Ondo State, Nigeria was created on 3 February 1976 from the former Western State. It originally included what is now Ekiti State, which was split off in 1996. Akure is the state capital.
The state contains eighteen Local Government Areas, the major ones being Akoko, Akure, Okitipupa, Ondo, and Owo. The majority of the state's citizens live in urban centers. The big government universities in Ondo state are the Federal University of Technology Akure, Akure and the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba/Akoko.
The ethnic composition of Ondo State is largely from the Yoruba subgroups of the Akoko, Akure, Ikale, Ilaje, Ondo, and Owo. Ijaw minority (such as Apoi and Arogbo) populations inhabit the coastal areas; while a sizable number of the Ondo State people who speak a variant of the Yoruba language similar to Ife dialect reside in Oke-Igbo. These people are also Yorubas.
Ondo State contains the largest number of public schools in Nigeria - over 880 primary schools and 190 secondary schools.
 Local Government Areas
Ondo State consists of eighteen Local Government Areas. They are:
- Akoko North-East headquarters in Ikare
- Akoko North-West
- Akoko South-East
- Akoko South-West
- Akure North
- Akure South
- Ese Odo
- Ile Oluji/Okeigbo
- Ondo East
- Ondo West
The largest town is Akure.
benin empire and its influence on Ondo state
Benin has been a major influence on the Yoruba subgroups in Ondo State. It established control over Owo, Akure and Ondo in the late 15th century, and by the late 17th century its influence extended to northern Ekiti and Ijesa. Here it came into conflict with Oyo which was making a determined effort to establish its own control over the eastern Yoruba kingdoms. The boundary between the two empires was fixed at Otun (Law, 1977: 129- 31). Benin's main vassal was Akure, though Benin left its Yoruba subjects a good deal of autonomy. Its control over some areas of Ekiti was particularly loose, though it was able to reassert its influence here in the early l9th century (Akintoye, 1971: 27 8; Bradbury, 1973: 49).
In the extreme south of the state, in Okitipupa Division, are the Ikale and Ilaje areas. This is an area of creeks and rain forest. Political centralisation did not develop very far, and in the pre-colonial period there were numerous small independent states. In the colonial period their rulers were in competition for recognition by the British. In Ilaje, for instance, the main conflict was between the Olugbo of Ugbo and the Ampetu of Mahin, both of whom claim an Ife origin, and both of whom claim prior arrival in the area (Barrett, 1977: 15-16). A similar pattern of decentralisation existed in the hilly Akoko area to the north of Owo, in the north-east of the state.
In the central part of the state are the larger kingdoms of Ondo and Owo, in both of which a ruling dynasty succeeded in extending its authority over surrounding settlements (Obayemi, 1976: 224-8).
Benin influence is strong in the political systems of both. In Ondo the names of many of the senior titles are similar to those of titles in Benin. The descent group of one of the senior chiefs, the Jomu, originated from Benin, and it is possible that that of the ruler, the Osemawe, did as well. The Ondo traditions trace its descent from a daughter of Oduduwa, one of a pair of twins driven out of Ife with their mother. The ruler of Epe, a small town to the north of the capital, traces descent from the male twin, and the ritual seniority of Epe is still acknowledged in the f)semawe's accession rites. As Ondo expanded it established control over a number of neighbouring settlements, ruled by the Oloja. The process of absorption was not entirely completed, and conflict between the oba and the oloja over their respective rights continues until the present (Lloyd, 1962: 110-11). Centralised states developed through a similar process in the neighbouring Ile Oluji and Idanre areas.
The social organisation of Ondo differs in several ways from that of most other Yoruba kingdoms. Chiefships are vested mainly in title associations rather than descent groups, and there are also differences in residence and landtenure patterns.
Benin cultural influence is, if anything, even stronger in Owo. It is in the extreme east of Yorubaland, bordering on Benin, and at its height it controlled an area extending northwards through Akoko to Kabba. Its former strength is reflected in the palace of its ruler, the Olowo, which is the largest in any Yoruba kingdom (Ojo,1966a: 38-42). The process by which the kingdom was established appears to have been similar to that in Ondo (Obayemi, 1976: 227). An incoming dynasty, possibly from the Idanre area, gradually extended its control over small states with political systems similar to those among the Kabba Yoruba to the north.
Bordering on Ondo and Owo are the Ekiti kingdoms. There are nearly twenty of these. They remained independent of each other in the precolonial period, but they maintained close relations, involving trade and dynastic marriages (Akintoye, 1971: 23 4). The most senior ruler was the Ore of Otun, but the largest kingdoms were Ado, Ikere and Akure. Akure was the area of Ekiti most closely controlled by Benin. In the colonial period it became the administrative centre for Ondo Province, and is now the Ondo State capital.
After 1854, Ibadan destroyed many of the Ekiti towns, and those that survived were placed under the control of Ibadan administrators. The unpopularity of Ibadan rule led to a rebellion in 1876, followed by a long war into which most of the other large Yoruba states were drawn. At the start of the colonial period, two of the most northerly towns, Obo and Otun, were included in Northern Nigeria, but after some agitation the border was redrawn and Otun was included in the south (Akintoye, 1970).
Ondo State includes some of the most prosperous Yoruba areas. The cocoa industry spread to Ondo and Owo in the 1930s and to Ekiti in the 1950s. The availability of land attracted migrant farmers from further west. The population is predominantly Christian, and rates of education are among the highest in the country.