The people of Abiriba are a community of enterprising generation who were originally of the Agunaguna sub-tribe of the main Ekoi group that were a part of the larger Yakurr group that can be traced to Ikom and other parts of the upper Cross River basin before migrating to the current location in Abia State, Nigeria.

Abiriba is a unique kingdom with a rich culture and history. It is one of the oldest monarchies in the south-eastern part of Nigeria, Africa. The kingdom of Abiriba is made up of three communities namely Ameke, Amaogudu and Agborji. It operates on a tripodal system where the Eze of each of the three communities come together to form the Enachioken-in-council with the Eze Ameke as Enachioken on the basis of first among equals. Succession to the throne of Eze Abiriba, Eze Agborji and Eze Amaogudu are hereditary – ACIUCentral.org. Abiriba has a well-developed and active Age-Grade system that has been significant to its development.

The Abiriba people are industrious and known for pre-historical black smiting and sculpture artifacts but the people have transitioned to trading and industrialization. Since the people were predominantly merchants, they are widely travelled within and outside Nigeria, and are correspondingly cosmopolitan. The exposure and prosperity of Abiriba people has induced the transformation of the community from a normal village setting to a model sub-urban but residential setting with some of the most exotic homes in the Igbo land, which earned Abiriba the nick name “Small London”.

Nnam Ukpabi Nneychey Okhe (Enuda)
The Enuda I of Udara-Ebuo
1270 – 1316

Nnam Nnachi Ukpabi Nneychey (Nnachi Ukpabi)
The Enuda II of Udara-Ebuo
1317 – 1392

Nnam Okhe Nnachi Ukpabi (Okhe Nnachi)
The Enuda III of Udara-Ebuo
1393 – 1417

Nnam Nnachi Okhe Nnachi (Nnachi Okonta)
The Enuda IV of Udara-Ebuo
1418 – 1448

Nnam Ukpaghiri Nnachi Okhe (Mbiriba Enuda)
The Mbiriba-Enuda I of Eburuaba
1488 – 1493

Nnam Nnachi Okhe Ukpaghiri (Nnachi Okhe)
The Mbiriba-Enuda II of Eburuaba
1494 – 1554

Nnam Okhe Ukpabi Nnachi (Okhe Ukpabi)
The Mbiriba-Enuda III of Eburuaba
1555 – 1603

Nnam Inyima Okhe Ukpabi (Inyima Okhe)
The Eze-Otisi I of Ebiriba
1604 – 1657

Nnam Ukpabi Oko Okhe (Ukpabi Okogo, Okonta-Ogbaenwo)
The Eze-Otisi II of Ebiriba
1658 – 1704

Nnam Ikwuagwu Ukpabi Oko (Okota Ukpabi)
The Eze-Otisi III of Ebiriba
1705 – 1721

Nnam Eleobha Ikwuagwu Ukpabi (Nnam Eleobha)
The Eze-Otisi IV of Ebiriba
1722 -1750

Nnam Oko Uduka Ukpabi (Okota Uduka)
The Eze-Otisi V of Ebiriba
1751 – 1775

Nnam Ugwa Eleobha Ikwuagwu (Ugwa Eleobha)
The Eze-Otisi VI of Ebiriba
1776 – 1796

Nnam Uduka Mbha Oko (Uduka Mbhaekhu)
The Eze-Otisi VII of Ebiriba
1800 – 1836

Nnam Itu Okali Mbha (Nnam Olo)
The Eze-Otisi VIII of Ebiriba
1837 – 1869

Nnam Egbara Ogbu Ifegwu (Nnam Egbara)
The Eze-Otisi IX of Ebiriba
1870 – 1888

Nnam Ogbu Ikpe Chukwu (Nnam Opanwa)
The Eze-Otisi X of Ebiriba
1890 – 1890

Nnam Ukiwo Obi Okiriko (Ukiwo I, The 1st Regent)
The Eze Okpe’r’ Ori-e I of Agboezi
1890 – 1899

Nnam Uduka Ottaka Ukegbu (Uduka – Nta)
The Eze-Otisi XI of Abiriba
1900 – 1903

Nnam Nmaju Ottaka Uduka (Nmaju Nweruru)
The Eze-Otisi XII of Abiriba
1905 – 1921

Nnam Okorafo Otisi Udeji (Okorafo Nweze)
The Eze-Nwaba I of Abiriba
1927 – 1940

Nnam Ikpe Mbha Oko (Eze Ikpembha)
The Eze-Otisi XIII of Abiriba
1943 – 1973

Nnam Okoro Ijagha Khalu (O. I. Khalu)
The Eze-Nwaba II of Abiriba
1975 – 1975

Eze Ukiwo Ukoha Ukiwo (U. U. Ukiwo II)
The Enachioken I & The Eze-Nwaba III of Abiriba
1976 – 1998

Eze Khalu Khalu Ogbu (K. K. Ogbu)
The Enachoken II of Abiriba
2003 – Present

Source: Mbiriba Great Rock Record of Ages Inc.

Agboji

  • Amabiam
  • Amagbo

Ameke

  • Agboha
  • Amaebelu
  • Amaeke Echichi
  • Amaja
  • Amanta
  • Amuba
  • Binyum
  • Ihebu
  • Ihungwu
  • Ukpo
  • Umueso

Amogudu

  • Amamba
  • Ogbu
  • Udanta
  • Umuechukwu

Abiriba Communal Improvement Union (ACIU)

The initiator and founder of ACIU Late Chief Lazarus Ebe Ifendu

The initiator and founder of ACIU Late Chief Lazarus Ebe Ifendu

The Abiriba Communal Improvement Union (ACIU) was formed out of the desire to organize and lead Abiriba people into socio-political and economic civilization through education.

The Inyimoka and Union Chambers of Commerce which had earlier been formed was concerned with only mercantile issues, hence there was a vacuum in the arrears of education and socio-political development and advancement.

In 1935 there was a violent dash between some Abiriba boys and Owerri boys in Umuahia, this made some of our prominent personalities to suffer humiliation and injustice. Therefore, there arose the need to have a united front for the purpose of defending our Fundamental Human Rights, improve our intellectual/ educational capacity and extend our socio-political frontiers.

Abiriba elites namely Chief George Ezikpe Anagha, Chief Odim Igbani, Chief Ndukwo Kalu (Ndukwo Nta) Chief Nwafor Ijekpa, Eme Akara, Chief Jacob Eke Obewu, Chief James Ude Eleanya under the leadership of Chief Lazarus Ebe Ifendu initiated the idea of Abiriba Union. Thus it was Chief Lazarus Ebe Ifendu that spearheaded the formation of the Abiriba Youth League in 1935 which metamorphosed into the Abiriba Communal Improvement Union ACIU, while the Umuahia group were organizing theirs, Chief Lazarus Ebe reached out to other stations like Calabar, Itu, Aba, Port Harcourt, Ifiayong, etc and encouraged them to have an Abiriba Union.

The Union had its General Conference in May 29th 1941 at IFIAYONG during which Chief Lazarus Ebe Ifendu was unanimously nominated as the General President, but he modestly declined the offer but by a consensus persuasion he accepted to serve as General Vice President.

Chief Orji Agwu Kalu (Orji Boco) was elected the first General President, Chief Ejim Akuma General Secretary and Chief Nma Agbagha as the General Treasurer.

The Constitution of the Union was ratified at the Annual General Conference held at Abiriba quarters –Umuahia in 1942 with the Motto: “SELF HELP IS THE SURE PATH TO PROGRESS”.

The ACIU was formally Incorporated on 29th April 1949 with Reg. No. RN 250.

The ACIU has produced many eminent Presidents namely:

  • Chief Orji Agwu Kalu (Orji Boco)
  • Chief Nnanna Kalu
  • Chief Dr. O.O Otisi
  • Dr. M. E. Obasi
  • Chief K.K. Onuma (Caretaker Chairman)
  • Arch Ndukwo Iwo
  • Engr. Aju Ukegbu
  • Sir Ndukwe Elezuo – Acting Gen. President
  • Prof. Anya O. Anya (Caretaker Chairman)
  • Dr. Jonah N. Ezikpe
  • Elder Ukaku Agbai Mang

CURRENT EXECUTIVES

The Central Executive Board held a free and fair election on the 26th December 2017, in accordance with Article 14.1 (viii) of our Constitution.

  • General President – Dr. Eke Agbai
  • 1st General Vice President – Chief Ekeagbara Uba Obasi
  • 2nd General Vice President – Comrade Uba Anya
  • 3rd General Vice President – Hon. Anya A. Ebitu
  • General Secretary – Hon. Agbai Osiri
  • Assistant General Secretary – Mr. Johnson Mang
  • General Financial Secretary – Mazi Frank Ojah
  • General Treasurer – Prince Christopher Okafor Ukeagbu
  • General Publicity Secretary – Engr. Onwuka A. Agbai
  • Ex-Officio – Prince Anyanso George
  • Ex-Officio – Chief Ejemole Azu
  • Legal Officer

GOVERNING BODIES

THE GOVERNING COUNCIL

This is the Highest Organ of the ACIU and comprises of:

  • The Trustees
  • Elected Members of Central Executive Board
  • Presidents and Secretaries of the Branches
  • Chairmen and Secretaries of Standing Committees
  • Three Representatives of Ukeji Agbala
  • Three Representatives of Uke Igwa Mang
  • President and Secretaries of Affiliated bodies

THE TRUSTEES

The Trustees are the General President who presides over the Governing Council.
The General Secretary who is also the Secretary.
Five other nominees who presently are:

  • Prof. Anya O. Anya
  • Chief Onyeani Eziyi
  • Arch. (Chief) Ndukwo Iwo
  • Dr. Kalu Ebitu
  • Dr. Okafor Mang Lekwauwa.​

THE PATRONS

The Patrons acts as Advisory Body and is presently made up of:

  • The Enachioken
  • The Effah
  • The Ukpaghari
  • Ochiagha Ebitu Ukiwe
  • Ezeogo (Dr.) Anagha Ezikpe
  • Barr. (Chief ) K.K. Ogba
  • Elder Mrs. Kalaria Uba Obasi

Source: ACIU Central

Inynimoka and Umon Chambers of Commerce

From time immemorial, Abiriba, has remained a community of farmers and traders. The trading activities emanated from Blacksmith industry in which Abiriba was famous. Most of the traders reside outside Abiriba. The need to be organized under leaders became inescapable, hence the formation of UMON GUILD OF TRADERS (UMON CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE) FOR Abiriba people in the Riverine Areas and INYNIMOKA GUILD OF TRADERS (INYNIMOKA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE) for Abiriba traders in the Upland or Railway Line Areas. These chambers of commerce handle cases of disputes arising from business transactions.

Inynimoka is made up of two divisions and six houses:

Division: Okpankwo
Okpankwo Houses: Omokwo, Okpan and Eme
Division: Utum Nde Nkaa
Utum Nde Nkaa Houses: Okpuma, Okorie/Emenonye, Kalu/ Igban

Umon is made up two divisions and eight houses:

Division: Nwafor
Nwafor Houses: Otoum, Uluo Ukwu, Ono and Agwu Ocha
Division : Udenyi
Udenyi Houses: Ude Itum Akanowo, Okpu Ogbu, Ude Nkpa and Nde Nbe (extinct)

Areas where Inynimoka and Umon are found:

Port Harcourt – Inynimoka
Aba – Inynimoka and Umon
Umuahia – Inynimoka
Uzuakoli – Inynimoka
Enugu – Inynimoka
Lagos – Inynimoka and Umon
Arochukwu – Umon
Upper Cross River – Umon
Equatorial Guinea – Umon
Cameroon – Umon

Source: A.C.I.U. Port Harcourt

IGBA NNUNU – BIRD SHOOTING

Igba nnunu is an age long tradition of the Abiriba people whereby a boy between the age of five and seven years parades a live bird hooked to a bow which he captured around the nooks and crannies of the community where his relatives live. The live bird hooked to a bow symbolizes the enemies he is expected to capture and bring home alive when he gets of age or the skulls of the enemies he will be bringing home in the course of his hunting exercise or while exercising security functions for the community at an older age. It is seen as the first heroic achievement of an Abiriba male child and it is exclusive to only the male children.

Its origin emanates from the fact that in the olden days, Abiriba was surrounded by very hostile communities and in order to protect its territories, the community began to train their male children on the art of marksmanship at a very early stage in life. For security purposes therefore, a male child was taught the use of bows and arrows and how to aim at objects and to shoot birds. This practice trains the male children for bravery, courage and the aggression for them to fulfil the family and community civic responsibilities as their grow older.

In those days, during these training exercises, boys are placed under the watchful eyes of older boys who will follow them around and act as their guide. These older boys known as “master”, will take the boys out early in the mornings to show them how to hunt down birds with their bows and arrows and the day a boy succeeds in shooting down a bird, he will be adorned with a copper rod coiled around his waist and with the bird foisted at the end of the bow, he will be led by his master and peers round the community to show off his prowess.

While moving around the community where his relatives live, adults will be beckoning on him to tell them how he achieved this feat and he will demonstrate to them, after which the adults may put a little quantity of sand on his head and may also present him with money or tuber of yam or maize, as the person is disposed to do. The adult may also dismiss the boy by calling him “eti”, which signifies a great male child of valour or child hero, while thanking him for the feat. Every gift that is handed to the boy will be collected and kept for him by the older master.

At the end of the exercise of the presentation of the bird to the public, the elders of the family will gather at the compound square where the bird will be roasted and eaten by the boy and his peers but the head will be given solely to the boy to eat.

The gifts collected by the boy is shared into three parts and given to:

  1. The elders and other members of the compound where the heroic boy comes from.
  2. The heroic boy himself
  3. The master of the heroic boy.

This childhood rite symbolizes the transition of the boy from infancy to childhood and the memory of this ceremony is usually not lost in a long time. By Abiriba tradition, anybody who does not successfully pass through this stage of life cannot perform the Uche ceremony, unless the person makes certain reparations.

In today’s practice of the Igba nnunu, male children who are a lot older but who could not perform this ceremony when they were younger can still do it and in most practices today, the male children do not always go into the bush to hunt for the birds but their parents arrange professional hunters to get the birds while the children carry them around as if they shot them down themselves. It must also be said that in today’s practice, the boys are not expected to move around naked, as was the case in the olden days.

Source: Igba Nnunu – Bird Shooting by Oby Ikeotuonye Eke-Agbai – Excerpts from Her book “ACHIEVERS IN OHAFIA LGA OF ABIA STATE OF NIGERIA, THE ONA EXPERIENCE”.

Ikuru Igwa Mang
The Age grade system by Abiriba Tradition is an effective instrument of our local administration. The most senior of our (13) thirteen active and recognized Age Grade which is known as the premier Age Grade (Ukeji Agbala) in our Local Parlance is the Traditional watch dog of Abiriba Kingdom. (Ukeji Agbala also head “Inyimoka/Umon” outside Abiriba and anywhere you find Abiriba people. The Ukeji Agbala provides a definite line of responsibility through which Enachioken-in-Council communicate with people and also gets feed backs. Ukeji Agbala operates with active support of Uke Igwa Mang and Umunzu their junior ward which act as the law enforcement agent of the community. 
Source: A.C.I.U. Port Harcourt

Akanu Age Grade Divisional Library
The Akanu Age Grade Divisional Library, Abiriba, was commissioned by the then Military Administrator of Imo State, Colonel Sunday Ajibade Adenihun in 1979. The library, like a lot of things in the country, have suffered from obsolescence and poor maintenance. And although it is still functioning, with a maximum of 5 or 6 visitors a day. 
Source: A.C.I.U. Port Harcourt

 

Egwuena Girls Secondary School
Egwuena Girls Secondary School is a public combined junior and senior secondary school located in Amaeke Ward1, Abiriba in Ohafia Local Government Area, Abia State, Nigeria. In a survey done on 16-Apr-2014, the school had 105 female students making a total of 105 learners served by 15 teachers, the school had 10 classrooms.
Source: A.C.I.U. Port Harcourt

 

Egwuena Model Primary School
Egwuena Model Primary School is a public combined pre-primary and primary school located in Ameke, Abiriba in Ohafia Local Government Area, Abia State, Nigeria. In a survey done on 29-Mar-2011, the school had 134 male students and 114 female students making a total of 248 learners served by 14 teachers, the school had 10 classrooms, 2 toilets. 
Source: A.C.I.U. Port Harcourt

Enuda High School
Enuda High School is a public combined junior and senior secondary school located in Amaeke Ward1, Abiriba in Ohafia Local Government Area, Abia State, Nigeria. In a survey done on 16-Apr-2014, the school had 278 male students making a total of 278 learners served by 15 teachers, the school had 18 classrooms with electricity, 2 toilets with an improved water supply and sanitation system.
Source: A.C.I.U. Port Harcourt

 

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