Kogi state
in central Nigeria is a cosmos of many tribes. From the Igbo chemist in Anyigba
who has been serving the locals for 3 decades, to the Hausa suya seller in
Lokoja whose meat has left a mouth-watering memory on travellers passing through
the state’s capital, Kogi state has long proven itself as home for all the
varying ethnic groups in Nigeria even though there may not be all the over 300
ethnic groups of Nigeria currently living in Kogi.
follows below introduces the different indigenous tribes of Kogi state, the
local government areas of Kogi state that they are indigenous to, their brief
history, and an estimation of the population.

The Ebira

The Ebira, also known as the Egbira
are found in large numbers in four local government areas in central Kogi State
. These local government areas include
Okene, Okehi, Adavi and Ajaokuta local government areas. The Ebira people found
here belong to the Ebira subgroup known as the Ebira Ta’o.
 Another subgroup of the Ebira
known as the
Ebira Koto are found in
local government area, in Koton Karfe local government area, in Bassa local government area, and in Lokoja local government area.
The Ebira Koto are also found in Abaji in
the Federal Capital Territory, and
in Toto local government area of
Nasarawa State
. Another smaller group, the Eganyi are found in Ajaokuta local government area. The Ebira subgroup known as the Ebira Etuno are found in Igarra, the administrative headquarters of Akoko Edo local government area of Edo
The town of Okene is considered the centre of all Ebira-speaking people
worldwide. It’s home to the paramount ruler of the Ebira known as the Ohinoyi.
The population of Ebira people in Kogi State are estimated at around a

The Igala

The Igala, or Igara are the largest tribe in
Kogi State. They have a population of around 1.5 million, and are found in 9
local government areas in the eastern part of Kogi State. These local
government areas include Ankpa, Bassa, Dekina, Ibaji, Idah, Igalamela/Odolu,
and Ofu local government areas.
Other local government areas of Kogi State that are home to Igala people
are Olamaboro local government area and Omala local government area.
The Igala people are also found in Anambra East local government area of
Anambra State, and in local government areas in the southern senatorial
district of Benue State.
Igala land covers an area of
about 14,000 km
2 in the angle formed by rivers Niger and Benue. The capital is Idah, which is also home to the paramount ruler
of the Igala people known as the
Idakwo Micheal Ameh is the current and twenty-second Attah following the death of his
predecessor Aliyu Obaje in 2012.

The Idoma

The popular idea is that
the Idoma are an ethno-linguistic group primarily found in Benue State. This is
because they are the second largest group in the state and occupy 9 local
government areas which include: Ado,
AgatuApaObi, OhiminiOgbadiboOjuOkpokwu and Otukpo.
The Idoma tribe however have settlements in other parts of the country,
states like
 Nasarawa, Kogi, Enugu and Cross River.
In Kogi State, the Idoma are found in Olamaboro local government area in
Kogi East Senatorial zone where they are a very quiet minority.

The Nupe

The Nupe, or Nupeci, otherwise known as the Nyipe by the Gbagyi,
the Tapa by the Yoruba, and the Nufawa by the Hausa
are a dominant ethnic group in Niger State, and an important minority in Kwara State.
In Kogi State, they are found in Bassa local government area, in Kogi local
government area and in Lokoja local government area.
The Nupe trace their origin to Tsoede who fled the court
Idah and established a loose
confederation of towns along the 
River Niger in the 15th century. Recent study into the origin of Nupe people however
found that the Nupe existed long before Tsoede.
The Bassa Nge of
Bassa local government area of Kogi State are the last Nupe group to settle in
Kogi State.
The Nupe people of
Kogi State are mainly adherents of the Islamic religion, and are into farming
and trading.

The Okun

The Okun are the Yoruba
speaking communities
of Kogi
Okun means Vitality, and is the word commonly
used in
salutation among the individual subgroups of
The individual subgroups of the Okun people share some historical and linguistic affinity
but still maintain individual peculiarities. Okun therefore refers to the
se distinct but culturally related groupsthe Owe, the Iyagba, the Ijumu, the Gbede, the Bunu, the Ikiri and the Oworo.
The Okun make up around 20% of the population of Kogi State according to
the 2006 national population census, and are found in 7 local government areas
in the western part of Kogi State. These local government areas include Ijumu,
Kabba, Kogi, Lokoja and Mopa Muro. The Okun are also found in large numbers in
Yagba East and Yagba West local government areas.

The Gwandara

Gwandara are a group of Hausas that fled Kano following the introduction of
. According to Gwandara history, a younger
brother of the ruling Chief had refused to convert to Islam, and rather than
stay behind and be forcefully converted, he took his people and fled to Gwagwa
in the present day Federal Capital Territory.
Subsequent Muslim attacks led to yet another dispersion of the group
further southward
Gwandara people are now
found in the Federal Capital Territory,
in Niger, Nasarawa, and Kogi states with
other dispatch communities across the northern part of Nigeria in
states like Kano, Kaduna and Katsina.
Most Gwandara people are subsistence farmers. They are mostly adherents
of the African Traditional Religions.
The population of the Gwandara people worldwide is put at 45,000.

The Ogori

Ogori is a confederation of four clans namely, the Adu’bane, the
Osho’bane, the Okibo and the Eni clans. 
The commonly accepted position on the history of Ogori is that the
community is birthed by descedants of Akinbuyi, a runaway prince of Ile Ife.
The Ogori people are found in Ogori/Magongo local government area in
Central senatorial disctrict of Kogi State.
Ogori people are estimated to be around 60,000 people.

The Magongo

Magongo people are found in Ogori/Magongo local government area of Kogi
State.Magongo people are descendants of Oludo, a man from Ile Ife who first
settled in the area about 500 years ago.
The Olumagongo is the paramount ruler of the Magongo people.
The population of Magongo people is put at around 45,000.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Basket
Scroll to Top