Posted on November 2, 2016
Abia State (God’s Own State) is located in the South East of Nigeria – having been carved out of the old Imo State on August 27, 1991. The name “Abia” is composed of the four main regions of Aba, Bende, Isuikwuato, and Afikpo; but Afikpo has now been pulled out of the state and to form part of Ebonyi State.
Abia’s 2.4 million population is grouped under 17 local government areas, and these are Aba North, Aba South, Arochukwu, Bende, Ikwuano, Isiala Ngwa North, Isiala Ngwa South, Isuikwuato, Obi Ngwa, Ohafia, Osisioma Ngwa, Ugwunagbo, Ukwa East, Ukwa West, Umuahia North, Umuahia South, and Umu Nneochi.
The capital of the state is Umuahia, and its major commercial city remains Aba – a former British colonial government outpost. Occupying about 5,834 square kilometers, Abia State is bounded on the north and northeast by Anambra State, Enugu State, and Ebonyi State. To the west of Abia is Imo State, to the east and southeast areCross River StateandAkwaI bom State, and to the south isRivers State.
There are hundreds of places to visit and thousands of things to do on coming to Abia State, but here are the top tourist attractions that you might find fascinating:
If you happen to find yourself at Ebite Amafor in Isingwu Autonomous Community of Umuahia North LGA, then you’d want to check out the fascinating National War Museum. This war museum was commissioned in 1985 to showcase weapons, artillery and other equipment of civil warfare deployed during pre-colonial wars and during the Nigeria-Biafra civil war.
The museum is built on a wide expanse of undulating hills, and you can see all the three galleries of pre-colonial weaponry used during past civil wars. Here, you stand to see relics of traditional warfare on the first gallery at the museum, the relics of war in past conflicts involving the armed forces on the second gallery, and the third gallery hosts the weapons of war used during the Nigerian civil war of 1967-1969.
National Museum of Colonial History, Aba
If you’re ever interested in studying the development of Nigeria through the colonial era to post-independence, then the National Museum of Colonial History in Aba is the place to be. It was established in 1984 and it showcases the artifacts detailing the history of Nigeria through the colonial era, while you stand to see several relics of the slave trade and collections that marked Nigeria’s evolvement as a nation.
You will also see some evidence of European imperialism at the museum, as well as the chronological sequence of past rulers in Nigeria. You will see the rise of nationalism as well as what transpired before Nigeria came to independence through the eyes of history. Good road network, restaurants, hotels, and other facilities will make your visit to this museum a great delight.
Azumini Blue River
Have you seen a blue river before? You stand to see one live if you can get to Azumini town in Ukwa East LGA of Abia State, and this is where the Azumini blue river is situated. The water of the river sparkles blue as you study the surrounding sands and shiny stones. You can engage in water sporting activities like boating, yachting, fishing, swimming, and skiing on the blue river, and you can enjoy the barbeque grills dotting the beach when you are done with all water activities.
If you have ever heard of the famous Arochukwu Cave in Abia State, then now is the time to pay a visit if you ever find yourself within the state. There are several outlets and secret places within the recesses of the cave, and many of them are dark inside because they are located hundreds of yards from the main entrance.
This cave was used by local chiefs during the slave trade to keep slaves that were to be sold off to European and Portuguese buyers; and elders also held court to deliberate consultative issues within the confines of the ancient cave. The Iyi-eke stream flows within the cave, and you are sure to come to destiny gate as well as the gate of no return if you happen to explore further.
Located in Ukwa East LGA, Akwete town is barely 25 minutes drive from Aba if you’re using the Enugu-Port-Harcourt road. Using fabricated handlooms, local weavers in this town weave the famous Awkete cloth which is traditionally worn by chiefs and other men of title during festivals and other cultural events. The weavers use cotton and silk to weave beautiful cloth designs, as well as head-gears and other items of fashion.
Arochukwu cave is very dark inside with many outlets, some of which are about a hundred yards away from the main entrance. During the slave trade era, this shrine was used for consultative purposes and as a court of law. In the cave are the destiny gate, a flowing stream (Iyi-eke), the gate of no return and a spring through which victims were sold into slavery.
Images of Arochukwu Cave
Museum of Antiquities, Ujari
Located in Arochukwu, the museum is under the National War Museum and it houses many items, some of which were collected through trade by barter and war. The items found in this museum are relics of the slave trade, a big bell of 1892, ancient chandeliers, canons, metal gongs, handcuffs, basins, buckets, brass plates, silver plates etc. Also found in the museum is the Iyama Afia Shrine and the grave of Mazi Ogbuji Okoro Oji the original founder and owner of the museum.