Historical Development: Oyo State was one of the three States Oyo, Ogun and Ondo carved out of the former Western
Traditional Handicraft, Oyo
State of Nigeria on 3rd February, 1976 by the Generals Murtala Mohammed/Obasanjo led Military Govern ment.The State, however, formally took off with its own administration on 1st April, 1976. In 1991, the former Oyo State was split into two the present Oyo State and Osun State in another states creation exercise by the General Babangida Government. The naming of the state 'Oyo' followed the tradition of naming newly created states in Nigeria after prominent historical or physical landmarks associated with particular areas.
'Oyo' is derived from the name of the seat of government of the old Oyo Empire, of the precolonial era. Old Oyo, the seat of the then Oyo Empire was sacked about 1839 (Bascom, 1962) and was forced to relocate farther south to the present site which is about fifty three kms north of lbadan, the Oyo State capital.
The Legendary " Ogun O jalu " Ogbomoso
lbadan, the Oyo State capital, was reputed to be the most populous city in Black Africa in the 1950s (Mabogunje, 1967) until it was overtaken by Lagos during the last two decades. The present site of lbadan was said to have been settled in 1829 as a war camp by the groups of victorious soldiers from lfe, ljebu and Oyo who had defeated the Owu Kingdom (Ayeni, 1982).
This heterogeneous nature of the founders is considered an asset in the rapid growth of the city into its present size. It is reported that by 1890, the city contained over 200,000 peo ple and covered an area of about (41.3 sq. km). The making of lbadan the headquarters of the Old Western Region of Nigeria in 1946 became a catalyst for the subsequent rapid growth of the city.
The administration of the local areas which constitute the present Oyo State was initially through the Native Authority System until 1952 when the Western Nigerian Local Government Law restructured the local administration into a three tier system of District, Division and Local Government (Oyesiku, 1993).
The 1979 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria officially recognised the Local Government as the third tier of government. The present area of the state has since metamorphosed from the previous twenty-four local government four in 1986 and to the present thirty-three local government councils since 1997.
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