Bayelsa State

Bayelsa is a state in southern part of Nigeria, located in the core of the Niger Delta region.[4][5] Bayelsa State was created in 1996 from Rivers State, making it one of the newest states in the federation. It shares a boundary with Rivers State to the east and Delta State to the west, with the waters of the Atlantic Ocean dominating its southern borders.[5] It has a total area of 10, 773 km2. The state is comprised of eight Local Government Areas, they are: Ekeremor, Kolokuma/Opokuma, Yenagoa, Nembe, Ogbia, Sagbama, Brass and Southern Ijaw.[5] The state borders Rivers State, of which it was formerly part, and Delta State.[6][7][8]

Smoke from oil flare, Nembe Creek
Smoke from oil flare, Nembe Creek
Flag of Bayelsa
Location of Bayelsa State in Nigeria
Location of Bayelsa State in Nigeria
Geopolitical ZoneSouth South
Created1 October 1996
 • BodyGovernment of Bayelsa State
 • GovernorDouye Diri (PDP)
 • Deputy GovernorLawrence Ewhrudjakpo (PDP)
 • LegislatureBayelsa State House of Assembly
 • SenatorsC: Moses Cleopas (PDP)
E: Biobarakuma Degi (APC)
W: Henry Dickson (PDP)
 • RepresentativesList
 • Total10,773 km2 (4,159 sq mi)
Area rank27th
 (2006 census)
 • Total1,704,515[1]
 Ranked 35th
Dialing Code+234
ISO 3166 codeNG-BY
Total$4.34 billion[2]
Per capita$2,484[2]
HDI (2018)0.642[3]
medium · 6th of 37

Bayelsa state Is predominantly Ijaw,[9] with the Ijaw languages being widely spoken also Isoko and Urhobo spoke within their ancestral towns in the state. It is also the ancestral home of the Isoko people and the Urhobo people in the Sagbama local govt area.[10] The state is the smallest in Nigeria by population as of the 2006 census, as well as one of the smallest by area. Being in the Niger Delta region, Bayelsa State has a riverine and estuarine setting, with bodies of water within the state preventing the development of significant road infrastructure.[11]

As a state in the oil-rich Niger Delta the Bayelsa State's economy is dominated by the petroleum industry. The state is the site of Oloibiri Oilfield, where oil was first discovered in Nigeria,[12] and as of 2015 was estimated to produce 30-40% of the country's oil.[13] The state nicknamed “Glory of all Lands” has the largest gas reservoir (18 trillion cubic feet) in Nigeria.[14] Though being the site of one of the largest crude oil and natural gas deposits in the country contributes to local economic development, the state remains plagued by rampant poverty as well as pollution stemming from oil spills.[15][16]


During the 20th century, demands for a new, majority-Ijaw state to be drawn in the Niger Delta Region became common. Between 1941 and 1956, numerous Ijaw nationalist organizations supportive of an Ijaw-majority state in Southern Nigeria were founded. Isaac Adaka Boro, a prominent Ijaw rights activist during the 1960's who was born in Oloibiri, attempted to proclaim a "Niger Delta Peoples Republic" in 1966.[17][18]

[19] Bayelsa State was created out of Rivers State on October 1, 1996 by the Sani Abacha's military government. Its name was derived from the first few letters of the names of the major local government areas from which it was formed: Brass LGA (BALGA), Yenagoa LGA (YELGA) and Sagbama LGA (SALGA).[6]

On November 20, 1999, the Nigerian military committed what is now referred to as the Odi massacre. The death toll remains disputed to this day, though Nnimmo Bassey, Executive Director of Environmental Rights Action, claims that nearly 2500 civilians were killed.[20][21]

In response to environmental degradation in the state caused by the oil industry, movements such as the "Rise for Bayelsa" campaign have emerged to push for protecting the local water supply.[22] In 2019, the Bayelsa State government launched the first formal inquiry into the crisis of oil pollution in the state.[23][24]


Bayelsa State has one of the largest crude oil and natural gas deposits in Nigeria.[25][26] As a result, petroleum production is substantial in the state. Even though Bayelsa State is well-endowed with natural resources, the state "enjoys very minimal dividends from its oil wealth due to the structural inequities in the national revenue allocation system in the practice of fiscal federalism in the country".[27]


Bayelsa has a riverine and estuarine setting[citation needed]. Many communities are almost (and in some cases) surrounded by water, making them inaccessible by road. The state is home to the Edumanom Forest Reserve, in June 2008 the last known site for chimpanzees in the Niger Delta.[28]

Other important cities besides Yenagoa include Akassa, Lobia, Amassoma (the home of the Niger Delta University), Eniwari, Ekeremor, Aliebiri, Peretoru, Twon-Brass, Egwema-Brass, Kaiama, Nembe, Odi, Ogbia, Okpoama, Brass, Oporoma, Korokorosei, Otuan, Koroama, Okolobiri, Obunagha, Ogboloma, Sagbama, Olugbobiri, Peremabiri, Ekowe, and Swali.

The Akassa Lighthouse has stood since 1910.[29]


The main language spoken is Ijaw with dialects such as Kolukuma, Mein, Bomu, Nembe, Epie-Atisa, and Ogbia. Like the rest of Nigeria, English is the official language.

Languages of Bayelsa State listed by LGA:[30]

Ekeremor, Bayelsa State
LGA Languages
Brass Abureni; Southeast Ijo; Ogbia; Kugbo
Ekeremor Izon
Kolokuma Opokuma Izon
Nembe Abureni; Southeast Ijo. Izon (Ijaw)
Ogbia Abureni; Southeast Ijo; Odual; Ogbia; Oruma
Sagbama Biseni; Isoko; Izon; Ogbah; Okodia; Urhobo
Southern Ijaw Southeast Ijo; Izon
Yenagoa Engenni; Epie; Izon; Ekpeye

Notable peopleEdit


Due to massive overseas scholarship programs implemented by the old Rivers State in the 1970s and recent Bayelsa State governments, large numbers of Bayelsan professionals reside in Europe and North America. This is part of the general brain-drain trend affecting many African communities.


The major tertiary institutions in Bayelsa state are:

Burning Gas Flare Nembe Creek, Nigeria

Local Government AreasEdit

Bayelsa State consists of eight local government areas:


  1. ^ "2006 PHC Priority Tables – National Population Commission". Archived from the original on 2017-10-10. Retrieved 2017-10-10.
  2. ^ a b "C-GIDD (Canback Global Income Distribution Database)". Canback Dangel. Archived from the original on 7 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
  3. ^ "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  4. ^ "Yenagoa | Location, Facts, & Population". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2021-09-11.
  5. ^ a b c "Bayelsa – History & Culture – Bayelsa State Government". Retrieved 2021-09-11.
  6. ^ a b "Learn About Bayelsa State, Nigeria | People, Local Government and Business Opportunities in Bayelsa". Overview of Nigeria |NgEX. Retrieved 2018-07-29.
  7. ^ "Référence rapide des codes de la CITE-P et de la CITE-A dans la CITE 2011", Guide opérationnel CITE 2011, OECD, pp. 117–118, 2016-01-25, retrieved 2021-09-10
  8. ^ "Bayelsa State, Nigeria Genealogy". FamilySearch Wiki. Retrieved 2021-09-10.
  9. ^ "Background Report: The Destruction of Odi and Rape in Choba". Retrieved 2021-09-10.
  10. ^ "Our Story". Indigenous People of Biafra USA. Retrieved 2021-03-07.
  11. ^ "Bayelsa". Nigeria. 2020-09-15. Retrieved 2021-09-10.
  12. ^ "Industry History". Retrieved 2021-03-09.
  13. ^ "Conflict Bulletin: Bayelsa State – Patterns and Trends, 2012-2014 | The Fund for Peace". Retrieved 2021-03-09.
  14. ^ "Bayelsa State". Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission. 2019-01-07. Retrieved 2021-09-11.
  15. ^ "Nigeria's oil-rich Bayelsa State opens inquiry on spills". Retrieved 2021-03-07.
  16. ^ "'This place used to be green': the brutal impact of oil in the Niger Delta". the Guardian. 2019-12-06. Retrieved 2021-03-07.
  17. ^ T., Akinyele, R. (2006). Isaac Adaka Boro : patriarch of minority activism in the Niger Delta. University of Lagos, Faculty of Arts. ISBN 978-075-054-1. OCLC 752210539.
  18. ^ User, Super. "Overview of Bayelsa State". Niger Delta Budget Monitoring Group. Retrieved 2021-03-09. {{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  19. ^ Organ., Thomson Reuters Herausgebendes. Social sciences citation index. OCLC 946102050.
  20. ^ "Trade and human rights in the Niger Delta | Pambazuka News". Retrieved 2021-03-09.
  21. ^ "Odi massacre: Anyone with tribal marks on their chest was slaughtered, corpses littered everywhere –Bolou, former Bayelsa commissioner". Punch Newspapers. 2017-12-16. Retrieved 2021-09-10.
  22. ^ "Rise for Bayelsa". SILVERFISH FILMS. Retrieved 2021-03-07.
  23. ^ "Nigeria: Bayelsa state launches new inquiry into the environmental and human damage caused by oil spills in the Niger Delta". Business & Human Rights Resource Centre. Retrieved 2021-09-10.
  24. ^ "Nigeria's oil-rich Bayelsa State opens inquiry on spills". Retrieved 2021-03-09.
  25. ^ "Bayelsa woos oil, gas, other investors". Vanguard News. 2019-04-23. Retrieved 2021-09-17.
  26. ^ "Bayelsa woos oil, gas, other investors". Vanguard News. 2019-04-23. Retrieved 2021-09-11.
  27. ^ Ikein, Augustine (2004). "Economic Development Agenda for Bayelsa State of Nigeria: An Advisor's Opinion" (PDF). Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  28. ^ "Nigeria Biodiversity and Tropical Forestry Assessment" (PDF). USAID. June 2008. p. 76. Retrieved 2010-09-18.
  29. ^ "Since 1910, a Lighthouse in the Creeks". Folio Nigeria. Retrieved 17 August 2020.
  30. ^ "Nigeria". Ethnologue (22 ed.). Retrieved 2020-01-10.
  31. ^ "Gabriel Okara | Nigerian author". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  32. ^ "Unsung heroes of independence - The Nation Nigeria". The Nation Nigeria. 2015-10-02. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  33. ^ "Who Killed Adaka Boro". Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  34. ^ "DANIEL IGALI - From obscurity to wrestling stardom - The Nation Nigeria". The Nation Nigeria. 2016-07-03. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  35. ^ Society, Urhobo Historical. "Former Military Governor Diete-Spiff Reflects On Background Problems of the Invasion". Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  36. ^ "Edmund Daukoru". Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  37. ^ "How Governor Melford Okilo Discovered Olumba Olumba Brotherhood - Brand Campaign". Brand Campaign. 2016-09-14. Archived from the original on 2018-07-30. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  38. ^ "Biography | The Office of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan". Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  39. ^ Egba, Abdullahi (3 June 2021). "Ogborodi Appointed Acting NECO Registrar After Obioma's Death". Channels TV. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  40. ^ "Masquerades and Jokers as Governors in Bayelsa State". Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  41. ^ "Afrotainment-Museke Online African Music Awards 2011". 2011-09-28.
  42. ^ "TIMI DAKOLO". Archived from the original on 2018-07-30. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  43. ^ "Bayelsa honours Samson SIasia, others". Premium Times Nigeria. 2018-05-18. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  44. ^ "Diezani Alison-Madueke scored another firs - Vanguard News". Vanguard News. 2014-12-02. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  45. ^ "ETETE, Chief Dan Lauzia". Biographical Legacy and Research Foundation. 2017-02-03. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  46. ^ "Nigeria: Eagles, Black Stars Will Survive Group Stage -Finidi". This Day (Lagos). 2010-03-24. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  47. ^ Falae, Vivian. "Present Nigerian Ministers and their portfolios".
  48. ^ "Hon. Douye Diri biography, net worth, age, family, contact & picture". Retrieved 2021-09-12.
  49. ^ "Ben Murray-Bruce biography, net worth, age, family, contact & picture". Retrieved 2021-09-12.
  50. ^ "Tamara Eteimo biography, net worth, age, family, contact & picture". Retrieved 2021-09-12.
  51. ^ "Ebinabo Potts-Johnson biography, net worth, age, family, contact & picture". Retrieved 2021-09-12.
  52. ^ "Noah Bazee biography, net worth, age, family, contact & picture". Retrieved 2021-09-12.
  53. ^ Oduma, Igoniko (12 April 2018). "Bayelsa Govt Tasks Governing Councils Of State-Owned Tertiary Institutions". Retrieved 2018-07-29.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 4°45′N 6°05′E / 4.750°N 6.083°E / 4.750; 6.083