City (pop., 2002 est.: 3,080,000), southwestern Nigeria. Situated northeast of Lagos, it is the nation's second largest city. First settled by the Egba, the modern city probably grew from a camp set up by Yoruba armies from Ife, Ijebu, and Oyo; it was taken by the British in 1893. An important commercial centre, it contains six parks, the most important of which is Agodi Garden. It is the seat of the University of Ibadan (1948) as well as a polytechnic and other specialized institutions. Two major stadiums and television studios are also located there.
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Ibadan (Ìlú Èbá-Ọdàn, the town at the junction the savannah and the forest), the capital of Oyo State, is the third largest city in Nigeria by population (after Lagos and Kano), and the largest in geographical area. At independence, Ibadan was the largest and the most populous city in Nigeria and the third in Africa after Cairo and Johannesburg. It is located in south-western Nigeria, 78 miles inland from Lagos and is a prominent transit point between the coastal region and the areas to the north. Its population is 2,550,593 according to 2006 census results, including 11 local government areas. The population of central Ibadan, including five LGA:s, is 1 338 659 according to census results for 2006, covering an area of 128 km². Ibadan had been the centre of administration of the old Western Region, Nigeria since 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.
Lagelu was by now an old, frail man; he could not stop the destruction of his city, but he and some of his people survived the attack and fled to a nearby hill for sanctuary. On the hill they survived by eating oro fruit and snails; later, they cultivated the land and made corn and millets into pap meals known as oori or eko, which they ate with roasted snails. They improvised a bit by using the snail shells to drink the liquefied eko. Ultimately, Lagelu and his people came down from the hill and founded another city called Eba'dan. The new city instantly grew prosperous and became a commercial nerve centre. Shortly afterwards, Lagelu died, leaving behind a politically savvy people and a very stable community. The newly enthroned Olubadan made a friendly gesture to the Olowu of Owu by allowing Olowu to marry his only daughter, Nkan. Coming from a war campaign one day, the raging Odo Oba (River Oba) would not allow Olowu and his army to cross until a human sacrifice was performed to appease the angry river. The chosen sacrifice was Nkan. The Olubadan was infuriated at hearing of Nkan's death; he sent an emissary to inform the Alafin of Oyo. Yoruba kings and rulers such as Alake of Egba, Agura of Gbagura, Ooni of Ife, Awujale of Ijebu and others formed a formidable coalition with Eba'dan against the powerful Olowu of Owu. After the defeat of Owu, many, if not all, of the warriors that participated in the coalition refused to go back to their towns and cities. They began attacking the neighboring towns and hamlets, and also marauded across Eba'dan thereby making the indigenes fearful of them. Finally, they took over the political landscape of Eba'dan and changed its name to Ibadan, as we have come to know it.
Another source claimed that Ibadan was historically an Egba town. The Egba occupants were forced to leave the town and moved to present-day Abeokuta under the leadership of Sodeke when the surge of Oyo refugees flocked into the towns as an aftermath of the fall of Oyo Kingdom.
Ibadan grew into an impressive and sprawling urban center so much that by the end of 1829, Ibadan dominated the Yorùbá region militarily, politically and economically. The military sanctuary expanded even further when refugees began arriving in large numbers from northern Oyo following raids by Fulani warriors. After losing the northern portion of their region to the marauding Fulanis, many Oyo indigenes retreated deeper into the Ibadan environs. The Fulani Caliphate attempted to expand further into the southern region of modern-day Nigeria, but was decisively defeated by the armies of Ibadan in 1840. The Ibadan area became a British Protectorate in 1893 and 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 trading center that it is today.
In 1853, the first Europeans to settle in Ibadan, Reverend Hinderer and his wife, started Ibadan's first Western schools. They built churches and schools and the first two-storey building in Ibadan, which can still be found today at Kudeti. The first pupils to attend an elementary school in Ibadan were Yejide (female) and Akinyele (male) -- the two children of an Ibadan high chief.
In-town transportation comes in a variety of forms. Modes of transportation include, taxis, taxi-vans commonly called danfos, private cars that are hired out by the day with a driver, personal family cars, scooters, and walking. All fares are negotiable depending upon the number in the party and the distance to be traveled. The average taxi is a small car, which seats four people and the driver. A danfo is a van, meanwhile, which seats seven people and the driver. This does not mean that more people will not be accommodated; often both taxis and danfos carry as many passengers as can squeeze into the vehicle. Danfos have an additional staff member. He is the "conductor," who arranges fare agreements and keeps track of delivery points. He is often to be seen holding onto the frame of the van while hanging out the door in order to locate potential fares.
There is a museum in the building of the Institute of African Studies, which exhibits several remarkable pre-historic bronze carvings and statues. The city has several well stocked libraries, and is home to the first television station in Africa. Dugbe Market is the nerve center of Ibadan's transport and trading network. The best method to move about the city is to use reference points and notable landmarks. The city also has a zoological garden located inside the University of Ibadan, and a botanical garden located at Agodi.
The Bower Memorial Tower to the east on Oke Aàre (Aare's Hill) ("Aare" in Yoruba means commander-in-chief or generalissimo), which can be seen from practically any point in the city; it also provides an excellent view of the whole city from the top. Another prominent landmark, Cocoa House, was the first skyscraper in Africa. It is one of the few skyscrapers in the city and is at the hub of Ibadan's commercial center. Other attractions include Mapo Hall -- the colonial style city hall -- perched on top of a hill, "Oke Mapo," Mapo Hill ("oke" is hill in Yoruba), the Trans-Wonderland amusement park, the cultural centre Mokola and Liberty Stadium, Ibadan, the first stadium in Africa. The first citadel of higher learning, University of Ibadan (formerly the University College of Ibadan), and the first teaching hospital in Nigeria, University College Hospital, UCH, were both built in this ancient but, highly important city. Ibadan is also home to the legendary Shooting Stars FC -- a professional Football Club.