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Abia
God's Own State
QUICK FACTS
*Population: 2,845,380 (2006 census) 3,727,347 (2016 forecast) - 28th of 37
*Percentage of Nigeria’s total population: 1.93%
*Population density: 590 - 4th of 37
*Landmass: 6319.6 sq km (2440 sq mi) - 35th of 37
*Internally Generated Revenue: N14,376,871,322.30 (2020)
**State capital: Umuahia
**Local Government Areas: 17
**Current Governor: Okezie Ikpeazu (People’s Democratic Party)
*source National Bureau of Statistics
**source Abia State Government

INTRODUCTION

Abia State is one of the five states that make up Nigeria’s South-East geopolitical zone. It borders Cross River State to the South-East, Akwa Ibom State to the South-West, Enugu and Ebonyi States to the North, Anambra State to the North-West, Imo State to the West and Rivers State to the South.

LAND MASS, LOCATION, AND POPULATION

Abia State covers an area of 6319.6 square kilometres. It lies at latitude 5°25’ North and longitude 7°30’ East. It has a population of 2,845,380 (2006 census) 3,727,347 (2016 forecast) and a population density of 590. The state accounts for 1.93% of Nigeria’s total population.

HISTORY AND PEOPLE

Ohafia War Dancers

The Ibibio people were first believed to have populated the state around 300AD, but were pushed out by the Igbo. In precolonial times the Arochukwu Kingdom (founded between 1650 and 1700AD) was a prominent source for slaves who were traded at the port of Old Calabar (in current day Cross River State).

Abia became part of the Southern Protectorate under British colonial rule following the Aro-Anglo War of 1901-1902, and was 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 East Central State. In 1976, the military government of General Murtala Muhammed created nineteen states out of the existing twelve; and Abia formed part of Imo State. In 1991, General Ibrahim Babangida's government established Abia State as its own entity.

The Igbos are the majority ethnic group in Abia State and Igbo is the main language there. The name Abia is an acronym formed from the first letters of Aba, Bende, Isuikwuato, and Afikpo – believed to be the first Igbo groups to inhabit the state.

The dominant religion in Abia State is Christianity, although a certain amount of traditional religion is still practised. There are also a number of Muslims living in the state.

MAIN TOWNS AND CITIES
Umuahia (capital city), Aba (industrial centre), Arochukwu, Bende, Ohafia, Omoba, Osisioma, and Ugwunagbo

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS