Abia State (Igbo: Ȯha Abia) is a state in the South-East geopolitical zone of Nigeria, it is bordered to the north and northeast by the states of Enugu, and Ebonyi, Imo State to the west, Cross River State to the east, Akwa Ibom State to the southeast, and Rivers State to the south. It takes its name from the acronym for four of the state's most populated regions: Aba, Bende, Isuikwuato, and Afikpo (but Afikpo was later joined with a part of Enugu state to create Ebonyi state in 1996).[5] The state capital is Umuahia while the largest city and commercial centre is Aba.[6]

Abia
Abia State
An image of the Abia State Tower
Abia Tower in Umuahia
Flag of Abia
Seal of Abia State
Nicknames: 
God's Own State
Igbo:Ọ̀hà nke Chineke
Location of Abia State in Nigeria
Location of Abia State in Nigeria
Coordinates: 5°25′N 7°30′E / 5.417°N 7.500°E / 5.417; 7.500Coordinates: 5°25′N 7°30′E / 5.417°N 7.500°E / 5.417; 7.500
Country Nigeria
Date created27 August 1991
CapitalUmuahia
Government
 • BodyGovernment of Abia State
 • Governor[1]Okezie Ikpeazu (PDP)
 • Deputy GovernorUde Oko Chukwu (PDP)
 • LegislatureAbia State House of Assembly
 • SenatorsC: Theodore Orji (PDP)
N: Orji Uzor Kalu (APC)
S: Enyinnaya Abaribe (APGA)
 • RepresentativesList
Area
 • Total6,320 km2 (2,440 sq mi)
Population
 (2006 est)[2]
 • Total4,112,230
 • Density650/km2 (1,700/sq mi)
DemonymAbians
GDP (PPP)
 • Year2007
 • Total$18.69 billion[3]
 • Per capita$3,003[3]
Time zoneUTC+01 (WAT)
Postal code
440001
Dialing Code+234
ISO 3166 codeNG-AB
LanguageEnglish
Igbo
HDI (2018)0.640[4]
medium · 8th of 37
Websiteabiastate.gov.ng

Abia is the 32nd largest in area and 27th most populous with an estimated population of over 3,720,000 as of 2016.[7] Geographically, the state is divided between the Niger Delta swamp forests in the far south and the drier Cross–Niger transition forests with some savanna in the rest of the State. Other important geographical features are the Imo and Aba Rivers which flow along the Abia's western and southern borders, respectively.

Modern-day Abia State has been inhabited for years by various ethnic groups, but it is predominantly inhabited by the Igbo people. In the pre-colonial period, what is now Abia State was a part of Arochukwu-based Aro Confederacy before the confederacy was defeated in the early 1900s by British troops in the Anglo-Aro War. After the war, the British incorporated the area into the Southern Nigeria Protectorate which later merged into British Nigeria; after the merger, Abia became a centre of anti-colonial resistance with the Women's War that started in Oloko.

After independence in 1960, the Abia was a part of the post-independence Eastern Region until 1967 before the region was split and it became part of the East Central State. Less than two months afterwards, the former Eastern Region attempted to secede in the three-year long Nigerian Civil War with Abia as a part of the secessionist state of Biafra. At the war's end and for the reunification of Nigeria, the East Central State was merged as one until 1976 when Imo State](including now-Abia) was formed by the Murtala Muhammed regime. Fifteen years afterwards, Imo State was divided with eastern Imo being broken off to form the old Abia State; but in 1996, part of Abia's northeast was removed to form a part of the new Ebonyi State.[8]

Economically, Abia State is based around the production of crude oil and natural gas along with agriculture, mainly of yams, maize, taro, oil palm, and cassava. A key minor industry is manufacturing, especially in and around Aba.[9] With its fast growing population and industrialization, Abia has the joint-eighth highest Human Development Index in the country.[10]

GeographyEdit

 
Azumini Blue River in Abia state, Nigeria

Abia State occupies about 6,320 square kilometres, it us bounded on the north and northeast by the states of Enugu, and Ebonyi. Imo State to the west, Cross River State and Akwa Ibom State to the east and south east respectively, and Rivers State to the south. The southernmost part of the State lies within the Niger Delta Swamp Forests, while the rest of the state, lies within the Cross–Niger transition forests.[11] The southern portion gets heavy rainfall of about 2,400 millimetres (94 in) per year and it is intense between the months of April through October.[12] The most important rivers in Abia State are the Imo and Aba Rivers which flow into the Atlantic Ocean through Akwa Ibom State.[13]

History and populationEdit

Abia State is one of the thirty-six States in Nigeria, and has about seventeen Local Government Areas, out of the 774 Local Government Areas that make up the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Abia State was created on the 27th of August 1991, during the government of General Ibrahim Babangida. The State is located in  the south-eastern part of Nigeria. Abia state was created out of Imo State, and the two sister states share boundaries. Abia State is known as one of the constituent states of the Niger Delta region. The state has its capital at Umuahia while the commercial city of the state is Aba. Abia State is also referred to as God's own state. The name "Abia" is an abbreviation of four of Abia state's densely populated regions Aba, Bende, Isuikwuato, and Afikpo.[14][15]

The Igbo people, who are one of the indigenous peoples of the South-eastern part of Nigeria, make up 95% of the population. Their traditional language, Igbo, is in widespread use.[16] English is also widely spoken, and serves as the official language in governance and business. In Abia State over 7  million people are mainly Christians.[17]

ClimateEdit

Aba experiences a warm and gloomy wet season as well as a scorching and oppressive dry season. The temperature rarely drops below 61 °F (16 °C) or rises over 91 °F (33 °C) throughout the entire year, fluctuating between 68 and 88 °F (20 and 31 °C).

The beach/pool score indicates that the best time of year to visit Aba for hot-weather activities is from late November to early February.[18]

Infrastructure and economyEdit

Crude oil and gas production is a prominent activity, as it contributes over 39% of the State's GDP.[19] However, the indigenous oil companies – through the Marginal Fields Programme (MFP) – have not found it easy to attract the requisite funding and infrastructural capacity, to explore some of the marginal oil fields which are about 50 in the State.[20]

The manufacturing sector only accounts for 2% of the GDP.[19] The industrial centre of the state is in Aba, with textile manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, soap, plastics, cement, footwear, and cosmetics.[11] In addition to the above, Abia State Government has just built a 9,000 capacity multipurpose International Conference Centre in Umuahia. This edifice of international standard was built by Governor T.A Orji, to enhance tourism as well as boost the state economy, through hosting of major International and Local events.

Representing 27% of the GDP,[19] agriculture – which employs 70%[19] of the state workforce – is the second economic sector of Abia. With its adequate seasonal rainfall, Abia has much arable land that produces yams, maize, potatoes, rice, cashews, plantains, taro, and cassava.[11] Oil palm is the most important cash crop.[11]

Oil and gas explorationEdit

There are over 100 oil wells and 3 installed flow stations in Abia State.[20][21] There is also an associated gas plant, Abia/NNPC gas plant.[21] As of 2012, boundary Commission said it returned 42 oil wells from neighbouring Rivers State to Abia.[21] This would have meant Abia being fourth largest oil-producing state in the country.[21] Oil giant, Shell, holds most of the licenses for the wells in the State, and has concentrated on the estimated 50 wells that are considered high-yield.[20]

The State produced 36,000 barrels of crude oil per day; "Imoturu produces 23,000 barrels per day and Isimili flow station produces over 8,000 barrels of crude oil per day.[22] Then four oil wells in Izaku go to Obigo flow station. About 30 oil wells from my village go to Umuri, and about eight oil wells from Umurie go to Afam", lamented Samuel Okezie Nwogu, Chairman of Abia State Oil Producing Development Area Commission (ASOPADEC).However, the State has complained of poor funding from its oil revenue federal allocation.[21]

Environmental IssuesEdit

Solid WasteEdit

Municipal solid waste management (MSWM) deals with the collection, storing, treatment and disposal of solid waste, to ensure that it does not affect humans, living things and the environment at large. There are factors that influences the Municipal solid waste generation such as income level, local climatic condition, urbanization and economic development.[23] MSW in Aba, Abia State is classified into;

  1. Domestic waste (waste from households, food centers, markets, and commercial premises)
  2. Industrial waste (excluding toxic waste that requires special handling)
  3. Institutional waste (waste from government establishments, schools, hospitals and recreational facilities)

AbaEdit

The MSW (Municipal Solid Waste) for a very long time now, like many other cities and urban areas in Nigeria, has in its records reached appalling dimensions.

Due to the poor waste management, the attendant deaths and illnesses from diarrhoea, respiratory and

lung diseases, malaria, parasitic worms, typhoid fever, cholera, etc are on the rise. This has its own d in no small measures by poor MSW

management practices have implications on t.e social, political and economic development of the population[23]

Raw Materials In Abia StateEdit

University and collegesEdit

 
Abịa State University

There are six universities in the state: the federal-owned Michael Okpara University of Agriculture at Umudike,[26] the state-owned Abia State University in Uturu,[27] the privately-owned Gregory University[28] in Uturu, Rhema University[29] in Aba, Spiritan University in Umu Nneochi, and Clifford University in Owerrinta. Abia State College of Education (Technical) in Arochukwu, Abia State College Of Health Sciences and Management Technology in Aba, Temple Gate Polytechnic in Aba and Abia State Polytechnic[30] are the other tertiary institutions in the State.

TransportationEdit

The nearest airport to Abia is Sam Mbakwe Cargo Airport (Owerri Airport), it is an hour drive to Umuahia and Aba. It is two hours drive to Port Harcourt International Airport. Akwa Ibom Airport (Akwa Ibom State) can also serve would-be visitors. The distance between Uyo (Akwa Ibom) and Umuahia (Abia) is: 73.28 kilometres (45.53 mi).

The rail transport is also available in the state very effective. Aba is connected to Port Harcourt by rail. Umuahia is connected to Aba and Enugu by rail.[11] The coastal parts of the State are equally accessible using boats and canoes.

LanguagesEdit

Below is a list of Languages of Abia State organised by there LGA:[31]

LGA Languages
Arochukwu Igbo, Ibibio
Obi Ngwa Igbo
Umuahia South Igbo
Umuahia North Igbo
Ikwuano Igbo
Isuikwuato Igbo
Ukwa West Igbo
Aba South Igbo
Aba North Igbo
Isiala Ngwa North Igbo
Isiala Ngwa South Igbo
Obingwa Igbo
Umunneochi Igbo
Ugwunagbo Igbo
Ukwa East Igbo

PoliticsEdit

The State Government is led by a democratically elected Governor who works closely with members of the state's House of Assembly. The capital city of the state is Umuahia.[32] and there are 17 local government areas in the state.

 
Abia State House of Assembly, Nigeria

At statehood in 1991, Abia was ruled by Ibrahim Babangida-appointed Military Administrator Frank Ajobena before Ogbonnaya Onu was elected governor later that year under the Third Nigerian Republic. Onu governed for nearly two years before Sani Abacha ended the Third Republic and reinstated full military rule. Under the Abacha regime, three more Military Administrators (Chinyere Ike Nwosu, Temi Ejoor, and Moses Fasanya) were appointed before Abacha's death and the accession of Abdulsalami Abubakar. Abubakar appointed one more Military Administrator, Anthony Obi, before starting the transition to democracy in 1998.

In 1999, Nigeria returned to democracy, and Orji Uzor Kalu was elected governor on the platform of the People's Democratic Party. Consequently, he was sworn in on 29 May 1999. In 2003, when it was time for fresh elections, Kalu re-contested on the platform of the PDP and got a second mandate to govern (the Constitution of Nigeria limits Governors to two terms in office). At the end of Kalu's term in 2007, Theodore Orji (PPA) defeated Onyema Ugochukwu (PDP) in the 2007 gubernatorial election, to become Abia's next Governor. In 2011, Theodore Orji defected from the PPA to the PDP before being re-elected for another four-year term later that year.

In 2015, Okezie Ikpeazu (PDP) was voted in as the ninth Governor of Abia State.[33] Four years later, he won re-election in 2019, defeating Uche Ogah of the All Progressives Congress and Alex Otti of APGA to be sworn in as Governor for a second term on 29 May 2019.

Local Government AreasEdit

Abia State is made up of seventeen (17) Local Government Areas. They are:

Traditional rulersEdit

Title Ethnic Group Name Class LGAs Palace
Enyi 1 of Aba Ngwa Eze Issac Ikonne 1 Aba North Osusu Aba
Ochiudo 1 Aba Ukwu Ngwa Jonathan U. oguejiofor (JP): Justice of Peace of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Abia State
Oru 1 of Oru Onyerubi Igbo / Oboro Eze Ralph Ukachi Ogbonna 1 Ikwuano Oru Oboro Autonomous Community
Osimiri III Aba Ngwa Eze (Barrister) Sunday Emejiaka 1 Aba South Aba
Eze Aro Igbo / Arochukwu Mazi Ogbonnaya Vincent Okoro (Eze Aro III) 1 Arochukwu Oro Arochukwu
Ugwumba 1 Ndida Ozaar Asa / Asa Eze Samuel Chukwuemeka Agu Ukwa West Umuebulungwu, Ndida Ozaar Autonomous Community
Ike 1 Ikeisu Igbo / Isu Augustine O. Igwe (Ike I) ? Arochukwu Ikeisu (Utugiyi)
Ezeala III Ngwa Ngwa Eze Edward Enwereji ? Osisioma Ngwa
Ugo Oha (Eze) Etiti Mgboko Umuanunu Ngwa Ngozi Ibekwe 1 Obi ngwa
Eze Ukwu 1 Ngwa-Ukwu Ngwa Benard Enweremadu 1 Isiala Ngwa Ngwa Ukwu Kingdom. The ancestral home of Ngwa Land.
Nya 1 Nunya Igbo / Oguduasaa M.E. Ihevume ? Isuikwuato Nunya Autonomous Community
Ossah-Ibeku (Eze) Umuahia[34] Igbo / Osaa Nze Hope Onuigbo X X Umuahia Amibo, Nsukwe
Eze Uturu Igbo / Uturu A.E. Ude ? Isuikwuato Uturu
Igbojiakuru (Eze) Alayi Igbo / Alayi Ukeje Philip ? Bende Ndi Elendu, Amaeke Alayi
Awu (Eze) Isuamawu Igbo / Isuikwuato Surveyor Chris E Aboh, FNIS 1 Isuikwuato Eluama Isuama
Enachioken Abiriba Igbo / Abiriba Kalu Kalu Ogbu 1 Ohafia Abiriba
Ohanyere I Ohiya Igbo / Umuahia Eze Abel E. Uhuegbu ? Umuahia South Umueze, Ohiya
Eze Ohanyere I Ahiaba Ubi Ngwa Eze D.O. Ogbuisi ? Isiala Ngwa North Abia
EZE TOWE 1 Umutowe. Igbo / Eze G. C Onwuka ? Umuahia South Abia
Okaa Omee I Amaikwu, Abia Igbo / Uche Nwamarah ? Umuahia South Abia
"Ehi II" Ehi na Uguru Auto. Comm, Umuguru Ngwa Eze E. E. Eluwa 1 Isiala Ngwa South
"Ochi 1" Ochi na Isuochi. Comm, Umunneochi Igbo / Umu Nneochi HRM EZEKWESIRI 1 Umu Nneochi Abia

Culture and tourismEdit

Tourist destinations include:

  • Arochukwu, which is associated with slave trade.[35]
  • Azumini Blue River waterside[36]
  • The Amakama wooden cave; a hollow tree that can accommodate up to twenty people.[36][37]
  • Caves located in the north, ranging from Umu – Neochi to Arochukwu.
  • Traditional festivals and dances
  • National War Museum, Umuahia and Ojukwu Bunker in Umuahia
  • Museum of Colonial History in Aba[38]
  • Akwete” cloth weaving at Ukwu East LGA
  • Ohafia War Dancers[39]
  • AmaforIsingwu biannual Iza aha ceremony[40]
  • Ekpe Festival in Umuahia[41]

Notable peopleEdit

ReferencesEdit

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