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 Osun 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 Ogbomosos, the Oke-Oguns, the Ibadans and the Ibarapas, all belonging to the Yoruba family.
Oyo basks in the glory of Old Oyo Empire. The Oyo Empire was a Yoruba empire of what is today Western and North central Nigeria. Established in the 15th century, the Oyo Empire grew to become one of the largest West African states. It rose through the outstanding organizational and administrative skills of the Yoruba people, wealth gained from trade and its powerful cavalry. The Oyo Empire was the most politically important state in the region from the mid-17th to the late 18th century, holding sway not only over most of the other kingdoms in Yorubaland, but also over nearby African states, notably the Fon Kingdom of Dahomey in the modern Republic of Benin to the west.
Oyo town where Atiba University is currently situated was founded as the capital of the Oyo Kingdom in the 1830s and known to its people as ‘New Oyo’ (Ọyọ Atiba) to distinguish it from the former capital to the north, ‘Old Oyo’ (Ọyọ-Ile), which had been deserted as a result of rumors of war. Its inhabitants are mostly of the Yoruba people, and its ruler is the imperial majesty Alaafin of Oyo. The name Atiba University reflects the valor of Prince Atiba in achieving his legendry mission of settling Oyo people at the present site of Oyo town.
Located in the South-West geopolitical zone of Nigeria, Oyo State was one of the three States carved out of the former Western State of Nigeria in 1976. Oyo State consists of 33 Local Governments and 29 Local Council Development Areas. The State covers a total of 28,454 square kilometres of land mass and it is bounded in the south by Ogun State, in the north by Kwara State, in the west it is partly bounded by Ogun State and partly by the Republic of Benin, while in the East by Osun State. 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 metres above sea level in the northern part. Some principal rivers such as Ogun river, Oba, Oyan, Otin, Ofiki, Sasa, Oni, Erinle and Osun river owe their sources to this highland.
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 Oyo State include Oyo, Ogbomoso, Iseyin, Kisi, Okeho, Saki, Eruwa, Lanlate, Sepeteri, Ilora, Awe, Ilero, Igbeti, Igboho and Igbo-Ora.
The current location of Atiba University is at Oyo town of Oyo State. Oyo lies 32 miles (51 km) north of Ibadan. The proposed permanent site is at Soku Village, which is half way between Oyo and Iseyin on Oyo-Iseyin Road.
The topography of the State is of gentle rolling low land in the south, rising to a plateau of about 40metres. The State is well drained with rivers flowing from the upland in the north-south direction.
Oyo State has an equatorial climate with dry and wet seasons and 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. The vegetation pattern of Oyo State is that of rain forest in the south and guinea savannah in the north. Thick forest in the south gives way to grassland interspersed with trees in the north.
Culture and Tourism
Oyo being an ancient Yoruba cultural repository brims with undiluted culture, tradition and knowledge of the Yoruba people. Its people are of high moral values and generally accommodating and compassionate.
Several festivals are celebrated during the year including Sango Festival, Egungun (masquerade) festival, Obatala festival, and many more. During these festivals, the city is filled with both indigenes and tourists from far and wide.
There are several tourist attractions in Oyo and its environs. Some are listed below
- The Old Oyo National Park (one of 7 national parks in Nigeria)
- Ado Awaye Suspended Lake (one of only 2 suspended lakes in the world)
- Palace of the Alaafin of Oyo
- Agodi Gardens in Ibadan
- Cool and warm water spring in Oluyole
- Site of Ark of Jerusalem at Agelu beside Ado Awaye
- Ibadan Trans-Amusement Park
- Oke Irefin Palace, Ibadan
- The healing and fertility fish pond at Saki
- IITA forest reserve Ibadan
Oyo state is largely acclaimed as a peaceful and secure state. Meanwhile, Oyo town where Atiba University is located is even relatively safer than other parts of the state. Cases of armed robbery, rape, kidnapping, and other violent crimes are a rarity.
This can be attributed to the geographical location of the town; it can also be for the reverence of the Alaafin of Oyo or the effectiveness of the security network. However, majority of the good people of Oyo are by and large, law abiding citizens.