Written By
First Published
Last Updated


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, Amuch Onomo. In 1977, Ai-Unwaba, kindred of Okpe was granted clanship status by Benue State government thus making it the seventh clan. The district headship of Owukpa is rotated between these seven clans and the current district head is Hyacinth Ojobo Idoko (Ogwuche Ekwo clan). Past districts heads in chronological order were Ijanda Egigwe (Agada clan), Cohogwu Onyiaba (Okpe clan), Inedu Onye (Agbo Ogri clan), Thomas Ugwu Oko (Ai-Unwaba clan) and Agbara Uhi (Ai-Amuch clan). The current district head is Chief Emmanuel Odeh (Oko clan).