Igbo people are one of the largest ethnic groups in Nigeria. Among the Igbo tribe are the Orlu people who are located in Imo state of Nigeria. Orlu is the second-largest city in the state after Owerri (the state’s capital) with an estimated population of 420,000. Orlu Senatorial zone of the state consists of eleven local government areas. They are Orsu, Isu, Njabu, Nwangele, Nkwerre, Ideato North, Ideato South, Oru East, Oru West, Ohaji/Egbema, and Oguta local government areas. However, when all of the local government areas in the senatorial zone are included, Orlu’s population is estimated to be approaching 3 million.
The main language spoken by the people is Igbo. Pidgin English is also used by locals to communicate with non-speakers of Igbo.
Some indigenes still practice their traditional religion but Christianity is the main religion of the people. They are predominantly Catholics with a lot of Catholic churches in their communities.
Orlu is a home for enterprise and industry. There are many industries situated in its communities which give it the unofficial tag of the commercial capital of the state. The people are predominantly businessmen and industrialists. There are traders and farmers which cultivate food and cash crops, most especially oil palm.
The Orlu community from which the entire city and entire zone derive its name from comprises of 10 villages. They are ruled by the Igwe of Orlu and the current Igwe is Eze Dr. Patrick Chinedu Acholonu.
Masquerades feature prominently in the people’s cultural heritage. This is a means of expressing their communal attributes, descents and heritages. Among the masquerades in Orlu are Mmuowu, Ebuebu, Oghu, Okonko, Ekeleke, and Okorosha.
Orlu people have contributed to the growth of the country in all areas. Notable among them are Samuel Okwaraji (footballer), Ignatius Acholonu (lawyer), Dr.Mrs Catherine Acholonu (author and playwright), Achike Udenwa (politician and ex-governor of Imo), Owelle Rochas Okorocha (politician).
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