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Owukpa (derived from the word Awokpa, meaning “people of the water area”) is one of three districts that make up Ogbadibo Local Government Area, the other two been Orokam and Otukpa. Situated in the southern end of Idoma West, it is bounded in the North by Okpoga district and in the East by Ichama district, both of Okpokwu local government area. In the south, Owukpa shares boundary with Obollo Eke in Udenu local government area of Enugu State while Orokam borders Owukpa in the West. Owukpa is inhabited by a homogeneous community who are decedents of Amuche Onomo.

Owukpa people are primarily farmers and are renowned for the quality of their palm wines, palm oil, cashew nuts, kola nuts, yams and cassava. Ede and Ukwo markets in Owukpa usually attract traders from and wide. The people of Owukpa are predominantly Christians though there are pockets of elders who still worship pagan gods. Despite the prominence of Christianity, the celebration of new yam festival is an important yearly event in Owukpa.

There is vast coal deposit in Owukpa, estimated to be around 48m tonnes, which was mined in the past but collapsed during the economy downturn. Efforts are currently on-going towards the revival of the coal mining industry, though past efforts have been hampered by environmental concerns about the effects of open cast coal mining.

Owukpa originally had six clans; Ogwuche Ekwo, Okpe, Agada, Agbo Ogri, Ai-Amuche and Oko. These clans are believed to represent the six children of the father of Owukpa, Amuche Onomo. In 1977, Ai-Unwaba, kindred of Okpe was granted clanship status by Benue State government thus making it the seventh clan. The Och'Owukpa (district headship of Owukpa) is rotated between these seven clans but there has been no district head since 10th January 2017, when the last Och'Owukpa was elevated to 3rd Class Chief overseeing Orokam and Owukpa districts.  

Past Och'Owukpas in chronological order are Ijanda Egigwe (Agada clan), Ochogwu Onyiaba (Okpe clan), Inedu Onye (Agbo Ogri clan), Thomas Ugwu Oko (Ai-Unwaba clan), Agbara Uhi (Ai-Amuche clan), Hyacinth Ojobo Idoko (Ogwuche Ekwo clan) and Emmanuel Ujah Odeh (Oko clan 12th August 2012 to 10th January 2017). In 2020, the Benue State government replaced the Och'Owukpa position with Ward Heads, so currently there are 4 Ward Heads in Owukpa.

The current Ad'Ogbadibo (since 13th November 2018), Chief Emmanuel Ujah Odeh, is from Owukpa district.

The main markets in Owukpa are Ede Owukpa (small market) and Aho Ogbor Owukpa (Aho market).


How come you did not make mention of Itabono and Ehaje?. Meanwhile I am currently undertaking a research on Owukpa area, I will appreciate if you can help me with some information about the clan.

Thu, 09-Mar-23 - 12:58
Joseph ujah

We have Ede, Ukwo, Aho and Eke markets in Owukpa. Means is not counted as a clan, but a sub unit in one of the Itabono clans. You try.

Sat, 05-Jun-21 - 16:54

Please do you have more details about Owukpa?, I will love to connect with you. I am from Owukpa too, I am writing my school project on the area, I hope to hear from you. @ujahjoekings@gmail.com
Or 09076502392

Thu, 09-Mar-23 - 13:01
Joseph ujah

In reply to by Patrick Andrew

A very good effort by putting this information about Owukpa, even though no reference or source are quoted... thank you very much

Wed, 04-Apr-18 - 12:44
John Ejembi

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