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History and Origin of Delta State

History and Origin of Delta State

Delta State (recognized on August 27, 1991)[5] is an oil and agricultural producing state in Nigeria. It is situated in the region known as the South-South geo-political zone with a population of 4,112,445 (males: 2,069,309; females: 2,043,136). The capital city is Asaba, located at the northern end of the state, with an estimated area of 762 square kilometres (294 sq mi), while Warri is the economic nerve center of the state and also the most populated. It is located in the southern end of the state. The state has a total land area of 16,842 square kilometres (6,503 sq mi).

Delta, state, southern Nigeria. It is bounded by Edo state to the north, Anambra state to the east, Rivers state to the southeast, Bayelsa state to the south, the Bight of Benin of the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and Ondo state to the northwest. On the east and south the state is bounded by the lower course and delta of the Niger River. Delta was created in 1991 from the southern half of former Bendel state. Asaba, on the Niger River, is the state capital.

Most of the state lies at an elevation below 500 feet (150 metres) in the Niger River delta. Mangrove swamps predominate in the delta and merge with freshwater swamps to the north. A maze of interconnected waterways and the Forcados and Escravos rivers, which empty into the Bight of Benin, are used for transportation. The state is inhabited by the Igbo people in the east, the Edo in the north, and the Itsekiri, Urhobo, Isoko, and Ijo in the south and west.

Agriculture is the mainstay of the state’s economy; yams, cassava (manioc), oil palm produce, rice, and corn (maize) are grown for local consumption. Delta is a major exporter of petroleum, rubber, timber, and palm oil and palm kernels via the Niger delta ports of Burutu, Forcados, Koko, Sapele, and Warri. Petroleum is exported by pipeline from the Ughelli fields, and other major oil fields exist near Warri (which possesses an oil refinery), Koko, and Escravos, as well as offshore. The state’s industries include glass and bottle factories, textile mills, and plastics, rubber, plywood, natural gas, boatbuilding, sawmilling, and furniture industries. A major steel-producing complex is at Aladja, adjacent to Warri. A bridge crosses the Niger from Asaba to Onitsha. Area 6,833 square miles (17,698 square km). Pop. (2006) 4,098,391.


Nigeria, country located on the western coast of Africa. Nigeria has a diverse geography,…


Edo, state, southern Nigeria. It is bounded by the states of Kogi to the northeast and…


Anambra, state, east-central Nigeria. Anambra state was first formed in 1976 from the.

Edo state was formed in 1991 from the northern portion of Bendel state, the southern portion becoming Delta state. Prior to this, in 1963, the citizens of the territory had voted to separate from what was then the Western region, and the Mid-West region was created. This became Mid-Western state following the federal reorganization in 1967; from a second reorganization in 1976 until its division in 1991, it was named Bendel state.

Edo state lies at elevations between 500 feet (150 m) in the south and more than 1,800 feet (550 m) in the north. Tropical rain forest covers most of the area. The state is inhabited largely by the Edo (Bini) people, who are linked to the historic kingdom of Benin.

Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy. Yams, cassava (manioc), oil palm produce, rice, and corn (maize) are the major subsistence crops, while rubber, timber, and palm oil and kernels are cash crops. Mineral resources include limestone and lignite. Industries produce pharmaceuticals, rubber, plywood, beer, sawn wood, and furniture. A network of trunk roads in the state and an airport at Benin City facilitate transportation. The Nigerian Institute of Oil Palm Research, the Rubber Research Institute of Nigeria, and the University of Benin (founded 1970) are located at Benin City, while a state university (founded 1981) is at Ekpoma. Pop. (2006) 3,218,332.

Gulf of Guinea, part of the eastern tropical Atlantic Ocean off the western African coast, extending westward from Cap López, near the Equator, to Cape Palmas at longitude 7° west. Its major tributaries include the Volta and Niger rivers.

The coastline of the Gulf of Guinea forms part of the western edge of the African tectonic plate and corresponds remarkably to the continental margin of South America running from Brazil to the Guianas. The coincidence between the geology and the geomorphology of these two coastlines constitutes one of the clearest confirmations of the theory of continental drift.

The continental shelf of the Gulf of Guinea is almost uniformly narrow and widens to as much as 100 miles (160 km) only from Sierra Leone to the Bijagós Archipelago, Guinea-Bissau, and in the Bight of Biafra. The Niger River has built a great delta of Holocene muds (i.e., those less than 11,700 years old)—and it is only here that the fit between the African and South American tectonic plates is seriously disturbed.

The only active volcanic region is the island arc aligned with Mount Cameroon (13,353 feet [4,070 m]) on the coast of the Cameroon Republic; the islands of this arc (Bioko [Fernando Po], Príncipe, São Tomé, and Annobón) extend 450 miles (724 km) offshore to the southwest.

The entire northern coast of the gulf is washed by the eastward flow of the Guinea Current, which extends 250–300 miles (400–480 km) offshore from Senegal to the Bight of Biafra. The gulf’s tropical water is separated from the Equator-ward flow of the cool Benguela and Canary currents by sharp frontal regions off the Congo and Senegal rivers, respectively. The Benguela Current, as it swings westward, forms the South Equatorial Current to the south of, and running counter to, the Guinea Current.

The warm tropical water of the Gulf of Guinea is of relatively low salinity because of river effluents and high rainfall along the coast. This warm water is separated from deeper, more-saline, and colder water by a shallow thermocline—a layer of water between upper and lower levels that lies usually less than 100 feet (30 m) deep. Coastal upwelling, and hence a rich production of plant and animal life, occurs seasonally and locally off the central gulf coasts of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.

The variety of the marine flora and fauna of the Gulf of Guinea is limited when compared with that of the western tropical Atlantic and, especially, with the Indo-Pacific biogeographic realm. This relative biological poverty results from (1) a lack of coral-reef ecosystems because of low salinity and the high turbidity of Guinea Current water and (2) the climatic regression to cool conditions during the Miocene Epoch (i.e., some 23 to 5.3 million years ago), during which far fewer refuges for tropical species of animals and plants were available in the Atlantic than in the Indo-Pacific region.

Because most of the coast is low-lying, without natural harbours, and largely separated from the dry land of the interior by a belt of muddy mangrove-infested creeks and lagoons, the African coastal peoples have usually not taken easily to seafaring on the gulf. Groups located in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, where the coast is less irregular and coastal fisheries are relatively productive, form an exception. The gulf’s natural resources include offshore oil deposits and deposits of hard minerals within the continental shelf.

The state covers a landmass of about 18,050 km², of which more than 60% is land. The state lies approximately between Longitude 5°00 and 6°.45' East and Latitude 5°00 and 6°.30' North. It is geographically located in Nigeria's Midwest, bounded in the north and west by Edo State, the east by Anambra, Imo, and Rivers States, southeast by Bayelsa State, and on the southern extreme is the Bight of Benin which covers about 160 kilometres of the state's coastline. Delta State is generally low-lying without remarkable hills. The state has a wide coastal belt inter-lace with rivulets and streams, which form part of the Niger River Delta.

Delta State was defined out of the former Bendel State on 27 August 1991. The state was actualized following agitations for the realization of a separate distinct state by the peoples of the old Delta Province. There was yet another state request proposed as "Niger State" comprising the Asaba and Aboh divisions of the old Midwest region. The then Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, recognized Delta state but chose "Asaba" a prominent town within the "Northwestern lower Niger" as capital city. The proposed capital was a virgin land in the heart of the two constituent divisions that constitutes the Northwestern lower Niger. Delta state was once integrated in the Mid Western state from 1963 to 1976 and later Bendel state, from 1976 to 1991. The name "Bendel" (Ben-Del) coined from the old Benin and Delta Provinces of Western Region-Delta to reflect the integration of Benin and Delta provinces.

Delta State is predominantly inhabited by the Edoid Urhobo-Isoko; the Igbo, the Ijoid Izon and the Yoruboid Itsekiri and Olukumi . The population of other groups in the state are negligible. The Edoid Urhobo-Isoko are the most predominant people inhabiting the state and currently are more than 3 million people. The Igbo populating Delta State and Onitsha or nearby are referred to as people of the good land (Igbo : Anoma) and reside throughout the state mostly because of trade. The Itsekiri speak a language very closely related to Yoruba but have been culturally influenced by the Edo from neighbouring Edo state, as well as the Urhobo, Ijaw and Portuguese. The Izon are a group of people related to the predominant people of neighbouring Bayelsa State while the Olukumi are becoming culturally and linguistically extinct due to acculturation and assimilation.

The vast majority of inhabitants are Christian, with very few practicing Traditional Religion.

Arthur Okowa Ifeanyi, a member of the People's Democratic Party, was elected Governor and chief executive of Delta State in April 2015. His deputy is Barr. Kingsley Otuaro. The state has three National Senatorial Districts (South, North and Central). In 2011 and 2013, the elected senators were James Manager, Arthur Okowa Ifeanyi and Emmanuel Aguariavwodo who replaced Pius Ewherido who died in 2013 at National Hospital, Abuja. In 2015, Chief Ighoyeta Amori was elected Senator of Delta Central but his election was annulled and Senator Ovie Omo-Agege sworn in as Senator of Delta Central, James Manager retained his position and Chief Peter Nwaoboshi was elected Senator of Delta North. The Executive, Legislative and Judicial Chambers are housed in Asaba with a government house annex in Warri.

Past & Present Administrations

Ifeanyi Okowa - 29 May, 2015 to date (PDP)

Emmanuel Uduaghan - 29 May 2007 to 29 May 2015 (PDP)

James Ibori - 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007 (PDP)

Walter Feghabo - 12 August 1998 to 29 May 1999 (Military)

John Dungs - 22 August 1996 to 12 August 1998 (Military)

Ibrahim Kefas - 26 September 1994 to 22 August 1996 (Military)

Bassey Asuquo - 10 December 1993 to 26 September 1994 (Military)

Abdulkadir Shehu - 17 November 1993 - 10 December 1993 (Military)

Luke Chijiuba Ochulor - 28 August 1991 - January 1992 (Military)

Felix Ibru - January 1992 - November 1993 (SDP)

Local government areas Edit

See also: List of villages in Delta State

Delta State consists of 25 Local Government Areas (shown with 2006 population figures):

Delta Central Senatorial District 1,575,738 Delta North Senatorial District 1,293,074 Delta South Senatorial District 1,229,282

Ethiope East 200,942 Aniocha North 104,062 Bomadi 86,016

Ethiope West 202,712 Aniocha South 142,045 Burutu 207,977

Okpe 128,398 Ika North East 182,819 Isoko North 143,559

Sapele 174,273 Ika South 167,060 Isoko South 235,147

Udu 142,480 Ndokwa East 103,224 Patani 67,391

Ughelli North 320,687 Ndokwa West 150,024 Warri North 136,149

Ughelli South 212,638 Oshimili North 118,540 Warri South 311,970

Uvwie 188,728 Oshimili South 150,032 Warri South West 116,538

Ukwuani 119,034

Languages of Delta State listed by LGA:

LGA Languages

Aniocha North Enuani

Oniocha South Enuani

Burutu Izon

Ethiope Urhobo

Ethiope East Urhobo

Ethiope West Urhobo

Ika North East Ika

Ika South Ika

Isoko Eruwa

Isoko North Isoko

Isoko South Isoko

Ndokwa East Ukwani-Ndoni-Isoko

Ndokwa West Ukwani

Oshimili North Enuani

Oshimili South Enuani

Okpe Okpe

Sapele Okpe

Ughelli North Urhobo

Ughelli South Urhobo

Ukwuani Enuani

Uvbie Urhobo

Warri North Isekiri; Izon

Warri South Isekiri,Izon,Urhobo

Warri South West Itsekiri, Izon

There are various solid mineral deposits within the state - industrial clay, silica, lignite, kaolin, tar sand, decorative rocks, limestone, etc. These are raw materials for industries such as brick making, ceramics, bottle manufacturing, glass manufacturing, chemical/insulators production, chalk manufacturing and sanitary wares, decorative stone cutting and quarrying. But these minerals are under-utilized.

Delta state also has huge deposits of crude oil and is also one of the largest producers of petroleum products in Nigeria. Sales of petroleum products is what majorly drives its economy.

Delta state has one of the highest numbers of tertiary institutions in any Nigerian state. This is a product of the people's thirst for knowledge and academic work. Some of these institutions are:

Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun

Delta State University

Delta State Polytechnics (three different Polytechnics, one at Oghara, one at Ogwashi-Uku and another at Ozoro)

The Film and Broadcast Academy, Ozoro

College of Education (two different state colleges, one at Agbor and another at Warri).

Federal College of Education Technical, Asaba

College of Education, Mosogar

Delta State College of Health Technology, Ughelli

Petroleum Training Institute, Effurun[9]

Western Delta University, Oghara

Novena University, Ogume-Amai

National Open University of Nigeria (three study centres, one at Asaba, one at Emevor and another at Owhrode).

Delta State School of Marine Technology, Burutu

Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Warri

Conarina School of Maritime & Transport Technology, Oria-Abraka

University of Information and Communication Technology, Agbor

State School of Midwifery, Asaba

School of Nursing (two schools, one at Agbor and another at Warri)

Baptist School of Nursing, Eku

Edwin Clark University, Kiagbodo

Eagle Heights University, Omadino, Warri

Admiralty University of Nigeria at Ibusa and Sapele

Delta State has some historical, cultural and socio-political tourist centers that attract visitors from around the globe. Some of these sites of tourism include:

The Nana's Palace built by Chief Nana Olomu of Ebrohim. He was a powerful 19th century indigenous entrepreneur who traded with the British. The relationship eventually turned sour. Later, he surrendered (not without putting up a fight) and was exiled to Ghana. His personal effects are housed in this grand palace.

The River Ethiope which is reputed to be the deepest inland waterway in Africa (at 176 km). Its source is at the foot of a giant silk-cotton tree at Umuaja in Ukwuani Local Government Area of the state and flows through seven Local Government Areas in the State. It is a place of worship for Olokun traditional religion and also a common site for faithfuls of the Igbe Religious Movement.

The Araya Bible Site which houses a copy of the Holy Bible. It is believed that the bible descended to this spot miraculously from heaven around August, 1914. The bible dropped on rain-soaked yam and it didn't get wet. The site now attracts thousands of Christians yearly.

Demas Nwoko Edifice which was built using traditional materials, designs and construction techniques of the Igbo civilization and the Benin Empire by Demas Nwoko, an architect, builder and artist of international repute from Idumuje-Ugboko, in Aniocha North Local Government Area, Delta State.

The Mungo Park House which is now the site of the National Museum, Asaba. The house was constructed by the Royal Niger Company (RNC) in 1886 and was used as a colonial administrative headquarters, a military house, the colonial administrative divisional headquarters, the RNC Constabulary building, and the seat of the Urban District Council at different times.

The Niger Bridge which connects Delta State (by extension, western Nigeria) to the Eastern part of Nigeria. It is a beauty to behold. It was completed in 1965 and cost £5 million. It was damaged during the civil war, but later repaired.

Lander Brothers Anchorage, Asaba which was built in memory of early British explorers. The complex has a museum, a graveyard, and many artworks and writings. It houses a replica of one of the boats that was used by the brothers.

Falcorp Mangrove Park

Warri Kingdom Royal Cemetery which is 512 year old burial ground and serves as the resting place of past rulers of Warri kingdom. A tree is planted on each grave.

Delta State is known to have produced several sportsmen and women, notably Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, Sunday Oliseh, Austin Jay-Jay Okocha, Wilson Oruma, Efetobore Sodje Blessing Okagbare and Jonathan Akpoborie, Cindy Ofili.

Some Prominent People

Abel Ubeku, first black Managing Director of Guinness Nigeria Plc.

Alibaba Akpobome, stand up comedian and actor

Amaju Pinnick, president of the Nigeria Football Federation

Ayo Oritsejafor, founder of Word of Life Bible Church

Ben Okri, writer

Blessing Okagbare, athlete, Olympic and World Athletics Championships medalist in the long jump, and a world medallist in the 200 metres

Bovi, popular Nigerian comedian

Bruce Onobrakpeya, 2006 UNESCO Living Human Treasure Award, trustee of Western Niger Delta University

David Dafinone, Renowned Account/Politician

Dennis Osadebay

Dominic Oneya

Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Nigeria.

Emmanuel Uduaghan

Enebeli Elebuwa, Nigeria Actor

Gamaliel Onosode


I Go Dye, popular comedian across Africa and United Nations' Millennium Development Goals Ambassador

Igho Sanomi, Nigerian businessman

James Ibori, former governor of Delta State

Okocha, former Super Eagles Captain

Jeremiah Omoto Fufeyin, founder of Christ Mercyland Deliverance Ministry

Jim Ovia

John Pepper Clark, first professor of English in Africa, poet and writer

Joy Ogwu, former Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations.


Michael Ashikodi Agbamuche, former Attorney General & Minister for Justice of Nigeria

Michael Ibru, business leader

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Olorogun O'tega Emerhor, Nigerian financial industry leader and politician.

Omawumi, popular Nigerian entertainer.

Prof Onigu Otite, sociologist and anthropologist


Ovie Omo-Agege

Patrick Utomi

Paul Dike, Past Chief of Defence Staff.

Richard Mofe-Damijo, veteran actor


Stephen Keshi

Stephen Oru

Sunday Ogochukwu Oliseh, Football Manager and former player

Sunny Ofehe, international human & environmental rights activist.

Tanure Ojaide, professor of English and renowned writer

Tony Elumelu, UBA and Heirs Holdings.

Udoka Azubuike, college basketball player at the University of Kansas[10]

Zulu Sofola

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Asaba Delta State Nigeria South-South Warri


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