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Brief History

Ekiti state also known as ‘the land of honor and integrity’ is a state in southwestern Nigeria, bordered to the north by Kwara State, to the northeast by Kogi State, to the south and southeast by Ondo State, and to the west by Osun State. It was created on October 1, 1996. Geographically, the state is divided between the Nigerian lowland forests in most of the state and the drier Guinean forest–savanna mosaic in the north. Among the state’s nature are false acraeas, mona monkey, forest buffalo, and grey parrot populations along with one of the last remaining Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee populations with a troop of about 20 chimpanzees in the heavily threatened Ise Forest Reserve. The State is mainly an upland zone, rising over 250 meters above sea level. It lies on an area underlain by metamorphic rock. It is generally an undulating part of the country with a characteristic landscape that consists of old plains broken by step-sided out-crops that may occur singularly or in groups or ridges. Such rocks out-crops exist mainly at Aramoko, EfonAlaiye, Ikere-Ekiti, Igbara-odo- ekiti and Okemesi-Ekiti. The State is dotted with rugged hills, notable ones being Ikere-Ekiti Hills in the south, Efon-Alaiye Hills on the western boundary and Ado-Ekiti Hills in the centre.

Festivals and Traditions

There are different festivals in Ekiti state, aimed at celebrating their culture and heritage. These include;

  • UDIROKO FESTIVAL: It is a festival celebrated annually in Ado-Ekiti, which brings all
    citizens both at home and diasporas together. It was established around 1310AD during the reign of Oba Awamaro, the first Ewi (King) of present day Ado-Ekiti and it marks the first day of the year for the town’s inhabitants. 
  • OGUN FESTIVAL: This festival is held annually in most towns and villages in the state in remembrance of the god of iron. In Ire-Ekiti, the main remembrance of the deity is done biennially, usually during the month of August. The elaborate events take place over the course of a week and include a re-enactment of the arrival of Ogun in Ire.
  • EPA FESTIVAL: It is a festival celebrated annually by wards in the Ekiti and OkeEro LGAs (although during different months). Men who dance in the village
    squares carry figurines of deities. Prayers are offered for good health and
    bumper harvest during the celebration.
  • OKOROBO FESTIVAL: This is the preeminent cultural carnival in Ifaki, a nodal
    town in the center of Ekiti state. The town has Okorobo Iwore and Okorobo
    Egun as part of its division. Interestingly, Okorobo Egun is quite entertaining
    because the carriers dance to rich native music with it when withdrawing back
    to the grove, while Okorobo Iwore is more popular to the outside world, which makes it to attract a very large crowd. It is a festival that involves no rituals or making of sacrifices unto any idol, it is all about singing and dancing.
  • ODUN IJESU: It is called ‘Odun Ijesu’ meaning ‘New Yam Festival’. It is a festival done in virtually all communities in Ekiti, which symbolizes the miraculous fact that it is only a little yam seedling planted into the soil but that little one brings out huge tubers.

Tourists Attractions and Locations

• ERINTA WATERFALLS: The Erinta Waterfalls at Ipole-Iloro is located at about
6km North-West of Ikogosi. It could be reached only through a secondary road
from Ikogosi. This resort centre is naturally endowed with thick and evergreen
forest. The Arinta waterfalls are a wonder spectacle to behold, cascading down
rocky hills from a great height to form a flowing pool of spring water amidst
natural forest vegetation. A popular tourist site draws local and foreign tourists
to Ekiti State. The place is ideal for relaxation, picnics, mountain climbing,
hiking, bush trails and religious retreats

• IKOGOSI WARM SPRINGS: This is one of the tourist sites in Nigeria located at Ikogosi, Ekiti West LGA. This unique site is popular because the spring is a confluence of hot spring and cold spring meeting at a point and then flowing down as a single stream

•FAJUYI MEMORIAL PARK: Am sure you must have heard about late Colonel Adekunle
Fajuyi who was Killed along with General Aguiyi Ironsi, former Head of State in a Military coup in 1966. This memorial park is located in Ado-Ekiti, where he was buried. The memorial park has a museum with memorabilia, insignias and record of the past former Governor of Western Nigeria and other heroes from Ekiti. It is a six-storey tower named the Ekiti Heroes Museum.

• ESA CAVES: Twenty kilometres away from Ado-Ekiti in Ado Local Government Area, the capital of Ekiti State, is Esa cave in Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area. It is
believed to have shielded the people of the town during the internecine wars in the
Yoruba kingdom. The caves are demarcated into various rooms of low heights and can accommodate about 30-40 people. Inside the caves is evidence that it was once a place inhabited a long time ago.

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