Monday, February 19, 2024

Indigenous Languages Spoken in Kogi State

  • Kogi State is a multi-ethnic state with over 17 indigenous languages spoken in the state.

  • Majority of languages in Kogi state have been categorized under the Volta-Niger sub classification of the Niger-Congo group of languages.

  • English language is the official language of Kogi state, while pidgin English is a lingua franca in Lokoja, the State capital.

  • Kogi is the only state in Nigeria with Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba as indigenous tribes.

Here is a list of Languages/Dialects spoken in Kogi state, and the locations where they are spoken as indigenous languages within.

Igala Language

The Igala Language is the most widely spoken indigenous language in Kogi state and it comprises of six distinct dialects.

Dialects of Igala Language
Ife Dialects.

Igala is spoken in 10 local governments in Kogi state Olamaboro, Ankpa, Idah, Omala, Igalamela/Odolu, Ofu, Dekina, Ajaokuta, Bassa and Ibaji LGAs.

Ebira Language

Ebira is originally spoken in 7 local governments in Kogi state namely Ajaokuta, Adavi, Okene, Okehi, Kotonkarfi, Lokoja and Bassa LGAs, with reasonable population in some parts of Kogi West.

Learn Ebira greetings

Dialects of Ebira Language
Ebira Panda and
Eganyi Ebira

Yoruba Language
The yoruba People in Kogi State are referred to as “Okun”. They occupy the Kogi West area of the state.

Yoruba dialects are spoken in 6 Local Government Areas namely, Ijumu, Kabba/Bunu, Yagba East, Yagba West, Mopamuro, and Lokoja local government areas.

Okun language class

Dialects of Yoruba in Kogi state
The main Okun-Yoruba dialects spoken in Kogi are

Igbo Language
The indigenous Igbo people can be found majorly in the Eastern part of Kogi state, they have close proximity with the Igala people of the state.

Igbo-speaking communities in Kogi state.

  • The Eke Avurugo in Ibaji LGA. They speak Igbo as their first indigenous language and Igala as their second language.
  • Ugwuebonyi, Ebokwe, Ozara, Amaeke, Amankpo, Amauwani camp, Amaokwu, Amadiefioha, Amaufulu, etc. all in Igalamela/Odolu lga of Kogi State speak Igbo.
  • Nwajala, Umuoye, Ubulie-Umueze in Ibaji Local government area of Kogi state.
  • The Odolu community in Igalamela/Odolu local government area of Kogi state is said to speak Igala as first language and the Nsukka Igbo dialect as second language.
  • Akpanya community in Igalamela/Odolu Local Government area all speak Igbo. Everyone born and bred in the town speak Igbo fluently.
  • Onicha-Igo is a small town in Ofu Local Government Area of Kogi state with indigenous Igbo people.

Bassa-Komu Language
The Bassa-Komu Language speaking people of Kogi are found in Bassa, Lokoja and Kotonkarfi LGAs.

Bassa-Nge Language
The Bassa-Nge speaking people of Kogi speak a language highly similar to Nupe Language, they are found in Bassa, Kotonkarfi and Lokoja LGAs.

Kupa Language
The Kupa people are found in Lokoja KGA, they speak a language similar to Nupe.

Kakanda Language
Mostly regarded as a Nupe Dialect, the Kakanda people are found in Lokoja and Kotonkarfi LGA.

Nupe Language
Nupe is spoken both as an independent language and as a second language by the Kakanda, Bassa-Nge and Kupa people in and around Lokoja, Kotonkarfi and Bassa LGAs.

Hausa Language
Indigenous hausa people of Kogi State can be found in many local governments in State, e.g, Lokoja, Kotonkarfi, Ankpa, and some parts Kogi West.

Oko Language
Oko Language is widely spoken among the Ogori people of Ogori/Magongo Local Government Area of Kogi state.

Osayen Language
Osayen is one of languages of the people of Magongo in Ogori/Magongo LGA.

Eni Language
Eni is spoken in various localities across Ogori/Magongo LGA.

Languages spoken in the boarder communities between Kogi and Ondo State in Ijumu LGA of Kogi State are:

  • Ukaan Language
  • Akpes Language
  • Ahan Language
  • Ayere Language
  • Akoko Language

This is a list of Indigenous tribes in Kogi state.