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Owerri is a city in the heart of Igboland in southeastern Nigeria and is the capital of Imo State. Imo State came into existence in 1976 along with other new states created under the leadership of the late military ruler of Nigeria, Murtala Muhammad. Owerri was the capital of the Republic of Biafra in 1969.
The city is situated within a rain forest and many important agricultural products are grown here including yams, rubber and palm products, cassava, taro and corn. There are several significant educational institutions in Owerri including the New University of Imo, Federal University of Technology, Seat of Wisdom Seminary, Alvan Ikoku College of Education and Government Secondary School of Owerri. Oguta Lake Holiday Complex is about 30 minutes drive from Owerri. This fresh water lake is the second largest lake in the country after Lake Chad. Visitors can enjoy water sports, golf, the Biafran war bunker, boat cruises and children's park.
Oru Owere is an annual cultural festival celebrating the founding of Owerri. It is one of the most important cultural festivals in Imo State and attracts national and international tourists every year. Prior to the start of the festivities, the elders of the community declare 40 days and 40 nights of absolute peace. For the Owerri man, it is unlawful for anybody or group to engage in any form of quarrel within this period. Imo Airport, 14 miles southeast of Owerri provides service to Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Enugu. Eke Ukwu Owere market is the main market in Owerri.