Akoko Edo is the oldest local government area in Nigeria. It can be traced back to the era of the British Colonial Administration in Nigeria after the creation of Kukuruku Division in 1918 which coincided with the end of the First World War. And when in 1963,the Mid-Western Region was created out of the Old Western Region, the present area now referred to as Akoko-Edo constituted part of the then Afenmai/Afemai District Council. The Afenmai Division remained as a homogenous entity until 1976 when the Division was split into 3 Distinct Councils namely; Akoko-Edo District Council, Etsako District Council and Ivbhietsako District Council (later renamed as Owan District Council) for the purpose of better administration and to bring the government close to the people.
The 2006 population census figures put Akoko-Edo Local Government Area population at 262,110. The total land mass is about 1,371 square kilometres and the population density is 3 per cent per square kilometre. The people in the region are made up of conglomerate of tribes; The Okpameri people constitute the major ethnic group in Local Government area. Some names of the towns/villages that make up Okpameri are as follows: Ibillo, Lampese, Imoga, Ekpesa, Ayegunle, Ugboshi , Ekor, Somorika, Ikiran, Bekuma, Ogbe, Eshewa, Ogugu, Makeke, Ojah, Onumu, Ojirami, Dangbala, Ekpe, Ebun, Ayanzah.Other ethnicities include the Uneme people, comprising Uneme-Erhurhu, Uneme-Akiosu, Uneme Ekpedo,Uneme-Akpama,Uneme-Nokhua, and the Etuno People,Okpe-Idesa-Oloma-Akukuku, Ososo, Sasaru-Ewan, Ikpeshi, Igbegere amongst others are so close together within their geographical area, but so far apart in social cultural identity and also with an ocean of differences in their linguistic arrangements. And in spite of the glaring social-cultural and linguistic differences, Akoko-Edo L.G.A has a long history of being the oldest, largest and unaltered Local Government area in Nigeria.
Generally, the people of Akoko-Edo are peace loving and hospitable especially to strangers, the reason why the region is occupied by both the indigenes and foreigners from far and near doing one trade or the other.
The major economic activity in Akoko-Edo is Agriculture which provides employment for about 83.1% of the working population. About 8.8% are Traders while 4.1% are Educationists and the rest 4.0% are Health Care Providers. Akoko-Edo Local Government Area has a favourable climate, fertile soil and a high potential for agricultural development. The major agricultural products are Yam, Cassava, Plantain, Maize, Cocoyam, Live-Stock and Cash Crops such as Cocoa, Cashew, Kolanut, Oil Palm and Coffee. Timbers are also found in Akoko-Edo and in addition to agriculture, there are specialized craft like clothes-weaving, wood-carving, traditional brick-laying, pottery etc.
Source: Joseph O. Segun – This article has been edited for use on Afenmai Connect.