HISTORY OF OGUN STATE
Ogun State is located in the south-west geopolitical zone of Nigeria and was created in 1976. It comprises the old Abeokuta and Ijebu provinces. It borders Lagos State to the south, Oyo and Osun states to the north, Ondo to the east and the Republic of Benin to the west. Abeokuta is the capital and largest city in the state. The state’s appellation is “Gateway to Nigeria”.
The state is divided into twenty local government areas which include Abeokuta-North, Abeokuta-South, Ado-Odo/Ota, Egbado-North, Egbado-South, Ewekoro, Ifo, Ijebu-East, Ijebu-North, Ijebu-Northeast, Ijebu-Ode, Ikenne, Imeko-Afon, Ipokia, Obafemi-Owode, Ogun Waterside, Odeda, Odogbolu, Remo-North, Sagamu.
Ogun State was carved out of the old Western State by the military administration of General Murtala Muhammed and General Olusegun Obasanjo in 1976. Ogun State is otherwise known as the Gateway State. This is in recognition of its pioneering role in education, medicine, law and divinity, on the one hand, and its strategic position as the link by road, rail, air and sea to the rest of the country.
Apart from Abeokuta, the capital, which is an important market centre-and a terminus of the roads and railways coming from Lagos and other parts of the country, there are also major towns and communities like Sagamu, Ijebu-Ode, Ilaro and others that can serve as good markets for products of the mining industry in Ogun State.
People & Culture
Yoruba is the main ethnic group in Ogun State, which comprises several dialects such as the Egbas in Abeokuta-North, Abeokuta-South, Ifo, Ewekoro, Obafemi-Owode, Odeda and Ado-Odo/Ota LGA; the Egbados in Egbado-North, Egbado-South, Imeko-Afon and Ipokia L.G.As; the Ijebus in Ijebu-East, Ijebu-North, Ijebu-Northeast, Ijebu-Ode, Odogbolu and Ogun watersides LGA; the Remos in Sagamu, Remo-North and Ikenne LGAs.
Other dialectical groups in the state include Oyo (Owu), Awori, Ikale and Ilaje. Some aspects of the culture of the people in the state include traditional arts, carving, sculpture and smithery amongst others.
Situated between Latitude 6.2°N and 7.8°N and Longitude 3.0°E and 5.0°E, the state covers a total land mass of 16,409.26 sqkm. Ogun State shares an international boundary with the Republic of Benin to the West and interstate boundaries with Oyo State to the north, Lagos and the Atlantic Ocean to the south and Ondo State to the east.
The climate of Ogun State follows a tropical pattern with the raining season starting about March and ending in November, followed by dry season. The mean annual rainfall varies from 128cm in the southern parts of the State to 105cm in the northern areas.
The average monthly temperature ranges from 23°C in July to 32°C in February. The northern part of the state is mainly of derived Savannah vegetation, while the Central part falls in the rain forest belt. The southern part of the State has mangrove swamp.
Cities & Towns
Other important cities and towns include Abeokuta, Ijebu-Ode, Sagamu, Ikenne Remo, Ilaro, Ijebu-Igbo, Aiyetoro etc.
– The Southwestern state was created in 1976 by the military administration of General Murtala Muhammed and General Olusegun Obasanjo in 1976 and has Abeokuta as its capital. – It borders Lagos State to the south, Oyo and Osun states to the north, Ondo State to the east and the Republic of Benin to the west. – It has 20 Local government areas and has important cities and towns such as Abeokuta, Ijebu-Ode, Sagamu, Ikenne Remo, Ilaro, Ijebu-Igbo, Aiyetoro etc
– Ogun has one Federal University: the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta; one state government college of education, Tai Solarin College of Education (TASCE), (formerly known as Ogun State College of Education, Ijagun, Ijebu-Ode, one Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, one state government polytechnic, Moshood Abiola Polythechnic (MAPOLY), formerly known as Ogun State Polythechnic, Ojere, Abeokuta, and two state government universities: Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye (formerly known as Ogun State University), and the Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED) Ijebu Ode.
– Notable people like Obafemi Awolowo, MKO Abiola, Mike Adenuga, Olusegun Obasanjo, Wole Soyinka, Fela Kuti, Tunde Bakare, Ernest Shonekan and so on hail from the state.
– The Ijebus in the state were the first Yoruba speaking people to have contact with the Europeans in the early 14th century. They were the first Yorubas to have invented money made from cowry shells called ‘Owo Eyo’, which was accepted throughout the kingdom of Yorubaland but was later replaced by legal tender coins made from silver materials called ‘Pandora’ when the Europeans came.
– Birikisu Sungbo shrine is a tourist centre in the state located at Oke-|Eri village, where Muslims from all over the world converge for prayers. Birikisu in her life time was known to be a devoted Muslim who possessed supernatural powers. It is claimed that she once dug a pit around the village with a needle. Even in her grave, she is believed to still maintain her powers as no weed has ever grown on her burial ground and the place where she was washed before she was buried up till now.
– Other tourist places include Olumo Rock in Abeokuta, Yemoji Natural Swimming Pool at Ijebu-Ode, Oyan Dam in Abeokuta North, Iwopin Boat Regatta and Ebute-Oni in Ogun Waterside.
– The Ogun state people are known for making batik known as ‘Adire’.