The Egba are ancient freedom-fighters, highly intellectual, artistic and agriculturalist Yoruboid-speaking people that forms the sub-set of the larger Yoruba ethnic group of West Africa, particularly in Nigeria and the Republic of Benin. Egba people who were also traders reside in Southwestern Nigeria in the city of Abeokuta, the Capital of Ogun State.

Egba people of Ogun State

Egba people who are the original founders of the city of Abeokuta which they share with Owu people (later arrivals), had an opportunity of their land also settled on by missionaries (in the 1840s) by Sierra Leone Creole (Saro, who were Nigerians and others Africans descendants repatriated from diaspora back to Sierra Leone) who later became prominent as missionaries and as businessmen. It must be emphasized that Abeokuta’s success as the capital of the Egbas and as a link in theLagos - Abeokuta oil-palm trade led to war with Dahomey (now Benin Republic). In the battle at Abeokuta in 1851,the Egbas were aided by the missionaries and also armed by the British. Thus, they were able to defeat King Gezo’sDahomey Army that was unique and famous in the history of West Africa for its common practice of using women warriors. Another Dahomey attack was repulsed in 1864. Troubles in the 1860s with the British in Lagos led the Egbas to close the trade routes to the coast and they expelled its missionaries and European traders at about 1867.

Egba people are direct descendants of Orafiyan, son and successor of Oduduwa, the progenitor of Yoruba people. They were under a federation of three groups-Ake, Okeona and Gbagura scattered over 150 towns and including the modern city of Ibadan, Oyo and Ijaye. Egba people were parts of the famous pre-colonial African Oyo empire (Kingdom) in Nigeria.

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