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The Population of Ikot Abasi

Author: nick on 13-09-2013, 23:00, views: 2 454

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Ikot Abasi Political MapIkot Abasi Political MapDuring colonial rule, Opobo Division included at various times, the Andoni, southern Anaang, south-west Ibibio (Kwa), the Ogoni, and Opobo groups (Ann. Rep.

1937, 1939), on a territory of about 903 square miles, i. е., 1440 square kilometres (Ann. Rep. 1942). The Ibibio (Kwa) group formed only about 27.5 % of the population in the Division in 1939 (Ann. Rep. 1939). Successive administrative reorganisations streamlined the population groupings into separate territorial units, i. е., Ogoni, Andoni, Anaang, etc. The Ibibio groups currently form the major part of the present local government area population supplemented by the Eastern Obolo.

 

The present people of Ikot Abasi are of two major ethnic groups, namely: Ibibio and Andoni. The Ibibio form over 90 % of the population and occupy the upland part of the area; while the Andoni, who are mainly fishermen settled along the coastal areas. Apart from a number of litigations on the ownership of the land along the coastal zones, and a few minor skirmishes (especially during the Nigerian Civil War period), the two groups of people have, over the years, lived peacefully with mutual benefits to each other. The Andoni provide the fish and other sea foods, while the Ibibio supply them with food crops.

 

The people are grouped into six clans with the Ibibio having five of the clans, namely: Ukpum Ete, Ukpum Okon, Ikpa Ibekwe, Ikpa Nnung Assang and Ikpa Edemeya. The Andoni make up the Eastern Obolo clan. There is also a large settlement of Opobo (Umani) people in a section of Ikot Abasi urban. These Igbo-speaking people had acquired the land and settled there during the time and reign of Jaja of Opobo. They came from Opobo Town (Island), which is now in the Rivers State.

 

The population of Ikot Abasi area will be best considered using the population figures of the national census exercises of 1963 and 1991. In the 1963 census the population of Ikot Abasi (known then as Opobo Division) was 405,191 people, or about 15.25% of the population of the entire area now forming Akwa Ibom State. Since then, a good portion of the territory had been lost to Oruk Anam and Ukanafun, as these local government areas were created, and to Rivers State, when Western Obolo and Opobo Town in the western coastal area of the then Cross River State opted to join Rivers State.

 

In 1991 Akwa Ibom State was divided into 24 Local Government Areas and Mkpat Enin LGA was carved out from Ikot Abasi LGA. Hence, in the 1991 census, the population of what remained as Ikot Abasi LGA was only 69,960 forming 3.0% of the population of Akwa Ibom State. The population statistics of Ikot Abasi LGA show higher female percentage (52.8 %) than male (Etok-Akpan, 1996).

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Category: Tradition and Culture

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