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Welcome to Asaba, the Beautiful Capital of Delta State

Asaba also known as Ahaba-Ujom by the other Anioma communities is one of the most beautiful and fastest growing state capitals in Nigeria . Ibusa, Okpanam, Ogwashi-Uku and Onitsha are the closet towns to Asaba. Asaba and Ibusa have almost formed a single community due to the nearness between the two communities and level of development that has linked the towns. Asaba is also connected with Onitsha by the magnificent River Niger Bridge .


Following the creation of Delta State in 1991, Asaba was announced as its headquarter by the Ibrahim Babangida regime amidst protest from the other ethnic groups in the state. However, Asaba has justified its choice with a clear proof to once worrying concern that it is more than a state capital. First, its people who are of Anioma extraction are accommodating without discrimination to ethnicity or religion. Second, the town is a peaceful one, one without any history of violence. Third, it is surrounded by towns with hard-working and influential indigenes who have worked toward the self-development of their towns.


Asaba is not the headquater of Delta State by accident. Indeed being an headquarter is not strange to it. In the periods back, it was the choice of the British as the capital of Southern Nigeria because of the potentials within the town. The River Niger has served the town for centuries providing it with sense of security against external aggression or invasion and also helps the people to do their domestic responsibilities. It has also been environmentally fair to the people and above all, added to the beauty of the town and region.


Because of lack of records, historical accounts on the origin of the people are too diverse but popular Aguleri oral account believes that a warrior and hunter from Eri migrated from Igalla land and settled near the bank of River Omabala. Nnebisi the warrior and hunter married Nono which resulted in the birth of Agulu and Adaugbo (female) The male children founded towns which still bear their names today.


The oral history of the people regards the Ikelike people who migrated from Benin as the first settlers on the land which is today called Asaba. There was Ugboma often regarded as the second settler migrant from Achata in Awka District he settled in Obodo Achala still in existence today but due to ceaseless wars which took place many of these settlers resettled in Achala-Igbuzo, Okpanam and Kwala where they can still be found today. Ugboma was the second settler.


Anyanwu, the most important settler and a great builder of Asaba is recognized for making the city what it is today. He arrived from Obosi. His father was said to be one of the retreating members of Chime family escaping from the wrought of Oba of Benin. Anyanwu settled in a place close to Ugboma and bare a son named Odikpe the founder of todayís Idumu Odikpe in the town.


\Originally Asaba consisted of nine Ebos (Quarters) but due to internal strife, wars with other communities and slave trade that followed, these Ebos were reduced to only 5.


The Ebos are:


  1. Umuezei
  2. Ugbomanta
  3. Umuaji
  4. Umuagu
  5. Umuonaje


Popular native greetings in Asaba are:


  1. Oyibo
  2. Ojukpa-Aku
  3. Agu
  4. Aje
  5. Ogene
  6. Omogwu (also used in Ibusa)
  7. Osodi (for wives)
  8. Otena-Mgbo (for wives) also in use in Ibusa
  9. Akudika (for wives)
  10. Oliuwa (for wives

By Emeka Esogbue 


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