The Geo-Political Zones That Make Up Nigeria (Part One)

Today Nigeria is divided into six Geo-political zones, with every state of the nation falling into these categories. This idea emanated and crept into the dictionary of the country from the Late Gen. Sani Abacha, the former Military ruler of Nigeria (1993-1998) Although, the categorization of the entire nation into Geo-political zones did not come as an official pronouncement from the government, by 1997 this classification had gained prevalence in the political language of the nation. It was extremely doubtful if Gen Abacha intended to achieve democratic administrative purposes with its usage, since he made no noticeable moves to hand-over to the democratically elected Chief M. K. O. Abiola believed to have won the 1993 presidential election in the country.

 

The Geo-political zones set up by the Late Nigerian leader also did not certify ethnical homogeneity as certain of the zones had ethnic uniformity while others did not, although the people and states forming each of the zones have accepted it as a near perfect political and administrative exercise.

 

The Geo-political zones so created are thus:

 

South-West Geo-political zone

 

South-East Geo-political zone

 

South-South Geo-political zone

 

North-East Geo-political zone

 

North-West Geo-political zone, and

 

North Central Geo-political zone

 

The South-south zone which I shall be focusing on comprises of Delta State, Akwa-Ibom State, Cross-River State, Bayalsa State, Rivers State and Edo State, and is geographically located within the Delta region of the nation.

This zone is not grouped along ethnical line but mainly the old Bendel State, Old Rivers State, and old Cross-River State. The perfect name for this category is “Niger Delta region” and has been so known in recent times, the zone is arguably the most famous among the existing geo-political zones of the country because of the militant agitations currently taking place in that part of the country, triggered first by non-increase in the allocation formula to the oil producing states of this region, second, neglect of the communities within the region, now in absolute deplorable conditions. It is for this reason that the government of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua created a federal Ministry for the region now headed by Ufot Ekaete.

 

The creation of this region was considered very controversial by political observers in the country who believe that the Federal Government of Nigeria should have taken other necessary steps to ameliorate the lives of the people, and force the oil firms in that region to stop gas flaring, increase the employment of indigenes of that very region many of who are indigent. It has been widely reported that the region is facing increasing environmental degradation which in some cases denies the people of this region the acts of fishing on waters and farming. As we have known, the Niger-Delta zone is the wealthiest region of the country.

 

The people that make up the region are very friendly people with rich cultures. Delta State one of the states that make up the South-South geo-political region is senatorially divided into three districts namely Delta Central, Delta North and Delta South. In all five major ethnic-groups make up the region, and are the Urhobo, Isoko, Ijaw, Anioma and Itsekiri. Major languages in this state are Urhobo, Isoko, Ijaw, Itsekiri. The people of Anioma diversely speak about 15 languages amongst which are Enuani, Ozzara, Evbu, Igara, Ika, Ukwani, Aboh, etc however, the Igbo language is intelligible to Anioma people of Delta State. Interestingly, the whole ethnic-groups that are located in Delta State have one form of similarity or the other. The Urhobo and Isoko share similar ethnical similarities which extend to language as well.

 

The Anioma also referred to as Delta North also share obvious ethnical similarities socio-culturally, firstly the people comprising of today’s Anioma have been relating from time immemorial and this has continued till date. The much diverse people with communities scattered in the state are united by a single language which is intelligible to the group. Thus it does not require language translations for an Ibusa indigene to trade Aboh, or an Ndokwa woman to purchase an item from the popular Ogbogonogo market in Asaba, such is the beauty of unity among the people made possible by nature. The Ndokwa/Ukkwani people of Anioma also share cultural affinities with the Urhobo and Isoko people of the state. Marriage has acted as a bridge of unity between the Urhobo and Itsekiri. In all, a single ethnic tension has not been recorded between the Anioma and Urhobo, or between the Ijaw and Anioma people of the state.

 

Cross-Rivers State is another state within the South-South Geo-political zone, and so named after the river that bisects the state. The old Cross-River State was created in 1967 as part of the strategy to weaken the Biafran secessionists and covered today’s Igbo Arochukwu, and whole of present Akwa-Ibom State. Efik is the major language spoken in the state, several other languages are also spoken including but not limited to Ejagham, Ogoja, Ikom etc. Quite interestingly, it is common to hear people erroneously refer to people of Cross-Rivers and Akwa-Ibom Calabar while Calabar actually remains the capital of Cross-Rivers State.

 

Other states that make up the South-South Geo-political zone shall be discussed in the later part of this piece.

 

 

 

Emeka Esogbue is a Nigerian citizen emekaesogbue@yahoo.com

1st part: Reinterpreting Islam ?

Al Arabiya the Muslim news media outlet has a series on ‘reinterpreting Islam’. Nice title, sounds like those peaceful Muslims are finally getting around to expunging the 98% of the Koran which is intolerant to unbelievers, infidels and which mandates Jihad, war, terror, and racism. Silly Kufar. Muslim ‘leaders’ are really busy blaming 1400 years of Islamic violence on esoteric Islamic legal scholars, born 700 years after the founding of the political ideology which parades around as a ‘faith’.

 

According to Al Arabiya:

 

“A conference in Mardin in southeastern Turkey declared the fatwa by 14th century scholar Ibn Taymiyya rules out militant violence and the medieval Muslim division of the world into a “house of Islam” and “house of unbelief” no longer applies.

Osama bin Laden has quoted Ibn Taymiyya’s “Mardin fatwa” repeatedly in his calls for Muslims to wage jihad against the United States.

 

“It is not for a Muslim individual or a Muslim group to announce and declare war or engage in combative jihad … on their own,” said the declaration issued on Sunday in Arabic and later provided to Reuters in English.” http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2010/03/31/104563.html

 

I guess the supposition is that all non-Muslim Dhimmis are dhimmi-wits and not very bright. No one who has bothered to take even a cursory glance at Islamic history is fooled by this ‘reinterpretation’. When the Koran is scrubbed, purged, edited, rewritten and recasted than perhaps you can make the claim that the Muslims are finally joining reality and updating their theology of fascism. But blaming an obscure cleric born 700 years after mad Mohammed for Islamic violence ? Do Muslims really think that the infidel is that stupid ?

 

Across the Dhimmi lands, the above Islamic promulgation will of course bring sobs of relief. No doubt in EU-rabia there will be public outbursts of joy where the infidel will be told by the EU, Sarkozy, and Merkel to run out and embrace and kiss the nearest Muslim and then prostrate themselves and lick the dust off of their sandals, to demonstrate camaraderie and fevered admiration for the incredibly brave ‘declaration’ emanating from not-so tolerant Turkey. One expects that from Dhimmis. But for the rest of the infidel population, maybe some skepticism is in order.

 

The call to Jihad, war, violence and terror comes strictly from the Koran, the Hadiths or sayings of Mohammed and the Sunnah or biography of the mad founder of Islam. Muslim holy-war and acts of terror come from these foundational sources, not from a rather peripheral Islamic scholar of the 14th century.

 

Tamiyya is only one of many important Muslim scholars and one of many who read the Koran, the Hadiths and came up with ‘laws’ for Islam. In fact Sharia law was firmly in place by the 12th century; Muslim clerical law was firmly established by the 11th; and the Koran and Hadiths were canonical texts by the 10th century. Tamiyya is no more responsible for the interpretation of Muslim scripture, than Christ was for the first 5 books of the Jewish Torah written 1250 years earlier by scribes of Moses.

 

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