Uyo, which serves a dual role of State capital as well as Local Government Headquarters, is bounded by Abak, Itu, Uruan, Ibesikpo Asutan and Etinan Local Government Areas. With the emergence of various educational institutions in Uyo, there has been an influx of indigenes into these institutions for formal education and in various field of specialties. While the Local Government Council has for some time now been helping to encourage this with scholarships to deserving indigenes within and outside the country to study professional course, individuals are not left out in this match towards civilization. Manpower development and indeed Human development had been given adequate attention in the area and the people are very responsive to it. This is evident in the cream of professors, doctors both Academic and Medical and other professional on various disciplines who are indigenes serving within and outside the states and the country at large.
The Local authority has also helped in empowering some indigenes within the Local Government Area in the establishment of smell scale industries and trade and entrepreneurial training to boast self employment and sufficiency with increased productivity within the area.
Be this as it may, and whatever view that History may have deemed certain on this issue, it could be said affirmatively here that, though the different groups and tribe within the state may have migrated to their present places of abode at different times, the bulk of the Akwa Ibom people came from the same geographical area. This is also applicable to Uyo people as having to settle here from Edik in search of the wild apple fruit “Uyo” since this was commonly found here in the area. It is worthy to mention here that wild apple fruit that is Uyo an indigenous fruit with multifunction. It edible, medicinal and the fruit is used in preparing a famous delicacy in the area called “Efere Mbukpap Uyo.
Uyo Local Government is a creation of statute of the Federal Government of Nigeria. It is by creation one of the 31 Local Government Councils that make up Akwa Ibom State, which is one of the 36 State of the Federation of Nigeria. Its creation was a condensed account of political struggle of people desperately yearning to assert their identity in the political map of Nigeria. Many people see the political existence of Uyo Local Government Area, the Akwa Ibom State capital as providing the Nucleus for the development of the people once neglected. An area in the South Eastern part of Nigeria that is endowed with great economic potentials.
Uyo was fist created as a province in 1959 by the colonial masters. The aim was to split the Ibibio tribe into smaller administrative units for effective governance. The History of the Ibibio cannot be complete without mentioning Uyo Local Government Area as the core or credit of the Ibibios. Their origin to some sources is traced to central of Benue valley (Talbot) while another source has it that the Ibibio people migrated from the Cameroun (Henry Nau a pioneer Lutheran Missionary and K. O. Dike). Bany Floyed and another field informant maintained that the core of the Ibibio people is the “Afaha Lineage” whose original home has been traced to “Usak Edet” in the Cameroon. Among the Ibibios Usak Edet is popularly known as ‘Edik Afaha’ reflecting that all Afaha people in Ibibio land emanated from Usak Edet. A contemporary survey has it that there is no Local Government council in Akwa Ibom State that does not have one two Afaha villages existing within their constituted area.
Uyo people are of the Ibibio stock and speak Ibibio language. There are unique traditions of the people which are expressed in Ekpo, Ekpe masquerades and dances.
Uyo Local Government area as a people have unique but various traditions and culture. In mode of dressing the dominant attire of an Ibibio man is a Loincloth “Unwanwang Ofong Isin” and shirt with Hat and staff to go with. While the women folds have a Loincloth as well generally called ‘Ndot Iba’ with a piece of it on the head as head- tie with blouse to match. They are also blessed with delicacies such as white soap ‘Afia Efere:, Afang Soup, Edikang Ikong soup, Ubo Nkong, Efere Ibaba, Efere Mbukpap Uyo and a host of others. In the entertainment aspect, we have various dances and other cultural play like “Ebre” for women, “Asian Uboikpa” for young girls and also the “Akpara” dance for women.
The men have the “Ekpo” masquerade, the “akinkoriko” or Awade” for young boys. Among the young girls we also have the ‘Abang’ dance for unmarried once the dance from which most young men pick their partners. The young men also have ‘Mbok’ display a kind of traditional wrestling competition often displayed by young men before the elder and the cream of the society as a forum of assessing the strength, might and vigor of some youth for wars, leadership and fitness of a king’s assignment and a process towards the marriage of a princess.
The people of Uyo by way of worship predominantly Christians. They belief in the existence of one Supreme Being Outside this, we still have the practice of Traditional worshipping with their unique shrines for their various deities like Idiong, Ndem, Ibok etc. some of such deities associated with each of the four clans that make up Uyo Local Government Area are “Etefia” of Ikono Clan, The “Afia Etoi” of Etoi Clan “Udu Oku” of Oku Clan an the “Ukana Offot” of Offot Clan. Their belief is that, thought they are different they are messengers of supreme being that see to the peace stability and well- being of the area.
|* Source: 2006 National Census|