HISTORY AND PEOPLE OF KOGI STATE
Kogi is a state in the central region of Nigeria. It is popularly called the Confluence State because the confluence of River Niger and River Benue is at its capital, Lokoja, which is the first administrative capital of modern-day Nigeria.
Agriculture is a main part of the economy, and the state also has coal, steel and other mineral industries.
The main ethnic groups are Igala, Ebira, and Okun.
The state was created in 1991 from parts of Kwara State and Benue State. The state as presently constituted, comprises the people of the Kabba Province of Northern Nigeria. One of the first Qadi in the Kogi State was Faruk Imam.
There are three main ethnic groups and languages in Kogi: Igala, Ebira, and Okun (a Yoruba Group) with other minorities like Bassa, a small fraction of Nupe mainly in Lokoja and Bassa Local Government Area, the Ogugu subgroup of the Igala, Gwari, Kakanda, Oworo people (A Yoruba Group), Ogori, Magongo, Idoma and the Eggan community under Lokoja Local Government.
The name Nigeria, was coined in Lokoja by Flora Shaw, the future wife of Baron Lugard, a British colonial administrator, while gazing out at the river Niger.
Transport and communications
Kogi State connects the Federal Capital Territory with 22 Southern States. Being in close proximity to the federal capital territory, Abuja International Airport serves as the national and international gateway for air travelers from and to the state. Good telecommunications services are available in the state.
Agriculture and resources
Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy. There are many Farm produce from the state notably coffee, cocoa, palm oil, cashews, groundnuts, maize, cassava, yam, rice and melon.
Mineral resources include coal, limestone, iron, petroleum and tin. The state is home to the largest iron and steel industry in Nigeria known as Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited and one of the largest cement factories in Africa, the Obajana Cement Factory.
Kogi state is home to the (Federal University Lokoja), Kogi State University Anyigba, Federal Polytechnic Idah, Kogi State Polytechnic (Lokoja),Federal College of Education (Okene), College of Education (Ankpa), College of Agriculture Kabba, Kogi state college of education, technical (Kabba), federal university Lokoja and The Private Salem University. There are a college of nursing and midwifery in Obangede, School of health tech in Idah and ECWA School of Nursing in Egbe.
Kogi State has produced sprinters such as Sunday Bada and other sportsmen, who have contributed to the growth of sports worldwide. Kogi United and Babanawa F.C. are football teams based in the state. Other sports, such as swimming, handball, and table tennis are actively promoted in the state. The Kogi state Sports Council had a track record of Directors and great personnel team Who at one time or the other had worked with the vision of putting the State fully on the world map. Among them are personalities like Mr. Francis Umoru, Mr. Mohammed Emeje, Mr. Benjamin O. Ameje, Mr. A. Ogido, Mr. Joel J. Abu and others.
Among other sportsmen produce by the state is Shola Ameobi, an Ayetoro Gbede born Ijumu, English footballer, currently playing for Bolton Wanderers as a striker, late Sunday Bada 400 Metres Olympic Champion from Ogidi in Ijumu Local Govt. of the state.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS IN KOGI STATE
Kogi State consists of twenty-one (21) Local Government Areas. They are:
- Koton Karfe
- Yagba East
- Yagba West
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) and natural land features.
Being a 2-hour drive from Abuja some tourists come for day trips.