- Category: States
- Published on Wednesday, 19 January 2011 00:15
- Written by Admin
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Nick Name: Land of Promise
Official Website: http://www.aksgonline.com/
Akwa Ibom is one of the 36 states in Nigeria. It is located in the coastal south-Southern part of the country, lying between latitudes 4°321 and 5°331 North, and longitudes 7°251 and 8°251 East. The State is bordered on the east by Cross River State, on the west by Rivers State and Abia State, and on the South by the Atlantic Ocean and Cross River State again.
Akwa Ibom has a projected population of around 5 million people and more than 10 million people in diaspora. It was created in 1987 from the former Cross River State and is currently one of the highest oil and gas producing state in the country. The state’s capital is Uyo with over 500,000 inhabitants.
Akwa Ibom has an airport (Akwa Ibom International Airport) and two sea ports on the Atlantic Ocean with a proposed construction of a world class seaport Ibaka (Oron Nation)Seaport. Along with English, the main languages spoken here are Ibibio, Annang, and Oron languages.
Uyo is the capital city of Akwa Ibom State. Eket, Ikot Ekpene, Oron, Abak, Ibeno, Ikot Abasi, Mkpat-Enin, Ukanafun, Etinan, Ika are a few of many prominent cities.
Akwa Ibom is divided into 31 Local Government Areas namely: Abak, Eastern Obolo, Eket, Esit-Eket, Essien Udim, Etim-Ekpo, Etinan, Ibeno, Ibesikpo-Asutan, Ibiono-Ibom, Ika-Annang, Ikono, Ikot Abasi, Ikot Ekpene, Ini, Itu, Mbo, Mkpat-Enin, Nsit-Atai, Nsit-Ibom, Nsit-Ubium, Obot-Akara, Okobo, Onna, Oron, Oruk Anam, Ukanafun, Udung-Uko, Uruan, Urue-Offong/Oruko, Uyo
The creation of Akwa Ibom State marked the climax of a long and sustained struggle for a separate State by the people from this part of the former Cross River State described then as "Mainland".
By all accounts and considerations, the creation of Akwa Ibom State has been a dream come true and the yearnings of people fulfilled. Its people have continued to cherish the euphoria which greeted that first proclamation. And since then, they have risen to the challenges attendant upon their new political identity, embarking vigorously on capital projects to ensure a prosperous state and a 'Land of Promise' which will serve as a model in Nigeria
The people are predominantly of the Christian faith. The main ethnic groups of the state are: Ibibio, Annang and Oron.
The Ibibio are the largest group, whilst the Annang, which form the second largest group, speak a dialect of the Ibibio Language. The Oro [Oron] is an ethnic group (akin to Efik ) found in five of the state's Local Government Areas. Located at the Ocean contiguous to Oron are a group of Ibibio Eket. The Igbo language is also spoken here in its western land borders.
The Ibibio language belongs to the Benue-Congo language family, which forms part of the Niger-Congo group of languages.
Despite the homogeneity, no central government existed among the people of what is now Akwa Ibom State prior to the British invasion in 1904. Instead, the Annang, Efik/Oron, Ibibio were all autonomous groups. Scottish missionaries arrived in Calabar in 1848. The British did not firmly establish control until 1904. In that year, the Enyong Division was created encompassing the area of the current state of Akwa Ibom, with the headquarters at Ikot Ekpene, an Annang city described by the noted Africanist Kaanan Nair, as the cultural and political capital of Annang and Ibibio. The creation of Enyong Division, for the first time allowed the numerous ethnic groups to come together. This further provided a venue for the creation of the Ibibio Welfare Union, later renamed Ibibio State Union. Though the social organization was first organized as an improvement union and a forum for the educated groups who were shut out from the colonial administration in 1929, some historians have wrongly pointed to the union to buttress their argument on the homogeneity of the groups in the area.
When Akwa Ibom state was created in 1987, Uyo was chosen as the state capital in order to spread development as much as possible.
Akwa Ibom State like the other in old calabar region encountered western education first in Nigeria with the establishment of Hope Waddel Training Institute, Calabar in 1895, Methodist Boys High School (MBHS), Oron in 1905 and other top flight schools like the Holy Family College, (HOFACO) Abak, etc. Currently various higher educational institutions spread across the state. Some higher Institutions of Learning in the state include:
• University of Uyo
• Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron
• Akwa Ibom State University
• Obong University, Obong Ntak Inyang
• Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic
• Uyo City Polytechnic
• Apex Polytechnic
• School of Nursing; Uyo, Eket, Oron, Ikot Ekpene, Etinan
• Akwa Ibom State College of Education, Afaha Nsit
• School Of Basic Studies
• College of Arts & Science, Nnung Ukim