Rivers State Tribes & Their Local Government, Nigeria – Rivers State was named after the many rivers that border its territory, was part of the Oil Rivers Protectorate from 1885 till 1893 when it became part of the Niger Coast Protectorate. (wikipedia).

Tribes In Rivers State

In 1900, the region was merged with the chartered territories of the Royal Niger Company to form the colony of Southern Nigeria. The state was formed in 1967 with the split of the Eastern Region of Nigeria. In 1996 the state lost territory to form Bayelsa State.

Rivers State Tribes has 23 languages spoken as first languages in the State. The major languages are Igbo, Ikwere, Kalabari, Khana and different varieties of the Ijo cluster. The population development in Rivers as well as related information and services are discused below.

List Of Rivers State Local Government Area: 

The  table below shows the information about the list of River State local government area including their population structure.

NameStatusPopulation Projection
Abua – OdualLocal Government Area396,800
Ahoada EastLocal Government Area233,700
Ahoada WestLocal Government Area350,200
Akuku ToruLocal Government Area226,300
AndoniLocal Government Area306,200
Asari-ToruLocal Government Area308,800
BonnyLocal Government Area302,000
DegemaLocal Government Area350,500
ElemeLocal Government Area267,200
EmuohaLocal Government Area282,500
EtcheLocal Government Area351,200
GokanaLocal Government Area328,500
IkwerreLocal Government Area265,400
KhanaLocal Government Area411,500
Obio/AkporLocal Government Area649,600
Ogba – Egbema – NdoniLocal Government Area398,000
Ogu – BoloLocal Government Area105,800
OkrikaLocal Government Area312,300
OmummaLocal Government Area141,000
Opobo – NkoroLocal Government Area214,700
OyigboLocal Government Area176,100
Port-HarcourtLocal Government Area756,600
TaiLocal Government Area169,000
NigeriaFederal Republic193,392,500

Number Of Rivers State Tribes:

1. Etche People

Etche is one of the Igbo groups in Rivers State, Nigeria. Etche/Omuma is one of the 13 federal constituencies representing River State in Nigeria’s National Assembly and part of the Rivers East Senatorial District.

Etche doubles as a tribe and a local government area in Rivers state. The etche people speak a language that is believed to be a dialect of the Igbo language.

The people of Etche have more in common with the Igbo tribe than they do with other tribes in rivers state.

2. Ijaw People

Ijaw people (also known by the subgroups “Ijo” or “Izon”) are people in Niger Delta in Nigeria, inhabiting regions of the states of Ondo, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Akwa Ibom and Rivers state. Many are found as migrant fishermen in camps as far west as Sierra Leone and as far east as Gabon.

The Ijaw tribe is the biggest tribe in the riverine part of Nigeria. They are found at the coastline of Nigeria. These people are very influential and also have a violent history.

The average Ijaw man is considered a good swimmer. This is because of their close proximity to water. The Ijaw people are Christians and are majorly fishermen. They love alcohol and also a meal of fish and plantain.

The dress style of this tribe includes wrappers and heavy cloaks with hats to match.

3. Engenni People

The Engenni people are ijaw people that live in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The Engenni have close relations with neighbouring ijaw tribes such as the Zarama and Epie-Atissa. Historically, it is claimed that Engenni migrated .

The Engenni people are found in Ahoada West local government area. They have a very close relationship with the Ijaw people and consider themselves to be related to the Ijaw people.

However, their language bears no similarity with the ijaw language. They speak a language that is very similar to the language that is spoken by the Binis.

4. Eleme Tribe

The Eleme people live in Eleme local government area. This tribe is located about 20km from Port Harcourt. Eleme is surrounded by oyigbo and Obio agbor to the north, Ogu Bolo and Okrika to the south and Port Harcourt to the east.

Indigenes of Eleme are fishermen and traders. Christianity is the major religion of people of this tribe while a meal of fish and plantain is a common food eaten by the Eleme people.

5. Nkoroo Tribe

The people of Nkoroo should not be mistaken for the Nkoro people. These two tribes have similar names. However, they are very different people. The people of Nkoroo speak a language called Nkoroo and live in very close association with the Defaca people.

6. Ogoni Tribe

The Ogoni people are a major tribe in Rivers state. This tribe became popular after the execution of Ken Saro Wiwa and his Kinsmen.

The people of Ogoni have lots of oil-related problems. Ranging from oil spillage to destroyed farmlands and fishing areas. Ogoni people number about 1.5 million and live in a 1,050 km square area that is known as Ogoni land.

7. Nkoro Tribe

The Nkoro tribe is a very small tribe. It is a subtribe form the Ijaw nation. Areas occupied by the Nkoro tribe include Dema, Ayama, and Nkoro. The people of Nkoro speak an Ijaw dialect with some traces of Igbo.

According to history, the Nkoro people migrated from Okirika town. The Nkoro people do not all speak the same language. A section of the Nkoro tribe speaks a language that is absolutely different from the rest of the tribe.

8. Opobo Tribe

Opobo is a tribe as well as a city in Rivers state. Four towns make up the Opobo tribe. They are; Queenstown, Epemlomma, Kalaibiama and opobo town. The existence of this tribe dates back to 1870.

The Opobo people are fishermen and farmers. They are predominantly Christians and dress like most other tribes in riverine areas.

9. Ekpeye Tribe

The Ekpeye tribe is a tribe that occupies the Ahoada and Ogba-Egbema parts of Rivers state. They are very similar to the Igbos and speak a language that appears to share vocabulary with the Igbo language.

The people of Ekpeye are predominantly Christians and have farming as their occupation.

10. Degema Tribe

The Degema tribe occupies Degema Island in Degema local government área in Rivers. There are about 10,000 members of this tribe. The degema people are predominantly Christians.

As a result of the fact that they are surrounded by water, the Degema tribe practices fishing on a major scale.

11. Boma Tribe

This tribe is one of the tribes of the Ijaw nation. There are thirteen settlements in this tribe. They are; Diebu, Ekowe, Emette, Eniwari, Fonibiri, Igbematoru, Ikianbiri, kainyanbiri, Ozezebiri, Peremabiri, Polobugo, and Opuama.

12. Abua Tribe

The Abua people live about 10 miles from Port Harcourt. It is believed that the Abua people are the real owners of Port Harcourt. History has it that the Abua people are a sub-group of the Igbo tribe and migrated from the same place as the present day Efiks.

13. Ibani Tribe

The Ibani tribe is one of the tribes of the Ijaw nation. The Ibani people occupy Bonny Island and have always had interactions with Europeans for many years. The people of Bonny are traders and practice Christianity.

14. Ikwerre Tribe

The ikwerre people are a tribe that occupies the present-day Port-Harcourt city. A lot of people consider this tribe to be an off-shoot of the Igbo tribe.

Although a lot of Ikwerre indigenes do not consider themselves to be related to the Igbo tribe, they speak a language that is much related to the Igbo language.

Some historians have asserted that the Ikwerre people are not related to the Igbos but migrated from part of Benin.

15. Kula Tribe

The Kula tribe of the Ijaw people lives in Akuku Toru Local Government Area, southwestern Rivers State, Nigeria. The Kula people were not originally speaking Kalabari as their language but has lost their real language due to trade and close interactions with the Kalabaris

The Kula people are found in Akuku Toru local government área of Rivers state. The kula people speak a language called kalabari. Not much is known about the history of this people. However, they share a lot with the Ijaw people.


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