Kogi State, Nigeria
|Population:||3,595,789 (2005 est.)|
|Language:||Yoruba, Nupe, Ebira|
|Governor:||Idris Wada (PDP)|
|Date Created:||17th August 1991|
|Population Rank:||Ranked 24th|
Kogi is a state in the north-central zone of Nigeria. It is popularly called the confluence state due to the fact that the confluence of Rivers Niger and Benue occurs there. Its capital is Lokoja. There are three main ethnic groups in Kogi: Igala, Ebira, and Okun; with the Igalas being the largest ethnic group in the state. There are many mineral resources in Kogi, including iron, petroleum and tin.
Kogi State is the most centrally located of all the states of the federation. It comprises the Igala, Ebira, Kabba, Yoruba and Kogi divisions of the former Kabba province. It shares common boundaries with Niger, Kwara, Nassarawa and The Federal Capital Territory to the north. To the East, the state is bounded by Benue and Enugu states, to the south by Enugu and Anambra States, and to the west by Ondo, Ekiti and Edo states. Lokoja, the Niger/Benue confluence town is the state capital. Ethnically, Yoruba, Nupe and Bassa forming the main ethnic groups.
Kogi State was cared out of Benue and Kwara States on August 27, 1991 by the Federal Military Government. Kogi State is the most centrally located of all the states of the federation. It comprises the Igala, Ebira, Kabba, Yoruba and Kogi divisions of the former Kabba province. It shares common boundaries with Niger, Kwara, Nassarawa and The Federal Capital Territory to the north. To the east, the state is bounded by Benue and Enugu states, to the south by Enugu and Anambra States, and to the west by Ondo, Ekiti and Edo states. Lokoja, the Niger/Benue confluence town is the state capital. Ethnically, Yoruba, Nupe and Bassa forming the main ethnic groups.
Many people do not actually know that the name of our dear country Nigeria was coined in Lokoja, the kogi state capital by Flora Shaw, the British journalist who later became the wife of Lord Lugard (first governor general of Nigeria), when she was gazing at the magnificence of the greatest river in Nigeria, the river Niger.
The nickname of Kogi state should have been called the 'junction state' because this state connects/has a boundary with the highest number of states in Nigeria.
10 states Anambra, Enugu, Benue, Nasarawa, Niger, Kwara, Ekiti, Ondo, Edo states and the FCT are all joined together by this great state.
I think the federal capital territory would have been best situated in this state for complete centralization and unification. Nonetheless the FCT is just a stone throw away from Kogi and infact part of Kogi state was also carved to form the FCT.
Kogi state is so significant because this state houses a very remarkable handwork of mother nature -The confluence of the two greatest rivers that run across Nigeria, the river Niger and river Benue in the city of Lokoja.
Anyone who has travelled through Lokoja and has seen the captivating scenery of this confluence would agree with me that it is indeed a spectacular sight.
The multi-billion dollars steel & iron industry, the largest of it's kind in Nigeria was established in 1971 on a 24,000 hectare land. This mighty industry has unfortunately been left moribund for a long period of time, but recently over the years, concerted efforts has been made by the Nigerian government to ensure its full capacity functioning.
This industry is viewed as a potential bedrock for the industrialization of Nigeria.
There are three main ethnic groups and languages in Kogi: Igala, Ebira, and Okun with other minorities like Bassa, a small friction of Nupe mainly in Lokoja, the Ogugu subgroup of the Igala, Gwari, Kakanda, Oworo people, ogori magongo and the Eggan community under Lokoja Local Government.
Kogi state is the only state in Nigeria which shows true WAZOBIA influences of the 3 major groups of Nigeria, Hausa, yoruba and Igbo (owing to it's location).
Firstly, One of the major groups in Kogi state is yoruba speaking (Okun) with yoruba origins from Ile-ife.
Secondly, you almost cannot seperate Igala and Igbo history apart (especially the southern part of Igala). Some say according to history Igala and Igbo have the same father, some say one of the tribes begat the other. Nevertheless the cultural diffusion and oneness of the igalas and igbos can be seen through their days of the week, names, language vocabulary similarities, masquerades, intermixed communities e.t.c. There are many igala communities with Igbo origins and vice versa in igbo land, and in some places on both sides, the natives are fully billingual, giving rise to some igbo speaking igalas in Kogi state and vice versa on the other side.
Lastly, the ethnicity of the King (Maigari) and ruling families of Lokoja is one that can hardly be ascertained and this is because of over a hundred years mixing of hausa-fulanis and the aboriginal Nupes in Lokoja. Many of the Nupes in Lokoja are of hausa origin and till date many speak hausa and even identify as hausa. This was clearly what influenced the name of the state KOGI which means 'river' in hausa language.
It contains 21 local government areas: Adavi, Ajaokuta, Ankpa, Bassa, Dekina, Ibaji, Idah, Igalamela-Odolu, Ijumu, Kabba/Bunu, Koton Karfe, Lokoja, Mopa-Muro, Ofu, Ogori/Magongo, Okehi, Okene, Olamaboro, Omala, Yagba East, Yagba West
Education is the state's main social industry. Each of the 20 local governments in the state has primary institutions. Institutions of higher learning in the state include College of Agriculture, Osara, College of Agriculture, Kabba, Federal Polytechnic, Idah; Federal Advanced Teachers College, Okene; School of Health Technology, Idah; College of Education, Ankpa; School of Nursing, Obangede and School of Midwifery Egbe and Kogi State University Ayingba and Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja both of them, state owned insitutions.
The majority of the people of the state are farmers.
The state is richly blessed with mineral resources such as coal which is found in Okaba, Ogboyaga and Koton-Karte.
Limestone and marble deposits are found in Ajaokuta, Jakura, Ososo, Osara, while Cassiterite, columbite and tantalite are found in Egbe. Gold is also found in Isanlu in East Yagba Local Government Area while Iron Ore can be found at Itakpe, Okene.
Kogi State, by virtue of its geography, offers tourists unique experience. These attractions include natural land features, fascinating sceneries, historic monuments and relics. Important tourist attractions in Kogi State include the colonial relics (such as Lord Lugard House), the confluence of Rivers Niger and Benue, Ogidi (An African town with formations of Igneous Rock mountains and a traditional art & craft industry).
Schools on The Web:
Kogi State University (www.ksuportal.edu.ng)
Kogi State Polytechnic (www.kogistatepoly.edu.ng)
Federal University Lokoja (www.fulokoja.edu.ng)
State Liason Office:
35, T.Y Danjuma Street, Asokoro, P. M. B. 122, Abuja
Liaison office in Lagos:
Plot 1224, Bishop Oluwole Street, Victoria Island, Lagos State