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Description of Edo State
The southern part of Nigeria is home to Edo State, one of Nigeria's 36 states. Population estimates for 2006 put the state's total population at 3,233,366; this places it as Nigeria's 24th most populous. Geographically, Edo State ranks as Nigeria's 22nd largest state. Benin Metropolis, the state capital and largest city, is Nigeria's hub for the rubber sector and the fourth largest city overall. Established in 1991 from what was then Bendel State, it is often referred to as "the heart pulse of the nation." To the northeast is Kogi State, to the east is Anambra State, to the southeast and south is Delta State, and to the west is Ondo State.
Elevations range from below sea level in the south to well above it in the north, with Edo state spanning a total of between 500 and 1,800 feet (150 and 550 meters). The majority of the region consists of tropical rain forest. The majority of the state's population identifies as Edo (Bini), a group with ties to the ancient Benin Empire.
Areas now under Edo State's limits were historically part of the Benin Empire, which originated in the 11th century AD.
There were some of the greatest earthworks in the world in the ancient city of Edo, which is now known as Benin City. Following a punitive campaign in 1897, the British Empire destroyed much of the historic city of Edo and annexed the surrounding land for what would later become the Southern Nigeria Protectorate.
Benin City, the capital of Edo state and the most populous city in Edo state, is located in southern Nigeria. Benin City sits on a tributary of the Benin River and is conveniently located close to the main thoroughfares connecting Lagos with the eastern states. Also is accessible through air and the ports of Koko and Sapele in the Niger River delta, and it has road connections to Sapele, Siluko, Okene, and Ubiaja.
Ivory and wood carvings, as well as so-called "bronzes" (really brass work, some of which is thought to originate from the 13th century), have long brought fame to Benin City. Its museum (1960) houses a significant collection of the kingdom's earliest works of art. Today's craftspeople in the city continue to use the time-honored process of cire perdue ("lost-wax") casting, and a cooperative craft association unites the city's woodworkers.
Benin City is home to numerous processing companies and a crepe rubber mill, making it Nigeria's rubber hub. You can visit the Rubber Research Institute of Nigeria (1961) in close proximity to Iyanomo. Benin City is home to sawmills as well. The city is a manufacturing hub, and products like furniture, beer, and soft beverages are all made there.
Edoid peoples, such as the Edo (or Bini), Esan, Owan, and Afemai, make up the vast majority of the state's population.
Commonly spoken in Benin City, the Edo language is the most widely spoken variety of the Edoid language family. Edo State has a large Christian population. In the 15th century, it was brought to the area by Portuguese missionaries. Muslim and more traditional beliefs are also followed.
The Mid-Western Region was a division of Nigeria from 1963 to 1991, officially known as Bendel state from 1976. In June 1963 Edo state was formed from Benin and Delta provinces of the Western Region, and its capital was Benin City. Benin city was renamed a province in 1966, and in 1967 when the other provinces were separated into several states, it remained territorially intact, becoming a state. The Biafran forces invaded the new Mid-Western state during the Nigerian Civil war, en route to Lagos, in an attempt to force a quick end to the war. While under the Biafran occupation, the state was declared as the “Republic of Benin” as Nigerian forces were to retake the region. The republic falls through a day after the declaration as Nigerian troops overtook Benin City. Edo State was formed On 27 August 1991 Edo state was formed when Bendel State was split into Edo and Delta States. In Benin City, the population of the entire state is approximately 8 million. Edo state is made up of three major ethnic groups; namely Edo (Binis), Esan, and Afemai (Owan/Etsako) with Akoko Edo. Edo State has a high number of residents from across the country and the world because of its cosmopolitan tendencies. Benin City has a history of being one of the foremost destinations of Europeans during their exploration of the Africa continent many centuries ago. Some of the flashpoints have remained enviable tourists’ attraction for the state.
The Emotan Statue in Benin City, Ise Lake and River Niger Beach in Agenebode, Etsako-East, Mike Akhigbe Square in fugar, Ambrose Alli Square in Ekpoma, River Niger Beaches in Ilushi, BFFM Building in Ewu, Igun street, College of Agriculture and Aqua Culture Technology in Agenebode, Okpekpe with its hills and scenes, the Usomege Hills in Apan.
The state's mining industry generates crude oil and other minerals including limestone and quarry.
The basic ethnic groups in Edo State are Binis, Etsako, Esans, Owans, and Akoko Edos. practically all the groups traced their origin to Benin City hence the dialects of the groups vary with their distance from Benin City. A lot of communities and indeed the ruling linage in all the tribes trace their roots to the ancient kingdom of Benin. There are Cultural similarities in the areas of religious worship, folk-lore, dances, festivals, traditional modes of dressing, arts, and craft. The political pattern and conduct are based on a situation where both the monarchial and republican ideas flourished in a combined manner. The colorful traditional festivals in the state manifest its abundance of cultural heritage. The state is occupied largely by the Edo (Bini) people, who are connected to the historic kingdom of Benin. Agriculture is the main profession 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.