The early settlers of Niger State were the Gwari people. The state is named after the River Niger which runs through it. Niger State was originally part of the Northern 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 North Western State. In 1976, the military government of General Murtala Muhammed created nineteen states out of the existing twelve and North Western State was divided into Sokoto and Niger states.
The main ethnic groups in Niger State are the Gwari, Nupe and Hausa. Thirty-eight languages are spoken in the state; of these, Gwari, Gbagyi, Hausa and Nupe are the major ones. Christianity and Islam are the main religions in Niger State, although a fair amount of traditional religion is practiced.
General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, also known as IBB, is a retired Nigerian Army officer who was the military ruler of Nigeria from 27 August 1985 to 27 August 1993.
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