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Akwa Ibom State
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Abak is a town and Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. The LGA was previously part of Cross River State. It was later sub divided into other local government areas such as Oruk Anam, Etim Ekpo, Ukanafun and Ika. Notable tribes include the Annang. The major economic activities of the people of this area before and after the Nigerian civil war was palm produce exported through river port at Ekpene Okpo, Ntak Ibesit, a distance of about 8 km from Abak town. Abak to say the least, is the shadow of its former self due to politically motivated neglect by successive governments in Akwa Ibom state.Abak before the civil war, was the economic hub of the former South Eastern Nigeria.
The major economic activities of the people is palm produce. Before the Nigerian civil war, Abak Division was the major producer of palm oil and kernel exported through river ports at Ntak Ibesit and IKOT Okoro.
Abak became the seat of Government in 1902 after conquest by war against the British colonial invaders at the valley lying between Ediene and Abak Clans. The outcome of that conquest was the penetration into the hinterland by the colonial soldiers and eventual installation of the government. Valley in the local language is called “Aba-ag” and fighting is “Anwan.” By joining the two words “Aba- ag” and “Anwan” the names “Aba-ag Ikot Anwan” was given to the newly established entity. The seat of Government kept growing until 1957 and 1958 when it gained the status of Divisional Council Headquarters. At the establishment, the area included the present Ukanafun, Oruk Anam, Etim Ekpo, Ika and the present Abak. All the places mentioned here have been developed to become full-fledged local government areas.
At the end of the civil war, the South Eastern State Government was created and Abak became one of the Development Administrative Headquarters and with the local government reforms of 1976, Abak became a full-fledged Local Government Area and has remained so till date.
The people are generally Annang. They are reputed for their resourcefulness and highly mobilized for economic development and political integration within the State and the Nigerian federation. They have a common ancestral antecedence with relics of their ancestral heritage having an unparalleled impact on the people by means of traditional songs, dances, beliefs and temperament.
Abak`s rich cultural heritage is reflected through traditional dances such as Ekpe, Ekpo, Idiongitals, etc. though majority are of the Christian faith.
Despite of the advent of Western civilization and religion, there are some cultural institutions that still exist, such as Ekpo, Ekpe, Idiong, Attat Utu-Ekpe. These were powerful instruments of traditional governance before they lost their relevance in the mid-nineteenth century with the arrival of European missionaries.
Males 73,578, females 65,512, for a total of 139,090 according to 2006 National Census.