In this article, Nigerian Infopedia takes a look at the brief history of Imo State, her local governments, her economy, her past and present governors and the natural resources found in this wonderful state in our dear country fondly known as the Eastern Heartland.
On February 3, 1976 General Murtala Muhammed carved out a State in Nigeria from the old East Central State and named it Imo State. This was how this darling of Eastern Nigeria was birthed.
Imo takes its name from Imo River, it lies within latitudes 4°45’N and 7°15’N, and longitude 6°50’E and 7°25’E. The capital of the state is the beautiful city of Owerri which also doubles as its largest city. As you approach Owerri from the Western part of Nigeria, the first beautiful sight you see is the magnificent Maria Assumpta Cathedral.
Local Governments in Imo State
There are twenty-seven (27) Local Government Areas in Imo State and they’re listed below.
- Ezinihitte Mbaise
- Ideato North
- Ideato South
- Isiala Mbano
- Oru East
- Oru West
- Owerri North
- Owerri West
Major Towns in Imo State
With Owerri being the largest and major city in the state, there are some towns however, which hold great importance as well. In no particular order, these major towns in Imo State include:
Okigwe, Oguta, Nkwerre, Orlu, Mbaise, Mbano, Mbieri, Ideato, Awo-Idemili, Ohaji, Obowo, Ngor-Okpala, Uzoagba, Emekuku, Orodo, Mgbidi.
Imo State Geography
Imo State is located in the south-eastern part of our beloved country, Nigeria. It spans a total area of 5,530 square kilometres. Imo shares its border to the north with Enugu and Ebonyi States; to the west with Anambra State. To the south, it shares its border with Rivers State; and to the east, with Cross River and Akwa Ibom States respectively.
Imo is a predominantly Igbo speaking state and it is one of the five (5) major Igbo speaking states in Nigeria.
Major Rivers and Lakes in Imo State
There are many rivers in Imo but the major ones are the Imo river, Otamiri and Njaba rivers. Njaba can be seen as you go through Awo-Omamma from Onitsha to Owerri via the Njaba bridge. The main lakes in Imo State are the Oguta lake and the Abadaba lake.
Tourism in Imo State
The Eastern heartland is a tourist destination with the State Government doing everything possible to attract investors through the Imo State carnival organized every year. Apart from that, Imo boasts a good number of tourist sites and they are listed below.
- Imo Wonderlake Resort and Conference Centre, Oguta.
- Abadaba Lake.
- The Source of Urashi River.
- The Amadioha Shrine.
- The Ancestral Home of King Jaja of Opobo.
- The Blue Obana Lake.
- Ekwe and Ebenator Spring.
- Iyi Ogidi Spring.
- Iyi Mgbede Spring.
- The Nekede Zoo and Gardens.
- The Ngwu Spring Natural Water.
- The Amusement Park, Owerri.
- Ada Palm Plantation Complex.
- Mbari Cultural and Art Centre.
- Palm Beach Holiday Resort, to mention but a few.
Past and Present Governors of Imo State
Since her creation in 1976, the Eastern heartland has been ruled by both military and civilian governors. All together, there have been fourteen (14) governors who have ruled Imo state till date and they are listed below.
1. Ndubuisi Kanu, Military Governor (1976 – 1977)
2. Adekunle Lawal, Military Governor (1977-1978)
3. Sunday Ajibade Adenihun, Military Governor (1978-1979)
4. Samuel Onunaka Mbakwe, Civilian Governor (1979-1983)
5. Ike Nwachukwu, Military Governor (1984-1985)
6. Allison Amakoduna Madueke, Military Governor (1985-1986)
7. Amadi Ikwechegh, Military Governor (1986-1990)
8. Anthony E. Oguguo, Military Governor (1990-1992)
9. Evan Enwerem, Civilian Governor (1992-1993)
10. James N.J. Aneke, Military Governor (1993-1996)
11. Tanko Zubairu, Military Governor (1996-1999)
12. Achike Udenwa, Civilian Governor (1999-2007)
13. Ikedi G. Ohakim, Civilian Governor (2007-2011)
14. Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha, Civilian Governor (2011-2019)
15. Emeka Ihedioha, Civilian Governor (2019-till date)
Mineral Resources Found in Imo State
Imo state is blessed with natural resources and the mineral resources found within the state are:
- Fine Sand
- Natural Gas
- White Clay.