It is well-known as Olumo Rock. But to the natives, it is actually Oluwa lomo rock meaning a rock moulded by God. And it is one of the most popular rocks and tourist attractions in Nigeria. Located in the ancient city of Abeokuta, Ogun State, the rock is reputed to have served as a refuge for the Egbas during the Yoruba fratricidal war in the 19th century.
But that is not the news. The news is that beyond its allure as a tourist attraction, the rock also parades another object of interest. Seating pretty on top of the rock is a totemic tree that is said to have lived for more than 200 years without going dry at any time of the year.
The Crown tree, as it is fondly called by the natives, has its roots at the lower base of the rock and it is the first thing a visitor sees at the highest peak of the rock. Indigenes say the leaves on the tree stand fresh throughout the 12 months of the year, even during the dry seasons.
Beyond that, the tree is said to possess longevity powers and bestows them on anyone who knelt and prayed before it. It is also believed to have powers to cause answers to prayers rendered before it. A tour guide simply identified as Kabirat said the tree has survived many generations and incidences. Even in the dry season, the tree is said to be ever fresh even when all the other trees around it are withering. Kabirat said no one has ever attempted to cut the tree and that no one will ever try that, as it will amount to sacrilege.
There is yet another spiritual dimension to the tree. Natives say the water that flows from under the tree has medicinal components. During the rainy season water flows from under the tree and it is believed to have curative powers.
By OMODOLAPO AMOSU