Nigeria, being the largest country in Africa and one of the most populous countries in the world, is a nation of great diversity. With its vast landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and diverse ethnic groups, Nigeria has 36 states, with its capital in Abuja. Among the country’s six geopolitical zones, the Northern region is the largest and one of the most interesting parts of the country.
The northern region of Nigeria is known for its rich cultural heritage, diverse languages, and vibrant markets. It is also the birthplace of most influential politicians and religious leaders in the country. The Northern part of Nigeria is also multi-ethnic region filled with various tribes ranging from Hausa, Fulani, Nupe, Kanuri tribes, etc. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the Northern states in Nigeria and delve into the rich cultural, historical, and geographical features that make each state unique.
HISTORY OF NORTHERN NIGERIA
The origin of Northern Nigeria began in 1897 with Frederick Lord Lugard’s declaration of the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria, a move that totally separated the region from the southern portion of the nation in terms of customs, government, and connections with other nations. After the proclamation, the northern region of Nigeria gained independence from the rest of the nation. It made sure that the British government owned and governed the area.
Along with a few of his favoured regional kings and chiefs, Lord Lugard ruled the area. The indirect rule is the name given to this form of government. The Northern Nigeria Protectorate finally combined with Southern Nigeria and one other existing area to form a single republic in 1914, after which nothing changed. Despite the unification of the two areas, the Richards Constitution of 1945 granted the Northern Nigeria greater autonomy over the Southern Nigeria, particularly in regards to issues pertaining to foreign affairs and customs regulations.
However, the union of the two territories produced one Nigeria, which opened the door for the establishment of states in the nation. In 1967, the Federal government, led by General Yakubu Gowon, divided the then-existing regions into 12 states. To realise this vision, the government had to divide Northern Nigeria into sub-regions. North-Eastern State, North-Western State, and the North-Central States. The likes of Kano State, Kaduna State, Kwara State, and Benue and Plateau States were the first group of northern states in the country.
LIST OF NORTHERN STATES IN NIGERIA
There are 19 states in the northern region of Nigeria, and these states include:
- Benue state
- Borno state
- Bauchi state
- Kano state
- Katsina state
- Plateau state
- Taraba state
- Niger state
- Adamawa state
- Kaduna state
- Sokoto state
- Gombe state
- Jigawa state
- Kebbi state
- Nassarawa state
- Yobe state
- Zamfara state
- Kwara state.
Bauchi is one of the states in Northern Nigeria and is located in the Northeastern part of the Northern region. The people of this state are known for their rich cultural and natural heritage. The state is home to a diverse array of ethnic groups, each with its own unique cultural traditions, and it is also known for its stunning landscapes and rich wildlife. Bauchi is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world who are looking to explore its natural beauty and rich cultural heritage.
The population of Bauchi was estimated to be over 6 million by the year 2022. Bauchi is also a cotton-producing state. Midway through the 1970s, the nation’s irrigation programme considerably benefited its soil, providing a plentiful farm production each year. Because so many of the people who reside in Bauchi work with animals, the city produces a lot of cattle and other livestock. Like many other states in the area, it is dominated by the Hausa tribe. The capital of the state is Bauchi. You may find it interesting to know that in 1996, the Gombe state was split off from Bauchi.
Borno State is also among the 19 northern states that is the centre of rich cultural heritage and history in the northeastern part of Nigeria. With a population of over 4 million people. Maiduguri, is the state’s largest city, and serves as the state’s capital. Borno state is renowned for having a strong cultural history, which is visible in its historic sites, ancient city ruins, and customary celebrations. The Baga Kingdom, the Gajiram Kingdom, and the Kanem-Bornu Empire are a some of the state’s well-known landmarks.
Additionally, Borno State is renowned for its distinctive cuisine, which features items like zobo, suya, and masa (hibiscus tea). Not only in Borno, but also in other regions of Nigeria, these meals are well-liked. Borno has recently been plagued with series of security challenges which has made this northern state among the most dangerous states to live in Nigeria. The Boko Haram insurgency has decimated the state and forced many of its residents to flee their homes.
Benue State is a Northcentral state located in Nigeria, with its creation date dating back to February 3rd, 1976 when it was carved out of Benue Plateau State. This region is known for its rich agriculture, with agriculture being a key economic sector for the state and its residents.
The state is home to three predominant ethnic groups, the Tiv, Idoma and Igede, each with their unique language and cultural heritage. The Tiv people speak Tiv language, the Idoma people speak Idoma language, while the Igede people speak Igede language.
The capital city of Benue State is Makurdi, which serves as the center of governance and administration for the state. In addition to being the state capital, Makurdi is also the largest city in the state and a hub for business, education, and cultural activities.
Kano State was established on May 27th, 1967, after being carved out from the Northern region of Nigeria. It is situated in the North-central region of the country and is recognized as the commercial zone in the Northern region, both in terms of its population and economy.
The state of Kano is bordered by several other states in Nigeria, including Katsina to the north-west, Jigawa to the north-east, Bauchi to the south-east, and Kaduna to the south-west. The capital city of Kano State is also named Kano, which serves as the political and economic hub of the state.
It is important to note that Kano State plays a significant role in the Northern region of Nigeria, contributing greatly to the country’s overall economy. Its strategic location and diverse resources make it a valuable asset to the nation.
Katsina State is a state in northern Nigeria that was officially established on September 23rd, 1987. The capital city of the state is Katsina, which is named after the state. Before its creation, Katsina State was part of the former Kaduna State.
Located in the northwest region of Nigeria, Katsina State is known for its rich cultural heritage and is home to many ethnic groups, including the Hausa, Fulani, and Zazzau groups. The state is also known for its fertile agricultural land, which supports a variety of crops, including cotton, groundnuts, and rice.
In addition to its agricultural sector, Katsina State is also home to several industries, including textiles, soap-making, and leather production. The state is also an important trading center, with several markets that serve as a hub for trade and commerce in the region.
Despite its rich cultural heritage and economic importance, Katsina State has faced several challenges in recent years, including security concerns and limited access to basic services such as healthcare and education. The government of Katsina State is working to address these challenges and promote the state’s potential for economic growth and development.
Plateau State, located in Nigeria’s central region, is a highly coveted destination for both tourists and residents. Known for its rich cultural heritage and natural beauty, Plateau State is often referred to as the “Home of Peace and Tourism.” This northern state is well-known for its mountainous terrain and rolling hills, which provide a unique and picturesque landscape unlike anywhere else in Nigeria.
Plateau State was created in 1976 as Nigeria’s 12th state. It was carved out of the former North-Central State, which was one of the country’s four regions at the time. The state was named after the Jos Plateau, a large, flat, and elevated region located in the center of the state. This plateau is the source of much of Plateau State’s natural beauty and is considered one of the most important geological features in Nigeria.
Throughout its history, Plateau State has played a significant role in Nigeria’s development. During the colonial period, Jos was a major center for tin mining and was home to some of Nigeria’s largest tin mines. These mines were a major source of employment for the state’s residents and helped to spur economic growth in the region.
Taraba State is a northern state located in Nigeria’s central region. Known for its rich cultural heritage, diverse landscape, and thriving economy, Taraba State is a highly sought-after destination for both tourists and residents alike. In this in-depth guide, we will explore the history, geography, culture, and economy of Taraba State and why it is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the best that Nigeria has to offer.
Taraba State was created in 1991 as Nigeria’s 27th state. It was carved out of the former Gongola State, which was one of Nigeria’s then 21 states. The state was named after the Taraba River, which runs through the state and is considered a vital source of water for the region.
On the 3rd of February 1976, Niger State was established by separating from the old north-western state. Situated in the central region of Nigeria, Niger State stands as one of the largest states in the country, boasting a population of over 5.5 million people.
The capital city of Niger State is Minna, which serves as a hub for economic, social, and political activities in the region. The state is home to various ethnic groups, with the major ones being Nupe, Gbagyi, and Hausa. Additionally, Niger State has several minor ethnic groups, such as Koro, Kadara, Kambari, Kamuku, Fulani, Dukawa, Mauchi, Ayadi, among others, each contributing to the state’s cultural diversity and richness.
Adamawa is a serene and renowned state situated in the northeastern region of Nigeria. Its roots can be traced back to the Gongola state, which was partitioned into Taraba and Adamawa in 1991. The state has a rich history and culture that reflects its diverse heritage.
Agriculture is a significant aspect of Adamawa’s economy, and a substantial portion of its populace is involved in various agricultural practices. The state is famous for its production of cotton, hides, and skins, among other crops, and the abundance of agricultural resources has contributed to the region’s prosperity.
In addition to its agricultural output, Adamawa is known for its tranquil environment and welcoming locals. The state’s serene ambiance has made it a popular destination for tourists and visitors seeking a respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Kaduna is a state situated in the northwestern region of Nigeria. The state was established on May 27, 1967, after the Old North-central state was partitioned by the Federal Government to create additional states. Kaduna city serves as the capital of the state, which is home to a population of approximately 8.25 million people.
The state of Kaduna boasts a rich history and diverse culture, with a mix of various ethnic groups and religions. Kaduna is also known for its natural resources, including mineral deposits such as gold, limestone, and tin. The state’s economy is driven by various industries, including agriculture, manufacturing, and services.
Kaduna city, as the capital of the state, is a bustling metropolis that offers a blend of modern amenities and traditional culture. The city has numerous tourist attractions, including historical landmarks, museums, and parks. Additionally, Kaduna is home to several institutions of higher learning, making it a hub of academic and intellectual activities.
Sokoto is a state located in the northwestern region of Nigeria, which was established in 1976. It is commonly referred to as the “seat of the caliphate” due to its historical significance as the center of the Sokoto Caliphate, which was one of the largest empires in Africa during the 19th century.
Sokoto city serves as the capital of the state, with a population of approximately 5 million people. The city is renowned for being the home of the Sultan of Sokoto, who is the spiritual leader of Nigerian Muslims and one of the most influential figures in the country.
Aside from its rich historical and cultural heritage, Sokoto is also known for its agricultural prowess, particularly in the production of crops such as onions, tomatoes, and groundnuts. The state’s economy is driven by various industries, including agriculture, mining, and manufacturing.
Sokoto city, as the capital of the state, offers a blend of traditional and modern amenities. The city has several tourist attractions, including historical landmarks, museums, and cultural festivals. Additionally, the city is home to several institutions of higher learning, making it a hub of academic and intellectual activities.
In conclusion, Sokoto is a state in northwestern Nigeria with a rich history and diverse culture. The state’s economic, social, and cultural significance makes it a vital part of Nigeria’s identity.