History Of Ogun State From Precolonial Times To Present Day

History of Ogun State: From Precolonial Times to Present Day

Ogun State is a state located in the southwestern part of Nigeria. The state was created on February 3, 1976, from the old Western State. The state shares boundaries with Lagos State to the south, Oyo and Osun states to the north, and Ondo State to the east.

The state also has a 16 km coastline on the Bight of Benin to the south. The name of the state was derived from the Ogun River, which runs across the state from north to south.

Before the creation of Ogun State, it was part of the old Western State, which was created in 1967. During the military era, General Olusegun Obasanjo and General Murtala Muhammed created the state, and it was one of the twelve states created in Nigeria at that time. The capital of Ogun State is Abeokuta, and it is also the largest city in the state. The state has a population of over 7 million people, and it is one of the most industrialized states in Nigeria.

The history of Ogun State dates back to the pre-colonial era when the Egba people established their kingdom in Abeokuta. The Egba people were known for their military prowess, and they were able to resist the expansion of the Oyo Empire.

During the colonial era, Abeokuta became an important center of commerce and education. The first secondary school in Nigeria, Abeokuta Grammar School, was established in the city in 1908. Today, Ogun State is home to several universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education.

 

Geographical Background

Location and Topography

Ogun State is located in the southwestern part of Nigeria, with its capital city, Abeokuta, situated in the north-central part of the state. The state shares borders with 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. The state has a total land area of 16,762 square kilometers, and it is divided into 20 local government areas.

The topography of Ogun State is characterized by a combination of plains, hills, and valleys. The state is situated on the coastal plain of Nigeria, with the highest elevation being the Olumo Rock, which rises to a height of about 137 meters above sea level. Other notable hills in the state include Oke-Igbein, Oke-Ado, and Oke-Mosan.

Climate and Vegetation

Ogun State has a tropical climate, with two distinct seasons – the rainy season and the dry season. The rainy season usually starts in April and ends in October, while the dry season lasts from November to March. The state receives an average annual rainfall of about 1,500mm, with the highest rainfall occurring in the southern part of the state.

The vegetation of Ogun State is predominantly forested, with the southern part of the state characterized by mangrove swamps and rainforests, while the northern part is dominated by savannah woodlands. The state is also home to a variety of wildlife, including antelopes, monkeys, baboons, and birds.

Overall, Ogun State’s geographical background has played a significant role in shaping its history, economy, and culture. The state’s topography and climate have influenced agricultural practices, while its strategic location has made it a hub for trade and commerce.

 

Historical Development

Early Inhabitants

The history of Ogun State dates back to pre-colonial times, with the area being inhabited by various ethnic groups such as the Egba, Egbado, and Ijebu. The Egba people, who were the dominant group in the region, were known for their military prowess and resistance against the Dahomey Kingdom. They established the town of Abeokuta, which later became the capital of the state.

Colonial Era

During the colonial era, Ogun State was part of the Southern Protectorate of Nigeria. The British colonial government established a number of administrative divisions in the region, including the Egba and Ijebu provinces. The town of Abeokuta, which was already a major center of trade and commerce, became an important administrative center.

Post-Independence Period

After Nigeria gained independence in 1960, Ogun State became part of the Western Region. However, following a series of political crises and ethnic tensions, the region was split into several states in 1967. Ogun State was created on February 3, 1976, during the military regime of General Olusegun Obasanjo and General Murtala Muhammed. The state was named after the Ogun River, which runs through the region.

Since its creation, Ogun State has undergone significant development in various sectors, including agriculture, education, and infrastructure. The state is known for its agricultural prowess, with crops such as cocoa, cassava, and palm oil being major exports. The state is also home to several institutions of higher learning, including Olabisi Onabanjo University and the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. In recent years, the state has also seen a significant increase in industrialization, with several multinational companies establishing operations in the region.

 

Cultural Heritage

Traditional Festivals

Ogun State has a rich cultural heritage that is deeply rooted in the traditions and beliefs of the Yoruba people. One of the most prominent aspects of this heritage is the numerous traditional festivals that are celebrated throughout the state. These festivals are often marked by colorful displays of music, dance, and other cultural activities that showcase the unique customs and traditions of the Yoruba people.

One of the most popular festivals in Ogun State is the Ojude Oba festival, which takes place in Ijebu Ode. This festival is celebrated three days after Eid Kabir and is a time for the people of Ijebu to come together and celebrate their heritage. During the festival, different age groups and families come out in their traditional attire to pay homage to the Awujale of Ijebuland, who is the paramount ruler of the Ijebu people.

Another popular festival in Ogun State is the Ake Festival of Arts and Books, which is an annual event held in Abeokuta every November. This festival is a celebration of literature, music, and the arts and is a time for the people of Ogun State to come together and celebrate their cultural heritage.

Arts and Crafts

Ogun State is also known for its rich tradition of arts and crafts. The state is home to many skilled artisans who produce a wide range of traditional crafts, including pottery, weaving, and woodcarving. These crafts are often sold in local markets and are highly valued for their beauty and craftsmanship.

One of the most famous examples of traditional Yoruba art in Ogun State is the Adire fabric. Adire is a type of resist-dyed cloth that is made using traditional techniques. The cloth is often decorated with intricate patterns and designs that are unique to the Yoruba people.

In addition to Adire, Ogun State is also known for its skilled woodcarvers. These artisans produce a wide range of wooden carvings, including masks, sculptures, and furniture. Many of these carvings are highly valued for their beauty and are often sold to collectors and art enthusiasts around the world.

 

Modern Governance

Administrative Structure

Ogun State is governed by a democratically elected governor, who serves as the chief executive of the state. The state has a unicameral legislature, which is made up of 26 members. The state is divided into 20 local government areas, each with its own elected chairman and council. The administrative structure of the state is designed to ensure effective and efficient governance at the grassroots level.

Economic Development

Ogun State has made significant progress in terms of economic development in recent years. The state government has implemented a number of policies and initiatives aimed at attracting investment and promoting economic growth. The state has a number of natural resources, including fertile land, mineral deposits, and a large workforce. The government has been working to leverage these resources to create a favorable environment for businesses to thrive.

In addition to its natural resources, Ogun State has a number of competitive advantages that make it an attractive destination for investment. The state is strategically located close to Lagos, which is the commercial hub of Nigeria. This proximity to Lagos has helped to boost the state’s economy, as it has made it easier for businesses to access the market and transport their goods.

Overall, the modern governance structure of Ogun State has been designed to promote economic growth and development. The state government has implemented a number of policies and initiatives aimed at attracting investment and creating a favorable environment for businesses to thrive. With its natural resources and competitive advantages, Ogun State is well positioned to continue on its path of economic growth and development in the years to come.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the historical origins of Ogun State in Nigeria?

Ogun State was created on February 3, 1976, by the military administration of General Murtala Muhammed and General Olusegun Obasanjo. The state was carved out of the old Western State and comprises former Abeokuta and Ijebu provinces of the former Western State, the latter carved out of the former Western region in 1967.

Which major tribes and cultures are indigenous to Ogun State?

Ogun State is home to several major tribes and cultures, including the Yoruba, the Ijebu, the Egba, and the Egbado. These tribes and cultures have rich histories and traditions that have contributed to the development of the state.

What are some notable historical events that have shaped Ogun State?

Several notable historical events have shaped Ogun State, including the establishment of the Egba United Government in the 19th century, the Abeokuta Women’s Revolt of 1929, and the establishment of the first television station in Africa, WNTV, in Ibadan, which had a significant impact on the state.

Can you provide a brief history of Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State?

Abeokuta, which means “under the rock,” was founded in the 19th century by the Egba people. The city played a significant role in the history of Nigeria, serving as a refuge for people who were fleeing from slavery and wars. It was also the site of the Abeokuta Women’s Revolt of 1929, which was a protest against the imposition of taxes on women.

What are the defining characteristics of Ogun State’s colonial and post-independence history?

Ogun State, like the rest of Nigeria, was colonized by the British in the 19th century. The state played a significant role in the struggle for Nigeria’s independence, with several notable nationalists hailing from the state. After independence, the state has continued to play an important role in the development of Nigeria, with a thriving agricultural sector and a growing industrial base.

What significant roles has Ogun State played in Nigeria’s overall historical development?

Ogun State has played several significant roles in Nigeria’s overall historical development, including being the birthplace of several notable Nigerians, such as Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who was a prominent nationalist and the first Premier of the Western Region. The state has also been a hub of industrial and agricultural development, contributing significantly to Nigeria’s economy.

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