“Abia” is an acronym formed from the initial letters of four old zones of people, namely:-
A – Aba
B – Bende
I – lsuikwuato
A – Afikpo
Aba, Bende, Isuikwuato and Aba zones constituted the major groups in Abia state at its creation on 27th August, 1991, by the Federal Military Government under General lbrahim Babangida from old Imo State. However, in October, 1996, the Federal Military Government under General Sani Abacha created six more states during which exercise, four local government areas (LGAs) of Onicha, Ohaozara, Afikpo North and Afikpo South, which occupy the northeastern corner of the state, were transferred to the newly created Ebonyi State.
Abia people are of the Igbo ethnic group who predominates much of the Southeastern part of Nigeria. Their traditional language is Igbo with English widely spoken and serves as the official language in governance and business. Globally, Igbos are well travelled. Abia’s 2.4m people are pre-dominantly Christians of different denominations. They are known and reputed to be industrious, highly entrepreneurial, very hospitable and accommodating.
Abia was and is called the God’s Own State for reasons beyond the coinage of acronyms and fancy aliases, no it was indeed divine and this reality was not completely hidden from them, to whom the state was handed at creation and even thereafter. It has in these times become almost obvious that that which God purposed for His eternal praise and Glory was dedicated to something less and as in Psalms 11:3-7 “if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven; his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man. The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence. Let him rain coals on the wicked; fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup. For the Lord is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face”.
Abia means my father is the Lord, the Greek form of Abijah, or Abijam (Matt. 1:7), instead of Abiah (1 Chr. 7:8). In Luke 1:5, the name refers to the head of the eighth of the twenty-four courses into which David divided the priests (1 Chr. 24:10). Abia is also the Father of strength; i.e., valiant, one of David’s body-guard of thirty mighty men (2 Sam. 23:31); called also Abiel (1 Chr. 11:32). Abia is Father of abundance, or my father excels, the son of Ahimelech the high priest. He was the tenth high priest, the fourth in descent from Eli. When his father was slain with the priests of Nob, he escaped, and bearing the ephod, he joined David, who was then in the cave of Adullam (1 Sam. 22:20-23; 23:6). He remained with David, and became priest of the party of which he was the leader (1 Sam. 30:7). When David ascended the throne of Judah, Abia was appointed high priest (1 Chr.” “15:11; 1 Kings 2:26) and the king’s companion (1 Chr.27:34). Abia is Father of gathering; the gatherer, the youngest of the three sons of Korah.
Located in the southeastern region of Nigeria, Abia State shares common boundaries to the north with Ebonyi State; to the south and southwest with Rivers State; and to the east and southeast with Cross River and Akwa lbom States respectively. To the west is Imo State, and to the northwest is Anambra State. The state covers an area of about 5,243.7 sq. km which is approximately 5.8 per cent of the total land area of Nigeria. With its capital at Umuahia, it has seventeen LGAs and their wards namely:-
- LGA – Aba North Wards – Ariaria, Eziama Industrial Area, Ogbor I, Ogbor II, Old Aba GRA, Osusu I, Osusu II, Umuogor, Umuola, St. Eugene/Okigwe Road, Uratta.
- LGA – Aba South Wards – Aba River, Aba Town hall, Asa, Ekeoha, Enyimba, Eziukwu, Gloucester, Igwebuike, Mosque, Ngwa, Ohazu I, Ohazu II
- LGA – Arochukwu Wards – Arochukwu I, Arochukwu II, Arochukwu III, Eleoha Ihechiowa, Ikwu Ihechiowa, Isu, Ohaeke, Ohafor I, Ohafor II, Ovukwu, Ututu.
- LGA – Bende Wards – Amankalu/Akoliufu, Bende, Igbere A, Igbere B, Item A, Item B, Item C, Itumbauzo, Ozuitem, Ugwueke/Ezeukwu, Umu-Imenyi, Umuhu/Ezechi, Uzuakoli.
- LGA – Ikwuano Wards – Ariam, Ibere I, Ibere II, Oboro I, Oboro II, Oboro III, Oboro IV, Olokoro I, Olokoro II, Usaka.
- LGA – Isiala Ngwa North Wards – Amapu Ntigha, Asaa Nsulu, Asaa Ntigha, Ihie, Isiala Nsulu, Mbawsi/Umuomanta, Ngwa Ukwu I, Ngwa Ukwu II,Umunna Nsulu,Umuoha.
- LGA – Isiala Ngwa South Wards – Apunekpu, Eziama na Obuba,Omoba, Amaise/Amaise Ahaba, Ehinaguru, Osokwa,Mbutu Ngwa, Mbutu Ukwu, Ngwaobi, Okporo Ahaba, Ovungwu, Ovuokwu.
- LGA – lsuikwuato Wards – Achara/Mgbugwu, Ezere, Ikeagha I,Ikeagha II, Imenyi, Isiala Amawu, Isu Amawu, Oguduasaa, Umuanyi ABSU, Umunnekwu.
- LGA – Obingwa Wards – Abayi I, Abayi II, Ahiaba, Akumaimo, Alaukwu Ohanze, ibeme, Mgboko Amairi, Mgoboko Itungwa, Mgboko Umuanunu, Ndiarata/Amairinabua, Ntighauzo Amairi
- LGA – Ohafia Wards – Agboji Abiriba, Amaeke Abiriba, Amaogudu Abiriba, Ebem Ohafia, Ania Ohafia, Ndi Agbo Nkporo, Isiama Ohafia, Ndi Elu Nkporo, Ndi Etiti Nkporo, Ohafor Ohafia, Akanu Ohafia.
- LGA – Osisioma Wards – Amasaa, Amaitolu/Mbutu/Umuojima, Amasato, Amato, Amavo, Aro Ngwa, Okpu Umuobo, Osokwa, Umunneise, Uratta
- LGA – Ukwa East Wards – Akwete, Azumini, Ikwueke East, Ikwueke West, Ikwuorie, Ikwuirato West, Ikwuirator East, Nkporobe Ohuru, Obohia, Umuigube Achara.
- LGA – Ukwa West Wards – Asa North, Asa south, Ipu East, Ipu West, Obokwe, Obuzor, Ogwe, Ozza West, Ozaa Ukwu.
- LGA – Ugwunagbo Wards – Ward I, Ward II, Ward II, Ward IV, Ward V, Ward VI, Ward VII, Ward VIII, Ward IX, Ward X.
- LGA – Umuahia North Wards – Afugiri, Ibeku East I, Ibeku East II, Ibeku West, Isingwu, Ndume, Nkwoachara, Nkwoegwu, Umuahia Urban I, Umuahia Urban II, Umuahia Urban III,
- LGA – Umuahia South Wards – Ahiaukwu I, Ahiaukwu II, Amakama, Ezeleke/Ogbodiukwu, Nsirimo, Ohiaocha, Old Umuahia, Omaegwu Ubakala A, Ubakala B.
- LGA – Umunneochi. Wards – Amuda, Eziama Agbo,Eziama Ugwu, Ezingodo, Mbala/Achara, Ndiawa/Umuelem, Obinolu/Obiagu, Ubahu/Akawa/Arokpa, Umuaku, Umunneochi I, Umunneochi II, Umunneochi III.