List of All Igbo Speaking States in Nigeria: We shall educate you on the Igbo-speaking states of Nigeria, also known as the South-Eastern States, in this post, and present a full list to that effect. As with the Yoruba-speaking states in Nigeria, we shall list and describe in depth all the states in the country where the Igbos are extremely concentrated and call home. Igboland’s predominant religion is Christianity.
The Igbo are a significant ethnic group in Nigeria. They are primarily concentrated in the country’s south-east geopolitical zone, and as a result, all territory in the region where the Igbos originate and live is referred to as Igboland. The entirety of Igboland is also referred to as the Land of the Rising Sun, as it is believed that the Sun rises in the East and sets in the West. One defining quality of the Igbo person is their never-say-die mentality, which enables them to be extremely productive; this ability to generate money out of nothing has always been passed down through generations. Igboland is home to the majority of people who speak Igbo, one of Nigeria’s most widely spoken languages.
As you are probably aware, Nigeria’s three major ethnic groups are Igbo, Hausa, and Yoruba, and each of these Nigerian peoples and cultures are mostly found living in large communities in their native lands in specific regions of the country, despite the fact that they migrate to other parts of the federation and are free to live and work in any part of the country. The Igbos live in the east or south-east, the Yorubas in the south-west, and the Hausas in the north.
Read also: How to Set up a GoFundMe Account in Nigeria
The Igbo are one of the most organized peoples in the country, if not the entire continent. They are also among the best educated, and their business acumen is unmatched in Nigeria, with all due respect to other ethnic groups and tribes. The impacts of the Nigerian Civil War are still felt in Igboland to this day, yet the Igbo Nation has overcome all odds to remain strong. They account for around 29% of Nigeria’s total population and have created more billionaires in the country than any other tribe.
COMPLETE LIST OF IGBO-SPEAKING STATES IN NIGERIA
The following is a list of all states in Nigeria’s south-eastern region, also known as the Igbo Speaking States.
Imo State is the wealthiest state in Nigeria’s south-east region and is home to a large number of indigenous Igbo speakers. The state is known by the slogan “Eastern Heartland,” and it is thought that regardless of the Igbo dialect spoken, the Imo Igbo is the core Igbo, which all Igbo people refer to as Igbo Izugbe. The center Igbo is indigenous to the people of Owerre (Owerri) and Umuahia (formerly a city in Old Imo State but now the capital of Abia State). Imo State is named after the Imo River, one of Nigeria’s major rivers.
Imo State’s capital is Owerri, which also serves as the state’s major metropolis. Imo State has produced notable politicians in Nigeria, including Sam Mbakwe, a former governor of Old Imo State; Evan Enwerem, a former Senate President; Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, the founder of Iwuanyanwu Nationale (now Heartland Football Club); Emeka Ihedioha, a former Deputy Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives; and Samuel Anyanwu, a former Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria representing Imo East
Imo State is one of Nigeria’s wealthiest states and a major oil producer. Additionally, the state is one of the country’s nine Niger-Delta states and is endowed with a plethora of mineral resources. The state has 163 oil wells located in 12 distinct areas, making it a preferred location for major petroleum firms such as Chevron Corporation, Addax Petroleum, Agip, and Royal Dutch Shell.
Along with Imo State, Anambra State is Nigeria’s oldest Igbo state, and it is arguably the most populous of all South-Eastern states. The state is home to a sizable population of indigenous Igbo speakers and is a vital part of Igboland. The Igbo race is thought to have originated in Nri (with Igbo-Ukwu as its capital) and Aguleri, who are members of the Umueri clan in Anambra State. Due to its proximity to the River Niger, Anambra State is a seaport state, with Onitsha as its capital.
Anambra State is home to the most millionaires in Nigeria, as well as the country’s largest indigenous vehicle manufacturing and assembly company, Innoson Motors, which is headquartered in Nnewi, another significant city in the state. During the Nigerian Civil War, the town of Uli, which is now part of the Ihiala Local Government Area, was a vital part of Igboland since it was here that the Biafra army constructed their airport for take-off and landing of aircraft, primarily at night.
The state is named after the Anambra River, one of Nigeria’s longest rivers, and it is also an oil producing state. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Nigeria’s first President; Chuba Okadigbo, Nigeria’s former Senate President; Dora Akunyili, former Director-General of NAFDAC and former Minister of Information and Communication; Chukwuma Soludo, Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria; and Peter Obi, former Governor of Anambra State and former Vice Presidential Candidate under the Peoples Democratic Party.
Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University was renamed from Anambra State University in honor of the late war hero and significant figure in Nigerian history, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu. The institution is one of the best in Nigeria for studying mass communication. Another university, the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, is located in the state capital of Awka. It is a federal government-owned institution that is one of the best in the country for studying pharmacy.
Abia State is another Igbo-speaking state that was created in 1991 after Imo State was divided. Umuahia, the capital of Abia State, is another location, apart from Owerri, where the central Igbo language is spoken. Aba is the capital city of Abia State. It is home to a nationally and internationally renowned shoe manufacturing industry that continues to grow in stature with the passage of time.
Abia is one of two Igbo oil-producing states in the country’s Niger-Delta area, the other being Imo State. Enyimba International, a football club that has earned national and international recognition, is based in Abia State, more precisely in Aba. Notable Abia-born Nigerians include Michael Okpara, the Eastern Region’s Second Premier; Bright Chimezie, a popular Nigerian musician; Michael Emenalo, a former Nigerian footballer and former Football Technical Director at Chelsea Football Club and AS Monaco; Ben Iroha, another former Nigerian footballer; and Eni Njoku, a Nigerian Botanist and Educator, to name a few.
Enugu State is one of the best Igbo states, boasting excellent roads and a tranquil climate conducive to living and working. The state was formed in 1991 from Anambra; it is home to the renowned University of Nigeria, which has campuses in Nsukka and Enugu, the state capital. UNN is one of Nigeria’s five most prestigious universities.
Enugu State is well-known for its wealth of coal, which is why its slogan is “Coal City State.” Enugu served as the capital of the Eastern Region following Nigeria’s independence from Great Britain in 1960. Enugu also served as the capital of the short-lived Republic of Biafra, earning it the moniker “capital of Igboland.” After the Nigerian military forces took Enugu, the Biafran capital was relocated to Umuahia. Owerri was Biafraland’s final capital before it succumbed.
Enugu State is home to notable cities such as Enugu, Nsukka, Agbani, and Awgu, as well as prominent schools such as the Enugu State University of Science and Technology, the Institute of Management and Technology, the Federal Cooperative College, Oji River, and the Enugu State College of Education Technical, Enugu, to name a few. Chiwetel Ejiofor, an international film actor; Zain Asher, a CNN newscaster and Chiwetel’s sister; Ken Nnamani, a former President of the Nigerian Senate; Ike Ekweremadu, a former Deputy President of the Senate; and Flavour N’abalia, a Nigerian musician, to name a few.
Ebonyi State is the final but not the least of the Igbo-speaking states on this list. In 1996, the state was formed from portions of Abia and Enugu states. Abakaliki is the capital and largest city. The state is one of the fastest growing in the south-east, boasting excellent road networks in its main city. Among the state’s other notable cities are Afikpo, Onueke, and Onicha, to name a few.
Ebonyi State is home to the popular Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu Alike Ikwo. Additionally, the state is home to the following educational institutions: Ebonyi State University in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State College of Education in Ikwo, Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic in Unwana, College of Health Sciences in Ezzamgbo, and Federal College of Agriculture in Ishiagu.
Akanu Ibiam, former Governor of the Eastern Region; and Anyim Pius Anyim, former Senate President of Nigeria are only a few notable Nigerians from the state.
There are five states in Nigeria that are entirely Igbo speaking, and these five states comprise what is known as Igboland. Apart from the five traditional southern states, native Igbo speakers are also found in parts of Delta, Edo, Rivers, and Benue states. These individuals constitute the state’s minority ethnic group. Some residents of Cross River and Akwa Ibom states also speak Igbo fluently and are conversant with the language’s ins and outs.