Ebonyi State – "The Salt Of The Nation"
Located in south-east geopolitical zone of Nigeria, Ebonyi State was created in 1996 and it is called “the salt of the nation” for its huge salt deposit at the Okposi and Uburu salt lakes. The state is divided into thirteen local government areas which include Abakaliki, Afikpo South, Afikpo North, Ebonyi, Effium, Ezza, Ezza South, Ikwo, Ishielu, Ivo, Ohaozara, Ohaukwu and Onicha.
Ebonyi State is one of six new states created in 1996 late General Sanni Abacha’s administration when it was carved out of the old Abakaliki division of Enugu State and the old Afikpo division of Abia State.
People & Culture
Ebonyi State has an estimated population of 4,339,136 based on the 2005 census and the inhabitants are spread across 5,935 square kilometers. The state is predominantly dominated by the Igbos with other minority ethnic groups from neighbouring states.
The people of the state are predominantly farmers and traders. The main crops produced in the state are rice, yam, palm produce, cocoa, maize, groundnut, plantain, banana, cassava, melon, sugar cane, beans, fruits and vegetables. Fishing is also carried out in Afikpo.
With a land area of about 5,935 sq. km, Ebonyi State is popularly known as the ‘Salt of the Nation’ apparently because of the large deposits of salt water in the state. The State shares a border with Benue State to the North, Enugu State to the west, Imo and Abia States to the south and Cross River State to the east.
The tropical climate of the state is broadly of two seasons which are the rainy season between April and October and dry season between November and March. A temperature throughout the year ranges between 21 °C to 29 °C and humidity is relatively high. The annual rainfall varies from 2,000mm in the southern areas to 1,150mm in the northern areas. The state enjoys luxuriant vegetation with high forest zone (rain forest) in the south and sub-savannah forest in the northern fringe.
Cities & Towns
Other important cities and towns include Abakaliki, Afikpo, Amasiri, Edda, Ikwo, Ishiagu, Nkalagu, Okposi, Onicha, Onueke, Uburu, Unwana etc.
Amanchore Cave: This cave is located at Etiti in Amanchore-Edd in Afikpo-South LGA of the state and its height is about 3m with multiple narrow tunnels, which extend to different directions. It is accessible through Abakaliki to Afikpo, Ngusu and Mile 2 along Akaeze/Ngusu roads (about 140km and 76km from Enugu and Abakaliki respectively). Other caves are Mkpurukem, Akpha, etc.
Unwana and Ndibe Sand Beaches: These beaches are respectively located at Unwana and Ndibe in Afikpo North LGA. The two beaches are part of extensive scenic golden sand beaches along Cross River basin. They are ideal centres for relaxation, sunbathing, swimming, sport fishing, canoe-racing, and yachting.
Abakaliki Golf Course
Situated along Ezza road and spanning 11/2km, the golf course has a modern golfing terrain. Its undulating knolls are golf able all the year round.
Fati Abubakar Park
Fati Abubakar amusement park is located adjacent to the golf course along Ezza road, Abakaliki. Beautifully built in the traditional culture of Ebonyi State, the park provides a place for amusement and relaxation for children and adults.
Abakaliki Green Lake: The green lake served as a leisure and relaxation centre for the colonial masters. It’s upgraded with modernized facilities which make it a tourist haven.
Ogbodu Conical Mound
This is found in Ngbo in Ohaukwu LGA which served as a pre-colonial defence and military observation post.
Slave Market Route, Ezza
Located in Ezza in Ezza-South, this market route was where slaves were traded before being moved to places for trade during the slave and intertribal war years.
Spectacular Natural Rock Formations, Akpoha
These rock formations at Akpoha in Afikpo-North Local Government Area are one of the beautiful landscape figures appreciated.