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PEOPLE, POPULATION AND RURAL-URBAN SETTLEMENT
Posted to the web: 2/4/2003 1:39:43 PM
 
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Ethnicity and Culture: Some of the ethnic groups speak languages identified with their names. Igala people speak Igala, a Kwa

The first primary school building in the former Northern Region, Lokoja
The first primary school building in the former Northern Region, Lokoja

language which is related to both Yoruba and Idoma while the Ebira people speak Ebira and the Ugori people speak Ogodi. Inikpi and Ogaganyi festivals are highly regard ed among the Igala people.

Inikpi, with the associated shrine, is a commemoration of the act of the heroine, Inikpi, who offered herself for sacrifice to save Igala Kingdom during the precolonial slave trade induced interethnic wars. The Ogaganyi Ogani masquerades, Ogbadu festival, Egungur (Egungwu) festival in Kogi and Oyi LGAs, Ekwuec in Okene LGA and other cultural festivals around the state are some of the important cultural activities.

The rich culture is also illustrated by art works on costumes and horns, artifacts and other cultura displays. These include: The ancient palace of the Attah; The about 400yearold Odogo Tower. enemies' activities; Awo a tunnel about one kilometre long, that served as a place to hide for the members of the royal family during war time in Idah; AafinKabba: the old Obaro's palace built of mud with which is now about two centuries old; Late Atta Ebira's Palace built in 1927;

OjuwoAtogwu: an ancient earth work declared a national monument in 1963; and Pottery works in Bassa LGA. Bassa Nge music includes lnyaduku, Edzo, Kerengwu and Badankolo which are popular with the people. Much of the ancient works of art have declined in importance, owing to the adoption of Islam, Christianity and other modern ways of life by a large number of the people.

Population Structure and Distribution: The total population of Kogi State increased by 63.66 percent over some twentyeight

Itakpe Iron Ore Mining Complex
Itakpe Iron Ore Mining Complex

years, i.e. from 1,282,538 in 1963 to 2,099,046 in 1991. The spatial distribution of the population by local government area reveals that the first five local government areas which had the highest proportions of population in 1963 are also the same ones with the highest population figures in 1991, though not in the same order or ranking.

These are Ankpa (16.86 percent), Idah (11.15 percent), Okene (10.74 percent), Dekina (9.65 percent) and Adavi (7,67 percent) in 1963. Okene was at the top of this list with 14.73 percent of the population, followed by Ankpa 1 (11.83 percent) Idah (10.23 percent), Dekina (9.61 percent) and Adavi (9.29 percent).

The most dramatic rate of increase was recorded by Ajaokuta LGA, with 1,324.14 percent, i.e. from 5,641 in 1963 to 80,336 in 1991. The huge increase in population could be explained by the returnmigration of some Ebira people from the cocoa belt of southwestern Nigeria to the state since the establishment of the Ajaokuta Steel Company and the associated Itakpe Iron Ore Mining Company. Olamaboro LGA had an increase of 134.89 percent and Okene's population increased by 124.55 percent over the period. Ankpa had the lowest rate of population increase of 14.81 percent over this period.

Urban and Rural Development: When the British Government took full control of the colonial administration of Nigeria in 1900, it introduced major policies which, for sixty years, greatly influenced urban and rural development and the general economic conditions everywhere in the country (Mabogunje, 1968).

Lord Lugard used the system of Indirect Rule for his provincial administration and he introduced the Township Ordinance of 1917 which made provision for the creation and administration of all towns and municipalities in Nigeria. The townships were classified into three: first, second and third class townships.

Paparanda Square, Lokoja
Paparanda Square, Lokoja

Lagos was the only firstclass township in the country. The six secondclass townships in the northern provinces in 1919 included Lokoja, while the twelve thirdclass townships in the northern provinces included Ankpa, with a later addition of Idah.

This classification had important implications for the allocation of public utilities to the towns. Lokoja, for example, had a small water supply scheme in 1929, yet it was not on the list of the towns with regular water supply system or electricity in 1950.

This was the situation of other towns in Kabba Province, in spite of their proximity to Rivers Niger and Benue and their tributaries. The situation of the towns and villages in Kogi State in terms of public utilities was much worse at the close of the 20th century and the turn of the millennium (1999) owing to the increas ing population, the general environmental degradation and pollution. Most of the towns in Kogi State remained relatively small, as indicated by the large proportion of 94.25 percent rural population in 1963. The entire state suffered from a long period of neglect in the aeneral allocation of oublic utilities and other social amenities.

Yet, one of the essential factors recommended in a comprehensive approach to rural development is the provision of basic amenities to more locations in the rural areas (Abiodun, 1985). The creation of this new State, with Lokoja as the capital, was accompanied by the creation of new local government areas. The original four LGAs from the former Kwara state plus the five LGAs from Benue State increased to twentyone LGAs in the new Kogi State by a process of "fis son.

Royal Niger Company, Lokoja
Royal Niger Company, Lokoja

The twelve new local government headquar ters (Ogaminana, Egayin, Onyedega, Ajaka, Mopa, Akpafa, Abejukolo, Isanlu, lyara, KotonKarfe, Okpo and OdoEre) formed additional growth centres that could generate urban and rural development.

The allocation of additional functions to the local governments, the changes in the Federal revenue allo cation formula in favour of local governments and the new democratic administrations at the three tiers of government are changes which are bound to enhance the effectiveness of more of them in urban and rural development, other things being equal. Some specific projects have been implemented to aid rural development.

These include: The Ayangba Agricultural Development Project (AADP) inherited from the former Benue State Government; Land development schemes at Obinagu Avrugo, lyegu, Oko Agbo, Alade, Odika Hane, Okele, Alloma, Ochadamu and Ede to encourage mechanisation of agri cultural processes; Rural development centres built atAdoru, Alloma, Ugwolawo, Ajaka.

Onedaga and Ogboligbo to supply farm inputs such as fertilizer and seeds and the services of veterinary staff to farmers; Kogi Oil Palm Production Company established to manage the abandoned plantations; The Agricultural Training Institute at Ochaja; The farm Institute at Oforachi converted to Home Overseers Institute Centre to train housewives in sanitation, nutrition, sewing, knitting and gardening; and The Kogi AgroAllied Investment .

Ajaokuta Steel Complex
Ajaokuta Steel Complex

The Better Life Programme, initiated in 1987 b) the Babangida administration, resuscitated the old Domestic Science Centres and turned them into MultiPurpose Centres to train women in weaving pottery, cookery, sewing, arts and crafts, soap anc pomade ointments making and adult literacy classes.

Seven centres were located at Idah, Dekina Oguma, Okene, Lokoja, Okehi and KotonKarfe. li also undertakes rice production, fish and livestock farming and palm oil processing at Ankpa anc Olamaboro LGAs; 'pito' brewing at Sheria in Bassa Egbe in Yagba West and Magongo in Okene; fish smoking industry at Jamata, yam and cassava food processing at Ugwolawo andAgbeji in Ofu; ground nut .

Wkulikuli at Chikara and pottery at Ebuhu ir KotonKarfe LGAs (Ogunjumo, 1992). Lokoja and some of the other LGA's headquarters are expanding as a result of their new roles, bu urban primacy is not yet a problem in a basically rural .

 

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