Edo is a state in Nigeria, with administrative capital in Benin City. Edo State falls within the south-south geopolitical zone of Nigeria alongside Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Edo and Rivers States. Edo State is also part of the Niger-Delta region, an agglomeration of mostly crude oil-producing southern Nigerian states that also include Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers States.
Edo State is located some 443.5 km south of Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja, and some 346.4 km east of the commercial city of Lagos. Edo State is bounded to the north by Kogi State, to the east by the River Niger and Delta State, to the south again by Delta State, and to the west by Ondo State.
Edo State has an area of 17,802 km². The state has 18 out of the 774 local government areas that alongside the 36 states form the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Ethnic groups in Edo State include the Esan, the Afemai, and the Bini.
The History Of Edo State
Edo State was created on August 27, 1991 by the administration of General Ibrahim Babangida. Edo State was formed from the split of old Bendel State into two different states, viz Edo State and Delta State.
The area now known as Edo State was part of the Western Region at Nigeria’s Independence in 1960.
In 1963, the Mid-Western Region was carved out of the Western Region, and the area now known as Edo State was part of the new region.
The Mid-Western Region was formed by the merging of the Delta and Benin provinces of the Western Region, with its capital in Benin City.
In 1966, the Mid-Western Region was made a province in the face of the Unitary System of Government introduced by the regime of Major General Johnson Thomas Umunnakwe Aguiyi Ironsi that had just came to power via a coup d’etat.
In 1967, when the unitary system was abolished and a twelve state federal structure was put in the place of the provinces by the regime of General Yakubu Gowon, the Mid-Western Province remained territorially intact, but became one of the twelve new states and was renamed the Mid-Western State.
During the Nigerian Civil War, Biafran forces invaded the Mid-Western State, en route to then Nigeria’s capital in Lagos, in an attempt to force a quick end to the war. While under the occupation of the Biafran forces, the state was declared the “Republic of Benin”. The republic however collapsed a day after the declaration as Nigerian troops overtook its capital in Benin City.
During the 1976 state creation exercise embarked upon by the regime of Murtala Ramat Mohammed, Ughelli was excised from the Mid-Western State to form part of a new Rivers State, and what remained of the Mid-Western State was renamed Bendel State.
Bendel State was split into two different states in 1991 by the regime of General Ibrahim Babangida. Edo State was formed from the split. The new state retained Benin City, the capital of the old Bendel State as its capital.
The Government Of Edo State
The Edo State Government, like every other state government in Nigeria is made up of three arms: the executive arm, the legislative arm and the judicial arm. The executive arm of the Edo State government is headed by an elected governor assisted by commissioners who the governor appoints to head the various ministries of the state government. The current executive governor of Edo State is Godwin Obaseki.
The legislative arm of the Edo State Government which convenes at the Edo State House of Assembly in Benin City is made up of 24 members elected by the people of the 24 state constituencies of Edo State. The Edo State House of Assembly is headed by a speaker who is the legislative head of the state government. The current speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly is Kabiru Adjoto.
The judicial arm of the Edo State Government is headed by the Edo State Chief Judge. The current Chief Judge of Edo State is Justice Esohe Ikponwen.
Zones In Edo State
Edo state has a total of 18 local government areas grouped into 3 zones that are otherwise known as senatorial districts. The 3 senatorial districts of Edo state are:
- Edo Central
- Edo North
- Edo South
Edo Central senatorial district has 5 local government areas. The 5 local government areas of Edo Central senatorial district are:
- Esan Central
- Esan North-East
- Esan South-East
- Esan West
Edo North senatorial district has 6 local government areas. The 6 local government areas of Edo North senatorial district are:
- Akoko Edo
- Etsako East
- Etsako Central
- Etsako West
- Owan East
- Owan West
Edo South senatorial district has 7 local government areas. The 7 local government areas of Edo South senatorial district are:
- Ovia North-East
- Ovia South-West
- Ikpoba Okha
The Population Of Edo State
The widely disputed result of the 2006 national population and housing census put the population of Edo State at 3,233,366, with 1,633,946 males and 1,599,420 females.