Edo State is an inland state in central southern Nigeria. Its capital is Benin City. Edo state is one of the oil producing states of Nigeria. It is a place you will enjoy visiting because of its beautiful people and cultural heritage. The ancient Benin kingdom is well known for its artifacts and local crafts. The state is bounded by Delta to the south, Ondo to the west, and Kogi in the Northeast.
There are 18 Local Government Areas in the state so there are enough grounds to cover. They include; Akoko Edo, Egor, Esan Central, Esan West, Esan Northeast, Esan Southeast, Etsako west, Orhiomwon, Ovia Northeast, Ovia Southwest, Orun west, Uhumwonde, Igueben, Ikpoba Okha and Oredo. The main language spoken here is the Edo dialects, Pidgin English and English language. You are definitely going to see many plantations in this terrain as the indigenes are predominantly farmers who grow plantain, rubber, cocoa, cassava, and yam and so on.
You will get to Edo state through the expressways of Ondo, Delta and Kogi states. If you are visiting from any part of the country through the air route, then the Benin Airport located in Benin City is your destination. The airport serves Benin City, the states’ capital. The airport has its runway in the middle of the city.
PLACES TO TOUR
One of the things to see in the state is the Emotan statue. It is located in Benin City opposite the Oba’s market. The Emotan statue is a life-size statue designed in honor of Emotan, a trade chieftain who used to trade at the Oba’s market in the Ancient Benin Kingdom. He was popular during the reigns of Oba Uwafiokun and Oba Ewuare the Great. The statue was unveiled in 1954 by Oba Akenzua II. You have to bring your camera along to capture this ancient statue.
The state is known for artifacts and sculptures. One of the places you can see these is Igun-Eronmwon quarters. Lover of arts usually visit this place popularly known as ‘Igun Street’. It is listed as a Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO. It is home to the bronze/brass casting industries in Benin City. You would admire, learn from the bronze casting processes from the various stages. Make sure you bring along your credit card(s) as you can purchase any piece of your choice here.
One of the ancient museums in West Africa is the National Museum located in the capital city of Benin. There, you will learn more about the city’s history and culture by visiting its museum. This National Museum houses various antiques and bronze artwork originally from the ancient Benin Kingdom.
When you visit Edo State, you have to see one of the wonders of the world. The Benin Moat which is also called ‘Iya’ is the largest man-made earthwork in the world. It predates the use of modern earth moving equipments or technology in these parts. The moat encircles the perimeter of the city and was constructed as a defensive barrier in times of war. Oba Oguola in about 1280-1295 dug the first and second moats to fortify the city from invaders.
You haven’t tour the state if you didn’t see the Oba of Benin’s palace. It is home to several great rulers from the Benin Kingdom. The palace is located in the heart of Benin City. It is one of the popular sites in the state. The palace has been in existence since 900AD. The current structure was built in 1914, and is actually one-tenth of the original palace which was destroyed by the British Forces. The palace has an array of local art and crafts, and historical places.