Akwa Ibom State

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Akwa Ibom State
Flag of Akwa Ibom
Seal of Akwa Ibom
Nickname(s): 
Location of Akwa Ibom in Nigeria
Location of Akwa Ibom in Nigeria
Coordinates: 05°00′N 07°50′E / 5.000°N 7.833°E / 5.000; 7.833Coordinates: 05°00′N 07°50′E / 5.000°N 7.833°E / 5.000; 7.833
Country Nigeria
Date created23 September 1987
CapitalUyo
Government
 • BodyGovernment of Akwa Ibom State
 • GovernorUdom Gabriel Emmanuel (PDP)
 • Deputy GovernorMoses Ekpo
 • LegislatureAkwa Ibom State House of Assembly
 • SenatorsNE: Bassey Akpan (PDP)
NW: Chris Ekpenyong (PDP)
S: Akon Eyakenyi (PDP)
 • RepresentativesList
Area
 • Total7,081 km2 (2,734 sq mi)
 • Rank30 of 36
Population
 (2016)[1]
 • Total5,450,758
 • Rank15 of 36
 • Density770/km2 (2,000/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Akwa Ibomite
GDP (PPP)
 • Year2007
 • Total$11.18 billion[2]
 • Per capita$2,779[2]
Time zoneUTC+01 (WAT)
Dialing Code+234
ISO 3166 codeNG-AK
HDI (2018)0.604[3]
medium · 17th of 37
Websiteakwaibomstate.gov.ng

Akwa Ibom State is a state in the South-South geopolitical zone of Nigeria, bordered on the east by Cross River State, on the west by Rivers State and Abia State, and on the south by the Atlantic Ocean. The state takes its name from the Qua Iboe River which bisects the state before flowing into the Bight of Bonny.[4] Akwa Ibom was split from Cross River State in 1987 with her capital Uyo and with 31 local government areas.

Of the 36 states, Akwa Ibom is the 30th largest in area and fifteenth most populous with an estimated population of nearly 5.5 million as of 2016.[5] Geographically, the state is divided between the Central African mangroves in the coastal far south and the Cross–Niger transition forests in the rest of the state. Other important geographical features are the Imo and Cross rivers which flow along Akwa Ibom's eastern and western borders, respectively while the Kwa Ibo River bisects the state before flowing into the Bight of Bonny. In the southeast corner of the state is the Stubb's Creek Forest Reserve, a heavily threatened wildlife reserve that contains declining crocodile, putty-nosed monkey, red-capped mangabey, and Sclater's guenon populations along with potentially extirpated populations of African leopard and Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee.[6][7][8][9] Offshore, the state is also biodiverse as there are large fish populations along with various cetacean species including bottlenose dolphins, pantropical spotted dolphins, humpback whales, and killer whales.[citation needed]

Modern-day Akwa Ibom State has been inhabited by various ethnic groups for hundreds of years, primarily the closely related Ibibio, Anaang, and Oron peoples in the North-East, North-West, and Southern zones of the state, respectively. In the pre-colonial period, what is now Akwa Ibom State was divided into various city-states like the Ibom Kingdom and Akwa Akpa before the latter become a British protectorate in 1884 as a part of the Oil Rivers Protectorate.[10] In the early 1900s, the British actually gained formal control of the area before incorporating the protectorate (now renamed the Niger Coast Protectorate) into the Southern Nigeria Protectorate which later merged into British Nigeria; after the merger, much of modern-day Akwa Ibom became a centre of anti-colonial resistance during the Women's War and political activism through the Ibibio State Union.[11]

After independence in 1960, the area of now-Akwa Ibom was a part of the post-independence Eastern Region until 1967 when the region was split and the area became part of the South-Eastern State. Less than two months afterwards, the Igbo-majority former Eastern Region attempted to secede as the state of Biafra; in the three-year long Nigerian Civil War, now-Akwa Ibom was hard-fought over in the prelude to the Invasion of Port Harcourt while people from Akwa Ibom were persecuted by Biafran forces as they were mainly non-Igbo.[12] At the war's end and the reunification of Nigeria, the South-Eastern State was reformed until 1976 when it was renamed Cross River State. Eleven years later, Cross River State was divided with western Cross River being broken off to form the new Akwa Ibom State.[13]

Economically, Akwa Ibom State is based around the production of crude oil and natural gas as highest oil-producing state in the country.[14] Key minor industries involve agriculture as the state has substantial cocoyam, yam, and plantain crops along with fishing and heliciculture. Despite its vast oil revenues, Akwa Ibom has the seventeenth highest Human Development Index in the country in large part due to years of systemic corruption.[15][16][17]

History[edit]

Dancers in Akwa Ibom attire

The region of the state was created out of Cross River State on September 23, 1987 by the then Military Administration of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida.[18] No central government existed among the people of what is now Akwa Ibom State prior to the British invasion in 1904. Instead, the Annang, Oron, Efik, Ibonos and Ibibio were all autonomous groups.[19]

Although several Scottish missionaries arrived in Calabar in 1848, and Ibono in 1887, the British did not firmly establish control of the area until 1904. In that year, the Enyong Division was created encompassing the area of the current state of Akwa Ibom, with headquarters at Ikot Ekpene, an Annang city described by the noted Africanist Kaanan Nair, as the cultural and political capital of Annang and Ibibio.

The creation of Enyong Division for the first time allowed the numerous ethnic groups to come together. This further provided a venue for the creation of the Ibibio Welfare Union, later renamed Ibibio State Union. This social organization was first organized as a local development and improvement forum for educated persons and groups who were shut out from the colonial administration in 1929.[citation needed] Nonetheless, some historians have wrongly pointed to the union to buttress their argument about the homogeneity of groups in the area.[20] The Obolo Union, comprising Ibono and Andoni stock, was another strong socioeconomic and cultural organization that thrived in the region. The Ibono people have fought wars to maintain their unique identity and territory in the region more than any other group.[citation needed]

When Akwa Ibom state was created in 1987, Uyo was chosen as the state capital to spread development to all regions of the state.[21]

Governance[edit]

Politics in Akwa Ibom state are dominated by the three main ethnic groups: the Ibibio, Annang and Oron. Of these three, the Ibibio remain the majority and have held sway in the state since its creation. For the past eight years between May 29, 2007 - May 28, 2015, the Annang people held sway, since the governor for those eight years was from Ikot Ekpene senatorial district.[22]

Ministries, Departments and Agencies[edit]

Here are the list of ministries in Akwa Ibom[23]

Local Government Areas[edit]

Akwa Ibom State consists of thirty-one (31) local government areas. They are:

Meridien Akwa Ibom park

Demographics[edit]

Ethnic groups[edit]

The main ethnic groups of the state are: Ibibio, Anaang, Oron, Ekid, and Obolo.

Religion[edit]

The people in Akwa Ibom are predominantly Christian.

Pioneer Qua Iboe Church, Akwa Ibom State

Languages[edit]

Like their Efik neighbors of Cross River State, people of Akwa Ibom speak various dialects of the Ibibio-Efik languages, which belong to the Benue–Congo language family, forming part of the Niger–Congo group of languages.

The following table lists languages of Akwa Ibom State and the local government areas in which they are spoken:[25]

Language LGA(s) spoken in
Anaang Abak, Essien Udim, Ika, Ikot Ekpene, Oruk-Anam, Ukanafun,Etim ekpo,
Obolo Eastern Obolo
Ekid Eket, Esit Eket
Etebi Esit Eket
Ibibio Etinan, Ibiono Ibom, Ikono, Ikot Abasi, Itu, Mkpat Enin, Nsit Atai, Nsit-Ubium, Onna, Uruan, Uyo, Ini.
Ibuno Ibeno
Ika Oku Ika
Nkari Ini
Itu Mbon Uso Ini
Idere Itu
Efik Itu, Uruan
Ebughu Mbo, Oron
Efai Mbo
Enwan Mbo
Oro Mbo, Oron, Udung Uko, Urue-Offrong-Oruko
Iko Eastern Obolo
Okobo Okobo
Ilue Oron
Khana Oruk-Anam

Education[edit]

The Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Education is tasked with monitoring the education sector of the state. The current region of Akwa Ibom State in old Calabar Kingdom was the first to encounter Western education in Nigeria with the establishment of Hope Waddell Training Institute, at Calabar in 1895, and the Methodist Boys' High School, Oron in 1905 as well as other top schools such as the Holy Family College at Abak and Regina Coeli College in Essene.

Some educational institutes in the state are:

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]