History of Ebonyi State: LGAs and Governors from 1996 till Date

Last updated on March 26th, 2022 at 12:12 pm


Ebonyi State is one of the States in Nigeria and is located in the southeastern part of the country. Created on the 1st of October 1996 and nicknamed the “Salt of the Nation”, Ebonyi State is populated primarily by the Igbo ethnic group. Ebonyi State is one of the states created during Late General Sani Abacha’s regime in 1996.

Date of creation: October 1, 1996, by the regime of Gen. Sanni Abacha

Geopolitical zone: SouthEast


Slogan: Salt of the Nation

The State has various big towns, including Afikpo, Unwana, Onueke, Edda, Onicha, Abakaliki (which is both the State’s capital and the largest town in the State)

With a population that is in the range of 3 million inhabitants, Ebonyi State has three senatorial zones (north, south & central) and various local development centres that were established by the state government.

She was carved out from parts of both Enugu State and Abia State. Initially, Enugu State was part of the old Anambra State, while Abia State was part of the old Imo State.

Higher Institutions in Ebony

Ebonyi State has 6 tertiary institutions, and they include:

  • Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki (EBSU);
  • Federal University Ndufu Alike Ikwo (FUNAI)
  • Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Unwana
  • Savannah Institute of Technology, Ishieke Junction, Abakaliki
  • Federal College of Agriculture, Ishiagu
  • Ebonyi State College of Education Ikwo (EBSCOEI)
  • College of Health Sciences, Ezzamgbo
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As stated earlier, Ebonyi State is dominated by the Igbo ethnic group. However, there are several Igbo dialects spoken in the State, and they includes:

  • Edda
  • Ehugbo
  • Izi-Ezza-Mgbo-Ikwo dialect cluster,
  • Unwara
  • Akpoha
  • Okposi
  • Onicha
  • Uburu


The first elected governor of Ebonyi is Dr. Sam Ominyi Egwu. He came into power in 1999 via the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Dr Sam was succeeded by Martin Elechi who won the election in 2007 and successfully ran for re-election in 2011. Elechi was succeeded by the current Governor of the State – Dave Umahi – in 2015.

Natural Resources

The State is majorly an agricultural region that cultivates important food crops like rice, yam, potatoes, maize, beans, and cassava in the country.

Rice and yams are majorly cultivated in a part of Ebonyi known as Edda.

She also has various solid mineral resources like lead, crude oil, and natural gas.

The Ebonyi State Government is keen on seeing great growth in the agro-allied sector and has given several incentives to encourage investors in the industry.

She is called “the salt of the nation” due to its large salt deposit at the Okposi and Uburu Salt Lakes.

Local Government Areas in Ebonyi State

The State has 13 Local Government Areas, and they are:

  • Abakaliki
  • Afikpo North
  • Afikpo South (Edda)
  • Ebonyi
  • Ezza North
  • Ezza South
  • Ikwo
  • Ishielu
  • Ivo
  • Izzi
  • Ohaozara
  • Ohaukwu
  • Onicha

List of Governors of Ebonyi State from 1996 till date

  • Walter Feghabo: Military administrator, ruled from 7 October 1996 till August 1998
  • Simeon Oduoye: He’s a seasoned police officer And administrator who ruled the state from August 1998 till  May 1999. He was a senior police officer and later became a senator in Osun State. Simeon Oduoye died on March 21, 2014
  • Sam Egwu: He became the first executive governor of the state from May 29, 1999 till May 29, 2007. He won an election under the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
  • Martin Elechi: Assumed officer on May 29, 2007, till May 29, 2015, under PDP.
  • Dave Umahi: He is the current governor of Ebonyi State, having won an election under the umbrella of PDP and assumed office in May 29 2015. He won second term election.
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