Edo State – “Heartbeat Of The Nation”

Benin brass plaques

Located in south-south geopolitical zone of Nigeria, Edo State was created in 1991 when the old Bendel State was split into two in a state creation exercise that also led to the birth of Delta state. The state is made up of eighteen local government areas which are Akoko-Edo, Egor, Esan-Central, Esan-North-East, Esan-South-East, Esan-West, Etsako-Central, Etsako-East, Etsako-West, Igueben, Ikpoba-Okha, Oredo, Orhionmwon, Ovia-North-East, Ovia-South-West, Owan-East, Owan-West and Uhunmwonde.


History
The Mid-Western Region was a division of Nigeria from 1963 to 1991, from 1976 being known as the Bendel State. It was formed in 1963 from Benin and Delta provinces of the Western Region, and its capital was Benin City. It was renamed a province in 1966, and in 1967 when the other provinces were split up into several states, it remained territorially intact, becoming a state.

During the Nigerian Civil War, the Biafran forces invaded the new Mid-Western state, en route to Lagos, in an attempt to force a quick end to the war. While under Biafran occupation, the state was declared as the “Republic of Benin” as Nigerian forces were to retake the region. The republic collapsed a day after the declaration as Nigerian troops overtook Benin City. In 1976 it lost Ughelli to the new Rivers state and was renamed Bendel. Edo State was formed on 1991 when Bendel State was split into Edo and Delta States.


People & Culture
Edo State has a population of approximately 4million and it is made up of three major ethnic groups; namely the Binis, Esan, Afemai, Owan and Akoko Edo. However the state has a high presence of residents from across the country. Benin City, the state capital, has a history of being one of the foremost destinations of the Europeans during their exploration of Africa continent some centuries ago. All the ethnic groups within the state have many things in common and apart from sharing a common origin, they are also exposed to the same cultural influence. These similarities are manifested in their religious worship, folklore dances, festivals, arts and crafts.

Geography
Edo State is an inland state in central southern Nigeria which is part of the nucleus of Niger Delta Region. Edo State is low lying except towards the north axis where the Northern and Esan plateaus range from 183 metres of the Kukuruku Hills and 672 metres of the Somorika Hills. The state has a land mass of 19,794km square and it is bordered by Kogi State to the north, Delta State to the East and South, Ekiti State and Ondo State to the West.

Edo State map

Weather/Climate
The climate is typically tropical with two major seasons- the wet (rainy) and the dry (harmattan) seasons. The wet season comes between April and November and the dry season between December and March.


Cities & Towns
Other important cities and towns include Benin, Ekpoma, Auchi, Uromi, Ubiaja, Ewu, Igarra, Abudu, irrua, Okpella, Uzebba, Afuze, Ibillo, Urhonigbe and Sabongida-Ora.

Attractions
Ogba Zoological Garden
Established in 1965 inside a forest reserve in Ogba village 6km from Benin City. It is renowned for local and other species of wildlife which are not easily found other parts of the country today.


Benin Brass Work
Known as the centre of bronze and brass artwork, Benin brass work is one of the remarkable art works in the world. Benin is well known as the place of the best bronze casters in West Africa. Bronze casters are all over the city.


Okomu National Park
Located in Ovia South LGA, the park which lies 45km west of Benin City is a home of forest elephants, buffaloes, red river hogs, chimpanzees, leopards, bush baby, putty nosed guenon, porcupine, pangolins, duikers, antelopes etc . The white throated monkey which is one of the rarest monkeys in the world today is found in the park. Butterflies and birds are abundant making it one of the best places for bird watching in Nigeria.


Oba’s Palace, Benin City
Rebuilt in 1914, the palace is in the heart of the city which is a centre of historical monuments, whose history dates as far back as 900A.D. It is veritable repository of Benin history where crafts and culture, specimens of art works depicting historical events can be seen. The palace is a tenth of the size of the original place which was razed to ground in 1897 by the British forces.


Benin City Wall & Moat
The moats which were built around the city to ward off enemies, are the most impressive city walls and moat known locally as “Iya” in southern Nigeria. Most of the walls were destroyed by the British when they invaded Benin in 1897. A portion of the remaining old city wall can be found along Murtala muhammed Way.


Benin City Museum
This is a national museum located in the middle of the round-about in King’s square. The museum was constructed in 1973 and houses some of the most treasured antiquities and the world famous bronze works of the ancient Benin. Other works includes terracotta, Ivory carving and cast-iron artifacts etc.


Igun Bronze Casters And Crafts Centre, Igun
This is the centre of Benin’s best art and craft makers where bronze are casts into crafts.


Edo Cultural Dance
Benin city is blessed with interesting and amazing dances with the best of colourful costumes that make the dancers look beautiful. A visit to Benin city would afford the visitors the opportunity of learning more about Benin culture.


Victor Uwaifor Art Gallery, Benin
This gallery is owned by a famous artist and musician Victor Uwaifor and it displays different art works and crafts.


NIFOR Estate, Benin
NIFOR is a research centre created by the Federal Government of Nigeria and mandated to research on producing the best yields in oil palms, coconut and other agricultural seedlings. This research centre occupies a vast land where oil palm plantations, coconut plantations, processing unit, laboratory, nursery beds, and residential quarters are found. This centre produced the seedlings that were planted and nurtured in Malaysia.


Ososo Tourist Centre
Ososo is a hilly and rocky town situated on the boundary between Edo and Kogi states. There is a non-catering rest house on top of a hill of Ososo which provides a wide and spectacular view of parts of Kogi state.


Somorika Hill
Located at the northern border with Kogi state, Somorika Hill has a picturesque beauty and environment.


Okomu National Park
Located in Ovia South LGA, the park which lies 45km west of Benin City is a home of forest elephants, buffaloes, red river hogs, chimpanzees, leopards, bush baby, putty nosed guenon, porcupine, pangolins, duikers, antelopes etc . The white throated monkey which is one of the rarest monkeys in the world today is found in the park. Butterflies and birds are abundant making it one of the best places for bird watching in Nigeria.


Other tourist destinations

  • Sand Beaches of Agenebode
  • Sakpoba Holiday Resort
  • Ramat Park
  • Iyoma, Iyafun and Ozalla Springs
  • Udo Tourist Centre
  • Lampese Crocodile Lakes
  • Ughoton Grave
  • Gelegele Fountains
  • Idoma Hill
  • Amahor Waterside

Eating Out
EFEX Fast Food
EFEX fast food offers a wide range of continental and African dishes from fried-rice to pounded yam to porridge. With sizzling hot dishes and a wide variety of drinks, EFEX fast food would surely blow your mind and leave you wanting for more. Contact: 102, Lagos Road & 4, Urubi Street, Benin City. Tel: +234-803-4256-522, 0803-4256-429


Lincx Cuisine
This is a top restaurant that offers great continental dishes with delicious flavours and fresh ingredients. Opens 9.00am to 10.00pm Contact: 7 Uhenuyi Street, Off Boundary Road, G.R.A., Benin City. Tel: +234 52 876 012


Mr. Biggs
This is one of the top fast food eateries that offer good quality food in Nigeria. Mr Biggs has outlets all over the main cities and towns across the country. Contact: Sapele Road, Benin City. Tel: +234 N/A


Shopping
Not yet posted

Hotels
Meridian Lodge
Meridian Lodge offers full hotel services to their numerous clients. Their experience has created a tradition of hospitality that is evident in everything they do. Contact: 2 Adenomo Cresent, Etete, GRA, Benin City. Tel: +234-52-254364, 8063081050


Royal Marble Hotels
The hotel is located in a peaceful and secured environment and it offers luxury and exquisite rooms furnished to taste, conducive relaxation, bar and restaurant, a well arrange conference hall, maximum security, swimming pool, internet facilities etc. Contact: 22 Ihama Road, Off Airport Road, GRA, Benin City. Tel: +234 N/A


Excalibur Benin Hotel
Excalibur Benin Hotel offers peace and quite, comfort and quality services. The hotel features bedrooms, restaurants, swimming pool, pool bar and other excellent leisure facilities. Contact: 23B, Etete Road, G.R.A, Beside NNPC, Benin City. Tel: +234-52-258938, 52-257447


Boston Hotel & Suites
Boston Hotel is a new generation hotel accommodation in the historic city of Benin with its enjoyable climate and history. The hotel is nestled in the beautiful flat land of the city, quiet and tranquil. Contact: 1 Oguigo Avenue, Along Adeyan, off Ihama Road, GRA, Benin City. Tel: +234 (0) 8054069515


Kenbrill Hyatt Hotel
Kenbrill Hyatt Hotel Benin City offers luxury accommodation right in the heart of GRA, Benin City. The hotel provides modern, luxury accommodation, reverse cycle air-conditioning and stylish bathrooms. Contact: 10 Agbonrofo Street, Off Ettete Street G.R.A., Benin City. Tel: +234-52-257183, 805 661 7882, 802 338 4884


Vichi Gate Hotel
The hotel provides superb accommodation with rooms fully equipped with internet access and other facilities. The hotel is protected 24/7 and enjoys uninterrupted power supply. Contact: No. 68 Ihama Road, G.R.A., Benin City. Tel: +234 52-256404, 052-256389


Randekhi Royal Hotel
The hotel provides high quality service standards which deliver an excellent Guest experience and encourage brand preference. Contact: 6, Uhenuyi Street, Off Ihama Road, G.R.A, Benin City. Tel: +234.52.256.910, 466.658


EFEX Hotel
EFEX hotel is a unique lodging palace featuring clean, convenient, quality accommodations, spacious and attractive guest rooms well-equipped with cable TV, internet access etc. Contact: 102, Lagos Road & 4, Urubi Street, Benin City. Tel: +234-803-4256-522, 0803-4256-429

Gallery
Not yet posted

About the author

 is a blogger, affiliate marketer & internet entrepreneur. I am a critic, a writer, a listener, a designer, a gadget lover. Join me on my Money Matters Blog | JUGOtech | My Website | Facebook | Twitter!





One Comment

  1. Vera ubiebi says:

    As solomon found favour in the eyes of God and before men. So shall edo state found favour in the hand of government.

    Reply

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