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Bayelsa state
  • Date Created October 01, 1996
  • Capital Yenagoa
  • Governor Duoye Diri
  • Land Area 10,773 km2 (4,159 sq mi)
  • Population 1,704,515 (2006 census)
  • GDP $4.34 billion

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History of Bayelsa

Bayelsa is a state in Nigeria, located in the Niger Delta region. The capital of the state is Yenagoa, and the main languages spoken in the state are English and Ijaw. Bayelsa is known for its rich oil and gas resources, and the state's economy is heavily dependent on the oil industry. The state is also home to several ethnic groups, including the Ijaw, the Ogbia, and the Epie-Atissa.
Bayelsa state was created in 1996 from the former Rivers State during the military regime of General Sani Abacha. The state was created primarily to give a sense of belonging to the Ijaw ethnic group, which is the largest ethnic group in the Niger Delta region.

Before the creation of the state, the Ijaws had been marginalized and their land and resources taken over by non-indigenous people. The creation of Bayelsa state was seen as a step towards addressing these issues and promoting greater autonomy for the Ijaw people.

Since its creation, Bayelsa state has faced several challenges, including a lack of infrastructure and development, environmental degradation caused by oil spills and gas flaring, and conflicts between ethnic groups and the government over control of resources. Despite these challenges, the state has made some progress in the areas of education and healthcare.

In the recent time, Bayelsa state has seen a lot of political and leadership changes, with the governor and deputy governor impeached in 2020 and 2021 respectively which led to a lot of political instability.
 

Location
Bayelsa state is located in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. It is bordered by Delta State to the west, Rivers State to the north and east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. The state is situated between latitudes 4°45'N and 5°45'N, and longitudes 5°45'E and 6°45'E. The state covers an area of about 8,080 square kilometers. Bayelsa state is also located in the southern region of Nigeria, it is one of the 36 states in Nigeria.


Cultural Heriatge
Bayelsa state has a rich cultural heritage, reflecting the diverse ethnic groups that make up the state. The Ijaw people, who are the largest ethnic group in the state, have a rich tradition of oral history, music, dance, and storytelling. The Ijaw also have a strong tradition of crafts, including carving, pottery, and beadwork.

The Ogbia people, another major ethnic group in the state, have a rich tradition of folklore and folktales, as well as a strong tradition of communal living and cooperation. The Epie-Atissa people, another ethnic group in the state, are known for their rich tradition of art and music, and for their expertise in palm wine tapping and brewing.

In addition to the cultural heritage of the ethnic groups in the state, Bayelsa state is also known for its natural heritage, including its mangrove forests, creeks and waterways, and its rich biodiversity. The state is home to several protected areas, including the Oloibiri Nature Park, which is a popular tourist destination.

Overall, Bayelsa state heritage is a unique blend of culture, tradition, natural and human resources.
Bayelsa state is home to a variety of festivals that reflect the rich cultural heritage of the state. Some of the most popular festivals in the state include:

Ijaw National Festival: Also known as Ijaw Day, this festival is celebrated on December 2nd every year to mark the creation of Bayelsa state. It is a celebration of the Ijaw culture and heritage, featuring traditional dances, music, and food.

Ogbia Day: This festival is celebrated by the Ogbia people on the third Saturday of November every year. The festival features traditional dances, music, and food, as well as cultural displays and competitions.

Epie-Atissa Day: This festival is celebrated by the Epie-Atissa people on the last Saturday of August every year. The festival features traditional dances, music, and food, as well as cultural displays and competitions.

Nembe Day: This festival is celebrated by the Nembe people on the first Saturday of August every year. The festival features traditional dances, music, and food, as well as cultural displays and competitions.

Oloibiri Day: This festival is celebrated annually on the 19th of November to commemorate the discovery of oil in commercial quantity in Oloibiri, Bayelsa state.

These festivals usually last for a week, and it's a time for the people of Bayelsa to come together to celebrate their culture, heritage and traditions, and also to showcase their talents, crafts and customs to visitors.

 People
The people of Bayelsa state are diverse and come from a variety of ethnic groups. The Ijaw people, who are the largest ethnic group in the state, make up about 60% of the population. Other major ethnic groups in the state include the Ogbia, the Epie-Atissa, and the Nembe.

The Ijaw people are known for their rich culture and tradition, which is reflected in their music, dance, and storytelling. They have a strong tradition of communal living and cooperation. The Ogbia people are known for their rich folklore and folktales, as well as their expertise in fishing and farming. The Epie-Atissa people are known for their rich tradition of art and music, and for their expertise in palm wine tapping and brewing.

In addition to the ethnic groups, Bayelsa state is also home to a significant number of non-indigenous people, including people from other parts of Nigeria and from other countries.

The people of Bayelsa state are generally friendly and welcoming to visitors. English is widely spoken in the state, and most of the people are Christian or traditional followers.

Overall, Bayelsa state is a melting pot of cultures, tradition, languages and customs that make it unique and interesting.

Trade
Bayelsa state is known for its rich natural resources, which are a major contributor to its economy. The state is particularly rich in oil and gas, with significant reserves located in the Niger Delta region. The oil and gas industry is the mainstay of the state's economy, providing employment and revenue for the state government.

Fishing is also an important industry in Bayelsa state, with a significant number of people engaged in fishing and fish processing. The state's mangrove forests and creeks are also important for the production of seafood, including fish, crabs, and prawns.

Agriculture is also an important sector in the state, with a significant number of people engaged in farming and crop production. The state is known for its production of palm oil, rubber, and other crops.

In addition to these traditional sectors, Bayelsa state is also developing its tourism industry, with a focus on ecotourism and cultural tourism. The state is home to several protected areas, including the Oloibiri Nature Park, which is a popular tourist destination.

Bayelsa state also have a growing service sector, which includes the banking, insurance, real estate and other services.

Overall, Bayelsa state has a diverse economy, driven by its natural resources, agriculture, fishing, and tourism industries. The state is also working to diversify its economy and to promote sustainable economic development.

Oil and Gas
Bayelsa state is located in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, which is known for its rich oil and gas reserves. The state is home to several major oil and gas fields, including the Oloibiri field, which was the site of the first commercial oil discovery in Nigeria in 1956.

The oil and gas industry is the mainstay of the state's economy, providing employment and revenue for the state government. The state is home to several major oil and gas companies, including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Shell.

However, the state's oil and gas wealth has also brought significant environmental challenges. The Niger Delta region is known for its oil spills, gas flaring, and other forms of pollution, which have had a significant impact on the environment and on the livelihoods of the people who live in the region.

The state government, in collaboration with the federal government, is working to address these challenges and to promote sustainable economic development in the region. This includes the cleanup of Ogoniland, the enforcement of environmental regulations, and the development of alternative livelihoods for the people of the region.

In addition to the traditional oil and gas industry, Bayelsa state is also looking at developing its renewable energy sector, such as solar and wind energy.

Educational Institutions
Bayelsa State, Nigeria has several educational institutions, including universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, and secondary schools. Some of the notable educational institutions in the state include:

Niger Delta University (NDU): The first state-owned university in Bayelsa State, established in 2000.

Ijaw National Academy: The first of its kind in Africa, located in Kaiama, Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area, it is an institution established to promote the study of Ijaw culture and history.

Bayelsa State College of Health Technology: The premier institution for training health professionals in the state.

Bayelsa State Polytechnic: A higher institution of learning located in the state capital, Yenagoa.

Institute of Management and Technology (IMT): A tertiary institution located in Yenagoa, which offers courses in various disciplines including Engineering, Business Administration, and Social Sciences.

Bayelsa State Ministry of Education: This state-run Ministry of Education oversees the educational development of the state, and it has a number of secondary schools and primary schools under its management.

Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital Okolobiri : This is a teaching hospital affiliated to the Niger Delta University, which was established to provide health care services, training and research in the field of medicine.

These institutions offer a wide range of academic programs, and they provide students with the opportunity to pursue higher education in various fields.


Traditional Rulers
Bayelsa State, Nigeria is made up of several ethnic groups, each with their own traditional rulers. Some of the notable traditional rulers in Bayelsa State include the Amanyanabo of Twon-Brass, the Amanyanabo of Nembe, the Pere of Okordia-Rumueme, the Pere of Okordia-Ekpetiama, the Pere of Okpoama, the Pere of Opume, the Pere of Ogbia, the Pere of Egbema, the Pere of Sagbama, the Pere of Brass, the Pere of Yenagoa, and the Pere of Kolokuma/Opokuma. These rulers play important cultural and ceremonial roles in their respective communities.
Notable traditional rulers in Bayelsa State include:

King Alfred Diete-Spiff: He is the Amanyanabo of Twon-Brass and former Military Governor of old Rivers State.

King Godspower Gbenekama Konyegbene: He is the Amanyanabo of Nembe, a paramount ruler of Nembe Kingdom, one of the major ethnic groups in Bayelsa State.

King Ebitimi Banigo: He is the Pere of Okordia-Rumueme, a traditional ruler of Okordia-Rumueme Kingdom, one of the major ethnic groups in Bayelsa State.

King Benjamin Okoko: He is the Pere of Okordia-Ekpetiama, a traditional ruler of Okordia-Ekpetiama Kingdom, one of the major ethnic groups in Bayelsa State.

King George Dorgu: He is the Pere of Okpoama, a traditional ruler of Okpoama Kingdom, one of the major ethnic groups in Bayelsa State.

King Preye Aganaba: He is the Pere of Opume, a traditional ruler of Opume Kingdom, one of the major ethnic groups in Bayelsa State.

King Godwin Gbinigie: He is the Pere of Ogbia, a traditional ruler of Ogbia Kingdom, one of the major ethnic groups in Bayelsa State.

King Nengi James: He is the Pere of Egbema, a traditional ruler of Egbema Kingdom, one of the major ethnic groups in Bayelsa State.

King John Bull: He is the Pere of Sagbama, a traditional ruler of Sagbama Kingdom, one of the major ethnic groups in Bayelsa State.

King Alfred Papapreye Ferguson: He is the Pere of Brass, a traditional ruler of Brass Kingdom, one of the major ethnic groups in Bayelsa State.

King Douye Diri: He is the Pere of Yenagoa, a traditional ruler of Yenagoa Kingdom, one of the major ethnic groups in Bayelsa State.

King Tonye Okio: He is the Pere of Kolokuma/Opokuma, a traditional ruler of Kolokuma/Opokuma Kingdom, one of the major ethnic groups in Bayelsa State.

These rulers play important cultural and ceremonial roles in their respective communities, and are also involved in the political and economic development of the state.


Notable Places
Bayelsa state is home to a number of notable places that are worth visiting. Some of the most popular places in the state include:

Oloibiri Nature Park: This protected area is located in the Oloibiri area of Bayelsa state, and is known for its diverse wildlife and natural beauty. The park is home to a wide range of plant and animal species, including primates, reptiles, and birds.

Silverbird Cinema: This is a popular entertainment spot in the state capital, Yenagoa. The cinema features the latest movies and is a great place to go for a night out.

Tombia Roundabout: This roundabout is located in the city of Yenagoa, and is known for its beautiful sculptures and landscaping. The roundabout is a popular spot for visitors to take photos and admire the art.

Bayelsa Palm: This is an artificial palm tree located in the city of Yenagoa, and is one of the state's most iconic landmarks. The palm tree is lit up at night and is a popular spot for visitors to take photos.

The Glory Dome: The Glory dome is a modern and iconic architectural edifice located in the state capital, Yenagoa. The dome serves as a center for religious, cultural and social activities.

The Bayelsa International Cargo Airport: The airport is located in Amassoma, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state, and serves as the main hub for air transportation in the state.

The Bayelsa Waterfront: The waterfront is located in the state capital, Yenagoa, and offers visitors a beautiful view of the River Nun. It is a great place for picnics and relaxing by the water.

These are just a few examples of the many notable places that Bayelsa state has to offer. Visitors to the state can also explore the many cultural and historical sites, including traditional villages and monuments, as well as enjoy the local cuisine and festivals.


Notable people
Bayelsa state has produced many notable people who have made significant contributions in various fields. Some of the most notable people from Bayelsa state include:

Goodluck Jonathan: He is a former President of Nigeria (2010-2015) and the first president from the Niger Delta region. He was also the Governor of Bayelsa state from 2005-2007.

Diepreye Alamieyeseigha: He was a former Governor of Bayelsa state (1999-2005) and was also the first executive governor of the state.

Timi Alaibe: He is a former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and was also a former Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs.

Henry Seriake Dickson: He is a former Governor of Bayelsa state (2012-2019) and is currently a member of the Nigerian House of Representatives.

Godknows Igali: He is a Nigerian diplomat, who served as Nigeria's Ambassador to Canada and also served as the Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs.

Patience Jonathan: She is a former First Lady of Nigeria and wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Ken Saro-Wiwa: He was a Nigerian writer, television producer, environmental activist, and the leader of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP)

Ikeogu Oke: A Nigerian poet and playwright, who won the 2017 NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature for his poetry collection, The Heresiad.

Eki Igbinedion: A Nigerian artist, who is known for his contemporary artworks, which have been exhibited in galleries across the world.

Olu Agbi: A Nigerian lawyer and politician who was elected as the member representing the Bayelsa West Senatorial district in the Nigerian Senate in 2019.

These are just a few examples of the many notable people that Bayelsa state has produced. The state has a rich history and culture, and its people have made significant contributions to the development of Nigeria and the world.

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