Abak Lies on the South West of Akwa Ibom State and bounded in the North by Ikono Local Government Area, North West by Essien Udim Government Area. West by Etlm Ekpo and Ukanafun Local Government Areas. South by Oruk Anam and in the East by Uyo Local Government Area. Abak town, the local government headquarters is located about 18 kilometres from Uyo, the State capital. It has a landmass of 304 square kilometers. Abak is known for its importance in Agricultural Development. It has so many agro-based and agro allied industries located within it. Plans are on the way to upgrade the town to a city. One of such plans is the duallisation of the Abak- Ikot Ekpene road as well as construction of new roads and housing estates. The government also plans to build university of Agriculture. Abak is where the Nigerian Army Barrack popularly known as Ibagwa Barrack is located.
Abak is one of the parent local government areas in Akwa Ibom State (created on September 1987 from Cross River State). It was later sub divided into other local governments like Oruk Anam, Etim Ekpo, Ukanafun and Ika local government areas. It is termed the most friendly local government area because of the hospitality of the people. It was one of the big social areas of the then Cross River State in the Sixties and the Seventies until the developmental concentration shifted to the capital of Akwa Ibom State which is Uyo local government area. It is a central local government for the Annang tribe. Central in the sense that most of other annang local government area inhabitants tend to settle there. It has a very strong social potential hampered by low infrastructural development.
Abak became the seat of Government in 1902 after conquest by war against the British colonial master 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.
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- nineteen century with the incursion of the European Missionaries to the hinterland.
Private sector driven hospitality establishment such as hotels, parks, gardens and clubs.
Rich mineral deposits such as sand, gravel, clay, salt and crude oil (corked). Situated in the tropical rain forest that supply abundant palm produce, cassava and various vegetables
The people from this are predominantly farmers and sundry traders. Others are into pottery and weaving.
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.
|* Source: 2006 National Census|