The Obangogo Hill, located in Egunbe, Kabba/ Bunu local government area of Kogi State derived its name from its tilted top. The hill, which is about five kilometers off Okene – Kabba Express Way, by the permanent site of College of Education (Technical), Gbeleko, is believed to be as old as the earth. Where it is located, Kabba, on the other hand, is the headquarters of the Yoruba speaking people of Kogi State, in North Central Nigeria.
Kabba has a rich culture and tradition synonymous with those of other Yoruba people in the southwest. The town has a history of wars and invasion by external forces, particularly, the Nupes, who according to history, invaded the community from time to time in the past.
The invasions usually leaves the people no choice but to run into hiding. And the usual place of safety was the Obangogo hill. The hill served as a safe haven for Kabba people and protected them from being attacked and taken away by the Nupes.
History also has it that Obangogo was not a place of refuge for only Kabba people during such invasions. Even neighboring communities like Ogidi also benefitted from the sacred protection of the hills when the community was equally invaded.
Back in the day, Egunbe community was very powerful in Owe land because they were the first settler outside the present location of Kabba and the number four in the order of hierarchy after Katu, Okabba and Odolu communities. They are from the lineage of Odolu groug.
There are many other exciting stories about the hill including the story of a certain king, Elegha, the Ako kereje, kereje, whose coffin turned to stone. Then there is another story to the hill which says that a portion of the rock, once touched, sounded like the traditional talking drums. By the hill side is a spring of water which never dries out all year round. It served the natives then as the main source of water.
According to history, the hill was actually formed as a result of volcanic eruption thousand years ago. It is about 200meters taller than the famous Mount Patti, notable for where Lord Lugard and Flora Shaw coined the country name, Nigeria.
Standing at an imposing height of over 700 meters, the eternal spectacle is inspiring, fascinating and awe striking in equal measure. Among the dozens of hills that surround Kabba, Obangogo, it is singled out for its myth. While the fables surrounding it may sound ridiculous and are chiefly promoted by the locals, its allure is being discovered all over again in recent years by an increasing stream of visitors who are out to verify the supernatural powers that reside in the mountain or simply take advantage of its leisure benefits.
For one indigene of the community, Ayanlala Faustina, the hill means a lot to the people. “Obangogo is many things to many people. To some, it is a mesh of interlocking caves where the people hid from advancing armies and slave raiders in times past. To others, it is a haven of peace for meditation. The hill is wonderful. It is also believed that any prayer rendered on the hill will manifest.
Speaking further, he described the other features that makes the hill magnificent in its own way. “At the peak of Obangogo is a pool of spring water which the people believe has healing powers. Similar curative abilities are believed of the five mystical lake on the hill called ‘Ako.’
“There are also three big rocks called the Oke Metas, which symbolise the three major kings (Ololus) in Kabba. We come together for the celebration on December 27, every year. It attracts not just the locals but foreign tourists as well.’’
For the curator of Obangogo, Mr Ben Owaleke, the Obangogo committee has been striving since 2013 to draw tourists’ and attention of the world by creating awareness for this mystic hill.
“We set up a committee every year to organise the event, but the way we are going, we want to make it a daily affair just like the Olumo Rock in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
“Obangogo hill is a hill of outstanding value from the viewpoint of aesthetics, science, history and culture. The hill is characterised by enchanting metamorphic rock and granite, lofty peaks and beautiful valley,” he added.