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History of Osun State

Encyclopedia » History

Image: Map of Nigeria showing the positon of Osun State


Osun State was created following series of pressure mounted on the federal military government over a long period of time by the founding fathers, most of whom are traditional rulers and community leaders.

Col. Ajiborisa pioneered the new State between August 1991 and January 1992, when an election was conducted under the zero party system which was introduced by then Military President Ibrahim Babangida. It was that election that saw the emergence of Alhaji Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke as the governor of the state. As the first Executive Governor of the state, Otunba Adeleke was in power for about 23 months (January 1992 – November 1993) before the military government aborted the transition to full civilian administration.

Col. A.F.K. Akale of the Nigeria Army Regiment Corps. Ede, was appointed the Acting Military Administrator of the state and he prepared the ground for the substantive Military Administrator.

In December 1993, Navy Captain Anthony Udofia was appointed the military administrator of the State and he ruled till August 1996 when another military officer, Col. Anthony Obi took over and left two years (August 1996 – August 1998). Col. Theophilus Bamigboye, was named as the military administrator of the State in August 1998. it was Bamigboye who handed over power to the civilian administration of Chief Adebisi Akande of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in May 29, 1999.

Chief Akande who again contested the 2003 gubernatorial election on the ticket of AD lost the exercise to the civilian government headed by Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Other political parties which participated in the 2003 election in the state were, All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) All Progressive Grand Alliance Party (APGA) and the National Conscience Party (NCP).

Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola took over the administration of the State on May 29, 2003. His tenure witnessed economic growth and peace. He held sway until 26th November 2010, when an appellate court annulled his re-election into the second term of office in April 2007 and the erstwhile opposition party Action Congress of Nigeria candidate Engr. Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, was declared the winner of the April 2007 gubernatorial election.

Engr. Aregbesola was sworn into office on Saturday, 27th November 2010, and has since assumed duties as Executive Governor of Osun State.



The First Assembly of the Osun State House of Assembly was inaugurated on the 13th January, 1992 within the chambers of the Osogbo City Hall, Olonkoro, Osogbo, which then served as the temporary location of the House of Assembly, following a proclamation by the first Executive Governor of the State Alhaji Isiaka Adeleke.

During the period, the House under the Speakership of Barrister Adewale Afolabi consisted of 46 Honourable members made up of two members from each of the then 23 local government areas of the state. The Assembly was abruptly dissolved on the 17th of November, 1993, with the forceful seizure of power by the military regime of General Sani Abacha.

The second Assembly in Osun State was inaugurated on the 31st of May 1999 by Chief Adebisi Akande, the then Executive Governor of the State. Barrister (Dr) Mojeed Olujinmi Alabi emerged the Speaker of the 26 member legislative arm of the State government.

The third Assembly was inaugurated on 3rd June, 2003 by the Executive Governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola. It was made up of 26 legislators with Hon. (Barrister) Rafiu Adejare Bello as the speaker.


sounds and beats of Osun statesounds and beats of Osun State
                                                                                     Sounds and beats of Osun State

Osun State, Nigeria, came into existence on 27th August, 1991. The State which is one of the then nine newly created States was carved out of the old Oyo State by the General Ibrahim Babangida‘s administration. It is one of the 36 States w hich make up Nigeria. The 1991 census puts the population of the State at 2.2million. There are more than 200 towns, villages and other settlements in the State. The state has a considerable number of highly urbanized settlements.Some of the major towns are Osogbo. Ile-Ife, Ilesa, Ikirun, Iwo, Ede, Ila-Orangun and Ikire. Others include Ipetumodu, Ejigbo, Ilobu, Gbongan, Okuku, Inisa, Ijebu-Ijesa, Ipetu-Ijesha, Ifon-Osun etc.

The State covers an area of approximately (check from ministry of lands). Osun State is bounded in the West by Oyo State, Ondo and Ekiti States in the East, Kwara State in the North and Ogun in the South. The State runs an agrarian economy with a vast majority of the populace taking to farming.


The provisional 1991 population results indicate the Osun State has a population 2,263,0936. The state's accurate population will hopefully be determined by the year 2005 National population census.


The state has a rich cultural heritage which shows in their music, art, dances, dresses and cultural festivals. They are well known for their talking drums and bata music.

They are also known for excellent works of art. Some tourist attractions in Osun state include

  • The famous Ife bronze,
  • The Oranmiyan Staff which is believed to be the fighting stick of Oranmiyan, the son of Oduduwa who was a great warrior and
  • The popular Osun-Osogbo cultural festival.
  • The Ife Museum ,
  • Obafemi Awolowo University Zoological gardens, Ile-Ase.
  • Yeyemolu Shrines and Oduduwa groove, Ile-Ife.
  • Osun Osogbo Sacred Groove - venue of the internationally recognized Osun Osogbo festival and a UNESCO, world heritage site
  • Adunni Susan Wengers Centre,
  • Genesis Arts Gallery
  • Nike Arts Gallery,
  • Jalumi War Site, Inisa
  • The Olumirin Water-Falls, Erin-Ijesa, Igbo-Sango at Ede and the Ayikunugba Water- Falls at Oke-Ila.

The people of Osun State are warm and hospitable. The State consists of politically conscious citizenry who are highly aware of their rights. The people of the State are highly enterprising and could be found engaged in trading all over the country.


The people of the State are mainly traders, artisans and farmers. Their other occupations include making of hand-woven textiles, tie and dye clothes, leather work, calabash carving and mat-weaving.


The State has an appreaciable Federal presence in addition to thousands of kilometres of motorable roads. Osogbo the state capital houses the National grid of the National Electric Power Authority. In addition, a natural rail line cuts through the State Capital.


Osun State is blessed with vast mineral resources. These include gold, clay, limestone, kaolin and granite. It also has many agricultural resources.


The people are generally industrious and highly articulate. The State is blessed with vast human resources and an articulate, intelligent and aggressive workforce.


Investment opportunities abound in the densely populated cities of the State, which is very compact. Osogbo, the State Capital can be reached from any part of the State by road within an hour. Yam, Maize, Cassava, Millet, Plantain and Rice are the major cash crops in the State. Lumbering and the growing and marketing of cocoa and kolanut are carried out on a large scale. The mining sector being activated.The livingspring minerals promotion,formed ith the backing of the government of osun state is involved in mining activities in various parts of nigeria.

Administrative divisions

Osun State is divided into three federal senatorial districts, each of which is composed of two administrative zones. The state consists of thirty Local Government Areas, the primary (third tier) unit of government in Nigeria. Osun state barely has a flag

Osun State's 30 Local Government Areas are listed below with their headquarters in parentheses:

  • Aiyedaade (Gbongan)
  • Aiyedire (Ile Ogbo)
  • Atakunmosa East (Iperindo)
  • Atakunmosa West (Osu)
  • Boluwaduro (Otan-Ayegbaju)
  • Boripe (Iragbiji)
  • Ede North (Oja Timi)
  • Ede South (Ede)
  • Egbedore (Awo)
  • Ejigbo (Ejigbo)
  • Ife Central (Ile-Ife)
  • Ife East (Oke-Ogbo)
  • Ife North (Ipetumodu)
  • Ife South (Ifetedo)
  • Ifedayo (Oke-Ila Orangun)
  • Ifelodun (Ikirun)
  • Ila (Ila Orangun)
  • Ilesa East (Ilesa)
  • Ilesa West (Ereja Square)
  • Irepodun (Ilobu)
  • Irewole (Ikire)
  • Isokan (Apomu)
  • Iwo (Iwo)
  • Obokun (Ibokun)
  • Odo Otin (Okuku)
  • Ola Oluwa (Bode Osi)
  • Olorunda (Igbonna, Osogbo)
  • Oriade (Ijebu-Jesa)
  • Orolu (Ifon-Osun)
  • Osogbo (Osogbo)


Every year, adherents and non-adherents of Osun, one of the Orisa (the traditional deities of the Yoruba people), travel from all over the world to attend the annual Osun-Osogbo festival in August. Visitors include nationals of Brazil, Cuba, Trinidad, Grenada, and other nations in the Americas with a significant Yoruba cultural heritage. Annual traditional festivities and invocations of the Osun goddess are held along the banks of the river bearing her name into which - according to Yoruba Oratory traditions - she transformed.

Ọṣun-Ọṣogbo Grove, the shrine of the annual rites of the deity and an important artistic center, was declared a World Heritage Site in 2005.

Osun templesounds and beats of Osun State
             Osun Temple                                   Local  craft in Osun State


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Updated 6 Years ago

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Tags:     Osun State Osogbo. Ile-Ife     Ilesa     Ikirun     Iwo     Ede     Ila-Orangun Ikire. Ejigbo     Ilobu     Gbongan     Okuku     Inisa     Ijebu-Ijesa     Ipetu-Ijesha     Ifon-Osun