The Major Tribes in Nasarawa State

Nasarawa State is inhabited by various ethnic groups, which will still call ‘the major tribes in Nasarawa State’. These include the Koro and Yeskwa in the far northwest; the Kofyar in the far northeast; the Eggon, Gwandara, Mada, Ninzo, and Nungu in the north; the Alago, Goemai, and Megili in the east; Eloyi (Ajiri/Afo) in the south; the Tiv in the southeast; the Idoma in southwest, among other tribes in Nasarawa.

Nasarawa, often written Nassarawa, is a town located in north-central Nigeria. The Okwa River, a tributary of the Benue River, forks about north of the settlement. Around 1838, Umaru, a rebel official from the nearby town of Keffi, established Nasarawa as the capital of the new emirate of Nassarawa in the Afo, also known as the Afao tribe region.

In 1996, Plateau State, a neighbouring state, was split off to form Nasarawa State. Therefore, 13 local governments, including Awe, Akwanga, Doma, Karu, Keana, Keffi, Kokona, Lafia, Nasarawa, Nasarawa-Eggon, Obi, Toto, and Wamba, make up the state renowned as the “Home of Solid Minerals.”

Nasarawa has a mixed religious population, with roughly 60% of the people being Muslims, 30% Christians, and the remaining 10% practising traditional ethnic religions.

With a total land area of 27,137.8 square kilometres, Nasarawa State is bordered on the west by the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja; on the north by Kaduna State, on the south by the states of Benue and Kogi; and on the east by the states of Plateau and Taraba.


Nasarawa State at the time was said to have gotten its name from the historic Nasarawa Emirate, which was formed on October 1, 1996, from the west of Plateau by the legends who were part of the Emirates. After the creation of the state, Lafia was made the capital of Nasarawa and 13 local government areas were created, which are located in the east of the state. According to research, the Karu Urban Area, located at the western border of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, is known as the economic centre of the centre.

Until the early 1800s, when the Fulani jihad annexed the region and subsumed it under the Sokoto Caliphate as the vassal states of Keffi, Lafia, and Nasarawa, the area that is now Nasarawa State was divided up into various states, some of which were tiny and village-based while others were parts of larger empires.

Around 1838, Umaru, a rebel official from the nearby town of Keffi, first established Nasarawa as the capital of the new emirate of Nassarawa in the Afo (Afao) tribe region. By capturing neighboring lands, Umaru grew his empire. He also made Zaria the subordinate state of Nassarawa (175 miles north).

Muhammadu (reigned 1878–1922), one of his successors, expanded the emirate via numerous conquests and was one of the first emirs to swear allegiance to Great Britain in 1900. Nasarawa joined Plateau state in 1976; it joined Nasarawa state in 1996.

The Major Tribes in Nasarawa State

Below is a list of the major tribes in Nasarawa state that you can be aware of as long as this vital information is made use of.

Alago Tribe

The Alago ethnic group are people with common linguistic and cultural identities. The people are of Benue-Congo speaking group found around the defunct Lafia Native Authority in the present-day Nasarawa State with their settlements at Keana, Doma, Obi, Assakio and Agwatashi among others.

Basa Tribe

The Bassa Nge are an ethnic group in Nigeria that traces its history back to 1805. They originally inhabited Gbara which was formerly the capital of the Nupe Kingdom. The Bassa Nge migrated from their homeland in Bida due to a dynastic feud in about 1820. In local languages, the Bassa people are also known as Gboboh, Adbassa or Bambog-Mbog people.

Ebira Tribe

The Ebira people, also known or spelled as Igbirra or Egbira people, are an ethnic-linguistic a group of central Nigeria. Most Ebira people are from Kogi State, Nasarawa State. Their language is usually classified as a Nupoid variety within the Benue-Congo branch of the Niger-Congo language family.

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Major Tribes in Plateau State

Eggon Tribe

The Eggon people are domiciled and indigenous to; and are the predominant tribe in Nasarawa state. They are found in all the Local Government Areas of the State in a sizeable population. Nasarawa state is located at the central part of Nigeria otherwise known as North-Central Nigeria.

Gbagyi Tribe

They are also found in Nasarawa central Nigeria Area. Gbagyi/Gbari is one of the most populated ethnic and indigenous group in the middle belt and Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria and their major occupation is farming. Pottery is also an occupation practiced by the women

Gwandara Tribe

Located in the present Nassarawa state, the Gwandara is one of the Plateau Chadic-speaking peoples of Nigeria, living mainly in the Akwaja, Lafia, Keffi, and Nassarawa divisions of what was Plateau Province. They are found in large numbers in Abuja, Niger, Kaduna, Kogi and a resettlement town of New Karshi, Karu LGA, Nasarawa State.

Tiv Tribe

Tiv (or Tiiv) are a Tivoid ethnic group. They constitute approximately 2.4% of Nigeria’s Nasarawa, Plateau, Cross rivers, Adamawa, Kaduna, and Abuja States. The Tiv language is one of the major languages spoken in central Nigeria. The language is of the Benue-Congo subclass of the Bantu parent family. It has over four million speakers spoken in five states of Nigeria.

Others Tribes are the popular:

  • Kanuri
  • Aguta

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  1. Bako umar

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