The Captivating Thing About BEKWARRA People of Cross River



The name Bekwarra refers to the people, the language and the territory. They are said to be among the Kwa branch of the Niger Congo family languages. It was recorded that the origin of Bekwarra is discernible from two theories. The first traces the historical background of Bekwarra to Bette in present day Obudu Local Government of Cross River State. The second theory traces Bekwarra origin to Irikwie (North) in Ebang Iye (Foreign Land). The origin of Yakoro (Bekwarra) people is said to have been the settlement of one Odama Ashide a member of Abang Kubi Family of Buabong in Obudu, who married many women from Alege, Mbube, Yala and settled in a place which is Buabong. This colonial view of the origin of Bekwarra received an unalloyed support from the observation of Ogbanuko Agabi when he opines that “it may not be absurd to assume Bekwarra origin from Bette”. First Saturday of September, is one special day in the history of Bekwarra LGA. One unique features of Bekwarra new yam festival is the colorful traditional dance which defines the unity and uniqueness of Bekwarra sons and daughters.

They are located at the extreme north of the present Cross River State of Nigeria. They share common boundary in the North with Tiv of Vandeikya in Benue State, to the South are the Ishibori people in Ogoja Local Government Area, and to the East are the Otugwang in Obudu Local Government Area.

Their Western neighbours are the Yala and Yache in Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State. Bekwarra is a Local Government Area in northern Cross River State, Nigeria. Its headquarters are in the town of Abuochiche (or Abuo Chiche). Other towns in the LGA are
√ Nyanya-Idigwe
√ Gakem
√ Itekpa
√ Ugboro
√ Ibiragidi Utukwe
√ Ukpah
√ ijibor
√ Beten
√ Ugboro
√ Anyikang
√ Ebegang
√ Utukpuru
√ Ebewo and others.
there are five (5) market days in bekwarra local government area
1. Achanya
2. Udama
3. Ugbada
4. Uchaga (biggest market day) 
5. Ugidi (biggest market day) 

The actual population figure cannot be given, but the colonial census of 1931, recorded the Bekwarra population at 16,4201 while the 2006 population census, has the Bekwarra population approximated at 105,822.2 The area is punctuated by natural features such as River Aya, Ulu, and Item among others.

Bekwarra lies within the tropics with its abundant rain fall and sun shine.

On this score, the area experienced both dry and raining seasons.

The raining season commenced in the month of March and ends in October, while the dry season begins in November to February.

The annual rainfall ranges from 150-200cm.

The Bekwarra are the largest producers of palm produce, yam, groundnut and beneseed. This development has been made possible due to the fertile nature of the land to which Bekwarra was located.

Bekwarra is one of the minority ethnic groups within the Upper Cross River State of Nigeria, that have received little attention by scholars in their study on the British occupation of former South Eastern Nigeria region.


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