This riot took place during the indirect rule period in Eastern Nigeria. The indirect rule was regarded as an error of administrative judgement on the part of the British colonialists.
Taxes were imposed on every male adult in 1928 and this did not go down well with the people. The following year, the District Officer went ahead to assign his workers to estimate the value and numbers of wives, children, and even domestic animals that each male adult had.
When that was being done in Aba, women thought they would also be taxed. The women in Owerri and Aba embarked on a violent riot in which courts were burnt down, stores destroyed and looted, warrant chiefs attacked, etc. the demonstration extended to Opobo and Calabar.
So violent was the riot in Calabar and Opobo divisions that the police shot and killed thirty-two women and leaving several of them wounded. The riot was one of the main reasons the indirect rule failed in Eastern Nigeria.