Posted by on 2/4/2003 1:43:06 PM
Post Comment PEOPLE, POPULATION Nigeria

Ethnic Composition, Languages, Culture and the Arts: Kwara State is currently dominated by three major ethnic groups, i.e, the Yoruba, Nupe and Baruba. The last group is found mainly in Kaiama and Baruten local government areas, while the Nupes dominate Edu and Patigi local govern ment areas. The Yorubas, who are in the majority, are found in the remaining twelve local government areas, i.e. at Asa, Ekiti, OkeEro, lfelodun, llorin East, llorin West, llorin South, Irepodun, Isin, Moro Offa and Oyun.

Sharia Court of Appeal, llorin
Sharia Court of Appeal, llorin

However, some Fulanis and Hausas are spread across Edu, Patigi, Kaiama, Baruten, llorin East, llorin West, llorin South, Moro and Asa local government areas. Some notable cultural attractions in the state are the Patigi regatta in Patigi, the Shao mass wedding festival in Moro, the Egungun and Layewu festivals in Irepodun, Isin and lfelodun areas.

Egungun and acrobatic displays are peculiar to parts of Asa, while Epa festival is a common cultural feature in OkeEro and Ekiti. Deity worship festivals, such as Ogun and Shango festivals, are also fairly common within the Yoruba speaking areas of the state.

Christian and Muslim festivals are equal ly celebrated with pomp and pageantry in all local government areas of the state. The state is also noted for some works of art, which include pottery, weaving, dyeing, leather works, embroidery and net making. The govern ment agencies in charge of promoting arts and cul ture in the state are the Kwara State Tourism Board and the Kwara State Centre for Arts and Culture, and so far, they have done very well.

Population: The State's distribution of population among the local government areas is shown in Table 23.3. With an average density of fortyeight persons per sq. km., Kwara is one of the most sparsely populated states in Nigeria, given the national average of ninetysix persons per sq. km.

Circular Hotel, llorin
Circular Hotel, llorin

Urban and Rural Development: One of the most visible indicators of the level of development in a geopolitical setting, such as Kwara State, is the quality of the human settlements visavis the structure and pattern of the urban and rural areas. The state currently has about 4,000 settlements of varying sizes and structures dotted on its land scape. Nevertheless, only llorin , Offa, OrnuAran and Oro can truly be classified as urban. These places collectively harbour more than thirty percent of the state's population. On the whole therefore, it Most of the settlements, however, whether urban or rural, are not planned.

Until recently, little or no attention was paid to physical planning and this has largely resulted in the present outmoded N urban structures with their attendant poor aesthetics. The internal structure of the urban settlements in the state is characterised by three dominant land uses residential, industrial and institutional. The residential landuse pattern is classifiable into three ,e categories, old and new residential land areas and in the government reservation areas (GRAs).

The old residential areas are usually inhabited by the indigenes of the towns, with the residences of the traditional heads/rulers usually at the centre. These areas are usually exclusively for the indigenes and used to be enclosed with thick and highrising mud walls. In the case of llorin, the indigenes reside generally within these oldcore areas. On the other hand, the new residential areas are settlements for non indigenes and migrants that live together in compounds and houses within the same geographical area.

The old idea of Government Reservation Area, as an area set aside exclusively for govern ment officials, is fast fading out. This is because nongovernment officials such as businessmen, military officers, etc. are now allocated personal to plots of land for the erection of their own private residences. Some of such government reservation areas have equally been marked out or set aside for industrial and institutional purposes.

Usually, these of industrial areas are towards the fringe of the urban II settlement while the institutional landuse types, particularly the nursery/primary schools, are interspersed with the residential landuse category. It must be noted, however, that most of the states secondary and tertiary institutions were originally located at points that were then regarded as urban il fringes, but which presently have become part of the heart of the settlement, due largely to urban , growth and development.

The general level of socio-economic well being of most of the rural inhabitants is still rather low and a this has tended to lead to the outmigration of the indigenes to nearby urban settlements, especially ht llorin, the administrative seat of Kwara State Government.

Problem of Urban Primacy: llorin is by far the largest city in Kwara State. Its preeminent position ,e has greatly increased since the 1991 state creation exercise when Okene was excised from the state With a population of about 570,000 in 1991, llorin is ie a primate city in Kwara State as none of the other g urban areas has a population of up to 80,000. Currently, over seventy percent of the industrial establishments in the state are located at llorin, where all the tertiary institutions are also located.

Opportunities offered by these establishments along with the administrative openings in the state civil service continue to attract migrants into llorin City. The usual problems associated with overconcentration of population in one major metropolitan area in a state are noticeable in Kwara State. These include extreme congestion and pressure on available social infrastructure, moral decadence, violence, robbery and prostitution. Government has sought to tackle these prob lems by improving the livability of rural areas.

Thus, social infrastructure such as educational and health facilities, water and electricity supply facilities, motorable roads, modern markets, decent housing and clean environment, etc. are now regarded as inevitable basic needs of everyone, irrespective of where they live. The now defunct Directorate of Foods, Roads and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI) and the Better Life programme in the late 1980s and early 1990s and the project executed by several other government and nongovernmental organisa tions have helped to promote rural liveability in Kwara State, as elsewhere in the country.

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