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Jàbàtá Òyó
Ọ̀yọ́ Àtìbà, Òyó Aláàfin
Picture taken of calabash carving in Oyo, Oyo State, of present-day Nigeria
Picture taken of calabash carving in Oyo, Oyo State, of present-day Nigeria
Ajíse Bí'Ọ̀yọ̀ Làárí
Country Nigeria
StateOyo State
 • AlaafinLamidi Adeyemi III
 • Total2,427 km2 (937 sq mi)
 • Total428,798
 • Density180/km2 (460/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (WAT)

Oyo[1] is an ancient city in Oyo State, Nigeria. It was founded as the capital of the remnant of the historic Oyo empire in the 1830s, and is known to its people as 'New Oyo' (Ọ̀yọ́ Àtìbà) to distinguish it from the former capital to the north, 'Old Oyo' (Ọ̀yọ́-Ilé), which had been deserted as a result of the Yoruba Revolutionary Wars. Its inhabitants are mostly of the Yoruba people, and its ruler is the Alaafin of Oyo.


Due to the dominant position that the Oyo empire had in medieval West Africa, the members of the Oyo clan of the Yoruba people were commonly thought of as being the tribe's ruling elite. This was true to such an extent, in fact, that the Yoruba historian Samuel Johnson reported that the Egbas - who began as an Oyo offshoot - once determined social rank within their clan by way of whether or not an Egba could trace his or her descent back to Oyo.[2]


Oyo is home to five higher institutions; these are the Federal College of Education, Ajayi Crowther University, Emmanuel Alayande College of Education (Erelu Campus and Isokun Campus), Federal School of Surveying(The only school of surveying in Sub-sahara Africa, and Atiba University.

It houses numerous public and private secondary schools such as Olivet Baptist High School, School of Science, Saint Benardine Girls Grammar School, Ladigbolu Grammar School, Oranyan Grammar School, Emmanuel Alayande Model High School, Aatan Baptist Comprehensive High School, Shepherd's Field International College, Nesto College, SPED International College etc.

There are numerous primary schools both private and public with new crop of alleged "mushroom" private schools.


The major markets in the city include the Akesan market, the Ajegunle market, the Owode market, the Saabo market, Oparinde (Oja-Oke) market and the Irepo market.

Oyo houses branches of different banks such as GT Bank (Owode), First bank, Zenith Bank, Access Bank, Eco Bank, United Bank for Africa etc and some other microfinance banks and cooperatives. It also has grocery stores and supermarkets such as the Ace Supermarket and Stores, Joba Pharmacy and Stores, Labake Stores etc. The city is the home of many hangout spots such as the Old Oyo National Park which contains a museum(holding artifacts from the ancient Òyó Empire) and a few animals. Some hotels in Oyo include Labamba Hotel, Tees resort and bar, Begonia hotel, Adesh Hotel, Gold N Rock Hotel, Galaxy Hotel etc.

Local governance and location

The city has four LGAs viz: Atiba LGA, headquartered at Offa-Meta; Oyo East LGA, headquartered at Kosobo; Oyo West LGA, headquartered at Ojongbodu and Afijio LGA, headquartered at Jobele.

The city is centrally located on the dual carriage A1 expressway from Lagos which links it from Ibadan all the way to "Ilorin

Popular culture

Death and the King's Horseman, a play by the Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, is based on an incident that happened in Oyo in 1946.[3] The Palace Owner, a praise poem by Basit Ajibade is based on the prowess of Oyo kings.

Notable residents


  1. ^ "Ifa, Home". Archived from the original on 15 September 2017. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  2. ^ Johnson 1921.
  3. ^ Author's Note


  • Johnson, Samuel (1921), The History of the Yorubas, from the earliest times to the beginning of the British protectorate.

This page was last edited on 8 October 2021, at 11:33
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