Abia state is a state in South East Nigeria.
Abia State got its name from the state's most populated regions, namely: Aba, Bende, Isuikwuato, Afikpo. The capital city of Abia State is Umuahia, though the largest, most populous, and commercialised city is Aba.
Abia state according to the 2006 population census conducted in Nigeria had a population of 4,112,230 and a total area of 6,320 km2 (2,440 sq mi).
The Igbo people, who are one of the indigenous peoples of south-eastern part of Nigeria, make up 95% of the population. Their traditional language, Igbo is the most commonly used language. English is also widely spoken, and serves as the official language in governance and business.
Geographically, the state is divided between the Niger Delta swamp forests in the far south and the drier Cross–Niger transition forests with some savanna in the rest of the state. Other important geographical features are the Imo and Aba Rivers which flow along the Abia's western and southern borders, respectively.
Abia State's economy is based on the production of crude oil and natural gas, and on agriculture, mainly of yams, maize, taro, oil palm, and cassava. A key minor industry is manufacturing, especially in and around Aba.
- 1 Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport (QOW IATA), Owerri (473119, Umuene Obiangwu). Despite the airport's name, it has passenger flights from Abuja and Lagos.
Getting to Owerri first via Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport is the fastest way to get to Abia state via plane. You can book your flight from any part of the country and once you get to Owerri, you can then board a bus that goes to Abia State.
You can easily get to Abia state from Owerri by boarding one of ‘God is Good Motors’, ABC Motors, Agofure Motors and others and the good thing about this transport companies is that you can easily book a seat and pay online, so all you have to do is to get to the part with your payment receipt.
Another way one can get into Abia state is via the rail transportation system and this system is very convenient.
You can also decide to get into Abia state via bus: there are a lot of reputable bus transportation systems that provide a comfortable, air-conditioned ride. The average cost of travelling to Abia by bus from the South-South and South-East is ₦2,000 (depending on the bus transportation scheme), some charge higher than the other while the average cost of travelling to Abia from the other parts of Nigeria is ₦7,000. Reliable transport companies such as the Young Shall Grow, Abia line, God is Good Motors, Peace Mass Transit, Imo Transport Company (ITC) among many others transport companies are readily available to convey people from different parts of the country to Abia.
You can always book your ride from the comfort of your home and even select your most preferred seat (especially for those who love to seat by the window), so you can easily make the selection and you are ready to move
Getting around in Abia state is mostly done by commercial bus, motorcycles (Okada) and Tricycle (Keke) in some area.
If you need to get around in Abia state, there are usually commercial buses available to take you around, all you need to do is to get to their park and tell them where you are going, you will be shown the bus to get in, and Ofcourse tourist needs to inform the driver the exact place they want to stop to avoid been moved past the bus stop since the tourist might not really know Abia state so well.
Motorcycles popularly called Okada is good for a one-off transportation, and if you are going to a specific one-off destination in Abia state, it is better and very much easy to get on a motorcycle as you are sure that the rider would take you directly to your destination.
Tricycle (Keke) is also an important transportation system in Abia state
- The Long Juju Shrine of Arochukwu, Arochukwu If you are interested in African Traditional Religion, then you should ensure you see the Long Juju shrine of Arochukwu.
- The Aba River is a river in southern Nigeria. It runs through Aba. It is a tributary of the Imo River. Its headwaters are in Okpu-Umuobo in the Ngwa heartland into the Aba City.
- Enyimba International Stadium is a multi-use stadium in Aba. It is used mostly for football matches. It serves as a home ground of Enyimba F.C. The stadium holds 16,000 people after the installation of seats. On November 3, 2008 the stadium received a temporary ban after the home crowd attacked referees after a heated 1-1 tie with rivals Heartland F.C
- Ariaria International Market, one of the biggest in Sub-Saharan Africa, was established in Aba in 1976 following a fire outbreak that destroyed the old Ekeoha Market. The market was originally sited in a swampy area.
- The National War Museum in Umuahia has displays of weapons from both sides of the 1967-1971 Nigerian conflict and various exhibits pertaining to the event, including boats, planes, tanks, etc outside. No photography allowed inside. Also has bunker from where Voice of Biafra radio transmissions originated.
- The Gate of Umuahia is actually not a gate per se. It’s just the name they call the grand market located at the centre of Umuahia. It is also a stop for various commuters buses travelling to and fro from various places in the South East.
- Akwete Cloth Production House is a few kilometres from Umuahia. The akwete cloth production is a unique hand woven textile produced in the town of Akwete. The traditional Igbo weaving as demonstrated in Akwete processes sisal-hemp, raffia and spun cotton into finished products. While the coarse raffia materials are used by masquerades and in the past as headgear for warriors among other uses, the hemp material was used to weave towels, ropes, and handbags. The more comfortable and colourful spun cotton is used to weave cloth for everyday wearing. The weaving of the cloth is usually done by the women, and the ability to weave is seen as a gift.
- Abia Tower is a beautiful place to behold in Umuahia. It is a grand work of architecture. Abia Tower is graced with a pleasant arrangement of flowers and it is always a perfect site for picture-perfect moments for visitors.
- The Museum of Colonial History in Aba is a good place to stop over if you're on your way to Port Harcourt or just interested, this museum covers the colonial history of Nigeria.
There are quite some things you should ensure you do in Abia state as a tourist. Some are:
A visit to the Ekpe Festival Umuahia This is a masquerade festival is peculiar to Umuahia people and it’s celebrated annually in January. It is a lively cultural festival that attracts people from all walks of life. The has existed for so many years and it involves many kinds of Ekpe masquerades performing different kinds of cultural dance during the festival. During the festival, male and female both young and old normally dress in their cultural attire, the male must tie a piece of George (wrapper) to make up for the cultural attire. Male children who have been initiated into Ekpe masquerade, and are skilled in playing the cultural music, show case their talent and expertise in their culture while the masquerade performs the dancing. In appreciation of the performance of the masquerade, players and individual dancers donate money to the masquerade while the music is still on. When the cultural celebration want to come to an end, Ekpe masquerade will use a cutlass and behead a goat at a strike.
New Yam Festival (also known as Iwaji) is the most significant festival in Umuahia Abia State. New yam festival is being celebrated annually at the end of the rainy season in August in thanksgiving to the gods for a bumper harvest. You will see people making different wonders with the yam and it’s usually a very big event.
Some foods the Abia people love eating:
- Ofe Achara
- Ofe Akwu & Rice
- Ofe Oha
- Ofe Onugbo
- Ofe Egusi
- Edika Ikong
There are places to drink everywhere in Abia State, in fact you don’t need to stress, before you make a very short move, you will definitely come across where you can drink.
The most popular thing you can get in a drink centre is all sort of drinks with pepper soup, fresh fish and Nkwobi.
All you need to do is to enter a drink shop, place your order and enjoy yourself.