The early settlers of Akwa Ibom State were the Ibibio people. The area was a centre for early missionary activity and contact. It was a prominent trade route providing the city-states of Old Calabar with slaves and palm produce.
Akwa Ibom State was originally part of the Eastern region in the three-region structure of 1954. In 1967 with the creation of twelve federal states by General Yakubu Gowon's military government, it became part of the South Eastern State (renamed Cross River in 1976 by the military government of General Murtala Muhammed). In 1987, Ibrahim Babangida’s military government carved Akwa Ibom State out of Cross River State.
The main ethnic groups in Akwa Ibom State are the Ibibio, Anang, Oron, Eket and Mbo. There are twenty languages spoken in the state. The Ibibio people form the largest ethnic group and the Ibibio language is the most widespread. Other significant languages spoken in the state are Annang, Oron, Ibeno and Eket.
The dominant religion in Akwa Ibom State is Christianity, although some of its people practise traditional religions.
Akwa Ibom State is one of the six states that make up the South South geopolitical zone of Nigeria. It has interstate boundaries with Cross River State to the east, Abia State to the north and northwest and Rivers State to the southwest. To its south is the Gulf of Guinea.
Land Mass, Location, and Population
Akwa Ibom State covers an area of 6,772.1 square kilometres. It lies at latitude 05°00′ north and 07°50′ east. It has a population of 3,902,051 (2006 census figures ) and a population density of 576 people per square kilometre. The state accounts for 2.78% of Nigeria's total population.
Main Towns and Cities
Uyo, Abak, Eket, Ikot Abasi, Ikot Ekpene, Oron