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The Origin Of Nigerian State Names

ABIA: 
Abia is an acronym derived from the name of the four main groups of the people in the state as at the time it was formed in 1991; (Aba, Bende, Isuikwuato,  and Afikpo).

Adamawa:
Adamawa State was named after a warrior that conquered the region at the beginning of the 19th century. His name was Modibbo Adama Bin Ardo Hassan.

Akwa-Ibom:
Akwa Ibom State was named after a river, the Qua Iboe (or Kwa Iboe) river.

Anambra:
Anambra State was derived from the name of the Oma Mbala (Omambala) river "in Igbo, the native name of the river is Ànyįm Oma Mbala".

Bauchi:
There are 3 versions of how Bauchi got its name, one version says "Bauchi" is Hausa word meaning the southern flanks of Hausa land. Tribes living in the southern parts of the Hausland were referred to as "Kasashen Bauchi"

Bayelsa:
Bayelsa State was formed as a result of the clamour from the three LGAs in the old rivers, (Brass LGA - BALGA, Yenogoa LGA - YELGA and Sagbama LGA - SALGA). The name came about from the combination of their acronyms. BA + YEL + SA = BAYELSA.

Benue:
Benue State name was derived from the Batta Language "Binuwe" which means"Mother of Waters".

Borno:
Borno State name was derived from "Borno", an alternative name of the Kanuris who formed the predominant ethnic group in the state.

Cross River:
Cross River State took its name from the River called Oyono or Cross River.

Delta:
Delta State was named after the delta of the river Niger formed, as it enters the Atlantic Ocean.

Ebonyi:
Ebonyi State was named after the Aboine river that cut through Abakaliki, the State capital.

Edo:
Edo State was named after the Bini people who had always referred to themselves as Edo or Iduu.

Ekiti:
Ekiti State name was derived from the term that is said to denote a settlement of many hills.

Enugu:
Enugu State name was derived from two local words "Enu" and "Ugwu" which means 'Top of the hills.'

Gombe:
Gombe State was named after the dialect of the Fulani language (Fulfulde) spoken in the area 'Gombe'.

Imo:
Imo State was named after the Imo River (Mmiri Imo).

Jigawa:
Jigawa State was named after its distinctively golden-coloured soil, Jigawa.

Kaduna:
Kaduna State was named after the crocodiles in Kaduna river. 'Kadduna' is the Hausa plural words for crocodiles.

Kano:
Kano State was named after a blacksmith of the Gaya tribe who settled in the area while sourcing for ironstone. His name was Kano.

Katsina:
Katsina State was named after the wife for the local ruler known as Janzama. Her name was Katsina.

Kebbi:
Legend has it that Kebbi State was named after the Ka'bba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Kogi: 
The Kogi State name was said to have been derived from 'Kogi', (Hausa word for river). This is to represent the fact that the two biggest rivers in Nigeria, river Niger, and river Benue formed a confluence in the State.

Kwara:
Kwara State was named after the River Niger which forms the Northern border of the state. The Nupes used to call the river, Kwara.

Lagos:
Lagos State name is a Portuguese name for 'Lakes'.The Portuguese were the first settlers from Europe to reach Lagos in 1472. The name was inspired by the lagoons and the rivers in Lagos.

Nasarawa:
Nasarawa State was named by the founder of Nasarawa Kingdom, Makama Dogo. And Nasarawa means Victorious.

Niger:
Niger State was named after the popular river Niger.

Ogun:
Ogun State was named after the Ogun river.

Ondo:
Ondo State was named after the settlers of the old Ondo kingdom. Ondo is a word for settlers.

Osun:
Like a number of other Nigerian States, Osun State was also named after a river; river Osun.

Oyo:
Oyo State was named after the old Oyo empire.

Plateau:
Plateau State was named for the Jos Plateau.

Rivers:
Rivers State, a state with many water bodies was named for the many rivers present in the area.

Sokoto:
Sokoto State was named after the defunct Sokoto caliphate, Sokoto is the anglicized version of the Arabic word 'Suk' which means 'Market' or 'Place of commerce'.

Taraba:
Taraba State was named after the Taraba river.

Yobe:
Yobe State was named after Komadugu Yobe (Waube or Ouobe) or river Yobe (or river of Yo).

Zamfara:
Zamfarawa the land of Jambarawa.

Abuja:
The name "Abuja" was derived from Abuja, a brother to Muhammadu Makau, the last Hausa ruler of Zaria. Makau had left Zaria after been defeated by the Fulani and settled in the area now known as Abuja.

 

The Origin Of Nigerian State Names, please share to enlighten someone today.

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