MIGRATION, OCCUPATION AND SETTLEMENT OF THE ALAGO PEOPLE OF NASARAWA STATE FROM 1960-2001” (history and international studies)
1.1 Background of the Study
Alago ethnic group are a people with common linguistic and cultural identities. The people are of Benue-Congo speaking group found around the defunct Lafia Native Authority in the present day Nasarawa State with their settlements at Keana, Doma, Obi, Assakio and Agwatashi among others. The population of the people according to the National Population Census of 2006 estimated figure was that the Alago population is above seven hundred thousand (700,000) people.
Today, Alago people are found predominantly in the following Local Government Areas of what is now Nasarawa State Doma, Keana, Obi, Lafia-East, Azara, Giza and Nasarawa. They can be found in the settlement areas of Doma, Keana, Obi, Ribi (Ibi), Agaza, Alagye, Aloshi (Ole’shi), Agwatashi (Olosoho), Assakio (Owusakyo), Kadaerkop, Owena, ankani, Ajkpanaja, Okpata, Ediya among other small settlements including Amaku (Olonya) in Nasarawa Local Government Area.
By all standards the Alago group is one of the largest if not the leading group of the whole of present day Nasarawa State with their population of about 712712. This is the status the people enjoyed even before the split of the former Plateau State which gave birth to the new Nasarawa State on the 1st October, 1996. Indeed, there can be no denying the fact that the choice of this subject for study for both remotely and directly an attempt to satisfy an interest that is not only personal but also collective and ethnic in nature.
From another perspective Benedelto Crole opined that all history is contemporary since no matter how remote in time the events being reconstructed appear to be the history in reality refers to present needs and situations where those events vibrate. Certainly 3, these needs are represented by the desire to have a more beneficial exposition of the past of the people whose generations after generations have continually been bombarded with conflicting records and reports on the actions of their progenitor. This is because Alago people in the post colonial period (1960-2001), keep migrating from one place to another in search of socio-economic opportunities and facilities rather than religious reasons