Thursday, 2 May 2019

Ekiti state pounded yam makes it a tourist delight



My tour of Ekiti State is like doing a tour of my second home, I schooled and did my NYSC there, so my visit to Ekiti was like coming home. I do claim most times that I am from Ekiti State, though I am from Abia. I explored Ekiti to the best of my ability. Having schooled in Ekiti, on arrival I searched for a local canteen and had a delicious meal of pounded yam with vegetable soup in Ado even before I got a hotel accommodation. 

Ekiti State is located in the South-West geopolitical zone of Nigeria, it was carved out of old Ondo State in 1996, it has 16 local government areas. Historically, a school of thought has it that Ekiti people trace some of their progeny to Oduduwa. Some people believe that Ekiti originated from Ife. Olofin, one of the sons of Oduduwa had 16 children and in the means of searching for the new land to develop, they all journeyed out of Ile-Ife, they walked and settled in the present day Ekiti land. A land of hills which they called “Ile Olokiti” - land of hills. Over the years the name ‘Olokiti’ came to be known as ‘Ekiti’. The other school of thought has it that Ekiti people existed even before the coming of Oduduwa,  in fact Oduduwa met the descendants of Agbonniregun (Baba Ifa) who were already settled in Ekiti. Orunmila (Agbonniregun) himself spent a greater part of his life at Ado and that is why they have the saying ‘Ado ni ile Ifa’ (Ado is the home of Ifa). all these dates back to about 13th century.

Ekiti people speak different dialects but understand each other.
I started my tour from the known to the unknown, as an undergraduate, our major bus stop to campus was the Fajuyi Bus stop, so I started my tour from the triangular Fajuyi Memorial Park in Ado Ekiti, named after Lt Col. Adekunle Fajuiyi the first military Governor of the Western Region, he was assassinated on July 29, 1966, along with General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi, the then Head of State and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; who had arrived in Ibadan on 28 July 1966 to address a conference of natural rulers of Western Nigeria. The remains of Lt Col Fajuyi is buried at the Park. The park which looks better now than my undergraduates days is equipped with a fountain, water-sport, games, children playground, tower, mini museum, restaurant and bar for visitors.


Still within Ado-Ekiti, I visited Age Hill, Ayoba Hill, Uta Epa Hill,  Olokemeji Hills, Oke Maria (Mary Hill), Olota Mountain, Olota Cave, Ajo Hills. I also visited Ureje Dam and the Water Corporation Treatment Station in Ureje, I drove past Christ’s School, Afe Babalola University and Ekiti State University and rounded up my tour of Ado with a visit to the Ekiti Golf Course. I also visited the Iworoko Mountain.

Iworoko hill



I was also at the palace of the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, as a youth Corp member in 1992, I did the beautification of the palace with flowers, so visiting over 25 years later was a delight. The Palace houses a large number of historical artifacts relating to the history of the people of Ekiti.

door to the palace of Ewi of Ado Ekiti


I also visited The 'Ikogosi Warm Springs' in Ikogosi, Ekiti West LGA - a confluence of hot spring and cold spring meeting at a point and then flowing down as a single stream from a hilly landscape. Ikogosi has tall evergreen trees which surround the spring and provides canopy shades for relaxations. The spring is processed and packaged into bottled water for commercial purpose by UAC Nigeria. Not far from the warm spring is also the site of the first Plane Crash in Nigeria. 

At Ikogosi cold and warm spring


I also visited the Orole Hills in Ikere Ekiti, the highest hill in Ekiti State, myth has it that the hill use to be a woman who was feared and worshiped as a goddess of prosperity in Ikere Ekiti, it is lovely sight to behold for picnicking and mountaineering.


Ikogosi entrance 



Ikere Ekiti also host Olosunta Hills, there I was told that there are areas that I cannot visit because it is sacred, I was asked to revisit in the month of August during the festival period in which worshipers go to the mountain for worships.

Besides Olosunta is the Ugele hill, lovely natural sites with a large cave that was said to have been a hiding place for the indigenes in time past and it could take as much as one thousands persons.

Ugele hill


I must confess that the Ero Dam and Lake in Ikun Ekiti, is a beauty to behold, I saw canoes, boats and modern speed boats as they beautify an area of the lake.





I visited the Arinta Water Falls, the Kosegbe Stone close to the old Palace and the Natural Cave along Ipoleloro Water Fall, all in Ipoleloro Ekiti.





I was taken to Erin Ayonigba Sacred Fish River, Erinjiyan-Ekiti, I saw fishes the size of my arms and was told that I can’t enter the river as a stranger and that the fishes there are not for consumption, that it is a taboo to kill a fish in the river.

Erin Ayonigba Sacred Fish River

I also visited the Oke Ewo War Field, (Stone) Centre, Ilupeju Ekiti along the Ibele Araromi road. I was told that it was a war ground between warriors from Ilorin and Egosi Kingdom, were magical powers were used to fight and the war Lord from Ilorin was turned to a stone (Odidi) with his big drum too (Ojongbede) and his camel turned to a tree (Ose tree) a baobab tree.

Fajuyi park


A visit to the ‘Esa Cave’ in Iyin-Ekiti, Irepodun/Ifelodun LGA will amaze you, a very large cave like an underground mighty warehouse, a beautiful place to visit if you have the mind to stay under the rock, but it’s cool to visit with a torchlight.

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at the Ekiti State University





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