Benue is named after the Benue River, the second largest in Nigeria and the state's most prominent geographical feature.
Benue State was originally part of the Northern Region in the three-region structure of 1954. With the creation of twelve federal states by General Yakubu Gowon’s military government in 1967, Benue-Plateau State was established. In 1976 the military government of General Murtala Muhammed created nineteen states out of the existing twelve and Benue-Plateau State was divided into two. In 1991, General Ibrahim Babangida’s military government created Kogi State by carving out parts of Benue and Kwara states.
There are several ethnic groups in Benue State: the largest are the Tiv, Idoma, and Igede people. The main religion in Benue State is Christianity. Islam and traditional religions are also practised by some of its inhabitants.
Benue indigene, Joseph Sarwuan Tarka was a politician and a former minister for Transport during General Yakubu Gowon.
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