By Prof. Simon Ocheme Akpakwu
Situated on the Federal Highway between Otukpo in Benue State and Enugu in Enugu State, is my beloved Home Town- Ugbokolo. The land of my birth, and the land of our birth.
It is predominantly inhabited by the Ughokolos popularly refered to as the “Idogas”. The indigenes are mainly farmers. They grow yams, cassava, rice, beans, millet, groundnuts, corn, guinea corn water yams, banana, plantains, etc in abundance. Food is therefore plenty in the land.
It is a melting pot for many tribes and settlers doing varous businesses in the town. It is home to the Idomas, Tivs, Igalas, Ibos, Hausas, Fulanis, Yorubas, Ibibios, Efiks, Biroms, and many more. Indeed, many settlers refer to Ugbokolo as a miniature Nigeria.
Ugbokolo is the commercial nerve centre of Okpokwu LGA of Benue State. Ugbokolo has an International Market called AFOR Ugbokolo. Goods and produce of various types and kinds are sold at affordable prices in the market.
It is a five-day market that attracts traders and buyers from within and outside Nigeria. The most popular porduce is the “gari” Ugbokolo. A taste of this gari will send u asking for the next Afor Ugbokolo market. Yams, plantains, cassava, textiles and second hand clothes are sold at cheap prices.
Very many beautiful hotels such as Club 4, Garden Inn and many others provide excellent accommodation for guests of various nationalities. Water is available in the town as there is the “Umabe River” that runs through the town.
There is twenty-four hour electricity in all the villages of the town that provides light for business and comfort for the inhabitants, settlers and guests. Very many decent houses dots the town. Inddeed, Ugbokolo is fast becoming a very attractive tourist town for many Nigerians.
Ugbokolo is an educational town. There are many government and private primary and secondary schools in the town which provides quality and functional education for the children of the inhabitants. There is also the Benue State Polytechnic in Ugbokolo Town which provides higher education for the inhabitants and beyond. Indeed, the polytechnic could be the nucleus of a Federal University of Technology that will be located in APA STATE in the event of its creation tomorrow.
Ugbokolo is the home of peace,harmony and generosity for which the Edumoga people are famous and known for. A police station in town ensures that law and order is adequately maintained.
Ugbokolo is the home of the former Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria- Senator Ameh Ebute, the home of the current Minister of Interior of the Federal Republic of Nigeria- Comrade Abba Moro, the home of a former member of the Benue State House of Assembly-Hon. Simon Ofikwu, the home of many former Chairmen of Okpokwu LGA in Benue State and the home of many Professors of various professions.
Ugbokolo is our home town. Visit us and enjoy our hospitality. Come and do business in our town because the environment is peaceful and conducive. Ugbokolo beckons to you.
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