18,000,000 (Wiesenfeld 1999).
Abia State; Anambra State, Aguata, Anambra, Awka, Idemili, Ihiala, Njikoka, Nnewi, and Onitsha LGAs; Enugu State, Awgu, Enugu, Ezeagu, Igo-Etiti, Igbo-Eze, Isi-Uzo, Nkanu, Nsukka, Udi, and Uzo-Uwani LGAs; Imo State; Rivers State, Ikwerre, Bonny, and Ahoada LGAs; Delta State, Oshimili, Aniocha, and Ndokwa LGAs; Akwa Ibom State, Ika LGA; northeast Delta State; southeast Rivers State, Oyigbo LGA and Opobo part of Opobo-Nkoro LGA, and alongside Ibani [iby] langauge area in Bonny LGA. The only or majority language in Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo states.
2 (Provincial). De facto provincial language in southeastern region.
Afikpo, Aniocha, Bonny-Opobo, Eche, Egbema, Mbaise, Ngwa, Nsa, Nsuka, Oguta, Ohuhu, Oka (Awka), Onitsha, Orlu, Owerri (Isuama), Umuahia, Unwana. 30 dialects vary in inherent intelligibility. The standard literary form developing based on Owerri and Umuahia dialects, omitting the nasality and aspiration found in those dialects.
Main LWC of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo states. Used for government notices.
Christian, traditional religion.