Imo State is one of the 36 states of Nigeria and lies in the south of Nigeria with Owerri as its capital and largest city. Imo State came into existence in 1976 along with other new states created under the leadership of the late military ruler of Nigeria, Murtala Muhammad, having been previously part of East-Central State. The state is named after the Imo River. Part of it was split off in 1991 as Abia State, and another part became Ebonyi State. The main cities in Imo State are Owerri, Orlu and Okigwe. The Orashi River has its source in this state. The local language is Igbo and Christianity is the predominant religion. Imo state was created at Ngwoma.
Geography and natural resources
Imo State lies within latitudes 4°45’N and 7°15’N, and longitude 6°50’E and 7°25’E with an area of around 5,100 sq km. It is bordered by Abia State on the East, by the River Niger and Delta State on the west, by Anambra State to the north and Rivers State to the south. Besides Owerri, Imo State’s major towns are Isu, Okigwe, Oguta, Orlu, Mbaise, Mbano, Mbieri, Orodo and Orsu.
The state is rich in natural resources including crude oil, natural gas, lead, zinc. Economically exploitable flora like the iroko, mahogany, obeche, bamboo, rubber tree and oil palm predominate. However with a high population density and over farming the soil has been degraded and much of the native vegetation has disappeared.
This deforestation has triggered soil erosion which is compounded by heavy seasonal rainfall that has led to the destruction of houses and roads.
The rainy season begins in April and lasts until October with annual rainfall varying from 1,500mm to 2,200mm (60 to 80 inches).
An average annual temperature above 20 °C (68.0 °F) creates an annual relative humidity of 75%. With humidity reaching 90% in the rainy season. The dry season experinces two months of Harmattan from late December to late February. The hottest months are between January and March.
The state has a three tier administrative structure: State, Local and Autonomous community levels. The three arms at state level are the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary. The executive arm is headed by an elected Governor who is assisted by a deputy governor, commissioners and executive advisers.
The legislative arm is headed by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly who is currently speaker Goodluck Nanah Opiah. The remainder of the house is made up of elected legislators and is the lawmaking body of the state.
The judiciary is made up of the high court of justice and customary court of appeal and is headed by the Chief Judge of the state.
• Agriculture and Natural Resources
• Industry and Tourism
• Works and Transport
Local Government Areas
Imo State is made up of twenty-seven Local Government Areas:
• Aboh Mbaise
• Ahiazu Mbaise
• Ehime Mbano
• Ideato North
• Ideato South
• Isiala Mbano
• Ngor Okpala
• Oru East
• Oru West
• Owerri Municipal
• Owerri North
• Owerri West
THE STATE CAPITAL
Owerri (/Igbo: Owèrrè) is the capital of Imo State in Nigeria, set in the heart of the Igboland.Owerri consists of three Local Govern Areas including Owerri Municipal, Owerri North and Owerri West, it has an estimated population of about 400,000 as of 2006 and is approximately 40 square miles (100 km2) in area. Owerri is bordered by the Otamiri River to the east and the Nworie River to the south.
The Owerri Slogan is Heartland. It is currently referred to as the entertainment capital of Nigeria and is home to an annual beauty pageant called “Miss Heartland”.
Owerri was the capital of the Republic of Biafra in 1969. The capital of the secessionist state was continuously being moved as Nigerian troops captured the older capitals. Enugu, Aba, and Umuahia were the other capitals before Owerri.
His Royal Highness, Eze Dr. Emmanuel Emenyonu Njemanze is the current Ozuruigbo of Owerri. The stool of the Eze Owere was founded in the 14th century when the first Owerri traditional ruler, Eze Eke Onunwa was installed. Other traditional rulers in the same royal lineage are Eze Okorie Onunwa, Eze Njemanze Okorie Onunwa, Ihemeji Njemanze Iheanacho, Eze Johnson Osuji Njemanze and Eze Onwuegbuchlem Njemanze.
Transport and Trade
Owerri has an airport 14 miles (23 km) southeast of the city, called the Imo Airport which provides service to Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt, and Enugu. Right now, it serves as an alternate for Port Harcourt.The city has an international cargo airport, the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport. Some major roads that go through the city are; Port Harcourt Rd., Aba Rd., Onitsha Rd., and Okigwe Rd. Roads within the city are; Douglas Rd., Weathral Rd., Tetlow Rd., and Works Rd. Eke Ukwu Owere market is the main market in Owerri.
Owerri sits in the rain forest and produces many agricultural products, such as yams, cassava, taro, corn, rubber and palm products. Owerri also sits on huge crude oil and natural gas reserves like most of the Igbo land areas.
Awaka, Emii, Abala
Important educational institutions in Owerri include Imo State University, Federal University of Technology Owerri, African Institute of Science and Technology (AIST CCE Owerri), Federal College of Land Resources Oforola, Seat of Wisdom Seminary Owerri, Alvan Ikoku College of Education, Federal Government Girls College Owerri, Owerri Girls Secondary School, Government Secondary School Owerri, Development Secondary School Owerri, Emmanuel College Owerri, Holy Ghost College Owerri, Community Secondary School Oforola Owerri, Federal Politechnic Nekede Owerri, Government Technical college Owerri, Army Day Secondary School Obinze Owerri etc.
Portsmouth F.C. striker and Nigeria national football team player Nwankwo Kanu was born in Owerri.
Christianity is the dominant religion in Owerri. Catholics and Anglicans have the largest followings and Owerri is home to Assumpta Cathedral, the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese in Owerri (Latin: Archidioecesis Overriensis) and the Seat of Wisdom Seminary. The archdiocese covers an area of 2,996 square kilometres. 670,986 of the 1.7 million people in the area are member of the Catholic Church.
The estimated population is 4.8 million and the population density varies from 230-1,400 people per square kilometer.
Imo state is a predominantly Igbo speaking state, with Igbo people constituting a majority of 98%.
There are several institutions of higher education with some being run by the state government and others by the federal government. The two universities being Imo State University and the Federal University of Technology Owerri. Imo state has the largest population of youths in Nigeria that seek tertiary education.
List of Governors of Imo State
This is a list of administrators and Governors of Imo State, Nigeria. Imo State was created on 17 March 1976 from part of East Central State.
Name Title Took Office Left Office Party Notes
Governor Mar 1976 1977 (Military)
Governor 1977 Jul 1978 (Military)
Sunday Ajibade Adenihun
Governor Jul 1978 Oct 1979 (Military)
Samuel Onunaka Mbakwe
Governor 1 Oct 1979 31 Dec 1983 NPP
Governor Jan 1984 Aug 1985 (Military)
Allison Amakoduna Madueke
Governor Aug 1985 1986 (Military)
Governor 1986 1990 (Military)
Anthony E. Oguguo
Governor Aug 1990 Jan 1992 (Military)
Governor Jan 1992 Nov 1993 NRC
James N.J. Aneke
Administrator 9 Dec 1993 22 Aug 1996 (Military)
Administrator 22 Aug 1996 May 1999 (Military)
Governor 29 May 1999 29 May 2007 PDP
Ikedi G. Ohakim
Governor 29 May 2007 PPA / PDP
Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha
Governor 29 May 2011 To Date APGA