Essence of Essan

No taking without giving. It’s about collaboration, not exploitation


Covering a geographical area of approximately 4000 square kilometers, the Kingdom of Essan can trace its history back to 1514 AD. Made up of over fifteen settlements, the kingdom houses the Nupe, Hausa, Fulani, Yoruba, Igbo and other Nigerian tribes.

Their diversity, inclusive culture and way of life is also evident in their beliefs where different religions (including Muslims and Christians) live, co-exist, cohabit and work together for the good of their Kingdom.

A proud people known for farming, fishing and petty trading who love their culture and take pride in passing knowledge and traditions from one generation to the next.

Agricultural uniqueness of Essan

The Essan people are known for farming, fishing and petty trading. Key natural resources and products farmed and produced in vast quantities annually by the Essan people include: Shea nut, Rice, Millet, Maize, Fish, Cassava, Yam, Pepper, Mellon, Sorghum, Groundnut, Sweet potato, Bambara nut, Beans, Sugarcane, Palm tree.


The size of the kingdom is estimated at 3,977 square kilometers, covering some parts of two Local Government Areas namely Gbako and Lavun. Essan has beautiful hills, thick forest, wetland, rivers and large lakes such as Ewonko, Ewonpata, lapa, jebanchinko, paita, Ndako, Laiko and many other smaller lakes. The panorama is a call for national and international attention on tourism and development.


Our mission is to provide the means and avenue through which every Essan citizen (men, women and children) can reach their true potential, add value to their lives, to our broader society/ community and ultimately, our country Nigeria


With approximately fifty settlements affiliated to Essan kingdom, the population of Essan kingdom has about 1.1million people.


The tribes that make up the kingdom include Nupe 90%, Hausa/Fulani 5%, Yoruba/Igbo 4% others 1 %


Our Vision is to build on our future by expanding our horizon, attract the world to Essan through tourism and friendly trading.

Heritage/ History

The history of Essan kingdom and its powerful throne dates back to 1514 AD, stories which were passed down verbally through generations based on tradition, culture and practice. This was before the Fulani jihadist interventions in the administrative set up of indigenous communities. The first Essan people settled on a hill side overseeing the vast valley environment of river Kaduna with diverse large lakes panorama.

The then Essan location was commonly called “Gudukin” in Nupe language meaning “down valley”. With the passage of time, the name was later changed to Essan. The name “Essan” was derived from a certain tree called “SANCHI” due to its stiff or hard nature which made it difficult to cut using local instruments.

The Essan kingdom remained self-determined and was never subject to the Fulani jihadist of the Othman Danfodio fame rule. Although the arrival of the Europeans and the jihadist concurrently diluted the rich culture and traditions of the Essan people through western as well as Eastern modern cultures and education.

Mythology ‘The Winged Horseman’

As we know, history is replete of the rise, fall and re-rise of nations and kingdoms. A fiercely fought battle led to a true myth of the Etsussan who by mounting his horse and climbing a certain “Muchi” or baoba tree disappearing into the clouds of an ever rising magic tree became a legend. The Etsu is an educated man with traditional qualities who brings wisdom and joy to his people. The Etsussan was said to have a special magical knife used for self-defense during the frequent ancient tribal or communal wars.

Worthy of mention was the incursion of white men into Nupeland through rivers Niger and Kaduna on slave hunting expeditions. The then Etsussan, Etsu Gora gallantly fought with the white men who came in search of slaves on the coast. The Etsu’s of yesterday, today and tomorrow were known and will continue to be known as leaders, keepers, rulers and protectors of the kingdom.

On the 9th February 2013, HRH Etsussan Jonathan Ndagi Jiya ascended the throne of his fathers as the 15th Etsu of Essan. A traditional but educated elite who has since and continues to bring joy to his people.