Nigeria is a country with a population of over 200 million people and different ethnic groups. Nigeria has over 200 ethnic groups and more than 300 spoken languages with English being the generally accepted language. However, the major ethnic groups are Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba. Each of these three major ethnic groups is predominantly settled in the specific region of the country. For instance, Yoruba people are found primarily in the Southwest while the Igbo people are located primarily in the South East. Also, the Hausa tribe is predominantly found in the North. For this post, we are going to be listing out only the Yoruba states. Before we get to that, let’s take you through a brief history of the Yoruba people.
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History of the Yoruba people
The Yoruba people have been in existence since the 7th century but they were not always known as the Yorubas. In the 8th century, a group of migrants settled in the savanna country region north of the forest where the first group of migrant must have settled. Thus, a powerful kingdom called Ile Ife was formed and the word “Yoruba “ was coined. Ile Ife has been said to be one of the earliest kingdoms in Africa. By the end of the 16th century, the powerful kingdom grew and became an Empire known as the Oyo Empire. Similarly, other groups of migrants came and combined with the people of Oyo empire. As a result, all these towns and cities in the region came together to form the Yoruba land we know today.
In addition, Yoruba people are among the most urbanized people in Africa. As a matter of fact, Yoruba were already living in well structured urban centers. They were organized around powerful city-states called Ìlú. This was centered around the residence of the Oba. Making up more than 21% of the country’s population, the Yoruba’s are highly educated.
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Yoruba states and their capitals
The Yorubas are predominantly settled in Southwest Nigeria. The list of states in Nigeria which are part of the Yorubaland include:
- Oyo State – Ibadan
- Ogun State – Abeokuta
- Lagos State – Ikeja
- Osun State – Osogbo
- Ondo State – Akure
- Ekiti State – Ado Ekiti
- Kwara State – Ilorin
Some parts of Kogi State and Edo State also have some Yoruba population among them. These two states are not primarily recognized as the Yoruba states. Also, some people think that Kwara state belongs to the Hausas, this is false; simply because more than 60% of its population are Yoruba.
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