A lot of Nigerians have no clue how most Nigerian states got their names and i was in this category until i read thoroughly and was amazed that most Nigerian states were named after Rivers.
Abia State is one of the thirty-six (36) States in seventeen (17) Local government areas (LGAs) that constitute the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Abia was carved out of the former Imo State in 1991. Abia is an acronym derived from the name of the four main groups of people in the state as at the time it was formed in 1991: Aba, Bende, Isuikwuato and Afikpo.
This state was named after a warrior that conquered the region in the beginning of the 19th century. His name was Modibbo Adama Bin Ardo Hassan. Adamawa State is located in the North East Geopolitical zone of Nigeria. The State was created on 27 August 1991 from the defunct Gongola State. Adamawa State is made up of the defunct Adamawa and Sardauna provinces. It is bordered by the states of Borno to the Northwest, Gombe to the West and Taraba to the Southwest. Its Eastern border forms the National Eastern border with Cameroon.
Akwa Ibom is named after a river, the Qua Iboe (or Kwa Iboe) River. The state is located in the South-South geopolitical zone , and is bordered on the east by Cross River State, on the west by Rivers State and Abia State, and on the south by the Atlantic Ocean and the southernmost tip of Cross River State.
It was derived from the name of the Oma Mbal (Omambala)River (in Ibo, the native name of the river is Ànyịm Ọma Mbala). Anambra state was first formed in 1976 from the northern half of East-Central state, and in 1991 it was considerably reduced in area by an administrative reorganization that created the new state of Enugu.
There are three versions of how Bauchi got its name. One version says ‘Bauchi’ is Hausa word meaning the southern planks of Hausa land. Tribes living in the southern parts of the Hausa land were referred to as “kasashen bauchi” andt he area they lived in later came to be known simply as Bauchi.
According to the second version the state was named for Baushe, a famous hunter who settled there before the 19th century while the third states that ‘bauchi’ is Hausa word for slavery since it was a center for slave raiders.
Bayelsa was formed as a result of the clamour from the three LGAs in old River (Brass LGA known as BALGA, Yenegoa LGA known as YELGA and Sagbama LGA – SALGA).
The name came about from the combination of their
acronymns. BA+YEL+SA = BAYELSA.
It is a word from the Batta language ‘Binuwe’ which means ‘Mother of Waters’.Benue State is one of the north central area states in Nigeria with a population of about 4,253,641 in 2006 census. It is occupied predominantly by the Tiv, Idoma and Igede peoples, who speak Tiv, Idoma, and Igede languages respectively. Its capital is Makurdi. It is also the food basket of the nation as farming their predominant culture.
The name was derived from ‘Borno’, an alternative name of the Kanuris who form the predominant ethnic group in the state.It is the central fragment of the old Bornuempire of the Kanuripeople. Its name is said to mean “Home of the Berbers.”
9. CROSS RIVER:
Cross River is a state in South South Nigeria, bordering Cameroon to the east. Its capital is Calabar and its name is derived from the Cross River or (oyono), which passes through the state. English, French, Bekwarra, Ejagham and Efik are major languages of this state.
Delta State is a state in Nigeria, comprising mainly Igbo (Anioma people), Urhobo, Isoko, Ijaw and Itsekiri. The whole ethnic-groups that comprise the Delta are administratively grouped into three senatorial districts namely Delta North, Delta South and Delta Central for easy administrative purposes. The delta north is Igbo region, the delta central and delta south is made up of Urhobo, Ijaw, Isoko, and Itsekiri.
It was named from the delta of the River Niger which formed as it enters the Atlantic Ocean.
The state was named after the Aboine River that cuts through Abakaliki, the state capital.
Named after the Bini people who had always referred to themselves as Edo or Iduu.
‘Ekiti’ is a term that is said to denote a settlement of many hills “Okiti”.Ekiti State is considered the sixth smallest state by landmass in Nigeria. This is due to its area size of 6,353km². There are sixteen local government areas in Ekiti State.
Enugu derived its name from two local words enu ugwu which means ‘top of the hill’.
It was named after the dialect of Fulani language (Fulfulde)spoken in the area ‘Gombe’.
This state is named after the Imo River (Imo Mmiri).Imo state is mainly inhabited by the Igbo(Ibo) people and is one of the most densely populated areas in Nigeria. The population is mostly engaged in agriculture; yams, taro, corn (maize), rice, and cassava (manioc) are the staple crops, and oil palmis the main cash crop.
The state was named after its distinctively golden-coloured soil, Jigawa.
The state after the crocodiles in Kaduna River. Kadunas is Hausa plural word for crocodiles.
The state was named after a blacksmith of the Gaya tribe who settled in the area while sourcing for iron stone. His name was Kano.
Katsina was named after the wife of the local ruler known as Janzama. Her name was Katsina.
Legend has it that Kebbi was named after the Ka’abba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.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 State, Niger State, Zamfara State, Dosso Region in the Republic of Niger and the nation of Benin.
The name Kogi was said to have be derived from ‘kogin’, hausa for river. This is to represent the fact that the two biggest Rivers in Nigeria, River Niger and River Benue form a confluence in the state.
This was named after the River Niger which forms the Northern border of the state. The Nupes used to call the river Kwara.
The name is a Portuguese word for lakes. The Portuguese were the first set of Europeans to reach Lagos in 1472. The name was inspired by the lagoons and rivers in Lagos.
It was so named by the founder of Nasarawa kingdom, Makama Dogo.
Nasarawa means Victorious.
Named after the popular River Niger.Niger State is a state in Central Nigeria and the largest state in the country. The state capital is Minna, and 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.
Named after the Ogun River.Ogun State is a state in southwestern Nigeria. Created in 1976, it borders Lagos State to the south, Oyo and Osun states to the north, Ondo to the east and the Republic of Benin to the west. Abeokuta is the capital and largest city in the state. The state’s appellation is “Gateway to Nigeria”.
This was named after the settlers of the old Ondo Kingdom.Ondo is a word for settlers.
Like a number of other Nigerian states, it was also named after a river; River Osun.
Oyo, usually referred to as Oyo State to distinguish it from the city of Oyo, is an inland state in south-western Nigeria, with its capital at Ibadan.It was named after the Old Oyo empire.
The state was named for the Jos Plateau.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”.
A state with many water bodies, Rivers State was named for many of the rivers present in the area.
Named after the defunct Sokoto Caliphate. Sokoto is the anglicized version of the Arabic word ‘suk’ which means ‘market’ or ‘place of commerce’. Or “assukuut” which means “silence” in Arabic.
The state was named after the Taraba River.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 state was named after Komadugu Yobe (Waube or Ouobe) or River Yobe (or River of Yo).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 in Potiskum.
Zamfarawa is one of the sub dialects of Eastern Hausa linguistic group and that is where the name came from zan- fara noma.