||This article may require copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone, or spelling. (August 2013)|
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|LGA and town|
|State||Cross River State|
|• Chairman||Abubakar Ewa|
|Time zone||WAT (UTC+1)|
The Boki Local Government Area (which is also referred to as Boki or Nki Tribe) was created on August 28, 1991. Boki is a geographical territory in the Cross River State of Nigeria. Its capital is Boje. Boki has a population of about 300,000 people and has a contiguous border with the Republic of Cameroon. It bears an international reputation for being a major commercial center for forest and international agricultural commodities such as cocoa, coffee, timber, and palm products. All of these products are sourced and supplied for international consumption in the territory.
Boki is surrounded in the west by Ogoja, in the north by Obudu, in the south by Ikom Local Government Areas, and in the east by the Republic of Cameroon. With Boje as its headquarters, Boki includes many communities, such as Iso-Bendeghe, Bansan-Osokom, Nsadop Abo, Okundi, Iman, Bateriko, Bumaji, Orimekpang, Wula, Buardwr, Natamante and Kakwagom, Oku-Bushuyu, Njua-Bano, and Borum, Irruan.
Culture and customs
In regards to their style of dressing, it is common for men in this area to wear loincloths or a white long-sleeve shirt and a broad to match, and to carry a walking stick. It is common for women to tie wrappers on a blouse and head scarf. The Boki people's major cultural and traditional festivals include Boki New Yam Festival, Irruan Boki Local Government Area Edien festival, and Borum and Cassava Festivals. During these festivals and other social occasions, people often play music, with the most common instruments being the Obam, Mgbe, Atam, Obon, Bekarim, Awaribo, Obashi and Enya-Atu. Boki also has a social lifestyle which has been handed down from generation to generation and includes traditions such as inter-village cultural dance, age grade meetings, circumcision festivals, burial ceremonies and communal farming.
Boki market days
Traditional market days in Boki include Okundi market day, Ntamarte market day, Kakwagom market day, Wula market day and Katchuan market day.
Wildlife and environmental activism
The ubiquity of wildlife habitat as represented by the thickly forested vegetation and unique topology of Boki continues to interest environmental activist and conservationist groups. The Okwargwo Division of the Cross River Park, a brainchild of the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), was established in Boki; it provides a spectacular opportunity for visitors to witness wildlife in their natural habitat.
Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary
The Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary was created in May of the year 2000 and is managed by the Cross River State Forestry Commission. The protection and research of the wildlife sanctuary is sponsored by a partnership between the government and the four NGOs (Pandrillus, Wildlife Conservation Society, Nigerian Conservation Foundation and Fauna & Flora International). Generations of hunting Afi’s gorillas, chimpanzees, drills and other endangered species have left them extremely wary of humans and so years of protection may be required before they're more easily seen again.
Afi's gorillas belong to the most endangered subspecies of the Cross River gorilla. Day hikes or multi-day treks into the sanctuary can be arranged by the Drill Ranch. There are additional fees required for a guided hike, which the Drill Ranch collects on behalf of the Forestry Commission.
Afi Mountain is listed as an ‘Important Bird Area’ for Nigeria, and the migratory swallow roost at Boje is one of the largest in Africa. Bird-watchers are welcome, but mist-netting is not permitted except by special arrangement with the state wildlife authorities.
Communal wars and political unrest
Over the years, Boki has been notorious for communal wars, the most recent of which happened in 2010 in a farmland tussle between the Nsadop and Boje communities. The war claimed an estimated 230 million naira in property damage, about 400 human lives were lost, and approximately 6000 people were terribly affected by the war. As of 2011, the damaged fence walls are still being reconstructed and homes destroyed during the raids are still undergoing repairs. The Cross River State Government has been replacing destroyed and looted fittings and furniture through relief funds.
The government also took over the rebuilding processes of the village, building hundreds of two bedroom flats as compensation for the burnt or demolished houses of over 6,000 victims of the invasion. Women and children suffered the worst from the invasion.
In 2001, six autonomous communities in the LGA protested against the State's refusal to create a separate Boki North council and threatened to join neighboring Cameroon.
Famous people from Boki include former government minister Matthew Mbu, former ambassador and politician Chief Soni Abang, and journalist Abang Mercy. Hon chief Ernest Osang Eki,politician, Rt Hon Jake Enyia, politician, Hon Chris Eta member of federal parliament, Engr. Jake Awa Enyia, Hon Abubakar Ewa chair Boki local government.