Lisabi is one of the popular names associated with Ogun State. Descent of the Egba tribe, Lisabi is in the folklore of the Yoruba people of Southwest, Nigeria.
A festival is usually held annually by the Egba people in remembrance of Lisabi Agbongbo Akala, which is marked in Abeokuta and to mark the events, all markets are closed in the city and movement is limited.
Who Is Lisabi?
Lisabi is an Egba warrior who is venerated for his heroic exploits during those turbulent days of inter-tribal wars and he is thus identified by all Egba people as the strength of their togetherness.
He was a native of Itoku in the ancient town of Abeokuta, lived in the Igbein area of the city, and because of his prowess in warfare, the people of Igbein, till date, have the exclusive right to the war title of Balogun of Egbaland.
He was a legendary farmer turned war hero whose remains was housed in a forest now called the ‘Lisabi Forest‘.
Exploits Of The Farmer Turned War Hero
According to history, when the Egba people where he hails from had resigned to fate under the troubles from the Oloyo, Lisabi was preoccupied with the thought of how his land of birth would be freed from the shackles of slavery.
To get his people off the shackles of slavery, he set up a cooperative society for farmers like him. This was a strategy in his mission to free his kinsmen.
Lisabi was known to be a hardworking farmer. This was shown as he worked harder than others whenever they went to work on a member’s farm, so much that every member promised to do his best when it was time to work on Lisabi’s farm.
When it was time for others to work on his farm, he took the opportunity to declare war on Oyo by asking them to join in the battle rather than on the farm.
His cooperative society members were amazed and afraid but accepted to go to war because they did not want to disappoint him by reneging on their promises.
With supreme war tactics, Lisabi’s army, whose numerical strength was far less than that of the Oloyo, won the battle, consequently obtaining freedom for the Egbas.
He is now being celebrated by his people as a hero of the war. Lisabi Forest is visited by tourists from different parts of the country while the Lisabi Day is held annually in Abeokuta, the capital city of Ogun State.