Benue State is domiciled in the NorthCentral geopolitical zone of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which is also referred to as the Middle Belt zone. With the State's capital located in Makurdi, Benue State boasts a total of 23 Local Government Areas which include Ado, Agatu, Afa, Buruku, Gboko, Guma, Gwer east, Gwer west, Katsina Ala, Konshisha, Kwande, Logo, Makurdi, Obi, Ogbadigbo, Ohimini, Oju, Okpokwu, Otukpo, Tarka, Ukum, Ushongo, and Vandekiya. Benue state has an estimated population of 4,219,248 inhabitants.
Benue State shares boundaries with Ebonyi and Enugu States and is famed for its leading role in Agricultural activities in Nigeria. The tribes found in Benue State include the Tiv, the Idoma, Etulo, Abakpa, Jukun, Akweya, Nyifon Ufia and the Igede. Christianity and Islam are the major religious persuasions of the people of Benue State. Notable festivals held in Benue state include the Akata fishing festival in Katsina Ala LGA, Kwagh-ir festival, Pupet festival, Orokamu masquerade festival, Igede Agba New Yam festival, Aje-Alekwu festival, and the Orureshi festival in Owukpa.
Prominent towns in Benue state include Makurdi, the state capital, Gboko, Otukpo and Oju. Popular landmarks in Benue state include the Benue river, the Federal University of Agriculture, Ikyogen hills, Dajo pottery in Makurdi, Anwase-Abade ranges, Ikwe holiday Resort, Enemabia warm spring, Montane Games Reserve, the palace of the Tor Tiv in Gboko, the Ushongo hills and the Aper Aku sports stadium which is home to Lobi stars football club which is an indigenous professional football club in Nigeria. Tertiary Institutions in Benue state include the Benue state University Makurdi, College of Education Katsina Ala, College of Education Oju, Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi, Benue state Polytechnic Ugbokolo, and the Akawe Torkula College of Advanced and Professional Studies Makurdi.
The Governor of Benue State is Samuel Ortom.
Food Basket of the Nation
Benue State is home to one of the longest rivers in Nigeria which is the River Benue. The state falls under the Tropical Savannah climate and the topography is excellent for agricultural activities with a favorable climate and excellent rainfall distributiion.
With a total area of 34,059km squared,the average annual temperature of Benue State is estimated at 25 degrees centigrade with an average annual precipitation of 2850 mm gathered over the rainy season which usually lasts from the month of April to October. The soil is also excellent for crop cultivation with extensive grasslands ideal for animal rearing.
Agriculture is the predominant economic activity of the inhabitants of Benue State. Over the years, the state has played a pivotal role in the cultivation of crops in Nigeria. Prominent among the agricultural produce in Benue state are crops such as Yam, Rice, Sorghum, Soybean, beans and Maize.
Benue State is also rich in mineral deposits such as limestone, kaolin, baryte, wofranite, salt, gemstones, gypsum, and feldspar. Trade also blossoms in Benue state with the state hosting several markets such as the Zaki Biam Yam market in Ukum LGA, Abaji market in Katsina Ala, Wadata market Makurdi, Tyowanye market, Wanune market, and Otukpo market.
Benue State was created in the year 1976 from the former Benue-Plateau State and the State derives its name from the River Benue. Major General Abdullahi Shelleng was the State's first administrator and he presided over the State's affairs from March 1976 to July 1978. The full list of the past governors/administrators of Benue state include
Abdullahi Shelleng- 1976-1978
Adebayo Lawal- 1978-1979
Aper Aku- 1979-1983
John kpera- 1984-1985
Jonah Jang- 1985- 1986
Yohanna Madaki- August 1986-September 1986
Ishaya Bakut- 1986-1987
Fidelis Makka- 1987-1992
Moses Adasu- 1992-1993
Joshua Obademi- 1993-1996
Aminu Kontagora- 1996-1998
Dominic Oneya- 1998-1999
George Akume- 1999-2007
Gabriel Suswam- 2007-2015
Samuel Ortom- 2015 - date
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