Governor of Anambra State
Anambra is a state in southeastern Nigeria. Its name is an anglicized version of the original ‘Oma Mbala’, the native name of the Anambra River. The capital and seat of government is Awka. Onitsha, Nnewi and Ekwulobia are the biggest commercial and industrial cities, respectively. The state’s theme is “Light Of The Nation”. Boundaries are formed by Delta State to the west, Imo State and Rivers State to the south, Enugu State to the east and Kogi State to the north. The origin of the name is derived from the Anambra River (Omambala) which is a tributary of the famous River Niger.
The indigenous ethnic group in Anambra state are the Igbo (98% of the population) and a small population of Igala (2% of the population) who live mainly in the north-western part of the state.
Anambra is the eighth-most populated state in the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the second-most densely populated state in Nigeria after Lagos State. The stretch of more than 45 km between Oba and Amorka contains a cluster of numerous thickly populated villages and small towns giving the area an estimated average density of 1,500–2,000 persons per square kilometre.
Anambra possesses a history that stretches back to the 9th century AD, as revealed by archaeological excavations at Igbo-Ukwu and Ezira; Great works of art in iron, bronze, copper, and pottery works belonging to the ancient Kingdom of Nri, revealed a sophisticated divine Kingship administrative system which held sway in the area of Anambra from c. 948 AD to 1911.
During the Nigerian/Biafran war, a relief airstrip was constructed by Biafran engineers in the town of Uli/Amorka (code named “Annabelle”). Extremely dangerous relief flights took off from Sao Tome and other sites loaded with tons of food and medicine for the distressed Biafran population. Uli/Amorka airstrip was the site where brave American pilots like Alex Nicoll, and scores of others, made the supreme sacrifice in the service of humanity, delivering tons of relief supplies to the Biafran population.
Disgusted by the suffering and mounting death toll in Biafra from starvation as well as the continuous harassment of the relief planes by the Nigerian Airforce, Carl Gustaf von Rosen resigned as a Red Cross relief pilot and helped Biafra to form an Airforce of five Mini coin planes Malmö MFI-9 stationed at the Uga airstrip. He named his tiny but effective airforce “Babies of Biafra” in honour of the babies who died via starvation inside Biafra.
Old Anambra State was created in 1976 from part of East Central State, and its capital was Enugu. A further re-organisation in 1991 divided Anambra into two states, Anambra and Enugu. The capital of Anambra is Awka.
The geographical area is known today as the Anambra State of Nigeria came into being along with eight others, on 27th August 1991, following the creation of states exercise of the historic year. It was created from the old Anambra State. Significantly enough, it derives its name from Anambra River, which is a tributary of the majestic River Niger. The capital of Anambra State is Awka, but it has Onitsha and Nnewi as its major commercial centres. The Onitsha main market is reputed to be the largest of its kind in the West Africa sub-region.
The State covers an area of 4,416sqkm; has tropical rain forest vegetation, humid climate with a temperature of about 87F and rainfall of between 152cm-203cm. Situated on rolling flat land on the eastern plains of the River Niger, the State has a population of 4,055,048 people, according to the 2006 census. There are few states in the country that have as many neighbours as Anambra State, which shares boundaries with Abia, Delta, Enugu, Imo and the Kogi States.
PAST AND PRESENT LEADERS OF ANAMBRA STATE
One of the special characteristics of Anambra State is the immense resourcefulness of its people who carry on a most animated business and other relationships with people who come across them. Perhaps, because of this, the state for its survival is dependent on both inter-and intra-peace, harmony and uninterrupted flow and exchange of ideas, goods and services.
There is no question at all that there is a large variety of ways, especially through ‘do-it-yourself’ development programmes, that clearly give expression to the people’s commitment in several community development efforts. These efforts, which are easily visible in the areas of construction of rural roads, culverts & bridges, health institutions, rural electricity supply, educational institutions, bore-holes etc, have now come to acquire a proverbial dimension.
Thus, the highly industrious and resourceful people of Anambra State have done remarkable development work in all parts of the state with energy and determination. Indeed, the rich human resources of the state are not in doubt; Ndi Anambra is known for their enterprising disposition. Perhaps, nowhere is the tenacity of Ndi Anambra more evident than in their vigorous struggle for personal achievement.
The Igbo language is the mother tongue, but English is widely spoken and a lot of the non-literate population understand and speak ‘broken’ English. However, a small group of Igala-speaking people exists in Anambra West LGA of the state. In addition, citizens of the state live and work in virtually every part of the country and easily learn the languages of their places of sojourn. They also integrate easily with host communities where they find themselves.
Because of their friendliness and large-hearted nature. Ndi Anambra has very high regard for and are openly generous to strangers. Indeed, people are willing to go to great lengths to shower their well-known traditional hospitality on visitors and strangers.