About Delta State
Delta State is an oil and agricultural producing state of Nigeria, situated in the region known as the South-South geo-political zone with a population of 4,098,291 (males: 2,674,306; females: 2,024,085). 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 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 covers a landmass of about 18,050 km², of which more than 60% is land. The state lies approximately between Longitude 5°00 and 6°.45' East and Latitude 5°00 and 6°.30' North. It is bounded in the north and west by Edo State, the east by Anambra, Imo, and Rivers States, southeast by Bayelsa State, and on the southern flank is the Bight of Benin which covers about 160 kilometres of the state's coastline. Delta State is generally low-lying without remarkable hills. The state has a wide coastal belt inter-lace with rivulets and streams, which form part of the Niger Delta.
Delta State was carved out of the former Bendel State on August 27, 1991. The state was created following agitations for the creation of a separate distinct state by the peoples of the old Delta Province: the Urhobos, Itsekiri, Isoko, Ijaw (Ezon) 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's administration in 1976. The then Military President, Gen Ibrahim Babangida(Rtd) 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. Delta state was once integrated in the Mid Western state from 1963 to 1976 and later Bendel state, from 1976 to 1991. 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.
Delta State is ethnically diverse, with four linguistic stocks of people and seven languages between them.
The first region is made up of one linguistic grouping, collectively referred to as Anioma. They are of Igboid stock and composed of three main groups namely Enuani, who inhabit the Aniocha and Oshimili Local Government Areas; Ika; and Ndokwa/Ukwuani. All three inhabit the Delta North senatorial district.
The second region consists of the other three main linguistic groups: Edoid, comprising the Isoko and Urhobo; Yoruboid, Itsekiri; and Ijoid, Izon. The Itsekiri speak a language very closely related to Yoruba but have been culturally influenced by the Edo ethnic group from neighbouring Edo state, as well as the Urhobo, Ijaw and Portuguese. The Izon are a branch of their kith and kin, in neighbouring Bayelsa State.
The vast majority of inhabitants are Christian, with very few subscribers to African Traditional Religion
Local Government Areas
Delta State consists of 25 Local Government Areas (shown with 2006 population figures):
|Delta Central Senatorial District||1,575,738||Delta North Senatorial District||1,293,074||Delta South Senatorial District||1,229,282|
|Ethiope East||200,792||Aniocha North||104,711||Bomadi||86,644|
|Ethiope West||203,592||Aniocha South||140,604||Burutu||209,666|
|Okpe||130,029||Ika North East||183,657||Isoko North||144,155|
|Sapele||171,888||Ika South||162,594||Isoko South||227,712|
|Ughelli North||321,028||Ndokwa West||149,325||Warri North||137,300|
|Ughelli South||213,576||Oshimili North||115,316||Warri South||303,417|
|Uvwie||191,472||Oshimili South||149,306||Warri South West||116,681|
There are various solid mineral deposits within state - industrial clay, silica, lignite, kaolin, tar sand, decorative rocks, limestone, etc. These are raw materials for industries such as brick making, ceramics, bottle manufacturing, glass manufacturing, chemical/insulators production, chalk manufacturing and sanitary wares, decorative stone cutting and quarrying.
Delta state also has huge deposits of crude oil and is also one the largest producers of petroleum products in Nigeria.
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.
- Falcorp Mangrove Park
- Warri Kingdom Royal Cemetery which is 512 years old and serves as the resting place of past rulers of Warri kingdom. A tree is planted on each grave.