By: Industreet Bashorun
A stone is ingrained with geological and historical memories,the past is our only real guide to the future, and historical analogies are instruments for distilling and organizing the past and converting it to a map by which we can navigate.
Historically, the whole of the place where the Oyo State Government House is located in Ibadan used to be known in ancient times before the founding of this third Ibadan in its present location as Idi Ogungun. The Ogungun tree after which the area was named still has remnant of the tree and the area within the immediate vicinity of the tree is still called Idi Ogungun, the name it has been bearing since more than 200 years ago.
As a historical legacy, Ìdí Ògùngun has been the theatre of many events in the history of Ibadan. The following events took place at ìdi Ogungun:
1.When Captain Bower arrived Ibadan in 1893 with a force of about 100 soldiers. The Ibadan authorities wanted to assign him a place within the city-walls for residence, but he marched through and took up his quarters outside the city walls in the area known as Idi Ogungun, where he set up his camp.The place where he set up camp on that day became the Residency and since then it has been the seat of Government for the South-West and it is now the seat of the seat of the Oyo State Government
2. The first act of governmental administration which Captain Bower did was to issue a proclamation to the effect that henceforth all slaves have become free and they could leave their master’s establishment to go to their respective homes and that nobody should ever be referred to as slave anymore upon pain of condign punishment.
3. In 1929, Idi Ogungun Police Station was built and it is the oldest police facility in the old Western Region.
4. Ìdí Ògùngun has an ancient customary court where the role of promoting reconciliation and encourage and facilitate the settlement in an amicable way, of proceedings for common assault or for any other offence which the Court has jurisdiction to try and which is not aggravated in degree is being taking care of.
5. The first television station in Africa situated in the land of Ìdí Ògùngun.
6. We must have heard the statement of “Onínúrere Idi Ogungun tí ì s’ẹrù d’ọmọ” , Captain Bower, the man of destiny, unwittingly fulfilled the ancient prophecy that had been extant ever before he was born: “Onínúrere Idi Ogungun tí ì s’ẹrù d’ọmọ” (the kind hearted man of Idi Ogungun who will make slaves to become like free-borns).
7. The confederate army of Ife, Oyo and Ijebu which destroyed the city of Owu were using Idi Ogungun as their camping ground. From there they used to sally forth to lay siege to the city of Owu. Owu was finally captured when the people of Owu opened their city gates to the confederate army when they had no more food to eat.The city of Owu which then comprised of the areas now known as Bashorun, Iwo Road, Monatan up to her boundary with the sister Owu town of Erunmu was then very close to Idi Ogungun.
8. Captain Bower has been immortalized by a tower erected in his memory at Oke-Are, which is called Bower’s Tower.
Ìdí Ògùngun we see today around a newly named place called Agodi has history in the city of Ibadan.
Truthfully, people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots. The past changes a little every time we retell it.
Industreet Bashorun writes from Àgbókojó in Ìbàdàn.