Ibadan is one of the most beautiful cities in Nigeria. One of the most interesting facts is the fact that Ibadan holds in it the oldest artifacts of Nigeria. Maybe that is why it is most cherished and has tourist all over the world trooping in to see what the past has to offer. It also has the reputation of being the largest city in West Africa and as J.P Clark rightly said “Ibadan… scattered among seven hills, like broken china in the sun.”
One of the wonders of this beautiful town is Captain Bower’s Tower. When you stand on the highest level of the tower, you can see the full view of Ibadan. The tower shows you how widely stretched Ibadan is notwithstanding the beauty of the city. One glance at this tower will make you wonder what the architect/builder was thinking of. Was he trying to see the whole of Ibadan and its beauty? Was he trying to surf this place and see all of the corners in just one position? Could it be that he needed to know all that was happening in the town and he needed somewhere where he could watch the people closely?
This tower gives a panoramic view of all the important places in the ancient Ibadan city. In a bird’s eye view, you can see Gate, the University College Hospital, Cocoa House, University of Ibadan, Agodi Gardens, Dugbe Market, Olorunsogo, Ife Road, Iwo Road, as well as the old Lagos/Ibadan Toll Gate Road. These and much more are the places you will see just from the tower.
Not far-fetched from the truth, we encountered people who had stories to tell about this tower. A perfect example is Madam Florence Adedeji who had been living in Oke-Are since she was a child. She explains that this tower was built in the 1930s by the Ibadan Native Authority.
However, it was unveiled by Captain Robert Lister Bower. Captain Bower at the period was the Resident and Travelling Commissioner for Ibadan and other parts of Yoruba land in South Western Nigeria. Naturally, the tower was named after him. She proceeded to say that it was atop the tower the captain oversaw the activities of the town.
He also administered his government on the tower along with other Yoruba towns. Other residents like Omotayo Taiwo who was an old staff of the tower believed that the towered was named after the captain in appreciation for his undying interest in the Yoruba land.
As well, they appreciated the immense growth and development they witnessed during his administration. He also laid emphasis on the fact that it was not captained Bower who commissioned that the tower is built. However, he had the honor of unveiling it in 1936.
Captain Bower’s structure
The tower is on the hilltop of Oke-Are and it is over 60 feet tall. It also has in it about 47 spiral staircases which were designed by Taffy Jones in the early 30s and was unveiled on the 15th of December 1936. On the side of the towers are inscriptions:
BOWER’S TOWER ERECTED DEC.1936 IN HONOUR OF CAPTAIN ROSS L. BOWER 1ST RESIDENT AND TRAVELLING COMMISSIONER OF INTERIOR YORUBALAND (1893-1897).
The other names of ministers that had renovated the place have overtime faded.
For The Love Of Captain Bower’s Tower
Because the Tower shows so many wonders of the city, the natives of the town have placed so much importance on the tower. As expected, there have been several mythical and legendary stories created from this place. The Tower has also gotten a compound name called “Layipo” which was coined as a result of the spiral steps and because you can see Ibadan from the top. Others believe that Layipo’ is when an Ibadan man asks for a favor and the other answers yes. You need to be sure that the Ibadan man has agreed to this offer before proceeding. Basically, you can only trust an Ibadan man when he gives you his words.