History of famous Umuahia Ibeku De facto capital of Biafra before colonialism

Obinwannem News History of famous Umuahia Ibeku De facto capital of Biafra before colonialism

Umuahia is the Capital of Abia state located in the middle of the state. Abia state has Umuahia-Ibeku and Aba as its two major cities.

Umuahia was a colonial administrative center for governmental and Churches. like Methodist, Anglican, Methodist , Qui Ibo and Faith Terbanacle faiths.

Umuahia Ibeku was the Defacto capital of Biafra , where every thing settled from Enugu.

Umuahia Ibeku is also the location of [1] The famous Ojukwu’s bunker located in Isisama Afara , home of IPOB leader Maazi Nnamdi kanu. [2] The Nigeria National War Museum ..where all samples of Bifiara war armaments are housed, located at Ugwunchara [3] The Political capital of abia state…with secreterait in Ndume Ibeku.

The City of Umuahia as it is now is made up of Ibeku villages called Amuzukwu to the North, Afara Ukwu to the south, Nkata to the North East, Ohokobe Ndume to South East, then Osaah and Ugwunchara and Emede Villages to the West.

The name Umuahia started off as a Central Market post called AMA-AHIA meaning market place. But with evolution and bad pronunciations and rewritings…AMA AHIA became UMUAHIA. There have been several legends to tell otherwise but this is it.

But the name Umuahia was not a part of the city name. It was still called Ibeku till the arrival of traders and foreign merchants that brought with them railroad.

The Nigerian Government then signed Agreements with IBEKU on the name of the railroad Station to be located in Ibeku. There was a temporary agreement to call the location Umuahia but there were objection. Then the agreement was to have a hyphenated name Umuahia –Ibeku to reflect the owners of the land and domain. Then the name will revert to IBEKU Rail Station. This agreement was to last for no longer than 20 years. The hyphenated

Umuahia-Ibeku is still being used till today. There are three railway stations in Umuahia Ibeku.[1] Amaeke station [2] Umuahia-Ibeku station [3] Old Umuahia station.

Umahia Ibeku is located on top of a foot hill that is a part of the Cameroon mountain range that sloped into IMO RIVER. The hills flattens as it passes Ubakala to become one of the even graded paces in the Eastern Part of Nigeria to the edge of Atlantic Ocean at Port Harcourt. This includes all NgwaLand.

The city of Umuahia Ibeku has expanded a lot into the surrounded villages and many have found themselves in the middle of the crossroads heading in and out of the city.

This Umuahia ibeku has different names name Ugwuocha, ugwu nchara, ogwumabiri all referring to the trading post at the center of the city serving all other villages whose market days are to come or have past in the tradition of buying and selling using market days Afo, Nkwo, Eke, Orie.. There are four [4] market days that trades only once a week.

Thus they have Afo nta and Afo ukwu, Eke ukwu and Eke nta, Nkwo nta and Nkwo ukwu, Orie nta and orie Ukwu. There is always one big market day in a week. This allows the umuahia Ibeku market to serve as a central point for all others for cheaper goods.

There are other big villages that are around Ibeku like Olokoro, Ubakala, Old Umuahia, Umuokpara, Ohuhu, Oboro, Abam, Item, Uzuakoli,

Umuahia was an Administrative Center and a big one. Especially during the Regional government era of the 1960’s. Umuahia is the present day capital of Abia State of Nigeria. Was also the second Capital City of Biafra after the fall of Enugu. As the HQ for Bende Division, HQ for Odida Anyanwu areas, Was the Judicial HQ, The HQ for Zone 9 Police Command for all South East Zone before the new police Command at Ukpo.Was also the HQ for both Anglican and Methodist churches of Nigeria where they still have their training collages for their priest called TRINITY COLLAGE in Afara Ibeku.

The HQ of the Assemblies of God mission and their seminary is located at Old Umuahia. National Root Crops Research Institute in Amakama olokoro. The Federal Gilrs Secondary school in Old Umuahia. The Federal School of Agriculture at umudike. Government Collage ,Umudike-Umuahia, The Micheal Opkara University in Umudike.

Presently, umuahia-Ibeku the Abia State capital territory is made up of two local governments, namely the Umuahia North and umuahia South local government areas. Umuahia is the home to great people like Dr Micheal Okpara. The former Premier of Eastern Nigeria, The Supreme Commander Of Nigerian Armed Forces.

The President, Maj General Aguiyi Ironsi, The Governor of Abia State ..Gov. Theodore Orji., Finance Minister Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iwuala, was married to Umuahia. The NDDC Chairman..Chief Ugochu, Dr JOJ Okezie, Former Fed Minister of Agriculture and Flag bearer for UPGA during Presidential Election. Chief BB Apugo, Chief Ogwulafor, PDP Chairman and Secretary General to PDP, Dr Osisiogu. Former Min of FED Resource. He has held more ministerial portfolios than any other. Barrister Ogbonna Director General NIPOST, Dr Alozie.Head of UNESCO Africa.

Mr Bob Ogwuagu Special Adviser to several governments, Brigadier General Emerieh Fed Commissioner for sports and State Governor. Dr Nwoko VC UniPort, Chief Akomas.Mayor Port Harcourt, Speaker Ohajuruka of Abia state assembly. There are very many more people but to name a few.

Also in Umuahia you fine the famous General Odimegwu Ojukwu’s Bunker used during the civil war of Biafra vs. Nigeria. In Umuahia you find the first Ceramic industry in West African and beyond into other countries located in Umuobia Olokoro, the Golden Guinea Brewery in Afara. The first Teachers’ training College ran by the missionaries in a full scale. The Catholic Church seminary in Ndume Ibeku . It was in IshiEke ibeku was the first landing place of the missionaries in Umuahia on their way heading west from Calabar till they ended up at ONU ICHA [ present day Onitsha]

It was also in Umuahia that the Church encountered the Villagers of Ibeku through the white Missionaries. This was when the famous Okonko versus the church called Faith Tabernacle in the village of Ohokobe Afara left many dead and others out of the area.

Lolo Ijeoma Njoku Obinwannem News Writer/ Sept 18, 2022

leave a reply

WP Radio
WP Radio