Until I got admitted to the University of Ado-Ekiti now Ekiti State University Circa’ 2007, I had never been to Ekiti State, so I knew almost next to nothing about Ekiti people, towns, culture and history beyond few things I read in newspaper and those I watched on TV.
Yes, I hear a lot about Ekiti people as being brilliant, stubborn and as an highly agrarian community people, as my father used to tell me as a child, when I want to run away from farm work because of school exams, that go to “Ekiti, even professors have farms”. Lol
So, visiting Ekiti from Ile-Ife was a perfect Educational Adventure to study a course and a new set of people, to confirm all what I have always been hearing and true to it, almost every claim were as historically brandished and I learned more.
On Campus I was privileged to have come across almost everyone from nearly every town in Ekiti State, in my 5yrs of stay as a student.
Through friendship & voyaging, I have been to no less than 20 Ekiti towns and the memories I keep & record for each, are always funny and unforgettable to me. Few of these honourably mentioned towns are;
– Efon Alaaye – I went there for a burial ceremony in 2009. Very beautiful small town. Cut away from the Ekiti in general, and one would have thought it should be part of Osun. Efon people are special Ekiti who pride themselves as an homogeneous community. Efon is a town that veered off, after a popular stop over junction for motorists called Ita-Ore Junction, when leaving Ekiti or entering “to or from” Osun. By the road side, is a sign board showing the location of a Federal government Girls college, and another showing welcome to Efon- Alaye town. And of course there are many Military stop over almost all the time around the axis, possibly to maintain law and order, with the ever occurring Ekiti Political imbroglio. Lol
– Erio-Ekiti & Aramoko-Ekiti are like my stop over towns, from Ilesha to Ado.
Erio has one funny topography and there is always a trailer’s accident around a sharp bent on entering the town. By the road side, is a beautiful High School called Erio -Gram. School, which still looks like what Old Nigerian high Schools should be with greeny lush and good looking old buildings. This is the only thing I like about Erio town, as every other things about the small community is scary. The roads, the goats sleeping on burial ground and old women starring at you in public transport travelling buses as they move across the town to the state capital aren’t always interesting sights in my early years of to-fro movement in/out Ekiti.
Aramoko Ekiti for me, is a town that serves as the political gateway to Ekiti after Ita-Ore, where you can easily know “who is who” in Ekiti politics by mere studying regular big political posters and banners.
As a political conscious person. I usually enjoy my days travelling through those routes, seeing all manners of Ekiti VIPs flaunting their Credentials on big banners. And the ones I can forget in a hurry, are those of Akin Osuntokun (OBJ Adviser on Political matters) & Sen. Kila (White bearded PDP Senator in those days) & of course Bode Olowoporoku PhD. Economics (I can’t forget this one, cos he wrote his full CV for big board to my chagrin😂).
Beside these, I also know that Aramoko, has good numbers of Muslims than most Ekiti towns, which is largely a Christian state. As a Muslim, I took interest in Aramoko because of this.
– Iyin Ekiti & Igede Ekiti, are also twin sleepy but cool towns, located on your way to Ado-Ekiti. I know Iyin to be the home of Late. Brigadier Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo, his boy, Niyi Adebayo, and ofcos home of Opeyemi Bamidele and Fmr. Aviation minister during Yar’adua days, Omotoba. I see old building of National Bank at Iyin, cottage hospital and one old house that looks like Car park built on top of roof just when you are about leaving Iyin through Eiyemote High School.
Igede is another symbolic town where I we used to have one of the smoothest drive from Aromoko, after which the corner corner drive carefully phobia begins. Between Igede to Ado -Ekiti, there are loads of hilly sloppy nature built that makes driving uninteresting and a silly attempt to overdo might land you in one of Ekitis shallow ditches.
What else do I remember Igede for, if not my perceived believe that it is possibly the Capital home of Baptist Church in the state just like Ogbomoso is for Oyo. ( Lol, I may be wrong though😂).
Beside that route, I have also been privileged to attend a wedding ceremony at Ifaki- Ekiti, home of Engr. Segun Oni and the only Ekiti town my dad used to tell me about, because his Teacher’s training best teacher is from, Ifaki.
On passing through Ifaki to Ilorin, there is also another funny town, Ido-Ekiti, of Ido-Osi Election debacle, where votes were funnily rumoured to be doctored during Ekiti Rerun Gov. Election.
Of course, Ido housed the biggest medical hospital in the state, the Federal Medical Center , Ido-Ekiti.
On my ways to Ilorin or Abuja, I also met so many towns that I can’t recollect again.
Hmn… Iworoko -Ekiti, Lol😂.. This is my maternal Ekiti relationship, also the next Ekiti town that I know so well like Ado.
Ofcos, Ado is the state capital, and seat of Ekiti best of physical beauty. Entering Ado-Ekiti are structures of Ekiti Police Headquarter Office, Old textile mill on the only double lane in the state from Bashiri side of Ado-Ekiti where you will end up seeing first Pedestrian Bridge in the State. Beautiful sights at Ado are the Fajuyi Park, the government house on the right side till you get to see the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti Palace. I also love Oja Oba Market in Ado-Ekiti, where I usually buy food stuffs and I can see miss my customers, as I write. Lol Udiroko Annual Festival at Ado-Ekiti is probably Ekiti biggest cultural festival that attracts many Ado-Ekiti indigenes at Olukayode Stadium and used to be proudly sponsored by MTN, in the days they were still looking for subscribers. Smile.
Moving forward, I also know Otun- Ekiti, having followed some students to MOBA students Election. I know the Oore of Otun Ekiti, my school’s Chancellor after Osemawe of Ondo stopped being, since Unad left Old Ondo State to be in Ekiti.
Usi -Ekiti, is also a very familiar town that I run through, every time I move around Ekiti, and I had stopped there once, while going to Abuja (Can’t recollect when). Usi is best known for a popular annual cultural festival, also blessed with Ekiti biggest poultry/Integrated farm, and one which is own by Usi best son, and former Minister of Education & Aviation, Prof. Babalola Aborishade.
Of course, Omuo-Ekiti is close to Omu Aran (?) (abi na Kabba sef? I have forgotten).
Omuo -Ekiti is home to two of my friends who funnily bear Ayodeji. Omuo is rumoured to harbour many legendary witches that fly during the day.. Lol don’t know if this is true oo😂😂😂. Forgive me if you’re from Omuo reading this.
Also, I have been to Igbara-Odo and slept over on plantain business trip during NYSC with a friend where we had to sleep in a mosque. Igbara-Odo is a twin town to Igbara-Oke, with the latter being off Akure-Ife express way, while the former is in Ekiti. Igbara-Odo is a quiet vegetative town with agricultural splendour.
Others are Are & Afao Ekiti. Are is the hometown of one funny vice Chancellor I met when I was admitted to Ekiti, Prof. Orubuloye, a.k.a Anulla Australia😂.. A Prof of Sociology fond of wearing agbada every time, as a VC and one most students hardly know, because he is always in Australia (where he has strong academic affiliations) enjoying himself, and his popular DVC, Dipo Kolawole a.k.a Ori Ejo🐉😂, Winipeg & Manitoba Canada, will be the one acting as VC, just like when PYO is acting for PMB. Lol
From Are-Ekiti comes another funny Prof of Industrial Chemistry & DVC, Prof. OlaOfe, a man who wouldn’t speak English to you, on faculty’s corridor as he is an amazing typical Local Ekiti man.
Of course, Afao is the country home of Former Governor Ayo Fayose. I attended Fayose’s father’s burial and as expected, it wasn’t a funny experience.. Yes, stomach infrastructure almost made Oga fayose to slap us, because of “the greatest Nigerian Students Atenuje”. I learned my lesson that day from following student activists.
Finally, it is Ikere Ekiti. Ikere is on your way to Akure from Ekiti. An hometown to my first wonderful Ekiti friends. The first time I entered Ikere Ekiti, two things surprised me.
1. Pigs are like domesticated animals, roaming about among goats and hen, and they play on streets like dogs. I was shocked. I thought pigs are often caged. Ikere experience was different somehow.
2. As one who gets fascinated by little things, I noticed that posters of burial ceremonies that I see around in Ikere, all have something in common. Which is, “Old age”. I saw like 5 posters and each of the dead wasn’t lesser than 100yrs in age.
I saw 120yrs, 115yrs, and 109 like thrice. I was really wowed, like “wawuu”. I concluded the natives must be really be living so long, and I was willing to find out, Why, but couldn’t, till I left Ekiti.
Other things I know about Ikere are;
– It is an indeed, a spectacular hilly town with popular Olosunta hill.
– And the town has two Kings, the Ogoga of Ikere & Olukere of Ikere, each having his domain in the town and solving the royal rivalry has since remained unsolved till this very hour.
Beyond that, Ikere is home of Learning after Ado-Ekiti, with the popular Annunciation College and College of Education and as well, the fact that many notable best of Ekitis are from the town. People like literary Icon Prof. Niyi Osundare, front line Politician, Evangelist Bamidele Olumilua and of course, the legal Icon, Chief Wole Olanipekun.
It is noteworthy to also mention few other towns, that I missed being to, and where I would have love visit.
– Ikole- Ekiti (Another home base of Ekiti best of Academicians).
– Oye Ekiti home of Ekiti Federal University & Home of Sen. Ayo Arise.
And of course, Ilawe Ekiti ( because of it’s S-like funny curved roads😂 & topography) and also Ijesha-Isu, Home of Dr. Paul Alabi ( I just love the name and wish to see Dr. Alabi’s yam farm).
– Notably mentioned is Ijero -Ekiti (for nothing serious but sightseeing) & surely, Ikogusi town for the warm spring .
Lol! It’s funny that Inspite of my Ekiti movement, I didn’t visit Ikogusi, even when I had the chances. Well, one day sha & Some day, I know.
I love Ekiti, I can’t ever forget my numerous experiences, which I may write about someday.
What Interesting experience do you have of Ekiti???