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Edo state

The meaning of «edo state»

Edo State is one of the 36 states of Nigeria, located in the southern region of the country.[4] As of 2006 National population census, the state was ranked as the 24th populated state (3, 233, 366) in Nigeria.[5] The state's capital and city, Benin City, is the fourth largest city in Nigeria, and the centre of the country's rubber industry.[6][7] Created in 1991 from the former Bendel State, Edo State borders Kogi State to the northeast, Anambra State to the east, Delta State to the southeast, and Ondo State to the west.[8]

The modern borders of Edo State encompass regions that were formerly the site of various empires and kingdoms. Formed in the 11th century AD, the Benin Empire.[9] The ancient city of Edo, the site of modern-day Benin City, was home to some of the earthworks in the world.[10] In 1897, the British Empire conducted a punitive expedition of the region, destroying most of the ancient city of Edo and incorporating the territory into what would become the Southern Nigeria Protectorate.[11][12]

Edo State is a diverse state that is predominantly inhabited by the Edoid peoples, including the Edo (or Bini),[13] Esan, Owan and Afemai peoples.[14] The most common Edoid language spoken is the Edo language, which is commonly spoken in Benin City.[15] First introduced to the region by Portuguese missionaries during the 15th century, Christianity is the dominant religion in Edo State with also a sizable number of Muslims though traditional religions are also practised.[16]

The Mid-Western Region was a division of Nigeria from 1963 to 1991, formally known as Bendel state from 1976. It was formed in June 1963 from Benin and Delta provinces of the Western Region, and its capital was Benin City.[17] It was renamed a province in 1966, and in 1967 when the other provinces were split up into several states, it remained territorially intact, becoming a state.[18]

During the Nigerian Civil War, the Biafran forces invaded the new Mid-Western state, en route to Lagos, in an attempt to force a quick end to the war. While under Biafran occupation, the state was declared as the “Republic of Benin” as Nigerian forces were to retake the region.[19] The republic collapsed a day after the declaration as Nigerian troops overtook Benin City. Edo State was established on 27 August 1991 when Bendel State was split into Edo and Delta States.[20]

With Benin City as capital, the population of the entire state is approximately 8 million.[21] It is made up of four major ethnic groups; namely Edo (Binis), Owan, Esan and Afemai (Etsako & Akoko Edo). However the State has a high presence of residents from across the country and the world because of its cosmopolitan tendencies. Benin City has a history of being one of the foremost destinations of Europeans during their exploration of Africa continent many centuries ago. Some of these flash points have remained enviable tourists’ attraction for the state.[22]

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