The South eastern region is part of the 6 geopolitical zones in Nigeria mostly dominated by the Igbo speaking states. This major ethnic group have various traditional values which of course can be found in their culture, food, dressing and religion.
Although, they might not have a massive land mass as it is with the Northern states, these south east states are known to have rich mineral resources that cater for the nation in general. It is also said that the Igbo people are also industrious in nature. No wonder, they boast of the sucessful business men who are movers and shakers of the Nigerian economy.
For the benefit of doubt, we will list out the 5 states that makes up the south eastern part of Nigeria and also show you the eastern Nigerian map that will clearly show the name of the states, their capitals and size.
The 5 South Eastern States In Nigeria and their capitals include:
Abia is one of the states in South Eastern Nigeria with its capital at Umuahia. One of its major cities and commercial hub is Aba. The state was established in 1991 after it was carved out from Imo State which is bounded to by the west. It shares borders with River state to the south while it shares boundaries to the north by Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu states respectively.
This Igbo speaking state occupies a geographical area measuring 6,320 square kilometres in size and the most important rivers in Abia State include the Imo and Aba rivers all linked to the Atlantic Ocean passing through Akwa Ibom, one of the Niger-Delta states.
Aba which is the major industrial center of the state and one of the best cities in the country contributes largely to Abia’s GDP and its states economical sector. This area is very suitable for business as manufacturing companies, textile industries, pharmaceutical firms are situated in Aba.
Also, Abia state is one of the oil and gas producing states in Nigeria contributing over 25% of the state’s GDP. It is well documented that Abia state produces up to 36,000 barrels of crude oil per day thanks to registered 100 oil wells with flow stations located in the state.
As for the agricultural sector, which is also an important sector in the state’s economy, it contributes about 30% to the states GDP and employs a workforce of nearly 20,000 persons within the state. The Alaoji Power plant and the Geometric Power plant are the two major power plants in Abia.
The health care sector of the state isn’t that effective but the presence of two main hospitals which are the Abia State University Teaching Hospital in Aba and the Federal Medical Center in Umuahia serves the inhabitants of the state well
The various universities and polytechnics in Abia state include:
- Michael Okpara University of Agriculture located at Umudike (Federal University)
- Abia State University located in Uturu (State owned university)
- Gregory University located in Uturu (Private)
- Rhema University situated in Aba
- Abia State Polytechnic situated in Aba.
Anambra is another Igbo speaking state in southeastern Nigeria with its capital situated in Awka which also is the seat of the government. The slogan of the state is “Light of the nation” and it has lived up to that bidding. This state shares boundaries with Imo to the west, Kogi state to the north and Rivers state to the south.
Onitsha city still remains the commercial hub and the most important area of the state where business thrives. There is also Nnewi, a town in Anambra that has most of the richest igbo business men within the state.
Anambra state has 21 local government areas which include: Aguata, Awka North, Awka South, Anambra East, Anambra West, Anaocha, Ayamelum, Dunukofia, Ekwusigo, Idemili North, Idemili South, Ihiala, Njikoka, Nnewi North, Nnewi South, Ogbaru, Onitsha North, Onitsha South, Orumba North, Orumba South and Oyi L.G.A respectively.
The question as to whether Anambra state is an oil producing state has been put to rest by the federal government as it was just recently included within the rich oil states list in the country. Some natural resources found with Anambra include natural gas, bauxite, crude oil etc.
The universities in Anambra state include: Nnamdi Azikwe University (Federal school) and Chukwuemeka Odumegbu Ojukwu University (state owned school). The predominant religion in this state is Christianity.
Ebonyi was created in 1996 during the military era. It was carved out from Abia and Enugu states and is also one of the five states in the South Eastern region of Nigeria. The capital of Ebonyi is Abakaliki and its slogan or nickname is “salt of the nation”.
Ebonyi has 13 Local Government Areas namely: Abakaliki, Afikpo North, Afikpo South (Edda), Ebonyi, Ezza North, Ezza South, Ikwo, Ishielu, Ivo, Izzi, Ohaozara, Ohaukwu and Onicha.
The tertiary institutions found within the state include:
- Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki (EBSU)
- Federal University Ndufu Alike Ikwo (FUNAI)
- Ebonyi State College of Education Ikwo (EBSCOEI)
- Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Unwana
- College of Health Sciences, Ezzamgbo
- Federal College of Agriculture, Ishiagu.
The Igbo dialect spoken in Ebonyi state are divided into the Izi-Ezza-Mgbo-Ikwo dialect cluster, Edda, Ehugbo, Akpoha, Okposi, Uburu and Onicha. Ebonyi is known for its large salt deposit at the Okposi and Uburu Salt Lakes. Some crops such as rice, potatoes, yam, maize, and cassava are just a few that can be found in the state.
Enugu is a major state in the southeastern region of Nigeria. Created from old Anambra state in 1991 during the regime of Babaginda, the capital of Enugu state is Enugu. The state’s slogan is “coal city” as it is blessed with this natural resource in abundance. It was during the time of the British colonization in Nigeria that these coals were mined in great quantity and transported back to England.
Enugu, Nsukka, Agbani and Awgu are the main cities in the state and the first indigenous university in Nigeria, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), is located in Enugu State.
Other prominent schools such as Enugu State University of Science & Technology, Institute of Management and Technology, The Federal Cooperative College, Oji River; Enugu State College of Education Technical, Enugu and others are all situated within the state.
Imo is the richest Igbo state in Nigeria and has Owerri which is its largest city as its capital. This state is among the oil producing states in the federation and has the following natural resources: crude oil, lead, natural gas, calcium cabornate and zinc.
With the presence of 163 oil wells at 12 different locations in the state, Imo state has top petroleum companies operating within its environs such as Chevron Corporation, Addax Petroleum, Agip and Royal Dutch Shell.
The South-eastern region had about 12 states initially during the Nigerian Civil War. It was later broken down into the five states listed above when Nigeria was divided into geopolitical zones and as stated above, the main language of the region is Igbo.
Some of the mineral resources found in these south eastern states includes: Coal found in Enugu, Crude oil found in Enugu state, natural gas, bronze among others. There are also some points of interest found in this region. Population in the south east as of 2006 is estimated at 16,381,729 according to the Nigerian Population Commission during the Obasanjo administration.
In recent times, the people of the south east are really agitating for a sovereign state of BIAFRA. They feel marginalized as they claim that the government of Nigeria have seriously negelcted them especially when it comes to allocations, occupying important seats in government and also welfare. Nnamdi Kanu is said to be the head of the Indigenous People of BIAFRA, a movement that seeks to break away from Nigeria.