Objects and artifacts are major reminders of our past. Sculptures and monuments within Ibadan has helped document the history of town in a way, from the earliest time till date.They are mainly for aesthetic purpose, culture, education and information about a town and representation of local culture in public places.
Have you ever wondered what the sculptures that are placed at certain roads , junctions and roundabout in Ibadan city denotes? It is more than mere decorations of the cities, the monuments play important roles in the circulation of ideologies and reinforces the power of the city’s visuality .
Here are some prominent people who have their statue erected in some places in Ibadan.
Chief Ẹfúnṣetán aníwúrà ( the 1790s – June 30, 1874)
She was the second Iyalode of Ibadan. Revered as a successful merchant and trader, her impact encompassed the political, military, economic and religious spheres of Ibadan. She is famous for being arguably the most powerful – and certainly one of the wealthiest – Yoruba women that ever lived. She has been described by historians as an authoritarian leader who often utilized capital punishment on erring slaves. She is reputed to have had about two thousand slaves and multiple farms, exporting agricultural produce to Porto-Novo, Badagry, and Ikorodu. Her major line was in tobacco and slave trading. She also manufactured a local cosmetic product, Kijipa, that was transported to America for use.Aniwura’s statue is placed at the center of Challenge roundabout, a major point within the modern city of Ibadan. She has also been the subject of some Nigerian film productions.
Surrounded by seven hills, which provided the city with an amazing topography and a war camp of Oyo armies, Ibadan, from time immemorial, remained unconquerable with Iba Oluyole, one of Oyo bravest soldiers rose to become the garrison commander of the then Ibadan warriors.
Iba Oluyole was known for his gallant battles against the enemies that won him victories during his reign in Ibadan. It was also his many conquests that made Ibadan the largest city in Sub-Saharan Africa.History recorded that many Oyo people fled the ancient town to neighbouring towns, due to political crises. This made most Oyo immigrants to settle in Ibadan. Some of these immigrants included Oluyole and other warriors from Oyo town.
Historians described Oluyole as a distinguished, domineering commander of warriors. He reportedly rose to fame as Bashorun, a title he subsequently made more famous by contributing immensely to the growth of the military and economic strength of Ibadan during the city’s formative years.The legendary Iba Oluyole, who was born in Old Oyo to the polygamous family of Olukuoye by Omoba Agbonrin, a daughter of the Alaafin Abiodun, could be regarded as the founder of the present Ibadan by virtue of his many conquests which ensured the survival of Ibadan city till date. In 1987 oluyole club Ibadan commissioned Tori Oladimeji to produce the figure of Iba oluyole, his statue is located at Beere, Ibadan with a height of 300cm .
Basorun Ogunmola has an equestrian figure at total garden roundabout in Ibadan. He was one of the greatest war tacticians Yoruba race has ever produced. Despite his smallish nature, he was a terror to many kingdoms during his time. Like Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte,he fought many wars and won all.In Ibadan, the capital city of Oyo State, the Ogunmola family is very popular and strong. And from generation to generation the family has kept their value and tradition. Their matriach Basorun Ogunmola”s story is a fascinating one. His life and time was ridled with lots interesting stories, from being an oracle diviner since age 10 and later to a warlord. He was one of the foremost warriors the ancient city of Ibadan has ever produced. He didn’t not only fought and won several wars but also went ahead to become Ibadan ruler between 1865-67.
In fact, Ogunmola’s story is a well known story to all and sundry. Different accounts of his life and time, alongside other prominent warriors, has been captured by many writers or historians in the history of Yoruba. His bravery, involvement and exploits in many wars that ravaged the Yoruba land several centuries ago, It is also an established fact that Ogunmola led and won many wars which includes but not limited to, Kiriji, Ijebu, Egba, Ekiti para po etc and the most prominent of them all, the Ijaye war. How he led other Ibadan’s warriors to wage war against another Yoruba Generalissimo, Kurunmi, in solidarity for the then Alaafin of Oyo. How he ruled Ibadan land between 1865-1867 and all that.
Oderinlo was oluyole’s balogun, he rose to succeed him after his death, he was the most senior at that time. He rose to prominence as one of the chiefs who played an active role in the rebellion against Lakunle. Oderinlo became balogun and he led the ibadan troops to fight in the second Ibadan/Ilorin war at Osogbo, a war that Ibadan won comprehensively.The statue can be found in Mapo, Ibadan with an height of 270cm.
Other important statue found in Ibadan are
The E kaabo (welcome) statue dundun drummer usually called baba onilu at Abe bridge, Ìwo road.
The footballer statue at liberty stadium Ibadan.
Iyalode Rukayat at orita challenge in Ibadan.
The Ibadans are proud people of culture and heritage ,their artistic outdoor sculpture practice is deep and profound and it represents a rich art historical engagement.