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Abia State is a state in southeastern Nigeria. The capital is Umuahia, although the major commercial city is Aba, formerly a British colonial government outpost. The state was created in 1991 from part of Imo State and its citizens are predominantly Igbo. Isuikwuato is of one the eighteen local government areas (LGAs) in Abia State
Isuikwuato is made of three kindred: Imenyi, Oguduasa and Amawu. In early colonial era, Isuikwuato was in Bende District and later in Okigwe District; we were marginalized whether in Bende or Okigwe. One thing was certain. All these times, the three kindred of Isuikwuato (Imenyi, Oguduasa and Amawu) never agreed to be separated from each other. Therefore Isuikwuato cannot expect us, her sons and daughters, to be separated now or for us to relegate our culture and commitment to the people we left behind in Abia State. We should be concerned about developing a firm grasp of what binds us together.

Isuikwuato had gone through many crises and yet came together at last. Before the 1940s, Isuikwuato had mainly two religious deities or denominations – Methodist church and Roman Catholic church, and so were the educational institutions. A third one, Abosso Apostolic church, arrived in Amaba in or around 1941, imported by one of the freed slaves from USA. Amaba was and still is the headquarters in Nigeria for the Abosso Apostolic church which almost torpedoes Methodist church. Three quarters of Methodist church members joined the new faith, while some towns and villages refused the church to set foot in their soil.

Today, there are dozens of religious groups in Isuikwuato and thank God that all of them are getting along better than was the case in the early 1940s. If Isuikwuato survived that crisis then, why should we fall apart now? Isuikwuato is blessed with rich soil, educated people, and is strategically well situated in Abia State. We cannot forget the role of Rear Admiral Ndubisi Kanu, he was proud to be an Isuikwuato man and he showed it. May God bless him and bless also anyone who acts like him.

In the 1960s when Isuikwuato was very loyal to the National Council of Nigeria and Cameroons (NCNC), we were marginalized and remember how the political power (Nnamdi Azikiwe, Michael Okpara, Mazi Mbonu etc) played on our intelligence each time they needed our votes. Isuikwuato, we have come a long way to fall apart.

In the late 1950’s, Isuikwuato High School (former Annunciation) was built. The first of its kind, the fund was raised by few individuals. Ninety percent of the contributors were illiterates, yet they wanted better life for their children and grand children. Today, all the Isuikwuato are benefiting from the efforts and sense of belonging. Worth mentioning is Ovim Girls Secondary School (former Modern school), which grew side by side with Isuikwuato High School. Ovim Girls Secondary School was established by early Methodist Missionaries and is one of the first higher learning institutions in Isuikwuato and associated environs.

Isuikwuato community Meeting in the TriState area of United States of America was formed in 1991 by few individuals/ families living in New Jersey. Later it expanded to include residents in New York and Pennsylvania. This is how our name was derived through the merger of members from the three states.

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Mr. S. Okoji

ISCTA Patron