How Olumo Rock saved the Egba people during wars

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The Famous Olumo Rock is a mountain located in the city of Abeokuta, Ogun state with its name olumo a combination of two words: “olu” which means god/deity, and “mo” which means moulded is one of the most popular tourist and historically, was a natural fortress for the Egbas during inter-tribal warfare in the 19th century(1830).

According to history the rock was discovered by a hunter identified as Adagba during the war and after the Egbas hid within the rock, they became invisible to their enemies, who searched everywhere with a view to killing them,leading to eventual triumph in war between the Egba & Idahome ( Benin now )

Since then, the Olumo Rock, which saved the Egba people from their adversaries, has become an attraction to many interested individuals visiting Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

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The rock which is located in the Ikija area of Abeokuta, on intersection of Ijemo-Alape Road and Ita-Bayinbo Street has a height of 137 meters above sea level which is about half of the Eiffle Tower located in Paris.

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From the top of Olumo, you can have a clear view of the whole Abeokuta city and be able to cite some monuments like the Ogun River, Baptist Boys High School, Late M.K.O family house, the First Church in Nigeria located at Ake, among others.

Other mysteries surrounding the rock is the existence of a 200-year-old mustard tree that still grows there.

The tree according to the tour guides does not wither or shed its leaves throughout the year, It is said to thrive in all seasons, whether hot or cold and is used to treat a variety of ailments.

However annual sacrifices are made to the deity of the Rock, which is regarded as a protective sanctuary. Divine consultations are still sought by people from all walks of life.

Every March, the Olumo rock festival takes place. According to reports, no one has ever fallen from Olumo rock, despite its height. According to legend, the gods protect people from falling.

Furthermore, it was reported that during the rainy season, Olumo Rock produced water that herbalists could use to cure diseases and sicknesses. However, the water was no longer produced over 50 years ago.

Beneath the mountain is the grave of Chief Sonni Osi-Toko, one of the Rock’s earliest residents and the then-right-hand King’s chief, who died on January 23, 1956, at the age of 122.

grave of Chief Sonni Osi-Toko
Grave of Chief Sonni Osi-Toko

Also the custodian of the deity inside the popular rock, Chief Mrs. Sinatu Aduke Sanni, popularly known as ‘Iya Olumo’ the mother goddess was said to have died died on Wednesday June 1st 2022 at the age of 137 years.

The rock for the Egbas is a symbol of faith, a source of strength, heroism, and unfailing protection. As a result, the rock symbolizes unity and freedom for all Abeokuta residents, not just the Egbas.

It was also made into a tourist site in the year 1976 and after undergoing thorough innovations in 2006 it was then commissioned on February 3, 2006 by Nigeria’s former president, Olusegun Obasanjo.

OgunWatch observed that there are three levels of stairs (Climbing 120 steps)
which can take one to the top of Olumo Rock.

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