History of Delta State, Nigeria

Filed in BIOGRAPHIES by on December 1, 2019

History Of Delta State.  “Full Details”

 

History Of Delta State: People and Culture, Natural Resources  And Development | Local Government Areas, Tourism| Weather/Climate.

History-Of-Delta-State

Delta State Overview 

Delta State is a state in Nigeria, situated in the region known as the South-South geo-political zone with a population of 4,112,445 (males: 2,069,309; females: 2,043,136).named from the delta of the river Niger. It was carved out of the former Bendel State in 1991. The capital city is Asaba, located at the northern end of the state, with an estimated area of 762 square kilometres (294 sq mi), while Warri is the economic nerve center of the state and also the most populated.It is located in the southern end of the state. The state has a total land area of 16,842 square kilometres (6,503 sq mi).The state Consist of 25 local government areas. Warri is the biggest commercial city in the state. Other major towns Such As :⇒Agbor, Ughelli, Oghara, Sapele and Ogwashiuku.

Delta State shares common boundaries with Edo, Ondo , Imo, Anambra and Bayelsa States. In the south west and south it has approximately 122 kilometres of coastline bounded by the Bight of Benin on the Atlantic ocean.


History

The area called Delta State was once an integral part of the old Western Region of Nigeria. It became an autonomous entity after having been part of the old Midwestern State (1963 1976) and the defunct Bendel State (1976 1991).
Delta State was created from the then Bendel State 27th August 1991 by the then regime of General Ibrahim Babangida.

History_of_Delta_State

History_of_Delta_State

Delta State is named after the delta region of the River Niger. It’s capital is Asaba. Warri is the biggest  commercial city in the state. Delta State started with twelve local government areas. These were split further into nineteen local governments on September 27, 1991, and to twentyfive LGAs in 1997. Asaba, located at the northern end of the state, is the capital.

A master plan for Asaba Capital Territory, with an estimated area of 762 sq. km and designed to transform Asaba into a modern metropolis, is being pursued by the state government, the Urhobos, Ijaw Izon, Isoko, Itsekiri and Ukwuani (later joined Anioma). There was yet another state creation movement designated as “Niger State” comprising the old midwestern Igbo-speaking Asaba divisions and Ukwuani-speaking Aboh division of the old Midwest region. This was transformed into “Anioma” following the creation of Niger State from the old Northwestern State by the Murtala Muhammed administration in 1976.

The then Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, created the state using the name “Delta” advanced by Niger Delta region and “Asaba” a prominent town within the “Anioma” axis as capital. Asaba was designated as capital of the proposed Anioma State. The proposed capital was a virgin land or “Anioma city” in the heart of the two constituent divisions that had evolved to become the Anioma area. The name “Bendel” (Ben-Del) coined from the old Benin and Delta Provinces of Western Region-Delta to reflect the integration of Benin and Delta provinces.


People and Culture:

Delta State has an estimated population of about 4.2 million with Urhobo, Itesekiri, Ijaw (Izon), Isoko and Anioma (Igbo) as the main ethnic groups. These groups share ancestral and traditional administrative systems, evident in their dress, language, festivals, music and folklore. The people are hospitable,  The major ethnic groups in Delta State are Urhobo, lgbo, lzon, Isoko and Itsekiri. Many of the people claim a common ancestry; consequently, their cultures are similar. These similarities are manifested in their religious worship, music, dance, festivals, and arts and crafts. The practice of Christianity, Islam and traditional worship like lgbe and Ebura, flourishes in varying degrees among the people of Delta state.

  History_of_Delta_State

History_of_Delta_State

Christianity, which has the largest followership, came through contact with the Portuguese in the 15th century. With Christianity, came a number of complimentary western institutions, the most important of which was western education, hence missionary schools sprang up in Delta State. Modem health care delivery establishments, such as hospitals and maternity centers, were also introduced. Identical features of the mode of dressing common to the four tribes of Urhobo, Isoko, Itsekiri and lzon include a pair of wrapper on which you have a shirt like attire, topped with a bowler hat. Coral beads or gold chain around the neck is complemented with a walking stick.

Women, in addition to coral beads or gold chain, wear what is known as ‘up and down’ (called “Osiba Gba aniku” among the Urhobos). The music, which is in the form of singing and drumming, dictates the dance steps. These include: Ulu Omi Masquerade dance, such as Oda (Itsekiri) and Mmanwu (Ndokwa); Regatta, a canoe dance among the Itsekiri, and various social dances such as Itsekiri Omoko dance, lka moonlight dance, Urhobo dance of the maidens and lsele Uku Egwu Oshusku. Others include, war and rituals dances. The characteristic festivals of Delta state include Okere Juju (Itsekiri), Ikenga and Ukunta (Aboh), lwuyi and Osoezi (Agbor) Aborebele Oge and Sogbein festivals (lzon). These festivals mark the harvest seasons, appeals to gods for purification of the town, commemoration of ancient expeditions or reminiscences of or tribute to tribal heroes. Arts and crafts in Delta State had their origin during the pre-colonial period, when they provided the main form of secondary production in various parts of the state. The art includes carvings, hand woven cloths, table mats, ashtrays, flower pots, etc., while crafts include different types of basket weaving from palm fronds and canes, pottery, blacksmithing, etc. Food processing is a preserved traditional craft of the women. It includes among others, distilling of gin from palm wine obtained from both the raffia and oil palm tree, which are widespread in the riverine areas.
The crafts introduced during the British colonial period, or thereafter, are modern crafts such as tailoring, shoemaking, watch repairs, auto repairs et cetera. These crafts are found mainly in urban centers. Population Size and Structure: According to the 1952 Census, Delta State had a population of 883,651. By the 1963 census, the population of the state had risen to 1,456,541. There was a further rise of the population of the state in 1991 to 2,570,181 persons, made up of 1,273,200 males and 1,296,973 females. According to Onokerhoraye (1980), there is a considerable movement of population within the state. Between 1952 and 1963 for example, the growth rate of the former administrative divisions of Asaba, Aboh, Urhobo, Warri and Western ljaw were 3.24, 3.23, 4.48, 6.71 and 6.38 per cent respectively.

The variation in the rate of growth is largely explained by the pattern of migration in the state. For example, out of the 271,215 people who migrated from the south eastern part of the country, the former administrative divisions of Urhobo, Warri and western ljaw received more immigrants accounting for 38.60, 15.64 and 36.16 per cent respectively, while Aboh and Asaba divisions accounted for 5.75 and 3.82 per cent respectively.
The variations in migration suggest greater opportunities for employment in Urhobo, Warri and western ljaw divisions. On the other hand, of the 13,870 persons that migrated from the state in the same period, the Urhobo division accounted for 76.77 percentages, while other divisions recorded lower percentage. The high percentage of out migration from Urhobo division was due to the fact that most of the Urhobos and Isokos were migrant farmers.


Natural Resources  And Development

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing: Two main forms of agriculture are prominent in the state namely, food crop production and industrial crop production. The food crops produced include rice, yam, cassava, fruits and vegetables (mangoes, pawpaw, pineapples, banana, pepper and tomatoes). These crops are produced over the wide range of ecological zones within the state with the exception of the mangrove swamp and the coastal sand areas.

The industrial crops include rubber, oil palm and palm kernel. Like food crops, the industrial crops are grown in all ecological zones with the exception of the mangrove swamp and the coastal sand areas. Rubber is the leading export crop in the state. The highest concentration of rubber is in Ethiope, Okpe and Ughelli, which together have 61,200 hectares. Other locations include Aniocha (8,400 hectares) and Ndokwa (8,800 hectares).
Annual yield per hectare averages about 180 kilo grams dry rubber on peasant farms rising to approximately 370 kilograms on plantations. Oil palm is the next leading export crop. The highest concentration of oil palm occurs in Ethiope, Isoko, Ughelli, Ndokwa, Burutu and Bomadi LGAs. There are only a few oil palm plantations.
The yield per hectare of plantation is about four times as much as the yield from wild oil palm trees, which produce the bulk of palm oil, traded in the state. Among some of the programmes introduced to improve agricultural resource productivity of the state is the Tree Crop Unit. This programme is designed to aid small holder farmers to plant high yielding oil palm and rubber seedlings, with a view to raising their production.
The oil palm project is being implemented in two large nurseries located at Ejeme Uno in Aniocha South Local Government Area and Mosogar in Ethiope North Local Government Area. Thirty thousand sprouted palm seeds established in the two nurseries in the State are being maintained.

The rubber project is currently being implemented in Abraka and Mutu nurseries. The forestry resources of Delta State consist of timber, leaves (for wrapping kola nut), ropes and wild life. The forest contains over 500 species of timber, which attain 0.6 metres in girth at the breast height. Only eighty species are currently being harvested. Also, 80 per cent of the timbers are from forest reserves white 20 per cent are from outside forest reserves.

The estimated total area of the forest reserve is 74,910 hectares distributed in various locations in the state as indicated in Table 10.2. Since the southwest and south eastern parts of the state are predominately riverine, the occupation of the inhabitants is fishing.
The methods of catching vary from the traditional to modern, but the majority of the fishermen use gill nets. In an effort to reduce the side ratio between fish demand and supply, the following five programmes are being executed in the state:
Fisheries Extension and Assistance to Fishermen: The programme is aimed at the dissemination of information for the improvement of fisheries production. So far, 5,000 people in registered fisheries cooperatives in the state are benefiting from the scheme.


Fish Farming (Aquaculture):  The aquaculture scheme is out to boost fishery production. So far, there are over eighty fishponds throughout the state. The government also maintains its own fish farms located at Agbor and Deghele to demonstrate the utility of fish farms.


Coastal Fisheries:  The coastal fisheries agenda is designed to provide landing and other shore base facilities for production, handling and storage of fish caught along the state’s coastal waters.
ECOWAS Fund Loan For Accelerated Fish Production: The ECOWAS project is aimed at providing credit to fishermen for the financing of fishing inputs to 350 fishing units or fishing families. Finally, there is the Fisheries Regulation designed at sanitizing fisheries exploitation in the state, with a view towards conservation and use of approved fishing methods tor harvesting.


Mineral Resources:  Delta State is rich in minerals. The Cretaceous Tertiary and Quaternary sediments, which underlay the delta structural basin, are favorable to the formation of crude oil accumulation. With the exception of the Northeast, other parts of the state abound in crude oil resources and natural gas.
Non metallic (industrial) minerals in the state consist of petroleum (crude oil), natural gas, lignite, silica sand and clay. Crude oil occurs in all the local government areas, except in the northeast of the State. The offshore locations are around Escravos and Forcados. Delta State produces about 29.98 per cent of the total oil production in Nigeria. Natural gas occurs in association with crude oil.

Estimated reserves amount to 800 million cubic metres. Of the total gas production of about 2,000 million cubic metres a month, only 12 million cubic metres are used as fuel and 11 million cubic metres are sold.’ The balance is flared. Delta State is at present producing a large proportion of the Nigerian natural gas. Although lignite occurs in large commercial quantities, its exploitation is yet to commence.
Very large deposits of silica sand occur in different litho logical formations and along the beds of rivers and streams in the state. They are used in the manufacture of various kinds of glass silica, which is the most important raw material for glass production. Finally, the Tertiary and Quaternary formations contain some layers of clay. These are particularly in abundance in Ughelli where stream clays are used for moulding in the glass factory.


Energy Resources:  The energy supply in the State is derived from local thermal power stations. The thermal power station using oil and gas is located at Ughelli. It has an installed capacity of 276 megawatts, while the Ogorode hydroelectric power station, located at Sapele, has an installed capacity of 1,020 megawatts.
Water Resources: The water resources of Delta State include both surface and underground water. The surface water has a large area cover age. For instance, about thirty five per cent of the 16,842 sq. km. land of Delta is riverine.
Outside the riverine area, there is a high density of streams, ponds and lakes as well as a large body of ocean water, while the underground water is related to the underlying sedimentary rock formation. In many places, the underground water is so close to the surface in the southern areas that swampy conditions prevail.
Local Sourcing of Raw Materials: The natural resource potentials of Delta State yield wide ranging agricultural and industrial mineral products, from which raw materials can be sourced locally for the establishment of industries.
For instance, agricultural raw materials for agro allied industries include: maize, yam, cassava, fruits, vegetables, rubber, oil palm, palm kernel, timber, rope, leaves, et cetera. Raw materials for heavy, medium and light industries include steel billet, carbon black polypropylene, petroleum, natural gas, bitumen, lignite, silica sand and clay


Weather/Climate:

Delta State is situated in the tropics and therefore experiences a fluctuating climate, ranging from the humid tropical in the south, to the subhumid in the northeast. The lessening of humidity towards the north is accompanied by an increasingly marked dry season. The average rainfall is about 266.5mm in the coastal areas and 190.5mm in the extreme north. Rainfall is heaviest in July. Temperature increases from the south to the north. In Warri, located in the south for example, the average daily temperature is 30°C, while the temperature in Asaba in the north eastern area is 44°C.


Local Government Areas

The State Consist Of 25 local government areas Which Are:↓

  • Oshimili
  • Anioch
  •  Aniocha South
  • Ika South
  • Ika North-East
  • Ndokwa West
  • Ndokwa East
  • Isoko south
  • Isoko North
  • Bomadi
  • Burutu
  • Ughelli South
  • Ughelli North
  • Ethiope West
  • Ethiope East
  • Sapele
  • Okpe
  • Warri North
  • Warri South
  • Uvwie
  • Udu
  • Warri Central
  • Ukwani
  • Oshimili North
  •  Patani

 

Tourism

Delta State has scores of attractions that are simply compelling. Fascinating palaces, historic sites, monuments, birthplaces of famous people, traditional festival, crafts centres- examples are: Nana’s Palace in Koko, Asaba beach, Abraka river resort motel, River ethiope source, Ishe festivals in Ewulu, Araya bible site, Ogbeke Square in Asaba, Okpuzu Fall in Ibusa etc.

Delta State has some historical, cultural and socio-political tourist centers that attract visitors from around the globe. Some of these sites of tourism include:


The Nana’s Palace built by Chief Nana Olomu of Ebrohim. He was a powerful 19th century indigenous entrepreneur who traded with the British. The relationship eventually turned sour. Later, he surrendered (not without putting up a fight) and was exiled to Ghana. His personal effects are housed in this grand palace.


The River Ethiope which is reputed to be the deepest inland waterway in Africa (at 176 km). Its source is at the foot of a giant silk-cotton tree at Umuaja in Ukwuani Local Government Area of the state and flows through seven Local Government Areas in the State. It is a place of worship for Olokun traditional religion and also a common site for faithfuls of the Igbe Religious Movement.


The Araya Bible Site which houses a copy of the Holy Bible. It is believed that the bible descended to this spot miraculously from heaven around August, 1914. The bible dropped on rain-soaked yam and it didn’t get wet. The site now attracts thousands of Christians yearly.


Demas Nwoko Edifice which was built using traditional materials, designs and construction techniques of the Igbo civilization and the Benin Empire by Demas Nwoko, an architect, builder and artist of international repute from Idumuje-Ugboko, in Aniocha North Local Government Area, Delta State.


The Mungo Park House which is now the site of the National Museum, Asaba. The house was constructed by the Royal Niger Company (RNC) in 1886 and was used as a colonial administrative headquarters, a military house, the colonial administrative divisional headquarters, the RNC Constabulary building, and the seat of the Urban District Council at different times.


The Niger Bridge which connects Delta State (by extension, western Nigeria) to the Eastern part of Nigeria. It is a beauty to behold. It was completed in 1965 and cost £5 million. It was damaged during the civil war, but later repaired.

Lander Brothers Anchorage, Asaba which was built in memory of early British explorers. The complex has a museum, a graveyard, and many artworks and writings. It houses a replica of one of the boats that was used by the brothers.


 

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