Aba is one of the most visited cities in South-east Nigeria.
A profound commercial centre in Abia State, the metropolis was established by the Ngwa clan of Igbo People of Nigeria as a market town and then later, a military post was placed there by the British colonial administration in 1901. It lies along the west bank of Aba River, and is at the intersection of roads leading to Port Harcourt, Owerri, Umuahia, Ikot Ekpene, and Ikot Abasi.
The first thing that strikes visitors to the city is the extraordinary diversity of its inhabitants (it has a vibrant mix of history and modernity) as well as the density of its population. Although there are not many scenic spots and historical sites here, there is always something to do no matter what time you visit or what your interests are.
THREE FAMOUS SITES
National Museum of Colonial History, Aba
Established in 1984, the National Museum of Colonial History in Aba showcases the artifacts detailing the history of Nigeria through the colonial era, as well as several relics of the slave trade and collections that marked Nigeria’s evolution as a nation.
One of the key rivers that runs through this town is a tributary of the Imo River. Cutting across the thick forest of Okpu Umuobo in Osisioma local council, Aba River snakes its way through the city to Ukwa and empties into the Opopo River . It serves as a key source for supplying fresh water to the city.
The Ariaria International Market
The largest market in West Africa nicknamed “China of Africa” because of its versatility in the making of wears and leather works, the Ariaria International Market is an open-air market located in the heart of Aba City. Established in 1976 following a fire outbreak that destroyed the old “Ekeoha Market”, the market is estimated to habour about two millions traders.
Street food rules the city of Aba and as such, there is a Dearth of spot for fine dinning. The cheapest canteens are necessarily basic, with simple food costing a few bucks, however, they serve meals much better than you would expect from the furnishings. Most popular are fast food joints including Jevenik, Crunchies, spice, e.t.c
Aba has several shopping districts offering a mind-boggling variety of goods. Besides the traditional shopping districts, including School Road and Pound Road, the lively outdoor markets should not be missed by foreign travelers. Check out Ariaria Market and Ahia Ohuru ( New Market)for local specialties such as crafts, artifacts antiques,and much more.
Aba’s accommodation scene continues to improve at fast pace as it boats of a range of good options from budget to top-end. While there are no luxury or 5-star hotels, excellent mix of budget hotels abound in the state capital. Prices vary per location but are mostly affordable. Most importantly, food if relatively cheap. You can get a room for as low as N1, 500 at Sweet Home Guest House via Jovago.com.
The popular football club Enyimba International F.C., among the richest of all Nigerian football clubs, currently ranked 2nd in the CAF Club Rankings and popularly called The Peoples Elephant, is the town’s most popular football club.