There is a lot of history in Kogi State and if not for my trip, I wouldn’t have known the role Lokoja played in ensuring that Nigeria remains united.
History has it that Lokoja was key in ensuring that Nigeria won the civil war as it was a route used to easily attack the Biafaran formations, hence why Kogi State is the glue that binds us (Nigeria) all together.
Lokoja was the heart beat of trade in the pre and early post colonial era and after the amalgamation in 1914, the new Governor General, Lord Lugard ruled Nigeria from Lokoja.
It is the true center of Nigeria, the real bridge between the north and the south.
Wrapping up, I would be giving my top 5things to do if you are ever in Kogi State.
- Learn About the People and Culture
I was in Okenne, a transit town in Kogi State for most of my time in Kogi and I got to meet a few individuals who know deeply about the people, their culture and traditions. The Ibiras are mostly in Okene and I learnt quite a bit, how they migrated from Jos, their fabric weaving and a few words of their local language. I also got a gift to take back to Lagos to help learn further.
- Try the local food
Groundnut soup is local to Edo state but because of the proximity to Kogi, you’d also find it here and although I didn’t like the look of it, I decided to try it. What was the worst that could happen? Food poisoning I guess. I tried it and I can definitely say that it is not one of the best delicacies I have tasted neither is it one of the worst, being Foodventureous is’nt such a bad idea.
- Hike Mount Patti
I’m all for outdoor activities and If you’re passionate about hiking, take time out and checkout the place where central Nigeria was governed from. There you’d experience scenic views of the city of Lokoja, meet the luggards and see the Niger River and Benue confluence.
- Visit the Cenotaph
When I hear about the World Wars, I never ever think of Nigeria, definitely, Russia, maybe Germany but never even Africa. Apparently Nigerian Soldiers also fought in the World War and we lost some lives hence the memorial. Although the memorial was locked while I was there, however, if you are in Lokoja, do not hesitate to stop by. I’d love to hear stories of the World Wars from the Nigerian perspective.
- Visit the confluence
Kogi State is the confluence state and Lokoja is where both river Niger and Benue meet. You’d be missing on the roots and essence of the state if you do not stop by at the confluence. Also, don’t stop at the visit, take a local boat on the confluence and feel the calm. It is allegedly called the spiritual river that rules Nigeria.
Kogi State borders nine(9) states in Nigeria and is a transit route to sixteen (16) other states including the Federal Capital Territory.
Special shout-out to Victor Chapi, Hope and her husband for helping me accomodating me and helping me navigate Kogi. Kindly check out Hope on Instagram, she deals in Auto gele and has them at affordable prices.