Cross River State
Cross River derives its name from the Oyono or Cross River which originates in the Cameroon mountain range and flows southwards through the state, traversing most of its length and covering an area of 39,000 square kilometres before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean. The early settlements in Cross River State were established around Calabar, where the Efiks lived as far back as the beginning of the seventeenth century. As a coastal town, it thrived on trade between the Europeans and hinterland natives. There were other Efik settlements at Creek Town, Henshaw Town and Obutong, and these (along with Calabar) were grouped together to form the state of Old Calabar.
Cross River State was originally part of the Eastern Region in the three-region structure of 1954. In 1967 with the creation of twelve federal states by General Yakubu Gowon's military government, it became part of South-Eastern State. In 1976 the military government of General Murtala Muhammed created nineteen states out of the existing twelve and South-Eastern State was renamed Cross River State. During the political reforms of 1987 (which resulted in a 21-state structure), Akwa lbom State was carved out of Cross River State.
There are about twenty-three ethnic groups in Cross River State. The Efik, Ejagham and Bekwarra are the dominant ones and their languages are the major ones spoken. The Efik language is the most widespread. The dominant religion in Cross River State is Christianity (practised by about 82 percent of the population). Practitioners of traditional religions account for about 15 percent of the population and Muslims for 3 percent.
Hogan 'Kid' Bassey (born Okon Bassey Asuquo) was the first Nigerian to win a world boxing title. On June 24, 1957 he defeated Cherif Hamia of Algeria to become the World Featherweight Champion. An indigene of Ufok Ubet, Creek Town, Bassey also won the Featherweight Championship of the British Commonwealth, the Bantamweight Championship of West Africa, the Bantamweight Championship of Nigeria, the Flyweight Championship of West Africa and the Flyweight Championship of Nigeria.
Source: Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia