The Great Wall of Eredo
The story of the city of Eredo is one that you would not know unless you were told. It is a historical site not even familiar to a native of the state in which it can be found.
Topology and Geographical Area
Sungbo’s Eredo is a unique structure found in the southwestern part of Nigeria. A magnificent wall and moat that once surrounded one of Yoruba’s powerful kingdoms acted as a fortifying defense mechanism. As of today, those walls still stand surrounding the forgotten remains of the kingdom. The British Broadcasting Corporation, popularly known as the BBC, has referred to this structure as Africa’s largest single monument with 160 kilometers, a height of 70 feet, and more than 4000 square kilometers.
Sungbo’s Eredo is in the heart of a deep rainforest about 25 miles from south to north and 22 miles from west to east. It can be located in Lagos, a central financial hub and the most populated city in Nigeria. It is an hour’s drive from Lagos but is not readily known to the average city dweller.
Eredo District can be found in the Epe Local Government Area with zip and postal code 106103.
Eredo is believed to have been built over a thousand years ago to act as a frontier wall for the Ijebu Kingdom. Some also say it is not just a wall but a city built to help unify diverse groups of people and communities living around the area.
It is said to have been constructed by a noblewoman of Ijebu descent- Bilikisu Sungbo, who was an affluent, childless widow who wanted to leave something significant behind to be remembered. Since she could not bear a child of her own and children were traditionally the most common way to ensure legacies were left behind, she ordered the structure to be built in her honor as a reminder of her accomplishments. Studies show that it took about three centuries to make this incredible monument, and a significant number of people were involved in the construction.
Eredo had shrines that rose along the city’s line where locals placed offerings for spirits to protect them from outsiders and unwanted disturbances. Women also came to pray at the Eredo with hopes of bearing children. Some stories also say that some women and fathers came to pray so that their children would survive and be protected against Sungbo, who could kidnap them into the netherworld.
If one were looking for the perfect time to visit Sungbo’s Eredo, it would be during the dry season. It is recommended to go on the journey with loose-fitting clothes and walking boots. It would also be necessary to hire the services of a tour guide to avoid getting lost in the great big forest.
For people interested in history and the preservation of culture, this would be a great tourist destination.