INSTRUCTIVELY, Aba is a major trading city in Abia State, located on the Aba River. According to reports, the town was established by the Igbo people. It was a military base used by the British colonial administration in 1901. The city became a collecting point for agricultural products.
The aborogines of Aba are the Ngwa, an Igbo sect, just as is well known for its craftsmen
VF gathered that the current location of the city is based on land conceded to the British crown by the Eziukwu-Aba community. It eventually became an administrative center of Britain’s colonial government. Aba has been a major commercial center since it became part of the old Eastern region.
According to reports, the British founded a military post in Aba in 1901, just as a railroad was constructed to link it to Port Harcourt 14 years later. This transported agricultural products such as palm oil and palm kernels.
In 1929, Aba was the site of a revolt by Igbo women, historically known as “The Aba Women’s Riot”, a protest of the colonial taxation policy Surrounded by oil wells
Aba is surrounded by oil wells which separate it from the city of Port Harcourt, a distance of about 30 km; a 30 kilometre pipeline powers Aba with gas from the Imo River natural gas repository. The city has played a lasting role in the Christian evangelism of the SouthEast of Nigeria since the British brought the Church Missionary Society (CMS), an evangelism vehicle of the Church of England used to plant what today has become the Anglican Church of Nigeria.
Muslims and mosques are also present in Aba; the largest mosque is the Hospital Road Mosque.
Nonetheless, it was reliably gathered that the hospitality industry in the city is beginning to look up. Today, people can now move into hotels in the city and relax. Businessmen from neighbouring states have started returning to the city for business transactions and the city of Aba seems to be taking its rightful place once more as the commercial hub of the former central Eastern Nigeria.
The governments in Umuahia and the security operatives drafted by the Federal government have continued to collaborate to ensure the menace is brought to a complete stop. The government has pledged it readiness to provide all the logistics required by the military and the police, while vowing to prosecute those involved in the criminalities that have pervaded the state.
It would be recalled that Governor T. A. Orji during a live broadcast in Umuahia Sunday May16, 2010 offered an amnesty package to all kidnappers and persons involved in one way or the other in the dangerous business and urged them to come out of the forest and other hiding places and lay down their arms. If they heed the call, they will embrace the governor’s programme in this respect and enjoy all the benefits implicit in the package.
This call has been sustained by the state government. But as it is presently,it is a fight to finish between kidnappers and the state government on one hand and the military on the other.
For the peace that has returned, VF checks revealed residents of Aba are now going about their normal businesses, just as there will be mass exodus of people to the region for the yuletide celebrations.