Umuahia (pronounced [ʊmʊaːhiaː]) is the capital city of Abia State in southeastern Nigeria.[3][4][5] Umuahia is located along the rail road that lies between Port Harcourt to its south,and Enugu city to its north. Umuahia has a population of 359,230 according to the 2006 Nigerian census. Umuahia is indigenously Igbo.

Umuahia Ibeku
Top left: Abia tower. Mid Left: Umuahia Clock Tower. Bottom Left: Federal High Court, Umuahia. Center: BCA Radio Tower. Top Right: Star Beer sponsored welcome Billboard. Mid Right: Umuahia Market. Bottom Right: Umuahia Police Station.
Top left: Abia tower. Mid Left: Umuahia Clock Tower. Bottom Left: Federal High Court, Umuahia.
Center: BCA Radio Tower.
Top Right: Star Beer sponsored welcome Billboard. Mid Right: Umuahia Market. Bottom Right: Umuahia Police Station.
Umuahia is located in Nigeria
Location in Nigeria
Coordinates: 5°32′N 7°29′E / 5.533°N 7.483°E / 5.533; 7.483
Country Nigeria
StateAbia State
LGAUmuahia North, Umuahia South and has expanded deeply into ikwuano
 • Total359,230
 • Estimate 
Time zoneUTC+1 (WAT)
Area code088
National languageIgbo

Umuahia is renowned for being a railway and agricultural market center, which attracts traders and farmers from neighboring towns to sell their produce, such as yams, cassava, corn (maize), taro, citrus fruits, and palm oil and kernels.[6] There are industries that help drive its economy, such as a brewery and a palm-oil-processing plant. Nigeria's National Root Crops Research Institute, at Umudike, is adjacent to the town. Umuahia also has several colleges including Trinity College (theological), Government College Umuahia, Holy Rosary Girls Secondary School and hospitals like the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia (formerly Queen Elizabeth Hospital).[7]

Umuahia comprises two local government areas: Umuahia North and Umuahia South. These local governments are also composed of clans such as the Umuopara, Ibeku, Olokoro, Ubakala and Ohuhu communities.[8]

History edit

According to popular legend, the name Umuahia derives from the Igbo word AmaAhia[9] or "Ama Ahia", which means "market place or market center", respectively. The British, who arrived the region and annexed it sometime around the mid-to late 19th century, upon learning the name, mistakenly pronounced and spelled it as "Umuahia". Other legends exist regarding the origin of Umuahia, but the foregoing version seems most probable by consensus.[10] In precolonial times, it served as one of the central marketplaces in the region for commerce. Given its serenity and proximity to other towns, such as Ohafia, Abiriba, Ihechiowa, Arochukwu, Obowo, Ngwa, Okigwi, Uzuakoli, Bende, Nnewi, Akwa Akpa (Old Calabar), and Kalabari, merchants of produce, pottery, crafts, textile, traditional medicine, palm wine, and tools travelled from afar, to trade at the busy market center, with many roads leading to it.[10]

However, the name Ama Ahia was not the town's name; rather it was located in a place called Afor Ibeji, near Olokoro Town. With increasing British administrative and commercial activities in the region and yonder, Umuahia, as it came to be known and written, was relocated to Ibeku Town for better oversight by administrative offices and the convergence of roads at Ibeku. The new location became one of the major trading posts along the rail route built by the United African Company (UAC) for carting produce, raw materials, and minerals along the trade route from Sub-Sahara to the Atlantic Ocean, for onward exportation to Europe. The trading post was named Umuahia-Ibeku Station to reflect the new market square and domain. Over time, the area became known as Umuahia, while the original market town at Afor Ibeji was renamed to Old Umuahia. The hyphenated Umuahia-Ibeku became a source of dispute, given that neighboring towns such as Ohuhu, Umuopara, Afugiri, Ofeme, etc., were constituted into the Umuahia administrative area, entitling them to be under Umuahia, not Umuahia – Ibeku, since Ibeku is on the same level as the constituent parts of Umuahia.

Umuahia, though comprising several villages and communities, is composed mainly of five sister clans, socially and phonologically homogenous at most, with each clan having its own version of autonomy, and social evolution.

Umuahia was established by the British colonial administration of Nigeria in the early 20th century. Umuahia was declared the second (and soon became the longest serving) capital, of the short-lived nation of the Republic of Biafra, on 28 September 1967 after the first capital, Enugu was captured by Nigerian troops. On April 22, 1969 Umuahia was occupied and nearly taken by Nigerian troops but they were forced to retreat, due to a stiff offensive by Biafran Maj. E.A. Eutuk. After Umuahia's capture on 24 December 1969, the last Biafran capital before its dissolution became Owerri.

Formerly known as Ikwuano/Umuahia Local government council until the Babangida-led government divided it into two LGAs—Ikwuano LGA and Umuahia LGA in 1991—and then later in 1996, the former Umuahia Local Government Area was split by Abacha-led government into two local governments: Umuahia North and Umuahia South. The first executive chairman of the old Umuahia local government area is Chief Chibiko Ukanwoke, elected in December 1991.

Government College Umuahia and Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU) formerly Federal University of Agriculture (FUAU) now fall into the domain of Ikwuano people.

Government edit

Umuahia Local Government Areas (LGAs) edit

There are two LGAs in Umuahia, namely; Umuahia North and Umuahia South. Both LGAs are made up of Clans, and villages in turn, made up the Clans.

The South has three major clans, namely – Ubakala, Olokoro, and Umuopara (until 1949, Umuopara was part of Ohuhu). Some of the communities/villages in Umuahia South constitute what is known as Old Umuahia. The Local Government council Headquarters is located at Apumiri in Ubakala.

The North consists of Ibeku and Ohuhu. Its Local Government council Headquarters is located at Ibeku.

Climate edit

Umuahia's climate is classified as tropical.[11] During most months of the year, there is significant rainfall in Umuahia. There is only a short dry season. The climate here is classified as Am, by the Köppen-Geiger system. In Umuahia, the average annual temperature is 26.0 °C. Precipitation here averages 2153 mm. Precipitation is the lowest in December, with an average of 15 mm. Most precipitation falls in September, with an average of 322 mm. At an average temperature of 27.5 °C, March is the hottest month of the year. In August, the average temperature is 24.5 °C. It is the lowest average temperature of the whole year.[11][12][13][14][15]

Climate data for Umuahia (1991–2020)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 37.2
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 33.4
Daily mean °C (°F) 27.7
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 22.1
Record low °C (°F) 14.2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 25.6
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 1.2 2.4 5.8 9.3 13.9 15.1 19.4 19.2 18.3 14.9 4.5 0.7 124.7
Average relative humidity (%) 74.5 78.3 85.3 87.6 89.0 90.2 90.3 90.1 90.9 90.7 86.9 77.8 86.0
Source: NOAA[16]

Clouds edit

The annual seasonal variation in the average percentage of sky covered by clouds in Umuahia is quite pronounced.[17][11]

Around November 24 marks the start of Umuahia's clearer season, which lasts for 2.6 months and ends around February 10.[17][11]

In Umuahia, December is the clearest month of the year, with the sky remaining clear, mostly clear, or partly overcast 41% of the time.[11][17]

Around February 10 through November 24, there is a 9.4-month period of increased cloud cover.[17][18]

In Umuahia, April is the month with the most clouds, with the sky being overcast or mostly cloudy 85% of the time on average.[17][19][15]

Precipitation edit

A day that has at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation is considered to be wet. In Umuahia, the likelihood of rainy days fluctuates wildly throughout the year.[17][20][21]

From March 28 to November 8 (the wetter season), there is a greater than 44% chance that any given day will be rainy. In Umuahia, September has an average of 25.0 days with at least 0.04 inches of precipitation, making it the month with the most wet days.[15][19][22]

Between November 8 and March 28, or 4.6 months, is the dry season. With an average of just 1.4 days with at least 0.04 inches of precipitation, January is the month with the fewest wet days in Umuahia.[15][22][11]

Rainfall edit

Extreme seasonal variations in monthly rainfall are common in Umuahia.[22][19][18][20][15][17]

From February 1 to December 12 there are 10 months of rain, with a median 31-day rainfall of at least 0.5 inches. With an average rainfall of 10.6 inches, September is the wettest month in Umuahia.[11][20][19][18][22]

The year's dry spell lasts from December 12 to February 1 for 1.7 months. With an average rainfall of just 0.3 inches, January is the month with the least amount of rain in Umuahia.[20][22][11][14][15]

Notable people edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Summing the 2 LGAs Umuahia North/South as per:
    Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette (15 May 2007). "Legal Notice on Publication of the Details of the Breakdown of the National and State Provisional Totals 2006 Census" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-07-01.
  2. ^ "Abia State: Subdivision". Retrieved 2024-02-05.
  3. ^ "The 'Gate' of Umuahia". Vanguard Media. 2013-10-01. Retrieved 2014-03-30.
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  5. ^ "ABIA State of Nigeria". Retrieved 2014-03-30.
  6. ^ "Umuahia | Location, Facts, & Population | Britannica". Retrieved 2022-07-19.
  7. ^ Nwankwo, I. I. M.; Nwaigwe, G. O.; Aguwa, U. O.; Okereke, A. C.; Amanze, N. J. (2019-06-30). "Fortification of sweet potato progenies for enhanced root dry matter and micro-nutrient density through genetic recombination". Journal of Agricultural Science and Practice. 4 (3): 86–93. doi:10.31248/jasp2019.143. ISSN 2536-7072.
  8. ^ Asiegbu, Johnson U. J.(1985). Traditional African Societies And Indigenous Technology: A Case Study Of The Umuahia-Igbo Communities Of South-Eastern Nigeria. Pg.95-105.
  9. ^ Oma
  10. ^ a b Amadi, C. O and Edighan, B. I (June 2017). "Analysis Of Traffic Volume And Parking At Ishi -Gate, Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria" (PDF). International Journal of Innovative Research and Advanced Studies (IJIRAS). 4 (6): 1–20 – via IJIRAS.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
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External links edit

5°32′N 07°29′E / 5.533°N 7.483°E / 5.533; 7.483