I have been to 3 places in Osun State, therefore the state deserves a post to enlighten people on it. I like to refer to it as a sleepy, quiet town, but this might be because I live in Lagos.
Osun state nicknamed the Land of Virtue (Ipinle Omoluabi), is located in South West Nigeria. Its capital city is Osogbo and it has a rich cultural heritage. It is about 14,875 Sq km in size and is currently governed by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
It gets its name from a river that flows through the state. This river is used for both spiritual and tourism purposes. It is also the source of water for irrigation.
While visiting 3 of their tourist attractions, (The Nike Arts & Crafts Centre, Erin-Ijesha Waterfalls & The Osun Grove), we got the opportunity to stroll around the city and speak to some of the local people. These locals categorically told us that Osun State was the best in the country and seemed happy with their governor. They said more can be done, but things were moving along fine. (This was before the back payment of salary incident).
When walking around, one can’t miss the signature ‘red roofs’ which is a characteristic of most south western states. These roofs are simply corrugated iron sheets and this is due to age.
Another thing you notice is the air is different and ‘cleaner’ compared to Lagos. You can actually tell the difference. I can fully understand why people run away from the city life once in a while.
It’s also a really quiet town. We stopped at my friend’s grandmum’s house and you couldn’t hear a thing. Infact we felt like we were making too much noise as it felt like there was no one else on that street.
Osun State was created on the 27th of August 1991 and is said to be the home of the Yoruba people, particularly Ile-Ife. Yoruba myth says that the creation of the world started in Ile-Ife. If you follow the Nigerian news closely, you should know by now about the coronation of a new Ooni of Ife (Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi). He is said to be above all other kings. This is one of the many things that makes Osun state special.
Osun state, is generally referred to as the ancestral home of all Yoruba people. It represents beginning of life and the birthplace of civilization.
Some things to note about Osun State include –
- They have their own coat of arms, flag and anthem (see below for the anthem)
- It has 5 sub ethnic groups apart from the people who have migrated there from other states. They include Ibolo, Ife, Ijesa, Oyo and Igbomina.
- Yoruba and English are the two main languages spoken there.
- The religions practiced are Islam, Christianity and Paganism (traditional faith).
- There are 30 local governments.
- The people of Osun State are mostly traders, farmers or artisans.
- In the mineral stones dept, they are blessed with gold, limestone, granite & clay.
Like I mentioned earlier, the culture of Osun State is very rich. Some of the tourist attractions are –
- Oramiyan staff (It is believed that this is the staff of Oramiyan, the son of Oduduwa who is said to be the father of the Yoruba people).
- Osun – Osogbo Cultural Festival – Every year, people from all over come to worship the goddess osun.
- The Osun Grove (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
- The Ife Museum
- Obafemi Awolowo University Zoological Gardens, Ile-Ase
- Genesis Art Gallery
- Nike Arts & Crafts Centre
- Erin-Ijesa Waterfalls
- Ooni of Ife’s Palace
- Micom Golf Resort
Osun State is a place one should visit especially for its cultural and historical significance. They could still do a lot in terms of development, while remaining quite natural. The people are friendly and easy going, no one is in a rush to do anything, also there’s no traffic when compared to Lagos.
While everywhere cannot be like Lagos or Abuja, every state deserves the chance to be as developed as possible while sticking to its cultural and traditional roots. In fact there are people who will be attracted to it because of how natural the state is, this is not an excuse for it not to be given a face lift.
Osun State has huge tourism potentials and I hope that they take advantage of it. However they must work on making their state more attractive to people such as maintaining the sights, better roads, promoting the state as a tourism state etc
The next time you’re looking for a chance to get out of your place of domicile, why not check out Osun State?
The Osun State Anthem
Ise wa fun ile wa
Igbagbo wa ni pe
Isokan ati ominira
Omo Oodua dide
There is work for us to do
Our belief is that;
Unity and freedom
The child of Oodua arise