Asaba, Delta

For the town in Japan, see Asaba, Shizuoka.
Nickname(s): Ani Mmili

Location in Nigeria

Coordinates: 6°11′52.23″N 6°43′42.48″E / 6.1978417°N 6.7284667°E / 6.1978417; 6.7284667Coordinates: 6°11′52.23″N 6°43′42.48″E / 6.1978417°N 6.7284667°E / 6.1978417; 6.7284667
Country  Nigeria
State Delta State
LGA(s) Oshimili South
  Total 268 km2 (103 sq mi)
Population (2006 census)[1]
  Total 149,603
  Estimate (2011) 176,060[2]
  Density 560/km2 (1,400/sq mi)
Climate Aw

Asaba (Igbo: Àhàbà),[3] is a city, strategically located on a hill at the western edge of the Niger River, overlooking its sister city, Onitsha, across the Niger Bridge.[4][5][6][7] It is the capital of Nigeria's Delta State. A fast developing urban area, Asaba had a population of 149,603 as at the 2006 census,[8] and an metropolitan population of over half a million people.[9][4]


Ahaba in Igbo language is from Ahabagom, meaning "I have chosen well", a quote from the founding father (Nnebisi) of Asaba.[4][5]


The city of Asaba was once the colonial capital of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate.[7] It was founded in 1884.[10] Between 1886 and 1900, it hosted the Royal Niger Company, which the British authorities set up to stimulate trade and the exportation of goods to England.[7] That company has grown today into the UAC Nigeria PLC. Scottish explorer William B. Balkie, when signing a trade treaty with Igbo chief Ezebogo in Asaba on August 30, 1885, remarked "After our salutations, I spoke of friendship, of trade, and of education, and particularly enlarged upon the evils of war, and the benefits of peace, all of which was well received".[11]:318

Owing to Asaba's influential history and geography, and current strategic political and economic influence in Nigeria, Asaba is generally known as the regional capital of the Anioma area,[12] the western section of Igboland.[13] The clamour for creation of Anioma state has been going on for decades.[12]


Asaba is situated on a terrace of the lower Niger River, overlooking the point where the Anambra River flows into it. Beyond the river banks, on the high plains which are far more extensive than the river basins, secondary forest vegetation flourishes.[5] The historic Niger River is a trans-African link beginning from West Africa and down into the Atlantic Ocean.[4] Asaba forms a connector between western, eastern and northern Nigeria through the Niger River from the north and via the Asaba Niger Bridge, an east-west link and a Nigerian landmark.[4]

Asaba lies approximately 60 degrees north of the equator and about the same distance east of the meridian; about 160 kilometres (100 mi) north of where the River Niger flows into the Atlantic Ocean.[5] The greater Asaba occupies an area of about 300 square kilometers. It maintains an average tropical temperature of 32 °C during the dry season and an average fertile rainfall of 2,700 millimetres (106 in) during the rainy season.


Asaba is traditionally led by the highly revered Asagba of Asaba, to whom the head (“Diokpa”) of each of the five Ebos reports directly into on matters affecting Asaba.[5][4] Greater Asaba includes some of the other neighbouring indigenous Igbo communities—Ogwashi Ukwu, Igbuzo, Okpanam and Oko —on the western section of the Niger River. Culturally and linguistically, the lower Niger River, which divides Igboland into two unequal parts, has from ancient times continued to provide easy means of communication and unity amongst the indigenous Igbo people on both sides of the river, as well as promoted trade and movement of people between Igboland and rest of the world.[13]

Since becoming the administrative capital of Delta State, Asaba has grown in population to over half a million very hospitable people. Today, it maintains a cosmopolitan population of predominantly non-indigenous people.[4] Some of the other groups in the city include Urhobo, Isoko, Ijaw, Ukwuani, Hausa, Itsekiri and Yoruba people.

Notable people

See also


  1. "FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA : 2006 Population Census" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 March 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  2. "Delta (state, Nigeria)". Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  3. Isichei, Elizabeth Allo (1997). A History of African Societies to 1870. Cambridge University Press. p. 249. ISBN 0-521-45599-5. Retrieved 2008-12-13.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "About Asaba". Retrieved April 21, 2016.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 "Asaba Progressive Union". Retrieved April 22, 2016.
  6. Okenwa Nwosu (Igbo Focus) (January 2, 2014). "The Politics of Second Niger Bridge". Retrieved April 21, 2016.
  7. 1 2 3 "Asaba". Retrieved April 24, 2016.
  8. "FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA : 2006 Population Census" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 March 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  9. "A History and Tradition". Asaba Online. Asaba Progressive Front. Archived from the original on 2007-09-15. Retrieved 2007-06-19.
  10. Letters from Nigeria,D.W. Carnegie,BiblioBazaar, LLC, ISBN 978-1-103-27100-9
  11. BAIKIE, WILLIAM BALEOUR (1856). "Narrative of an Exploring Voyage up the rivers of Kwora and Binue commonly known as Niger and TSADDA in 1885 with a map and appendices" (PDF). John Mueray, Albemarle Street (Published with a santion of Her Majesty's Government). Retrieved April 24, 2016.
  12. 1 2 "Anioma: Nigeria 37th State in the Making". Retrieved April 22, 2016.
  13. 1 2 Slattery, Katharine. "The Igbo People - Origins & History". School of English, Queen's University of Belfast. Retrieved April 22, 2016.
  14. 1 2 3 4 "Asaba. A long history and Tradition". Asaba Online. 23 August 2009. Retrieved 11 October 2016.

External links

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