Essien Udim LGA
Essien Udlm Is bounded In the North and West by Abia State, In the East by Ikot Ekpene, Obot Akara and Ikono Local Government Areas, In the South by Abak, Etlm Ekpo and Ika Local Government Areas.
Essien Udim is one of the Annang speaking Local Government Areas in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. It was created out of the former Ikot Ekpene division and included the following clans in Annang land: Ukana, Adiasim, Ikpe, Odoro ikot, Akon, Nsasak, and Ekpenyong Atai. Historically, it was the most populated area among the Annang.
What is now Essien Udim is a coined name of the political history of the area. From political perspective, what now is described as Essien Udim had its unbroken infirmity from ages gone by. In those days the homogenous span of land from Ikot Umo Essien/Okon/Mkpatak/Ekpenyong to Ukana East and West, Adiasim, Afaha and Ikpe Annang were collectively known and addressed as central Annang.
Before the Civil War, the portion described as Central Annang with its full autonomy as a council was merged with Ikot Ekpene Urban and Otoro County Councils. Eventually, the three district country councils merged to be known as Ikot Ekpene Local Government. That arrangement continued until between 1979 – 1983 when Cross River State House of Assembly created local governments council areas. It was during this creation that Okogi Panel created Essien Annang and Udim Local Government Areas. Udim has its name derived from these clans: Ukana, Adiasim, Ikpe Annang and Ekpenyong/Mkpatak. “Essien” is a name from the English version “Central” Essien Annang. It could be recalled that the name “Essien” was an introduction by agitation committee of what emerged and known as Central Annang. However, the two local governments functioned simultaneously. Essien Annang had its headquarters at Ukana Iba. There was no approval from the Federal Government, hence, it was abolished and eventually merged with Ikot Ekpene.
By May 3, 1989 the Federal government created 149 Local Government Areas over the country and decided in coined names from the two units of Essien Annang and Udim and from that date Essien Udim emanated.
They are predominantly Christians although very few still practice some forms of traditional African Religion. The people are highly educated, while the government is trying its best to boost adult education and the Universal Basic Education to ensure that all should know at least how to read and write.
Essien Udim Local Government Area has a rich cultural background. The notable cultural plays include Ekpo masquerade, Ekong, Utuhekpe, Uta, Asian Uboikpa, Mbopo. These cultural activities provide a very good attraction to tourists especially and foreigners. New yam, cocoyam and melon festivals are also carried out in this area mostly as traditional ceremonies to promote bountiful harvest. There are also palaces of “Ikorok” – traditional gods, Atan Ikot Okoro water influence, “Asakiba Oyop” at Adiasim, Ikot Ekong – Ikot Ada Utor ancient monument.
The land mass consist of undulating plains. Rivers are few and far between the plains. Prominent among them are Uwa West/Ikot Ebak, that permeates Ekpenyong/Mkpatak and merges into Etim Ekpo channel which eventually drains into Atlantic Ocean. Shallow depressions contain seasonal lakes that serve as sources of water supply to rural farmers and are commonly known as ponds and such ponds are Nta, Oworeto and Ikpe.
Tourism potential abound In the Local Government Area and when fully explored will serve as a tourist haven.
The climates of Essien Udim like other region lies in the tropics and consist of two main seasons: the dry and the wet season. The soil of Essien Udim has a simple pattern of sedimentary geological formation. This consists mainly of sands of tertiary coastal plains.
The local dialect is Annang.
The Local Government Area Is blessed with crude oil reserve and mineral deposits such as clay, sand, gravel, soft sand. Agricultural produce such as palm produce, raffia palm, coconut, plantain, cassava, banana, yam are produced In commercial quantities.
Many inhabitants are public servants, self employed, farmers, hunters, blacksmiths, and men and women of various kinds of trade
The Essien Udim Local Government Area is made up of homogenous group of people believed to have originated from the same ancestral stock like other Annang people. The people are very hospitable, sociable and adhere strictly to an extended family system.
|* Source: 2006 National Census|