Edo state is located in Southern Nigeria and is bordered to the east by Delta State, west by Ondo State, and North by Kogi State. The State is the entrance to the key economic hubs of the south-south and South-East regions, including Asaba, Warri, and Agbor in Delta State; Onitsha in Anambra State, Aba in Abia State as well as Port Harcourt in River State. ‘‘The State is located within latitude 5 0 30' and 7 0 25’ north of the equator and longitudes 5 0 00’ and 60 50’ east of the Greenwich Meridian. Its tropical climate is dominated by high temperature, high humidity and heavy rainfall. It is characterized by two distinct seasons, the wet season which lasts between March and November and the dry season which lasts between November and February of each year. Secondary and tertiary activities such as commerce, industry, and social services are the dominant occupation of the people including agriculture. Agricultural production has been favored over time by the rich and well drained sandy loamy soil which supports the growth of food and cash crops. The vegetation is made up of forest in the south, savannah in the north and the mixed or derived savannah in the central part of the state.’’
Ancient Benin has its capital as Edo and modern-day Edo state has its capital as Benin city. Benin city is the State’s Central Business District, with Ekpoma, Uromi, and Auchi serving as adjoining commercial centers. Together, these four commercial centers host a larger share of the state population given their roles as principal commercial centres within their host local governments. The history of present-day Edo State focuses on the life and times of ancient Kingdoms such as the Benin Kingdom, the Esan Kingdom, and the Auchi Kingdom. The Benin Kingdom, located in the Edo Southern region, is the earliest form of monarchical system in the state with historical trace to the modern-day Ife in Osun State. For centuries, several Obas of Benin have reigned within the Benin Kingdom with their domain covering the Bini people and even beyond. The Benin Empire or Edo Empire (1440-1897) was a large pre-colonial African state of modern Nigeria as well as an economic and political power. The first Oba was Eweka I who died in 1246. It was through trading slaves with the Europeans that the Empire grew rich in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Thus, there are indications that the ancient Benin kingdom had earlier signs of agricultural development and light manufacturing. According to Bondarenko and Roese (1999) ‘by the 1st century BC, the Benin territory was partially agricultural; and it became primarily agricultural by around 500 AD, though hunting and gathering remained important. By 500 AD, iron was in use by the inhabitants of the Benin territory.’’ Graham (2004) added, ‘’Benin City (formerly Edo) sprang up by around 1000 AD, in a forest that could be easily defended. The dense vegetation and narrow paths made the city easy to defend against attacks. The rainforest, which Benin City is situated in, helped in the development of the city because of its vast resources — fish from rivers and creeks, animals to hunt, leaves for roofing, plants for medicine, ivory for carving and trading, and wood for boat building’'
Esans Kingdom, located in the Edo Central region, comprises 35 clans scattered throughout the Edo central region. Oral traditions hold that the Esans are partly of the Benin Origin as the word Esan means ‘break away’ from the Binis. It is believed that some princes of the Bini Kingdom left Benin and moved to Esanland mixing up with the Natives. It is also believed that one of the Obas of Benin, Oba Eware appointed the Onojie of Esanland with the Onjie paying tribute to the Oba. Despite this, several wars have been reported between the Esan and Binis. Thus, present-day Esanland is divorced from the Benin Kingdom although close similarities and culture exist amongst them. Esan people are quite popular for their agricultural practice; popular products include cash and food crops with a huge population employed in the farm sector.
The Auchi Kingdom, located in Edo North, is also a large dynasty covering the Etsako people and spanning to present-day Akoko Edos. Earlier history indicates that one of the Princes of the Benin Kingdom, who left the Kingdom due to a brief quarrel with the Oba at the time on whose right it is to own a leopard skin after a hunt settled with his family and other supporters in present-day Auchi. However, the history of Auchi is not complete without the influence of the Nupe tribe residence in Bida who dominated Auchi land between 1860-1897. The Nupe’s appointed a traditional head called the Otaru of Auchi Kingdom who collected taxes from the people.