BY CLIFFORD NDUJIHE
DUBBED as the Sunshine State, Ondo, which was created on February 3, 1976, has a population of 3,441,024 persons (2006 census) distributed across 18 local councils within a land area of 14,788.723 Square Kilometres.
Located in the South-West geo-political zone of Nigeria, Ondo State is bounded in the North by Ekiti/Kogi states; in the East by Edo State; in the West by Oyo and Ogun states, and in the South by the Atlantic Ocean.
Ondo State is a multi-ethnic state with the majority being Yoruba while there are also the Ikale, Ilaje, Arogbo and Akpoi, who are of Ijaw extraction and inhabit the riverine areas of the state.
The state plays host to 880 public primary schools, and 190 public secondary schools and a number of tertiary institutions including the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State Polytechnic, Owo, Federal College of Agriculture, Akure and Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo.
Arguably, Ondo is one of the most resource-endowed states of Nigeria. It is agriculturally rich with agriculture contributing about 75 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The main revenue yielding crops are cocoa, palm produce and timber. Ondo region is now the core of the Nigerian cocoa belt accounting for about 60 per cent of Nigeria’s annual output.
Other tree crops include kola, rubber, coffee, oilpalm and exotics especially Tectona grandis and Gmelina arborea.
Arable crops like rice, cassava, maize, yam, pepper, beans, tomatoes and a host of other vegetables. are cultivated mostly in the northern part of the state.
The creeks and coastlands of the state are rich in prawns and lobsters and the state is said to have reserve for stock fish.
Ondo is also blessed with mineral resources such as petroleum, tar sand (bitumen), kaolin clay, iron ore, granite and quartz sands.
PAST RULERS OF ONDO STATE
Name Title Took Office Left Office Party
Ita David Ikpeme Governor Mar 1976 Jul 1978 Military
Sunday Tuoyo Governor July 1978 Oct 1979 Military
Michael Adekunle Ajasin Governor Oct 1979 Dec 1983 UPN
Michael Bamidele Otiko Governor Jan1984 Sept 1985 Military
Michael Okhai Akhigbe Governor Sept 1985 Aug 1986 Military
Ekundayo Opaleye Governor Aug 1986 Dec 1987 Military
Raji Alagbe Rasaki Governor Dec 1987 Jul 1988 Military
Bode George Governor Jul 1988 Sept 1990 Military
Sunday Abiodun Olukoya Governor Sept 1990 Jan 1992 Military
Bamidele Olumilua Governor Jan 1992 Nov 1993 SDP
Mike Torey Administrator Dec 1993 Sept 1994 Military
Ahmed Usman Administrator Sept1994 Aug 1996 Military
Anthony Ibe Onyearugbulem Administrator Aug 1996 Aug 1998 Military
Moses Fasanya Administrator Aug1998 May 1999 Military
Adebayo Adefarati Governor May 1999 May 2003 AD
Olusegun Agagu Governor May 2003 Feb 2009 PDP
Olusegun Mimiko Governor Feb 2009 ???? Labour