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IMO, THE PEOPLE AND STARS

By NBF News
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Imo State was created in 1976 along with other new states by the leadership of the late military ruler of Nigeria, Gen. Murtala Muhammad. The state was previously part of East-Central State. The state derived its name from the Imo River. Part of the state was split in 1991 as Abia State, while another part became the present Ebonyi State.

Major cities in Imo State are Owerri, Orlu and Okigwe. The Orashi River has its source in this state. The local language is Igbo and Christianity is the predominant religion. Imo state was created at Ngwoma.

Geography/resources/ Climate
Imo State lies within latitudes 4°45'N and 7°15'N, and longitude 6°50'E and 7°25'E with an area of around 5,100 sq km. It is bordered by Abia State on the East, River Niger and Delta State on the west, Anambra State to the North, and Rivers State to the south. Besides Owerri, Imo State's major towns are Isu, Okigwe, Oguta, Orlu, Mbaise, Mbano, Mbieri, Orodo and Orsu.

The state is rich in natural resources including crude oil, natural gas, lead, zinc. Economically exploitable flora like the iroko, mahogany, obeche, bamboo, rubber tree and oil palm predominate. However with a high population density and over farming the soil has been degraded and much of the native vegetation has disappeared.

This deforestation has triggered soil erosion which is compounded by heavy seasonal rainfall that has led to the destruction of houses and roads.

The rainy season begins in April and lasts till October with annual rainfall varying from 1,500mm to 2,200mm (60 to 80 inches).

An average annual temperature above 20 °C (68.0 °F) creates an annual relative humidity of 75%. With humidity reaching 90% in the rainy season. The dry season experinces two months of Harmattan from late December to late February. The hottest months are between January and March.

Government
The incumbent governor is Ikedi Ohakim, elected in April 2007 with Ada Okwuonu as deputy.

Languages
English, Igbo
Local Governments in the state
Imo State has 27 Local Government Areas namely: Aboh Mbaise, Ahiazu Mbaise, Ehime Mbano, Ezinihitte, Ideato North, Ideato South, Ihitte/Uboma, Ikeduru, Isiala Mbano, Isu, Mbaitoli, Ngor Okpala, Njaba, Nkwerre, Nwangele, Obowo, Oguta, Ohaji/Egbema, Okigwe, Onuimo, Orlu, Orsu, Oru East, Oru West, Owerri Municipal, Owerri North and Owerri West.

Population
The estimated population is 4.8 million and the population density varies from 230-1,400 people per square kilometer.

Notable People
The state, like other states across the federation can also boast of having notable personalities who are outstanding in their various human endeavour ranging from education, sport, business and politics among others. Some of them are: Chioma Ajunwa – 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist, Nwankwo Kanu – National International Footballer, Emmanuel Amunike – 1994 African Player of the Year and Olympic-winning soccer star, Chidi Imo – renowned athlete, Genevieve Nnaji – Nollywood actress, Onyeka Onwenu – Singer, actress & politician.

Others are Dr Sir Warrior – Highlife musician, Dr Alban – Eurodance Musician, Pats Acholonu – Supreme Court Justice, late Evan Enwerem – Former governor and former President of the Senate, Collins E. Ijoma – The youngest U.S. Trial Court Administrator, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu – Politician and Businessman, late K. O. Mbadiwe – Former Minister of Commerce and Industry, Sam Mbakwe – Former Governor, Fabian Osuji – Former Minister of Education, Achike Udenwa – Former Governor, Maurice Iwu – Former INEC Chairman, Adiele Afigbo – late distinguished Historian, Michael Echeruo – Academic, Writer, and Ikeoha I. Iwuh – Academic, Writer, Psychology Studies among others.