Ibadan: A city Ahead Of Its Time?
The old Oyo empire stretched as far as present-day Ilorin. War and strife played its part in the gradual decline and eventual collapse of the empire.
The cause of this collapse is not the subject of this piece but the emergence of Ibadan as a power house with the semblance of a modern city state which could rival other city states around the world at that point in history.
Ibadan was largely a warrior settlement or military town as it were as the strategic hills provided succor to the warriors who had fled for refuge on the hills and taking advantage of the hilltop to detect enemies from far away and making it their base. In no time, the city began to grow due to migration majorly caused by internecine wars (Yoruba Civil war) in the 19th century.
The title of the king ‘Olubadan’ meaning (Lord of the town) further portrays the town as one presided over by the warrior class but in truth this was not really the matter in practice as there were two ruling class which was the military class and the civil class. This meant that any free born within the metropolis could aspire for the throne regardless of which segment of the town they were born
This was in a period where totalitarianism was the order of the day, but Ibadan dared to be different as it strove to become an egalitarian society and a model to others as everyone was welcome and thus the adulation that Ibadan is home to all as it accommodates town dwellers and visitors alike.
Due to this act, one could argue that Ibadan was and is still a city of liberals who were ahead of their time. What do you think?