Exploring Kogi State: Unveiling the Diversity of Tribes and Dialects

Kogi State is located in the North Central zone of Nigeria, which comprises six states: Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, and Plateau.

The North Central zone is known for its diverse ethnic and cultural mix, including the Kogi, Nupe, Igala, Ebira, Bassa, Kakanda, and Hausa peoples.

The zone is also known for its agricultural production, with crops such as yams, cassava, maize, sorghum, millet, and rice being grown in the region.

Kogi State was created on August 27, 1991, from parts of Kwara State and Benue State.
The state is named after the Kogi people, an ethnic group native to the area.Kogi State is known for its rich mineral deposits, including coal, iron ore, limestone, marble and so on. Kogi State comprises of Three Main Ethnic Groups and Languages which are ;Okun, Igala And Ebira Tribes With Other Minority Tribes Which Include; Nupe, Bassa, Kakanda, ogori, Ibaji, Kupa, Gwari, Gbagyi and so on. Kogi State Shares Interstate boundaries with Nasarawa State and the FCT to the north , Benue State to the east, Enugu, Anambra , Edo , and Ondo State To The South And Ekiti And Kwara States To The West. The state capital is Lokoja.

The Various Tribes In Kogi State;

OKUN: Okun Is a major language/ ethnic group in kogi state and they consists of the Yoruba speaking Part of kogi state. Within Okun, there are various dialects spoken by different communities including the owe, ijumu, yagba, ikiri , Bunu , Mopamoro And Gbede. These dialects exhibit some differences in their pronunciation , vocabulary and Grammar.

IGALA: Igala is a major Language/ Ethnic Group In Kogi State. it’s spoken by the igala people. Igala has several dialects which include; Ankpa, Idah, Anyigba, Dekina, Ogugu And Imane. While these dialects share a common core vocabulary and Grammar , they may have some variations in pronunciation and vocabulary usage.

EBIRA: Ebira language is predominantly spoken by the Ebira people of kogi state. The language has several dialects including; Ebira Okene, Ebira Koto , Ebira Mozum and Ebira Ta’o.

BASSA: Bassa language is spoken by the Bassa people of kogi state. The dialects include; Bassa- komo and Bassa- Nge .

NUPE: Nupe is spoken by the Nupe people of kogi state. Nupe has several dialects , including the central Nupe dialect, which is spoken in areas like Bida( Niger State) and the western Nupe dialect which is used in communities in Lokoja .

OWORO: Is spoken by people in kogi state. It’s has the Eastern and western dialects,. The Eastern dialects is spoken in areas like Lokoja.

KUPA: kupa has several dialects including the central kupa dialect spoken in the central areas of kogi state and the Eastern kupa dialect used in the Eastern parts of the state.

These dialects may vary in pronunciation , vocabulary and grammatical structures, but they maintain mutual intelligibility (A relationship between languages or dialects in which speakers of different but related varieties can readily understand each other with special efforts.) amongst speakers.

In conclusion, despite the rich diversity of culture, language, and dialects among the various tribes in Kogi State, there exists a remarkable unity among the people as they work together toward common goals. Each tribe, whether Okun, Igala, Ebira, Bassa, Nupe, Oworo, or Kupa, contributes its unique linguistic heritage, with distinct dialects reflecting regional nuances. However, amidst these differences, there is a strong sense of mutual understanding and cooperation, exemplifying the resilience and unity of the Kogi people. Despite varying pronunciations, vocabulary, and grammatical structures, the bonds of mutual intelligibility foster harmony and collaboration, underscoring the collective spirit that transcends linguistic diversity in Kogi State.

Compiled By Suleiman Fareedah


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