Abia State

Coordinates: 5°25′N 7°30′E / 5.417°N 7.500°E / 5.417; 7.500
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Abia State
Flag of Abia
Seal of Abia State
God's Own State
Igbo:Ọ̀hà nke 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; 7.500
Country Nigeria
Date created27 August 1991
 • BodyGovernment of Abia State
 • Governor[1]Alex Otti (LP)
 • Deputy GovernorIkechukwu Emetu (LP)
 • LegislatureAbia State House of Assembly
 • SenatorsC: Austin Akobundu (PDP)
N: Orji Uzor Kalu (APC)
S: Enyinnaya Abaribe (APGA)
 • RepresentativesList
 • Total6,320 km2 (2,440 sq mi)
 • Rank32
 (2022 est)[2]
 • Total4,143,100
 • Density660/km2 (1,700/sq mi)
 • Year2021
 • Total$22.83 billion[3]
18th of 36
 • Per capita$5,351[3]
9th of 36
Time zoneUTC+01 (WAT)
Postal code
Dialing Code+234
ISO 3166 codeNG-AB
HDI (2021)0.644[4]
medium · 8th of 37

Abia State (Igbo: Ȯha Abia) is a state in the South-East geopolitical zone of Nigeria, it is bordered to the northwest by Anambra State and northeast by the states of Enugu, and Ebonyi, Imo State to the west, Cross River State to the east, Akwa Ibom State to the southeast, and Rivers State to the south. Abia is the only Southeastern state that has boundaries with the other four Southeastern states in Nigeria. [5]It takes its name from the acronym for four of the state's most populated regions: Aba, Bende, Isuikwuato, and Afikpo (but Afikpo was later joined with a part of Enugu state to create Ebonyi state in 1996).[6] The state capital is Umuahia while the largest city and commercial centre is Aba.[7][8]

Abia is the 32nd largest in area and 27th most populous with an estimated population of over 3 727 347 as of 2016.[9] Geographically, the state is divided between the Niger Delta swamp forests in the far south and the drier Cross–Niger transition forests with some savanna in the rest of the State. Other important geographical features are the Imo and Aba Rivers which flow along the Abia's western and southern borders, respectively.

Modern-day Abia State has been inhabited for years by various ethnic groups, but it is predominantly inhabited by the Igbo people. In the pre-colonial period, what is now Abia State was a part of Arochukwu-based Aro Confederacy before the confederacy was defeated in the early 1900s by British troops in the Anglo-Aro War. After the war, the British incorporated the area into the Southern Nigeria Protectorate which later merged into British Nigeria; after the merger, Abia became a centre of anti-colonial resistance with the Women's War that started in Oloko.

After independence in 1960, the Abia was a part of the post-independence Eastern Region until 1967 before the region was split and it became part of the East Central State. Less than two months afterwards, the former Eastern Region attempted to secede in the three-year long Nigerian Civil War with Abia as a part of the secessionist state of Biafra. At the war's end and for the reunification of Nigeria, the East Central State was merged as one until 1976 when Imo State](including now-Abia) was formed by the Murtala Muhammed regime. Fifteen years afterwards, Imo State was divided with eastern Imo being broken off to form the old Abia State; but in 1996, part of Abia's northeast was removed to form a part of the new Ebonyi State.[10]

Economically, Abia State is based around the production of crude oil and natural gas along with agriculture, mainly of yams, maize, taro, oil palm, and cassava. A key minor industry is manufacturing, especially in and around Aba.[11] With its fast growing population and industrialization, Abia has the joint-eighth highest Human Development Index in the country.[12]


Azumini Blue River in Abia state, Nigeria

Abia State occupies about 4902 square kilometres, it is bounded on the north and northeast by the states of Enugu for about 25 km, and Ebonyi for 70 km (43 miles), Cross River State for about 52 km (partly across Cross River) and Akwa Ibom State for 151 km (94 miles) to the east and southeast respectively, Rivers State to the south and west for 87 km (54 miles), Imo State and Anambra to the west for to the west in the vicinity of the Imo River) for about 18 km and about 104 km respectively. The southernmost part of the State lies within the Niger Delta Swamp Forests, while the rest of the state, lies within the Cross–Niger transition forests.[13] The southern portion gets heavy rainfall of about 2,400 millimetres (94 in) per year and it is intense between the months of April through October.[14] The most important rivers in Abia State are the Imo and Aba Rivers which flow into the Atlantic Ocean through Akwa Ibom State.[15]

Environmental Issues[edit]

Solid waste[edit]

Municipal solid waste management (MSWM) deals with the collection, storing, treatment and disposal of solid waste, to ensure that it does not affect humans, living things and the environment at large. There are factors that influences the Municipal solid waste generation such as income level, local climatic condition, urbanization and economic development.[16] MSW in Aba, Abia State is classified into;

  1. Domestic waste (waste from households, food centers, markets, and commercial premises)
  2. Industrial waste (excluding toxic waste that requires special handling)
  3. Institutional waste (waste from government establishments, schools, hospitals and recreational facilities

In recent times, it was reported that aba and umuahia generates up to two hundred and seventy truck loads of domestic and commercial waste daily. This information was made known to the public by Governor Alex Otti during his inauguration speech after taking the baton of government from the former governor, Okezie Ikpeazu.[17]


Aba experiences a warm and gloomy wet season as well as a scorching and oppressive dry season. The temperature rarely drops below 61 °F (16 °C) or rises over 91 °F (33 °C) throughout the entire year, fluctuating between 68 and 88 °F (20 and 31 °C).[18][19]

The beach/pool score indicates that the best time of year to visit Aba for hot-weather activities is from late November to early February.[20][21]

In Aba, the rainy season is warm and cloudy, the dry season is hot and largely gloomy, and the climate is uncomfortable all year long. The average annual temperature ranges from 68°F to 88°F, with occasional exceptions when it falls below 61°F or rises over 91°F.[18][22]

Since Aba experiences so small seasonal temperature variations, talking about the hot and cold seasons isn't very helpful.[23][24]

History and population[edit]

Abia State is one of the thirty-six States in Nigeria, and has about seventeen Local Government Areas, out of the 774 Local Government Areas that make up the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Abia State was created on the 27th of August 1991, during the government of General Ibrahim Babangida. The State is located in  the south-eastern part of Nigeria. Abia state was created out of Imo State, and the two sister states share boundaries. Abia State is known as one of the constituent states of the Niger Delta region. The state has its capital at Umuahia while the commercial city of the state is Aba. Abia State is also referred to as God's own state. The name "Abia" is an abbreviation of four of Abia state's densely populated regions Aba, Bende, Isuikwuato, and Afikpo.[25][26]

The Igbo people, who are one of the indigenous peoples of the South-eastern part of Nigeria, make up 95% of the population. Their traditional language, Igbo, is in widespread use. Ibibio is spoken as a minority language, especially in Arochukwu[27] English is also widely spoken, and serves as the official language in governance and business. In Abia State over 3 million people are mainly Christians.[28] According to there are 689,668 Catholics (2020) in the Umuahia Diocese (1958) with 70 parishes under Bishop Michael Kalu Ukpong (2022) [1] and Aba Diocese (1990) with 90 parishes under Bishop Augustine Ndubueze Echema (2019), both suffragans of Archdiocese of Owerri.[29]

Infrastructure and economy[edit]

Crude oil and gas production is a prominent activity, as it contributes over 39% of the State's GDP.[30] 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.[31]

The manufacturing sector only accounts for 2% of the GDP.[30] The industrial centre of the state is in Aba, with textile manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, soap, plastics, cement, footwear, and cosmetics.[13] 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,[30] agriculture – which employs 70%[30] 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.[13] Oil palm is the most important cash crop.[13]

Oil and gas exploration[edit]

There are over 100 oil wells and 3 installed flow stations in Abia State.[31][32] There is also an associated gas plant, Abia/NNPC gas plant.[32] As of 2012, boundary Commission said it returned 42 oil wells from neighbouring Rivers State to Abia.[32] This would have meant Abia was r fourth largest oil-producing state in the country.[32] 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.[31]

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.[33] 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", said 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.[32]


The MSW (Municipal Solid Waste) for a very long time now, like many other cities and urban areas in Nigeria, has in its records reached appalling dimensions.

Due to the poor waste management, the attendant deaths and illnesses from diarrhoea, respiratory and lung diseases, malaria, parasitic worms, typhoid fever, cholera, etc are on the rise. This has its own detriment in no small measures by poor MSW management practices have implications on the social, political and economic development of the population[16]

Raw Materials In Abia State[edit]

University and colleges[edit]

Abịa State University

There are six universities in the state: the federal-owned Michael Okpara University of Agriculture at Umudike,[36] the state-owned Abia State University in Uturu,[37] the privately-owned Gregory University[38] in Uturu, Rhema University[39] in Aba, Spiritan University in Umu Nneochi, Clifford University in Owerrinta, and Nigerian British University in Asa,[40] Uma Ukpai Polytechnic, Asaga-Ohafia, Abia State College of Education (Technical) in Arochukwu, Abia State College Of Health Sciences and Management Technology in Aba, Temple Gate Polytechnic in Aba and Abia State Polytechnic[41] are the other tertiary institutions in the State.


The nearest airport to Abia is Sam Mbakwe Cargo Airport (Owerri Airport), it is an hour drive to Umuahia and Aba. It is two hours drive to Port Harcourt International Airport. 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 available in the state very effective. Aba is connected to Port Harcourt by rail. Umuahia is connected to Aba and Enugu by rail.[13] The coastal parts of the State are equally accessible using boats and canoes.

Federal Highways are

  • A3 northeast from Port Harcourt (Rivers State) via Umuahia, Umuokwara (Imo State) and across the north of Abia State again via Lokpauku to Enugu State,
  • F103 east from Akwa Ibom via Ikot Ubo to Oron,
  • F104 from Aba via Azumini, Etinam, and Ndiya to F103 at Ikot Ubo,
  • F107 from Umuahia via Bende to F234 in Ohafia,
  • F108 from Arochukwu, in the southeast, via Ikot Okpora and Orira to A4,
  • F112 the Okigwe-Afikpo road east from Imo State via Okigwe to Ebonyi State.

Other major roads include

  • southeast from Okigwe to Amiyi-Uhu (Ogboro Junction) to Amaba
  • the Ahaba-Umunekwu east and south from Amaba as the Ohafia-Ogo Ubi-Agu Eze Rd to join the Umuahia-Ohafia Rd,
  • the Umuahia Rd south to Akwa Ibom,
  • the Obohia-Azumini Rd east to Akwa Ibom,
  • north from A3 at Uzuaku to Owaza (Rivers State),
  • the Asa-Akwere-Obohia Rd west from A3 at Obehie Junction to Owaza
  • the Eberi-Umu Uyo Rd southwest from A6 at Umuvo to Rivers State.


Abia State is predominantly Christians.


Umuahia Catholic Diocese (1958) [2] with 70 parishes is under Bishop Michael Kalu Ukpong (2022) [3] and Aba Diocese (1990) [4] with 90 parishes under Bishop Augustine Ndubueze Echema (2019) [5], both suffragans of Owerri Archdiocese.

The Aba Province of Anglican Church of Nigeria led by Archbishop Isaac Nwaobia (2019) comprises the nine Dioceses of Aba led by Bishop Christian Ugwuzor (2011), Aba Ngwa North (2007) led by Bishop Nathan Kanu (2009), Arochukwu/Ohafia led by Bishop Johnson Onuoha, Ikwanuo led by Bishop Chigozirim Onyegbule, Isiala Ngwa led by Bishop Temple Nwaogu, Isial-Ngwa South (2007) led by Bishop Isaac Nwaobia, Isikwuato (2005) led by Bishop Manasses Chijiokem Okere (2013), Ukwa (1994) led by Bishop Samuel Kelechi Eze (2004), and Umuahia led by Bishop Geoffrey Obijuru Ibeabuchi (2019). [6]


Below is a list of Languages of Abia State organised by the LGA:[42]

LGA Languages
Arochukwu Igbo, Ibibio
Umuahia South Igbo
Umuahia North Igbo
Ikwuano Igbo
Isuikwuato Igbo
Ukwa West Igbo
Aba South Igbo
Aba North Igbo
Isiala Ngwa North Igbo
Isiala Ngwa South Igbo
Obingwa Igbo
Umunneochi Igbo
Ugwunagbo Igbo
Ukwa East Igbo


The State Government is led by a democratically elected Governor who works closely with members of the state's House of Assembly. The capital city of the state is Umuahia.[43] and there are 17 local government areas in the state.

Abia State House of Assembly, Nigeria

At statehood in 1991, Abia was ruled by Ibrahim Babangida-appointed Military Administrator Frank Ajobena before Ogbonnaya Onu was elected governor later that year under the Third Nigerian Republic. Onu governed for nearly two years before Sani Abacha ended the Third Republic and reinstated full military rule. Under the Abacha regime, three more Military Administrators (Chinyere Ike Nwosu, Temi Ejoor, and Moses Fasanya) were appointed before Abacha's death and the accession of Abdulsalami Abubakar. Abubakar appointed one more Military Administrator, Anthony Obi, before starting the transition to democracy in 1998.

In 1999, Nigeria returned to democracy, and Orji Uzor Kalu was elected governor on the platform of the People's Democratic Party. 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). At the end of Kalu's term in 2007, Theodore Orji (PPA) defeated Onyema Ugochukwu (PDP) in the 2007 gubernatorial election, to become Abia's next Governor. In 2011, Theodore Orji defected from the PPA to the PDP before being re-elected for another four-year term later that year.

In 2015, Okezie Ikpeazu (PDP) was voted in as the ninth Governor of Abia State.[44] Four years later, he won re-election, defeating Uche Ogah of the All Progressives Congress and Alex Otti of APGA to be sworn in as Governor for a second term on 29 May 2019.[45] In Abia State, 70 percent of politicians belong to the PDP.[citation needed]

In 2023, Alex Otti of the Labour Party Nigeria (LP) emerged as the eleventh governor of the state having defeated the candidate of the PDP in a fiercely contested race.[46]

Electoral system[edit]

The electoral system of each state is selected using a modified two-round system. To be elected in the first round, a candidate must receive the plurality of the vote and over 25% of the vote in at least two -third of the State local government Areas. If no candidate passes threshold, a second round will be held between the top candidate and the next candidate to have received a plurality of votes in the highest number of local government Areas.[47]

Local Government Areas[edit]

Abia State is made up of seventeen (17) Local Government Areas.[48] They are:

Traditional rulers[edit]

Title Ethnic Group Name Class LGAs Palace
Eze OHA 4th of Aba Ngwa Raymond D Ogbonna Aba South Eziukwu Aba Autonomous Community
Ochiudo 1 Aba Ukwu Ngwa Jonathan U. oguejiofor (JP): Justice of Peace of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Abia State
Oru 1 of Oru Onyerubi Igbo / Oboro Eze Ralph Ukachi Ogbonna 1 Ikwuano Oru Oboro Autonomous Community
Osimiri III Aba Ngwa 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 Ndida Ozaar Asa / Asa Eze Samuel Chukwuemeka Agu Ukwa West Umuebulungwu, Ndida Ozaar Autonomous Community
Ike 1 Ikeisu Igbo / Isu Augustine O. Igwe (Ike I) ? Arochukwu Ikeisu (Utugiyi)
Ezeala III Ngwa Ngwa Eze Edward Enwereji ? Osisioma Ngwa
Ugo Oha (Eze) Etiti Mgboko Umuanunu Ngwa Ngozi Ibekwe 1 Obi ngwa
Eze Ukwu 1 Ngwa-Ukwu Ngwa Benard Enweremadu 1 Isiala Ngwa Ngwa Ukwu Kingdom. The ancestral home of Ngwa Land.
Nya 1 Nunya Igbo / Oguduasaa M.E. Ihevume ? Isuikwuato Nunya Autonomous Community
Ossah-Ibeku (Eze) Umuahia[49] Igbo / Osaa Nze Hope Onuigbo X X Umuahia Amibo, Nsukwe
Eze Uturu Igbo / Uturu A.E. Ude ? Isuikwuato Uturu
Igbojiakuru (Eze) Alayi Igbo / Alayi Ukeje Philip ? Bende Ndi Elendu, Amaeke Alayi
Awu (Eze) Isuamawu Igbo / Isuikwuato Surveyor Chris E Aboh, FNIS 1 Isuikwuato Eluama Isuama
Enachioken Abiriba Igbo / Abiriba Kalu Kalu Ogbu 1 Ohafia Abiriba
Ohanyere I Ohiya Igbo / Umuahia Eze Abel E. Uhuegbu ? Umuahia South Umueze, Ohiya
Eze Ohanyere I Ahiaba Ubi Ngwa Eze D.O. Ogbuisi ? Isiala Ngwa North Abia
EZE TOWE 1 Umutowe. Igbo / Eze G. C Onwuka ? Umuahia South Abia
Okaa Omee I Amaikwu, Abia Igbo / Uche Nwamarah ? Umuahia South Abia
"Ehi II" Ehi na Uguru Auto. Comm, Umuguru Ngwa Eze E. E. Eluwa 1 Isiala Ngwa South
"Ochi 1" Ochi na Isuochi. Comm, Umunneochi Igbo / Umu Nneochi HRM EZEKWESIRI 1 Umu Nneochi Abia

Culture and tourism[edit]

Tourist destinations include:

  • Arochukwu, which is associated with slave trade.[50]
  • Azumini Blue River waterside[51]
  • The Amakama wooden cave; a hollow tree that can accommodate up to twenty people.[51][52]
  • Caves located in the north, ranging from Umunneochi to Arochukwu.
  • Traditional festivals and dances
  • National War Museum, Umuahia and Ojukwu Bunker in Umuahia
  • Museum of Colonial History in Aba[53]
  • Akwete” cloth weaving at Ukwa-East LGA
  • Ohafia War Dancers[54]
  • AmaforIsingwu biannual Iza aha ceremony[55]
  • Ekpe Festival in Umuahia[56]

Notable people[edit]


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