Where are you from? I’m from a country known as the giant of Africa. I got my name from a lady, who after adding two plus together, from the word Niger-area, gave me the name NIGERIA….Welcome!
Nearly one hundred years ago, what is today known as Nigeria only consisted of some four different ’empires’. The Northern Empire: It consisted of Borno empire, Kano, Katsina, Zazzau, Gobir, Birori, Daura, Kebbi, Nupe, Yelwa, majorly Hausa states. The Calabar Kingdom: Believed to be the oldest Kingdom and hold the record for having the oldest contact with the Europeans. The Oduduwa Empire: The Oduduwa Empire has it’s origin from two major groups, the indigenous people, that have their roots from Ile- ife, that is now composed and made as the Yoruba people. The other group, were known as the Berbels, who are Hausa people, who eventually formed the Hausa states, an offspring of that is Borno state. The Benin Empire were majorly known for their African Sculpture. The early 1800s, the British started to reside in parts of these kingdoms and empires. Hence, Nigeria was formed by combining the Northern and Southern protectorate, including the colony of Lagos.
The Federal Republic of Nigeria covers an area of 923,768 sq. km on the shores of the Gulf of Guinea. It has Benin on its Western side, Niger on the North, Chad to the north-east and Cameroon to the east and south-east. Its November 1991 census stood at 88,514,501 and has risen above 150 million currently. It is the most populated country in Africa. Its population is extremely diverse with well over 250 ethnic groups, some numbering fewer than 10,000 people. The growth rate is 1.9 %, life expectancy is 47.2 and the monetary value is Naira. Ten ethnic groups including Hausa-Fulani, Yoruba, Ibo, Kanuri, Tiv, Edo, Nupe, Ibibio and Ijaw account for nearly 80% of the total population. Most of its population is concentrated in the southern part of the country, as well as in the area of dense settlement around Kano in the north. Between the two areas is a sparsely populated middle belt.
In 1914, Nigeria was presided over by Lord Lugard. Nigeria history is divided into Pre-Colonial, Colonial and Post Independent. Majorly, protectorate and colonies were the order of the day during this period. The European conquered Northern Nigeria, Yoruba city states/Kingdom of Ife, Oyo and Ijebu in Southern Western Nigeria, the Southern Kingdom of Benin and the communities of Eastern Nigeria extensive trading networks developed among these cities and Northward across the Sahara.
Nigeria came under the Colonial rule of the British (United Kingdom) during the second half of the 19th century. And the first decade of the 20th century, the idea was to reconcile the regional and religious tensions as well as accommodating the interest of ethnic groups, mainly the Ibo (in the East), Yoruba (in the West), and the Hausa and Fulani (in the North). Some leaders fought for extension of franchise and holding of direct elections some of which are Dr Nnamdi Azikwe, Obafemi Awolowo, Amadu Bello and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa from different political parties.
Between 1960 and 1966, Nigeria was under civilian rules. The major problems that confronted the federal Government within the period were threats to Federal unity, evidenced by ethnic rivalry, factionalism and the desire for autonomy within Federal system
Religion is pivoted to the understanding of the history, culture and politics of Nigeria. In terms of Nigeria major ethnic groups religious affiliations, the Hausa ethnic group in the North is 95% Muslims and 5% Christians, the West which is the Yoruba tribe is 60% Christians and 30% Muslims, with 10% going to adherent of other african religion. The Ibos in the East and the Ijaw in the South are 98% Christians (Catholics) and 2% practice traditional religion. The middle belt of Nigeria contains the largest number of minority ethnic groups which are majorly Christians.
LANGUAGES AND TRIBES
The Nigeria language and tribe are linked to their origin. There are over 250 languages in Nigeria, dividing and spreading to over 36 states in Nigeria. Some of which are;
Abia Igbo & Ibibio
Adamawa Hausa, Fulfulde, Bachama, Mbula, Gude, Lunguda, Kanakuru, Yandand, Batta, Highi, Kilba, Bura, Yungur
Akwa-Ibom Ibibio, Annang, Oron, Mbe, Okobo, HuMbuno, Eket, Andoni (Obolo)
Bauchi Hausa, Fulfulde,
Bayelsa Kolokuma (Izon)
Benue Tiv, Idoma, Igede
Borno Hausa, Kanuri, Fulfulde, Margi, Schwa, Babur
Cross River Efik, Ejagham, Bekwara
Delta Enuani, Ika, Ndokwa, Okpe, Urhobo, Isekiri, Isoko, Ijo, Delta Pidgin, Igbo
Edo Edo (Bini), Esan, Esako, Okpameri, Owan
Kebbi Hausa, Fulfulde, (Zabaramanchi)
Kogi Yoruba, Ebira, Bassa, Igala, Igbira-Koto, Basankomo, (Kakanda, Oworo)
Kwara Yoruba, Nupe, Baruteen, (Hausa)
Lagos Yoruba, Egun
Niger Hausa, Nupe, Gbagi, (Gwari), Kambari, Kamuku
Ondo Yoruba, Egberi (a dialect of Izon/Ijaw)
Plateau Berom, Ngas, Tarok, Mwahavul, Goemai, Eggon, Borghan (Hausa) (Fulfulde in preaching)
Rivers Ikwere, Kalabari, Kana, Port Harcourt Pidgin (Special English)
Sokoto Hausa, Fulfulde
Taraba Hausa, Fulfulde, Mumuye, Junkun
Yobe Hausa, Fulfulde, Kanuri, Bolewa, Badenchi, Karikari
In 1914, Nigeria was created by amalgamating Northern and Southern protectorate. In 1923, Albert Macaulay established the Northern National Democratic party, the first political party in Nigeria. In 1960, Nigeria gained Independence. In 1963, Nigeria became a republic. In 1966, the first political coup was carried out that lead to General Aguiyi Inronsi to the throne. Another coup was carried out that year, it established the leadership of General Yakubu Gowon. In 1967, there was a civil war. General Murtala Muhammed in 1975, and the group of fellow officers staged a broadless coup and over throne General Yakubu Gowon’s military Government. General Murtala Muhammed was assassinated in a abortive coup in 1976, which made his chief of staff, Lt General Olusegun Obasanjo become Head of State. 1979 saw five political parties compete in an election in which Alhaji Shehu Shagari of the National party of Nigeria won the election. In 1983, Major General Muhammadu Buhari became the new ruling president. June 12, 1993, General Babaginda who over throne Buhari’s Government annul the result of presidential election contested between M.K.O Abiola and Bashiru Tofa and installs an Interim National Government led by Chief Enerst Shonekan. General Sanni Abacha over throws the Interim National Government and takes reigns of power. In 1998, General Abacha dies of heart failure while in power and is replaced by General Abdusalami Abubakar. General elections were held in 1999 and President Olusegun Obasanjo and Vice President Atiku Abubakar were elected. 2003, Abubakar and Obasanjo were re-elected for a further four year term that spanned to 2007, where President Yar,Adua and Vice President Jonathan were elected. 2010, President Yar’Adua dies while in power due to ill health and Goodluck Jonathan sworn in President till date.
Natural gas, Petroleum, Tin, Iron ore, Coal, Limestone, Niobium, Lead, Zinc, Arable land
Nigeria is indeed a blessed country. And apart from the wonderful people that makes up the country, thus , making it so beautiful and green, there are a whole lot of places to visit, unwind and catch up with nature. And some of these places include the Mambilla Plateau, Obudu Mountain Resort and the Matsirga Waterfall just to mention a few.
The Mambilla plateau is a high grassland plateau with an average elevation of about 1,524 metres (5,000 ft) above sea level, making it the highest plateau in Nigeria. The plateau which has an undulating landscape free of insects, also has temperate climate within a tropical region.
Located in the highland region of Taraba State of Nigeria, Mambilla plateau houses Chappal Waddi mountain considered as the highest point in Nigeria and probably in West Africa with an average height of about 2,419 metres (7,936 ft) above sea level.
As soon as one reaches the top of the mountain, the hot weather witnessed at the foot of the mountain disappears and you will be greeted by fresh and very chilled breeze blowing across the plateau.
Mambilla people of Nigeria and Cameroon live on the Mambila Plateau (in Taraba State in Nigeria) and on the Tikar Plain in Cameroon as well as in several small villages further north towards the town of Banyo. These people regard themselves as a group with a common identity.
At an altitude of some 700 m these villages live in a different ecological zone where oil palms grow and gallery forest is found. The Mambila language is a congeries of dialects and related languages.
Mambila plateau features unique physical and climatic conditions for human settlement and cattle breedin
The plateau which developed on basement complex rocks, measures about 96km along its curved length and 40km wide, and bounded by an escarpment which is about 900m high in some places.
The Mambilla Plateau forms the watershed from which the major drainage systems in Taraba State take their source. Rivers Benue, Donga and Taraba (from which the state derives its name) are the dominant drainage systems which flow across the Muri plains to drain the entire state
Mambila plateau offers attractive settings, well worth a visit. It has cattle ranches, tea plantations and rolling, grassy hills. It is home to some rare species of birds and animals, especially at the Gashaka-Gumti National Park.
When to visit: –
Mambila plateau has some of the coolest climatic condition in Nigeria with daytime temperatures sometimes reaching around 40C. The driest months are from December to January with relative humidity dropping to about 15 percent while the wet season usually starts from August till September.
Mambila plateau has mean annual rainfall that varies between 1058mm in the north around Jalingo and Zing, to over 1300mm in the South around Serti and Takum.
Because of the remote location of the plateau and lack of properly tarred roads which are still under construction, utility vehicles are recommended and visitors should make sure that essentials camping equipment and food are included in their journey
OBUDU MOUNTAIN RESORT
The resort has a helipad for access by air. At the base of the hills on which the ranch is located lies a newly built world-class water park with state-of-art swimming facilities and water slides for children, teens and adults.
The hilltop (cattle ranch) is about 11km of winded road from the base and can be accessed by either the cable-car or the road. The ranch has numerous pleasant mountain-area and country-side views.
Obudu is one of the finest and most magnificent tourist destinations in the world today. Deep in the tropical rain forest of Cross River State, presents an area of idyllic tranquility and an enchanting scenery.
Indeed, it is a tourist heaven with its inviting natural endowment to be explored. Obudu has increasingly become popular amongst tourists, adventurers and event planners from all around Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
With over 160 accommodation categories, made up of standard rooms, executive rooms, huts and chalets to a presidential apartment, amidst its extreme eco-tourism potentials, there’s more than enough space for other activities.
Driving to the resort can be quite exhilarating, especially the last ten kilometres of winding road with its 22 bends, including the famous Devil’s Elbow halfway along.
In 2005 a state-of-the-art cable-car was built with 34 cars, each carrying eight people and covering a distance of four kilometres up through the clouds offering inspiring and dramatic vistas of green rolling hills.
Obudu holds its annual mountain race in November for more energetic people with a cash prize attracting competitors from across Nigeria and internationally.
Although Obudu welcomes visitors all year round; the much best time to visit is October to February, when the flowers are in bloom, the sky is clear and the air is cool. This is ideal weather for trekking over the high ground and enjoy the extensive views that stretch out across the plateau.
This is an African Sun resort, so expect the comfort and top-class service, which the group is famous for. Visitors can take the advantage of the fully equipped gym and floodlit tennis courts (there is also a squash court and 9-hole golf course), before relaxing at the terrace restaurant complete with blazing log fire.
This may be tropical Nigeria, but remember you are at the top of a mountain!
This is the biggest attraction at Obudu and it runs from the entrance of the resort at the bottom of the mountain up to the ranch resort at the summit.
It is claimed to be the world’s longest cable car system.
An ideal spot for tourists to take a dip in the cool and crystal clear waters. Here you experience the thrill of state-of-the-art water slides, or the relaxing effects of the Jacuzzi.
There are 10 each with two apartments which gives the ranch the look and feel of being in the Safari.
Becheve Nature Resort
This nature reserve is home to 250 different species of migratory birds that have been observed at the ranch at different times throughout the year.
Tourists can trek on the 60KM canopy walkway built in the form of a ladder tree house unhindered, for breathtaking view.
Tourists be amazed at the extraordinary diversity of canopy life and breathtaking view from such height.
Other facilities at Obudu Mountain Resort include: Golf Course, Hotel, Waterfall, Cattle Ranch etc
Matsirga Waterfalls take its source from springs on the Kagoro hills cascading from four different natural funnels off the sheer rock cliff from about 25 metres to form a large pool at the bottom.
Situated in Madakiya close to Kafanchan, about 227 kilometers south of Kaduna, the water at Matsirga Waterfalls drops 30 meters into a gorge that has been supported by beautiful rocks. The fresh cool breeze around the area has something to offer for tourists.
At the point of impact with the river, the cascading showers of the fall create a rainbow-like mist which appears and disappears mysteriously.
The river formed by Matsirga Waterfalls increase with the rainy season overflowing its banks. A natural rock shelter at the river bank forms a cover and resting place for picnicking. Like a half umbrella, it provides shade for tourists amidst the wondrous continuous waterfall.
A heritage resort known as Madikiya Heritage Resort is being developed by a private investor within the fall area to serve the relaxation needs of tourists and visitors.
Also, the proximity of the Kagoro Hills and Nok Museum provides an added advantage to tourists visiting the area
Other places to visit include;
1. CROSS RIVER PARK
2. FREEDOM PARK, LAGOS
3. GASHAKA-GUMTI PARK
4. NEKEDE ZOO
5. YANKARI GAME RESERVE
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