Bower’s Tower, Ado Awaye
All faces lighted up with much excitement on Tuesday morning, the 29th of May 2018 which also happened to be a public holiday as Nigeria marked her Democracy day.
We all converged at the IbadanCity Fashion College, Ringroad, as they were the organizer of the visitation to two tourist attractions in Oyo state. Ibadan Insider team got an all expense paid trip.
At around 8:35 am that same morning, we started our adventurous journey. Our first stopover was the Bower’s tower in Ibadan.
Bower’s Tower is located on the summit of Oke-Are, the highest hill in Ibadan, from which one enjoys a commanding view of the city.
We took some nice group pictures as we stepped out from the bus that convened us down. Had to hurry up as we were to travel to Iseyin to see the Suspended Lake. Climbing up the stairs leading to the very top of Bower’s tower wasn’t an easy thing for me. I am Claustrophobic and acrophobic, had to summon courage within me lol. We were told to go gently and hold tightly to our mobile-phones, lest it falls and turns out to be a sorry case lol. While climbing the stairs, I gazed in awe. I wondered how the engineers came up with the idea of the narrow stairway. No wonder Bower’s Tower was called “Layipo”. There is this popular saying in Ibadan which goes thus; “Ibadan lo mo, o moo layipo” Only one stairway leads up to the top of the tower and the same stairs on your way down. You would be surprised that a group of people could go up while some other groups of people move down simultaneously without touching each on the same stairway.
Getting to the top of the Tower, torrents of horrible thoughts ran through my head but I rebuked them, casting and binding all evil thoughts with the blood of Jesus lol. For those who have never been to Bower’s Tower, one could see at a glance the four corners of Ibadan metropolis from the top of the Tower. It gives a panoramic view of all the important places in the ancient city. One can see a bird’s eye view of Gate, the University College Hospital (UCH), University of Ibadan, Adebayo, Cocoa House, Dugbe Market, Agodi Gardens, Iwo Road, Ife Road, Olorunsogo and the defunct Lagos /Ibadan Toll Gate. Other far-flung places like Adamasingba, Felele, and many more become visible. Some of these places are far-flung but standing atop the tower gives one a precise picturesque of them. Pictures were taken, and we came down to hear the full history of who Bower is, and why the tower was established.
According to history, Bower’ Tower was erected in Honour and memory of Captain R.L. Bower. He was one of the earliest colonial officers that administered Ibadan metropolis. The monument was said to have been erected in December 1936 at Oke-Are in Ibadan as a result of his effort at effectively checking the anti-social behaviours such as; kidnapping, human sacrifice and inter-community strife.
Captain Bower’s rule in the city of Ibadan, witnessed the provision of basic and fundamental freedoms. It also ushered in an era of peace as well as progress in Education. We learnt that Captain Bower participated effectively in the war settlement namely;Ijebu, Egba, Ilorin and Ife-Ijesha which efforts led to the stoppage of the Kiriji War and peace restored to whole Yoruba land.
We left Ibadan for Ado Awaye in Iseyin around 10 am. It was a smooth ride and some of us had to take a short nap. We spent about 2 hours 20 minutes on the road before arriving at our destination.
It is so interesting to know that there are just two suspended lakes in the world and one of them is located in Oyo state, Nigeria. Isn’t this an interesting piece of heritage? We were surprised to see the place deserted and poorly managed. We have more tourist attractions like the one in Ado Awaye but had been abandoned by our present Nigerian government. These are places that can serve as a source of revenue if properly managed
It took us about 2 hours 20 minutes in total to climb to the mountain. We got to the top of the mountain in about 1 hour and 20 minutes and spent an hour coming down, including the amount of time spent taking rest. There was stairway built into the rock to assist climbers, then there’s a forested path followed by bare rock and then very steep valleys. We were instructed not to leave anyone behind as people had to take different breaks and some were drenched in their sweats.
We eventually got to where the suspended lake was located at the top of the mountain. The lake has greenish water, and we were all flabbergasted when our tour guide told us people drink water for healing purposes.
According to the tour guide, people once lived on the mountain and had about 16 idols they worshiped. We were shown some of the idols like Osa Isaghe and many more others. We were told people also worship the suspended lake.
Ado Awaye got its name from the two sister communities surrounding the mountain — Ado and Awaye. According to the tour guide, there once lived a powerful monarch, the Alaado (king of Ado) who was the second in authority to the Alaafin of Oyo kingdom was second in authority to the Alaafin of Oyo kingdom.
However, the Alaado was struck by a spiritual attack while visiting a neighbouring community for a ceremony and recognized that the attack had come from his kinsmen but could not stop it. Before he died from the attack, he pronounced that anyone who sat on his throne during the period of what should have been his natural life would pay with their life. So, for the following thirty — five years, the throne was left vacant and other kings rose in clout and renown. Until recently, a new Alaado was crowned king and the throne is filled once again.
More pictures below: