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History of Oyo State

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Image: Map of Nigeria showing the position of Oyo State


Oyo State, popularly referred to as the “Pace Setter” is one of the 36 States of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It came into existence with the break up of the old Western State of Nigeria during the state creation exercise in 1976 and it originally included Ọsun State, which was split off in 1991. Ibadan had been the centre of administration of the old Western Region, Nigeria since the days of the British colonial rule.

Ibadan, surrounded by seven hills, is the second largest city in Nigeria. It came into existence when bands of Yoruba renegades following the collapse of the Yoruba Oyo Empire, began settling in the area towards the end of the 18th century; attracted by its strategic location between the forests and the plains. Its pre-colonial history centered on militarism, imperialism and violence. The military sanctuary expanded even further when refugees began arriving in large numbers from northern Oyo following raids by Fulani warriors. Ibadan grew into an impressive and sprawling urban center so much that by the end of 1829, Ibadan dominated the Yoruba region militarily, politically and economically.

 The area became a British Protectorate in 1893. By then the population had swelled to 120,000. The British developed their new colony to facilitate their commercial activities in the area, and Ibadan shortly grew into the major trading center that it is today. The colonizers also developed the academic infrastructure of the city. The first university to be set up in Nigeria was the University of Ibadan (established as a college of the University of London when it was founded in 1948, and later converted into an autonomous university in 1962). It has the distinction of being one of the premier educational institutions in West Africa, and there is a museum in the building of its Institute of African Studies, which exhibits several remarkable pre-historic bronze carvings and statues. Other noteworthy institutions in the city include the University College Hospital, the first teaching hospital in Nigeria and the internationally acclaimed International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (lTTA).

 The city has several well stocked libraries, a zoological garden and several botanical gardens. Nestled inside (IITA) is the best golf course in Nigeria, and the grounds of the Ibadan Polo Club is not too far away. Ibadan is home to the first television station in Africa. There are a few hotels with hotspot (wifi) access, a few decent restaurants and a couple of radio stations. Ibadan and its environs before the disolution of the Western Region was the home of the the most sophisticated and liberal scientific and cultural community on the continent of Africa; as personified by the immortalized Ibadan School

The most probable date of the founding of  Ibadan is 1829, when the abandone settlement of Ibadan was reoccupied by the allied forces of Ijebu, Ife and Oyo; hence, it came to be regarded as ‘a war encampment’ of the town of warriors. 
From the onward, Ibadan grew I unimportance and has served as the administrative centre for the whole of Southern  Nigeria (1946 – 1951).  And as the capital of the Western Region (1951 – 1967).  After this period, the city’s region started  to shrink, to cover just the Western Region (1963 – 1967); Western State and old Oyo State (1976 – 1991), before the creation of Osun State, (1976 – 1991). It has been the capital of present Oyo State since 1991. 
The Political status of the city has influenced other aspect of its development. One of which is the reminiscence of colonial administration.  The Government Secretariat at Agodi and the Government Reservation Areas (GRAs)A at Agodi, Jericho and Onikere are relice of that era.  The grid pattern of the residential layout of Oke – Bola and Oke – Ado is also associated with its activities. 

Cocoa House Ibadan, Oyo State. the first sky scrapper in AfricaIndustrial center in Oyo
Cocoa House Ibadan, Oyo State the first sky scrapper in AfricaIndustrial center in Oyo


With its strategic location on the railway line connecting Lagos to Kano, the city is a major center for trade in cassava, cocoa, cotton, timber, rubber, and palm oil. The main industries in the area are tire rethreading, cigarettes manufacturing and the processing of agricultural products; including flour-milling, leather-working and furniture-making. The largest companies with major infrastructure based in Ibadan are Kakanfo Inn , Coca-Cola , Nigerian Breweries , Galaxy Television, Globacom , NTA Ibadan , and Zartech Limited. There is abundance of clay, kaolin and aquamarine in its environs, and there are several cattle ranches, a dairy farm as well as a commercial abattoir in Ibadan.

Dugbe Market is the nerve center of Ibadan's transport and trading network. The haphazard layout of the city's roads and streets contribute largely to the disorderly traffic and make it very difficult to locate and reach destinations. The best method to move about the city is to use reference points and notable landmarks. The Bower Memorial Tower to the east on Oke-Aare (Hill) can be seen from practically any point in the city. It also provides an excellent view of the whole city from the top. Another prominent landmark is Cocoa House, the first skyscraper in Nigeria. It is one of the few skyscrapers in the city and is at the hub of Ibadan's commercial center. Other attractions include Mapo Hall, the colonial style city hall perched on top a hill, the Trans-Wonderland amusement park, the cultural centre Mokola and Liberty Stadium, Ibadan--with a seating capacity of 35,000--is the first stadium built in West Africa. Ibadan is also home to the fabled Shooting Stars FC; a professional Football Club.

Ibadan has a few  other important industries establishment like the  confectionaries, oil processing plants, soft drinks, bottling and food factories, feed mills, tobacco factory and flour mills.  Other are sawmills, paper mills, foam products, concrete poles and block making, chemicals, paints and petroleum oil deport.  The government tries to promote industrial establishment by creating industrial estates, with a basic infrastructure , such as Owode Olubadan, Oluyole and Lagelu Industrial Estates.

Its, however, upon the commercial sector that the city’s development mainly depends.  As of 1991, close to 50% of its economically active population were commercial workers Oja’ba, Ayeye and Oranyan are the Traditional markets.  While Gbagi, Agbeni, Bodija, Alesinloye, Agbeni and gate are modern ones.  They trade foodstuff, textile goods, locally woven strips of cloth or ‘aso oke’, household utensils, electronics and pharmaceuticals.  One should also note that involvement of many  Nigerian business in the trading of motor parts and both local and foreign building materials. 

The production and related workers are next in importance, with 265 of the working population.  They are followed by professional/technical and related workers (10.9%). Other occupations the people are engaged in are as administrative and (4.5%) and clerical and related workers (2.6%).  The agriculture and related workers features last, with 1.9%.

Ibadan Natives

Ibadan natives of note include Augustus Akinloye, a prominent politician, Theophilus Adeleke Akinyele a civil servant, Bobby Ologun, a K-1 fighter who is very popular in Japan, and Sade Adu, frontwoman and lead vocalist of the popular English group Sade.


Tourism.  Ibadan also has many recreational and tourist centres of attraction: Liberty Stadium and Lekan Salami stadium, the PoloClub, the botanical Garden, the Zoo and the Transwonderland Amusement Park.  The cultural Centre, Mapo Hall, Ido, Centaph and the Bowers Tower are other tourist centres of historical culture value. 

Premier Hotel IbadanSiktian Hotels, Ogbomoso
Premier Hotel IbadanSiktian Hotels, Ogbomoso


Ibadan has an airport and is served by the Ibadan Railway Station on the main railway line from Lagos to Kano. The bad economic situation in the country has adversely affected the quality of public transportation. It is therefore advisable to arrange transportation before traveling to Ibadan.

the city is respectively well linked by road, rail and air both domestic and internationally.  The intra city road network provide the major links with its different parts.  Recently, the Ibadan – Lagos Express way the Ring road network were built to ease traffic congestion in the city.


 Ibadan presents fascinating landscape of tradition and modern features Prominent in its old, indigenous core area  are  the I b a’s marked (Oja’ba) and the king’s place. Force Mopo Hill, one can easily see the sea of rusted brown roofs and buildings in places like Agugu, Ayeye, Idi Arere, Odinjo, Gege and Foko, to mention but a few. 

            These are interspersed by neighborhoods, of new and modern buildings, which are linked and crisscrossed by winding roads. Other places are at the periphery of the core centre.  The include Odo Ona, Apata Ganga and Owode Estate, to the west,  to the south are Challenge, Molate and Felele areas.  Those to the north are Oorogun, Ojoo, Sasa etc, while to the north – east are Bodija, Akobo, Monatan and Isebo. 

            The outward of the city is in all direction of the seven main riges that dominate the city of Landform.  The sprawl has also been in the of the railway that runs in a southwest-northwest direction of the cit of the road networks, which link the city with almost all the cardinal points of the country.  Some of the contributive factors to its spread are:the Ibadab – Lagos and the Ring Road – Adeoye Express ways, the establishment of institutional area housing and industrial estates.  Example of the last  three named factors are the University of Ibadan, Polytechnic, Bodija Odogbo Army Barracksm Jericho, Owode and Felele Housing Estates, NNPC Oil Storage Deport, Apata and Oluyole and Lagelu Housing and Industrial Estate.  Other newly developing area of the city  include Eleyele, Challenge, Gbanda, Ikolaba, Akobo, Monatan, Adegbayi, Olodo and Olomi. 


Education Ibadan is an exception educational centre.  It has numerous primary and post primary institutions, such as the University of Ibadan, the first University in the country, and world renowned.  There are also The Polytechnic and several research  institutes, such as the Nigeria Horticulture Research (NISER) and the Institute of Agriclture, Research Training (IAR & T).  Also, there is a private University, the City University of Ibadan, and a host of private secondary  institutions. 

Health.  The city also enjoys modern health facilities. All the three tiers of heath facilities are well represented in the city, with the University College Hospital (UCH), Ring Road and  Yemetu State Hospitals and myriad of clinics, dispensaries maternal and child health centres. 

Prospects.   The large market size which the city’s population size connotes, is one major prospect of it vability.  In addition, its accessibility to other areas within and outside the country, its social administrative and political functions are indicators that Ibadan has the potentials for future development.


Oyo State covers approximately an area of 28,454 square kilometers and is ranked 14th by size. The landscape consists of old hard rocks and dome shaped hills, which rise gently from about 500 meters in the southern part and reaching a height of about 1,219 metre above sea level in the northern part. Some principal rivers such as Ogun river, Oba, Oyan, Otin, Ofiki, Sasa, Oni, Erinle and Osun river take their sources from this highland.

Oyo State contain a number of natural features including the Old Oyo National Park. In this location there was earlier habitat for the endangered African Wild Dog, Lycaon pictus; however, this canid is thought to have been locally extirpated at the present.

The Climate is equatorial, notably with dry and wet seasons with relatively high humidity. The dry season lasts from November to March while the wet season starts from April and ends in October. Average daily temperature ranges between 25 °C (77.0 °F) and 35 °C (95.0 °F), almost throughout the year.


It was formed in 1976 from the former Western State, and originally included Ọsun State, which was split off in 1991. Oyoọ State is homogenous, mainly inhabited by the Yoruba ethnic group who are primarily agrarian but have a predilection for living in high density urban centers. The indigenes mainly comprise the Oyos,the Oke-Oguns, the Ibadans and the Ibarapas, all belonging to the Yoruba family and peo ples of Africa|indigenous]] city in Africa, south of the Sahara. Ibadan had been the centre of administration of the old Western Region, Nigeria since the days of the British colonial rule. Other notable cities and towns in Ọyọ State include Ọyọ, Ogbomọsọ, Isẹyin, kishi, Okeho, Saki, Eruwa, Lanlate, Sepeteri, Ilora, Awe, Ilero, Igbeti, Igboho and Igbo-Ora. The climate in the state favours the cultivation of crops like maize, yam, cassava, millet, rice, plantain, cacao tree, palm tree and cashew. There are a number of government farm settlements in Ipapo, Ilora,Sepeteri, Eruwa, Ogbomosho, Iresaadu, Ijaiye, Akufo and Lalupon. There is abundance of clay, kaolin and aquamarine. There are also vast cattle ranches at Saki, Fasola, Moniya and Ibadan.

Records, Landmarks and 'Firsts'

The first university in Nigeria is the University of Ibadan (established as a college of the University of London when it was founded in 1948, and later converted into an autonomous university in 1962). It has the distinction of being one of the premier educational institutions in West Africa. The other Universities in the state are: Lead City University, Ibadan, Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo and the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso. The Polytechnic, Ibadan is one of the best polytechnics in Nigeria.

There are 324 secondary schools as well as 1,576 public primary schools in the state. Other noteworthy institutions in the city include the University College Hospital; the first teaching hospital in Nigeria and the internationally acclaimed International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (lITA).

Another prominent landmark in Oyo State is the Cocoa House, the first skyscraper built in Africa[ .

The state is also home to NTA Ibadan, the first television station in Africa and Liberty Stadium the first stadium built in Africa.

Other major tourist attractions located in the state include: Agodi Botanical Garden, Ado-Awaye Suspended lake, Mapo Hall, University of lbadan Zoological Garden, Ido Cenotaph, Trans-Wonderland Amusement Park, Oke-Ogun National Park in, Old Oyo-Ile, Iyamopo and Agbele Hill in Igbeti, Bowers Tower and the Cultural Centre, Mokola.

Government and politics

Under the Nigerian 1999 constitution the government of Oyo State, and those of the other 35 Nigerian States, is divided into three branches to be in line with the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which is also three tier: the executive branch, the legislative branch and the judiciary. The executive branch of Oyo State government is headed by an elected executive governor who presides over the State Executive Council made up of appointed cabinet members. The present governor of Oyo State is Senator Abiola Ajimobi with Chief Moses Alake Adeyemo as deputy governor. The legislative branch is headed by an elected Speaker of the House of Assembly. The current Speaker is Monsurat Sunmonu. And lastly, the judiciary is headed by the Chief Judge of Oyo State High Court. The present and acting Chief Judge of the state is Badejoko Olateju Adeniji who replaced Olagoke Ige.


Presently the State has 1,703 public schools, 971 private nursery/primary schools, 335 public secondary schools including 7 schools of Science and 57 private secondary schools. Also in the State, there are five government technical colleges at Oyo, Ogbomoso, Ibadan, Saki and Igbo-Ora with enrolment of 2,829 students in the 2000/2001 academic session.

Historically prominent secondary schools include Loyola College Ibadan, Government College Ibadan, St Patricks Grammar School Ibadan, St Thersa's College Ibadan and St Annes' School Idadan. It's also home to Africa's leading fountain of knowledge, the iconic University of Ibadan (The University was originally instituted as an independent external college of the University of London, then it was called the University College, Ibadan.

The present administration has established two new technical colleges located at Ado-Awaye, Iseyin Local Government area and Ikija in Oluyole Local Government area which took off in the 2001/2002 academic session. A college of education, Oyo State College of Education, Oyo. There is a Polytechnic, The Polytechnic, Ibadan, with 2 satellite campuses at Eruwa and Saki, and a State-owned University, The Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso which is jointly owned by Oyo and Osun State Governments. The federal premier university The University of Ibadan, is also located in State capital.

There are also the Federal College Education (Special), Oyo, the Federal Schools of Surveying, Oyo; Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), Agricultural Institute for Research and Training (AIR&T), the Federal School of Forestry and the Nigeria Institute for Social and Economic Research (NISER), all in Ibadan.

Similarly, there are 15 Nomadic schools in the State. They are Gaa Jooro and Gaa Baale, both in Kisi (Irepo Local Government); Baochilu Government; Arin-Oye, Abiogun, Okaka and Baba-Ode (Itesiwaju Local Government); Iganna (Iwajowa Local Government); Igangan and Ayete (Ibarapa North Local Government Gaa Kondo and Igbo-Ora, Ibarapa Central Local Government) and Sepeteri (Saki East Local Government). There are 213 continuing education centres spread all over the State.

Also, there are 15 special primary schools and 8 special units in secondary schools catering for handicapped children. There are 11,732 teaching staff in the state public secondary schools and 2,789 non-teaching staff.

There are also the Agency for Adult and Non-formal Education (AANFE) which caters for illiterate adults who had no opportunity of formal education. The Agency has 455 classes in existence in the 33 Local Government areas of the State, while 200,000 illiterate adults and over 80,000 post-illiterate adults have been trained recently.

List of Universities in Oyo State

  • Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso
  • University of Ibadan, Ibadan
  • Lead City University, Ibadan
  • Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo


List of current public officials

Sen. Abiola AjimobiGovernor
Hon. Moses Alake AdeyemoDeputy Governor
Monsurat SunmonuSpeaker of the State House of Assembly
Alhaji Akin OlajideSecretary to the State Government
Dr. Deolu AkandeChief of Staff
Mr. Bimbo AdekanmbiDeputy Chief of Staff
Alhaji Tajudeen O. AremuHead of Service
Mr. Ajiboye OmodewuCommissioner for Lands and Housing
Barr. Bayo OjoAttorney-General & Commissioner for Justice
Mr. Bimbo KoladeCommissioner for Agriculture, Natural Resources & Rural Development
Mr. Zachius Adedeji AdelabuCommissioner for Finance
Dr Abdul-Lateef OlopoeniyanCommissioner for Health
Mr. Adebayo OlagbenroCommissioner for Industry, Applied Science & Technology
Mrs. Tokunbo FayokunCommissioner for Education
Mrs. Tinuke OsunkoyaCommissioner for Women Affairs, Community Development and Social Welfare
Mr Dapo Lam-AdeshinaCommissioner for Youth & Sports
Alhaji Yunus AkintundeCommissioner for Works & TransportBarr. Kazeem Adeshile AdedejiCommissioner for Trade, Investments and Cooperatives
Hon. Peter O. OdetomiCommissioner for Local Government & Chieftaincy Affairss
Barr. Bosun OladeleCommissioner for Information and Orientation
Alhaji Wasiu O. DaudaCommissioner for Environment and Habitat
Barr. Lowo ObisesanCommissioner for Establishment and Training

|Barr. Sunmbo Owolabi |Commissioner for Water Resources| |-

Dr. Olaniyi Larinde | Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budgeting |- |} Ms Kafayat Adeojo | Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development


Agriculture is the main occupation of the people of Oyo State. The climate in the state favours the cultivation of crops like maize, yam, cassava, millet, rice, plantains, cocoa, palm produce, cashew etc. There are a number of government farm settlements in Ipapo, Ilora, Eruwa, Ogbomosho, Iresaadu, Ijaiye, Akufo and Lalupon. There is abundance of clay, kaolin and aquamarine. There are also vast cattle ranches at Saki, Fasola and Ibadan, a dairy farm at Monatan in Ibadan and the state-wide Oyo State Agricultural Development Programme with headquarters at Saki. A number of international and federal agricultural establishment are located in the state.

Local Government Areas

The state consists of thirty three Local Government Areas:

  • Akinyele
  • Afijio
  • Egbeda
  • Ibadan North
  • Ibadan North-East
  • Ibadan North-West
  • Ibadan South-West
  • Ibadan South-East
  • Ibarapa Central
  • Ibarapa East
  • Ido
  • Irepo
  • Iseyin
  • Kajola
  • Lagelu
  • Ogbomosho North
  • Ogbomosho South
  • Oyo West
  • Atiba
  • Atisbo
  • Saki West
  • Saki East
  • Itesiwaju
  • Iwajowa
  • Ibarapa North
  • Olorunsogo
  • Oluyole
  • Ogo Oluwa
  • Surulere
  • Orelope
  • Ori Ire
  • Oyo East
  • Ona Ara

Notable Oyo State indigenes

Notable people from Oyo State include:

  • Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, Alaafin of Oyo
  • Samuel Odulana Odugade I Olubadan of Ibadan
  • Samuel Ojo, Scientist, Civil Engineer
  • Alh Abdul Wahab Alao Yusuf, Asiwaju of Oyoland
  • Oba Abiola Taiwo, Alaawe of Aawe
  • Oba Solademi Adewuyi, Alayiede of Aiyede
  • Oba Samuel Adegboyega Osunbade Adeyelu II The Olugbon of Orile Igbon.
  • Oba Kareem Oyesiji, Oba lufon of Sepeteri,Oyo State.
  • Oba Oyewumi Ajagungbade II, Soun of Ogbomoso Land.
  • Lam Adesina, Former Governor Oyo State (1999 - 2003), Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria.
  • Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja, Former Governor of Oyo State (2003 - 2007)
  • Christopher Alao Akala- Former Governor of Oyo State(2007–2011).
  • Chief Samuel Farinu- State Chairman Action Congress of Nigeria.
  • Emmanuel Oladipo Alayande, politician.
  • Augustus Akinloye, politician.
  • Prof. Arinola Olasumbo Sanya, former Commissioner of Health, Oyo State and first female professor of physiotherapy in Africa.
  • Chief E. O. Ashamu - Entrepreneur. First Nigerian to implement PPP (Public Private Partnership) in Nigeria.
  • Prince Ajibola Afonja- Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria PLC, Former Minister for Labour and Productivity.
  • Prof Aboyade, The University Ibadan.
  • Prof Dibu Ojerinde,The Registrar Joint Matriculation Board of Nigeria.
  • Mr Ajekigbe ,Former Group Managing Director First Bank of Nigeria PLC.
  • Amos Fenwa, Senior Pastor, HolyGhost Christian Center,Lagos Nigeria
  • Alh.Arisekola Alao,Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland.
  • Chief Joseph Egbetola Aibinu - Chairman Ifedapo Local Government of Oyo State, 1987–1989, One time member of the Oyo state 3SC football Club Management Board
  • Mr Anthony Adetunji Adejinle - Prominent Mathematician and renowned pioneering educationist.
  • Oyewumi Adetona Aderibigbe.Special Adviser to the Lagos state governor,[Manchester Metropolitan University. England].
  • Hon. Justice Stephen Laoye Popoola (RTD) (First High Court Judge from Oke - Ogun Region, Member of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission 1999 - 2004, Presiding Judge Over Kaduna Armed Robbery Tribunal, 1985 )
  • Dr .Olufemi Olaifa Former special adviser to the president of Nigeria on parastatals.
  • Rev. Olubunmi Adeleye Thomas - The founding National Secretary, The Youth Fellowship of the Cherubim & Seraphim Unification Church of Nigeria and the leader of the Student Unrest that kicked against the emergence of Cultist in St. Andrews College of Education, in Oyo Town 1997 his final year result was cancelled, he was persecuted by the power that be, arrested and detained by the Abacha Junta at C.I.B. Eleyele Ibadan August 27,1997
Mapo area of ibadan.over head bridge on Oyo State secretariat road Ibadan.
Mapo area of ibadan.over head bridge on Oyo State secretariat road Ibadan.



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