The towns in Imo State are numerous. With a large area of lands, this is no surprise. Imo state is located in the south-eastern region of Nigeria. Owerri is the state capital. It is also one of the largest city in the state. Due to its location, it occupies between the lower River Niger and upper and middle Imo River.
Imo state lies within latitude 4°45’N and 7°15’N. While the longitude is 6°50’E and 7°25’E. It also a land area of about 5,100 sq. km. On the other hand, the state has Abia on its Eastern border. River Niger and Delta state are on the West. While Anambra is on the Northern part. Lastly, you have Rivers State to the South.
Along with other states, the Imo state came into existence in 1976. Its creation came under the leadership of late Murtala Muhammed. As he use to be a military ruler of Nigeria. Also, the state is named after the Imo River. Interestingly, a prominent family in the state had this name. They were chiefs of the state just before the ratification of a more formal government. Afterwards, part of it was split off in 1991. The first part was Abia state. And the second became Ebonyi.
There are over 20 local governments in Imo State. Below is a list of some;
- Aboh Mbaise
- Ideato North
- Ngor Okpala
Obowo has its headquarters in Otoko. This local government has its location just 45 minutes from Owerri. Across the Imo River, it is less than 30 minutes from Umahia and Ahiara. Moreover, it borders the latter local government to the north. While Umahia is on the eastern part.
Obowo has very rich cultural festivals. For example, the Iwa-Akwa festival embraces the general Obowo citizen. Other festivals include; Mbomuzo, Egbe-Nkwu, and Ekpe. On the other hand, there are a few tourist attractions in the area. There are the Iyi-Ukwu and Abadaba lake. Another is the Umuariam Game Reserve Centre. With live monkeys, there is a lot to see.
The local government has a land area of 84 km2. Despite the landmass, its population is in thousands. At the 2006 census, its population read 143,485. Also, the headquarters is found in Nnenasa town. The postal code is 474.
“NJABA” is an acronym that’s derived from the initial letters of Njaba River. To clarify, this river originally springs from the northwestern part of Isu. As it flows through Oguta, it eventually ceases at the famous Oguta Lake. However, NJALGA was part of the then Isu local government area. Also, it was created during the civilian government. At the time, it was headed by Alhaji Shehu Shagari. Some of the developing towns and settlements in the area include; Amazano, Nkuma, and Egwedu.
This is the largest city in the state. After Owerri is Orlu and Okigwe in size. It is also the state capital. Owerri consists of three local governments. These local governments include Owerri Municipal, Owerri North and South. On the other hand, it has a population of 1,401,873 people. And an approximate land area of 100 square kilometres. That is 40 sq miles. To the East, Owerri borders Otamiri River. While you have the Nworie River to the south.
Owerri is regarded as the entertainment capital of Nigeria. This is because of the high concentration of fun places. The likes of hotels and street casinos are prevalent in the city. Production studios and relaxation centres are also very common. It is the home to beauty pageants as well. With so many towns in Imo state, Owerri boasts of the majority.
Some other local governments include;
- Isiala Mbano
- Owerri South
- Ideato South
- Oru West
Mbaitoli has its headquarters in Nwaorieubi town. Although, it is sometimes called Nworieubi. The L.G.A has a land area of 204 km2. Also, its population was 237,555 in 2006. However, there is a discrepancy from the government’s report. They record a landmass of 234 km2. While the population supposedly gives 255,000. The area’s postal code is 461.
With 12 INEC wards, Mbaitoli is divided into 9 autonomous communities. Also, the primary occupations of these communities are crafts and farming. Some of which are broom and basket making. Hair weaving is also common.
Mbaise was born as a result of a merger between Ahiara and Ekwerazu. Its headquarters are in Afo Oru town. This local government has 14 towns and 12 wards.
The local government borders Ehime Mbano and Isiala Mbano to the north. To the East is Ihitte Uboma Obowo. As you move to the south there is Ezinihitte Mbaise and Aboh Mbaise. And lastly you have Ikeduru by the west. On the other hand, the land area is 114 km2. And the population as at 2006 is 170,902.
Towns in Imo State
There are a plethora of towns in Imo State. This list shows a few of them.
Abba is a town in Nwangele local government. The first traditional ruler of ancient Abba kingdom was Eze Uwagbuo Duruoha. That is Anigo 1 of Abba. However, the second ruler was Eze Golden Maduabuchukwu. He is the Royal Highness, Uburu of 1 Abba. The town of Abba consists of four communities. By hierarchy, they are Umuokpara, Umudurunna, Ekiti-Afor, and Ogwuaga.
Izombe is an oil town in Njaba basin. It is found in the northeastern part of Niger Delta. It is just about 30 kilometres away from Owerri. While it is 150 kilometres north of Port Harcourt. It also covers 59 km2 in Njaba basin. As of 1991, the estimated population was 86,565.
This is a town in Mbaise local government area. As there are 18 villages here. With its location along Onitsha-Owerri road, it is about 12 km from Owerri.
Other towns include,
- Eziama Obiato
Festivals and Carnivals
Festivals are common activities in every part of Imo state. Every town has a number of festivals that are peculiar to them. Here’s a list of a few;
Mbaitoli Local Government
- Okorosha Festival: The Ifakala, Mbieri and Ubomiri communities perform this festival And it is done in the months of December and January.
- Ekeleke Dancing Group: This happens on every Eke day. It starts from April to The first week of June. It is performed by Umuomezume kindred Ofekata Orodo.
- Owu Festival: The Orodo, Ifakala and Afara communities are the “owners” of this festival. The months of July and August are the dates for the festival.
Okigwe Local Government
Nri: The festival is done to seek God’s blessings. It is also to thank him for his guidance and sustenance of life. The planting and harvesting period are particularly the reason for this.
Tourist Attractions (towns in Imo State)
- Ngwu Spring Natural Water
- Rolling Hills, Okigwe
- Nekede Zoo
- Oguta Lake