Abonnema, originally known as Nyemoni (which means "covet your own" in the Kalabari dialect of the Ijaw language
), is a large town in the Kalabari Kingdom
that was founded in 1882. Its territory was discovered by an expedition of eleven independent chieftaincy houses from the Kalabari city-state (Elem Kalabari).
The founders included Chief Ekine Bob-Manuel who sat on the Owukori Manuel stool, Chief Young Briggs who sat on the Oruwari Briggs stool, Chief Akpana Georgewill who sat on the Otaji stool, Chief Kaladokubo Standfast Jack who sat on the Iju-Jack stool, Chief Opu-Benibo Granville, Chief Orubibi Douglas, Chief Ngbula Blackduke Oweredab, Chief Ajumogobia Bestman, Chief Young-Jack, Chief Kala-Akpana Don-Pedro and Chief Aribimeari Membere .The Abonnema Kingdom is currently made up of their various houses.
The independent houses are headed by head chiefs, and the entire Abonnema Kingdom is headed by the head chief of the Owukori Manuel House, which was chosen based on the age of the chieftaincy stool it owns. The incumbent chief on the Owukori Manuel stool is therefore the primus inter pares
of the head chiefs. Various titles have been used to describe the ruler of Abonnema, such as ''Chairman of the Council of Chiefs'', ''Amadabo'', and ''Amanyanabo''. None of these titles means that the holder of the title is the sole owner of the settlement, however.
The head chief from the Manuel (Owukori) house has always served as the Amanyanabo of Abonnema. If by reason of his absence due to travel, illness, or death, he is unable to reign, the head of Oruwari Briggs war canoe house autoumatically assumes leadership and presides over the affairs of the kingdom as a regent, and if for any reason the head chief of the Oruwari Briggs house is also absent, then the mantle passes to the next most senior. Seniority in Kalabari chieftaincy is only dependent on the date of the chieftaincy creation and installation. No amount of wealth or fame can elevate a younger chieftaincy to take precedence over a chieftaincy of an earlier creation.
Today, Abonnema's Amanyanabo is Chief Disreal Gbobo Bob-Manuel, Owukori IX.
Abonnema grew to become a flourishing major Nigerian seaport during the colonial era. It was host to many European companies. One such company was the Royal Niger Company
, which later metamorphosed into U.A.C
Abonnema is the headquarters of Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State
* Henry Odein Ajumogobia
, federal minister of Nigeria
* Tammy Danagogo
, De-General E-Processing Center
* A. Igoni Barrett
* Ann-Kio Briggs
* O.B. Lulu Briggs, philanthropist, statesman and business mogul
* Nimi Briggs
* Roseberry Briggs
* Disreal Bobmanuel, Amanyanabo (or King) of Abonnema
* Patrick Dele Cole, ambassador to Brazil
* Dumo Lulu-Briggs, business magnate, Philanthropist and politician
* Tonye Cole
, business magnate and politician
* Reynolds Bekinbo Dagogo-Jack
* Sumner Dagogo-Jack
* Rowland Sekibo, Politician and philanthropist
* Agbani Darego
, first native African to win Miss World
* Ibife Alufohai
, winner, Miss Valentine International 2010 and Founder of Miss Polo International
* Alabo Graham-Douglas
* Bikiya Graham-Douglas
Abonnema at Encyclopædia Britannica
Category:Towns in Rivers State