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Find Out How The 36 States In Nigeria Got Their Names

Nigeria has 36 states; many do not know how these states got the names they bear. In this article, we would be looking at the 36 states and how they came about their names.

1. Abia 

The name Abia was formed in 1991 from the name of the four main groups in the state at the time, namely, Aba Bende Isuikwuato Afikpo.

2. Adamawa 

Adamawa was coined after a powerful warrior , Modibbo Adama Bin Ardo Hassan, conquered the region in the beginning of the 19th century

3. Akwa-Ibom 

Akwa Ibom is named after the Qua Iboe (or Kwa Iboe) River

4. Anambra 

Anambra got its name from the twisted version of Oma Mbala (Ànyịm Ọma Mbala), a popular river in the area.

5. Bauchi 

'Bauchi’ came from the Hausa word, the southern flanks of Hausaland. Clans living in the southern parts of the Hausaland were known and called to as "kasashen bauchi" and the area they lived in later came to be known simply as Bauchi.

6. Bayelsa 

Bayelsa is from a mixed acronyms which was derived from three local government areas including of old Rivers state — Brass LGA known as BALGA, Yenegoa known as YELGA and Sagbama LGA known as SALGA. in the formation of their names is BA + YEL + SA

7. Benue 

After the "Europeanised" corruption of 'Binuwe', the state was named after the Batta word for ‘Mother of Waters’.

8. Borno 

The dominant ethnic group in the state, is 'Borno' which gave inspiration for the naming of the state also known Kanuris, 

9. Cross River 

The state took its name from a River called Oyono or Cross River.

10. Delta 

The state is where the River Niger forms a delta as it enters the Atlantic Ocean.

11. Ebonyi 

Ebonyi is the anglicised translation of 'Aboine', a river that cuts through Abakaliki, the state capital.

12. Edo 

Edo came from the early settlers, the Bini people who dwell in the area and had always referred to themselves as Edo or Iduu. 

13. Ekiti

Ekiti ‘Okiti’ is a word that is said to indicate a settlement of many hills. It later became 'Ekiti'.

14. Enugu 

"Enu Ugwu" meaning "top of the hill".  The name came about due to the many hills and rocky terrain in the area, the people named it in igbo.

15. Gombe 

Gombe is the dialect of Fulani language (Fulfulde) spoken in the area.

16. Imo 

 Imo took its name from the popular river, Imo Mmiri.

17. Jigawa 

Jigawa takes inspiration from its distinctively golden-coloured soil.

18. Kaduna

The state, got its name from the many crocodiles in Kaduna River. Kaduna is an Hausa word for Crocodiles

19. Kano 

The state got the name from a blacksmith from the Gaya tribe who settled in the area while sourcing for ironstone

20. Katsina 

The state was named after the wife of a famous local ruler known as Janzama. Her name was Katsina

21. Kebbi

 It is said that Kebbi was named after the Ka’abba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

22. Kogi 

 Kogi is said to have been derived from ‘kogin’, the hausa word for river.

23. Kwara

Kwara River Niger used to be called River Kwara by the Nupes at the state's Northern border. The state was named after this.

24. Lagos 

 Due to the many lagoons and rivers in the town, the first set of Europeans who set foot in Lagos named it Lagos, the Portuguese word for 'lakes'.

25. Nasarawa 

Nasarawa was named by the founder of Nasarawa kingdom, Makama Dogo which is a native word for 'victorious'. 

26. Niger 

This was named after the River Niger

27. Ogun 

This state was named after a river — Ogun River.

28. Ondo 

 The state was named after the settlers of the old Ondo Kingdom

29. Osun

 This state was also named after a river — the River Osun.

30. Oyo 

The state was named after the Old Oyo empire.

31. Plateau

 Jos plateau got its name from the mispronunciation of the town 'Gwosh'

32. Rivers

 Rivers state was named after the many water bodies present in the area.

33. Sokoto 

Sokoto is the anglicized version of the Arabic word ‘suk’, meaning ‘market’ or ‘place of commerce. The state itself was named after the defunct Sokoto Caliphate

34. Taraba

 Taraba state got its name from the Taraba River.

35. Yobe

 Komadugu Yobe (Waube or Ouobe) or River Yobe (or River of Yo) inspired the name of the state.

36. Zamfara

Zamfarawa was named after one of the sub dialects of the Eastern Hausa group.

FCT: Abuja "Abuja" was in the early 20th century named the nearby town now called Suleja. The indigenous inhabitants of Abuja are the Gbagyi (Gwari), with the Gbagyi language formerly the major of the region language

Content created and supplied by: LizetteMedia (via Opera News )

Aba Bende Isuikwuato Afikpo Abia Adamawa Akwa Ibom Modibbo Adama Bin Ardo Hassan


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