Origin Of Names Of States In Nigeria

Source: Engr. Rotimi Fabiyi
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Abia is an acronym derived from the name of the
four main groups of people in the state as at the
time it was formed in 1991: Aba B ende Isuikwuato Afikpo

This state was named after a warrior that conquered the region in the begining of the 19th century. His name was Modibbo Adama Bin Ardo

Akwa Ibom is named after a river, the Qua Iboe
(or Kwa Iboe) River
It was derived from the name of the Oma Mbala (Omambala) River (in Ibo, the native name of the river is Ànyịm Ọma Mbala).

There are three versions of how Bauchi got its name. One version says ‘Bauchi’ is Hausa word meaning the southern flanks of Hausaland. Tribes

living in the southern parts of the Hausaland were referred to as kasashen bauchi and the area they lived in later came to be known simply as Bauchi. According to the second version the state was named for Baushe, a famous hunter who settled there before the 19th century while the third states that ‘bauchi’ is Hausa word for

slavery since it was a center for slave raiders.
Bayelsa was formed as a result of the clamour from the three LGAs in old Rivers (Brass LGA

known as BALGA, Yenegoa LGA known as YELGA
and Sagbama LGA – SALGA). The name came about from the combination of their acronymns.

It is a word from the Batta language ‘Binuwe’ which means ‘Mother of Waters’

The name was derived from ‘Borno’, an alternative name of the Kanuris who form the

predominant ethnic group in the state.
*Cross River*
The state took its name from a River called Oyono or Cross River

It was named for the delta of the River Niger formed as it enters the Atlantic Ocean.

The state was named after the Aboine River that cuts through Abakaliki, the state capital

Named after the Bini people who had always referred to themselves as Edo or Iduu

‘Ekiti’ is a term that is said to denote a settlement of many hills

Enugu derived its name from two local words enu ugwu which means ‘top of the hill’

Named after the dialect of Fulani language (Fulfulde) spoken in the area ‘Gombe’.

This state is named after the Imo River (Imo Mmiri)

The state was named after its distinctively golden-coloured soil, Jigawa.

The state after the crocodiles in Kaduna River. Kaduna is Hausa plural word for crocodiles

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

Katsina was named after the wife of the local ruler known as Janzama. Her name was Katsina.

Legend has it that Kebbi was named after the Ka’abba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

The name Kogi was said to have be derived from 'kogin’, hausa for river. This is to represent the fact that the two biggest Rivers in Nigeria, River

Niger and River Benue form a confluence in the state.

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

The name is a Portuguese word for lakes. The Portuguese were the first set of Europeans to

reach Lagos in 1472. The name was inspired by the lagoons and rivers in Lagos.

It was so named by the founder of Nasarawa kingdom, Makama Dogo. Nasarawa means

Named after the popular River Niger.
Named after the Ogun River
This was named after the settlers of the old Ondo Kingdom. Ondo is a word for settlers.

Like a number of other Nigerian states, it was also named after a river; River Osun.

It was named after the Old Oyo empire.
The state was named for the Jos Plateau
A state with many water bodies, Rivers State was named for many of the rivers present in the area

Named after the defunct Sokoto Caliphate. Sokoto is the anglicized version of the

Arabic word ‘suk’ which means ‘market’ or 'place of commerce’

The state was named after the Taraba River.
The state was named after Komadugu Yobe
(Waube or Ouobe) or River Yobe (or River of Yo).
Zamfarawa is one of the subdialects of Eastern
Hausa linguistic group and that is where the name came from.

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