Explore AbiribaExplore Abiriba And Tourism
Situated some 53 kilometres north east uf Umuahia, the capital city of Abia state of Nigeria.
Abiriba is a community of three major quarters which originally was comprised of seventeen villages. The three quarters are Ameke, Agboji and Amaogudu. In the 1991 National census the population of the community was put at 40036 with a spread of 21, 797 for Ameke, 5,161 for Agboji and 13,278 fur Amaogudu. The projected population figure for the community in year 2,000 was 51, 000 persons. But these figures are greatly underestimated.
Abiriba people, are great travellers and for every one person found at home , there may be three or four others abroad. The density of the population at any given point in time depends on the inflow and outflow of the rather fluid inhabitants. Taken at its peak of density, the Abiriba population in 1991 would be in the region of 160,000 to 180,000 inhabitants. Thus using the same projection, the population, by the year 2000 would be over 205,000.
Abiriba is an autonomous community with an urban status. Autonomy here implies that it is not under the traditional rulership of any monarch but its own. It is one of the three communities that make up Ohafia Local Government Area.
The Abiribas are Igbos of the Cross River basin. Like other Igbo clans Abiribas are of the Bantu stock and Ekoi / Agunaguna extraction. In particular, the Abiribas are a part of the Agunaguna sub-tribe of the main Ekoi. The Abiribas, also like other Igbos, originated from central Africa during the great dispersal and made their way into the Nsukka-okigwe-Afikpo triangle, hence the Abiribas might have been an off shoot of the Afikpo civilisation.
The last migration of the Abiribas to their present homeland started in the 14th century AD with Ukpaghiri(Ubaghara) as the leader of the Clan. the exact take of location was at Ekpa (Mkpa) east of the Cross (Qua Ibo) river. They crossed the river to urupkam (Usukpam) west of the Cross river and founded two settlements – Ena Uda and Ena Ofia in present day Erai in Cross River state Nigeria. After their sojourn their, and with the great Enachi Oke as their leader, they moved on into present day Ohafia in Abia state and founded the settlement Udara Abuo. The settlement did not have an all year round stream so the clan split into two one headed by Ukpabi Ukpo trekked south eastwards into The southern tip of present day Ameke – Abiriba and founded a settlement called Agboha by the side of the Olara Stream that flowed through out the year. The banks of this stream was very fertile. they were comfortable there and named the area Ebiriba. the other clan headed by Nnam Nwagu Effa (Uncle to Ukpabi Ukpo) headed south westwards and stumbled into a stream (the Iyi Eru) this stream also flowed all year. He exclaimed uka gwu (the search is over) the place was named Okagwe and much later Agboji. The split clan, now reunited, called the settlement Abiriba the first leader of the united clan was Oke Ukpabi who moved his seat of power to its present day location at ndi Okogo. He had three sons, one of the sons, Chuku, separated from his brothers and moved further away and founded UmueChuku (Amaogudu) he later rejoined his brothers for security reasons and the entire community was ruled by one king the Enachioken from Ndi Okogo in Ameke.
In the whole of the Igbo ethnic nationality no other community can boast of more cultural festivals, ceremonies and rites as Abiriba. Coupled with its scenic beauty, cleaniness and lots of natural springs and hills, Abiriba is potentially a haven for tourists.
The Abiribas have through out History closely guarded and preserved their culture. with over 100 dances, ceremonies and rites, no other community comes close to this, both in number and purity and originality.
Ntum Oha has an agenda to articulate, fine tune and show case these well preserved festivals, ceremonies and rites and convert them into a tourist attraction.