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History of Ekiti State

Encyclopedia » History

Image: Map of Nigeria Showing the position of Ekiti State


Ekiti State is one of the six new states created on 1st October 1996 by the then Provisional Ruling Council and announced by the then Head of State, General Sani Abacha in a national broadcast to mark Nigeria's 36th independence anniversary.

This makes Ekiti State one of the thirtysix states of the Federal Republic of Nigeria today. It was carved out of the former Ondo State, which itself came out of the old Western State created in 1967. It is now made up of Ekiti Central, Ekiti North, Ekiti South and Ekiti West Divisions.

Before its creation, what is now Ekiti State and compassed twelve Local Government Areas but, at its creation, four more Local Government Areas were created, bringing the number to sixteen. AdoEkiti is the capital of the state.

Location And Boundaries

Ekiti State is situated entirely within the tropics (see maps ). It is located between longitudes 40 51 and 50 451 East of the Greenwish meridian and latitudes 70 151 and 80 51 north of the Equator. It lies south of Kwara and Kogi State, East of Osun State and bounded by Ondo State in the East and in the south. Ekiti State has 16 Local Government Councils. By 1991 Census, the population of Ekiti State was 1,647,822 while the estimated population upon its creation on October 1st 1996 was put at 1,750,000 with the capital located at Ado-Ekiti. Mainly an upland zone rising over 250 metres above sea level, Ekiti has a rhythmically undulating surface. The landscape consists of ancient plains broken by steep-sided outcropping dome rocks. These rocks may occur singularly or in groups or ridges and the most notable of these are to be found in Efon-Alaaye, Ikere-Ekiti and Okemesi-Ekiti.

Climate And Vegetation

The State enjoys a tropical climate with two distinct seasons. These are the rainy season (April - October) and the dry season (November - March). Temperature ranges between 210 and 280C with high humidity. The south - westerly winds and the North East Trade winds blow in the raining and dry (Harmattan) seasons respectively. Tropical Forest exists in the south, while guinea savanna predominates in the northern peripheries.

Brief Overview

An important feature of the state is the large number of hills it possesses, which are often the site of towns in which much of the population resides. In fact, the word 'Ekiti' was derived from the local term for hill.

The Ekiti is a sub-group of the Yoruba , and indeed their ancestors migrated from Ile-Ife, the spiritual home of all Yoruba . The local dialect is spoken with slight variations in the different communities, but this does not prevent Ekiti indigenes from understanding each other. Christianity, Islam and traditional religions are all practiced.

Politics here can offer surprises, with voters not always following their relatives at the polls. This, given the Ekiti sense that they must struggle for recognition within the Yoruba camp, is perhaps not surprising. In the Second Republic the Ekiti favoured the party of the South-West, the UPN. The Third Republic saw them stray somewhat, giving three seats to the NRC.

In the Fourth Republic, now more secure perhaps with their own state, the electorate returned to the fold, as it were, embracing the AD to the turn of two out of three Senate seats, all six House seats, the governorship and 22 out of 26 state assembly jurisdictions. The PDP managed a senator and three state assembly seats, while the APP had to settle for a lone representative.

Administrative Areas: There are 16 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Ekiti State. These are: Ado, Ekiti East, Gbonyin, Ekiti Southwest, Ekiti West, EfonAlaaye, Emure, lse/Orun, Ido/Osi, ljero, Ikere, Ikole, Irepodun/lfelodun, Moba, llejemeje and Oye. The apex of the administrative areas is the capital, Ado Ekiti.

Ekiti Tourist Attractions in Focus


The meeting point of warm and cold spring

The Haven of tourists in Nigeria. Ekiti State is richly endowed with tourism potentials. Tourists to the state would be irresistibly charmed with the beauties of Ikogosi where warm and cold water oozing from different sources flowing separately to join in a pool but each retaining its thermal identity.


Ikogosi Ekiti, where the warm spring is located is in Ekiti West Local government of Ekiti State of Nigeria. It is situated in a valley and from the surrounding hills rises the warm spring.

State own VIP Charlet for accomodation and relaxation of Tourists
The Vegetation of this resort centre is a highly thick forest. This natural and rich vegetation is closely maintained and protected from arbitrary deforestation. The area covered by this resort centre is about 31.38 and it is highly protected from erosion by tall and evergreen trees. These trees also serve as a sort of canopy under which tourists could stay during the dry season and sunny days. The undulating topography of the entire tourist centre and the symmetry of the surrounding hills add more to the aesthetic beauty of this centre. There is a pass that cuts across the Tourist centre to the equally popular Erinta Water Falls at Ipole Iloro, a few kilometres to the Warm Spring.


Giant Tortoise being taken care of by the Hard working Zoological assistance Traditionally speaking, there are many stories from the indigenes of this town regarding the origin of the warm spring. A version of the stories rests more on the traditional belief of the people that both springs (Warm and Cold) were wives of the same husband who turned to springs water in the wake of rift and rivalry between them. The hot and ill-tempered first wife believed to have turned to the popular warm spring while the cool-tempered second wife turned to cold spring water. The husband became the undulating hills that encompass the springs. It is well established that some of the Villagers still worship the springs as their deities.
The scientific proof could not be wished away in favour of the traditional belief. The possible and plausible scientific explanation is that the deeper a body of water goes underground, the hotter it becomes and if by chance it is forced back to the surface through some earth fault, the temperature will be relatively high.
The Baptist mission in the early 50s established a youth and conference centre and other conviniences on a hill adjacent to the warm spring area. This started attracting different people from far and near, even foreigner started visiting the centre to the the work of nature. At the wake of 1978 however, the Ondo State acquired this popular tourist centre from Baptist Mission. A few infrastructure were put in place by this Mission before the resort centre was acquired from them by the State government, but, after the acquisition of this centre, however, both the federal and the state government focused attention on how to develop the centre to a modern tourist resort.


The internal facilities available at the conference hall, Ikogosi At the Warm Spring resort centre, there are modern facilities which could interest tourists to repeat their visit time without number. There are four V.I.P tastefully furnished charlets and four western chalets, (the former were built by the old western state). There are also 32 States charlets flashly furnished, and 8 cabins for students on excursions. The chalets are well kept and maintained by trained and qualified housekeepers. The architectural design of the infrastructures is superb. the chalet formed small letter 'd' from aerial view.

A multi-purpose and well furnished conference hall is conspicuously located at the centre of the resort facing the yet to be developed sport centre. A facinating restaurant is adjacent to this conference hall. The restaurant is equipped with modern facilities and qualified catering officers with wealth of Well fortified hot spring swimming pool                        experience in African and inter-continental foods. The modest Warm swimming pool is designed for both local and inter-national tourists. This beautifully designed swimming pool is well standardized and equipped with relevant materials. Kiosks (for snacks and soft drinks) are there for swimmers too. Tourists are encouraged to relax at the swimming pool with the provided amenities. The arrangement for the bottling of this spring water is virtually completed by Ekiti State Government. Experts are currently working in the area with a view to producing a visibility report on the project.


The spring water is said to have some therapeutic effects in some diseases like rheumatism and guinea-worm. People who have access to the spring use it for the battery of their vehicles instead of the normal battery water.


The Olosunta Hill                      The Orole Hill

These two hills are located at Northern and southern parts of the town (Ikere Ekiti) respectively. They are both steep-sided hills. These are good resort centres for Tourists to visit and see for themselves what God has done for the State of Honour, Fountain of Knowledge. There are deities in charge of these two hills. Both are worshipped accordingly. In line with the belief of the people of this town the Olosunta and Orole deities reside in the hills respectively. Both deities are credited with some feats such as provision of children to barren women and protection of Ikere from warfare. They are believe to be responsible for the welfare of the town. Ikere Ekiti is usually described as the only unconquered town in Ekiti during the popular inter-tribal wars.


The Erinta Water falls at Ipole-Iloro is located at about 6km North-West of Ikogosi. It could be reached only through a secondary road from Ikogosi. The road leading to the fall passes through the Ikogosi Tourist Centre. Visit this resort centre and be marvelled at the work of nature. Tourists fell the chilly effect of this fall about 10 metres away. It has three pronounced escarpments. A research recently carried out by an Afro American indicated that the water falls could generate electricity (Hydro-electric power).
This resort centre is naturally endowed with thick and evergreen forest.


The Modern Ero Dam

Ero dam and lake are man-made tourist attractions in the State. This dam is located at Ikun Ekiti in Moba Local Government of the State. The lake covers some kilometers. In fact, it was initially designed to cover only five kilometres but eventually it covered eleven kilometres. This dam supplies three Local Governments drinkable water and the Local Governments that benefit from this are: Oye, Ido-Osi and Moba itself. This is to say that the dam supplies over one hundred towns and villages in the state with pipe borne water.
According to experts, the dam is capable of supplying Ekiti State as a whole potable water. The indigenes of the town and neighbours and even Hausas fish on this Ero lake. Local canoes, boats and modern flying boats are made use of by these fishermen. This dam encourages the people to practise irrigation (system of farming) in their environments.


This Dam is constructed on Ose River at Egbe Ekiti in Ekiti East Local Government. The dam supplies the whole Local Government regular pipe-borne water.
      Both fishing and irrigation systems of farming are practise by the villagers. People go to Egbe Ekiti from all over the state to purchase fresh and smoked fish for their local consumption.
Both dams and lakes are good resort centres for tourists coming to Ekiti on a visit.

Fajuyi Square

Adekunle Fajuyi Park

It is a triangular park where the late Colonel Adekunle Fajuyi was buried. This park is at Ado Ekiti, the heart of Ekiti-land in Ekiti State. Colonel Adekunle Fajuyi was the Governor of the Old Western State. He was swept off by the coup of 1966 but accorded a heroic burial for his sacrifice and patriotism.







The Ekitis, whose ancestors migrate from Ile-Ife as a people, form one of the largest ehnic groups in Yorubaland. Ekitis are culturally homogeneous and the speak a dialect of Yoruba language known as Ekiti. The homogeneous nature of Ekiti confers on the state some uniqueness among the states of the federation. Slight differences are noticeable in the Ekiti dialect of the Yoruba language spoken by the people. This is informed and influenced by their spatial locations, especially the border communities to other states. For example the people of Ado local government area do not speak exactly the same dialect with the people of Ijero local government area, while the people of Ikole area speak something different from the people of Ikere area. The communities influenced by their locations include Otun (Moba land) that speaks a dialect close to the one spoken by the Igbominas in Kwara State. The people of Okeako, Irele, Omuo-Oke speaks a dialect similar to that of Ijumus in Kwara/Kogi States. The people of Ekiti West and Efon-Alaaye local government areas, that is, the Efon Alaaye and Okemesi communities speak a similar dialect to that of Ijesas of Osun State. However , part of the uniqueness of the Ekitis is that where ever is your own part of the state, you will understand well, when the other Ekiti man/woman speaks, inspite of the dialectal variations. in addition, all towns in Ekiti State take a common suffix, "Ekiti," after their names. the main staple food of the people of Ekiti is pounded yam with vegetable soup.
Ekiti as a people settle in nucleus urban patterns, well linked with network of roads. The State can boast of more than 127 large and small, ancient and modern towns, located on hills and valleys that characterise the state from which the confinement takes its name, Ekiti, that is, 'Okiti' meaning hill. Ekiti State, apart from the fact that it is the only state with a warm spring in Nigeria is the watershed and source of some prominent rivers such as Ero, Ose, Ogbese and others.
The people of Ekiti are hard-working , upright, studious and very articulate. Ekiti men are predominantly farmers but women engage in trading.


The people are mostly Muslims and Christians while some are still traditional religionists.



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Updated 6 Years ago

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