Ogun State is a Nigerian state located in the country’s southwestern region. The former Western State was absorbed into the new state in February 1976. Ogun State is bordered on the south by Lagos State, on the north by Oyo and Osun States, on the west by Ondo State, and on the east by the Republic of Benin. Abeokuta is both the capital and the most populous city of Ogun State; other notable cities in the state include Ijebu Ode, which served as the old royal capital of the Ijebu Kingdom, and Sagamu, which is Nigeria’s major kola nut grower and exporter. Approximately 3,751,140 people lived in Ogun state as of 2006.
The state is known as the “Gateway to Nigeria” because of the great concentration of industrial estates in the area and the fact that it is a significant manufacturing hub in Nigeria. Nestle, Lafarge Cement facility in Ewekoro, Memmcol in Orimerunmu, Coleman Cables in Sagamu and Arepo, and Procter & Gamble in Agbara are just a few of the major factories in Ogun State.
Ogun State is dominated by the Yoruba people, with the Yoruba language acting as the state’s lingua franca (common language). A notable feature of Ogun State’s rice cultivation is that it is the nearly sole source of Ofada rice production. Ogun state is also the birthplace to a slew of iconic figures from Nigeria and Africa at large.
On the list below are the top 5 tourist sites in Ogun State, in no particular order.
Kemta Adire Market
One of the most important commodities exported from Abeokuta is Adire, which literally translates as “Tie and Dye.” The Kemta Adire Market, located in the heart of Abeokuta, is the home of the famous Egba women, who are responsible for ensuring that the Adire (Tie & Dye) industry does not die by passing on the intricate creative skills to their daughters. It is not uncommon to see traders decked out in the traditional Adire Bubas and matching towering headgears. The market is widely regarded as the most important Adire market in Africa. The market is one of the state’s most popular tourist destinations. If you plan on visiting, you’ll want to bring a camera to record the vibrant market of colours, as well as plenty of cash to spend on Adire items.
Attend the Egungun Festival
In Abeokuta, one of the most fascinating characteristics is the periodic sightings of the Egungun, who are thought to be the spirits of departed ancestors and are commemorated once a year as a festival. In particular, the Igunnuko, a Niger State import from Pategi, is one of the most intriguing of the bunch. It is possible to see a number of masquerades from various compounds; one of them is Egun Ile Alare, which is well-known for its acrobatic performances.
Ogun State is one of many states with a rich history and culture in Nigeria. Another tourism destination in Ogun State is the Lisabi Forest. The forest has been named historically after Lisabi Agbongbo Akala, a warrior who during the inter-tribal warfare emancipated the Egbas. It is believed that he brought his men into the jungle. The sons and daughters of Egbaland celebrate his heroic feat with an annual march to the Lisabi forest. The forest is also regarded as home to unique bird and plant species. There are even rumours that the remains of the warrior can be located in the forest. Over the years, local and foreign travellers have visited the Lisabi forest. If you are in Ogun state, it’s one of those destinations you should have on your to-do list.
The Olumo Rock
Abeokuta’s most renowned landmark is Olumo Rock – a hill which served as a hiding place for the Egba population during Yoruban’s slave expeditions – and the town itself is named after it because Abeokuta means ‘under the rock.’ Man-made stairways make it relatively easy to ascend the rock, and along the route there are shrines, usually dedicated to women and to various gods. The trek is worthwhile reaching the summit of the hill, because it gives an aerial perspective of the entire city in the valley and of the Ogun River twisting through the forests that surround the town.
Visit the Alake Palace
The Alake’s Palace is our next destination on attractive tourist sites in Ogun State. The Alake is the Egba people’s traditional ruler, Alake of Egbaland as its name. This can also be seen audaciously at the royal gate with the words “Alake Ti Ile Egba.” If you undoubtedly question if the palace is open to guests, absolutely! Behind the old palace there is a new palace intended to preserve the rich history, art and culture of Egbas. Visitors are often left directly from the entryway in awe of the old palace’s splendour. It’s one of the sites you wish to visit.