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Abakaliki is located in Nigeria
Location in Nigeria
Coordinates: 6°20′N 8°06′E / 6.333°N 8.100°E / 6.333; 8.100
CountryFlag of Nigeria.svg Nigeria
StateEbonyi State
 • Total79,280

Abakaliki is the capital city of the present-day Ebonyi State in southeastern Nigeria, located 64 kilometres (40 mi) southeast of Enugu.[2] The inhabitants are primarily members of the Igbo nation.[1] It was the headquarters of the Ogoja province before the creation of the Southeastern State in 1967.


The name Abakaliki originally means Aba Nkaleke and is the name of a community in Izzi land (Nkaleke).


Abakaliki, as in the past, is a center of agricultural trade including such products as yams, cassava, rice, and both palm oil and palm kernels,[1] as well as kola nuts.[2] It is also known for its local lead, zinc, salt, and limestone mining or quarrying.[1][2] They host many golf course and hotels. The huge incentives and tax holiday offered by Ebonyi state government to all major private investors have brought about a marked increase in new businesses in Abakaliki city. The government promotes both poultry and egg production.[1]


Abakaliki was an important center for the slave trade in the 17th century.[3] The slave trade continued in the area with Aro raids into Abakaliki and surrounding areas through the 18th century.[4]

The Odozi Obodo Society was a secret cult that operated between 1954 and 1958 in Abakaliki.[5]

Old Abakaliki, ca.1910


Its 2006 population was 79,280.[1]


Abakaliki is generally populated by the Igbo people. The Igbo can be further divided into five subgroups. Abakaliki is predominantly populated by the Northeastern Igbo of the Afikpo-Abakaliki axis.[6] Abakaliki is also use to refer to people of old Abakaliki political block comprising Ohaukwu-Ishielu-Izzi-Ezza-Ikwo.


Abakaliki lies at the intersection of the Enugu, Afikpo and Ogoja Roads.[1] Abakaliki also hosts a Federal hospital, which has largely contributed to the affordability of public healthcare delivery in the city and the state. There has been massive infrastructural developments ongoing in the urban centre; these include road construction, shopping malls and market places, trans-sahara fly-over bridges at presco and spera-in-deo junctions amongst others.


Ebonyi State University main campus is located on the outskirts of the city.


Abakaliki people like other southeastern Nigerians are predominantly Christians. Other religious faith like Traditionalist, Islam, etc are practised by handful of the natives as well as non-natives from far north of the country. Roman Catholic, Anglican Church, Pentecostal mission, etc are the dominant Christian faiths. There On March 1, 1973, the city was made the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Abakaliki.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Hoiberg 2010, p. 7
  2. ^ a b c Cohen 1998, p. 2
  3. ^ Oriji 2011, pp. 107–108
  4. ^ Oriji 2011, p. 126
  5. ^ Evboise (June 1969). "Odozi Obodo". Spear. Lagos: Daily Times.
  6. ^ Oriji 2011, p. 10


  • Cohen, Saul B., ed. (1998). "Abakaliki". The Columbia Gazetteer of the World. 1: A to G. New York, NY: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-11040-5.
  • Hoiberg, Dale H., ed. (2010). "Abakaliki". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1: A-ak Bayes (15th ed.). Chicago, IL: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. ISBN 0-85229-961-3. LCCN 2002113989.
  • Oriji, John N. (2011). Political Organization in Nigeria Since the Last Stone Age: A History of the Igbo People. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-62193-0. LCCN 2010025628.

Coordinates: 6°20′N 8°06′E / 6.333°N 8.100°E / 6.333; 8.100