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Description of Benue State
With a population of around 4,253,641 according to the 2006 census, Benue State is one of the North Central states in Nigeria. As one of the seven states founded at the time, the state was established in 1976. The second-largest river in Nigeria, the Benue River, is where the state gets its name. The Bantoid term "Beer Nor," which translates to "the streams of Hipopotamus," is whence the name Benue originates. The state shares international boundaries with Cameroon to the south-east, Enugu State to the south-west, Ebonyi and Cross-Rivers States to the south, Nasarawa State to the north, Taraba State to the east, Kogi State to the west, and Enugu State to the west. The Tiv, Idoma, Igede, and Etulo peoples are the main inhabitants. Makurdi serves as its capital. In Benue, an abundant agricultural region, crops like oranges, mangoes, sweet potatoes, cassava, soy beans, guinea corn, flax, yams, sesame, rice, groundnuts, and palm trees are commonly planted.
The administrative unit that was separated from northern Nigeria's protectorate at the start of the 20th century is still in existence as the state of Benue. Until 1918, the region was known as Munshi Province; then, the name of its most prominent physical feature, the "Benue River," was chosen.
In addition to Igala and a small portion of Kwara State, Benue State—named for the Benue River—was created in 1976 from the previous Benue-Plateau State.
In order to create the new Kogi State in 1991, portions of Kwara State and Benue State (primarily the Igala-speaking region) were divided up. Igbo people can be found in bordering local governments like Obi, Oju, etc. It is referred to be both the "Heartbeat of the Middle Belt" and the "Entertainment Capital of the Middle Belt" north of the Niger River. Otukpo, the traditional and political center of the Idoma people, is also referred to as the Lion's Heart and the Land of the Brave.
Benson Abounu serves as deputy governor, and Samuel Ortom serves as governor. However, both defected to the People's Democratic Party (PDP) in 2018 after being elected under the All Progressives Congress (APC)
Geographical description of Benue
Benue State is located in Nigeria's central belt, in the lower Benue trough. Longitude 7° 47' and latitude 10° 0' East are its geographical coordinates. Latitude 6° 25' and 8° 8' North; has borders with five other states: Nasarawa State to the north, Taraba State to the east, Cross-River State to the south, Enugu State to the south-west, and Kogi State to the west. The state also has a shared border with the Nord-Ouest Province, which is located in the southeast and is claimed by both Ambazonia and the Republic of Cameroon. 34,059 square kilometers make up the landmass of Benue.
Benue State is known as the "food basket" of the country due to its abundance of agricultural products such yam, rice, beans, cassava, sweet potatoes, maize, soybeans, sorghum, millet, sesame, and cocoyam. More than 70% of Nigeria's soybean production is attributable to the state.
Over 75% of the state's farmers work in agriculture, which is the economy's mainstay. The State also boasts of having one of the longest river systems in the nation, with significant potential for an inland waterway, a thriving fishing economy, and dry-season agricultural through irrigation.
Forests, which provide trees for timber and offer a good habitat for unique animal types and species, are a distinctive feature of the state's southern environment. Thus, the state has the ability to establish functional reserves for forests and wildlife. resources in minerals
Benue State is fortunate to have a wealth of mineral resources. These resources are dispersed throughout the state's Local Government Areas. Only the limestone at Tse-Kucha, close to Gboko, and the kaolinite at Otukpo are being used for commercial purposes. Other mineral deposits include those for gemstones, mineral salts, gypsum, kaolinite, wolframite, baryte, and feldspar.
Tiv, Idoma, Igede, Etulo, Abakpa, Jukun, Hausa, Igbo, Akweya, and Nyifon are among the ethnic groups present in the state. In addition to the Etulo and Jukun, the Idoma, Igede, Igbo, Akweya, and Nyifon are present in nine of the 14 local government areas that the Tiv share with them.
While the majority of Tiv people work as farmers, those who live near rivers often use fishing as a secondary or primary source of income. The residents of the state are renowned for both their rich cultural heritage and their upbeat and friendly personalities.
The colorful clothing, unusual masquerades, supplicated music, and dances that characterize Benue State's rich and diversified cultural history. Benue State's traditional dances have received praise in both national and international cultural festivals. Among the most well-liked of these dances are Ingyough, Ange, Anchanakupa, Swange, and Ogirinya.
The cultural and religious festivals of the locals, as well as the vibrant dances, costumes, and music, have visitor appeal. For instance, locals believe their ancestors made contact with the living again during the Alekwu ancestral festival of the Idoma people, which takes the shape of masquerades.
The Igede people of the Oju and Obi local government districts celebrate a Yam Festival each year in September called the Igede-Agba. The Tiv Day, weddings, and dancing competitions (such as the Swange dance) are frequently quite colorful events. A particularly enjoyable Tiv puppet show is called Kwagh-Hir.
The accessibility of a variety of recreational amenities enhances social life in Benue State. The large hotels in Makurdi, Gboko, and Otukpo include a number of indoor sporting facilities in addition to the parks, beaches, dances, and masquerades noted above. In addition to offering drinks and refreshments for purchase, there are golf clubs, including the Makurdi Club, Railway Club, Police Club, and Air Force Club.
In Makurdi, there is a conventional arts theater, a contemporary sports complex with the Aper Aku Stadium with amenities for tennis, basketball, volleyball, and handball, an indoor sports arena, and an Olympic-sized swimming pool.