Ogun State is a unique state in Nigeria. Aside being a gateway to other states and countries, it has produced icons and pioneers who were firsts in their various fields of human endeavours in the country.
The history of Nigeria will also be incomplete without the mention of illustrious sons and daughters of the state who played and continue playing historical and pioneering roles in the country.
The inexhaustive list which include both the living and the dead caught across professions like law, banking, medicine, accounting, education, missionary, music, telecommunication, politics and journalism among several others.
It is on records that the state has produced the highest numbers of Senior Advocates of Nigeria, (SAN) and medical doctors among other professions in the country.
Aside individual achievements, the state is also reputed to host the first church in Nigeria, St. Peters Church, as well as the first Bible both of which are domicilled in Ake area of Abeokuta, the state capital.
The state also has the largest concentration of universities in the country as well as plays host to many religious camps/churches and industrial plants than any other state in the country.
It also hosts the first newspaper in Nigeria, called "Iwe Irohin", the first University of Education in Nigeria and the second storey building in the country.
The youngest Speaker of the House of Representative in the legislative history of Nigeria, Rt. Hon. Oladimeji Subar Bankole hails from the state.
One of the founding fathers of Nigeria, the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who died on May 9, 1987 also hailed from the state. So also the late Frederick Rotimi Williams, who was the first lawyer to be a Senior Advocate of Nigeria. (SAN)
The first female Nigerian to wear the SAN gown, Folake Solanke, the first Nigerian judge to sit on the Supreme Court Bench, Hon. Justice Olumuyiwa Jibowu and Nigeria's first indigenous Chief Justice of Nigeria, the late Sir Adetokunbo Ademola also hailed from the state.
The state is also proud to have produced the first Nigerian females to own and drive a car.
While the late industrialist, Chief Efunroye Tinubu was reputed to have owned a motor car, the late Funmilayo Ransome Kuti was the first female Nigerian to drive a car.
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, an illustrious son of the state remains Nigerian first ever on whom providence put the leadership of the country upon both as military head of state and later civilian president,
Late Chief Ernest Shonekan, who remains Nigeria's shortest ruler by the numbers of days spent in the office also hails from the state. Oladipo Diya, now of blessed memory one time vice military president in the country also hailed from the state.
Prof. Wole Soyinka, playwright, social critic and the first African Nobel Laureate in Literature also hails from the state, just as the late doyen of Accounting in Nigeria, Chief Akintola Williams.
Chief (Mrs) Toyin Olakunrin, first female Chartered Accountant in Nigeria, Chief (Mrs) Bola Kuforiji-Olubi, first African woman to lead a public quoted company and first female editor of a national newspaper, Dr. Doyin Abiola are distinguished daughters of the state.
The late Hon. Justice Olumuyiwa Jibowu, the first Nigerian Judge to sit on the Supreme Court Bench and first female surgeon in West Africa, the late Dr. (Mrs) Stella Adeperu Adeoba also hailed from the state.
Doyen of Nigerian Theatre, the late Chief Hubert Adedeji Ogunde, the first Nigerian to participate in the Olympic Games, Dr. Adedoyin and Nigeria's first minister of health, the late Dr. Moses Adekoyejo Majekodunmi were also distinguished indigenes of the state.
Chief Mrs Ebun Oyagbola, first female minister of cabinet rank in Nigeria, Nigeria's first ECOMOG Commander, the late General Tunji Olurin, first Nigerian to win Olympic silver and bronze medals, Mrs. Falilat Ogunkoya-Omotayo are also ambassadors of the state.
First Nigerian to establish an indigenous bank, Agbonmagbe Bank, now Wema Bank, Chief M.A. Okupe and founder of first indigenous Merchant Bank in Nigeria, (FCMB), the late Otunba Subomi Balogun hailed from the state. Nigeria's pioneer corporate lawyer, Chief Chris Ogunbanjo was also from the state until his death last month.
Otunba (Dr.) Mike Adenuga Jnr, Chairman/Chief Executive Offcer of the first indigenous telecommunication company in Nigeria, Glo, is an indigene of the state.
The first Nigerian to obtain a Ph.D in Architecture, the late Olowu of Owu-Abeokuta, Oba (Dr.) Adisa Odeleye and the first Niigerian to read international law, the late Segun Awolowo also hailed from the state.
Other indigenes of the state, who at one time or the other affected the political, economic fortune of Nigeria, include the late Nigerian philanthropist and the acclaimed winner of the historic June 12, 1993 Presidential Election.Bashorun MKO Abiola.
Bukola Elemide (Asa), an international female singer and Chief Adebutu Kessington, the founder of the legal gambling in Nigeria both hail from the state.
Nigeria's pioneer psychiatrist, the late Prof. Thomas Adeoye Lambo and the first Nigerian to own a private secondary school, the late Chief Adeola Odutola were of Ogun stock.
The first Professor of medicine in Nigeria, Prof.Theophilus Oladipo Ogunlesi, pioneer Nigerian professor of philosophy Dr. Olubi Sodipo, first female doctor in Nigeria, Dr. Elizabeth Abimbola Awoliyi and the first female Chief Press Secretary to a governor in Nigeria, Mrs. Funmi Wakama are both Ogun indigenes.
Dr. Olu Abolurin, pioneer Commandant, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence and the first Director General of Nigerian Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Major-General T.B. Ogundeko (retd.) are from Ogun.
Other prominent indigenes of the state, who have excelled in their professions are the former governor of the state, Aremo Olusegun Osoba in journalism.
The late Afrobeat King, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, the late Apala kings, Haruna Ishola, Ayinla Omowura were also from the state. So also are Juju maestros, Chief Ebenezer Obey, Sir Shina Peters Adewale Ayuba, Dapo Daniel Oyebanji (D'banj) Wasiu Ayinde Marshall (K1) among several others.