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Ibom is an old word used by the Efik / Ibibio / Annang / Oron / Eket people of Nigeria meaning the universe, the earth, or a community. Akwa Ibom State is one of the present two states created from the old Akwa Akpa kingdom, Cross River State being the sister state.
Akwa also spelled Aqua, meaning The Great One or The Essential One is believed to be the ancestor of the people of Akwa Ibom State and Cross River State. Kwa or Qua therefore means Essential One or Great One. It is of no coincidence that their ancient Kingdom was originally known as Akwa Akpa. The words Akwa, Aqua, Kwa, Qua are common names for places, rivers, etc., etc., in both Akwa Ibom State and in Cross River State. Many have proposed that Cross River State should change its name to Akwa Akpa State.
There is a town in Arochukwu, Abia state in Southeastern Nigeria called Ibom. It was an Ibibio Town that the Arochukwu people claimed after the Aro-Ibibio Wars, which the Arochukwu won with the combined Igbo and Akpa armies. Ibom is also where the famous Ibini Ukpabi oracle is located.