The Federal Republic of Nigeria at the moment is divided into 6 geopolitical zones, which is further divided into 36 states and their capitals.
It will interest you to discover that the largest states in Nigeria are all located in the north, where the dominant language is Hausa. The north also houses a powerful bloc of Nigerians who have ruled for years.
Niger state is the largest state in Nigeria by land mass. It covers an amazing 95,363 kilometers squared. This is almost twice the size of San Marino, the oldest surviving sovereign in the world.
Niger State was formed in 1976 when the then North-Western State was bifurcated into Niger State and Sokoto State.
It is named after the River Niger. It is home to two of Nigeria’s major hydroelectric power stations, the Kainji Dam, and the Shiroro Dam.
Borno state is almost as big as Niger state. Located in Norther Eastern Nigeria, it covers 92,893 kilometers squared of land.
Borno state was formed in 1976 when the North-Eastern State was broken down, with Maiduguri as its capital. In 1991, the state was fragmented once more and Yobe State was created.
In 2014 Borno suffered incessant attacks from Boko Haram terrorists. Thousands were killed and tens of thousands were displaced from their homes.
Taraba state doesn’t compare with the two biggest states in Nigeria but it is quite huge also. Taraba state is as big as 54,473 square kilometers. It can easily accommodate 12 Vaticans. The Vatican is the smallest country in the world, it is where the pope resides.
Named after the Taraba River which traverses the southern part of the state, Taraba’s capital is Jalingo, a bubbling city with an estimated population of over 118,000 people.
Taraba was formed from the former Gongola State on 27 August 1991.
Fourth on the list of the largest states in Nigeria is Kaduna state. Kaduna state isn’t as enormous as Taraba but it comes close. It is as big as 46,053 square kilometers.
Kaduna has a rich history.
Kaduna dates back to the start of British colonial rule in northern Nigeria where people who live in the area were called ‘Northern Nigerians.’ In 1967, these people were said to be living in the ‘North Central State.’ This status quo was maintained until 1975 when the former ‘Kaduna State’ was created by the then military leader, Gen. Murtala Mohammed.
The current Kaduna state is the successor of the old Northern Region of Nigeria, which had its capital at Kaduna which is now the home of over 6.3 million people.
Kaduna has been further divided on numerous occasions to create states like Katsina and others. It houses close to 63 different ethnic groups.
Located in North-eastern Nigeria, Bauchi state is the fifth largest state in Nigeria by land mass. It is as big as 45,837 square kilometers.
Bauchi state was formed in 1976 when the former North-Eastern State was broken up by authorities. In 1996, it was further broken down and Gombe state was formed.