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17 interesting facts you may not know about Ibadan

Ibadan was created in 1829 as a war camp for warriors coming from Oyo, Ife, and Ijebu.

A forest site and several ranges of hills, varying in elevation from 160 to 275 metres, offered strategic defense opportunities.

Ibadan is the largest indigenous city in West Africa and is located in the South Western part of Oyo State of Nigeria.

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It is the capital city of Oyo State and is located about 145 km north-east of Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria.

Its population of 2,550,593 according to 2006 census results, includes 11 local government areas.

The population of central Ibadan, including five LGAs, is 1,338,659 according to census results for 2006, covering an area of 128 km².


  1. Ibadan is a city built on seven hills. Ibadan (Yoruba: Ìbàdàn or fully Ìlú Ẹ̀bá-Ọ̀dàn, the town at the junction of the savannah and the forest), the capital of Oyo State, is the second largest city in Nigeria by population after Lagos and the largest geographical area. At independence, Ibadan was the largest and the most populous city in Nigeria and the third in Africa after Cairo and Johannesburg. Its central location and accessibility from the capital city of Lagos were major considerations in the choice of Ibadan as the headquarters of the Western Provinces (1939), which became the Western Region of Nigeria in 1952.


  1. Ibadan is the largest city in Nigeria by geographical area. It is larger in size than Ekiti, Abia, Ebonyi, Imo, Anambra and Lagos States. It is more populous than Ondo, Osun, Kogi, Zamfara, Enugu, Kebbi, Edo, Plateau, Adamawa, Cross River, Abia, Ekiti, Kwara, Gombe, Yobe, Taraba, Ebonyi, Nasarawa, Bayelsa States and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory. And it is more industrialized than Sokoto, Jigawa, Adamawa, Taraba, Plateau, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Osun, Bayelsa, Cross River, Kwara, Kogi, Kaduna, Kebbi, Gombe, Bauchi and Borno States.
  2. Ibadan as a city, has 11 local government areas; three more than Bayelsa State and just two less than Ebonyi State.

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  1. The first skyscraper in Nigeria, Cocoa House, is in Ibadan.


  1. Ibadan has the first standard Nigerian stadium; The Obafemi Awolowo Stadium formerly Liberty Stadium.


  1. The first television station in Africa is in Ibadan.


  1. Ibadan is the cheapest city to live, in South-West Nigeria.


  1. Ibadan boasts of the oldest surviving private-owned Newspaper (The Nigerian Tribune).


  1. The first school in Ibadan was founded by Rev. David Hinderer at Kudeti (too dirty) in 1853.

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  1. There are more federal tertiary institutions/institutes in Ibadan than any other city in Nigeria.


  1. The busiest highway in Nigeria, Lagos-Ibadan expressway, terminates in Ibadan.


  1. The city of Ibadan is naturally drained by four rivers with many tributaries: Ona River in the North and West; Ogbere River towards the East; Ogunpa River flowing through the city and Kudeti River in the Central part of the metropolis.


  1. Islam is the dominant religion in Ibadan with the overwhelming majority of the core Ibadan City Center inhabitants being Muslims.


  1. Ibadan is the second largest non-oil state economy in Nigeria after Lagos State.


  1. Tourist attractions in Ibadan include: Agodi Gardens and Leisure Park. The Palms shopping mall, Ring Road. Ventura Mall, Samonda. University of Ibadan Zoological Garden. Bower Tower. Mapo Hall. Kankanfo Inn, etc.

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  1. Some notable people from Ibadan include; Prof. Oluremi Shonaiya (b. 1955), Prof. Toyin Falola (b. 1953), Prof. Jadesola O. Akande (1940 – 2008), Prof. Oladapo Afolabi (b. 1953), Mr. James Olubunmi Aboderin (1934 – 1984), Dr. Tunde Adegbola (b. 1955), Akin Alabi (b. 1977), Chief Theophilus Akinyele (b. 1932), Oba Samuel Odulana (1914 – 2016), Oba Isaac Babalola Akinyele (1882 – 1964), Bishop Alexander Babatunde Akinyele (1875 – 1968), Pa Taiwo Michael Akinkunmi (b. 1936), Dr. Abraham Olukayode Ajulo (b. 1974), Chief Richard Akinjide (b. c. 1932), Chief (Mrs) Olajumoke Akinjide (b. 1959), Kofoworola Abeni Pratt (1910 – 1992), Oba Samuel Adetunji (b. 1928) and Brigadier General Raji Alagbe Rasaki (b. 1947).


  1. Lastly, Nigeria’s premier university, the University of Ibadan is situated there.

Written by Samuel Oni

Staff & Instructor, Rare Edge Film & Arts Academy Ibadan.

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