Osun: Our People, History, Culture and Diversity
Osun has a fairly large population. According to the 2006 National Population Census, the population of the state is put at 3,423,535. The state is rich in human and material resources
Historical evidence shows that the Yoruba tradition is one of the earliest and dominant traditions in Nigeria. The people of Osun are predominantly Yoruba. The state is composed of Osun, Ifes, Ijesas and Igbominas. Their language is Yoruba but there are variations in intonation and accent in across the towns and cities.
Commercial activities have brought the people of the state in contact with non-indigenes and foreigners who have adopted the state as their homes owing to the peaceful nature of the people and prevalent atmosphere.
Osun is culturally rich and this can be seen in all spheres of life such as arts, literature, music and other social activities in the state. Similarly, the state is blessed with a highly literate and articulate populace which makes up a strong and productive workforce
Being an agrarian state, agriculture is largely practised both at commercial and subsistence scales and this attracts people from outside the state.
The Ooni Of Ife, Alayeluwa Oba Okunade Sijuwade
The traditional institution such as Kingship which dates back to pre-colonial era is still held in high reverence in the state. Their foresight, determination and aggressiveness led to the creation of Osun .Obas as they are called play pivotal roles in ensuring peace and stability in their domain as well as preserving the age-long tradition and culture
The State is blessed with qualitative traditional rulers, highly educated and sound in their various field of endeavour thus using it for the overall development of their people and domain. They are highly enlightened, widely travelled and committed to the progress of the state in general.
Foremost traditional rulers in the state includes the Ooni of Ife, The Ataoja of Osogbo, The Owa Obokun of Ijesa Land, The Timi of Ede, Oluwo of Iwo, Akinrun of Ikirun, and a host of other traditional rulers.
Socio-Economic and Cultural Background
The social environment in the state is characterised by a people filled with warmth, hospitable, tolerant and accommodating. The social relationship existent in Osun is a plus to the economic aspect because businesses and economy grows in an atmosphere of peace. This affords indigenes and foreigners the opportunity to carry out their commercial activities in a conducive environment devoid of violence and arson.
Being an agrarian state, the presence of food and cash crops pools traders and artisans to the state and this further helps in the economic development .The state is famous for many prominent markets such as Owena, Sekona, Ikirun, Ifon, Odo Ori markets and a whole lot of others
The presence of cottage industries provides jobs for the virile manpower abundant in the state. The railway track crossing in the state also helps in the economic development through movement of goods and people.
No state in Nigeria is as culturally rich as Osun. The state has produced cultural icons like Chief Duro Ladipo, Twin Seven Seven, Nike Art Gallery and the famous Susan Wenger popularly known as Adunni Olorisa. The state is famous for festivals such as Osun Osogbo International Festival, Olojo Festival in Ife, Iwude Festival in Ilesa. Osun is also blessed with numerous tourist attractions like the Kiriji War Museum, Erin Ijesa Waterfalls, Oranmiyan staff at Ife Ife Museum, Obafemi Awolowo University Zoological Gardens, Ayinkunigba water falls, Mbari-Mbayo Cultural Heritage, Idi Baba Cultural Centre, Igbo Sango at Ede. These tourists’ sites are potential sources of revenue generation.
Osun is a multi religious environment with inhabitants practicing the Islam, Christianity and traditional worship. The diverse nature of their faiths and the peaceful nature characterising the way everyone goes about it harmoniously is a lesson in tolerance. The state has never witnessed a religious crisis whether minor or major since its creation.
Pastor E.A. Adeboye
It is also worthy of note that notable religious leaders have their roots in the state and this includes; Pastor E.A Adeboye of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Prophet S.K Abiara of Christ Apostolic Church,Sheik Ajisafe the Chief Imam of Osun, Chief Priest Yemi Elebuibon,Pastor Mathew Ashimolowo of Kingsway International Christian Center and various legendary faith based organisations who have brought pride to the state.
The thirst for western education has always being a thing of pride in the state making the literacy level to be on the high side. The presence of educational institutions in the state is a major advantage and is being run by both public and private sectors. The state boasts of Technical Schools, Schools of Health Technology, Schools of Nursing and Midwifery, two public polytechnics and three privately owned, two public universities and five private ones.
For more on the people and culture of the State of Osun, visit the website www.osun.gov.ng