It’s the capital town of Obi LGA of Benue state, Nigeria.
Obi and Oju LGAs are territories of Igede, the third largest tribe in Benue state after Tiv and Idoma.
Obarike appears to be the second most important town in Igede after Oju.
The name Obarike is an Igede language variant of the English word “Barracks”. Obarike town, then a village, had barracks for soldiers during the Nigerian civil war.
Many Igede people especially the young ones often call the town “Barracks”. The old ones prefer to call call it “Obarike”.
Oficially it’s called Obarike Ito. The suffix, Ito, according to natives, is the name of their ancestor.
Obarike serves, to a large extent, as an administrative town with government facilities in many locations.
There exists a LGA secretariat, government residential houses, a state government hospital, government schools (primary and secondary).
Obarike is also a garri market. Call it a foods market if you like. It’s a foods market but its core product is garri. Selling and buying of garri in large qauntities take place weekly.
The people of the area farm cassava much and they process it into garri, a fast selling Nigerian staple food.
Palm oil & broom market
Besides garri, Obarike also produces palm oil and brooms in large quantities at affordable prices.
On market days, in front of these shops, filled to capacity are: Bags of garri, lorries, sellers & buyers.
The town has some hotels, a prominent one is Pinot Hotel.
The hotel has many rooms and a large outdoor environment.
The central area of the town has an intersection of major roads that lead to Otukpo and Oju. By the sides of those roads are some of the largest shops in the town.
Most of the top financial and commrcial activities go on at those shops (located besides those roads and close to the town’s main roundabout).
Obarike, mostly, is made of Igede people.
There also exists Igbo, many of whom are shop owners. Idoma are also there as well as few Tiv people and other tribes.
The main language in Obarike is Igede.
It happens that many Igede people, approximately 60% of them, speak English as a second language, especially when with non-Igede people.
Language barrier wouldn’t be an big issue if a visitor can speak English.
Igede people are predominantly Christians. The most populated church in Obarike and the whole of Igede seems to be Methodist Church.
Living Faith Church has made major inroads into the area.
Cherubim and Seraphim is another one with a large membership.
Traditional religious practices are not much. Other religions are obscure or doesn’t exist at all.
Igede believe in Christ Jesus, really the best thing to do.