Owerri (// oh-WERR-ee, Igbo: Owèrrè) is the capital of Imo State in Nigeria, set in the heart of Igboland. It is also the state's largest city, followed by Orlu and Okigwe as second and third respectively. Owerri consists of three Local Government Areas including Owerri Municipal, Owerri North and Owerri West, it has an estimated population of about 1,401,873 as of 2016 and is approximately 100 square kilometres (40 sq mi) in area. Owerri is bordered by the Otamiri River to the east and the Nworie River to the south.
|LGA||Owerri Municipal, Owerri North, Owerri West. Owerri capital territory consist of 4 local governments; Owerri Municipal, Owerri North, Owerri West and Part of Mbaitoli|
|• Type||Executive Chairman-Council|
|• Governing body||Local Government Council|
|• Chairman||Emma Odor (Owerri Municipal); Henry Njoku (Owerri North); Henry Onwukwe (Owerri West)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (WAT)|
The Owerri Slogan is Heartland. It is currently referred to as the entertainment capital of Nigeria because of its high density of spacious hotels, high street casinos, production studios and high quality centres of relaxation. It is the home to annual beauty pageants, "Miss Heartland" and "Miss Adanma".
Owerri was the last of three capitals of the Republic of Biafra in 1969. The capital of the secessionist state was continuously being moved as Nigerian troops captured the older capitals. Enugu and Umuahia were the other capitals before Owerri. Present-day Owerri does contain some statuary memorializing the war, particularly in locations which suffered heavy bombing, but most war artifacts and history are located in the museum at Umuahia, Abia State.
Transport and tradeEdit
Owerri has an airport 23 kilometres (14 mi) southeast of the city, called the Imo Airport, located in Obiangwu, Ngor Okpala LGA. The Airport (Sam Mbakwe Airport) provides flight services to Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt, and Enugu. Right now, it serves as an alternate for Port Harcourt. Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport is now an International Cargo Airport. Some major roads that go through the city are; Port Harcourt Rd., Aba Rd., Onitsha Rd., and Okigwe Rd. Roads within the city are; Douglas Rd., Weathral Rd., Tetlow Rd., and Works Rd. Relief market is the main market in Owerri after the demolition of Eke Ukwu Owere.
Owerri sits in the rain forest and produces many agricultural products, such as yams, cassava, taro, corn, rubber and palm products. Owerri also sits on huge crude oil and natural gas reserves like most of the Igbo land areas.
Owerri has a tropical wet climate according to the Köppen-Geiger system. Rain falls for most months of the year with a brief dry season. The Harmattan affects the city in the early periods of the dry season and it is noticeably less pronounced than in other cities in Nigeria. The average temperature is 26.4 °C.
|Climate data for Owerri|
|Average high °C (°F)||31.6
|Daily mean °C (°F)||26.7
|Average low °C (°F)||21.8
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||17
Important educational institutions in Owerri include Imo State University, Federal University of Technology Owerri, Imo State Polytechnic Umuagwo, Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, African Institute of Science and Technology (AIST CCE Owerri), Federal College of Land Resources Oforola, Seat of Wisdom Seminary Owerri, Alvan Ikoku College of Education, Christ the King Secondary School, Obike, Methodist High school, Government Training College, Federal Government Girls College Owerri, Madonna Model Secondary School, Owerri, Owerri Girls Secondary School, Government Secondary School Owerri, Development Secondary School Owerri, Emmanuel College Owerri, Holy Ghost College Owerri, Obube Comprehensive Secondary School (Egbelu Obube), Obube Secondary School, Community Secondary School Oforola Owerri, Federal Polytechnic Nekede Owerri, Government Technical college Owerri, Army Day Secondary School Obinze Owerri MSME Business School Aladinma Housing Estate, Owerri, Pearlville Secondary School, etc.
One major food that is peculiar to the owerri people is known as ofe owerri (ofe means soup, while owerri is the capital of Imo state). It is sometimes referred to as the king of soup and in some Igbo communities, beautiful women are sometimes likened to Ofe Owerri. Ingredients for the soup, include but not limited to the following: Snails, ponmo (cow skin), Goat meat, Okporoko (dried hake fish), dried fish, Oporo (smoked prawns), grounded dried crayfish, wraps of Ogili (fermented soya beans), fresh pepper, grounded dried pepper, grounded Uziza seeds (Ashanti pepper), cocoyam, palm oil, sliced ugu leafs (pumpkin leaves), sliced oha leafs, slized uziza leaves, stock cubes, achi powder and salt.
Owerri has a major Nigerian football club: Heartland F.C. It was known previously as Inwanyawu Nationale, but the team retained its nickname: The Na'azi Millionaires. Former Inter Milan, Arsenal, Portsmouth F.C. striker and Nigeria national football team player Nwankwo Kanu was born in Owerri.
Christianity is the dominant religion in Owerri. Catholics and Anglicans have the largest followings and Owerri is home to Assumpta Cathedral, the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri (Latin: Archidioecesis Overriensis) and the Seat of Wisdom Seminary. The archdiocese covers an area of 2,996 square kilometres. 670,986 of the 1.7 million people in the area are members of the Catholic Church. All Saints Cathedral, Egbu is the first and Largest Anglican Church in Owerri and the home of first Igbo translated Bible.
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- Clifford, Igbo. "6 Best Secondary Schools In Imo State". Information Guide Africa. Retrieved 2019-08-20.
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