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Bayelsa State is a Nigerian state, located in the core of Niger-Delta region of the country with 8 local government areas. Bayelsa state was carved out of the old Rivers State in October 1st, 1996. The capital of Bayelsa State is Yenagoa and the most popular city is Brass City; Yenagoa is the traditional home of Ijaw people, a fishing group who following contact with European traders became middlemen in the export of slaves through the ports of Brass and Nambe. When the slave trade was abolished, the Ijaw economy turned to the export of palm oil and kernels. During the 20th century, demands for a new, majority-Ijaw state to be drawn in the Niger Delta Region became common. Between 1941 and 1956, numerous Ijaw nationalist organizations supportive of an Ijaw-majority state in Southern Nigeria were founded. Isaac Adaka Boro, a prominent Ijaw rights activist during the 1960’s who was born in Oloibiri, attempted to proclaim a “Niger Delta Peoples Republic” in 1966. Bayelsa State was created out of Rivers State on October 1, 1996 by the Sani Abacha’s military government. Of the 36 states, Bayelsa is the smallest in Nigeria by area, as well as the smallest by population as of 2006 census.
Bayelsa State name was derived from the first few letters of the names of the major local government areas from which it was formed: Brass LGA (BALGA), Yenagoa LGA (YELGA) and Sagbama LGA (SALGA), and nicknamed as “Glory of all Lands”. The state is the site of Oloibiri Oilfield, where oil was first discovered in Nigeria.