Enugu state
  • History
  • Places
  • Institutes
  • Date Created August 27, 1991
  • Capital Enugu
  • Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi
  • Land Area 7,161 sq km (2,765 sq mi)
  • Population 3,267,837 (2006 census)
  • GDP US$4,396 (2015)

History of Enugu

Enugu state is a state located in the southeastern region of Nigeria. It was created vide a military decree on the 27th of August, 1991. This came about after years of agitation concerning injustice and marginalization by the Wawa leaders and people. No wonder it is known as the “Coal city-state or Wawa state.”  But for the youth and Generation Z humans, it is popularly known as “042 cities.” 042 is the NITEL Telephone Area Code for Enugu. The youth decided to take a page out of the book of pop culture in the U.S where the area codes became a nickname for the city.

   It is located at the foot of the Udi plateau. The state shares borders with Abia state and Imo state to the south, Ebonyi state to the east, Benue State to the northeast, Kogi state to the northwest, and Anambra state to the west.         

Its name comes from the traditional Igbo words enu ugwu, meaning “at the top of the hill.” This is very appropriate as Enugu has a lot of hills and valleys. On weekends, you can find a number of hiking groups hiking through the hills and working up a sweat. They finally end up on top of the hills admiring the city from such a coveted angle.

  In 2015, the Rockefeller Foundation named Enugu state the 65th Most Resilient City in the world 2015. That’s not too bad for a state that was barely 30 years old at the time. At least, I think so.

 Population censuses are not regularly carried out in Nigeria. Sad but true. In 1991, the population of Enugu state was 2,125,068. In 2006, the population was 3,267,837. The males were 1,596,042 and the females were 1,671,795.  In 2016, the National Population Commission of Nigeria assumed the same rate of growth for all Local Government Areas (LGAs) within the state and projected about 4,411,100 people. It is however pertinent to remember that the population figures for Nigeria display high error rates and that census results are always clashing. In other words, take this with less than a pinch of salt.

  The cost of living is cheap and affordable compared to other parts of the country. It is home to numerous hotels, including the Nike Lake Resort Hotel, a five-star resort located next to the Nike Lake and once considered one of the jewels of Nigeria. I have personally been there once and the view is amazing. The food, leisure facilities, and especially the boating expeditions give off the “you should definitely come again” vibe. Besides, it is historically relevant since it was the site used to shelter the Biafran army headquarters for the Igbos during the tragic civil war.

 The beautiful landscapes of Enugu filled with a variety of hills, lakes, caves, springs, waterfalls, and forests is something one gets to enjoy outside the towns. For instance, the Milken hills, located at Ngwo in the Enugu North Local Government Area, offer a breath-taking view of Enugu, especially at dawn and dusk. If you’re fond of adventuring and are a great descendant of Indiana Jones, several tunnels can be found underneath the hills. Besides, it’s a great spot for mountaineering activities since the Iva valley lies beneath it. I have acrophobia so I’ll pass on this one.

   The South East and festivals are like, in Naeto C’s words, “five and six.” Since Enugu is home to the Igbos, there are important annual traditional festivals that are observed, such as the New Yam festival and the Mmanwu (means “spirits of the dead”) festival. Regarding the latter, various displays by masquerades are seen and enjoyed. The spirits are said to inhabit the masquerades as the earthly bodies and they should never be unmasked. But, seeing those masquerades on the road with their raffia whips is a different thing altogether