Ikogosi Warm/Cold spring in Ekiti State

This is Ikogosi Warm/Cold spring in Ekiti State. Located in Ekiti West Local Government Area. The warm spring rolls down over a hilly landscape at 70 degrees. From another hill rises a cold spring which joins the warm spring at a confluence at the end maintaining a temperature of thirty seven degrees. Together they form a continuous stream. 

The spring is said to have some therapeutic effects on some diseases like rheumatism and guinea worm. The undulating topography enhances the aesthetic beauty of the people of Ikogosi.

The people of Ikogosi worship the goddess of the water and have strong belief in the myth around it.

The myth
The traditional legend has it that the Ikogosi Warm Spring was discovered by a local hunter by the name Ogunkugan in the course of his hunting expedition.

Fagged out and with a craving for water, Ogunkugan was propelled to stop by at the water fountain, which he later discovered to have a higher temperature than other similar streams in such a pristine environment. It was with an admix of fear and ecstasy that the hunter hurriedly made his way to the Oba’s palace to reveal the amazing wonder that he had just discovered.

Pronto, the Oba dispatched a retinue of traditional title chiefs to the site to validate the awesome story. At last, it was confirmed to be true. Such a site must be idolised, the people thought in themselves, as one Ijoye Baaleshi was immediately made the spiritual head of the “Awo” (the traditional name given to the warm spring). Similarly, the adjourning cold spring, which has a confluence at a point in the same precinct was called “Awele”.

“The warm spring automatically became a place of traditional worship and point of intercession with the gods by the community dwellers for a long time during the olden days.

And it remained so until the coming of the Baptist Missionary Church into the town.

The coming of Reverend MacGee
The people of Ikogosi, while tendering this natural gift, had an encounter with a Baptist missionary,  Reverend MacGee, a Briton,  who was allocated some parcel of the land around the spring.

Knowing the import of the spring, Rev MacGee built a Baptist youth camp on the land, made up of chalets, a chapel, his residence, recreational corner and dormitory.

These are enclosed on the right while passing through Ikogosi to Ipole Iloro.

He managed the spring site as a tourism site and provided accommodation for visitors who streamed in to see and feel the wonders of the spring.

Rev MacGee, enjoyed the administration of the site until one night when he had an encounter with a  pan Africanist fiery social critic.

Having been aware of the tourism potentialities of Ikogosi Warm spring, the late Tai Solarin packaged an excursion of some students of Mayflower School, all the way from Ikenne to Ikogosi, which was not a light adventure, considering the transportation system then.

The Mayflower group got to Ikogosi very late, wearied, tired and fagued out the excursionists desperately needed a place to sleep for the night till the next day, as there was nothing they could do by that time of their arrival.

There was no hotel or a guest house that could accommodate the excursionists other than the youth camp being run by Rev MacGee.

Solarin was said to have contacted Rev MacGee requesting for accommodation, which the latter claimed to have refused on the point that the tariff which the former offered to pay for the night was low and that late Solarin did not pre–book his accommodation.

The argument that ensued and the breakdown in negotiation led to the late Tai and the students sleeping in the open.

The second day, Solarin wrote a strongly worded and potent petition to the Government of Western State alleging that Rev MacGee was practising apartheid in Ikogosi, at the site of a natural gift of God in Nigeria.

This petition generated controversy and raised dust about the propriety of a Briton running such a site in Nigeria and even going for broke by denying Nigerians from enjoying the facilities therein, not minding the fact that he planted those structures there.

And one thing led to the other, Rev MacGee was asked to vacate the land and he went back to his country, leaving behind all the structures he erected.

Chief Adekunle Ajasin collaborated with the then Nigerian Tourist Board, then under Alhaji Ahmed Gumel, which has metamorphosed to Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, (NTDC) to develop the Area

Without gainsaying, you need to visit the Ikogosi warm spring now and see the laudable work being carried out to beautify and enhance this wonderfully and awesomely unique tourism asset in Ikogosi Ekiti by Governor Kayode Fayemi.

Wale Ojo-Lanre
Nigerian Tribune

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  1. Thanks for the information you shared about Ikogosi Warm Springs I appreciate your efforts and taking the time and sharing this content.