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Abia State
Nickname(s): 
God's Own State
Igbo: Ulo Chi/Chukwu
Location of Abia State in Nigeria
Location of Abia State in Nigeria
Country Nigeria
Date created27 August 1991
CapitalUmuahia
Government
 • Governor[1]Theodore Orji (PPA)
 • SenatorsEyinnaya Abaribe, Uche Chukwumerije, Nkechi Justina Nwaogu
 • RepresentativesList
Area
 • Total6,320 km2 (2,440 sq mi)
Population
 (2006 census)[2]
 • Total2,833,999
 • Density450/km2 (1,200/sq mi)
GDP (PPP)
 • Year2007
 • Total$18.69 billion[3]
 • Per capita$3,003[3]
Time zoneUTC+01 (WAT)
ISO 3166 codeNG-AB
Official languageIgbo
Websiteabiastateonline.com

Abia State is a state in southeastern Nigeria. The capital is Umuahia, although the major commercial city is Aba, formerly a British colonial government outpost. The state was created in 1991 from part of Imo State and its citizens are predominantly Igbo people (95% of population).[4] It is one of the nine constituent states of the Niger Delta region.

History and population

Abia State was carved out of the former Imo State in 1991. The name "Abia" is an abbreviation of four of the state's densely populated regions Aba, Bende, Isuikwuato, and Afikpo.[5] It is one of the thirty-six (36) States that constitute the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Abia people are of the Igbo ethnic group who predominates much of the Southeastern part of Nigeria. Their traditional language is Igbo. English is widely spoken and serves as the official language in governance and business. Globally, Igbos are well travelled. Abia's 2.4mm people are mainly Christians and entrepreneurial. They are known and reputed to be industrious, highly market oriented, very hospitable and accommodating, probably due to their migratory nature.

Politics

The State Government is led by a democratically-elected executive Governor who works closely with an elected State House Assembly. The capital city is Umuahia. There are Seventeen (17) local government areas (LGAs).

In 1999 Nigeria became a democracy, and Orji Uzor Kalu contested on the platform of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) and won the Governorship election in Abia State. 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.) Theodore Orji (PPA) defeated Onyema Ugochukwu (PDP) in the 2007 general elections to become Abia's next Governor.

Local Government Areas

Abia State has 17 local government areas (LGAs). They are:

Traditional rulers

Title Ethnic Group Name Class LGAs Palace
Enyi (Eze) of Aba Igbo / ? Eze Issac Ikonne
Eze Aro Igbo / Arochukwu Mazi Ogbonnaya Vincent Okoro (Eze Aro III) 1 Arochukwu Oro Arochukwu
Ike 1 of Ikeisu Igbo / Isu Dr. Augustine O. Igwe (Ike I) ? Arochukwu Ikeisu (Utugiyi)
Ugo Oha (Eze) of Etiti Mgboko Umuanunu Igbo / Etiti Ngozi Ibekwe 1 Obi ngwa ?
Eze 1 of ovukwu abam onyerubi Igbo / Ndi oji Abam Oriji Ojembe 1 Isuikwuato ?
Eze Ukwu 1 of Ngwa-Ukwu Igbo / Ngwa Benard Enweremadu 1 Isiala Ngwa Ngwa Ukwu
Eze of Nunya Igbo / ? Dr. M.E. Ihevume ? ?
Ossah-Ibeku (Eze) of Umuahia[6] Igbo / ? Hope Onuigbo X X Umuahia [ [AMIBO,NSUKWE] ]
Eze of Uturu Igbo / Uturu A.E. Ude ? Isuikwuato Uturu
Igbojiakuru (Eze) of Alayi Igbo / Alayi Ukeje Philip ? Bende Amaeke Alayi
Awu (Eze)of Isuamawu Igbo / Isuikwuato Surveyor Chris E Aboh,FNIS ? Isuikwuato Eluama Isuama
Enachioken Of Abiriba Igbo / Abiriba Kalu Kalu Ogbu ? Ohafia LGA Abiriba
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Geography

Abia State, which occupies about 5,834 square kilometers, is bounded on the north and northeast by the states of Anambra, Enugu, and Ebonyi. To the west of Abia is Imo State, to the east and southeast are Cross River State and Akwa Ibom State, and to the south is Rivers State. The southern part of the State lies within the riverine part of Nigeria. It is low-lying with a heavy rainfall of about 2400 mm/year especially intense between the months of April through October. The rest of the State is moderately high plain. The most important rivers in Abia State are the Imo and Aba Rivers which flow into the Atlantic Ocean through the Niger Delta.

Infrastructure and economy

Crude oil and gas production is a prominent activity, as it contributes to 39% of the GDP.[7] Representing 27% of the GDP,[7] agriculture, which employs 70% [7] 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, and cassava. Abia also has large crude oil deposits. The manufacturing sector only accounts for 2% of the GDP.[7]

University and Colleges

There are two universities in the state: the federally owned Michael Okpara University of Agriculture at Umudike and the state-owned Abia State University in Uturu. There are two tertiary hospitals, the Federal Medical Center in Umuahia and the Abia State University Teaching Hospital in Aba, which serve as referral hospitals in the state. The Abia State Polytechnic is also in the city of Aba. Abia is one of the more peaceful states of Nigeria and has been a "haven" for foreign investors. The state's population has grown rapidly since its creation.

Travel

The nearest airport to Abia state is Sam Mbakwe Cargo Airport (Owerri Airport), an hour's drive to Aba; and Port Harcourt International Airport (airport code: PHC), 2 hours to Aba and about three hours to Umuahia. The state, as most of the Southern states of Nigeria, is affected by armed robbery. The security forces are usually ineffective, and are usually found on extorting money from drivers on main routes. The part bounding troubled Rivers State is more secured thanks to a military presence.[7]

Notes

  1. See List of Governors of Abia State for a list of prior governors
  2. Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette (15 May 2007). "Legal Notice on Publication of the Details of the Breakdown of the National and State Provisional Totals 2006 Census" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-05-19.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "C-GIDD (Canback Global Income Distribution Database)". Canback Dangel. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
  4. http://www.igbofocus.co.uk/html/enugu_state.html
  5. "Abia State history".
  6. Chairman of the Abia State Council of Traditional Rulers
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Nigeria's 36 States and the FCT, Economic, societal and political profiles, World Bank Report

References

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