History Of Cross-River State, Nigeria

Filed in BIOGRAPHIES by on June 8, 2019 5 Comments

History Of Cross-River.“Best Review”

History Of Cross-River: Culture & People, Local Government Areas | Weather/Climate, Festivals,  Cities & Towns, Museum. 



Cross River is a state in South South Nigeria bordering Cameroon to the east. It is located in Nigeria’s Delta Region. It is bounded on the North by Benue State, on the South by Akwa Ibom State, on the East by Cameroon Republic and on the West by Anambra and Imo States. Its capital is at Calabar, and it is named after the Cross River, which passes through the state. Ibibio and Efik are major languages of this state..


History Of Cross-River
The South-South State was created on May 27,1967 from the former Eastern Region, Nigeria by the General Yakubu Gowon regime. Its name was changed to Cross River State in the 1976 state creation exercise by the then General Murtala Mohammed regime from South Eastern State Cross Rivers state, named after the river called Cross River (Oyono), which passes through the state. Located on Nigeria’s southeastern frontier, the Cross River landscape descends precipitously from the Oban Obudu rugged foothills (1000 2000m) of the Cameroun Mountains on the east, into the Cross River Plains (30m) to the west, and down to the Bight of Bonny coastal plains to the south, Coastal mangrove wetlands interlaced with creeks, virgin rainforest on the Oban Obudu hills, montane parkland on the Obudu Plateau, and derived Savannah on the Cross River Plain, are all parts of the Cross River State vegetation and scenery. Its major towns are:


Akamkpa, Biase, Calabar South, Ikom, Igede, Obubra, Odukpani, Ogoja,Bekwarra, Ugep, Obudu, Obanliku, Akpabuyo, Ofutop, Iso-bendghe, Danare, Boki, Yala, Bendeghe Ekiem, Etomi,Ukpe and Ukelle.

During the European scramble for Africa, Queen Victoria signed a Treaty of Protection with the King and Chiefs of Akwa Akpa, known to Europeans as Old Calabar on 10 September 1884. This enabled the United Kingdom to exercise control over the entire territory around Calabar, including Bakassi. The territory subsequently became de facto part of the Nigeria, although the border was never permanently delineated. However, documents released by the Cameroonians, in parity with that of the British and Germans, clearly places Bakassi under Cameroonian Territory as a consequence of colonial era Anglo-German agreements.

The state has been previously governed by many governors and administrators including Udoakaha J. Esuene, Paul Omu, Tunde Elegbede, Clement Isong, Donald Etiebet, Daniel Archibong, Ibim Princewill, Ernest Atta, Clement Ebri, Ibrahim Kefas, Gregory Agboneni, Umar Faoruk Ahmed, Christopher Osondu, Donald Duke, Liyel Imoke and Benedict Ayade. The Current Governor is Benedict Ayade, who was sworn into office on the 29th of May, 2015.

History Of Cross-River: Culture & People, Local Government Areas | Weather/Climate, Festivals,  Cities & Towns, Museum. 

Cross-River People & Culture
The state has an estimated population of about 2.89 million people (2006) who have a rich and unique cultural heritage. Ejagham and Efik are major languages of this state, but the Igbo tribe and language are also present in its western land borders. Forty percent of the estimated population constitutes the active population that is engaged in various economic activities; ranging from subsistence agriculture to urban commerce and transport business.

Cross River State shares boundaries with Benue State to the north, Enugu and Abia States to the west, to the east by Cameroon Republic and to the south by Akwa-Ibom and the Atlantic Ocean. The Cross River, with a catchment area of 53,590 sq. km, delivers more sediment load to the coast, than the present Niger Benue drainage system. The Niger delta shoreline is therefore undergoing erosion on account of sedi ment starvation. The strength of the Cross River deltaic sedimentation derives from the Cameroun Mountain which is the most active sediment source area along the West African coast.

Histor- Of-Cross-River

Cross-River Local Government Areas

Cross River State consists of eighteen (18) Local Government Areas. They are:

  • Abi
  • Akamkpa
  • Akpabuyo
  • Bakassi
  • Bekwarra
  • Biase
  • Boki
  • Calabar Municipal
  • Calabar South
  • Etung
  • Ikom
  • Obanliku
  • Obubra
  • Obudu
  • Odukpani
  • Ogoja


Cross-River Weather/Climate
Cross River State belongs to tropical rainfall belt where rainfall is usually seasonal and at times very heavy. Humid tropical climate of about 1300 3000mm rain fall and 30°C mean annual temperatures prevail over Cross River State, except on the Obudu Plateau, where the climate is subtemperate, with temperatures of 15°C 23°C. The vegetation ranges from mangrove swamps, through rainforest, to derived savannah, and montane parkland. Just as its rocks are diverse, so also are the mineral resource potentials of the State.

Cross-River Festivals

In line with the objectives of the former Governor of the state  Mr. Donald Duke  to mix business with pleasure, there are many festivals. These festivals bring in tourists from far and wide into the state to enjoy themselves and also do business in the state. These festivals include The Cross River State Christmas Festival, which promises to be an event that will rival any festival events in Africa, with over 30 days of endless fun, carnival, games, cultural display, art exhibition, pageant and music performance. This year’s Christmas event and Carnival promise to be the best.


The Cross River State Christmas Festival – 1 December to 31 December annually

⇒The Cross River State Carnival Float – 26th and 27th December yearly

⇒The Yakurr Leboku Yam festival – 28 August annually

⇒The Calabar Boat Regata

Another Interesting Festival in cross River state is Anong Bahumono Festival which holds in Anong Village, during which different cultural dances are showcased, including Ikpobin (acclaimed to be the most entertaining dance in the state), Ekoi, Obam, Emukei and Etangala Dances.

⇒Obanliku New Yam Festival – last Saturday of August Every Year.Also bekwarra yam festiva which is held every 2nd Saturday of September every year.


Cross-River Government
Cross River State was created on May 27, 1967 from the former Eastern Region, Nigeria by the General Yakubu Gowon regime. Its name was changed to Cross River State in the 1976 state creation exercise by the then General Murtala Mohammed regime from South Eastern State. The present day Akwa Ibom State was excised from it in the state creation exercise of September 1987 by the then regime of General Ibrahim Babangida. Its capital is Calabar. Its major towns are Akamkpa, Biase, Calabar South, Ikom, Obubra, Odukpani, Ogoja, Ugep, Obudu, Obanliku and Akpabuyo.

The state has been previously governed by many governors and administrators including Udoakaha J. Esuene, Paul Omu, Tunde Elegbede, Clement Isong, Donald Etiebet, Daniel Archibong, Ibim Princewill, Ernest Atta, Clement Ebri, Ibrahim Kefas, Gregory Agboneni, Umar Faoruk Ahmed, Christopher Osondu and Donald Duke. The current governor Liyel Imoke served from May 29, 2007 to July 14, 2008 and from August 26, 2008 to the present.


Cross-River Cities & Towns
Other important cities and towns include Calabar, Akamkpa, Ikon, Obubra, Odukpani, Ogoja, Okundi, Ugep, Obudu, Obanliku, and Akpabuyo


Cross-River Calabar Museum
Calabar museum is arguably the only musuem in Nigeria that houses one of the largest quantities of original documents relating to the slave trade and palm oil production in Nigeria. The museum has many relics of the British Empire and mementos of local chiefs and colonial dignitaries.

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