Awhile back I took a tour to Bower’s tower located in Oke-Are in Ibadan,around Bere part of Ibadan,Oyo state,Nigeria. It is said that the Bower’s Tower is the highest hill point in in Ibadan which is not far from the truth because from the top of the tower I could see some areas and prominent places/sites in Ibadan;Lagos-Ibadan toll gate,,Ife-Ilesha toll gate,University of Ibadan college hospital,cocoa house,cocoa mall,the Adamasinga stadium,the Poly-Technic of Ibadan and the beautiful artistic rusty roofs of Ibadan which makes Ibadan called ‘the city of the brown roofs’.
This monument was built to honor Captain Robert Lister Bower in 1936, he was appointed by the British government from 1893-1897 as the first British Resident in ancient Ibadan to administer Southwestern Nigeria and as well as the Travelling Commissioner of Yoruba land.
The Bower’s Tower was designed by Taffy Jones, the engineer that designed Mapo Hall. The tower is 60 feet high and 11 feet square with two entrances and a spiral staircase that leads to the top of the tower.
The compound where the Bower’s Tower is located is very serene and peaceful,there are a lot of resting chairs and places to rest in the place, the environment where the compound of Bower’s Tower is located is also peaceful which was one of the main where Captain Bower liked to come to the hill back in the days, it is said that he liked to rest at the hill back in the days,it was his favorite place in Ibadan and he came to the hill a lot of times hence the Bower Tower was built in his honor in that location.
Bower’s Tower is place for one to come and relax, have picnic like I and my friends did on the day we visited, it’s an hangout spot after the right entry money has been paid. It is also fun climbing the tower by means of the spiral staircase,although one needs to be careful because some of the steps are weak already.
Pre-colonial history of the area where the current Bower’s Tower is located.
Before the 18th century,Oyo Empire was like the head ruling power in Yoruba land then, it dominated other Yoruba states and conquered a lot of Yoruba territories and Empires and even territories outside Nigeria. One of the attributed reason for this success was the great hill that the Bower Tower is located in.
In early centuries when external forces were coming,the warriors could see them from afar off, thereby making adequate preparation to fight a battle/external force,this was one of the factors attributed to making the Oyo warriors very strong,the hill made them see everything from almost every area the hill covered. That’s why it was called ” The Army’s Chief’s Hill” in the days of old, the forest around it then was known as Agala forest, I Yoruba language “Igbo Agala” in Sapati area. So this hill is very important to the old Oyo Empire.