History of Ondo state (Before and After Creation till date)

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Ondo state is one located in the south-western geopolitical zone of Nigeria. Ondo state was created precisely on 3 February 1976 out of the now extinct western state. Ondo state is comprised of 19 local government areas which are listed below:

Akoko-Northeast, Akoko-Northwest, Akoko-Southwest, Akoko-Southeast, Akure-South, Akure-North, Ese-Odo, Idanre, Ifedore, Ilaje, Ile-Oluji-Okeigbo, Irele, Odigbo, Okitipupa, Ondo West, Ondo East, Ose, and Owo.

History of Ondo state (Before and After Creation till date)

History of Ondo state (Before and After Creation till date)

Initially, another state called Ekiti state was also a part of Ondo state, but it was split off in 1996 by late General Sanni Abacha. Before the split, the state was spread over the total area of the former Ondo province which was created in 1915 and had Akure has its provincial headquarters.

After creation, Ondo state officially took off on the 1st of April, 1976. Now, the capital of Ondo state is still Akure. Just like every other state in Nigeria, Ondo state also has its ministerial offices that represent the federal government.

Ondo state is bounded by Ekiti and Kogi state to the north and has its closest western neighbours has Ogun (southwest) and Osun state (northwest), Edo and Delta State to the east. The southern part of the state gives way to the Atlantic Ocean.

The Culture and People of Ondo state

The ethnic group most predominant in Ondo state is the Yoruba. However, variants of the Yoruba language are spoken in the state. These dialects include: Akoko, Akure, Apoi, Idanre, Ijaw, Ikale, Ilaje, Ondo and the Owo, Also, the Ijaw people such as Apoi an Arogbo live in the coastal areas and those who speak the Yoruba dialect similar to the Ife dialect (another people living in Osun state) live in Oke-Igbo. Geography, Ondo State has a land mass of about 14,788.723 Square Kilometres (km2) and is situated in the tropical belt.

Ondo State is an epitome of the Nigerian nation in many ways such that it is endowed with ingenious people and rich culture. Ondo state has a population of 3,441,024 people, with 1,761,263 males and 1,679,761 females.

Education in Ondo state    

Over the years, Ondo state government has shown education to be one of its top priorities. The state has to its name 541 public primary schools, 74 registered private primary schools, 141 public secondary schools and 18 registered private secondary schools and four (4) technical secondary schools. Due to the state’s reputation of having many educated people as its natives, it is regarded as one of the most educationally advanced regions in Nigeria. Many tertiary institutions have been founded in the state. These include: the Federal University of Technology Akure, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa, Achievers University, Owo, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Okitipupa, Elizade University Ilara-Mokin, Federal College Of Agriculture Akure,  Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, Ondo State School of Nursing and Midwifery, Ondo State School of Health Technology, Akure, Wesley University of Science and Technology,{WUSTO} Ondo,  National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration{NIEPA} Ondo, Millennium College of Health Technology, Akure Ondo State.

Ondo state is home to a number of notable Nigerians such as Gani Fawehinmi, T. B. Joshua, Reekado Banks, Mo Abudu, Sola Sobowale, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde Omoyele Sowore, among many others.

Majority of the Ondo people live in the state capital. However, in the rural areas, Ondo people mostly engage in farming, fishing and trading. The rich culture of the Ondo people abounds in their daily living, ranging from their dressing to foodstuff, art and crafts, dance, pottery carving by traditional industries, cloth weaving and blacksmithing. Agriculture is the major source of Ondo state’s economy.

Chief products are cotton and tobacco which are produced in the northern part of the state. Rubber and timber (teak and hardwoods) produced in the south and east; cocoa from the central part. In fact, Ondo state is Nigeria’s biggest cocoa producing state.

Mineral deposits found in Ondo state include kaolin, pyrites, iron ore, petroleum, and coal. Ondo state also has a textile mill located at Ado-Ekiti and a palm-oil processing plant at Okitipupa.

Ondo states have a number of wildlife and tourists attractions such as the Ikogosi hot spring where it is said that hot and cold water meet without mixing up and the historic Idanre Hills, Ayetoro Community of Holy Apostles, the Owo Museum of Antiquities, Oke Maria at Oka-Akoko, the Palace of the Deji of Akure, Ebomi Lake at Ipesi-Akoko and Iho Eleru at Isarun. Antiquities and artefacts are also preserved in the palaces of traditional rulers some of which are recognized as National monuments.

There are numerous rivers, waterfalls, creeks and lakes found in and around Ondo State. The prominent ones are Owena, ala, Oluwa, Oni, Awara, Ogbese and Ose.

Generally, the land of Ondo state rises from the coastal part of Ilaje, Ese-Odo and Okitipupa areas to highlands and mountains in the northern parts of the state.

Weather/Climate

Ondo state has a tropical climate broadly divided into two seasons which are the rainy season which begin in April till October and the dry season from November till March.

Throughout the year, the temperature ranges between 21 °C to 29 °C and relatively high humidity.

The annual rainfall varies from 2,000mm in the southern areas to 1,150mm in the northern areas. Ondo state has abundant vegetation with high forest zone (rain forest) in the southern part and sub-savannah forest in the northern area.

Pre-historic Ondo state     

Ondo state is believed to have been founded by the daughter of the Alaafin of Oyo. She is known as the first Osemawe of Ondo state. Osemawe is the title given to the rulers of Ondo state. The story has it that she was sent away by her father some years after her birth. The Alaafin’s wife is said to have given birth to many twins who were driven out by the king and marked on the faces so as to inflict pain. They survived and sought a place of settlement. However, after the Alaafin died, the twins were still rejected by the new leader appointed and therefore went on in their search for a home. Long after their wandering, they reached a place called Ita Ijama but did not reside there because the princess wanted them to have a place of their own. They later got to a hill now known as Oke Agunla. This was where they were met by a Benin warrior who offered them his hut out of respect for the princess and this is how major cities in Ondo state were created. This is how the origin of Ondo state is closely tied to twins. The state is also reputed to be one of the places with the highest chances of a woman giving birth to twins since the state itself was founded by twin sisters.

Today, many cultural events take place in Epe, a small town which the Ondo people regard as the heart of their origin. The Osemawe palace remains a historical relic.

 

 







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