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Abia State

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Abia
Abia State
An image of the Abia State Tower
Abia Tower in Umuahia
Nicknames: 
God's Own State
Igbo:Ọ̀hà 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
 • Governor[1]Okezie Ikpeazu (PDP)
 • Deputy GovernorUde Oko Chukwu (PDP)
 • SenatorsEnyinnaya Abaribe
Theodore Orji
Orji Uzor Kalu
 • RepresentativesList
Area
 • Total6,320 km2 (2,440 sq mi)
Population
 (2006 est)[2]
 • Total4,112,230
 • Density650/km2 (1,700/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Abians
GDP (PPP)
 • Year2007
 • Total$18.69 billion[3]
 • Per capita$3,003[3]
Time zoneUTC+01 (WAT)
Postal code
440001
ISO 3166 codeNG-AB
Official languageEnglish, Igbo ,which is spoken by the majority,while Ibibio and Annang are spoken by few local government areas.
HDI (2018)0.640[4]
medium · 8th of 37
Websiteabiastate.gov.ng

Abia is a state in the south eastern part of Nigeria.[5] The capital is Umuahia, and the major commercial city is Aba, which was formerly a British colonial government outpost in the region, and is also one of the most populated areas in Nigeria. Abia state was created in 1991 from part of Imo State.[6] It is one of the constituent states of the Niger Delta region.[5] It's also the 5th most industrialized state in the country, and has the 4th highest index of human development in the country, with numerous economic activities and fast growing populations as recorded by the United nations early 2018. The state also houses the biggest cattle market In Nigeria.[citation needed]

Geography[edit source | edit]

Abia State, which occupies about 6,320 square kilometres, is bounded on the north and northeast by the states of Anambra, Enugu, and Ebonyi. To the west of Abia is Imo State, to the east and southeast are Cross River State and Akwa Ibom State respectively and to the south is Rivers State. The southern part of the State lies within the riverine part of Nigeria, it is a low-lying tropical rainforest with some oil-palm brush,[6] the southern portion gets heavy rainfall of about 2,400 millimetres (94 in) per year and is especially intense between the months of April through October.[7] The rest of the State is moderately high plain and wooded savanna.[6] The most important rivers in Abia State are the Imo and Aba Rivers which flow into the Atlantic Ocean through Akwa Ibom State.

Infrastructure and economy[edit source | edit]

Crude oil and gas production is a prominent activity, as it contributes over 39% of the State's GDP.[8] 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.[9]

The manufacturing sector only accounts for 2% of the GDP.[8] The industrial centre of the state is in Aba, with textile manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, soap, plastics, cement, footwear, and cosmetics.[6] 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,[8] agriculture- which employs 70%[8] 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.[6] Oil palm is the most important cash crop.[6]

Oil and gas exploration[edit source | edit]

There are over 100 oil wells and 3 installed flow stations in Abia State.[9][10] There is also an associated gas plant, Abia/NNPC gas plant.[10] As of 2012, boundary Commission said it returned 42 oil wells from neighbouring Rivers State to Abia.[10] This would have meant Abia being fourth largest oil producing state in the country.[10] 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.[9]

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.[citation needed] 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.[10]

University and colleges[edit source | edit]

There are four universities in the state: the federal-owned Michael Okpara University of Agriculture at Umudike, the state-owned Abia State University in Uturu, and the Gregory University Uturu and Rhema University in Aba, both privately owned. There are two tertiary hospitals, the Federal Medical Center[11] in Umuahia and the Abia State University Teaching Hospital in Aba, which serve as referral hospitals in the State. The Abia State Polytechnic is also in the city of Aba. There are two major power plants in Abia, The Alaoji Power plant[12] and the Geometric Power plant.[13] Abia is one of the most peaceful states in Nigeria and has been a "haven" for foreign investors. The state's population has grown rapidly since its creation.

Travel[edit source | edit]

The nearest airport to Abia is Sam Mbakwe Cargo Airport (Owerri Airport), an hour drive to Umuahia and Aba; and Port Harcourt International Airport, 2 hours. 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 another means of travel, very effective but currently on revitalisation. Aba is connected to Port Harcourt by rail.[6] The coastal parts of the State are equally accessible with boats and canoes.

History and population[edit source | edit]

Abia State is one of the thirty-six (36) States in seventeen (17) Local government areas (LGAs) that constitute the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Abia was carved out of the former Imo State in 1991. The name "Abia" is an abbreviation of four of Abia state's densely populated regions Aba, Bende, Isuikwuato, and Afikpo.[14]

Abia is mainly peopled by the Igbo ethnic group. The Igbo people, who are one of the indigenous peoples of Southeastern part of Nigeria, make up 95% of the population. Their traditional language, Igbo is in widespread use.[15] English is also widely spoken, and serves as the official language in governance and business. Abia's over 2.4 million people are mainly Christians.

Languages[edit source | edit]

Languages of Abia State listed by LGA:[16]

LGA Languages
Arochukwu Igbo; Ibibio; Ibuoro; Nkari
Ini Itu Mbon Uzo
Obi Ngwa Igbo; Anaang
Ugwunagbo Igbo; Anaang
Ukwa East Igbo; Anaang; Ibibio

Politics[edit source | edit]

The State Government is led by a democratically-elected executive Governor who works closely with members of the state's House of Assembly. The capital city is Umuahia. There are 17 local government areas (LGAs).

In 1999, Nigeria became a democracy and Orji Uzor Kalu contested on the platform of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) and won the Governorship election in Abia State. 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). Theodore Orji (PPA) defeated Onyema Ugochukwu (PDP) in the 2007 general elections to become Abia's next Governor. In 2011, Theodore Orji decamped from PPA to the PDP and was re-elected for another four-year tenure.

On 11 April 2015, Okezie Ikpeazu was voted as the ninth Governor of Abia State under the platform of the People's Democratic Party.[17] He was also declared the winner of the 2019 gubernatorial election after polling total number of 261,127 votes to defeat Uche Ogah of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and Alex Otti of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA.and sworn in as Governor for a second term on 29 May 2019.

Local Government Areas[edit source | edit]

Abia State consists of seventeen (17) Local Government Areas. They are:

Traditional rulers[edit source | edit]

Title Ethnic Group Name Class LGAs Palace
Enyi (Eze) of Aba Igbo / Eziama Aba Eze Issac Ikonne 1 Aba North Osusu Aba
Ochiudo 1 of Aba Ukwu Igbo / Aba Jonathan U. oguejiofor (JP): Justice of Peace of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Abia State
Osimiri III of Aba Igbo / Aba 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 of Ndida Ozaar Igbo / Asa Eze Samuel Chukwuemeka Agu Ukwa West Umuebulungwu, Ndida Ozaar Autonomous Community
Ike 1 of Ikeisu Igbo / Isu Augustine O. Igwe (Ike I) ? Arochukwu Ikeisu (Utugiyi)
Ezeala III of Aro Ngwa Igbo / Aro Ngwa Eze Edward Enwereji ? Osisioma Ngwa
Ugo Oha (Eze) of Etiti Mgboko Umuanunu Igbo / Etiti Ngozi Ibekwe 1 Obi ngwa
Eze Ukwu 1 of Ngwa-Ukwu Igbo / Ngwa Benard Enweremadu 1 Isiala Ngwa Ngwa Ukwu Kingdom. The ancestral home of Ngwa Land.
Nya 1 of Nunya Igbo / Oguduasaa M.E. Ihevume ? Isuikwuato Nunya Autonomous Community
Ossah-Ibeku (Eze) of Umuahia[18] Igbo / Osaa Nze Hope Onuigbo X X Umuahia Amibo, Nsukwe
Eze of Uturu Igbo / Uturu A.E. Ude ? Isuikwuato Uturu
Igbojiakuru (Eze) of Alayi Igbo / Alayi Ukeje Philip ? Bende Ndi Elendu, Amaeke Alayi
Awu (Eze)of Isuamawu Igbo / Isuikwuato Surveyor Chris E Aboh,FNIS ? Isuikwuato Eluama Isuama
Enachioken Of Abiriba Igbo / Abiriba Kalu Kalu Ogbu 1 Ohafia Abiriba
Ohanyere I Of Ohiya Igbo / Umuahia Eze Abel E. Uhuegbue ? Umuahia South Abia
Eze Ohanyere I Of Ahiaba Ubi Igbo / Isiala Ngwa Eze D.O. Ogbuisi ? Isiala Ngwa North Abia
EZE TOWE 1 of umutowe. Igbo / Ohiya Eze G. C Onwuka ? Umuahia South Abia
Ome Udo II Of Umueze, Ohiya Igbo / Ohiya Uche Nwamarah ? Umuahia South Abia
Okaa Omee I of Amaikwu, Abia Igbo / Ohiya Uche Nwamarah ? Umuahia South Abia
"Ehi II" of Ehi na Uguru Auto. Comm, Umuguru Igbo / Umuguru Eze E. E. Eluwa 1 Isiala Ngwa South
"Ochi 1" of Ochi na Isuochi. Comm, Umunneochi Igbo / Umu Nneochi HRM EZEKWESIRI 1 Umu Nneochi Abia

Notable people[edit source | edit]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. See List of Governors of Abia State for a list of prior governors
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  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Nigeria's 36 States and the FCT, Economic, societal and political profiles, World Bank Report
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  17. INEC Declares Ikpeazu Winner Of Abia Governorship Election
  18. Chairman of the Abia State Council of Traditional Rulers
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External links[edit source | edit]