Edo State, Nigeria

The Mid-Western Region was a division of Nigeria from 1963 to 1991, formally known as Bendel state from 1976. It was formed in June 1963 from Benin and Delta provinces of the Western Region, and its capital was Benin City. It was renamed a province in 1966, and in 1967 when the other provinces were split up into several states, it remained territorially intact, becoming a state.

During the Nigerian Civil War, the Biafran forces invaded the new Mid-Western state, en route to Lagos, in an attempt to force a quick end to the war. While under Biafran occupation, the state was declared as the “Republic of Benin” as Nigerian forces were to retake the region.

Map of Edo State showing Local Government Areas and headquarters

The republic collapsed a day after the declaration as Nigerian troops overtook Benin City. Edo State was formed on August 27, 1991 when Bendel State was split into Edo and Delta States

PEOPLE AND DEMOGRAPHY

The main ethnic groups in Edo State are Edos, Afemais, Esans, Owans and Akoko Edos. Virtually all the groups traced their origin to Benin City hence the dialects of the groups vary with their distance from Benin City. The Bini speaking people who occupy seven out of the 18 Local Government Areas of the state constitute 57.54% while others Esan (17.14%) Afemai comprising Etsako (12.19%), Owan (7.43%), and Akoko Edo (5.70%)

With Benin City as capital, the population of the entire state is approximately 8 million. It is made up of three major ethnic groups; namely Edo (Binis), Esan and Afemai (Owan/Etsako) with Akoko Edo. However the State has a high presence of residents from across the country and the world because of its cosmopolitan tendencies