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How Nigerian 36 States Got Their Names

Get To Know How All The 36 Nigerian States Got Their Names

How Nigerian states got there names

Behind every state and its name, there is a rich history. Look at all the states and how they have been called.

See how all the 36 Nigerian states got their names, from names of rivers to famous heroes. 

1. Abia 

Abia is an acronym for Aba Bende Isuikwuato Afikpo, the four major classes of citizens in the state at the time it was founded in 1991. 

2. Adamawa

Adamawa was named after a warrior who conquered the area in the early 19th century, Modibbo Adama Bin Ardo Hassan. 

3. Akwa Ibom 

Akwa Ibom is named after a river called Qua Iboe (or Kwa Iboe). 

4. Anambra

The state got its name from the damaged version of the area's famous river, Oma Mbala (Ànyịm Ọma Mbala).

5. Bauchi

Three versions of how Bauchi got her name are available: 

The Hausa word 'Bauchi' means the southern flanks of Hausaland. In the southern parts of the Hausaland, tribes were referred to as "kasashen Bauchi" and the region in which they lived later became known simply as Bauchi. The state's second version was named after Baushe, a famous hunter who settled there before the 19th century. The third note that, as it was a base for slave raiders, 'Bauchi' is the Hausa term for slavery. 

6. Bayelsa

Brass LGA, known as BALGA, Yenegoa LGA, known as YELGA, and Sagbama LGA, known as SALGA, is a mixture of the acronyms of three local government regions that were taken out of the old Rivers State. BA + YEL + SA = BAYELSA is the mathematics involved in the creation of their names. 

7. Benue

The state was named after the corruption of 'Binuwe', the Batta word for 'Mother of Waters', "Europeanized."

8. Borno 

'Borno' is the alternative name of the Kanuris, the predominant ethnic group in the state, which influenced the name of the state. 

9. Cross River

The state was named after a river named Oyono, or Cross River. 

10. Delta

When it joins the Atlantic Ocean, the state is where the River Niger forms a delta. 

11. Ebonyi 

The Anglicised version of 'Aboine' is Ebonyi, a river that runs through Abakaliki, the capital of the state. 

12. Edo

The people of Bini who live in the region have often referred to themselves as Edo or Iduu. This influenced the state's name. 

13. Ekiti

'Ekiti' is a word that is used to signify a multi-hill settlement. It became 'Ekiti' later. 

14. Enugu

The people called it "Enu Ugwu" in Igbo, meaning "top of the hill," because of the many hills and rocky terrain in the region. After the Anglicised version, Enugu, the state is called. 

15. Gombe

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

16. Imo 

Imo took its name from the famous river, Imo Mmiri, like many of Nigeria's states. 

17.  Jigawa 

The distinctly golden-colored soil inspires Jigawa. 

18. Kaduna 

The plural form of a crocodile in Hausa is 'Kadunas'. Thus, from the many crocodiles in the Kaduna River, the state got its name. 

19. Kano

Kano was the name of a Gaya tribe blacksmith who settled in the region while sourcing for ironstone. They called the state after him. 

20. Katsina

The state was named after a wife known as Janzama, a prominent local ruler. Katsina was her nickname. 

21. Kebbi

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

22. Kogi 

Kogi is said to be derived from 'kogin', the Hausa word for river because the famous confluence in Nigeria is located in the state. 

23. Kwara

On the northern boundary of the state, the River Niger used to be called the Kwara River by the Nupes. After this, the state was named.

24. Lagos 

The first party of Europeans to set foot in Lagos in 1472 was the Portuguese. They called it Lagos because of the many lagoons and rivers in the area, which is the Portuguese word for 'lakes'. 

25. Nasarawa 

Nasarawa is a "victorious" native term. The state was called Makama Dogo by the founder of the kingdom of Nasarawa. 

26. Niger

It's named after the Niger River. 

27. Ogun 

The state was also named after the Ogun River, a river. 

28. Ondo

Ondo is a term used to refer to settlers. The state was named after the ancient Ondo Kingdom settlers. 

29. Osun 

The state is also named after a river, the Osun River. 

30. Oyo

The state was named after the kingdom of Old Oyo. 

31. Plateau 

After the picturesque Jos Plateau, the state was named. From the mispronunciation of the town, 'Gwosh' Jos got its name.

32. Rivers 

Rivers State was named for the many bodies of water present in the region. 

33. Sokoto 

The anglicized form of the Arabic word 'suk' in Sokoto, meaning 'market' or 'place of exchange'. The state itself was named after the extinct Caliphate of Sokoto. 

34. Taraba 

The state of Taraba received its name from the River Taraba. 

35. Yobe  

The name of the state was influenced by the Komadugu Yobe (Waube or Ouobe), or River Yobe (or River of Yo). 

36. Zamfara

This state was named after one of the sub-dialects of the Eastern Hausa tribe, Zamfarawa.


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