The first church in Nigeria is located in Abeokuta, Saint Peters Cathedral, Ake, Abeokuta.
One of the biggest mosques in Nigeria, Egba Central Mosque, Kobiti, close to our family house in Abeokuta where thousands of worshippers congregate every friday to worship is also standing tall in the rock city.
Less than 1 kilometre to this mosque is Ile Ogboni (Ogboni Shrine/Temple) where Ogbonis congregate to fellowship, just a few metres across the road, a canal in the same neighbourhood/community is Ile Ifa. The Ifa Oracle House) where Ifa Oracle worshippers congregate for their own meeting.
The Olorisa Erinles have their own shrine in the same area too.
Despite my background as a Moslem in Abeokuta, 70% of us attended the All Saints Anglican School, a renowned Christian School located at Kobiti, Abeokuta.
Baba Aladura (Prayer Warrior) House is located in front of our house, during the Christmas and Easter celebrations all the children in our house would move to Baba Aladura's house.
During Sallah festivities all Baba Aladura's children would also visit our house for the celebrations.
Right behind our house we had Baba Shina Onifa (Ifa Worshipper) and Baba Shina Elegun (Masquerade Devotee) who we always celebrated with.
We always look forward to having to see the masquerade festivals, often times we would follow "Esu Baba Risiko" Masquerade or Egungun Fatoki at Kemta or we would go to Itoko to celebrate with Egbon Lekan Enilolobo, a United States of America resident who made it his avowed point of duty to regularly come for the commemoration of Egungun (Masquerade) "Olalekan Shongiro".
Abeokuta gave people the freedom to worship whatever they believed in.
Itoko, Abeokuta has the highest number of people with traditional belief systems in the whole of Yoruba land.
This is evident in the number of days (353) in a year that they celebrate their festivals meaning only 12 days without any form of festival or ritual of any sort!.
During our days as Ifa students (oracle studies trainees) in the home of my fostered father, the late Chief Adegoke Popoola, the Araba of Egbaland, I witnessed first hand devout Moslem leaders and Influential pastors coming to Baba Araba for consultations.
You will never see any full-blooded Egba man fight on account of religion.
The former Secretary-General of the biggest Islamic body in Nigeria, the National Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Abdul-Lateef Adegbite was a titled chief in Egba land.
The current Secretary-General of the same Islamic body, Professor Ishaq Oloyede is also a proud son of Egba land.
In Abeokuta we respect peoples' belief systems
Perhaps Abeokuta (Egbaland) is in the same class as the United States of America when it comes to religious liberalism.
*Culled from the facebook wall of:
Balogun Olamilekan Adelaja Esq.