official_name = Abeokuta
imagesize = 300px
image_caption = Abeokuta as seen from
pushpin_label_position = bottom
pushpin_map_caption = Location in Nigeria
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = flag|Nigeria
subdivision_type1 = State
unit_pref = Imperial
population_as_of = 2005
population_total = 593,140
latd=7 |latm=9 |lats=39 |latNS=N
longd=3 |longm=20 |longs=54 |longEW=E
Abeokuta is a city in
Ogun Statein southwest Nigeriaand is situated at coord|display=inline,title|7|9|39|N|3|20|54|E|region:NG_type:city(500000), on the Ogun River; 64 miles north of Lagosby railway, or 81 miles by water. As of 2005, Abeokuta and the surrounding area had a population of 593,140.
Geography and agriculture
Abẹokuta lies in fertile country, the surface of which is broken by masses of grey granite. It is spread over an extensive area, being surrounded by mud walls 18 miles in extent. Palm-oil, timber,
rubber, yams and shea-butter are the chief articles of trade. It lies below the Olumo Rock, home to several caves and shrines.
Abeokuta (a word meaning "under the rocks"), dating from 1825, owes its origin to the inroads of the slavehunters from
Dahomeyand Ibadan, which compelled the village populations scattered over the open country to take refuge in among the rocks surrounding the city. Here they constituted themselves a free confederacy of many distinct groups, each preserving the traditional customs, religious rites and even the very names of their original villages.
The original settlers of Abeokuta were of the
Egbaethnicity.Canby, Courtlandt. "The Encyclopedia of Historic Places". (New York: Facts of File Publications, 1984), p. 2.] Later, some Yoruba came to the city. Baptistand Anglicanmissionaries operated in the area in the 19th century.
In 1851 and 1864, the forces of Abẹokuta defeated Dahomean slave raiders.
The city is the birthplace of several famous Nigerians, including:
Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, politician.
Peter Akinola, Anglican archbishop.
Dotun Ransome Kuti, teacher and clergyman.
Fela Kuti, musician and singer.
Olusegun Obasanjo, President of Nigeriafrom 1999 to 2007.
Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, women's rights activist.
Peter Olakeinde Sogbesan, civil servant.
Tai Solarin, educator and author.
Wole Soyinka, Nobel Prize-winning author.
Ladapo Samuel Ademola, Alake of Abeokuta.
Olikoye Ransome Kuti, Professor of pediatrics, Former Minister of Health
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