Destination Of The Week: Lafia
A major urban town and capital city of Nasarawa State , Lafia is an old pro at capturing the hearts of its visitors.
Formerly known as Lafia Beri-Beri and then Anane – a small town of the Arago people – Lafia became the capital of a prominent local chiefdom in the early 19th century. Modern Lafia is a collecting point for sesame seeds, soybeans, and a trading center for yams, sorghum, millet, and cotton.
Besides farming, cotton weaving and dyeing are traditionally important activities of the town’s permanent inhabitants while Fulani herdsmen bring their cattle to graze in the vicinity during the dry season.
According to the 2006 census results, the town has a population of 330,712 inhabitants and is the largest municipality in Nasarawa state. In addition to the emir’s palace, Lafia has a central mosque, a Roman Catholic secondary school, and a government health office. If you are visiting Nigeria’s central region, spend quality time looking through these environs to see the town’s true colors. If you love Lafia, it will definitely love you back.
TOP THREE ATTRACTIONS
The emir’s palace
The emir’s palace, located in the outskirts of Lafia is inhabited by the Emir who is the revered traditional leader and paramount ruler in the area. Although the palace was severely damaged by a fire in 2013, it has been refurbished.
The central mosque
A majority of the inhabitants of Lafia are Muslims, and the central mosque is the preferred center for religious activities and worship.
Lafia Township Staduim
The Lafia Township Stadium is home to Nasarawa United, Nasarawa State’s most famous a football club , nicknamed Solid Miners. A multi-use stadium, It is based in Lafia, has a capacity of 5,000 people, and is currently used mostly for football matches.
From the looming, ancient beauty of Lafia to the soft bustle of its inhabitants, accommodation options are diverse and plentiful. Most travellers will find that prices here are reasonable, even for the higher end lodges. Also, most hotels these offer incredible deals on Jovago.com for those travelling on strict budgets. Choose your base carefully depending on your priorities – not everywhere is close to a major sight.
Lafia may not be a shopper’s paradise as it may not offer as much fun as neighboring towns and cities; however, you are bound to find affordable items from the local shops and markets. The stores located across the city, stock everything from food items to footwear, furnishing and clothes.
A man arranges sticks of meat on a mud platform for roasting in the ancient city of Kano 19 April, 2007. Roasted meat on sticks popularly known as 'Suya' is a common delicacy in northern Nigeria. AFP PHOTO PIUS UTOMI EKPEI (Photo credit should read PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)
Like most towns in Nigeria, Lafia has some local foods which adventurous tourists are bound to enjoy. The streets are rich with street food vendors and bukkas where local delicacies are offered. There are also a number of fast foods and proper restaurants.
Lafia boasts of coal deposits in the southeastern part of the town. Tin and columbite are also mined nearby.