Asaba, DeltaAsaba () is a city located at the western bank of the Niger River. It is the capital of Delta State Nigeria. A fast developing urban area, Asaba had a population of 149,603 as at the 2006 census, and a metropolitan population of over half a million people. Asaba is well known for social activities due to the presence of large people and social amenities such as hotels, clubs, cinemas, malls, event centre, etc. It holds a yearly program named Delta Yaddah which always host series of gospel singers among others. Due to its large population, crime rate is high. Crimes such as pick pocketing, sideways robbery, etc, is rampart in Asaba. Because of the existence of foreigners in the state, cost of living is high in Asaba. The Onitsha bridge is the boundary between Delta and Anambra state, as the bridge separates Asaba and Onitsha.
EtymologyAsaba is from the exclamation Ahabam, meaning "I have chosen well", a quote from the Nnebisi the founding father of Asaba.
HistoryThe city of Asaba was once the colonial capital of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate. It was founded in 1884. Between 1886 and 1900, it hosted the Royal Niger Company, which the British authorities set up to stimulate trade and the exportation of goods to England. That company has grown today into UAC Nigeria PLC. Scottish explorer William B. Balkie, when signing a trade treaty with Igbo chief Ezebogo in Asaba on August 30, 1885, remarked "After our salutations, I spoke of friendship, of trade, and of education, and particularly enlarged upon the evils of war, and the benefits of peace, all of which was well received".
Owing to Asaba's influential history and geography, and current strategic political and economic influence in Nigeria, Asaba is generally known as the regional capital of the Anioma area. The clamour for creation of Anioma state has been going on for decades.
GeographyAsaba is situated on a terrace of the lower Niger River, overlooking the point where the Anambra River flows into it. Beyond the river banks, on the high plains which are far more extensive than the river basins, secondary forest vegetation flourishes. The historic Niger River is a trans-African link beginning from West Africa and down into the Atlantic Ocean. Asaba forms a connector between western, eastern and northern Nigeria through the Niger River from the north and via the Asaba Niger Bridge, an east-west link and a Nigerian landmark.Asaba lies approximately 6 degrees north of the equator and about the same distance east of the meridian; about 100 mi north of where the River Niger flows into the Atlantic Ocean. The greater Asaba occupies an area of about 300 square kilometers. It maintains an average tropical temperature of 32 °C during the dry season and an average fertile rainfall of 106 in during the rainy season.
Greater Asaba includes some of the other neighbouring communities such as Igbuzo, Okpanam, Oko, Okwe and Ugbolu on the western section of the Niger River.
CultureAsaba is culturally led by the highly revered Asagba of Asaba, to whom the leaders (individually referred to as the “Diokpa”) of each of the five settlement quarters (locally identified as Ebos) report directly on matters affecting the community. The Asagba is assisted by the Iyasele of Asaba [Iyase] who is the customary Prime Minister as well as a council of chiefs and elders [Olinzele, Otu Ihaza, Oloto, etc].
DemographicsIgbo people constitute sixty-three percent of the total population of Asaba.
Since becoming the administrative capital of Delta State, Asaba has grown in population to over half a million people. Today, it maintains a cosmopolitan population of predominantly non-indigenous people. Some of the other groups in the city include Urhobo, Isoko, Ijaw, Hausa, Itsekiri and Yoruba people.