Towns & Villages Profile

Abakaliki Town

Abakaliki Town Highlights: Ebonyi State capital. Largest town. Largest market. Location of Government House, State House of Assembly, State courts and several other ministries and parastatals. Location of Ebonyi State University (EBSU), Federal Medical Center & Teaching Hospital, dozens of hotels and leisure facilities. Abakaliki is the capital of Ebonyi State and the largest town in the State. It is located at the intersection of Enugu, Afikpo and Ogoja Roads. Before it became state capital in 1996, Abakaliki was the headquarters of the Old Ogoja Province which is now part of the neighboring Cross River State. The original inhabitants of Abakaliki were primarily the Izzi, a predominantly agrarian Igbo-speaking community people. With time, people from neighboring villages including the Ezza, Ikwo, Onicha and Ngbo people, as well as migrants and traders from other towns gradually settled in Abakaliki.
Before it became the State capital, Abakaliki was a small town known for its overflowing food markets. The people of Abakaliki and their neighbors were predominantly farmers who took advantage of the abundant and fertile to produce rice, fruits, vegetables, livestock and non-food items like limestone, rocks and gravel – all of which are abundant throughout the area. Since it became state capital, Abakaliki has grown into a much larger town with modern facilities and a workforce that includes a growing number of civil servants, service providers and migrant workers who commute to work from neighboring towns and states.

Abakaliki Town Highlights: Ebonyi State capital. Largest town. Largest market. Location of Government House..

Some of the facilities in and around present day Abakaliki include:

  • The State Government House and offices for several government ministries and departments.
  • The State House of Assembly complex.
  • The State High Court complex.
  • Ebonyi State University (popularly known as EBSU) which has several campuses in and outside Abakaliki.
  • A golf course
  • Many quarry factories.
  • Food processing factories including dozens of rice mills.
  • A fertilizer blending plant.
  • A large poultry (Nkali Poultry) reputed to be one of the largest in Nigeria.
  • The largest market in Ebonyi State.
  • Dozens of hotels, restaurants and night clubs.
  • An amusement park and other relaxation joints.
  • A Federal medical center and teaching hospital.

Afikpo Town

Afikpo is the second largest town in Ebonyi State and the headquarters of Afikpo North Local Government Area. Twenty-two villages of various sizes make up present-day Afikpo. These include Ozizza, Ohaisu, Nkpoghoro and Itim. The old Afikpo Province once covered areas in Unwana, Edda, Amaseri, and Akpoha. Following the creation of more local governments in Ebonyi State, the administrative boundaries of the old Afikpo Province was redrawn and its geographic size reduced.
Afikpo is the birthplace of several accomplished Nigerian men and women. A notable example is the late Dr. Akanu Ibiam of Uwana, one of the first Igbo medical doctors and former Governor of the Eastern Region. Afikpo is a mecca of ancient Igbo tradition and ceremonial (now antique) masks which have been carefully preserved by the state tourism board. Several archeological findings support the claim that Afikpo civilization existed as far back as the Neolithic age. Mainly farmers and traders, Afikpo is considered a major producer of agricultural products in Nigeria. These include yam, palm produce, maize, groundnut, plantain, banana, cassava, fruits and vegetables. The Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic Uwana is located in Afikpo. So is the Mater Misericordia Specialist Hospital. Mater Misericordia Hospital School of Nursing and Midwifery was one of the first nursing schools established in Nigeria by Irish missionaries and Dr. Akanu Ibiam.

Onueke Town

Onueke is the headquarters of Ebonyi South Local Government Area and the ancestral headquarters of the Ezza, one of the most populous clans in Ebonyi State. Ezza people live in virtually all three senatorial zones of Ebonyi State and beyond, but are concentrated in Ezza North, Ezza South, Onicha, Ishielu and Ohaukwu Local Government Areas. The traditional Ezzas in these areas still return to Onueke to offer sacrifices to the graves of their progenitors: Ezekuna and his wife, Anyigo Ezekuna. Coincidentally, Sacred Heart Parish, Onueke, also serves as the headquarters of Christianity for Ezaa Catholics.
Onueke used to be the headquarters of the old Ezzikwo Division. It was also the headquarters of the old Ezza Local Government Area. Presently, it doubles as the headquarters of Ezza South Local Government Area and Ebonyi Central Senatorial Zone comprising Ezza South, Ezza North, Ishielu and Ikwo Local Government Areas. Onueke derives its name from the famous “Eke Imoha,” one of the oldest and biggest markets in Ebonyi State. Eke Imoha market is central to the economic life of Ezza people. This is where the people sell their rich agricultural produce. Mainly farmers, the Ezzas take advantage of the rich and abundant farm land to cultivate yams, cassava, rice, cocoyams, and many other crops. These food crops, along with other goods, are bought and sold on “Eke market day,” which occurs every four days. The other markets in the Ezza area include Aho, Nkwo and Orie. Eke is considered the first and biggest of these markets days.

Ikwo LGA

Ikwo is the largest Local Government Area in Ebonyi State. It is situated on the eastern part of Ebonyi State. It has a land mass of approximately 500 kilometers and shares a border with Abakaliki and Ezza Local Government Areas. The people of Ikwo are believed to be the descendants of Noyo. They share common beliefs, customs and traditions with the people of Abakaliki. The Ikwo people celebrate Igbo culture in many and varied ways. Traditional kola nut presentation is used to welcome guests and is required during some traditional rites and ceremonies. The Aji and Nefioha festivals are among the popular cultural ceremonies in Ikwo.
Ikwo has a semi-tropical climate with plenty of rainfall. During the rainy season, lush vegetation, thick forests, ponds and small pools mark the landscape. Also featuring on the landscape are several rock formations, the Ikwo River and the Cross River (which marks the border with Cross River State). The people of Ikwo are mostly farmers. Rice, yams and cassava are the most popular crops. Ikwo is regarded as the largest producer of Abakaliki rice and a top producer of palm wine. Ikwo is also endowed with abundant natural resources that are largely untapped, including lime stones at Agubia, Echara Ukwu in Eka Awoke, lead zinc and salt in Ameri and Ohankwu, and laterite deposits in various parts of the community. Ikwo is the home of the present Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief Martin Elechi (MFR). It is also the home of Ebonyi State College of Education at Onuebonyi Echara, the Ameri Salt Pit and several mines at Ohankwu and Ameri. Ikwo has several sites that have great tourist potential. These include the Oferekpe Beach, the Illi Noyo at Ekpelu Umuaka (the ancestral home of Ikwo Noyo clan), the Norwegian Water Reservoir at Amagu, the rocky hills formation in Amagu, Okpuitumo and Otagbara, and the Ogagbo Igbudu Beach at Ogagbo Igbudu.

Ishiagu Town

Ishiagu is a town in Ivo Local Government Area, Ebonyi State, Nigeria. Ishiagu is comprised of seventeen villages of varying sizes – one of the largest village groups in Ivo Local Government Area. The communities that make up present day Ishiagu cite a common ancestry and function as a homogeneous village group despite historical evidence indicating that the original settlers migrated from different locations at different times. The people of Ishiagu are mostly farmers, traders and civil servants. The town is blessed with abundant and fertile farmland. The Federal College of Agriculture, a research and training institution is located in Ishiagu. Ishiagu is also home to some of Nigeria’s prominent public figures. The Secretary to the Federal Government and former Senate President, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, is from Ishiagu. Also from Ishiagi is the former Governor of Abia State, former National Chairman of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and leader of the newly-registered All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ebonyi State, Chief Ogbonnaya Onu.

Ozizza Town

Ozizza is a small town located at the northeastern border of Afikpo North Local Government Area. Geographically, Ozizza shares a boundary on the east with Akpoha town in Amoha Local Government Area; on the south with Cross River State (the neighboring state less than 1 mile across the Cross River); and on the northwest with Ugwuegu and Nkpogoro communities in Afikpo Town.
Historically and culturally, Ozizza is one of the communities that made up the village group in the Old Afikpo Division. And like the other communities in this group, Ozizza has a rich cultural and artistic heritage that has been well preserved and continues to fascinate historians till date. Today, Ozizza is slowly acquiring the attributes of a small suburban town with a growing population. The people of Ozizza are mostly farmers, fishermen and traders. The nearby Cross River provides a quick gateway to towns in the neighboring Cross River State for trading and other purposes. The Cross River also serves as a source for fishing and water transportation of goods to and from towns along the river. Ozizza has hosted some of the most memorable cultural festivals in recent memory in the Old Afikpo Division. One such event, the presentation of Okunkpo masquerades in 1993 drew hundreds of masquerades and thousands of spectators.