The Annang people of southeastern Nigeria consist of over one million people in the western part of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria. The Annangs are indigenous to Abak, Ikot Ekpene, Ika, Ukanafun, Etim Ekpo, Obot Akara, Essien Udim and Oruk Anam local government of the State.
They share a common boundary with the Igbos to the northwest and southwest, the Ibibios to the northeast, east, and southeast. They speak Annang language with its various dialects.
The culture and traditions of the Annangs requires great respect for the elders. This allows the chiefs and elders to govern effectively. It is the elder from each family that sits in the village council where decisions are made in a republican fashion.
The Ekpo society is the law enforcement arm for the traditional councils. The elders, who according to tradition are the link to the past are always asked to remember and praise our ancestors in any gathering. This is usually done by pouring libation and invoking some form of incantation.
The Annangs are farmers, artisans, and traders. Their craftsmanship in raffia and woodcarving is well known. Their trading in palm oil led to the establishment of the United African Company (UAC) in Ika. This was the site in 1929 where the now famous Aba women’s riot started.
The Annangs have many cultural celebrations. Principal among these are Akata, Ekong, Asian Akan Anwan, Eka Ekong, and Ekpo masquerade. Akata was the investigative unit for the traditional council while Ekpo was the law enforcement unit. The Annangs have many famous cultural groups of which Uko Akpan and Nka Ikemesit are the most prominent.