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Tribes In Benue State

Tribes in Benue

Benue state with about 4,253,641 people is a state in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria. The capital of the state is Makurdi. The state is known as the food basket of the nation because it is rich in agriculture. The state is named after the Benue River. 

Benue state like every Nigerian state is also blessed with many Ethnic groups. Among these, few are listed below. 


The Tiv tribe is seen to be the seventh-largest tribe in Nigeria and one of the most powerful tribes in Benue state. It is believed that Takurudu is the founding father of the Tiv tribe who has ten children that make up the direct descendants of the Tiv people.

The Tiv people have a unique dressing pattern of black and white stripes worn by both their male and female. This popular cloth material is known as anger by the Tiv people. 

The Tiv people are also known as weavers; a craft that has been passed from generation to generation. The Tiv people also have a unique set of musical instruments. There are about 3 million Tiv people in Benue state. 


The Idoma people are found in the lower western parts of Benue state. The history of the Idoma people is passed through oral tradition and dance.

Young Idoma children learn about their culture and tradition from their parents or elders. Iduh is regarded as the father of all Idoma groups. Iduh’s children form the groups which the Idoma people are divided into. It is also widely believed among the Idoma people that their ancestral homeland is Apa.

The Idoma tribe being the second-largest tribe in the state occupies nine LGAs of the state which includes Otukpo, Apa, Ado, Ohimini, Agatu, Okpokwu, Obi, Oju and Ogbadibo.

The Idomas have the same pattern of traditional attires as the Tivs but the colour of their attire is red and black. The majority of the Idoma people are Christians with a very limited number of Muslim. There are some Idomas that still practice their traditional beliefs.


Many people outside Benue state thinks the Igede is the same with Idoma. Igede is a tribe separate from the Idoma tribe. They are the third-largest tribe in Benue state. 

The Igede people can be found in Obi and Oju LGAs of Benue state. The native language of the Igede people is called Worku and they have 373,000 native speakers. 

The Igede people believed in the Supreme Being Akpang which they copied from somewhere in Cameroun. The Ad’Utu is the name of the traditional ruler of Igege tribe.


The Akweya-Yachi people are the occupants of Akpa districts of Otukpo LGA of Benue state. They are sub-tribe under the Idoma tribe. Their culture and belief are like that of the Idoma people. 

Even their language sounds like that of Idoma with just a little difference. Farming is the major occupation of the Akweya-Yachi people.


The Jukun people are originated from Yamen in the Middle East. Most of the Jukun people are found in Taraba state but there are still some are located around the Benue basin.

The Jukun people are said to leave Yamen in 350 AD in the company of the Kanuri and Yoruba people before settling in Ngazargamu. Though Jukun cannot be regarded as one of the major tribes in Benue state, they are still popular because of their activities in Nigeria at large.


The Ufia people are said to be originated from the Kwararafa Kingdom in Wukari. The influence of the Wukari people can still be seen in them because they share identical clan names. Apart from their language, they also share many cultural values with the Idoma people.

The Ogrinya Cult is in-charge of making kings and creating the leaders of the Ufia people. A large number of them practice the Christian religion.

Apart from the tribes listed above, there are other smaller tribes that are found in Benue state. These tribes include Afo, Nyifon, Akweya, Abakpa, Utonkong, Etolu Etc. 

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