NEED A BRIEF HISTORY OF BENUE STATE, WHEN WAS IT CREATED, UNDER WHICH PRESIDENT AND HOW MANY LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AREAS ARE IN THE STATE?
Benue State was first created by the military administration headed by the late General Murtala Mohammed on February 3, 1976. It was one of the seven states created which increased the number of states in the country from 13 to 19.
Local Government Areas IN BENUE
Benué State consists of twenty-three (23) Local Government Areas. They are:
Local Government Areas
- Benue State lies within the lower river Benue trough in the middle belt region of Nigeria. Its geographic coordinates are longitude 7° 47’ and 10° 0’ East. Latitude 6° 25’ and 8° 8’ North; and shares boundaries with five other states namely: Nassarawa to the north, Taraba to the east, Cross-River to the south, Enugu to the south-west and Kogi to the west. The state also shares a common boundary with the Republic of Cameroun on the south-east. Benue has a population of 4,780,389 (2006 census) and occupies a landmass of 32,518 square kilometers.
- Benue State possesses immense tourism potentials which are yet to be exploited. Since some of the tourist attractions are best selected by the tourist, Benue State in her bid to develop tourism embarked on infrastructural development necessary for the overall well being of the tourist. The options are still opened to foreign investors.
- The programme of road development, hotels, postal, telephone and Email services, electricity, potable water, recreational facilities and the general hospitality of the people will eventually open up the state to tourists. An amusement park and Zoo have been developed at Makurdi. There is a wild life park at lkwe where a conference hall and chalets have been built to serve tourists. Tourist attractions in the state may be grouped into natural scenic, historical monuments and festivals.
- Natural Attractions in Benue State include hills and ranges such as Ikyogen, Abande, Ngokur, Mkar, Ushongo and Harga. There is a heavily wooded natural trench at Tse-Mker which is believed to be inhabited by dangerous creatures including Pythons. Gurgul is a waterfall on Katsina Ala River. The border stretch adjoining the Obudu/South Cameroon Plateau ranges features a beautiful scenery of forests, dissected hills, Dykes, dozens of fast flowing streams and incised valleys. In the Dry season, the water level in both the Benue River and Katsina-Ala River falls, giving rise to beautiful sandy river beaches and clean shallow waters. The waters are excellent for recreational boating and swimming. At Orokam in Ogbadibo Local government areas, occurs the Enumabia Warm Spring.At Epwa-Ibilla, Andi-Ibilla, Uchenyum-Ibilla, Okochi-Uwokwu, Irachi-Uwokwu, Ette-Uda-Uwokwu, Odepa-Uwokwu, Igbegi-Ipinu-Uwokwu, Edde-Ibilla-Uwokwu, and Ohuma-Uwokwu of Oju, are springs of clean water. There are masses of unusually tall trees in the deep valleys and on the pretty steep highlands, which are all however inhabited.
- Historical monuments in the state include the Royal Niger Company Trading Stores at Makurdi and Gbileve near Katsina-Ala; the tombs of the first Dutch missionaries at Harga and Sai in Katsina-Ala Local Government Areas; the tombs of the legendary politician, Mr. J. S. Tarka and past three Tor Tiv in Gboko town; and the trench fortifications in Turan district of Kwande local government areas which were dug by the Tiv to ward off Chamba invasions in the 19th century.
- At Utonkon, is a thick forest with tall giant trees, the centre of which used to serve as a slave trade market, but is now the site of shrines and a periodic market. Swem is a shrine site at the foot of the Cameroon range in Kwande local government area from where the Tivs were said to have originated.