Who was our Fortune Teller? – By Oluwafunmilayo Oyatogun

I always wondered why Port Harcourt was called the garden city. Apparently, Port Harcourt used to have the ambiance of a big garden until, well, there was not enough green grass to consider it a garden. I always tend to focus on the lost glory of Port, PH, PHC, Porraicot; whatever name keeps your blood running red, just because I am very familiar with it. However, I can’t help but notice how many other cities and states have quickly fallen out of the characteristics that granted them license-plate-worthy monikers for those things. Many more made sense then than they do these days like Plateau State (Home of Peace and Tourism). Names on our side of the fence are usually given based on present and immediately past situations and many times, future predictions. With some of these names, we wonder: who was our fortune teller, our prophet?

Source: Demworks.org

Some of these states swear by their nicknames and like Starburst, it is one big juicy contradiction.

State Name




God’s Own State



Light of the Nation

Our prophets either see something the rest of us can’t see or they have a fascinating sense of humor.


Pearl of Tourism

Not even the official website of the state (which ought to have the most well-edited stories and pictures) has a complete page on what to do / see in Bauchi.


Pride of the Nation

Well, in all generosity, a president finally came out of this place. Now, the entire headship of our pride is MIA (permanent secretary, et al).


Food Basket of the Nation

Truer than many others.


The Finger of God

Well, the thing that Warri and God have in common is a heightened sense of humor.


Salt of the Nation

Literally, Ebonyi has salt in Okposi and Uburu. Realistically and figuratively, Ebonyi has no salt.


Heart Beat of the Nation

Come again.


Fountain of Knowledge

Let’s see:

All the statistics point to professors and leaders of old in formal education. Nothing new (JAMB stats, WAEC stats, No. of schools, etc) help this case.

Old glory.


Jewel in the Savannah

What’s the jewel?


The Confluence State

Kogi played it safe here. They left it literal and long-sighted. The confluence of the Niger and Benue rivers will always be in this place, well, assuming we don’t anthropologically annihilate the rivers.


Center of Excellence

We’re getting there.


The Power State

Kainji and Shiroro Dams, the reasons for this moniker, have provided so little ‘power’ to the country. What other power has Niger produced other than these two failing dams?


The Gateway State

Are the transportation systems (rails, roads, etc) still in shape to call it the Gateway? What about the claim to being the ‘gateway to higher education?’


Sunshine State

Literally, Ondo has a lot of sunshine. But so does the rest of Nigeria. Figuratively, Ondo has little sunshine. But so does the rest of Nigeria.


Home of Peace and Tourism

Just like Abia is God’s Own and Bayelsa is our pride.


Seat of the Caliphate

Sokoto also played a safe one.


Pride of the Sahel

Well, contextually, this is true. Yobe against its Sahelian neigbors:the Zinder and Diffa regions of the Republic of Niger might just be proud.

Abuja FCT

Center of Unity

Unity of…?

What do you think? What are your comments on states and their monikers?

Nigeria is ours to nurture.

2 thoughts on “Who was our Fortune Teller? – By Oluwafunmilayo Oyatogun

  1. Auwal
    October 1, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Thank you for this ingenious appraisal of state‚Äôs monikers, though I vary with you in some of your comments, I must confess that this is the first time I’ve come across this type of piece. More ink to your pen!…..but how about the remaining states?

    1. O Oyatogun
      October 1, 2012 at 11:42 am

      Haha, my P, how far? What would your comments be? And I’m not very familiar with the other states and didn’t want to put them up without confidence.

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