One of the paramount ideas behind local government creation in Nigeria, as in other parts of the World is to bring development closer to the people at the grass root. It was as a result of this, Obubra was established as a British colonial district in 1902 and has since undergone several metamorphoses in terms of geography and administrative nomenclature to the extent that from 1976 to date, it became known as “Obubra Local Government Area” following the local government reforms of 1976 in Nigeria.
Today, Obubra is one of the oldest local government areas in Nigeria (Ogwua, 2007). It lies between latitude 4o 45’ and 6o 15’ North of Equator and longitude 8o 12’ East of Greenwich Meridian. It is bounded in the north by Yala and Ikom Local government areas, in the south by Yakurr local government area and in the west by Ebonyi state. The present-day Obubra as a geo-political entity covers an area of 1115 km2 with a population of 172,543 people, as at 2006 census (National Population Commission of Nigeria, 2006). It is situated in the central senatorial district of Cross River State of Nigeria and has its headquarters at Obubra, There are eleven political council wards in the local government area, namely: Ababene, Ofat, Ofodua, Ovonum, Apiapum, Iyamoyong, Ochon, Obubra Urban, Ofumbongha/Yala, Osopong I, and Osopong II.
At inception, its jurisdiction extended to present-day Biase, Akamkpa, Abi and Yakurr as well as Ikom and Ogoja local government areas. But today, greater proportions of these areas have been excised from Obubra leaving a seemingly mono-cultural group of people of Mbembe descent as well as other minority ethnic nationalities like Yala (Nkum), Ekuri, Isobo and Izzi speaking people. The Mbembe speaking people who constitute the majority consist of the following traditional clans: Adun, Okum, Osopong and Ofumbongha/Yala. In concrete terms, Obubra could be best described as having the characteristics of an ethnic plural society.
This history is an excerpt from a paper by Okey Ovat: Read it here
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