Orlu, Imo

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Orlu (Igbo: Ọ̀lụ́)[1] is the second largest city after Owerri, in Southeast Nigeria's Imo State with an estimated population of 420,000. It has a long history and has played a critical role as the headquarters for the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) ran humanitarian relief agencies during the Nigeria-Biafra Civil War. The Nigerian headquarters of the British Cheshire Home is in the city.


LGA and city
Orlu is located in Nigeria
Location in Nigeria
Coordinates: 05°47′47″N 07°02′20″E / 5.79639°N 7.03889°E / 5.79639; 7.03889
Country Nigeria
 • Total420,000 (estimated)
Time zoneUTC+1 (WAT)

Commerce and industriesEdit

Orlu is a home for enterprise and industry which gives it the unofficial tag of the commercial capital of Imo state. Many successful Nigerian businessmen, industrialists and champions of industries hail from its eleven local government areas that make up what is widely called Orlu Senatorial Zone. They include Orsu, Isu, Njaba, Nwangele, Nkwerre, Ideato North, Ideato South, Oru East, Oru West, Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta. The city centres of the local government area are within the host towns of Amaifeke, Ihioma/Ebenese, Umuna, Umuowa, Umutanze, Okporo, Orlu-Gedegwum and Owerre-Ebeiri. When all of the LGAs in the zone are included Orlu's population is estimated to be approaching 3,000,000 inhabitants.

The permanent site for various industries, state and federal agencies like the Imo State University Teaching Hospital, the state owned Cardboard Industry in Owerri-Ebeiri, the newly built Imo State School of Nursing and Health Technology at Okporo and a host of small and medium size chemical and pharmaceutical companies, the multi purpose Imo International Market, which houses one of the three most influential pharmaceutical markets in West Africa, are based in Orlu. This is due to the high number of Orlulites in the pharmaceutical and chemical industry. Consequently, the Orlu Zonal Area has the highest concentration of indigenous pharmaceutical manufacturers and marketers in the whole of African continent. The Ogbosisi Timber centre is located within the quick expanding Orlu Urban area and the City centre. The Nigeria Immigration Training School (NITS) in Umuowa and the Technological Skills Acquisition Centre (TESAC) are based in the city.

Cultural festivalsEdit

The towns in Orlu urban have different cultural masquerade heritages through which they express their communal attributes, descents and heritages like Mmanwu, Ebuebu, Oghu, Okonko, Ekeleke and Okorosha etc. The people of Orlu have made important contributions towards the educational, sports and political growth of Nigeria. The Orlu community from which the city and entire zone derives its name from comprises 10 villages and is ruled by the Igwe of Orlu. The current Igwe is Eze Dr. Patrick Chinedu Acholonu.

Notable personalitiesEdit

Meanwhile, other notable members of the ruling family include the late Ignatius Chukwudi Pats Acholonu, the first Orlu indigene to become a Supreme Court justice; Dr. Douglas Acholonu, former deputy governor of Imo state; Dr. Mrs Catherine Acholonu, notable author and playwright. The heroic Samuel Okwaraji who died playing for Nigeria hails from Umudioka Orlu hence the city's main stadium name: Umuowa. The Former Governor of the state, Chief Achike Udenwa, hails from Amaifeke Orlu while the present governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha hails from Ogboko where the Eastern Palm University is located, in the outskirts of the city. Orlu has produced the highest number of governors in Imo State.

Autonomous communitiesEdit

Orlu Local Government Area consists of over thirty-three autonomous communities. They include towns like Umuna, Eziachi, Obor, Umuzike, Umutanze, Obinugwu, Umudioka - from there the First Chairman, USA Chapter of the Nigerian ruling party, The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP USA Chapter), Prof. Ikegwuoha, Bernard-Thompson Onyemauchechukwu hail -[1], Owerre-Ebeiri the home over the longest traditional ruler in the history of Nigeria late Eze Ben Uzomah who was on the throne for over 50 years, Umuowa, Amike, Mgbee, Amaifeke, Ihioma, Okporo, Ogberuru, Obibi-Ochasi, Umutanze and Ihitte-Owerre, Orlu is a homeland for Igbo people of Nigeria.

Missionary activitiesEdit

The Roman Catholic diocese of Orlu (Latin Dioecesis Orluanus) was erected on November 29, 1980 and houses the Holy Trinity Cathedral, one of the largest cathedrals in west and central Africa. Augustine T. Ukwuoma succeeded Bishop Gregory O. Ochiagha who had served as the Bishop of Orlu since its creation. Orlu is also the location of Nigeria's only parish of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (the Nne Enyemaka Shrine. It also has a diocese of the Anglican communion. The region also has a number of orthodox and Protestant churches to boost its Christian activities.

Sister citiesEdit

List of sister cities of Orlu, designated by Sister Cities International.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Egbokhare, Francis O.; Oyetade, S. Oluwole (2002). Harmonization and standardization of Nigerian languages. CASAS. p. 106. ISBN 1-919799-70-2.
  2. ^ Sister Cities International (2007). "Online Directory: Nigeria, Africa". Retrieved Oct. 12, 2007.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 05°47′47″N 07°02′20″E / 5.79639°N 7.03889°E / 5.79639; 7.03889