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Kwara State

Brief History


Kwara State (Yoruba: Ìpínlẹ̀Kwárà) is a state in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria, bordered to the east by Kogi State, to the north by Niger State, and to the south by Ekiti, Osun, and Oyo states while its western border makes up part of the international border with Benin Republic. Named for the Hausa and Nupe word “Kwara” for the River Niger—which makes up much of the state’s northern border—Kwara State was formed from the Northern Region on 27 May 1967 as the ‘West Central State’. Its capital is the city of Ilorin and the state has 16 local government areas. Economically, Kwara State is largely based around agriculture, mainly
of coffee, cotton, groundnut, cocoa, oil palm, and kola nut crops. Other key industries are services, especially in the city of Ilorin, and the livestock herding and ranching of cattle, goats, and sheep. Kwara has the joint-twentieth highest Human Development Index in the country and numerous institutions of tertiary education. Kwara state has numerous mineral resources such as tourmaline, tantalite, and many mineral deposits in the northern part.

Festivals and Traditions

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

  • Agan Festival: This is a festival celebrated in Ayekunle, Egosi in Ekiti, with dancing and singing of spiritual songs every December.
  • Moremi Festival(otherwise called Onimoka festival): It is a festival celebrated in Offa that features wrestling combat between the traditional ruler of Offa and his second-incommand. It is staged to coincide with the eating of the new yam.
  • Ikan Festival: This festival is celebrated in Etan and Opin in Ekiti local government. It marks the initiation of a new group of warriors and the retirement of the older ones
    who has served the community for seven years as warriors to defend the land against external aggression or tribal wars.
  • Epa Festival: This is celebrated by wards in the town every three years though in
    different months. Men who danced at the village squares carry the gods at the wards and heroes, and prayers are simultaneously offered for good health and bumper harvest.
  • Awon Mass Wedding Festival: it is an occasion in which all marriageable girls of the
    town are given to marriage at once. This is the only period in Shao where wedding
    ceremonies take place.

Tourists Attractions and Locations

Important tourist attractions in Kwara State include;

  •  Esie Museum: Did you know that the Esię museum was the first museum in Nigeria? Built in 1945, the museum once housed a thousand tombstone images representing human beings and is famed to have the largest collection of soapstone images in the world.

  • Owu Waterfalls: Built in 1976, Owu waterfall is the highest and most spectacular
    natural waterfall in West Africa. With its Ambience, cool environs and lush tributes to nature, everyone is invited for a dip. It is sometimes referred to as a “wonder in the wilderness”.

  • Ilorin Golf Club: This boasts of an 18-hole public golf course where one can come in with friends to learn this elite sport, broker deals over a game, meet and network with high net worth people, and have a good relaxing leisure time 

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