Afikpo, also known as Ehugbo, is the second largest town and the headquarters of Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi state, in South East Nigeria. The area also has its own major language, a localized form of Igbo language known as the Ehugbo language.
Afikpo often referred to as Ehugbo is the second largest town and the headquarters of Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi state, a south eastern state in Nigeria. As at the last population census in 2006, the population of the area is estimated at 156,611. The main languages of the area is a more localised type of the Igbo language known as the Ehugbo language and the English language too. Christianity is the major religious affiliation.
Afikpo consists of a number of diverse towns and villages among which are Amachara, Amachi, Amaekwu, Amaizu, Amangbala, Amangwu, Amankwo, Amaobolobo, Amauro, Amauzu, Amuku, Egeburu, Enohia-Item, Enohia-Ntalu, Evuma, Itim Villages, Kpogirikpo, Mgbom, Ngodo, Nkpogoro Village, Ohaisu Village, Ubam, Ugwu-Egu-Village, Ugwuegu Elu. Originally, the area was first inhabited by two groups known as Egu and Nkalu, before the existence of the present day town of Afkpo. Nonetheless, it is recorded that the Egu has lived in Afikpo for a very long time ago before the arrival of the Nkalu group. Generally, Afikpo has the Igbo as the dominant ethnic group. The postal code of the area is 490101.
Afikpo is located in the southern region of Ebonyi State. It is bordered to the north by the Akpoha town, to the south by Unwana, to the south west by Edda LGA, to the east by the Cross River State and Amasiri town by the west.
Visitors can get in to Afikpo by road via Peace Mass Transit which is a notable transport company that has one of its terminals in the area, precisely at 7 Ngodo Road, Amangballa, Afikpo North. This bus terminal is known to be traveller's one stop centre as it meets their traveling needs with little or no hitches. Easy band fast movement in and around the town is mainly by bus, taxi, tricycle and motorcycle.
Afikpo occupies an area approximately 64 square miles (164 km²) in size with estimated humidity of about 74 percent and average temperature pegged at 27.5 °C . Afikpo is located on 6 degrees north latitude and 8 degrees east longitude. The area is a hilly area despite situated in a place a that is low in altitude, which rises 350 feet above sea level. It is a an area between open grassland and tropical forest and it has an average annual rainfall of seventy-seven inches, that is, 198 cm.
Afikpo is a significant area of ancient Igbo tradition. Ceremonial ancient masks have been properly preserved by the state tourism board. The area is an ancient city state. Numerous archaeological findings lay credence to the claim that the civilization of Afikpo dates back as early as the Neolithic era.
In Afikpo, every male child undergoes the traditional rite of passage which requires an initiation into a cult known as the "Ogo cult". It is enclosed in utmost mystery and utmost secrecy and thus, women are not let into the activities of the cult. This initiation bestows adulthood automatically to the male children of the community.
In Afikpo also, there is a prominent hopital known as the Mater Misericordia specialist Hospital which has an outstanding School of Nursing and Midwifery established in the town by the Irish missionaries from Britain and Dr. Akanu Ibiam who hails from the area.
Afikpo has a rich Igbo traditional heritage and culture. There are festivals like the New Yam Festival, that is usually held at the end of the Month of August on yearly basis. This festival also marks the beginning of a new Traditional Year. The area also has other prominent festival such as the Ikeji and Ebu mbe festivals.
- Afikpo (Ehugbo).
There are popular landmarks within the area which include Unwana and Ndibe beaches which are popular spots for relaxation, canoeing and sportfishing for both visitors and inhabitants of the place.
Afikpo is a renowned place for extensive agricultural production with crops such as Yam, cassava and Rice cultivated in large quantities. Additionally, commerce thrives in the area with major markets such as the Eke and Nkwo markets providing veritable platforms for the exchange of a wide range of goods and services.
The Eke market is a daily market for general goods with different sections, ware houses, luck up shops, open market sales, local delicacies section and a motor park. The buildings in this market are also of different categories. The market opens from 8AM and closes by 6PM daily except Sunday.
There are some supermarkets in Afikpo. Some of them include:
- 1 Menloben Supermarket, 6 Idu Igariwey road, Afikpo, ☏ . 7AM-10PM. This supermarket offers in-store shopping to all buyers that comes in.
- Unny Supermarket; sited at Unwana
- Lagos Supermarket; also located at Unwnana
- Okolie Emeka Innocent; No 34 Mater Road New Site
- Michael Isu Iremoko; No 25B Unwana Road, Mgbom
For food lovers and people who want to have a taste of real West African delicacies, you’ll find not just delicious food in Afikpo, but lots of places to dine at very affordable prices becauase food is cheap in Afikpo and as a result, there are plenty of farmers, fishermen and foodstuff in the area. As a matter of fact, a good number of traders buy food from Afikpo for sale in towns all across the country. The wealth of food in this area keeps prices affordable for almost any budget. In Afikpo, one can eat like a king or queen without emptying their pockets or having to rub a bank.
Some of the eateries include:
- Marex Restaurant; at Eke Market roundabout
- Vita Mata Oil Ltd Restaurant; at New Site New Site Mater Hospital
- Cynthoscys La Relaxation; at Unwana
- Cruchies Fried Chicken Restaurant; along Afikpo Road, Abakaliki
- Mma Akwa Ibom Bukka; located at Bukka lane, Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Unwana
- 1 Taste and sure restaurant, No. 18 Afikpo-Ndibe Beach Rd, ☏ . 24 hours.
- 2 Mr Joy's Restaurant, no 20 Ngodo Rd. The restaurant offers take away services from morning till dawn every week day.
- 3 Oga Boss Restaurant and Bar, Unwana, ☏ . 8AM-9PM.
There are a couple of drinking/bar joints in Afikpo for both visitors and travellers to cool off. Some of them include:
- Oga Boss Restaurant and Bar; at Unwana
- St Augustine's Bar; at Egeburu
- Ginibo interservices Ltd Bar; at D' Base Hotel, Amasiri
There are a couple of budget friendly and comfortable hotel and Ggest house accommodation options available for visitors and travellers in and around Afikpo. Some of them include:
- Obi World Hotel, 45, Main Road
- Stone Age Guest House, No. 1 Oba Close Ezi Akaa -Unwana, Ubeyi Development Center, Unwana
- Onu Nnachi Guest House along Asaga Amangwu Road Owutu-Edda Local Government Area
- D'Base Hotel, 1 Base Avenue, Amasiri
- Emmanuel Guest House Abba Omege, Km 40, Abakaliki Afikpo Road, Abba Omege
- Just For U Guest Inn, along Federal Polytechnic Road
- Chu Jah Hotels, Amaizu by Eke Markert
- P' Noble Hotel and Suites along Ndibe Beach Road
- Ndibe Beach Hotels and Resort, also Ndibe Beach Road
- Mike Dories Hotel, Ozonku
- Terminus Hotel International, 159, WTC Road, Amaogwu Ugwuegu Elu
- Egesco Hotel, 45 Beach Road
- Ikemba Guest House, No 1 Civic Centre Road
- River Side Hotel, Km 6 Afikpo-Enohia Road
- Sunnexx Cool Breeze Garden Hotel, No 6 Uburu Road
- Oniks Hotel, 4, Oniks Street, Off Afikpo/Okigwe Road, Akaeze.
- 1 Afikpo.
For most locations in the city of Afikpo, there is coverage of the 2G/3G/4G mobile networks, only that service may be disrupted further away from the city center, and you might occasionally experience network outage for all or some of the mobile phone service providers in those remote areas of the city. Different networks tend to be more stable and reliable in different locations of the city at different times.
If you are planning a visit to Afikpo, you should probably consider having multiple SIM cards, preferably for all the mobile service providers, since you can't tell which will be more stable and reliable at a time in your location during your visit. And if you will risk not having any of them, you might be better off not risking the MTN network, because, from indications, it seem to perform well than the others, though its rates may be high and its offers and services might be stringent, but you are less likely to be concerned of erratic voice and data connection compared to others.
Airtel is another service provider which is fairly satisfactory for all you might need to connect to the world, including rates and network stability. Of course, Glo (or Globacom) boasts of fast network speed for internet browsing activities, only that you might not be able to enjoy the privilege in in some locations. And 9Mobile usually also performs well in internet browsing speed too but not without locational limitations, plus that data rate is fairly higher.
Visitors and travellers can move from Afikpo to other towns either by air, road or railway. Some of these places include: