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Tales Of Two Rocks In Nigeria

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Mutiu Lasisi - April 13, 2012, 10:23 am - submitted in Viewpoint - 970 view(s)

Abeokuta and Okuta-OKo are two different places in Nigeria. The former is situated in Ogun State, southern part o Nigeria while the later, a tiny town is in Kwara State, north-central of the country. The two places derived their names from different significant rocks to the people inhabiting in the areas. Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital was derived from Olumo Rock, one of Nigeria's popular and most visited tourist destinations. The lofty rock is 137 metres above the sea level. History has it that, the rock provided sanctuary to the Egba people as well as a vantage point to monitor the enemy's advance during war. In most cases, after the rift, the people that were protected by taking refuge in the rock thanked and worshipped it by offering a lot of sacrifices. Abeokuta, in a Yoruba parlance means 'under the rock'. This brings out, the fact that, Abeokuta is a rocky town. Till today, the Egba people are still worshipping the rock, every August, sacrifices are offered at the Olumo rock shrine. For the sightseers, the rock can be climbed through elevators, artificial stairs, and naturally laid stairs. Being on the top of the rock, is an opportunity for the tourists to spectacularly view the entire city, just like Bower's tower in Ibadan. Okuta-Oko, on the other hand, presents itself as an artiefact for the people around it, but yet to be discovered by others, especially tourists. It therefore has slight differences from Abeokuta. Infrastructural wise, the town is not in 'term' with the rock city, Abeokuta. It's not populated as Abeokuta. The name 'Okuta-Oko was carved from the rock found at the outskirt of the town. The rock, which resembles a lorry, possessing qualities of a typical vechicle. Though, there were no seats for passengers inside it! People around it usually visited the location of the rock by walking on it to have a glance of God-given-nature. At present, the state government, especially the ministry of tourism and culture