Northern States

Northern Nigeria was an autonomous division within Nigeria, distinctly different from the southern part of the country, with independent customs, foreign relations and security structures. In 1962 it acquired the territory of the British Northern Cameroons, which voted to become a province within Northern Nigeria.

Nineteen Northern States

Adamawa State

Adamawa is a state in northeastern Nigeria, whose capital and largest city is Yola. In 1991, when Taraba State was carved out from Gongola State, the geographical entity Gongola State was renamed Adamawa State, with four administrative divisions: Adamawa, Michika, Ganye, Mubi and Numan. Before it became a state in Nigeria, Adamawa was a subordinate kingdom of the Sultanate of Sokoto which also included much of northern Cameroon. The rulers bear the title of emir (“lamido” in the local language, Fulfulde).

The name “Adamawa” came from the founder of the kingdom, Modibo Adama, a regional leader of the Fulani Jihad organized by Usman dan Fodio of Sokoto in 1804. Modibo Adama came from the region of Gurin (now just a small village) and in 1806, received a green flag for leading the jihad in his native country. In the following years, Adama conquered many lands and tribes. In 1838, he moved his capital to Ribadu, and in 1839, to Joboliwo. In 1841, he founded Yola, where he died in 1848. After the European colonization (first by Germany and then by Britain), the rulers remained as emirs and the line of succession has continued to the present day

 

Bauchi State

Bauchi State takes its name from the historic town of Bauchi, which also serves as the capital city and is located in the North East of Nigeria. The state was formed in 1976 when the former North-Eastern State was broken up. It originally included the area now in Gombe State, which became a distinct state in 1996.

 

The city was founded by Yaqub ibn Dadi, the only non-Fulani flag-bearer of the Sokoto Empire. The name was derived from a hunter called Baushe, who advised Yaqub to build his city west of the Warinje mountain. In return Yaqub promised to name his city after the hunter.

Benue State

Benue State is named after the Benue River and was formed from the former Benue-Plateau State in 1976, along with Igala and some part of Kwara State. In 1991 some areas of Benue state (mostly Igala area), along with areas in Kwara State, were carved out to become part of the new Kogi State. Igbo people are found in the boundary areas like the Obi, Oju etc.

Benue State is one of the Middle Belt states in Nigeria with a population of about 4,253,641 in 2006 census. It is inhabited predominantly by the Tiv, Idoma,Igede and Etulo peoples, who speak Tiv, Idoma, Igede and Etulo languages respectively. Its capital is Makurdi.

Benue is a rich agricultural region; popularly grown crops includes; oranges, mangoes, sweet potatoes, cassava, soya bean, guinea corn, flax, yams, sesame, rice, groundnuts, and Palm Tree. Benue State as it exists today is a surviving legacy of an administrative entity which was carved out of the protectorate of northern Nigeria at the beginning of the twentieth century. The territory was initially known as Munshi Province until 1918 when the name of its dominant geographical feature, the ‘Benue River’ was adopted.

Borno State

Borno State, is a state in north-eastern Nigeria. Its capital and largest city is Maiduguri. The state was formed in 1976 from the split of the North-Eastern State. Until 1991 it contained what is now Yobe State. The motto or slogan of the state is “Home of Peace”. Borno is the homeland of the Kanuri people in Nigeria and several other ethnic groups.

 

The state has a predominance of Kanuri people. Other ethnic groups such as Lapang, Babur/Bura and Marghi are also found in the southern part of the state. Shuwa Arabs are mainly the descendants of Arab people and is an example of the endurance of traditional political institutions in some areas of Africa, where the emirs of the former Kanem-Bornu Empire have played a part in the politics of this area for nearly 1,000 years. The current Kanemi dynasty gained control of the Borno Emirate in the early 19th century after the Fulani jihad of Usman Dan Fodio. Conquered by Rabih in 1893, Borno was invaded by the British, French and Germans at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1902, the British officially incorporated Borno into the Northern Nigeria Protectorate and established a new capital at Maiduguri or Yerwa in 1907, which remains the capital to this day

Gombe State

 

Gombe, usually referred to as Gombe State to distinguish it from its capital city Gombe, is located in northeastern Nigeria and is one of the country’s 36 states. The boundaries of the state roughly correspond to those of the Tangale-Waja Chiefdom and Gombe Emirate, a traditional state. The state is chiefly inhabited by indigenous tribes which TANGALE constitute the majority amongst the indigenous tribes and Hausa/Fulani settlers

The state has an area of 20,265 km² and a population of around 2,365,000 people as of 2006.

 

The State’s slogan is the Jewel In The Savannah, Gombe emirate was founded in 1804 by Buba Yero (Abubakar), a follower of the Muslim Fulani leader Usman dan Fodio. The emirate headquarters of Gambe was established about 1824 and renamed Gombe Aba (“Old Gombe”) in 1841. The emirate prospered until the 1880s, when religious warfare and the encroachment of British colonial rule brought severe disruption to the area. The emirate capital was moved in 1913 to Nafada and in 1919 to Doma, which was then renamed Gombe.

Jigawa State

Jigawa State—created out of the old Kano State in August 1991—is one of the 36 states in Federal Republic of Nigeria. The agitation for the creation of the state was led by Malam Inuwa-Dutse, a former commissioner in the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources during the governorship of late Audu Bako, the governor of old Kano State (comprising present Kano and Jigawa states). By the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, the state comprises 27 local government councils, which are divided into 30 state constituencies, grouped into 11 federal constituencies and 3 senatorial districts. These 27 local government councils were further subdivided into 77 development areas by law No. 5 of 2004 of the State House of Assembly. In line with the democratic setting in the country, the governments at both the state and local government levels are elected, and comprise an executive with a unicameral legislature. The state legislature has 30 elected members each representing one of the state constituencies. To complete the state governance structure, there is an independent state judiciary as the third arm of government.

 

 

Kaduna State

Kaduna is the state capital of Kaduna State in north-western Nigeria, on the Kaduna River. It is a trade centre and a major transportation hub for the surrounding agricultural areas, with its rail and road junction. The population of Kaduna was at 760,084 as of the 2006 Nigerian census.

It is indicative that the name, Kaduna, was taken up by Lord Frederick Lugard and his colonial colleagues when they moved the capital of the then Northern Region from Zungeru to Kaduna city in 1916. This move of the colonial office to Kaduna city started in 1912–1918/20 with the initial effort having been made in 1902 from Jebba to Zungeru.

In 1967, the old Northern Region was divided into six states in the north, leaving Kaduna as the capital of North-Central State, whose name was changed to Kaduna State in 1976. Meanwhile, Kaduna State was further divided in 1987, creating Katsina State. Under the governance of Kaduna are the ancient cities of Zaria, Kafanchan, and Nok, the area where Africa’s earliest civilization is recorded to have been excavated.

Kaduna State is the Center of Learning, and home of the famous River Kaduna. The river and the state are synonymous, The name of the state capital even originates from the river as well. Kada is a hausa word meaning crocodile and Kadduna is the plural form of Kada. The name makes a lot of sense as the area in question was habitat for crocodiles, many year ago.

Kaduna became the capital of the defunct Northern Region, made up of the present 19 Northern States including Abuja in 1958 and has retained the status of a capital since then. When new states were created in 1967, it subsequently became the capital of the erstwhile North Central State which was later renamed Kaduna State as a result of the creation of additional states in 1976. The then Kaduna State comprised of the former Zaria and Katsina Provinces and remained so until 23″September, 1987 when Katsina State was carved out of the old Kaduna State.

 

Kano State

Kano state was created on May 27, 1967.[6] In 1991, part of Kano State was separated to form Jigawa State.

Kano is one of the Hausa Bakwai and the principal inhabitants of the city are the Hausa people. However, there is a significant Fula population. As in most parts of Northern Nigeria, the Hausa language is widely spoken in Kano. The city is the capital of the Kano Emirate. The current emir, Aminu Ado Bayero, was enthroned on 9 March 2020 after the last emir Muhammadu Sanusi II was deposed. The city’s Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, the main airport serving northern Nigeria, was named after politician Aminu Kano.

Katsina State

Katsina, town, capital of Katsina state, northern Nigeria, near the Niger border. Probably founded about 1100 near Ambuttai, which was the residence of Katsina’s Hausa kings and the annual meeting place for the rulers of nearby Durbi, the town was named for Kacinna (Katsena, Katsina), the wife of Janzama (a Durbawa king of the time) and a princess of Daura (the legendary home of the Hausa people, 49 miles [79 km] east). After a period (c. 1513–54) under the Songhai askias (“emperors”), Katsina became the chief trans-Saharan caravan centre of the Hausa states from the late 16th century and remained so until about 1815, when it was surpassed by Kano and was bypassed by new trade routes running south to the Gulf of Guinea coast.

 

Kebbi State

Kebbi is a state in north-western Nigeria with its capital at Birnin Kebbi. The state was created out of a part of Sokoto State in 1991. Kebbi State is bordered by Sokoto StateNiger StateZamfara StateDosso Region in the Republic of Niger and the nation of Benin. It has a total area of 36,800 km2 (14,200 sq mi).

Kebbi is traditionally considered by Sarki mythology as the homeland of the Banza bakwai states and Hausa Kingdoms. According to recent research based on local oral traditions, king lists and on the Kebbi chronicle, the state of Kebbi was founded towards 600 BCE by refugees of the Assyrian empire conquered by Babylonian and Median forces in 612 BCE. A major local event was the conquest by Songhai in the second half of the fifteenth century CE.

 

Kebbi resisted the Fulani jihad of the early 19th-century, but in the later 19th-century the area largely converted to Islam through peaceful means.

Kwara State

Kwara State was created on 27 May 1967, when the Federal Military Government of General Yakubu Gowon broke the four regions that then constituted the Federation of Nigeria into 12 states. At its creation, the state was made up of the former Ilorin and Kabba provinces of the then Northern Region and was initially named the West Central State but later changed to “Kwara”, a local name for the River Niger.

Kwara State was created on 27 May 1967, when the Federal Military Government of General Yakubu Gowon broke the four regions that then constituted the Federation of Nigeria into 12 states. At its creation, the state was made up of the former Ilorin and Kabba provinces of the then Northern Region and was initially named the West Central State but later changed to “Kwara”, a local name for the River Niger.

 

Kwara State has since 1976 reduced considerably in size as a result of further state creation exercises in Nigeria. On 13 February 1976, the Idah/Dekina part of the state was carved out and merged with a part of the then Benue/Plateau State to form Benue State.On 27 August 1991, five local government areas, namely Oyi, Yagba, Okene, Okehi and Kogi were also excised to form part of the new Kogi State, while a sixth, Borgu Local Government Area, was merged with Niger State. The major populated local governments are Ilorin and Offa.

Kwara state has numerous mineral resources such as tourmaline, tantalite, and many mineral deposits in the northern part. Cocoa and Kolanut in the Southern parts Oke – Ero, Ekiti and Isin LGA.

 

Kogi State

Kogi is a state in the central region (Middle-Belt) of Nigeria. It is popularly called the Confluence State because of the confluence of River Niger and River Benue at its capital, Lokoja, which is the first administrative capital of modern-day Nigeria.

Agriculture is the main part of the state economy with fishing in the riverine areas like Lokoja, Idah, Ibaji, Ogugu, etc., and the state also has coal, petroleum, limestone, steel and other mineral industries.

The state was created in 1991 from parts of Kwara State and Benue State. Igala is the majority ethnic group in the state. The state as presently constituted, comprises the people of the Kabba Province of Northern Nigeria.

There are three main ethnic groups and languages in Kogi: Igala, Ebira, and Okun (a Yoruba Group) with other such as Bassa Nge, a people of Nupe extraction in Lokoja and Bassa Local Government Area, Bassa-Komo of Bassa Local Government Area, Gwari, Kakanda, Oworo people(A Yoruba Group), Ogori,Igbo, Magongo, and Idoma.

The name Nigeria, was coined in Lokoja by Flora Shaw in the hill of Mount Patti, the future wife of Baron Lugard, a British colonial administrator, while gazing out at the river Niger .

 

 

 

 

Nasarawa State

Nasarawa State is bounded in the north by Kaduna State, in the west by the Federal Capital Territory, in the south by Kogi and Benue States and in the east by Taraba and Plateau States.

A network of roads exist within the state, linking all rural areas and major towns. The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) operates train services from Kuru, Gombe and Maiduguri.

Nasarawa, also spelled Nassarawa, town, Nassarawa state, central Nigeria. The town lies just north of a fork in the Okwa River, which is a tributary of the Benue River. Nasarawa was founded in about 1838 in the Afo (Afao) tribal territory by Umaru, a dissident official from the nearby town of Keffi, as the seat of the new emirate of Nassarawa. Umaru expanded his domain by conquering neighbouring territory and made Nassarawa a vassal state to Zaria (175 miles [282 km] north). One of his successors, Muhammadu (reigned 1878–1922), enlarged the emirate by various conquests and, in 1900, was one of the first emirs to pledge allegiance to Great Britain.

Niger State

Niger is a state in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria and the largest state in the country.

The state’s capital is at Minna. Other major cities are Bida, Kontagora and Suleja. It was formed in 1976 when the then North-Western State was bifurcated into Niger State and Sokoto State. It is home to Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar, two of Nigeria’s former military rulers. The Nupe, Gbagyi, Kamuku, Kambari, Hun-Saare, Hausa and Koro form the majority of numerous indigenous tribes of Niger State.

Plateau State

Plateau is the twelfth-largest state in Nigeria. Approximately in the centre of the country, it is geographically unique in Nigeria due to its boundaries of elevated hills surrounding the Jos Plateau its capital, and the entire plateau itself.

Plateau State is celebrated as “The Home of Peace and Tourism”. With natural formations of rocks, hills and waterfalls, it derives its name from the Jos Plateau and has a population of around 3.5 million people. Plateau State was part of Bauchi Province. In 1926, Plateau Province, made up of Jos and Pankshin Divisions, was carved out of Bauchi. The border changed several times in subsequent years as the government sought not to split ethnic groups.[citation needed] In May 1967, Benue and Plateau Provinces were merged to form the large Benue-Plateau State. At this time Nigeria had twelve states.

Following the civil war, Benue-Plateau State was one of several large states which were further split up following pressure on the Federal Government. Under the military administration of General Yakubu Gowon, the country was further divided into nineteen states in 1976 and Plateau State was created from Benue-Plateau covering the area of the original Plateau Province. In 1996, Plateau State was further subdivided to create Nasarawa State which was carved out of the western half of Plateau State by Sani Abacha’s military regime

Sokoto State

Sokoto is a major city located in the extreme northwest of Nigeria, near the confluence of the Sokoto River and the Rima River. As of 2006 it has a population of 427,760. Sokoto is the modern-day capital of Sokoto State and was previously the capital of the north-western state. Sokoto, generally referred to as Sokoto State to distinguish it from city of Sokoto, its capital and largest city, is a state in the extreme northwest of Nigeria. Sokoto is located near to the confluence of the Sokoto River and the Rima River. As of 2005 it has an estimated population of more than 4.2 million.

The name Sokoto (which is the modern/anglicised version of the local name, Sakkwato) is of Arabic origin, representing suk, “market”. It is also known as Sakkwato, Birnin Shaihu da Bello or “Sokoto, Capital of Shaihu and Bello”).

Being the seat of the former Sokoto Caliphate, the city is predominantly Muslim and an important seat of Islamic learning in Nigeria. The Sultan who heads the caliphate is effectively the spiritual leader of Nigerian Muslims.

 

 

Taraba State

Taraba is a state in North Eastern Nigeria, named after the Taraba River which traverses the southern part of the state. Taraba’s capital is Jalingo. The inhabitants are mainly of the Fulani, Hausa, Mumuye and Jenjo tribes. Taraba State is bounded in the west by Nasarawa State and Benue State, northwest by Plateau State, north by Bauchi State and Gombe State, northeast by Adamawa State, and south by Nord-Ouest Province, claimed by both Ambazonia and Cameroon.

Taraba State lies largely within the middle of Nigeria and consists of undulating landscape dotted with a few mountainous features. These include the scenic and prominent Mambilla Plateau. The state lies largely within the tropical zone and has a vegetation of low forest in the southern part and grassland in the northern part. The Mambilla Plateau with an altitude of 1,800 meters (6000 ft) above sea level has a temperate climate all year round

Yobe State

Yobe is a state located in northeastern Nigeria. A mainly agricultural state, it was created on August 27, 1991. Yobe State was carved out of Borno State. The capital of Yobe State is Damaturu; its largest city is Potiskum.

Yobe State came into being on 27 August 1991. It was carved out of the old Borno State by the Babangida administration. Yobe State was created because the old Borno State was one of Nigeria’s largest states in terms of land area and was therefore considered to be too large for easy administration and meaningful development. Ethnic rivalries within the old Borno State also contributed to the decision.

Zamfara State

Zamfara is a state in northwestern Nigeria. Its capital is Gusau and its current Governor is Bello Matawalle, a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Until 1996, the area was part of Sokoto State.

Zamfara is populated with the Hausa and Fulani peoples. Major groups of people are the Zamfarawa mainly in Anka, Gummi, Bukkuyum and Talata Mafara Local Governments areas. Gobirawa populated Shinkafi Local Government. Gobirawa actually migrated from the Gobir Kingdom. Burmawa are found in Bakura and Fulani peopled Bungudu, Maradun, Gusau and are scattered all over the State. In Tsafe, Bungudu and Maru Local Governments are mainly Katsinawa, Garewatawa and Hadejawa. While Alibawa peopled Kaura Namoda and Zurmi.