HISTORICAL AND BACKGROUND OF Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area

HISTORICAL AND BACKGROUND  OF Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area,  Ohaji/Egbema lga as presently constituted was created by the Ibrahim B. Babangida’s administration by the August 27, 1991 presidential proclamation, caved out of the former Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta L.G.A, Ohaji/Egbema has its headquaters at Mmahu in Egbema District and other districts headquaters at Ohaji west and Ohaji East. location of Ohaji Egbema.  Ohaji/Egbema L.G.A lies in the south/western part of Imo State and shares common boundaries with Owerri in the East, Oguta in the North and Ogba/Egbema/Ndomi in Rivers state in the South West. Landmass: Ohaji/Egbema covers an area of appromately 958.010spkm POPULATION Ohaji/Egbema has an estimated population of 800, 904. POLITICAL ARRANGMENT Ohaji/Egbema L.G.A comprises of three districts namely; Ohaji East Egbema North Ohaji West There are 12 council wards The local Government also has sixteen (16) autonomous communities namely: Egbema, Umuagwo, Oloshi, Umunkwaku, Obile, Obitti, Mgbirichi/Alakuru, Opuoma,Assa, Awarra, Ikwerede, Umuokanne, Obiakpu, Ohaba, Obosima, Mmahu, ADMINISTRATION In about its eighteen years of existence, the Ohaji – Egbema Local Government Area has been administered at various times by elected and appointed leadership. At its inception in September, 1991, Mr. A.E Onukuro was appointed the sole Administrator. It is currently being led by an elected government headed by Hon. Prince C.E.C. Ikegwuruka as the executive chairman. It has six departments namely Administration, Finance, Health, Education, Works, Agriculture Planning & Statistics all headed by career civil servants known as heads of departments and other unit heads. PEOPLE AND CULTURE OF OHAJI/EGBEMA L.G.A Legend has it that Egbema people migrated from Benin in Edo state in 1502 during the 16th century exodus and settled at ALINSO which later in 1931, took the name Egbema while people from Ohaji are said to have migrated from various parts of the country. OCCUPATION The people of Ohaji/Egbema are blessed with vast fertile land for agriculture and wildlife, most of them therefore are farmers, hunters, fishermen. A good number of them are also in public service. RELIGION Ohaji/Egbema people are mainly Christians but good number are also heathens. MAJOR MARKETS Major markets in Ohaji/Egbema include, Eke Opuma, Nkwo Mmahu, Orie Abacheke, Afor Etekwuru in Egbema district and Eke Awara, Eke Umuagwo, Nkwo Amafor, Ahia Mgbirichi, Orie Umuokanne and Ahia Ohoda in Ohaji district. TRADITIONAL INSTITUTIONS The Nze-Obi is the paramount traditional ruler of Egbema and the highest traditional figure in Egbema. The Stool is for life. The last Nze-Obi recently joined his ancestors and the vaccum is yet to be filled. The Ohaji district has Ezes in their respective autonomous communities and there are about 10 (ten) Ezes in all the district. Following Nze-Obi of Egbema are the EZEALIS, these are paramount chiefs in their respective towns and they are usually elected. There are also palace chiefs who are selected and installed by the Nze-Obi to assist him in day to day administration of palace and adjudicate on cases in the palace. FESTIVALS Ohaji/Egbema People have rich cultural heritage some of the numerous festivals in Egbema are: Ichi-Ozo, Igwa Ji, Iwu-Azhi-, Igba- Mgba,Isu-Uzo, Ike-Ihiri, Idu-Miri etc. Ohaji people on their side have Owu or Idumiri Okorosha, Iri-Ji, Igba mgba etc. The Ohaji/Egbema people have high regard for tradition. GOVERNMENT PROJECTS The local Government is an oil producing area and has some government projects established mainly through the Imo state oil Producing Areas Development commission (ISOPADEC). Such projects include water projects, in various part of the L.G.A like, Obokofia water project at Obokofia Egbema, Umuokanne water projects in Ohaji, Ohaba-Obosima road etc. Electricty projects in Umuapu-Ohaji, Mmahu electricity extension, on-going National integrated power plant project, 18 Health facilities situated all over the L.G.A including general hospitals at Mmahu and Umuokanne. INDUSTRIAL ESTABLISHMENT The L.G.A Being on oil producing has attracted a good number of Oil producing and oil servicing companies to the area and they have constrbuted towards the development of the area by building & maintaining good roads, classrooms, health facilities satellite water scheme, Garri Processing factory, etc. such major Oil producing and servicing companies include shell Petroleum Development company (Nig) Ltd (SPDC), CHEVRON NIG LTD, NIGERIA AGIP OIL COMPANY LTD (NADC) and many others: EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS The local Government Area has a good number of education institutions which include; Total number of primary school Primary schools in Ohaji district = 45 Primary schools in Egbema district = 60 Total primary schools = 105 Number of Adult Education centres = 49 Number of Privately owned commercial schools = 7 Number of government secondary schools = 17 Number of vocational schools = 10 Number of Nursery schools = 20 Number of Tertiary institution = 1 (Mecheacal Okpara Polytechnic, Umuagwo.) ECONOMIC VIABILITY Ohaji/Egbema is located in the rich agricultural zone of Imo state hence agriculture is the mainstay of the people. Faming, Fishing, Palm Oil processing, Hunting, and animal husbandly are vigorously practiced. A good number of big companies, government agencies and voluntary organizations have established farms in the various areas of the local government. There is Adapalm (Nig) Ltd at Ohaji, Rubber Estate at Obitti, forest Reserve at Ekugba etc. These also serve as tourism attraction centers for visitors to the area.

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