Ogun State is a state located in the south-western part of Nigeria. The state was created on the 3rd of February, 1976 from the old western state. This was during the military era by General Olusegun Obasanjo and General Murtala Muhammed. Its name was derived from the Ogun river which runs across the state from north to south. Ogun State covers 16.432 square kilometres.
History of Ogun state (Before and After Creation till date)
Ogun state has its closest northern neighbours to be Oyo and Osun states, it is bounded by Lagos state and the Atlantic ocean to the south, Ondo to the east and is bordered by the Republic of Benin to the west. This places the state at a strategic location to enable easy access to the market of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
The state is also about 90 kilometres from Lagos state, the commercial capital of Nigeria and 740 kilometres from Abuja, the nation’s capital.
The capital of Ogun state is Abeokuta which is also its largest city and main urban area.
The state has its slogan to be “The Gateway state”. The national census of 2006 recorded the state’s total population to be 3,751,140 residents and has now increased to about 7.1 million people in 2016.
Other cities and towns in Ogun State are Ijebu Ode, Ijebu Imusin, Sagamu, Ijebu Igbo, Ogere Remo, Iperu, Ilishan, Ikenne, Ilaro, Ayetoro, Agbado, Akute and Ota.
People and Culture
Ogun state is dominated by tribes who belong to the Yoruba ethnic group. These include the Egbas, Ijebus, Remos, Aworis and Yewas. There are other sub-groups such as the Ketus, Ohoris, Anagos, Eguns, Ilajes, Ikales. The state houses many foreign nationals and people from other tribes of the nation. The Ijebus are regarded as the largest and oldest Yoruba people. They are also known to be the first Yoruba speaking people to have created money and coins. The ijebu kingdom is traditionally in existence till today with its capital in Ijeu-ode
Education in Ogun state
Ogun state prides itself to be the cradle of education in Nigeria. This is due to its high literacy level and human resources.
- Ogun State is home to 21 registered universities in Nigeria which includes five new private universities. This makes it the state with the highest number of registered universities in the country. It is reported that out of the state’s population of about 7.1 million people, 57% are of working age. There are other teacher training colleges in the state and a university of agriculture at Abeokuta. The African Centre for Development and Strategic Studies (ACDESS) is also located in Ogun state.
Some of the notable people who hail from Ogun state are Obafemi Awolowo, Olusegun Obasanjo, Kate Fela Kuti, Late MKO Abiola, Wole Soyinka, amongst many others.
Economy and Commerce
Ogun state is also reputable for its high level of industrialization and number of manufacturing factories. These factories include Dangote Cement factory in Ibese, Nestle, Lafarge Cement factory in Ewekoro and Coleman Cables situated in Sagamu and Arepo, Procter & Gamble in Agbara, to mention a few.
All these have contributed to the economy of Nigeria. The state serves as a major gateway for the transportation of goods, services and people due to its proximity to Lagos state and other international markets.
Agriculture remains a major contribution to the economy of Ogun state. The state is known for its production of rice, corn (maize), cassava (manioc), yams, plantains, and bananas.
The main cash crops are Cocoa, kola nuts, rubber, palm oil and palm kernels, tobacco, cotton, and timber.
There are Aro granite quarries situated near Abeokuta, the state capital are the major source of building material for the most part of southern Nigeria.
Ogun state is also rich in mineral resources such as limestone, chalk, phosphates, and clay.
Industries produce cement, canned foods, foam rubber, paint, tires, carpets, aluminium products, and plastics. Ofada rice which is native to the Nigerian people is also almost exclusively grown in Ogun state.
Abeokuta is a terminal of the roads and railways coming from Lagos and other parts of the country. This makes Abeokuta a vibrant market centre.
Tourist attractions in Ogun state
Olumo rock: This is one of the major tourist sites in Ogun state. This rock is said to have been the place of refuge for early Egba settlers. It is located in the state’s capital.
The resident of the Alake: The Alake is the title given to the traditional ruler of Egba land. This was built in 1854 and is known to be a historical relic.
Bilikisu Sungbo which is located in the village of Oke-Eri, Ijebu Ode: This place serves as a pilgrimage for Muslims all over the world. They come to pay homage to a legendary Muslim who is said to have possessed supernatural powers even in death.
Yemoji Natural Swimming pool located at Oke-Eri, Ijebu-Ode
The Centenary Hall in Abeokuta.
Ebute- Oni and Iwopin Boat Regatta in Ogun waterside
Oyan dam in Abeokuta North
The major rivers in the state are Ogun and Yewa river.
Tradition and Culture
Ogun state has traditional and beautiful festivals that still take place. These are:
The Ake Festival of Arts and Books: An annual event in Abeokuta every November.
Ojude Oba Festival: This takes place in Ijebu Ode, three days after Eid Kabir.
Yewa Festival is a bi-annual event in Yewa land.
Oronna Festival is an annual event which takes place in Ilaro-Yewa every November.
Ita Oba day: This is a celebration at OTA palace square, a day after eid-il-kabir Sallah.
Lafose Day: This is a celebration at ODE REMO every first Saturday in August.
Ishanbi Day: This is a celebration that takes place at Ilishan every first Saturday in October.
Pre-historic Ogun state
History has it that a hunter and leader of the Egba refugees called Sodeke fled from the Oyo empire who fast collapsing at the time. In about 1830, He then founded a settlement at Abeokuta, which is now the north-central part of the state.