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Ọsun State
Osun river in Osogbo, Osun state
Osun river in Osogbo, Osun state
Location of Ọsun State in Nigeria
Location of Ọsun State in Nigeria
Country Nigeria
Date created27 August 1991
 • Governor[1]Rauf Aregbesola (ACN)
 • Total9,251 km2 (3,572 sq mi)
Area rank28th of 36
 (1991 census)
 • Total2,203,016
 • Estimate 
 • Rank17th of 36
 • Density240/km2 (620/sq mi)
 • Year2007
 • Total$7.28 billion[2]
 • Per capita$2,076[2]
Time zoneUTC+01 (WAT)
ISO 3166 codeNG-OS

Ọṣun State is an inland state in south-western Nigeria. Its capital is Osogbo. It is bounded in the north by Kwara State, in the east partly by Ekiti State and partly by Ondo State, in the south by Ogun State and in the west by Oyo State. The state's current governor is Rauf Aregbesola, who was declared as the winner of 2007 election by Appeal Court in Ibadan on 26 November 2010. Osun State is home to several of Nigeria's most famous landmarks, including the campus of Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria's pre-eminent institution of higher learning. The university is also located in the ancient town of Ile-Ifẹ, an important early center of political and religious development for Yoruba culture. Other important cities and towns include the ancient kingdom-capitals of Oke-Ila Orangun, Ila Orangun, Ede, Iwo, Ejigbo, Esa-Oke and Ilesa.


The modern Osun State was created in 1991 from part of the old Oyo State. The state's name is derived from the River Osun, the venerated natural spring that is the manifestation of the Yoruba goddess of the same name.[citation needed]

The former Governor Oyinlola launched and laid the foundation for the groundbreaking of Osun State University with six campuses (Osogbo, Okuku, Ikire, Ejigbo, Ifetedo, and Ipetu-Ijesha) strategically located across the state.


Osun temple.

Every year, adherents and non-adherents of Osun, one of the Orisa (the traditional deities of the Yoruba people), travel from all over the world to attend the annual Osun-Osogbo festival in August. Visitors include nationals of Brazil, Cuba, Trinidad, Grenada, and other nations in the Americas with a significant Yoruba cultural heritage. Annual traditional festivities and invocations of the Osun goddess are held along the banks of the river bearing her name into which - according to Yoruba Oratory traditions - she transformed.

Ọṣun-Ọṣogbo Grove, the shrine of the annual rites of the deity and an important artistic center, was declared a World Heritage Site in 2005.


The major sub-ethnic groups in Ọṣun State are Ife, Ijesha, Oyo, Ibolo and Igbomina of the Yoruba people, although there are also people from other parts of Nigeria. Yoruba and English are the official languages. People of Osun State practice Islam, Christianity and paganism called traditional faith.

Muslims and Christians in Osun State

Osun State, created from old Oyo State in August 1991, has a large population of both Muslims and Christians.[3] Among the famous religious leaders from Osun State is the London-based Muslim cleric Sheikh Dr. Abu-Abdullah Adelabu, who hailed from the state's capital city, Osogbo. Osun State government claims to offer services to both Muslims and Christians in the state, especially through Pilgrims Welfare Boards.[4]

Case of Shariah Law in Osun State

The spread of Islam to Yorubaland was accompanied by the institution of Shari’ah (the Islamic law), and Muslims in the area applied it, alongside the Customary and Common Laws during the pre-colonial period before its abolition by the colonial government. However, very little research has been done in this area. Therefore, this study examined the institution of Shari’ah in Oyo and Osun States of Nigeria with reference to Yoruba Customary Law which had been in existence and the Common Law[5].

The study revealed that the British colonialists, during the colonial era, used their authority to replace Shari’ah with Common Law through Indirect Rule. It identified that Shari’ah issue is contentious because of general misunderstanding and misconceptions of its origin, tenets and practices. It also discovered that the agitation of the Muslims in the selected states for Shari'ah was based on the premise that both Yoruba Customary and Common Laws did not cover certain provisions under Shari’ah, such as ‘iddah‘ waiting period for a widow’, al-hadanah ‘custody of children’ and mirath ‘inheritance’[6].

Shariah Courts Inauguration

The study revealed that Muslims found psychological relief in the Shari’ah application in Yorubaland. Despite its official replacement, some Muslims had firm conviction in using Shari’ah; hence, it is applied at individual, private and non-governmental levels as evidenced in the activities of Faya Group in Ikirun, Bamidele Movement in Ibadan and Islahuddin Association in Iwo, as well as the Independent Shari’ah Arbitration Panels in Ibadan and Osogbo. It was discovered that while 93.0% of the Muslim respondents of both states were agitating for the establishment of Shari’ah Courts, 53.0% of the Christian respondents showed negative attitude to the resuscitation. 60.0% of the respondents of Oyo State House of Assembly supported the agitation, but 75.0% of those in Osun State did not[5].

A Shari`ah court was inaugurated in the southern state of Osun on Tuesday, April 25, to look into Muslim civil cases, the second such court in southern Nigeria.[7]. "The court groups senior Muslim scholars and jurists who will rule in Muslims' civil and personal cases according to Shari`ah," said Sheikh Salawudeen Olayiwola, Chairman of the Osun State Muslim Community, which championed the move.[8]

Administrative divisions

Osun State is divided into three federal senatorial districts, each of which is composed of two administrative zones. The state consists of thirty Local Government Areas, the primary (third tier) unit of government in Nigeria. Osun state barely has a flag

Osun State's 30 Local Government Areas are listed below with their headquarters in parentheses:


  1. See List of Governors of Osun State for a list of prior governors
  2. 2.0 2.1 "C-GIDD (Canback Global Income Distribution Database)". Canback Dangel. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
  5. 5.0 5.1

External links

ar:ولاية أوشون de:Osun (Bundesstaat) fr:État d'Osun ko:오순 주 id:Osun it:Osun sw:Jimbo la Osun mrj:Осун (штат) nl:Osun (staat) ja:オスン州 pl:Osun pt:Osun (estado) ro:Statul Osun fi:Osun sv:Osun yo:Ìpínlẹ̀ Ọ̀ṣun zh:奥孙州