Akure is a city in the southwestern region of Nigeria, and is the largest city and capital of Ondo State. The city has a population of approximately 387,087. The people are of the Yoruba ethnic group.
Rock engravings dating back to the Mesolithic period, have been discovered on the outskirts of Akure, as has the oldest Homo Sapiens fossil to have been found in West Africa to thus far, dating back to around 11,000 years ago.
Folklore mentioned the city was founded by a descendant children of Oduduwa, the progenitor of the Yoruba people. The Prince left Ile-Ife in search of a place to settle just as many other Yoruba cities were founded by Princes. The heavy royal beads on his neck was to have broken with the beads running off, thereby deciphering this must be the place Olorun (God) wants him to settle at, hence the name "Àkún rę" (Beads broken), later becoming Akure.
Akure's King is known as the Deji of Akure and supported by five high chiefs under the domain. It was said one of the high chiefs caught a tiger (perhaps a leopard), thereby adding an appellation to the city's name Akure Oloyemekun (Chief caught a tiger alive) or Oyemekun for short. The Oba's Palace is located at the centre of the town. It is a very old palace. The palace has over 15 courtyards with each having its unique purpose, Ua nla, Ua Ibura, Ua jemifohun, Ua Ikomo are some of the courtyards. For example, in the Ua ubura courtyards oaths are taken, and the ua Ikomo is for naming ceremonies. This explains that each courtyard has a specific function that it serves. Presently a bigger and modern palace is being built on the southern edge of the old palace. Oja Oba, which translates to mean the Oba's Market is just a stone throw from the Palace.
Akure has two television and three radio stations, NTA Akure, Ondo State Television, Sunshine Radio Akure,Adaba FM and Positive FM Akure. Akure is the trade center for a farming region where cocoa, yams, cassava, corn and tobacco are grown. Cotton is also grown and used to weave cloth.
The state specialist hospital in Akure is well equipped and staffed with well trained medical personnel to cater for health problems of the populace. To supplement the efforts of the state specialist hospital in meeting the medical needs of the populace. There are other government health centres and several private clinics.
The city has tertiary institutions which include, the Federal University of Technology Akure, Federal College of Agriculture, School of Nursing and Midwifery and School of Health Technology. It also has famous secondary schools like St. Thomas Aquinas College, Oyemekun Grammar School, St. Louis Grammar School, and Fiwasaye Girls' Grammar School. The first two are for boys while the latter two are for girls in the tradition of early schools in Nigeria. The town is also host to Federal Government Girls' College and St. Peter's Unity Secondary School, amongst many others.
Nearby towns include Ilara, Igbaraoke, Iju, Itaogbolu, Idanre, Owo, Ikere and Ondo.
It is the birthplace of notable Nigerians like Chief Olu Falae (one time presidential candidate of a mega political party), Chief Reuben Fasoranti (leader of pan-Yoruba group: Afenifere) and several personalities in industry, academia Philip Emeagwali , military, judiciary and the civil service. It is also the birth place of Kole Omotosho. The notable lawyer, Kayode Ajulo is also one of the city's proud products, he attended St. Thomas Aquinas College.
For sporting events, Akure has a stadium with a capacity of 15,000 spectators. A new state of the art stadium is presently under construction on the northern flank of the city. The town is the home base of Globalcom Premier league team, the Sunshine Stars.