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Abonnema (originally known as Nyemoni, which means "covet your own" in the Kalabari dialect of the Ijaw languages group) is a larger town in the Kalabari kingdom that was founded in 1882. It was discovered by an expedition of a host of chiefs from the Kalabari town (Elem Kalabari). These include Chief Young Briggs (a Kalabari warrior whose original name is Chief Inikeiroari Iso-owu Briggs) in Nigeria. Other warriors like Chief Ekine Manuel, Chief Otaji, Chief Owukori Manuel, Chief Jack, Chief Young-Jack, Chief Boy Whyte, Chief Black Duke, with many others following behind him with their people, and together they made the town of Abonnema a reality. The town is today one of three major towns in Kalabari, others being Bakana founded in 1880 and Buguma in 1884.

There are four major family compounds that make up the town namely Manuel(Owukori), Briggs (Oruwari), Georgewill (Otagi) and Jack (Iju). These family compounds are headed by head chiefs and the town headed by the head chief of the Manuel family via a system of Primus inter pares.

Abonnema grew to be a flourishing major Nigerian seaport during the colonial era and was host to many European companies and the Royal Niger company which changed name to UAC.

Today, as a capital of Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State in Nigeria, Abonnema has produced many prominent and famous people. Abonnema is home to the writer A. Igoni Barrett and the former Miss World, Agbani Darego who is from the Jack compound. There are major festivals in abonnema which include go to Niger, Christmas, and Easter


Abonnema Foundation .org/[permanent dead link]

Coordinates: 4°43′23″N 6°46′44″E / 4.7231169°N 6.7788461°E / 4.7231169; 6.7788461