It was formed in 1976 from Western State, and included Ọsun State, which was split off in 1991. Oyo 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 indigenous city in Africa.
Ibadan had been the centre of administration of the old Western Region, Nigeria since the days of British colonial rule. There are a lot of interestig facts about Ibadan and one of them is that Rome and Ibadan share a very unique similarity; they are both built on seven hills.
The seven hills are Oke Padre, Oke Ado, Oke Bola, Oke Mapo, Oke Are, Oke Sapati and Oke Mokola.
But Ibadan is not just a city of hills. It is also a city of 'bottoms'. Loosely translated, 'idi' means bottom or the backside. Several people have attached sexual innuendoes to the names.
However, the actual translation indicates that some of the 'idis' indicate how the settlers converged at a point thereby leading to how they arrived at the names given.
Go round the city and you can locate Idi-Arere, Idi-Ose, Idi-Ishin, Idi-Ape, Idi-Ayunre, Idi-Obi and Idi-Ito.
For instance, Idi-Arere is a location where the early settlers converged and held meetings under an 'Arere' tree.
The actual full name is Idi- Igi Arere (under the Arere (obeche) tree). Idi- Arere is located between Oja-Oba and Molete. Idi-Ose, which should actually be Idi-Igi Ose (under the Ose (baobab) tree), is located around Ojoo/Moniya Road. Idi-Ishin is located around Jericho GRA area and was named after the Ishin (ake apple) tree. Idi-Ape is located at the intersection of Iwo Road and Bashorun and was named after the Ape tree. Idi-Ayunre which is located at the outskirts of the city on the way to Ijebu-Ode was named after the Ayunre ( albizia Zygia) tree. Idi-Obi was named after the kola nut tree. Ditto for Idi-Ikan and Idi-Ito.
Ibadan is also a city with several junctions popularly called 'Orita'. In Yoruba mythology, these 'oritas' or junctions are places where sacrifices were offered. Popular oritas in Ibadan are Oritamefa- a junction that leads to six roads (around UCH), Oritamerin ( a junction that leads to four roads), Orita Aperin, Orita Challenge and Orita Bashorun. Some of the names have been shortened nowadays with Orita Bashorun now simply referred to as Bashorun, Orita Challenge now Challenge and Orita Aperin simply Aperin.
And still talking names, several names in Ibadan have their origin in the inability of the residents to pronounce the original names correctly. For example, the place popularly called Oke-Sapati was originally called Shepherd's Hill but the illiterate residents couldn't pronounce 'Shepherd's Hill' and it was corrupted to Sapati. That was how it sounded to the ears of the residents at that time. The story behind Kudeti is quite interesting. A river runs around that area and the British District Officer during the colonial era was quite shocked at how dirty the river was. The river served the residents as they washed, had their bath, defecated and drank the water. The DO therefore exclaimed, "This water is TOO DIRTY". The illiterate residents now corrupted the words 'too dirty' to Kudeti.
Ibadan is still steep in its traditional beliefs though modernity is fast catching on.
One of such is the still very popular egungun masquerade festival which usually takes place around June and July. When I was younger, this period was a period fear mixed with excitement. Everyone wants to catch a glimpse of the Oloolu masquerade- except women who are forbidden to see it. Oloolu is the most popular and the most feared. I've seen it once before carrying what looked like a flat tray with several items on it. Several years ago, there was a clash between a very popular Muslim cleric now late called Ajagbemokeferi and Oloolu. It was rumoured then that Ajagbemokeferi derobed and unveiled Oloolu.
Then, there is Alapansapa. Alapansapa is the second most feared masquerade after Oloolu. Alapansapa dresses very smartly in bright colours. Even though most masquerades are associated with canes and whips, it is more so with Alapansapa. There is also Atipako and Abidielege.
In spite of the traditional background of the city and the practices/ beliefs of its residents, Ibadan has been rightly acknowledged as the INTELLECTUAL capital of the YORUBAS and this is not just because the first University in Nigeria is located in the city.
I really don't know how many cities in Nigeria have as many research institutes as Ibadan.
Ibadan has IITA (International Institute of Tropical Agriculture), IAR&T (Institute of Agricultural Research and Training), FRIN (Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria), CRIN (Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria), NIHORT (National Horticultural Research Institute) and NISER (Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research).
Other notable cities and towns in Ọyọ State include Ọyọ, Ogbomọsọ, Isẹyin, kishi, Okeho, Saki, Eruwa, Iroko, Lanlate, Oje-Owode, Sepeteri, Ilora, Awe, Ilero, Igbeti, Igboho, Igbo-Ora and Otu.
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, Oba, Oyan, Otin, Ofiki, Sasa, Oni, Erinle and Osun river originate in 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.
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 statewide 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
Oyo State consists of thirty-three (33) Local Government Areas. They are: