Ibadan Lights Order

Ibadan in 1941
Ibadan in the 1940s. Source: Old Naija

Ibadan Lights Order was an order in 1941 for the diminution and cessation of lightning in the city of Ibadan during the Second World War. In this order, every outdoor light was required to be obscured that no reflection thereof was visible from the air. Restrictions were announced for vehicles moving within a radius of 5 miles from the railway station Ibadan. Between the hours of 6 o’clock in the evening to 6 in the morning, all vehicles on any highway were to draw into the side of the highway and remain stationary and all lights on such vehicles were to be extinguished.

Reasons for the lights order were discussed at a meeting of the town’s inner council at Mapo Hall. The army of the free French together with British troops had entered Syria to keep the Germans from overrunning it, being a menace to the British governed Palestine and the oil fields in Iraq. The order of 1941 was made in anticipation of a possible aggression of the Vichy government under pressure from Germany to capture British colonies which bordered colonies in Africa governed by the Vichy government of France. The lights order came into effect on the 12th day of June as promulgated by H.F.M. White, colonial resident of Oyo province.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer