OYO, The State of Many Firsts
The traditional and reserved nature of Oyo State is one of the major selling points of the state. Over the years, Oyo has maintained this ancient appeal and warmth while embracing unspoiled modernity. Adding to this inexorable status is the role it played in the cultural, political, social and economic history of Yorubaland and Nigeria in general. Thus, it is not surprising that Oyo state with Ibadan as its capital is blessed with many firsts. From the first University to the first television station in Africa and the first skyscraper in Nigeria. Oyo state has 33 local government and a population of 6,617,720 according to the 2006 census. The state was created on 3rd February 1976 out of the former Western Region.
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Long before Nigeria became entirely dependent on oil, Agriculture was the mainstay of the economy. It was the proceeds from cash crops like Cocoa, Rubber, and coffee others that were used to build the 24 storey Cocoa House in Ibadan. It was completed in 1965. On a visit to the ancient city, you may want to check out the Odu’a at the Penthouse of the Cocoa House.
Old Oyo National Park
The Old Oyo National park preserves Oyo’s heritage without doubt. Apart from the wildlife, there are relics of the old Empire dotted around the park. The Kosomo Hills, Agbaku Cave (serve as a safe haven during war and can hold as many as 1,000 people) and the mysterious iron used by Alaafin Sango.
Constructed and designed by engineer Robert Taffy Jones in 1925, Mapo Hall was a beehive of activities during the Awolowo and Akintola era, in this building key political and administrative decisions were taken. Today, it is one the tourist attractions in the city as visitors can get a scenic view of Ibadan at the top of the building. The hall seats on top of the Mapo Hill. Mapo Hall is indeed a historic edifice!
Prestigious and inexpensive hotels are available across the state for patronage. Some of the affordable, luxury and classy hotels include the popular Premier hotel and La Maison Hotel. For more amazing hotels and deals, visit Jovago.com.
Ibadan is the biggest city in Oyo. Many of the nightclubs and restaurants are located in this city. For the best of local and international cuisine, Café Chrysalis, 7610 Kitchen and Pub, Whimpy’s and Martha’s are the restaurants to go to. Meanwhile, night crawlers are not left out of the fun as it’s a weeklong party at 411 nightclub, Option 247, Ibadan Recreational club and GQ lounge.
Shoprite housed in Heritage Mall, FoodCo, KFC Cocoa Shopping Mall, the Palms Shopping Mall and the Jericho Mall are some of the best malls visitors can patronize.
Oyo is a city of many first. There is so much to learn about this historic town, be prepared to be impressed!