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States in May

Does Your State Belong to the May Birthday Club?

Submitted by adekola.shobiye on 19 May 2022

In Nigeria, we have thirty-six states. Millennials and Gen Zs would be forgiven if they thought it was always like that, but no, the thirty-six states were created at different times. To begin with, Nigeria had three regions – northern, western and eastern - these, over the years, evolved into thirty-six states.
The first set of states was created in May 1967 by General Yakubu Gowon's military government; there were twelve. Of these, only six now exist as initially created. The May Birthday Club states are Cross River, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, Lagos, and Rivers State. Is your state one of them? 

Cross River State

Calabar Festival

Some fun facts about Cross River State. 
•    The state's nickname is 'The Nation's Paradise'.
•    Calabar, the state's capital, was Nigeria's first capital before Lagos and Abuja.
•    Hogan Bassey (1932-1998), the first Nigerian to become World Featherweight Boxing Champion, was an indigene of the state.

Kaduna State

Kaduna Durbar Festival

Some fun facts about Kaduna State. 
•    The state's nickname is 'Centre of Learning'.
•    Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria is the second-largest in Africa behind Cairo University in Egypt.
•    Queen Amina, 'the Warrior Queen' (1533 – 1610), was an indigene of the state.

Kano State

Kano DurbarFestival

Some fun facts about Kano State. 
•    The state's nickname is 'Centre of Commerce.'
•    Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport in Kano is the oldest in the country. It began operations in 1936.
•    Mallam Aminu Kano (1920—1983), a prominent indigene of the state, was named after it.

Kwara State

Moremi Festival

Some fun facts about Kwara State. 
•    The state's nickname is 'State of Harmony.’
•    Abdulganiyu Folorunsho AbdulRazaq, the first person in northern Nigeria to become a lawyer, is from the State.
•    Ace footballer Rashidi Yekini (1963 – 2012) is an indigene of the state.

Lagos State

Eyo Festival

Some fun facts about Lagos State. 
•    The state's nickname is 'Centre of Excellence'.
•    Broad Street Prison on Lagos Island, now called Freedom Park, was the first colonial prison in Lagos. Many famous Nigerians, including Herbert Macaulay and Wole Soyinka, were once held there.
•    Madam Tinubu (1810-1887), after whom Tinubu Square is named, is an indigene of the state.

 Rivers State


Boat Regatta

Some fun facts about Rivers State. 
•    The state's nickname is 'Treasure Base of the Nation’.
•    The state capital, Port Harcourt, was named after Lewis Vernon Harcourt in 1913 by Lord Frederick Lugard. It was known initially as Iguocha.
•    King Jaja of Opobo (1821–1891), who rose from slavery to head a kingdom, was an indigene of the state. 

If your state is in the May Birthday Club, send us photos and tell us some fun facts we don’t know. Let’s hear from you. 


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