The Geopolitical zones in Nigeria are currently 6, with each containing a set of people with similar culture, belonging to the same ethnic group or even sharing the same history. This very vital division isn’t recognized by the constitution yet though there had been attempt from some quarters to push the Nigerian Government into recognizing it.Geopolitical Zones In Nigeria
It was former President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida who during his regime that introduced it while looking for a way to best allocate resources. He then grouped the over 400 ethnic groups and 450 languages into the 6 geopolitical zones which are; North West, North East, North Central, South West, South East and South South.
North West region is made up of Jigawa, Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara state. It is predominantly a Hausa speaking region though other major languages exist here. These includes Kanuri, Fulani, Zuru, Gbagyi, Jabba, Zara, Maguzawa and Baju. Others ethnic groups in the North West geopolitical zones are the Dakarkari, Kaje, Gwari, Kataf, Kambari, Zabarmawa and Gungawa among others. Major towns/cities in North West include Zaria, Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Dutse, Gusau and Birnin-Kebbi.
The North East geopolitical zone comprises of Borno, Bauchi, Yobe, Adamawa, Taraba and Gombe state. These zone comprises of Major ethnic groups like the Kanuri, Fulfulde, Fulani, Babur, Balewa, Tiv, Tangalawaja and Mumuye. Potiskum, Yola, Maiduguri, Bauchi, Jalingo, Damaturu and Gombe are the major towns in this geopolitical zone.
popularly referred to as the Middle belt, the North Central is the most heterogeneous of all the Geopolitical zones in Nigeria. Unlike the rest, the North Central is made up of people with different ethnic backgrounds that do not understand each others language.
The major ethnic groups in this place include the Igala people of Kogi state, Igbira, Idoma, Tiv, Yoruba, Gbagyi, Nupe, Berom, Mangu, Mada-Eggon and Gwandara. This geopolitical zone comprises of 6 states including the Federal Capital Territory Abuja making it 7(note: Abuja is not a state). These includes Niger, Kwara, Kogi, Benue, Nasarawa and Plateau state. Minna, Ilorin, Lokoja, Makurdi, Lafia and Jos are the major towns/cities here.
The South West geopolitical zone in Nigeria is made of predominantly the Yoruba speaking ethnic groups with a a pocket size of other ethnic groups. The South West geopolitical zone comprises of Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti and Ondo state. In this Yoruba dominated region, we can identify Lagos, Ibadan, Abeokuta, Osogbo, Ado-Ekiti and Akure as the major cities.
South East is the Igbo dominated geopolitical zone in Nigeria with majority of the indigenes speaking Igbo. It is made up of 5 states which includes Abia, Enugu, Anambra, Ebonyi and Imo. Major towns here are Onitsha, Owerri, Aba, Enugu and Abakaliki.
This is the oil producing geopolitical zone in Nigeria sometimes loosely referred to as the Niger Delta. The states here include Akwa Ibom, Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa, Edo and Calabar. This region that is less than 7% of the total area of Nigeria is the Region that produces the oil used in sustaining the Nigerian economy.
The major towns here include Uyo, Asaba, Port Harcourt, Yenagoa, Warri, Benin and Cross River. This region is also made of numerous ethnic groups, these includes the Ijaw, Itsekiris, Urhobos, Isokos, Ikwerre, Bini, Essan, Ogoni, Ibibio, Efik, Annang and Ejagham.