Imo is a state in Nigeria, with administrative capital in the city of Owerri. Imo State falls within the south-east geopolitical zone of Nigeria alongside Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu States. Imo State is also part of the Niger Delta region, an agglomeration of mostly oil-rich coastal southern Nigerian states that also include Abia, Bayelsa, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Edo, Ondo and Rivers States.
Imo State is located some 527.9 km south of Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja, and 140.6 km south-west of Enugu, the capital of Enugu State.
Imo State is bounded to the north by Anambra State, to the east by Abia State, and to the south and west by Rivers State.
Imo State has an area of 5,530 km². This means that Imo State is the third smallest state by area in Nigeria.
Imo State has within its borders 27 out of the 774 local government areas that alongside the 36 States form the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Imo State is predominantly inhabited by Igbo-speaking people.
The History Of Imo State
Imo State was created on Febuary 3rd 1976 by the regime of General Murtala Ramat Mohammed. Imo State was formed following the split of the former East-Central State into two states, namely Anambra State, with capital in Enugu, and Imo State, with capital in Owerri.
In 1991, Abia State was carved out of Imo State during the state creation exercise undertaken by the regime of General Ibrahim Babangida. This development left Imo State with its current boundary.
At Nigeria’s independence in 1960, Imo State was part of the Eastern Region, which existed as one of the three regions of Nigeria till 1963, and as one of the four regions of Nigeria from 1963 to 1966.
The regime of Major General Johnson Thomas Umunnakwe Aguiyi Ironsi which was enthroned in 1966 via coup dissolved the regional system and replaced it with a provincial system. The four regions became four provinces. The area now known as Imo State was part of the Eastern Province.
In 1967, another coup led to the enthronement of the regime of General Yakubu Gowon. The regime quickly dissolved the provincial system and replaced it with a twelve state structure. Imo State was part of the East-Central State which was one of the three states created out of the former Eastern Province.
It was not long before the new system was challenged as Nigeria fell into a civil war, and the area now known as Imo State became part of a breakaway Republic of Biafra.
The civil war ended in 1970, with the defeat of Biafran forces and the restoration of Nigeria government’s authority on areas within the breakaway republic. The area now known as Imo State thus remained part of the East-Central State of Nigeria till 1976.
In 1976, the regime of General Murtala Ramat Mohammed split the East-Central State into two states, namely Imo State and Anambra State. This was how Imo State was formed.
The boundary of Imo state has however not remained the same since its formation in 1976. It was readjusted in 1991 when Abia State was carved from the south-eastern Nigerian State.
Rear Admiral Ndubisi Kanu is the first military governor of Imo State, and Samuel Onunaka Mbakwe is the state’s first civilian governor.
The Government Of Imo State
The Imo State Government, like every other state government in Nigeria is made up of three arms: the executive arm, the legislative arm and the judicial arm. The executive arm of the Imo State government is headed by an elected governor assisted by commissioners who the governor appoints to head the various ministries of the state government. The current executive governor of Imo State is Rochas Anayo Okorocha.
The legislative arm of the Imo State Government which convenes at the Imo State House of Assembly in Owerri is made up of 27 members elected by the people of the 27 state constituencies of Imo State State. The Imo State House of Assembly is headed by a speaker who is the legislative head of the state government. The current speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly is Ihim Iheanacho.
The judicial arm of the Imo State Government is headed by the Imo State Chief Judge. The current Chief Judge of Imo State is Justice Paschal Nnadi.
Zones In Imo State
Imo state has a total of 27 local government areas grouped into 3 zones that are otherwise known as senatorial districts. The 3 senatorial districts of Imo state are:
- Imo East
- Imo West
- Imo North
Imo East senatorial district has 9 local government areas. The 9 local government areas of Imo East senatorial district are:
- Aboh Mbaise
- Ahiazu Mbaise
- Ezinihitte Mbaise
- Ngor Okpala
- Owerri Municipal
- Owerri North
- Owerri West
Imo West senatorial district has 12 local government areas. The 12 local government areas of Imo West senatorial district are:
- Ideato North
- Ideato South
- Oru West
- Oru East
Imo North senatorial district has 6 local government areas. The 6 local government areas of Imo North senatorial district are:
- Ehime Mbano
- Isiala Mbano
The Population Of Imo State
The widely disputed result of the 2006 national population census put the population of Imo State at 3,927,563, with 1,976,471 males and 1,951,092 females.