruba people|Yoruba]] clans came to the city. [[Baptist]] and [[Anglican]] missionaries operated in the area in the 19th century. In 1851 and 1864, the forces of Abẹokuta defeated [[Dahomey|Dahomean]] slave raiders. In 1893, the [[Egba United Government]] based in Abẹokuta was recognized by the [[United Kingdom]]. In 1914, the city was made part of the colony of [[Nigeria]] by the British. [[Image:Rock of Abeokuta.jpg|thumb|250px|The "Rock of Abeokuta", seen around 1892]] == Notable people== The city is the birthplace and home-town of several famous Nigerians, including: * [[Chief Olufusibi Coker (Alias "Aderupoko").The first Oluwo of Itesi, Abeokuta]] Chief Isaac Olufusibi Coker, the third son of Mama Sarah Taiwo was a very prosperous farmer and trader. He used to overload the canoes carrying his merchandise from Lagos to Abeokuta via Ogun River. On sighting such overloaded canoe, people will exclaim “Ha! A-da-eru-pa-oko!”, hence, he was nicknamed “Aderupoko”. He became the first Oluwo of Itesi Abeokuta in 1897 after the death of Chief Lokunjobi, the junior brother of Mama Sarah Taiwo. Chief Bajela, the senior brother of Mama Sarah Taiwo was the Oluwo of Itesi, Abeokuta, and was the first to carry the mace of Ogboni (i.e. Edan – Opa ase Ogboni) – staff of authority of Ogboni – from the former Itesi town, Itesi in Abeokuta between 1828 and 1830. Chief Olufusibi Coker was an outstanding philanthropist and was very generous. Between 1887-1892, the Egba Chiefs invited him to become the Alake of Abeokuta but his senior brother, Chief Samuel Sowemimo Coker, disallowed him for the fear that most of the Alakes then used to die prematurely. History told us that all the arrangements he had made in preparation for the enthronement, like all the clothes he had ordered from abroad, were distributed between Oba Adila of Erunwon and the would be Oba Gbadebo 1, Alake of Abeokuta. It was further revealed that the rolls of clothes meant for Alake were laid from Itesi to Ake Palace for the new Alake to tred on to his Palace, after which Aderupoko sent all the rolls of clothes as gift to Oba Gbadebo 1. He then ordered another set of the rolls of clothes for himself. That was why Oba Gbadebo 1 and Chief Isaac Olufusibi Coker used to dress alike, almost everytime. He was however compensated with the title of the first Oluwo of Abeokuta in 1905 by Oba Gbadebo 1 because he was forced not to accept the throne by his senior brother and he consented. Whenever the Egba Native Authority was unable to pay their staff, he used to come to the aid of the Authority by paying the staff. During the war, he recruited his own soldiers and that was why the boundary between Abeokuta and Ibadan (in Bakatari) was taken over by Aderupoko and also the boundary between Remo and Egbas (in Fidiwo) was taken over by Aderupoko to check the advancements of the enemies. That is why up till date, the boundary lands in Fidiwo and Bakatari are still in the possession of his children. He was one of the guarantors of the loan of Thirty Thousand Pounds (£30,000.00) for Egbaland for the electrification and supply of pipe-borne water to Abeokuta. * [[Moses A. Majekodunmi]] Senator 1960, Minister of Health 1961-66, Administrator Western Region 1962 . * [[Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola]], politician. * [[Olusegun Obasanjo]], [[President of Nigeria]] from 1999 to 2007. * [[Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti]], women's rights activist. * [[Peter Olakeinde Sogbesan]], Eminent Pioneering civil-servant. * [[Fela Sowande]], composer * [[Wole Soyinka]], Nobel Prize-winning author. * [[Olikoye Ransome-Kuti]], Professor of pediatrics, Former Minister of Health * [[Amos Tutuola]], author of [[The Palm-Wine Drinkard]] * [[Fela Kuti]], famous Nigerian musician and political activist. * [[Ambassador G.O Olusanya]], Nigerian Institute of International Affairs. * [[Ernest Shonekan]], Businessman and former interim government head of Nigeria for four months in 1993.