Known as the Confluence State because of the confluence of River Niger and River Benue at its capital, Kogi state with its capital, Lokoja, which is the first administrative capital of modern day Nigeria, is a state in the central region (Middle belt) of Nigeria.
It was created in 1991 from parts of Kwara State and Benue State. The state as presently constituted, comprises the people of the Kabba Province of Northern Nigeria. One of the first Qadi in the Kogi State was Faruk Imam.
There are three main ethnic groups and languages in Kogi: Igala, Egbira, and Okun (a Yoruba Group) others include Bassa-Nge, a people of Nupe, Bassa-Komo, Gwari, Kakanda, Oworo people (A Yoruba Group), Ogori, Magongo, Idoma and the pure Nupe people of Eggan community under Lokoja Local Government.
The name Nigeria was coined in Lokoja by Flora Shaw, who ended up as the wife of Lord Lugard, the then British colonial administrator, while gazing out at the river Niger.
Agriculture is the main part of the state economy with fishing in the riverine areas like Lokoja, Idah, Baji,etc, and the state also has coal, petroleum, steel and other mineral industries. It is home to popular people such as Joseph Benjamin, Darey (Darey Art Alade), Jaywon, Mercy Johnson and Praiz
Tourist attractions in Kogi State include the colonial relics (such as Lord Lugard’s House), the confluence of Rivers Niger and Benue, Ogidi (An African town with formations of Igneous Rock mountains and a traditional art & craft industry) and natural land features hills and terrains that serve as hiking trails .Being a 2-hour drive from Abuja some tourists come for day trips.
The confluence of river Niger and river Benue can be developed and can be of great benefit to tourists, investors and the government. The confluence is a mark of unity coming from different angles and passing through different states, the two rivers meet at a point and together link up to the ocean.
I keep saying, the Nigeria I see is a travel destination where people should be trouping in for holidays, honeymoon, tourism and the likes while generating a lot of revenue but even with the blessings of natural and human resources bestowed upon us, we’re always in the news for all of the wrong reasons.