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Imo States

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About Imo State


The area known as Imo State today was originally part of the defunct East Central State which was one of the twelve states initially created in 1967 by General Yakubu Gowon’s regime. The old Imo State which originally included Abia province was later created in 1976 before Abia State was carved out of the state in 1991 by General Ibrahim Babangida. Imo State derived its name from Imo River, which takes it course from the Okigwe/Akwa upland. The state is divided into twenty seven local government areas which include Aboh-Mbaise, Ahizau-Mbaise, Ehime-Mbano, Ezinihitte, Ideato-North, Ideato-South, Ihitte/Uboma, Ikeduru, Isiala-Mbano, Isu, Mbaitoli, Ngor-Okpala, Njaba, Nkwerre, Nkwangele, Obowo, Oguta, Ohaji-Egbema, Okigwe, Onuimo, Orlu, Orsu, Oru-East, Oru-West, Owerri -Municipal, Owerri-North and Owerri-West.  Imo State has an estimated population of about 4.8 million and the population density varies from 230-1,400 people per square kilometer. The state is culturally homogeneous as it is a predominantly Igbo speaking state with minor differences in dialects. Imo State has a very rich cultural heritage and this is manifested in dressing, music, dance, festivals, arts and crafts, and the traditional hospitality of the people.




Oguta Lake: This is the largest natural lake in Imo State and is supposed to have originated from a natural depression. The lake resort is located in the heart of the ancient kingdom in Oguta and is one of the most prominent tourist sites. It is believed by the indigenes to be inhabited by a goddess “Ogbuide” who the natives believe offer them protection, abundant wealth and prosperity. The lake is also famous by the car ferry that runs every twenty minutes across the lake. The lake holiday resort is a conglomerate of natural, artificial and historical attractions. Here you will savour the serenity of the beautiful lake surrounded by green vegetation. Within the holiday resort is the Oguta motel which has sixty flexible room suites, a 500 capacity banquet hall, two giant generators for uninterrupted power supply, police post etc.
Recreation facilities include an eighteen golf course, children’s play ground, lawn tennis court, boating, fishing, water skiing, yachting and swimming.
Other side attractions include visit to Ogbuide blue lake, Urashi Brown river, natural confluence of Oguta lake and Urashi river, relics of gunboat destroyed by the Biafran soldiers, the colonial jetty, the famous Ojukwu bunker with a tunnel that runs under the lake connecting both banks of the lake, residences of Douglas, Joe Allen, Lever Brothers and host of other famous colonial masters who lived in the area.
One can get to the holiday resort from Onitsha/Owerri road, stop at Mgbidi town, turn right to Oguta I or from Owerri/Onitsha road, and stop at Ogbaku through Izombe to Oguta II, a 36km distance. The lake is of immense value to the people of Oguta, Orsu, Nkwesi and Awo. In the colonial era, the Oguta Lake was a port for the evacuation of palm products and the relics of the jetties used by the United African Company (U. A. C.) still exist today. During the civil war, the Oguta Lake was a marine base for the Biafran Navy. Visitors can take a cruise on the lake or play a round of golf on the 18-hole course on the bank of the lake.




The source of Urashi River: is a spring which has mysterious source from a rope like feather stretching from a mountainous substance, is Located in Ezeama community in Dikenafai in Ideato-south LGA. The spring has a collection of small ways accumulated with a drift. The spring is believed to have been the source from time immemorial and from there the source, what is known today as Urashi River which stretches from Ideato south to north, terminating in Oguido (the blue lake and Urashi River). Here you still come to appreciate nature where two bodies of water flow parallel to each other but do not mix.
In 1967, a white man tried to harness the spring to a tourist haven, but could not complete it due to forces Maguire. He built a 52 flight of staircases at the base of the spring.

 Source of Urashi









Iyi Okwu Spring
Iyi Okwu spring is located at Okwuepe village in Ebenese Ihioma autonomous community in Orlu LGA. The spring, which gushes out from a rock on the hill in pipe-like manner laid by nature is very clean and pure as it rushes with intensity downwards. Up there on the hill, coal was discovered. During the Nigerian-Biafran civil war, there was mining of coal carried out at the site by the Biafran government. It was also discovered that a substance like gas was emitted during the course of mining activities. Iyi Okwu spring has a link with the Iyi Ngodo Lake via Ezize stream then to Urashi River


 Iyi Okwu Spring










Abadaba Lake Resort:  The lake resort which is situated in Obowo LGA has a fresh and muddy colour water body which is festooned with a luxuriant raffia palm and bamboo trees adding to its aestheticism. The lake is accessed through Owerri/Umuahia road, stop at Avutu.

 Abadaba Lake Resort


Oru Owerre festival in Owerri:  was on or about 1463 AD that the founding father EKWEMARUGO bolted from his ancestral home Uratta into the wild, from the comfort and security of communal life to become the legendary founder of Owerri Town.  The Oru Owerre (king’s festival) is an age-long traditional celebration of the Owerri, in present-day Imo State which roots is traced to the founding fathers of the community and which revolves around the eating of yam as a celebration of the harvest season. Unlike most other Igbo communities, the Owerri communities do not celebrate the New Yam festival. Thus, the Oru Owerre represents the homage paid to the crop but as a symbol of the foundation of the land. “However Oha Owere is the traditional institution responsible for its conduct and yearly observance. They determine the commencement of the period by a system handed down by our ancestors. The duration of the period is equally guided) by the same system. All the key events namely the beginning of the period, the roasting of the old yam, the corn porridge entertainment (Mkpu kpu uzo) and the day marking the end of the period are Orie market days. “The period begins in the month of June and lasts till mid August. Between the roasting of old yam (Oru Owerre proper) and the corn porridge meal is the grand finale characterized by a colourful procession of age grade formations in Owerri community through given routes in the Old City. “The procession assembles at Ugwu Ekwema Civic Centre from where it talks off and terminates at the end of the procession where invited guests are received and made to have a feel of Oru Owerre with traditional dances displays and entertainment. The first item of entertainment after the breaking of kolanuts by Eze Owerre is roast old yam. Ugwu Ekwema is our ancestral home which significance informed our choice of locating the Community Civic Centre. Highlights of the occasion include traditional dances and drama by Ekwema musical group, pouring of Oru Owerre libation pouring and the traditional cutting of Oru Owerre festival yam. Oru Owerre is an annual cultural festival celebrating the founding of Owerri. It is one of the most important cultural festivals in Imo State and attracts national and international tourists every year. Prior to the start of the festivities, the elders of the community declare 40 days and 40 nights of absolute peace. For the Owerri man, it is unlawful for anybody or group to engage in any form of quarrel within this period.

Nwangele cultural festival

Nwangele Local Government Area has a rich cultural heritage. Every Autonomous Community has one form of cultural festival or the other to celebrate annually or bi-annually. These are the Igba-nta of Isu people and new Yam festival the Okorosha, Ownu, Ekpe and Okonko dance festivals to mention but a few. Tourism attraction centres include the Ohiaeri museum Abba, the tombs of the late Dick Tiger ihetu at ubahu Amaigbo, and the Ancestral home of the late King Jaja of Opobo.

Nwangele People Festivals and Their Dates

Amuma (8th Luna Month)

Igba Nta (4th Luna Month)

Igo Afor (8th Luna Month)

Igba Mgba (7th Luna Month)

 Ahiajoku Festival: Is the Igbo forum for intellectual harvest and cultural renaissance, is set to be held in Owerri, the Imo State capital every year. 

Oguta cultural Festival:

 Age Grade festivities in December yearly.

Boat Regatta on Oguta Lake during Ozuruimo festival between October to December yearly

Masquerade festivals between August to November yearly

Owu festival between May and August yearly




All markets in Owerri Municipality have no special market days, all are daily markets, vis: Ekeonuwa-Owerri Main Market, New Market, Relief Market, Owerri Shopping Plaza, Nworie Lane Industrial Market, World Bank Market. People from neighbouring states and sister local governments visit the markets daily for buying and selling


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Updated 6 Years ago

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