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Oyo State

Brief History

Oyo State is a Nigerian state, located in the southwestern region of the country with 33 local government areas, Oyo state was one of the three states carved out of the former Western State of Nigeria in 1976. Its capital is Ibadan, which was the capital of old region (The former Western State of Nigeria). Ibadan is the third most populous city in the country behind Lagos and Kano and formerly the second most populous in Africa behind Cairo. It was also the center of government during the British Colonial rule. Some of the city’s very old protective walls are still around. Oyo state happens to be an island state that is rich in so much culture and history that it is basically impossible to not find any cultural or historical artifacts and sites. The state is tied deeply to the mythical origins of the Yoruba people. Built where the great Oyo Empire, a very powerful empire that ruled the Yoruba lands and people for approximately five hundred (500) years. Oyo state is a state named after Oyo Empire (Present-day Southwestern Nigeria). It was the important and authoritative of all the early Yaruba principalities.), and nicknamed as “The Peace Setter State”. Oyo State is noted for being the site of the first university in Nigeria, the University of Ibadan. The indigenous in Oyo state mainly comprise the Oyos, the Oke-Oguns, the Ibadans and the Ibarapas, all belonging to the Yoruba family and indigenous city in Africa (99% of population) and small population of people who are bilingual. The state economy remains largely agrarian, with the western city of Shaki being described as the state’s breadbasket. Cassava, cocoa, and tobacco are among the most important crops to Oyo State’s economy. The state is also noted for its cottage industries, consisting of cotton spinning, weaving, dyeing, leatherworking (sheep and goat skins), wood carving and mat making. Oyo State is the 12th-largest crop producer and the 15th-largest livestock producer in Nigeria.

Festivals and Traditions

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

• Oke Ibadan (Oke’badan) Festival: This is an ancient festival that is celebrated annually, Oke Ibadan festival includes fertility rites and honors the founders of Ibadan and goddess of the hill.

• Sango Festival: Sango Festival is an annual festival held among the Yaruba people to honor Sango, a thunder and fire deity who was a warlord and the third king of the Oyo Kingdom. The festival is usually held in August at the palace of the Alaafin of Oyo.

• New Yam Festival: The New Yam Festival is celebrated annually in August. It symbolizes the end of a season of work and beginning of a new season. There are displays of cultural dances.

• Egungun Festival: The Egungun is part of the religious practice of the Yoruba people of Ede, Oyo State Nigeria. The major Egungun Festival takes place in June, when members of the society come to the market place and perform masked dances.

Tourists Attractions and Locations

  • Bower’s Tower: Bower’s Tower was built in 1930. Built by Ibadan Native Authority. The Bower’s Tower is the highest hilltop in Ibadan giving a panoramic view of the city.
  •  Oke Ado Mountain: Located in the expanse of Ado-Awaye region, a place that filled with so much wonder.
  • Ado-Awaye Lake also known as Iyake Lake is one of the two only suspended lakes in the world. The lake provides a serene atmosphere that teleports you from the harsh and bustling city to a calm and tranquil haven.
  • Agodi Park: This fun filled park is located in Ibadan, It offers a variety of fun-filled activities like waterslides, fun rides and so much more. 

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