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The Places

The Idoma people are the second largest ethnic group in Benue State and occupy nine local government areas in western Benue State. These are Ado, Agatu, Apa, Obi, Ohimini, Ogbadibo, Oju, Okpokwu & Otukpo local government areas. There are 22 districts in Idoma Land, a structure that has been in place since 1935 with Ado having 5 districts, Otukpo 4, while Okpokwu and Ogbadibo have 3 districts each. Ohimini and Oju both have 2 districts each while the remaining 3 local government areas each have 1 district. The poplation of Idoma Land based on the March 2006 census was 1,307,647 and was projected to be 1,764,900 in 2016.

Though there are other Idoma groups in parts of Nassarawa and Cross Rivers States, the main focus of this website is on the Idoma people of Benue State. The majority of the people of Idoma Land speak Idoma language with different dialets. These dialets are Western Idoma (Okpokwu & Ogbadibo), Central Idoma (Otukpo & Ohimini), Southern Idoma (Ado) and Northern Idoma (Agatu & Apa). Others languages spoken in Idoma Land include Igede (Obi & Oju), Akweya (Akpa in Otukpo) and Ufia (Utonkon in Ado). The people of Idoma Land are predominantly farmers who grow crops like yam, cassava, corn, rice, soya beans and palm fruits.

The Idoma colours and red and black; with red signifying royalty and the black is strength.


The leader of Idoma people is the Och'Idoma and he is resident in the Och'Idoma Palace in Otukpo. The throne of the Och'Idoma is currently vacant following the death of the last Och'Idoma in October 2021. Past Och'Idomas are HRH, Elias Ikoyi Obekpa, Och'Idoma IV, ​​​​​HRH, Agabaidu Edwin Ogbu - Och' Idoma III, HRH, Agabaidu Ajene Okpabi - Och' Idoma II, & HRH Agabaidu Ogiri Oko - Och' Idoma I.

Idoma Land Map
Map of Idoma Land


There are many divergent views as to the origin of Idoma people but most historians agree that Idoma people migrated from Apa in Kwararafa Kingdom after her disintegration. It is believed that Idoma people settled in present day Tiv Land before majority of Idoma people were pushed to their present day location while others found their way to present day Nassarawa and Cross Rivers States.


Food is a big part of life in Idoma land and just as it is all over Nigeria, rice is the main staple food. There are rice farms dotted around Idoma land with milling carried out in the Otukpo Rice Mill, which has been in existence since the 1960s. Popular types of rice dishes in Idoma land include rice & stew (with beans), jollof rice and rice fufu (mashed rice).

Another dish, which is widely touted as Idoma soup is okoho (óhor okoho or ólor okoho), a meat rich slimy soup that is usually served with fufu (pounded yam, amala or eba) and can be found at special events such as weddings and funerals. While very popular, okoho is like marmite, you either love it or hate it and is predominantly eaten in Central Idoma and it is believed to be least popular in Western Idoma.

Other soups of note are fresh okra (ólor igbidu or ikpoho), dried okra (óhor ijangada or ólor ijangada), ogbono (óhor upi or ólor upi) and egusi (óhor obobo or ólor obobo).

Letters & Numbers

Idoma alphabets are:

a b gb d e ē f g h i j k l m n ng o õ p kp r s t u w y ch gw kw nw ny mn

While in English, we count in tens, in Idoma we count in twenties. To learn how to count in Idoma and much more, subscribe to our  YouTube channel for weekly videos. 

Key Traditions

  1. It is considered very rude to ask a guest if they will eat food. One is expected to present the food and it is only then the guest will advise the host if he or she wants to eat or not

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Anonymous - Thu, 28-Oct-21 - 23:19

Good job

Abah-fafa - Mon, 18-Oct-21 - 15:20

Full Blooded Idomanese from Benue State Nigeria.

Ray - Mon, 23-Aug-21 - 14:46

I found my self here because I'm in a relationship with a idoma man and I need to learn his culture to impress him and his people..
And now, I just realised I can also learn it for myself. It's very rich and interesting..

Anonymous - Sat, 17-Jul-21 - 22:36

Proudly idoma
Idoma first born

samson semantic - Wed, 24-Feb-21 - 21:52

Thank u so much I'm very proud of u sir

Oka Grace Tony… - Thu, 11-Feb-21 - 11:20

I applaud the vision of this platform. Keep up the good work.

Ushie Fidelis Odey - Fri, 18-Sep-20 - 13:40

Seriously I don't understand this claim of the Idoma in nasarawa state saying they are the eldest to the Idoma in Benue state..I am from yala in cross river state. Odey.F.U.

Pius Okoliko - Mon, 27-Jul-20 - 19:24

This history of IDOMA is not complete as we were told that IDOMA derived the name from idu-oma due to popularity of his second wife waving skills. On the origin of IDOMA, he had two other brothers and they migrated with their father from South Africa, present day Zulu kingdom. His other two brothers are the ancestors of Ogoja and Ijo nationality in Nigeria. Also, their father whom they migrated with took a local wife from north eastern and also became father of jukun nationality in Nigeria. He lost his two brothers to their occupation of hunting and fishing as they could not trace their way back to meet IDOMA in their base at APA, and his own job was purely farming. please check this things out

Dorcas Ikwue - Thu, 02-Jul-20 - 19:26

Am proud to come from idoma land

Christopher Ella - Thu, 02-Jul-20 - 15:50

Proudly idoma
Idoma for life.

Mary Agaba - Wed, 24-Jun-20 - 10:58

Where can I learn how to speak idoma pls

AG Ofili - Fri, 05-Jul-19 - 16:43

I will like to marry idoma

Emmy Coolforchrist - Sat, 15-Jun-19 - 08:25

Thank you very much sir, you have actually done a great job & I do really learnt from this your write up sir. More grace .

Jerry Idoko - Sat, 05-Jan-19 - 23:43

Nice history of the idoma people

Blizzy Une - Mon, 27-Aug-18 - 17:25

Bonafide Orocity

James Oche - Wed, 08-Aug-18 - 15:10

Nice write-up

Adamu Audu Egbagatu - Thu, 12-Jul-18 - 11:30

Full Blooded Idoma (FBI).

Anyebe Peter - Mon, 09-Jul-18 - 14:18

proudly idoma

Solomon Musa - Sun, 06-May-18 - 12:34

Nice post

Godwin Ochigbo… - Tue, 20-Mar-18 - 12:04

I love this write up.

Matthew Oboyi - Thu, 19-Oct-17 - 13:57

The Idomas are sincere and full of hospitality

David Peter - Mon, 18-Sep-17 - 11:10

The Idomas are great people who fought for the unity of this great country especially during the unfortunate Nigeria civil war of 1967 to 1970

Henry Munachi … - Fri, 07-Oct-16 - 13:03

What religion is dominant in Idomaland

Joshua P. Isaiah - Thu, 01-Sep-16 - 12:32

Nice one peeps