Ibadan, the city of brown roofs and seven hills, is home to Mapo Hall. The hall was designed and constructed by Welsh engineer Robert Jones about a century ago and was modeled after St George’s Hall in Liverpool. The hall is erected on a 5,969-acre plot of land bordered by roadways, and construction costs £24,000.
Captain W.A Ross laid the hall’s foundation in 1925, and it was completed and commissioned by His Excellency Sir Graeme Thomson during the reigns of Oba Shiyanbola Ladugbolu, the Alaafin of Oyo and Oyewole, the Baale of Ibadan.
Mapo Hill, also known as the Oke-Mapo, on which the hall is located, is the most prominent of the city’s other seven hills. Serving as a physical reminder of colonialism and the resiliency of the people of Ibadan, the ancient colonial-style Mapo Hall includes a small museum that displays antiques such as the chains used to confine tax evaders and old remnants of executive power during the colonial era.
In modern-day Ibadan, the hall has witnessed the coronation ceremony of 24 new kings in Ibadan land. The pictures of all Ibadan Kings (Olubadans), who have ruled the city, are also displayed. The hall also hosts important political and social gatherings, helping shape Nigeria’s socio-political landscape.
Before independence, on May 5, 1955, the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons convened its sixth annual convention at Mapo Hall. During this event, Nnamdi Azikiwe gave his presidential address.
The hall is owned and maintained by Ibadan Local Government Properties Company Limited, and indigenes of the town primarily use it. After the hall was renovated, it was commissioned by former President Olusegun Obasanjo on September 6, 2007.
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