The Mid-Western region of Nigeria was created on August 9, 1963, by the Nigerian government under the leadership of Prime Minister Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. This region was formed from parts of the former Western region, which was the largest and most populous region in Nigeria at the time. The Mid Western region was composed of areas that were predominantly inhabited by ethnic groups such as the Bini, Esan, Urhobo, Ishan, Edo-Igbos, and other smaller groups.
The creation of the Mid-Western region was a significant milestone in the history of Nigeria as it was the first time that the country was divided into smaller administrative units for effective governance. This was a significant move towards decentralization, which was aimed at addressing the challenges of uneven development and ethnic tensions that existed in Nigeria. Looking back, such as a great political strategy to avoid future political problems as evidenced by recent election chaos.
The Mid-Western region played a significant role in the political, economic, and social development of Nigeria. One of the significant achievements of the region was in the area of education. The Mid Western region established the Midwest Institute of Technology, which was later renamed the University of Benin. The university was one of the best in the country and attracted students from all over Nigeria and other African countries.
The region also played a significant role in the development of agriculture, particularly in the production of palm oil, rubber, and cocoa. The region had vast plantations that contributed significantly to the economy of the country. The region also had a thriving mining industry, which contributed to the development of the country’s infrastructure.
The Mid-Western region was also a hub of political activities in Nigeria. The region produced prominent political leaders such as Anthony Enahoro, Samuel Ogbemudia, Ambrose Alli, and Ovie-Whiskey, among others. These leaders played a significant role in the fight for Nigeria’s independence and the consolidation of democracy in the country.
The Mid Western region also contributed significantly to the cultural diversity of Nigeria. The region was home to several ethnic groups that had unique cultural practices, such as the great Benin kingdom, which had a rich history and cultural heritage.
However, the Mid-Western region faced several challenges, including ethnic tensions, political instability, and economic downturns. The region was also affected by the Nigerian civil war, which lasted from 1967 to 1970. The war had a significant impact on the region’s economy and infrastructure, leading to the displacement of many people and the destruction of properties.
In conclusion, the Mid-Western region played a significant role in the political, economic, and social development of Nigeria. The region’s creation was a significant milestone in the history of Nigeria as it was the first time the country was divided into smaller administrative units for effective governance. The region’s achievements in education, agriculture, mining, and politics have contributed significantly to the development of Nigeria. Despite the challenges faced by the region, its contribution to the development and cultural diversity of Nigeria cannot be overemphasized.