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  Ibadan is a large city in southwestern Nigeria. It is the capital of Oyo State and one of the most populous cities in the country. Let’s explore some facts about this interesting place!
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  • Origins of the Name

The name “Ibadan” comes from the Yoruba words “Eba” meaning “outside” and “Odan” meaning “fort/stockade.” Together it means “outside the fort/stockade.” This refers to how the city started as a settlement outside the old Yoruba military fort.
  • Brown Roofs

Nigeria Stories – X
One of the first things you’ll notice in Ibadan is the many brown roofs. This is because the buildings use a dried clay called “amara” for roofing instead of modern materials. The “amara” gives the city a unique rusty-brown look from above.
  • Huge Population

Nigeria – Quora
With over 3 million people, Ibadan is one of the most populated cities in Nigeria and one of the largest in Africa. It covers a huge area, making it more spread out than other major cities.
  • An Epicentre of Yoruba Culture

Ibadan Media – Facebook
This city is important to the Yoruba culture. The Yoruba people are one of the largest ethnic groups in Nigeria. Many Yoruba traditions, arts, music, and cuisine originate from or are popular in Ibadan.
  • University City

Ibadan is a major education hub, home to the first university in Nigeria – the University of Ibadan. It was founded in 1948 and has produced many of Nigeria’s scholars and leaders over the decades.
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  • Warm Climate

Like most southwestern Nigeria, Ibadan has a warm, humid climate year-round. Temperatures range from the mid-70s to mid-90s Fahrenheit. The city gets plenty of rainfall during the wet season from April to October.
  • Historical Sites

There are several historical sites and landmarks around Ibadan that showcase its heritage:
  • Mapo Hall – A colonial-era hall completed in 1929 that hosted many independence movement events.
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  • Oke’badan – The abandoned remains of the original 19th-century settlement that grew into modern Ibadan.
  • Dugbe Business District – The city’s commercial hub dates back to the 1940s-1950s with historical architecture.
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  • Foods

Like the rest of Yoruba culture, Ibadan has its tasty delicacies and street food specialities:
  • Amala & Abula – A thick yam flour dish served with a delicious vegetable stew.
  • Iyan & Ewedu – Another yam-based dish served with a slimy vegetable soup.
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  • Bambara Nut Pudding – A sweet pudding made from Bambara nut milk and peanuts.
  • Massive Markets

Aleshinloye Market – Radio Nigeria
Ibadan is home to some of the largest open-air markets in West Africa. Oja’ba is one of the oldest and largest with thousands of vendors selling items from produce to crafts.
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Final Thoughts

With its unique architecture, rich cultural heritage, bustling population, and delicious cuisine, Ibadan is a fascinating city to explore and experience the diversity of Nigeria.
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This article was first published on 29th May 2024


Chidiogo Shalom Akaelu holds a degree in English and Literary Studies, from the University of Nigeria. She is a freelance writer, editor and founder of Loana Press, a budding online publishing outlet.

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