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The People of Delta State Nigeria





My name is Michael, I am from Delta State Nigeria. I was born only a few months before the creation of the present Delta State by the regime of the military government led by a retired general of the Nigerian army, retired general Ibrahim Babangida popularly referred to as IBB.

Delta State was carved out from the former Bendel State on 27th of August 1991 and named after the popular River Niger which happens to be sitting at number 3 in the ranking of the African rivers according to their length. The Niger river has a length of about 4,200km which is only exceeded my the Congo river which is about 4,700km and the Nile river which is having a length of about 6,670km and happens to be the longest river in the continent of Africa.

The former Bendel State was formerly known as the mid western region of Nigeria and was created in 1963, just three after Nigeria got her independence from her British colonial masters in 1960 after which she became a republic in 1963 the same year the mid western region was formed. Four years later the mid western region became a State and was named “Bendel State” and had it’s capital in the city of Benin. From 1964 to 1992 the region had 11 governors and 2 administrators, two governors were elected in a democratic government while the rest were military.

The current day Delta State has a population of about 4,112,445 people in the region and has it’s capital in Asaba. Delta State is known for agricultural and crude oil production and it’s inhabitants are mainly the Urhobo, Ijaw, Itsekiri, Isoko and the Anioma people popularly referred to as the Delta Igbos.

The Aniomas: The name Anioma means God’s Land. The Anioma people are located at the northern part of Delta State hence they are referred to as the Delta North and hav8ing a population of about 1,114,055 people in that region of the State. The Anioma people got the name “Anioma” in 1951 by the Chief Dennis Osadebay the founding father.
The Anioma is blessed with oil and other mineral resources such as rubber. The Anioma people are also good in politics and the current governor of Delta State Dr. Senator Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa is from the Anioma region. Governor Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa got into power on 29th May 2015 and has been reelected into the office of the governor of Delta State in the 2019 election.

The Ijaw People: The Ijaw people, originally known as the Oru people. are often referred to as Ijo or Izon and they spread across the riverine areas of River State, Bayelsa State as well as Delta State. The Ijaw people are sits on the number 4 spot in the ranking of the ethnic groups in Nigeria according to population and are having a population of 14 million people across Nigeria. The Ijaw people are much more popular than any other ethnic group in Delta State and in the Niger Delta region.

The Niger Delta comprises of Rivers State, Bayelsa, Ondo, Akwa Ibom, Imo, Edo, Abia, cross River and Delta State. The Ijaw people are popularly known for crude oil production in Nigeria

The Itsekiri people: The Itsekiri people of Delta State are spread across the Warri Southwest, Warri North and Warri South local government areas of Delta State. Just like the Ijaws, the Itsekiri people are also found in the riverine areas of Delta State and are skilled in trades and fishing and are also known to take part in the crude oil production. The Ogiame is the traditional ruler of the Itsekiri people and he’s known as the Olu of Warri.

The Isoko People: The Isoko People of Delta State is an ethnic group also inhabiting the northwest area of the Niger Delta region having a population of about 641,000 people and speaks the Isoko language which is very similar to the Urhobo language. In terms of culture and traditions, the Isoko People are similarly related to the Ijaws, Aniomas and the Urhobo people of the Niger Delta region.

The Urhobo people: The Urhobo people are spread across Sapele, Ethiope East, Okpe, Ethiope West, Udu, Ugheli North/South, Uvwie, Warri South and Patani Districts of Delta State. While in Bayelsa State they are found in Sagbamo local government area, in Edo State they are found in Ikpoba Okha. In Ondo State the Urhobos has a pretty large settlement in Owo, Okitipupa and Ore local government Areas.

In Lagos State the Urhobos are mainly settled in Ajegunle local government Area and also found in Oro local government Area of Kwara State.

The Urhobos are the major ethnic group in Delta State and has a population of about 2 million people spread across Nigeria. The Urhobo land is subdivided into several units called the “Urhobo clans” which includes the Okpe kingdom. The Okpe clan covers towns and villages in both Sapele and Okpe local government areas of Delta State and has it’s headquarters in Oreropke where the King called the “Orodje of Okpe” lives

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