FACTS ABOUT REGIONS, STATES AND ZONING IN NIGERIA
1. PRE-AMALGAMATION Nigeria began as a company, UAC then RNC. Thus most of the delineations were based on company interests around the sea and rivers of Niger, Benue, Benin, Forcados, Brass and Bonny etc. This was because the first explorers were afraid to venture inland due to fear of savage repercussions and un-navigable creeks by big vessels. Thus they dealt with coastal people…
A. ”On 1 February 1852 the British established the Bight of Benin British protectorate, under the authority of Consuls of the Bight of Benin: the republic of Benin and Bight of Benin were named after the Great Benin Empire extending eastward from cape st. Paul to the Nun outlet of River Niger ”
B. Lagos was ANNEXED and in 1861, officially it became Lagos Colony
C: The Niger Coast Protectorate was a British protectorate in the Oil Rivers area of present-day Nigeria, originally established as the Oil Rivers Protectorate in 1884 and confirmed at the Berlin Conference the following year, renamed on 12 May 1893, and merged with the chartered territories of the Royal Niger Company on 1 January 1900 to form the Southern Nigeria Protectorate. WITH 3 PROVINCES: WESTERN comprising most of today’s SW zone, CENTRAL comprising ALL of today’s EDO, DELTA, parts of Anambra, Rivers and Bayelsa, AND EASTERN.comprising most of today’s SE and most of Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Cross River States.
D. Northern Nigeria was a British protectorate which lasted from 1900 until 1914 and covered the northern part of what is now Nigeria. WITH 13 PROVINCES: The Provinces of Nigeria are a former administrative division in Nigeria, which were in use in Colonial Nigeria and shortly after independence; from 1900 to 1967. They were altered many times through their history. They were divided into divisions, some of these were further subdivided into native authorities. Northern Nigeria and Southern Nigeria were also sometimes known as the Northern Provinces or Southern Provinces respectively. Currently Nigeria uses states as its administrative division.
The British originally divided the area into eleven provinces which were:
Lower Benue or Nassarawa
In 1903 six more provinces were added to Northern Nigeria; five following the Sokoto-Kano campaign, and also Gwandu province, making a total of 17. The number of provinces was reduced to 13 in 1911, and 12 after World War I. In 1926 Adamawa and Plateau became new provinces. The provinces and divisions in 1945, with the names or number of Native Authorities in each division:
E. Bernard Bourdillon the Governor-general at that time initiated and laid the foundation of federalism in Nigeria in 1939 by creating three provinces. He later handed over the constitution to his successor Arthur Richards and it became the Richards Constitution of 1946.
At the beginning of formal British indirect rule in 1901, Nigeria was divided into two regions: Northern and Southern, both of which were divided into provinces. From 1901 to 1958, the number of regions was increased to three through both acquisition of territories and partition from existing provinces. However, while native-born chiefs and clerks were appointed to govern the provinces, the regions were governed by the British-appointed colonial authorities, and such regions were made dependent upon the colonial authorities for martial law, manpower and management of resources.
THE 3 REGIONS CREATED ORIGINALLY WERE NORTHERN REGION with the Capital at Kaduna, Western Region with the capital at Ibadan and Eastern Region with the Capital at Calabar. In 1954, moved to Enugu, with Umuahia as second or vice- capital, most probably because the colonial officers had a straight journey from the Port town of Port Harcourt by rail and centralized their administration in the new coal town near Udi…those days, goods from the north were shipped to 3 ports, Burutu, Lagos and Port Harcourt.
NOTE: LAGOS WAS NEVER ADMINISTERED AS WESTERN REGION. IT WAS A STANDALONE ZONE AS CAPITAL OF THE AMALGAMATED NIGERIA.
In 1967, Yakubu Gowon created it as a state with the capital at LAGOS ISLAND. In 1976, Murtala Mohammed moved the Capital to Ikeja.
With the approach of independence, power over the regions was given to Nigerian-born citizens, and regional legislatures were established. By the time that Nigeria had declared itself a republic and replaced the post of Governor-General with the post of President, a national bicameral parliament was established and the country was considered a federation of the three regions. The Mid-Western Region was formed from the Western Region in 1963, and Lagos, the capital, was effectively governed as an unofficial fourth region outside the bounds of the Western Region.
MIDWESTERN REGION THE ONLY DELEANATION CREATED IN NIGERIA (1963) VIA A REFERENDUM
In the wake of the Civil war, Gowon ended the regions and created 12 states with military fiat, without consultation with all parties. Same was done by Murtala Muhammed who added 7 states to increase North’s share by 2 more states. Before military intervention, the North had only one region with 13 provinces while the south had 3: WESTERN, MIDWESTERN and EASTERN, with scores of provinces cumulatively in the South.
F. Shagari never attempted any constitutional process to create states . Buhari never did in his shortlived military rule. But IBB added first 2 states to make it 21 in 1987. The 2 were Akwa Ibom and Katsina.
IBB later added 9 states to make 30 states in Nigeria in 1991, before Abacha topped the number with 6 states to make it 36.
The following table presents a listing of Nigeria’s states and the dates of their creation.
State Date Created Preceding Entity
Abia State 27 August 1991 Imo State
Adamawa State 27 August 1991 Gongola State
Akwa Ibom State 23 September 1987 Cross River State
Anambra State 27 August 1991 (old) Anambra State
Bauchi State 3 February 1976 North-Eastern State
Bayelsa State 1 October 1996 Rivers State
Benue State 3 February 1976 Benue-Plateau State
Borno State 3 February 1976 North-Eastern State
Cross River State 27 May 1967 Eastern Region; known as South-Eastern State from 1967 to 1976.
Delta State 27 August 1991 Bendel State
Ebonyi State 1 October 1996 Enugu State and Abia State
Edo State 27 August 1991 Bendel State
Ekiti State 1 October 1996 Ondo State
Enugu State 27 August 1991 (old) Anambra State
Gombe State 1 October 1996 Bauchi State
Imo State 3 February 1976 East Central State
Jigawa State 27 August 1991 Kano State
Kaduna State 27 May 1967 Northern Region; known as North-Central State from 1967 to 1976.
Kano State 27 May 1967 Northern Region
Katsina State 23 September 1987 Kaduna State
Kebbi State 27 August 1991 Sokoto State
Kogi State 27 August 1991 Kwara State; Benue State
Kwara State 27 May 1967 Northern Region; known as West Central State from 1967 to 1976.
Lagos State 27 May 1967 Federal Territory of Lagos and Colony Province
Nasarawa State 1 October 1996 Plateau State
Niger State 3 February 1976 North-Western State
Ogun State 3 February 1976 Western State
Ondo State 3 February 1976 Western State
Osun State 27 August 1991 Oyo State
Oyo State 3 February 1976 Western State
Plateau State 3 February 1976 Benue-Plateau State
Rivers State 27 May 1967 Eastern Region
Sokoto State 3 February 1976 North-Western State
Taraba State 27 August 1991 Gongola State
Yobe State 27 August 1991 Borno State
Zamfara State 1 October 1996 Sokoto State
Abuja Federal Capital Territory 3 February 1976 Benue-Plateau, North-Central, and North-Western States
During the political reorganization of Nigeria in the late eighties and early nineties, IBB created 6 geopolitical zones thus:
OF ALL THE ZONES, REGION AND STATES, ONLY ONE REGION WAS CREATED BY THE PEOPLE VIA CONSTITUTIONAL MEANS – THE MIDWESTERN REGION . OTHERS WERE CREATED BY FORCE VIA COLONIAL BRITAIN AND NORTHERN MILITARY DICTATORS
The Six Geopolitical Zones In Nigeria With Their States:
NOTE:IBB’s GEO-POLITICAL ZONES were very similar to issues raised in the HENRY WILLINK’S REPORT OF 1958:
The Willink Commission named after Harry Willink, former Vice Chancellor of Cambridge University and head of a panel commissioned in September, 1957 to look into fears expressed by minority ethnic groups that the colonial imposed political structure would lead to the domination of the minority groups by the majority ethnic groups in the NEWLY CREATED three regions of the federation.
(by RICHARDS AND MACPHERSON) The commission was also charged with means of allaying those fears.
.The commission stated that about 9-15 demands for state creation were expressed, these included from the Western Region, a Yoruba Central state, Ondo Central and MidWest State, from the Eastern Region were demands for the creation of the Calabar-Ogoja-Rivers States and from the North the creation of a Middle Belt State.
Politically, in the North, the powerful party, Northern Peoples Congress went against state creation while its counterpart in the East, the NCNC, called for the creation of 17 states. In the West, the Action Group supported the creation of the Calabar Ogoja and Rivers States and the Middle Belt State with further avenue for state creation included in the constitution.
The Six Geopolitical Zones In Nigeria is the division of the country into six zones which consist of states with similar cultures, history, background and close territories. The Six Geopolitical Zones In Nigeria were created during the regime of President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida.
Below is the list of the Zones and the states that fall under each of them.
1. NORTH CENTRAL- (6 States plus FCT) Niger, Kogi, Benue, Plateau, Nassarawa, Kwara and FCT.
2. NORTH EAST- (6 States) Bauchi, Borno, Taraba, Adamawa, Gombe and Yobe.
3. NORTH WEST- (7 States) Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna, Kebbi, Katsina, Kano and Jigawa.
4. SOUTH EAST- (5 States) Enugu, Imo, Ebonyi, Abia and Anambra
5. SOUTH SOUTH – (6 States) Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Edo, Rivers, Cross River and Delta.
6. SOUTH WEST- (6 States) Oyo, Ekiti, Osun, Ondo, Lagos and Ogun.
The last areas were added for explanation purposes because IBB left when Nigeria had 30 states.
Researched by Henry Omoregie
.. Here is the reason for the Willink Report … WILLINK MINORITIES COMMISSION — NIGERIA (1957-58)
By Peter Ekeh
In the course of the agitation for the independence of Nigeria from British colonial rule, it became apparent that Nigerian political arrangements would be heavily weighted in favour of three groups that dominated the three colonial Regions – North, East, and West — into which the British imperial Government had divided Nigeria. In the North, the Fulani, allied with the Hausa whom they had ruled for a century before the onset of British colonialism in 1903, dominated the affairs of the Region and persecuted the Tiv and several other minorities. In the east, the Igbo maltreated the Ibibio and other minorities. In the West, the Yoruba captured power and showed great hostilities towards the Urhobo and Benin especially. Consequently, there were widespread fears expressed by such demographically smaller groups, who became political minorities as a consequence of the 1954 federal arrangements in Nigeria. They feared that they would become politically endangered as minority groups following political independence from Great Britain.
The British Imperial Government appointed a Minorities Commission in 1957 to look into such fears by minorities in Northern, Eastern, and Western Regions of Nigeria and to recommend measures for lessening them. In the course of its work, the Willink Commission, named after its Chairman, produced some important maps. These five maps have historic value. They are the last important maps left behind by the departing British colonial authorities. It should be noted that Western Cameroon was at that time still part of Nigeria and appears in some of these maps as part of Nigeria. The Willink Minorities Commission made its report in 1958.http://www.waado.org/…/w…/willink_minorities_commission.html