Edo History

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EDO HISTORY OF ESAN, AFEMAI, ORA,  IKA & YORUBA TRIBES

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EDO CIVILIZATION, ESAN WAR MACHINE AND THE FOUNDING OF LAGOS

Posted by ANTHONY OKOSUN
April 07, 2013

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When I talk about the founding of Lagos, I do not mean the discovery of the geographical space or the topography known as Lagos. I am talking about the establishment of an ancient port by the Edos in a joint venture with the Portuguese in South Western Nigeria. The said port became the matrix cornerstone of the metropolis, known today as Lagos, Nigeria.

The Portuguese visited West Africa at a time the Edos had an empire that was very largely in control of a very part of West Africa. The empire of the Edos spread from today’s Nigeria to Ghana. The Oba of Benin, back then, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Orhogbua was represented in Portugal by an Ambassador and the King of Portugal, back then; King Emmanuel was represented in Edo Empire’s administrative capital Benin city by an Ambassador sent from Portugal. The King of Portugal and the Oba of Benin agreed that international trading ports should be built in some locations along the West African coast where the Oba had influence and control. The international trading ports became the matrix cornerstones for some of today’s major cities along the west coast of Africa. Lagos is one of the international trading ports built then as a result of the joint Portuguese- Edo venture. The Edos called the settlement where the port was built Eko, meaning camp in Esan Edo. The Portuguese called the settlement Lagos, which means lakes in Portuguese. Back then, there was already a city in Portugal also known as Lagos.

 

To have a better understanding of what the Edos did in Lagos, we should consider a modern example, very near home.  There were folks in Abuja and the other settlements that constitute Nigeria’s federal capital territory. However, the genesis of the Abuja that we have today is directly traceable to the decision of the federal government of Nigeria under General Murtala Muhammed to relocate Nigeria’s federal capital from Lagos to the present location. Thus the founder of Abuja as Nigeria’s federal capital territory is the Federal Government of Nigeria. Today, the Federal Government of Nigeria runs Abuja. The Federal Government of Nigeria has broken up Abuja into districts and zones and has named the zones and districts. The Federal Government of Nigeria is running Abuja now.

The above is exactly, the story of the Edo people in Lagos. The Edos and the Portuguese settled on Lagos Island as a choice location to build an international trading port and thereafter, the Edos “possessed” the place. An ancient port was built, and for hundreds of years the Edos developed, controlled and managed Lagos. Thus, the gist of this article is not about who discovered Lagos, but who founded Lagos (Island). The era of the founding of Lagos is over now. This article is not about the ownership of Lagos, based on the Edos past occupation of Lagos. The British came after the Edos, they too have since left the scene. This article is about the aspects of the Edo founding of Lagos that have been forgotten or have been undetected by Historians radar.

 

The experiment of the Edos and the Portuguese in Lagos (Eko) is reminiscent of the experiments that created New York, Los Angeles, London and Chicago among many other global cities. The above named locations are all cities that were built on the platform of trading ports and exploded around such ports. These cities and many other global cities all grew exponentially as a result of the development or building of ports in such locations. Chicago did not grow into a major city until an inland water-way port was built in Chicago.

 

Lagos which was initially a camp (Eko) established by the Edos for the development of a trading port, has now grown into a major cosmopolitan settlement. Everyone wants to identify their ethnic group with the founding of Lagos. The desire to identify with Lagos has led to the mutilation of the history of Lagos. The oral version of the founding of Lagos has been so tampered with that the names of places in Lagos today are meaningless in any language whatsoever.

 

These names are only meaningful if reversed back to the language of the original founders of Lagos. On its official web site, the government of Lagos presented its own version of the history of the founding of Lagos Island “Until the coming of the Bini’s, Lagos’s geographic boundary was what is known now as Lagos Mainland. Lagos Island, the seat of the Oba of Lagos then consisted of a pepper farm and fishing posts. No one lived there though. The name Eko was given to it by its first King Oba Ado during its early history, it also saw periods of rule by the Kingdom of Benin. Eko was the land area now known as Lagos Island where the king’s palace was built.”

 

In his piece, captioned Brief History of Lagos Island, Michael Uchebuaku, wrote on Yahoo Contributor Network “However, there is another account of Lagos before 1603 that comes from a Western visitor. In 1603, Andreas Joshua Ulsheimer, a German surgeon, aboard a Dutch merchant ship, visited Lagos. According to his accounts, Lagos was a large frontier town surrounded by a strong fence and inhabited by “none but soldiers and four military commanders, who behave in a very stately manner.”

The Lagos visited by Ulsheimer and his trading colleagues nearly four centuries ago was in many ways highly developed. Each day its four commanders came together as a court and each day two envoys were dispatched to take decisions back to their ruler in Benin. To do so, Ulsheimer wrote, was a common practice in all towns under the suzerainty of Benin

Ulsheimer’s accounts seem to confirm Benin oral traditions of conquest and occupation of Lagos during the sixteenth century. How Oba Orhogbua of Benin (1550-1578) occupied the island of Lagos, established a military camp there and from that base waged wars on some people described as rebels against his authority, in the immediate interior. Ulsheimer  gives the first account, documenting the transformation of Lagos from fishing camp to a trading centre, and from an autonomous settlement to a Benin tributary. Lagos Lagoon was known to European traders by 1485, when it first appeared on maps, but the town of Lagos was not included.”

“If Ulsheimer’s account is correct, then it appears that the daily gathering of Lagos governors was one of military commanders from Benin, and not heads of local settlement. Gradually, however, additions were made to that body. The vehicle via which accretion took place eventually was called Ose Iga a ceremonious meeting of Lagos held at the palace every seventeen days.”

OSE-IGA as recorded by the ancient German Surgeon Andreas Joshua Ulsheimer, after his 1603 visit to Lagos is clearly ESAN EDO. OSE from OSENOBULUA, which is ESAN EDO. BINI EDO would be Osa(lobua). IGA means worship in Esan Edo. IGA is in contradistinction to EGUA (PALACE in Esan Edo) [Yorubanized in Lagos to IGA]. OSE-IGA as written by Andreas Joshua Ulsheimer, the 1603 German Surgeon visitor to Lagos means  (WORSHIP OF GOD) / CHURCH in Esan Edo.

In a piece captioned Erelu Kuti : A Series Of Excerpts From The Oral Records Of Lagos, the author wrote “While Akinsemoyin was ruling, Erelu Kuti married Alagba, the high priest that had predicted that her brother would become Oba”

To properly understand the story of Lagos, one must try to understand the meaning of all the prominent names of the key persons, events and quarters (places) in ancient Lagos. These names make no sense and are meaningless in any language, even the Yoruba language which has now become very dominant in Lagos, Awori dialect or even the Bini dialect of the Edo language. The names that have survived adulteration or pronunciation corruption indicate that the names were originally Esan Edo names. The Portuguese were the international trading partners of the Edos. A trading camp for the exchange of goods was founded and called Esale Eko (Camp of the Esans) after the Esan Edo soldiers that founded the camp. The Portuguese called the camp Lagos (meaning settlement by lakes). The Esan Edo soldiers broke up the whole area into territorial sub-divisions or quarters called Idumus, Idus, Ekos and Idis (Idumota) (Idumagbo) in the Esan Edo dialect. Till this day, Lagos is still broken up into Eko, Idumus, Idus and Idis. Till this day, Esanland, Edo state Nigeria is still broken up into Ekos, Idumus, Idus and Idis.

To have a better understanding of the military co-operation between the Esans and the Binis, that probably led the ancient Esan army to Lagos; this little snippet of history culled from the declassified colonial British intelligence report on the Esan people would be relevant.

“In 1485 during the reign of Oba Ozolua, Joan Alfonso D’aveiro, a Portuguese became the first European to reach Benin. He reported that during this time the Oba of Benin was having a great deal of trouble with his outlying districts. In fact Oba Ozolua was killed in a war against the Uzia, one of the smaller Ishan towns. On another occasion when the Oba of Benin went to war against Akure in present-day Ondo State, some Onogies in Ishan contributed warriors though some years later, during a war of succession in Benin Ishan Onogies were divided between the two combatant camps. The constant feuds among the various Ishan chiefdoms most probably created favorable opportunities for the Oba of Benin to impose his suzerainty over them and, this the chiefdoms either singly or collectively would cast off when the opportunity offered itself to reassert their independence.”

In the article “THE ISHANS (Irrua and Evbohimwin Connection); the author Professor Ademola Iyi-Eweka wrote: “Of the Edo-speaking group. Ishan/Esan is the closest to “BINI” ie the dialect of those who live in and around Benin City. In fact, when the people of Benin sneezes, those in Ishan/Esan develop hiccups, then and now. Riots that erupts in Benin politically, often reverbarates in Ishan/Esan land. Before 1897, the Ishans/Esans were the most avid defender of the Edo monarchy. It is not surprising, because Ishan/Esan women have produced most of Obas of Benin. Eheniuan, the first Ezomo of Benin, who later became the commander of the Benin/Edo Royal army is of Ishan descent.”

“Prince Erediauwa marched into Benin City, ahead of an Ishan/Esan dominated military. He was crowned Oba Osemwende of Benin in 1816. It was Oba Osewende who granted to the Enogie of Uromi, the right to inherit the estate of any person who died childless within Uromi district. This was his reward for supplying men and material in the war to reconquer Akure in
1818-20 rebellion and the battle in defence of the Ekitis against the Ibadans.”

The Esan Edo soldiers who were invited by Emperor Orhogbua to help overcome the Awori military opposition in the area now called Eko, came with their war god called Agba and his priest was the Chief Priest of Agba. Alua-Agba means the altar of Agba. The prominence of Chief Priest Alagba in the oral accounts of the founding of Lagos as corroborated by the name in the article Erelu Kuti : A Series Of Excerpts From The Oral Records Of Lagos proves this fact. The name of Chief Priest Alagba is a latter day yorubanisation of the Uromi war god Agba. Alu-Agba in Uromi Esan means the shrine of Agba. Agba was the Uromi King that fought Oba Ozolua of Benin for about seven years till their tired and frustrated soldiers conspired to kill both the Oba and the Onojie to put an end to the war. Some historians believed King Agba of Uromi did not die immediately and that was the reason for the war between Idah and Bini under Oba Esigie. Onojie (King Agba) was deified as a God of war by the Uromi Army.

The presence of Alua Agba in Eko (Lagos) is a confirmation of the fact that the ancient Uromi war machine, as an integral part of the ancient Edo empire military campaigns, played a prominent role in the founding of Lagos. Alua Agba is unique to Uromi. Based on the uniqueness of Alu-Agba deity to Uromi (god of war); it is certain that Uromi warriors were part of the reason Lagos Island acquired the name Esale Eko (Camp of the Esans) This development was the genesis of the founding of Lagos] The Uromi army had previously helped the Oba to re-conquer Akure. Esan soldiers had also previously helped the Oba to subdue and rule Ondo and gave Ondo town the title Osemawe of Ondo. Osemawe in Esan, means It is God that installed you.

It is important that we realize that the early history of Lagos Island can be very easily deciphered by an accurate understanding of the names that have remained in Lagos from the time of the founding of Lagos. Eko is not a general Edo word. Eko and Idumu as in Idumota and Idumagbo and all the Idis and Idus are all specifically Esan Edo names. They are not Bini Edo nor Afemai Edo. The Benin alternative for Idumu is Idunmwun. In Lagos we have Idumu as in Idumu-Ota and Idumu-Agbo. Thus Lagos was originally founded by the Esan Edos. However, we should recognize that while the Esan soldiers were founding Eko under the auspices of the Edo army; the Bini army was contemporaneously founding Etin Osa, Iddo, Oshodi et al. (All Bini Edo names). Without a doubt, the Esans were in Lagos on the invitation of Emperor Orhogbua.

In Uromi and other Esan towns, Idumu Idis, Idus and Eko are still in vogue. Till this day in Uromi there is still Idumu Okojie, and Eko Imiokolo. In Uromi, there is Idumu Eka, Ukoni, Uromi. That is, the quarters of immigrants from Ika. In Uromi, there is Idisaba, that is the quarters of  immigrants from Asaba. In Uromi, there is Idumu Oshodi, that is the quarters of Oshodi family members that immigrated to ancient Uromi from Benin. In Uromi, there is Aga – Ausa (Hausa) quarters of Hausa immigrants. In Uromi there is Agi-Igbo (Quarters of Igbo immigrants. Agi-Yo-Oba (Aga-Azanama) (Quarters of the Yoruba immigrants). Aga is used here like Idu, Idi or Eko i.e Aga-(Enegbode) Ga Aga Accra, Ghana; which was equally founded by the Edos.

At the time Lagos was founded by the Portuguese and the Edos, the Yorubas were in Oyo Empire. Based on historical remains i.e. names of settlements as in Oshodi , Iddo and Etin Osa (all Bini names) one can safely conclude that the Bini Edo army were in the afore-mentioned places.

Based on the written account of the ancient German Surgeon Joshua Ulshamer who visited Lagos in 1603, aboard a Dutch ship; there was a regular ceremonial meeting known as OSE-IGA (Worship of God-Church) Which is clearly Esan Edo; and the name CHIEF PRIEST OF ALUAGBA (CHIEF PRIEST OF AGBA SHRINE) from the oral accounts of the founding of Lagos, which said name has now found its way to the internet in recently memorialized historical articles on the history of Lagos; it is now abundantly clear that the Edo army that was invited to take, possess, found and secure Lagos included the Uromi, Esan, Edo army. As earlier stated the Uromi Esan Edo army had previously helped the Bini Edo Oba to re-conquer Akure. Esan Edo army had also previously helped the Oba to subdue and rule Ondo and gave Ondo town the name Osemawe of Ondo. (God that installed you in Esan Edo). The presence of the High Priest of Agba in early Lagos, is a confirmation that Uromi Esan Edo war machine was involved in the Esan army invited by Emperor Orhogbua to help secure Lagos for the development of a port facility.

Another version of the founding of Lagos that claimed that the High Priest of Alua Agba was an Ijesha man is not logical nor reasonable. The CHIEF PRIEST OF ALUA-AGBA at the very time the Edos founded Lagos could not have been an Ijesha man. Re-writing history and stating that the Chief Priest of ALUA AGBA was an Ijesha man at the very time Lagos was founded, would be tantamount to saying that the Chief Chaplain of the American military in Afghanistan is a Pakistani or an Iranian. That could not have happened then for obvious reasons; just as it cannot happen now for obvious national security reasons.

If the Chief Priest of ALUA-AGBA back then when the UROMIRES (UROMI IMMIGRANTS) (Yorubanized to AROMIRES) as part of the Esan military contingent invited by Oba Orhogbua to help secure Lagos Island and build a trading port in partnership with the Portuguese, had only just landed and battling enemy combatants and securing their ESALE EKO (CAMP OF THE ESANS) and breaking up the land into IDUMUS, IDIS AND IDUS (Esan Edo for Quarters or territorial sub-division); the last thing that could occur then would be for anybody not directly from Uromi to be the Chief Priest of Alua-Agba. ALUA-AGBA is unique to Uromi.

Based on the writings of early European visitors to Lagos i.e the ancient German Surgeon Andreas Joshua Ulsheimer, after his 1603 visit to Lagos, and the admission of the Lagos state government on its website that the Edos founded Lagos; and the fact that these authorities are unanimous in their narratives that Lagos Island was a virgin land before the arrival of the Edos; it is safe, accurate and a statement of fact, to state that the people who came from Esan Edo to de-forest and help build a military camp and trade port on Lagos Island, announced their presence by identifying themselves as UROMIRE (Uromi immigrants) , later yorubanized to AROMIRE. We must realize that the Yorubas were not part of early Lagos. At the time Lagos was founded, the Yorubas were in Oyo kingdom.

The palace of the new king was called Egua (Palace in Esan Edo) later yorubanized to Iga.  Some popular and celebrated names in early Eko i.e AKINSEMONYIN is a likely yorubanization of AKHISEMONJIE (You don’t provoke the King’s wrath or You do not challenge the King’s word)) ICHOKUN could be a yorubanization of Izokun meaning (I have chosen to Okun (god).

Lagos quickly became a major slave trading port, thus the emergence of names like Igboshere and Oyingbo; which are possibly yorubanized Esan Edo words for House of Slaves – Oaigbon and place for sold slaves- Igbonashelen respectively. (Please not Igbo). APONGBON Lagos is possibly a corruption of the Esan Edo name AGBONGBON, Which means NEW WORLD: That could be indicative of the part of LAGOS/EKO, where the PORTUGUESE (KPOTOKINS- in Esan Edo) set up their abode. AGBON IN Esan Edo means WORLD. OGBON in Esan Edo means NEW. Thus the possibility of the name indicating NEW WORLD connoting NEW PEOPLE, ANOTHER RACE, ANOTHER CIVILIZATION. Caveat: The presence of GBON in APONGBON could alternatively be indicative of a place that had to do with SLAVES; as IGBON (Please not Igbo) means Slaves in Esan Edo.

IKOYI Lagos is possibly a corruption of the Esan Edo words EKO OYI; Which means CAMP OF THIEVES. EKO OYI or IKO OYI (IKOYI) The name would be indicative of a site where an early Prison of sorts was built. Yes, some other Yoruba towns have Ikoyi. Then again, the Edos ruled some other Yoruba towns. Other Yoruba towns could have copied the Lagos Eko-Oyi example; especially as Ikoyi in other Yoruba towns means Quarter of Guards. Thus, whether used to refer to Prison or Prison Guard, Ikoyi is a Yorubanization of the Esan Eko-Oyi.

IKURAMO EKORAMO or KURAMO is possibly a yorubanization of the Esan Edo (EKO AMEN), which means THE CAMP BY THE WATER. OBALENDE is possibly a yorubanization of the Esan Edo (OBANYAN-EDE or OBAYAN-EDE), which means THE OBA OWNS THE RIVER. LEKKI is possibly a yorubanization of the Esan Edo (EKI), which means) MARKET. IDUMU/IDU/IDI/EKO are without doubt exclusively ESAN EDO for Quarter or geo-territory. Bini EDO would be IDUNWUN.

The later day Yorubanization of Esan Edo names in Lagos is as a result of the latter day domination of Lagos by Yoruba speakers. Many of the names of places and persons that dates back to the era of the founding of Lagos are only meaningful and reasonable when reversed back to Esan Edo. At the time of the founding of Lagos, much of Yorubaland was under the Oyo empire. Back then, folks were not travelling freely because of the fear of Arab and European slave traders.

It is time for Historians and non historians alike, especially Edo folks to begin to research and document the forgotten histories and activities of the Edo Empire era. The Romans were all over ancient Western Europe, even up to North Africa and the whole story is accurately documented. Unfortunately, not much has been done in the area of researching and accurately telling and or documenting the story of Edo civilization vis a vis seaports and inland ports that were built by the Edos in conjunction with the Portuguese, which said ports have now blown into mega cities in many parts of West Africa. Untold number of Edo men and women travelled to distant places during the era of the Edo Empire for state security assignments and major state projects, and the efforts of those Edo heroes have been largely ignored by Historians.

Names of places and words still used in many places once ruled by the Edos, are still reminders of the Edo presence and activities in such far flung places. Among the Ewe people who live in Benin Republic, Togo and Ghana, the word for COME is VAE. In Uromi, Esan, Edo, which was one of the largest military forts in the defunct Edo Empire, the word for COME is VAE. In Onitsha, where the Edo system of government is still being practiced by the traditional government of Onitsha, the word for mother is NNE and in Uromi, the word for mother is INE. In Onitsha, the children of a deceased person whose life is being celebrated are hailed with OMA TEGETE. In Uromi, Esan, Edo, the children of a deceased person whose life is being celebrated are hailed with OMAE TEGHENE. When an Ewe person is speaking, if you are not close enough to hear the very words being used; you would think the speaker is speaking Esan.

This article was not written with a view to encourage any Edo indigene to lay claim to ownership of Lagos or to help prove that the Edos discovered Lagos. This article was written to accurately state the history of the founding of Lagos.

Written by ANTHONY OKOSUN TonyOsun@yahoo.co.uk

 

  THE HISTORY OF ESAN PEOPLE

The Esan people history from the Bini Kingdom in Nigeria. The word Esan is a Bini word meaning “they jumped away, or they have fled.” The name became the accepted name of the group of people who escaped from the reign of Oba Ewuare of Benin in the middle of the 15th century. During the 15th century, the Oba Ewuare of Benin had two sons that both tragically died on the same day. Oba Ewuare then declared for mourning the death of his sons to the whole kingdom that there shall be no sexual intercourse in the kingdom; no washing, sweeping of the houses or compound, drumming or dancing; and making of fire in the land. Oba Ewuare insisted that these laws be strictly adhered to for a period of three years as a mark of respect for his dead sons.

Many natives fled the Bini Kingdom unable to abide by these rules to join previous groups that had already migrated out of the kingdom years before (notably, the groups that had earlier formed Irrua, Uromi, and Ekpoma). Soon after, the Oba summoned a meeting of his subjects from various quarters and to his amazement, noticed that they had greatly diminished in numbers. When the Oba asked where his subjects had went to, he was told, “Ele san-fia” (“They have fled”). This later turned into E-san-fia and then Esan. When Oba Ewuare saw that his kingdom was quickly becoming depopulated, he revoked his laws but the migrations continued. Oba Ewuare tried to wage war against the migrants but this failed.

According to Jacob Egharevba, author of A Short History of Benin, the Oba conquered 201 towns and villages but he had to use diplomacy for many of the other scattered towns and villages in the forest in order to bring them under Benin rule.

Thus, Oba Ewuare invited Esan leaders or their representatives to Benin for a truce. He enticed them with the idea of having an attachment to Benin City and of their having the honour of being called “Onojie”, which means king. The future of Esan rested on the Esan who went to Benin and took the title of Onojie. It was not an easy decision for the Esan leaders to decide whether or not to go. Many feared Oba Ewuare but also did not want more military attacks against them. To reduce their fears, Benin promised military support for the Onojie to enforce authority over insubordinate subjects (Eweka, 1992: pp. 83-84). Only three leaders actually went to Benin in person.

All three were apparently men who had nothing to fear from the Oba due to various reasons. The first was Ekpereijie, the son of Oba Ohen’s daughter and a sister to Oba Ewuare. The sister had been given to the leader of Irrua. Ekperejie came without fear because relations must have been cordial between Irrua and Benin.

The second was Alan of Ewohimi, the son of Ikimi who had left Benin prior to the reign of Oba Ewuare and as such was not considered as one of those who fled the city by the Oba. The third was Ijiebomen who left Benin for Ekpoma after the Oba had granted him leave (Eweka, 1992: p.169, 174). In contrast to those mentioned above, chief Okhirare of Ohordua, , had especially offended the Oba and would not risk his neck, so he sent his heir Odua to Benin (Eweka, 1992: p. 272).

His brother and leader of Emu also sent his son rather than risk his life. Three other Esan leaders dispatched brothers as their representatives to the meeting in Benin. Ede felt he was only less than the Oba by degrees and as such refused to honor the call. He then sent his junior brother to listen to what the Oba had to say. The leader of Ubgoha also asked his junior brother to go on his behalf. The leader of Uromi sent his junior brother to find out what the Oba had to say. Ewuare concealed his anger at the impertinent leaders in Esan since he was a skilled diplomat.

During the meeting, he told the visitors how they had migrated from Benin. He enthroned the Benin court traditions in Esan. The Oba bestowed the title of Onojie on those that were present at the meeting. This historic moment happened in 1463. Instantly, the Oba made them rulers of their communities and subservient only to the Oba. Above all, this noble title was not transferable to father, brother, or master, and once an Onojie, always an Onojie until death (Okojie, 1960: p.37).

Where Oba Ewuare had enthroned a proxy as Onojie except in Ewohimi, Irrua and Ekpoma, strife and hatred followed as the new leaders began to assert authority and control over the elders. Thus, the Oba wielded the numerous villages into large political entities that hitherto became known as chiefdoms, loosely knitted villages, ruled by the Enijie.

Esan (pronounced /aysan/) is one of the major ethnic groups in Edo State, Nigeria. The name ‘Esan’ owes its origin to Bini and was once corrupted to ‘Ishan’ by colonial Britain. Esanland is bordered to the south by Benin, to the south-east by Agbor, to the north and east by Etsako, to the west by River Niger. From Ewu to Benin City, the State capital, is 100kms long. The people populate areas such as Uromi, Ewatto, Igueben, Irrua, Ubiaja, Ebele, Ehor, Ekpoma, Ewu, Ugboha etc. in central Edo State, in southern Nigeria.

It has flat landscape, one lacking in rocks and mountains, and good for agricultural purpose. Rubber tree (used for the production of plastic products) and palm tree rank highest among Esan trees.
The land’s variety of fruits range from mango, orange, grape, pineapple, guava, cashew, banana, plantain, black pear, avocado pear, lime to walnut and even more. Cassava, yam, cocoa yam, sweet potato, pepper, okra and rice are some of its farm produce. It has numerous streams.

The Esan people in Esanland occupation is mainly farming, hunting and trading. These are their sources of livelihood.

There are now 35 clans in Esanland, each of which is headed by a king called an Onojie. The clans include: Ekpoma, Uromi, Ekpon, Emu, Ewollimi, Ewatto, Irrua, Ubiaja, Egoro, Wossa, Ukhun, Ugbegun, Igueben, Idoa, Ohordua, Okhuesan, Oria, Ogwa, Okalo, Ebelle, Uzea, Onogholo, Orowa, Urohi, Ugun, Udo, Ujiogba, Iyenlen, Ifeku, Iliushi, Amahor, Opoji, Ugboha, Uroh, and Ewu.
Today Esanland is divided into five Local Government Areas namely:

Esan West L.G.A., with its headquarter in Ekpoma

Esan Central L.G.A., with its headquarter in Irrua

Esan North East L.G.A., with its headquarter in Uromi

Esan South East L.G.A., with its headquarter in Ubiaja

Igueben L.G.A. with its headquarter in Igueben.
Sources: This history was not written by us but was compiled from multiple sources including:
Egharevba, J.U. 1968. A Short History of Benin. Ibadan: I.U.P.
Eweka, E.B. 1992. Evolution of Benin Chieftaincy Title. Benin City: Uniben. Press.
Okoduwa, Anthony. 2006. ?Tenacity of Gerontocracy in Nigeria: An Example of the Esan People in Edo State.?
Okojie, C.G. 1960. Ishan Native Laws and Customs. Lagos-Nigeria: John Okwessa Publishers.
Omokhodian, J.O. 1998, The Sociology of the Esans. Tropical Publication Ltd. Ojeremen, Stephen. 2007. ?Esan Youth Rebirth Movement.

AFEMAI HISTORY

peoplenew

Posted by Otedo News Update on April 21, 2011 at 3:00pm

The Beauty of Afemai Nation of Nigeria (Okpekpe as a case study)

THE CULTURE OF OKPEKPE PEOPLE IN ETSAKO EAST L.G.A OF EDO STATE

1.0 INTRODUCTION:

It is important to note that there is no society without an established common way of life. This common way of life symbolizes the identity, behavioural patterns and beliefs of a homogenous group of people. Hence the need to understand this way of life or culture of a certain group of people.

1.1 CULTURE AS A WAY OF LIFE:

Culture has been defined and described by many scholars in different perspective, but I will attempt to say that according to Ralph Linton “the culture of every society is the way of life of its members, the collection of ideas and habits which they learn, share and transmit from generation to generation”

(“The type of mask influences the style of the masquerade dance. The Ikpelweme ancestral masqueraders of the Afemai people of Edo State of Nigeria, wear richly coloured, close-fitting costumes with face masks and elaborate headpieces of embroidered cloth, which allow for a dance that accelerates into a climax of rapid, abrupt movement.” )

For the purpose of this work, I will say that culture is a peculiar ways of behaviour of a group of people, bound together by common social values, norms and beliefs. These values, norms and beliefs may be the same, or may vary between different ethnic nationalities, but I shall herein write to describe the culture of the people of North Ibie in Etsako East Local Government of Edo State, Nigeria.

3.0. THE CULTURE OF THE NORTH IBIE PEOPLE:

Since every society has certain or peculiar problems to deal with, for example the problem of dependent young members and very old members, the solution to such problems are culturally determined. The culture of the people of North Ibie varies as it is of any other society and ranges from the traditional religion, mode of dressing, language, funeral and burial ceremonies, arbitration, marriage system, cultural festivities etc.

3.1. Language:

The People of North Ibie have a homogenous native language called ‘Ibie language’. Almost all the words in English have the Ibie variants, but where the English or foreign word is of modern invention, the Ibie language either attempts coin its version or make a caricature of such word e.g. ‘socks’ means ‘sokisi’ or ‘pin’ which is ‘ipini’ in Ibie language.

One significant aspect of the language is that foreign language, especially the English language has relegated the translation of some Ibie language words to the background. The Ibie language shares some similarities with the entire Afemai people, the Urhobo and Benin and to some extent, the Ebira people of Kogi State.

3.2. Mode of Dressing:

But for the modern day and westernized mode of dressing, the Ibie people have a unique traditional way of dressing. While the adult male ties wrapper round the waist and a white singlet to match in a casual sense of their dressing, the female tie wrapper mostly local fabric and a brazier on her chest in casual or domestic sense. The children, both male and female, during casual or when they are at home, tie wrappers round the body, stretching from the neck to below the knees. In ceremonial dressing, the men wear babariga dress with a red cap “aruoji” on, bearing a neatly locally carved walking stick to match and slippers or cover shoes on, while the women put on assorted and well tailored fabrics, normally sown in ‘buba’ and a wrapper round the waist. It is uncommon for the youth; both girls and boys to dress in this sense as the adults otherwise, they will be mocked and rebuked.

3.3. Court System:

The Ibie people have a central institution which acts as the arbitration in disputes between parties. This council, called ‘enejo’ is made up of some selected elders, who are sage in each of the different kindred that make up the Ibie people. These men apply wisdom in settlement of issues and disputes between their people, whereby they pronounce penalty against the guilty or award damages for the innocents. Any party who is dissatisfied with their ruling or judgement then appeals to the Village Head of each community, then for those who are still not satisfied, the Clan Head is the final place for judgement. From this point, any judgement as far as the Ibie tradition demands has no appeal.

3.4. Marriage System:

The system of marriage among the Ibie people is of different types. There are various ways whereby a man can put a woman in a family way. A man can marry a woman by mutual consent as it is observed in almost every ethnic group in Nigeria. But in line with the culture of the Ibie people, when a man succeeds in securing the hand of a woman in marriage, he goes to pay the dowry, comprising of a bottle of a local gin or ‘Ogogoro’, natively brewed drink called ‘ony’ vbie’ in Ibie language, made with locally sourced grains, some beads and other locally produced items. After observing all these, all the men marring within that same period go out to the village square to show case their reputation and popularity by way of followership, wealth, bravery and flamboyance etc. The men now dressed with beautifully tailored fabric, usually in ‘agbada’ and expensive beads, are normally lifted shoulder high by men of their age or male friends who had gone to celebrate with them, dancing, visiting family members of the woman they are marrying and roaming the streets of the village. The marriage rituals continue for seven days. The man with the best performance or show of affluence is adjudged to have been the most popular and he automatically becomes the head of his marrying age mates, or if no one had ever performed brilliantly the same he did among members of his age mate, he becomes the permanent head and leader of the entire members of his age grade. If there is already existing headship as bestowed by the previous performances, the office of the leader becomes rotational. The leadership is so juicy and attractive that it commands a high esteem within the community; dines and holds important meetings with the chiefs, as well as organize meeting for his mates. He presides over the meetings of his age mates and his decision is overriding.

However, a man would have been participating in the various activities of his age grade group before he is qualified to so marry, which is normally a privilege in the land, otherwise, it violates the tradition of the Ibie people.

In the same way, all women being married within the same period, regardless of their natural or normal birth age, automatically falls into the same age bracket, and the woman who desires the headship of the age mates group, which one must be keen to be because of its immense benefits accruing there from, should be the one that is bold enough to cook for all the marrying woman and their siblings and equally dance around to different traditional deities and shrines and round the village stark naked. Such a daring woman gets naked completely with expensive beads put on his neck, an expensive traditional hear tie, replica of the Benin traditional head gear is worn on her head, bears a long beautifully made walking stick for complete twenty (21) days. If she is successful in this venture, automatically, she becomes the head and leader of her contemporaries. She then assumes the privilege of a respected figure in the community; she now mingles and attends meetings, though honorary, with the traditional chiefs to decide issues affecting the community. Every issues concerning her age mate must be channeled through her and her decision is final. All the members of the age grade group now share pains and gains in common. They organize and attend to the needs of anyone who is bereaved or celebrating among themelves.

One of the most significant benefits of the headship of an age grade group, is that during the time for nominations for the most elderly woman(anyobashi) or man(agidigbo) in the communities, the leader, by virtue of his or her earlier attainment of headship of such age group , would be the first to be considered, unless he declines the nomination.

Interestingly, among the numerous beliefs and norms among the Ibie people, it is a taboo for the members of the same age grade group to see the corps of a dead member or participate directly in the burial rites.

There are other modes of marriages which tradition does not abhor, even though it appeared odd. In this system of marriage, the man might have shown interest in marrying a particular girl, the girl’s consent having already be obtained and she agreed, but the parents or either of the parents refuses, the boy, if so strongly passionate about marrying the girl will arrange to steal or kidnap such a girl, take her to an undisclosed location as long as the issue of opposition by the parents subsides. Meanwhile, he may continue to send emissaries to the dissenting parents, asking them to soft-pedal, wherein after, he will approach them to observe the necessary marital responsibilities to them.

On the other hand, if a girl is the one refusing to marry the boy, one of the parents or both parents of the girl, may connive with their prospective son in-law to forcefully marry the girl, while with or without the consent or knowledge of the girl, pays the dowries to her parents.

3.5. The New Yam Festival ‘Ukphakpha’:

The culture of the Ibie people evokes so many traditions in their living. Aside the ones mentioned above, there are various cultural festivities and rituals. Among this is the ‘ukphakpha’ festival which herald the new season in Ibie land. During this festival, new yam is pounded and moulded big, with another old pounded yam neatly wrapped inside the new one, which only a man of great power and valour can carry from the traditional host to a shrine called ‘olisa’, which the Ibie people regard as their Supreme being. The soup, melon or egusi is stylishly prepared with varieties of bush meat and fishes and put in a small earth pot container and carried by a matured virgin girl, who must be naked to carry same from the traditional host to the ‘olisa’ shrine or deity. There, sacrifices and libations are offered. After the libations, the man must be prepared to swallow the old pounded yam wrapped in the new yam at once.

2.0. THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE NORTH IBIE PEOPLE


North Ibie is a large homogenous group of people found in Afemai land or Edo North political zone of Edo State. Bordered in the East by River Niger/Agenebode, on the West by Etsako West, in the North by Kogi and Kwara States, the people are settled in towns and villages of Okpepke, Itsukwi, Imiakebu, Ebelle, Ukhomedokhai, Igodo, Abokpai, Okeko, Ikphelli, Ukho, etc. The population of the Ibie people is estimated to be about a 100,000 people according to the 2006 population Census.

“The people migrated to their present location from the old Benin Kingdom during the ‘tyranny’ of Oba Ewuare, the great, the then Oba of Benin. The reason for the migration was that when the Oba lost his son, he decreed that all communities within the Kingdom must observe the mourning rite for a long period, without going to farm or hunting. This could not go down well with many, who were already losing their families members because of hunger. They decided to seek for a new settlement in a location very far from Benin and where its mountainous topography could serve as defensive force against any likely Benin invasion.2.1

 

AFEMAI FROM THE BENIN KINGDOM

By THEODORE ANANI

A republican form of government had replaced that of monarchy after the death of Olua (1473-1478). This change in government had sparked off unrest all over the empire as civil disobedience became the other of the day. There was break down of law and order as the interim government was weak. It was amidst this chaos that Prince Okpame was hailed as both the deliverer and Oba. Prince Okpame later became the Oba Ozolua. (Ozoluwa), and ruled the Benin kingdom from about 1418 to about 1504. Oba ozolua´s reign marked what one might called a migration plaque. During his reign mass migration of different tribes and at different times were recorded. The Edos speaking people of north-east of Benin city migrated to their present home-lands in groups in Ozolua´s reign. Some had left to escape pains, conscription and for refusal to bring to the Oba leopard skins as the custom dictated. The migration of the Etsako peoples- the Ibies, Uzairues, the Avhianwus, the Weppa Wanos, the Auchis, the Agbedes, the Okpellas, the Avhieles, the Jagbes and the Anwains- had been associated with these movements.

Azama, who later become the great Ancestral Father and the Foster father of the peoples who today form two thirds of Etsakor, was a Benin by birth. Azama married his first wife called Ughiosomhe for whom he had four sons. They were Imekeyo, Ikphemhi, Anwu and Omoazekpe. Azama married another woman Etso for whom he had two sons. Eppa and Ano. The marriage with Azama has been Etso´s second. Her first son, Uneme, was from her first marriage. Etso married for the third time after Azama´s death and had her fourth son, Ekperi. All sons and parent lived happily together in Benin.

All the children of Azama and their step brothers, who today comprises the Ivhiera communities, migrated with their families in this said period of 15 century, and became the founders and progenitors of the Clans that make up Etsako. Ime keyo, Ikpemhi and Omoazekpe, the first, second and sixth sons of Azama became the great Patriarch of most Uzairue clan. Anwu, the third son of Azama, founded the Avhianwu clan while Eppa and Ano, the fourth and fifth sons of Azama became the great Ancestoral patriarchs of the clan called today Uweppa Wanno. Their step brothers Uneme and Ekperi co-founded all Inemes and all Ekperi clans respectively. Anwu had married a woman called Aleukoko for whom he had seven sons. These were Unone, Arua, Egwienabo, Okpolimhi,, Adaeso (Adachi), Iraokhor and Imhakhena(Ogbona).

POST MIGRATION.

The children of Avhianwu still owned allegiance to the Benin Oba many years after migration. They pay tribute to Edo in recognition of the Oba of Benin. It was said that the Oba has right over certain animals killed in the kingdom including Avhianwu. One of such animal was Leopard. Anyone who killed a leopard had to send the skin to the Oba in person. This journey they say, takes months even years to accomplished, and most of those who left never returned. History says they were used as Oba guard as a result of their boldness. To give one the benefit of doubt, one was normally waited for a period of three years during which all one´s right and privileges were withdrawn at the expiration of this period. Then their wives could be given out to other people for marriage at the expiration of such period. (three years).

This experience begot the following hackneyed proverbial saying among the people of Avhianwu that:
Ogb´ekpe lo ghi egbo usomhi Edo, Meaning: It is he that killed a leopard that send himself on a mission to Edo. Aro amhi khe ono yi Edo, Meaning: A wife is not kept for one who is away to Edo. Ikpe ela l´akhe ono yi Edo Meaning: its three years of waiting for one who is on a mission to Edo

 

                                                                         

ORA HISTORY OF ORA PEOPLE

 

                                 culture02-300x192

                                By  Justice Ilevbare 
                                Writes on the life, people, culture and
                                tradition of the Oras, a community in Edo State.
                                The Oras are a people particularly known for
                                their good sense of hospitality.

                                CULLED FROM THIS DAY, October 04, 2003

                                In any Ora town or village, a stranger needs not
                                yearn for home. As thousands of non-indigenes,
                                who have had to live in the communities of this
                                major tribal group in Edo State, have found out
                                over the years, Ora towns are ever a home away
                                from home. The people of Ora take pride in this
                                fact. The average Ora man’s sense of hospitality
                                is not only exemplary but also well known. It is
                                often said that among the major communities in
                                Edo State, of which Ora is one, none could boast
                                of harboring more strangers than Ora. Ora
                                communities consist of six major clans which
                                include Ohia, Ovbiokhuarin, Evbiobe
                                (Sabongidda-Ora), Uhomora, Oke (Both old and
                                new) and Eme-Ora. Of all these, Ohia is the
                                highest ranking but the one with the least
                                population. Ohia is followed by Ovbiokhuarin
                                which is at present the traditional home and
                                palace of the Oje of Ora, His Highness M.E. P
                                Imonah. Sabongidda-Ora is the third in order of
                                seniority in the community followed by Uhomora,
                                then Oke and finally Eme-Ora which is regarded
                                as the ‘youngest town’ in the community. It is
                                also called Ofebe. Happenings in Sabongidda Ora,
                                the biggest of all Ora towns, reflect what goes
                                on in the other Ora towns and outlying villages.
                                It has the largest concentration of
                               

                                non-indigenes some of whom have lived there for
                                several decades. There, they have given birth to
                                children, trained them, established business and
                                taken part in several socio-cultural activities.
                                Others have chosen to claim Sabongidda Ora as
                                their place of origin, an emphatic affirmation
                                that the people and the land are peaceful and
                                accommodating.

                                An average Ora man is very hard working. He is
                                full of strength, agility, resourcefulness and
                                an acute sense of responsibility to see to the
                                provision of basic amenities for himself and his
                                family.

                                At the stroke of dawn, he wakes up, puts on the
                                lantern and takes out his cutlass. He spends the
                                next few minutes sharpening the cutlass, after
                                which he prepares for the farm which may be
                                about three hours trek from his home. He takes
                                along a chewing stick with which he cleans his
                                teeth as he strolls down to the farm.

                                In the eye of an Ora person, all men are equal
                                and thus should be treated with equality. Little
                                wonder that there has never been any recorded
                                incident of unrest in Ora land. There is also no
                                record of inter tribal conflicts among the
                                various communities. This is why Ora is regarded
                                as one of the most peaceful communities in Edo
                                State. The Ora’s sense of fairness is deep and
                                that perhaps is responsible for the wonderful
                                performance of its sons and daughters in
                                different fields.

                                That sense of fairness more than anything
                                propelled a young man in the then colonial
                                Nigeria to fight the British colonialists even
                                at the risk of his own life. Now deeply revered
                                by Nigerians and labour activists in particular,
                                110-years-old Pa Micheal Imoudu, a prominent Ora
                                son is also the oldest person in Ora. He
                                distinguished himself well in the struggle for
                                the emancipation of Nigerian workers. The desire
                                to see that the lives of Nigerian workers are
                                not put under servitude, undue exploitation and
                                oppression informed to Pa Imoudu’s crusade. He
                                is popularly known in Nigeria and Ora as “The
                                Number One labour Leader”.

                                Apart from the fact that Pa Imoudu put an
                                indelible mark in the history of Nigeria, his
                                achievements to the development of this great
                                country is still being remembered today and
                                celebrated everywhere. But today he is old and
                                tired even though he still has the zeal to keep
                                on the fighting spirit, a characteristics of an
                                average Ora man. But age is no longer on his
                                side. According to one of Ora Chiefs-in-
                                council, Chief M. A Ozowuro, an ex-First Bank
                                Manager, the fact that the likes of Pa Imoudu
                                live long shows that the Ora’s are very strong
                                and virile in all their dealings, ” if he was
                                not a transparent and honest person he would not
                                have lived up to this time.

                                Oras are people who are known to always live
                                long, My own father lived for almost 100 years
                                and so it is for so many others. These can be
                                attributed to their high level of honesty, and
                                they extend this to every area in life they find
                                themselves”.

                                Still on honesty, Chief Ozowuro, said that in
                                Ora, if you meet goods displayed outside be it
                                in a store or in an open place whether the
                                person selling the items is there or not, what
                                the buyer simply does is to drop the money on
                                the table after collecting any item. “This to a
                                very large extent shows that the Oras are very
                                honest”. He however lamented the moral decadence
                                among the youths, advising that the youths
                                should take after the elders of the land to do
                                what they are known for.

                                History and origin of Ora cannot be discussed
                                without talking about the Binis, who according
                                to history and customs have a very close
                                relationship with the Oras; this is why Ora men
                                are treasured in Binin kingdom. But Ora-Edo
                                relationship slid, because of the battles of
                                1810-1840 and Ogendegbe’s invasion of 1879.

                                One unique thing about the relationship between
                                the Ora -Edo is that, of all the chiefs in Edo
                                land, it is only the Ora chief who does not bow
                                or prostrate before the Oba of Binin, the reason
                                for this, according to Chief Ozowuro, is that
                                the Oba still regards the Ora as his first son
                                and “if any one challenges you, the Oba will
                                tell them that you are right that they should
                                not molest you in any way. “

                                In the area of marriage, the process of giving
                                out a daughter’s hands in marriage and getting a
                                wife for a son is the same in all Ora
                                communities. If a man is of age and ready for
                                marriage, he tells his parents who will in turn
                                search for a decent girl from a good background.
                                Good background here means a good family with no
                                rogues and witches or bad record.

                                However, in Ora traditionally, a man cannot
                                marry without the consent of his father and
                                mother, because they are the people who will
                                determine whether the girl would be a good wife
                                or not.

                                But more importantly, the idea of marrying from
                                the same quarter is prohibited especially in
                                Sabonigidda Ora. A man from Oyano quarters
                                cannot marry a lady from that same quarters,
                                this is because they are seen as siblings.

                                Marriages in Ora are still done by observing
                                some customs. At times the bride price may not
                                be considered too serious by some families to
                                the extent that they can give out their daughter
                                in marriage to any man of their choice freely,
                                without collecting anything but such a man will
                                be required to serve the family by farming,
                                fetching firewood and doing some sort of work
                                for the bride’s parents.

                                Ora as a community takes delight in culture and
                                morality. The traditional settings have measures
                                for the society as moral standard is supposed to
                                be followed. Offenders or those who fall short
                                of the standard as required of them are tried
                                according to the customary laws of the land.

                                In Ora, respect and obedience to elders is
                                mandatory.

                                Traditionally, youths respect their elders even
                                if the elders are wrong, they still obey them,
                                and elders are respected and served like gods.
                                It is hardly so any more, yet the society
                                despite the effect of western education has
                                managed to retain and preserve the moral
                                treasures of the people. That is why any unusual
                                act of insurbodination by a younger person to an
                                elderly person is not only frowned upon
                                seriously, but also considered sacrilegious,
                                sometimes appeasable after cleansing rites

                                Predominantly, the Oras are known farmers and
                                hunters; they grow cassava, plantain and little
                                of cocoa. A thing they enjoyed with all form of
                                excitement, although they did not lose focus in
                                sending their sons to school. This shows that
                                the Ora’s have great regard for education. That
                                is why in this contemporary era there is hardly
                                any sector of the economy that you will not find
                                at least an Ora man performing a particular
                                function or the other, they discharge their
                                duties creditably well. These areas include
                                politics, banking, trading and other forms of
                                business.

                                Like other traditional African societies, the
                                Oras also have a multiplicity of deities but
                                they believe in a Supreme Being.

                                The reason for the high number of Christians in
                                Ora is that Christianity made an inroad into
                                Ora, early.

                                Ora received Christianity sometime in 1895. An
                                Anglican Church and primary school were sited in
                                Sabongidda-Ora and the institutions later
                                produced the first Anglican priest in Ora, Late
                                Rev. Aig Imoukhuede.

                                Amongst other clans in Ora, Sabongidda Ora is
                                one of the most developed this is because it has
                                a council headquarters. It is the only Ora town
                                connected to the rest of the world via
                                telecommunications technology.

                                If there is anything the Ora’s are known for it
                                is their regard for unity. There is this sense
                                of belonging whenever various Ora communities
                                meet both within and outside their immediate
                                locality. An observation given weight by the
                                fact those Ora chiefs perform all their
                                traditional rites together. No Ora man becomes a
                                chief without all Ora chiefs being privy to his
                                selection.

                                As for her neighbours, Ora is bounded by the 
                                Ishans, Iulehas and the Etsakos. And true to
                                type, Ora, over the years has maintained
                                friendship with all her neighbours coexisting
                                with them peacefully

 

HISTORY OF IKA PEOPLE

Now Now_002

Note: The official Sword of the Oba of Benin & Obi of Onicha

EDO ROOT OF ABAVO, AGBOR AND OWA.

THE OBI THAT HAVE RULED AVBAVO, AGBOR AND OWA .

1. THESE THREE IKA TOWNS HAD THEIR MAIN RULING DYNASTIES IN THE 12TH CENTURY, HOWEVER HISTORY HAD IT THAT AGBOR HAD BEEN RULED PREVIOUSLY BY OGISO AND OGELE DYNASTIES ,WHILE OWA WAS RULED BY ADAGBA IN OFIEN, BEFORE ODOGUN CAME FROM UTE,TO RULE IN OYIBU.

AVBAVO – WAS FOUNDED BY A BENIN CHIEF NAMED AVBAVO AND HIS WIFE OVBORIE. ABAVO MEAN TO COME COMPLETELY, WHILE OVBORIE MEANS I CAN SUPPORT, THIS NAME WAS CHANGED BY THE BRITISH IN 1906 , TO ABAVO , FOR BETTER PRONOUNCIATION.

THE NAMES OF PAST OBIS OF ABAVO.

1. AVBAVO
2. OWURU
3. IYIUKU
4. IZEOBOH
5. IHAIFUN
6. ARGHON
7. ONICHABOR
8. IDUH,
9. JEBOR
10. OCHERI
11. OSAIGBOVOU
12. JEGBEFUME
13. EHKATOR JEGBEFUME THE SECOND
14. IRENUMA EHKATOR OCHERI
15. UCHE IRENUMA THE SECOND THE PRESENT OBI

AGBOR KINGS – DEINS /OBIS.

1. DEIN
2. OWUWU
3. AKINA
4. AGHO
5. OGUADE
6. AISAMA
7. OSEH
8. ADIGWE
9. IMOUDU
10. OBANOR
11. ODIN-OVBA
12. GBENOBA
13. AIGBOBU
14. OBIKA GBENOBA THE SECOND
15. IIKENCHUKU
16. KIAGBOREKUZI

OWA ROYAL DYNASTY -OBIS.

1. ODOGUN
2. IGBEGIDI
3. EWODO
4. EWUARE
5. OZOLUA
6. ORHOGBUWA
7. IREGWA
8. EWOH
9. OKUN
10. IDHIANA
11. OSEH
12. ISEH
13. IGBEOBA
14 . OKUNDAIYE
15. IKOKO STEVEN. OBAIGBENA
16. OBOH EFEIZOMOR
17. EMMANUEL DUMBIRI EFEIZOMOR THE SECOND

BENIN KINGDOM IS THE ORIGIN OF ONITSHA

ika

The Benin Origin Of Onitsha: By Late President Nnamdi Azikiwe- Oral tradition.

Prior to Nigerian independence in 1960 they were known not to have kings except perhaps for the Obi (from Oba: king) of Onitsha, hence the common saying: “Ibo enwero eze” (the Igbo has no king). Individual towns, clans and families see themselves as independent as they are very clannish. They are also known to look down on other peoples, hardly integrating with their hosts though also feigning friendliness. Not surprisingly foreigners see little motivation in investing and residing in their homeland. Indeed the name of one of their most prominent settlements, Onitsha, is said to be derived from Onini (to despise) and Ncha (others), meaning “one who despises others.” Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, former Nigerian president and Igbo leader, even described the attitude as supercilious.

Nnamdi Azikiwe: My Genealogy and Nativity “Thus, in tracing my paternal lineage, I could say that both parents of my father are direct descendants of Eze Chima. As for me, I can trace my paternal ancestry in this wise: I am the first son of Chukwuemeka, who was the third child and first son of Azikiwe, who was the second son of Molokwu, who was the third son of Ozomaocha, who was the second son of Inosi Onira, who was the fourth son of Dei, the second son of Eze Chima, the founder of Onitsha.”

SOURCE – Nnamdi A zikiwe: My Odyssey, Chapter I (Spectrum Books, 1970) “My Genealogy and Nativity” P4

“I can trace my maternal ancestry thus: I am the first son of Nwanonaku Rachel Chinwe Ogbenyeanu (Aghadiuno)Azikiwe, who was third daughter of Aghadiuno Ajie, the fifth son of Onowu Agbani, first daughter of Obi Udokwu, the son who descended from five Kings of Onitsha. Five of these rulers of Onitsha were direct lineal descendants of Eze Chima (PRINCE OHIME), who led his warrior adventurers when they left Benin to establish the Onitsha city state in about 1748 AD.

” SOURCE – Nnamdi Azikiwe: My Odyssey, Chapter I (Spectrum Books, 1970) “My Genealogy and Nativity” P5 “One day I asked her (grandmother) the meaning of the word ‘Onitsha’. She explained that it had historical significance. The terminology meant one who despised another. It is a contraction of two words, Onini to despise, and Ncha meaning others. So that the two words when joined together mean one who despises others. Then I asked her why we despised others. She patted me on the back and told me that it was due to our aristocratic background and tradition. I insisted that she should explain to me the basis of this supercilious social attitude. She told me that we despised others because we descended from the Royal House of Benin and so regarded ourselves as the superiors of other tribes who had no royal blood in their veins, “

“I continued to belabor my grandmother to tell me more of the history and origins of the Onitsha people. She narrated that many many years ago, there lived at Idu (Benin) a great Oba who had many children. Due to a power struggle regarding the right of precedence among princes of the blood and other altercations, there was a civil war in Benin. One day, the supporters of one of the princes insulted and assaulted Queen Asije, the mother of of the Oba of Benin, who was accused of having trespassed on their farmland. Enraged at this evidence of indiscipline and lawlessness, the Oba ordered his war chief and brother, Gbunwala Asije to apprehend and punish the insurgents.

In the attempt to penalize them, Chima (OHIME), the ultimate founder of the Onitsha City-State, a Prince of the blood in his own right, led the recalcitrants against his Uncle, Gbunwala. This intensified the civil war which rent the kingdom of Benin in two and led to the founding of Onitsha Ado N’Idu, “As the great trek from Benin progressed, some did not have the stout heart of the pioneer-warrior, and decided to settle at different places, known today as Onitsha -Ugbo, Onitsha-Olona, Onitsha-Mili, Obior, Issele Ukwu, Ossomari, Aboh, etc.

” SOURCE – Nnamdi Azikiwe: My Odyssey, I (Spectrum Books, 1970) “My Genealogy and Nativity” P 11 – 12.
Most Igbo men knew about Zik’s book and the rest. Most also know the history of the Onitshas, Zik paid homage to the Oba of Benin during his life time. Even Ogwuta claim to descend from Benin.
ENDING THE IGBO HISTORY MYTH

BENIN ROOT OF ONITSHA-
BY UGONABO ONWA AMENE ESQ.

Our history as a people should neither be a mystery nor a guess work. It must be written by us for us based on our knowledge of what was, what is and what will forever be as children of Onicha: a divine town of assured prospects; a town that was oriented and aligned to sacred stars of the immortal galaxies; a town, that was divinely inspired and strategically founded on the sacred banks of God’s own river, the Niger. Onicha, the sacred abode, uniquely ordained to soar and tower above all obstacles; a town, where the immortal flame of God’s own love will forever glow. Onicha-Ado n’ Idu! Atulukpa Ose! Onicha, oke Ebo na eri agu! Eke nwe ovia! (The royal python that reigns in the the sacred forest!) Oke Nnunu Mmuo n’ ebe n’ oku!(The great mystical bird that perches on deadly flames and yet remains immuned from the inferno!) Onicha; my Onicha, our Onicha, the divine breasts whose nourishing milk has sustained all from the misty dawn of times!

The word “Onitsha” is an alienization of the proper spelling of our correct name “Onicha”. From my research, this word was first used by Mungo Park in his reports of his expedition amongst the Niger people and this was continued by other Europeans. The compound term “tsha” is non-existent in any African or Igbo syntax. We should abandon the perpetuation of this anomaly and revert to the correct form of our name: Onicha. The ancestral name of our beloved town is “Onicha-Mmili”.This was to distinguish it from our other kinsmen at other Onicha settlements on the West of the Niger, like “Onicha-Ugbo”; “Onicha-Olona”; “Onicha-Ukwu”; and other blood relatives that branched out from the major migrational group to develop those settlements on the West of the Niger or “Enu Ani”. It is really sad that these days, our interactions and dynamics with these our blood relatives at Enu Ani have become almost extinct.

My immortalized and legendary kinsman, Chief Philip Okonkwo Anatogu, the Onowu Iyasele of Onitsha, once explained that the word “Onicha-Ado N’ Idu” referred to the Nation of all Onicha stock that made the exodus from the Idu land. Idu was one of the names for ancient Egypt. “Idu” or “Edo” was later corrupted to Edo and was usurped by the Benin nation. The Iyasele explained that the towns of Onicha-Mmili, Onicha-Ugbo, Onicha-Olona, Onicha-Ukwu, Issele-Ukwu, Issele Mkpitima, Ezzi, Obamkpa and other towns of Benin migrational orientation were all collectively referred to as “Onicha Ado n’ Idu” by the Edos! Over the years when Onicha-Mmili became very accomplished, the usage of the name “Onitsha Ado n’ Idu” appeared to have been narrowed down to her. Many of our brethren at Enu Ani had criticized this as what they perceived as an attempt by Onicha-Mmili to solely assume what was a national identity of all Onicha children. Who are Ndi Onicha? Onye ka anyi bu? Ebe ka anyi sii? Anyi abu ndi Edo/Idu/Benin?

However, many of our traditional titles are the same with the Edos/Binis: Onicha titles like “Iyasele” is “Iyasere” in Bini; “Ogene Onira” is “Oliha” in Benin; “Odu Osodi” is “Osodin” in Benin; “Omodi Daike” in Onitsha is “Edaiken” in Benin; “Esagba” in Onitsha is “Esogban” in Benin; the “Isama” titles are the same in both towns amongst many others. The “Obi” of modern Onitsha today is the continuation of the ancient Pharonic dynasty of ancient Kemet or Egypt. Onitsha must retrace the history of her monarchs from his imperial Majesty Obi Achebe back to the Ogiso Kings of Igodomigodo in Edo, then to Egypt; to Pharoah Tutankhamon, Pharoah Amenemhet, Pharoah Amenemes, Pharoah Amenkhuti Ra; Pharoah Khafara, and back to the first dynasty in Egypt. Enough of this tracing of our kingship to just Obi Oreze or his father Ohime(corrupted to “Chima”) by his later descendants. Onicha people came from Benin or Edo land, they were also in Igbo land.

I suspect that the Priests of Nri were distantly connected, that is why till date an Nri King upon consecration must bring certain sacrifial items to the Obi of Onicha and must sleep over in Onicha before assuming the Nri throne. Why would the very traditional Nri people who were(and still are) known all over the Igbo land as a holy people and the spiritual custodian of all Igbo lands, accord these rights to Onicha Kings? All these indicate that Onicha and many other tribes had had prior interactions and established certain traditional precedence which had been ongoing before the Onicha town was founded just around 700 hundred years ago. No Nri man would just concede to subject his divine King to some unknown immigrants who just crossed over from the Niger River, if that were to be the case.

BENIN EMIGRATION OR EXODUS:

The migration of Onicha people from Benin happened in phases over many years and did not happen once. The Ohime/Obi Ezechima’s exodus was one of the last ones that occurred but it should be noted that not all Onicha people left with Obi Eze Chima or Ohime. Some stayed back and are still in Benin today. Some took a different migrationary route towards Ile Ife and Ado Ekiti. Some went to establish Ondo. Some made a northern migrational journey towards the north to establish the Igala Kingdom.The Attah of Igala and a substantial part of the Igala kingdom were Onicha people who immigrated into Igala from Benin. The first Attah of Igala was a Prince of the Edo/Benin Kingdom. Now it can be understood why the Onicha people were ferried across the Niger and greatly assisted by their Igala kinsmen when they reached the banks of the Niger river. It can also be understood why Onicha people easily incorporated many Igala rituals and traditions into their own concepts. They were of the same roots but different branches. Onicha people left Benin to establish Igala; that was the secret behind the easy adoption of and exchange of different tenets amongst Onicha and Igala people.

Some Onicha people, before Eze Chima’s exodus, had left Benin to establish other towns like Issele Ukwu, Ebu, Kwale, Ezzi, Onicha-Ukwu, Okpanam, Asaba(originally called “Araba”) and some other towns of Benin orientation that had been established before the Ezechima’s exodus from Benin.. It was these settlements that habored Obi Ohime/Ezechima when he and his family fled from Benin. The migration from Benin to Onicha Mmili took many years, towns of Onicha-Olona and Onicha-Ugbo were established by Onicha people who felt reluctant to continue and follow Obi Ohime to Onicha-mmili.
ESTABLISHMENT OF ONICHA-MMILI AND HER RULING DYNASTY:

Obi Ohime or Eze Chima, having been told that he could not enter Onicha, stayed for a long time in Obio with his family and relatives before he died. After he died, his relatives decided to continue with their migration to establish Onicha. The qualification for whom shall be crowned king was conditioned upon who shall sound ancient rhythms on a wooden Ufie. Traditionally, Ufie cannot be owned or be sounded/beaten by a person whose father is still alive. The contestants to the throne having just lost their father, had no ufie, however, Oreze Obi, had carved one which he hid under the boat and sounded first upon getting to Onicha whilst his siblings were busy looking for the appropriate wood to cut for the Ufie.

The contestants to the throne were Oreze, Ukpali, Agbor Chima, Ekensu(Aboh Chima), Obio, Obamkpa and Isele. All these men were all children of Eze Chima. This is very important because I have read some articles being written about “non-royal and royal” Onitsha families by people who are very ignorant of our history. Dei Ogbuevi was uterine brother of Eze Chima and was therefore not excluded from Onicha kingship unlike the children of Eze Chima outlined above. That is why any Dei descendant can still aspire to the Oncha throne, unlike the descendants of the children of Eze Chima that contested the throne. Rather than contest the election of their sibling, they resolved to emigrate from Onicha and go back to “Enu Ani” to establish their own clans.

 

Thus Obamkpa, left to establish Obamkpa town. Umuasele, Iyiawu and Umu Odimegwu Gbuagwu villages are all descended from Obamkpa. Ukpali went to found Agbor and Ekensu went to found Aboh. After, Ojedi’s sacrifice of her life tosave Onicha, her father Dei, left Umudei village to reside with his nephew Ukpali who had founded Aboh town(because then, it was a taboo for a child to die before the parents.) Whilst at Aboh, Dei had more children, who just like their Aboh relatives, became very wealthy by fishermen and traders. These children of Dei in Aboh, whenever they came to Onicha to trade and market their wares, would spend some days with their relatives at Umudei village. Some later settled at Umudei after exchanging marital vows with other Onicha people and founded the “Ogbe Onira” clan in Umudei village, a very spiritual, mystical and tough clan. The term “Aboh Rika” is now being erroneously applied to all Umu Dei people, but this is historically incorrect. It was originally used for Ogbe Onira clan because of their “Dei-Aboh” roots. Till date, our relatives from Aboh town are saluted with “Abohrika”. It literarily means Aboh predominates! One always sees that pride wherever children of Eze Chima are founded.

When Dei later left Aboh, he went and founded Oguta town in Imo State and till date, only descendants of Dei can assume the throne of Oguta town. In Oguta today, the Umudei Village exists. Traditionally, whenever, the Obi of Oguta visited Onicha-Mmili, he would first go to the Diokpa of Umudei village who would then accompany him to the Obi of Onicha.

ONICHA TRADITIONAL CONCEPTS OF SPIRITUALITY:

Onicha people traditionally believe in one omnipotent God whom we call”Ose Ebuluwa” or “Osa Ebuluwa” ( “Olisa Ebuluwa”.) One of the original ancient Egyptian, Kemetic names of God, was “Osa”. The Greeks changed it to “Osiris”. Another name of God in ancient Egypt was “Ra”. In Onicha today we bear the names “Chukwu Ra” etymologically it alluded to “Ra”, the high spirit. It was this aspect of God that the Jews worshipped that is why the term”RA” is reflected in many Jewish and Isreali names. Terms like (Abraham); Ab “Ra” ham, (Israel): Is “Ra” el, {Sarah};Sa “Ra” h, (Raphael);”Ra” phael, (Gabriel);Gab “Ra” el, (Ariel); A “Ra” el, (Mount Ararat);A,ra “Ra” t, and so many others. Could these be “just” coincidental?

In Benin, God is called “Osa No Obuwa”, which has the same etymological root with “Ose Ebuluwa”. The closest transliteration (it cannot be adequately translated into English) of the term “Osebuluwa” can be glimpsed if one attempts to etymologize the term “Osebuluwa”. The term is derived from “Ose/Osa(mystical force/being), ebili(waves), uwa(world), Osebuluwa therefore, subject to my human limitations, means “The mystical being whose waves sustain the world.” Going into the mystical and esoteric meaning of “OLISA”: which literarily means “the devourer of mystical seven”, would cast me beyond the scope of this article. MAKA NA IVIE LIE ISAA ONAA! (WHATEVER DEVOURS SEVEN CEASES TO EXIST!)

The name Ose Ebuluwa was (still is) deemed so holy that the Onicha men, especially Priests of Nze(Agbalanze) would not respond to any greetings from family members upon waking up in the morning, until they ritually cleansed their mouths with (chewing stick) Atu Oborsi, bathed and then faced the direction of the rising sun to pronounce the sacred name “Ose Ebuluwa”. He does this whilst standing in a very consecrated and hallowed ground called “Ani Ezi”. This name is very powerful:none should dare to falsely swear in this name. Our ancestors were spiritually advanced to know that God had no gender, we therefore till date ascribe no gender to God unlike in our European oriented creeds.

 

EDITOR’S SUMMARY & CONCLUSION ON
THE EDO / YORUBA / IGBO HISTORICAL ACCOUNTS

220px-Flag_of_the_Benin_Empire

 Ekaladerancopia

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culture02-300x192    oba-of-beninPrince_Eheneden

The Ika tribes of Agbor, Asaba & Onicha axis in the Benin Empire have allowed the “uncivilized” Igbos who knew next to nothing about a building a royal court in a civilized and organized society like it was in Benin Empire to influence their ancestral roots and be claiming to be Igbos when it should have been the other way around just because their language has been bastardized and overwhelmed by the multitudes of Igbos living in their midst. Now they have an identity crisis with their Igbo neighbors who cannot tell you any concretized history of their past not to mention having had a notable king in the land in their entire history and were still depending on that pre-historic ruling system of community elders and above all cannot name any single name of any prominent Igbo man or ruler that lived only 500 years ago with proven dates, facts & events let alone 1000 years ago. They probably never had any European contact until only recently when the British colonialists and Christian missionaries moved in to their land after the British had established their colonial government over the Benin Empire barely a 100 years ago.

Why don’t the other Afemai, Igalla, Ora, Esan, Itsekhiri, Isoko, Urhobo, Ijaw and Edo tribes have any identity crisis about their roots in the same Benin Empire you were a part of? The Itsekhiris & Oras inspite of their close proximity to the Yorubas will never entertain any suggestions from their Yoruba neighbours that they are Yorubas because their language over time has been mixed up many Yoruba words. In short the Yorubas would dare not try it with them because they know who they are and that their historical roots are firmly rooted namely in the Royal Family of Benin from Benin Princes migrated to establish both kingdoms.

Do they not see how the Edo tribes went about civilizing all other tribes in all the territories they conquered and annexed including the Yoruba and Ika tribes themselves?

The Igbos never had nor were ever able to build in their entire “unrecorded” ancient history any sort of city or society as large and influential as Onicha which was spawned out of the enterprising Benin Empire as their eastern trading out post in the River Niger trade route, just like they did with Lagos as their western trading out post and Dahomey / Togo as their West Africa trading out post of the European shipping lines in the Atlantic.

Yet they want to take the glory of the labours of others. If they could build a city-town like unto Onicha why did they not first do so in their own hinterland and bush villages so that we may believe them. Look at all the major towns and cities built in the hinter land all over Benin Empire where there was no river like the River Niger, so proximity to the River Niger is not an excusable or inexcusable reason for not being able to build a civilized society. As far as we know the best form of civilization the Igbos could ever come up with after farming & hunting was to have designed a “Masquerade Mask” all by themselves. Congrats! If there be any other art or artifact of note please let them make it known.

 

Then all of a sudden they want you the Ikas to accept a degrading Igbo heritage that was far inferior to that of your ancestors who migrated out of the “Royal Courts” of the Benin Empire as royalty and be saying it to your face that you are Igbo and instead of you to dispel it with disdain you accept it with levity and thereby losing your true historical identity and become historical bastards who do not know their original roots and relies on guess work and fabrications to plot their historical charts as many African tribes have become today. As they say: As you make your historical bed, so your history lies on it!

 

So keep the Igbo identity and stick to it as an unknown and unquantified historical anomaly and misfit in history with no accurate origins who myopically claims ancestry from the Jews in Israel by calling themselves the JEWS OF AFRICA in their delusional fantasies and yet cannot produce a single factual historical link or proof to that effect because they do not know anything about their true origins. Quite unlike the Ethiopian Jews who are indeed the true JEWS OF AFRICA whose link to Israel & Judaism is well and truly documented by Biblical and historical accounts yet they do not go about claiming to be the Jews of Africa like the Igbos because they “know” who they are and where they come from. Have you not noticed that in the same historical delusional manner they are now claiming to have come from Ancient Egypt with no single archeological and historical fact or proof except to be calling “Jargon names” that sound seemingly similar. So what’s it going to be Egyptian or Jewish origins? Keep on guessing!

 

So what is the original Egyptian language then as no one on earth seems to remember it because all black Africans are indeed the direct and indirect descendants of the Ancient Black Pharoahs of the Black Egyptians who ruled the ancient world in Biblical times until they were sacked by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and driven out of their land as his captives down the Saharan desert into the forest regions of West & East Africa from there they migrated towards all directions forming settlements, communities and villages which grew into towns, cities and kingdoms over the millennia and centuries in the last three thousand years. The Bible proves this as the Romans did the same to the Jews who were carried captive out of the ancestral land into Europe and their land was more or less repopulated with strangers and their former neighbors namely the Arabs who today are still disputing the ownership of the land with them. So also the Black Egyptians after being dispossessed of their land their Canaanite Arab neighbors in the deserts quickly moved in to possess their land and are now claiming to be the ancient Egyptians who civilized the whole world.

(Isaiah 20:2-5…At the same time spake the LORD by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot. And the LORD said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia; So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt. And they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation, and of Egypt their glory…)

(Ezekiel 30:10-12…Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also make the multitude of Egypt to cease by the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon. He and his people with him, the terrible of the nations, shall be brought to destroy the land: and they shall draw their swords against Egypt, and fill the land with the slain. And I will make the rivers dry, and sell the land into the hand of the wicked: and I will make the land waste, and all that is therein, by the hand of strangers: I the LORD have spoken it…)

NOTE: that Bible history records by Isaiah & Ezekiel that the original black Egyptians will be exiled out of their land by the hand of a king of Assyrian origins who indeed was Nebuchadrezzar the son of King Nebuchadnezer of Babylon who lived after the days of Jeremiah the prophet and did conquer Egypt and exile the Egyptians out of thier ancestral land like he did to the Jews whom he carried away as captives from Jerusalem to far away Babylon.

(Ezekiel 29:12-16…And I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities among the cities that are laid waste shall be desolate forty years: and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries. Yet thus saith the Lord GOD; At the end of forty years will I gather the Egyptians from the people whither they were scattered: And I will bring again the captivity of Egypt, and will cause them to return into the land of Pathros, into the land of their habitation; and they shall be there a base kingdom. It shall be the basest of the kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations: for I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations. And it shall be no more the confidence of the house of Israel…)

NOTE: that after the black Egyptians were exiled out of Egypt they but never returned back to their original land but were “scattered” among the nations and countries in Sub Saharan Africa symbolised as the land of Pathros which became their permanent land of habitation ever since till date and most definitely not in the Middle East. From there they lost their great civilization & pyramid building glory as the greatest super power nation of all time and with the passage of centuries and millennia became a “base kingdom” of primitive African tribes who could only manage to build thatched huts as it was with so many black African tribes below the Sahara. Did the same history not repeat itself with Great Benin and Great Britain where the Benin civilization was totally destroyed by the marauding British colonialists leaving behind very little trace of the beauty, granduer and glory of ancient Benin of centuries past for us see while leaving the rest for us to imagine. This is the Biblical and historical proof that indeed Ancient Egypt was Black Africa!

 

If this is not so why is it that the popular pictorials of the Egyptian hieroglyphs depicted the Egyptian skin colors as blacks (dark & light skinned) unlike the Arabs as well as show their noble women hair to be braided like black African women and show their men to be tying short wrappers around their waists like black African men all very unlike the Arabic speaking Egyptians of today who never braid their hair nor wear short wrappers. This is an absolute “cultural proof” that the ancient Egyptians were indeed the black Africans. There are many others but this would suffice. Like the black African historians and archelogists do their home work properly and come up all the relevant proofs of Black Egypt and take to the United Nations for a full review so as to re-write the true historical account of our Egyptian Black ancestors who gave the whole the greatest gift of civilization in virtually all fields of life from medicine to money to skyscrapers to automobiles just name it. The glory and credit must go to rightful people namely the Black Africans and must not continue to be usurped by the White Arabs as the white historians and archeologists have been misleading us to believe the last decades and centuries.

 

So we put it to them that if indeed they are the ancient Egytians who are still dwelling in their original land of Egypt and not foreigners who later came to occupy the land then they should be able to speak their original ancient Egyptian language which they don’t have a single clue about proving that they are usurpers claiming to be who they are not and capitalizing on the glorious past of Black African history that they were never able to accomplish in their entire history. Ever heard of the desert Berbers building a desert city talk less of these Berber Arabs building Ancient Egypt. Again the link to Egyptian civilization can be found in the Ancient Benin as they completely evolved such a complex and organized society out of nothing just as the ancient Egyptians did proving that the same Egyptian ingenuity runs in their blood. But that doesn’t mean that Benin should now begin to lay claim to an unfounded and unconfirmed direct Egyptian ancestry if they cannot prove it factually and historically as it becomes a fable or distorted fact.

 

Just like the Yorubas who are fond of distorting historical facts and truths to entertain themselves as if telling the story of the true historical accounts of your ancestors is the same as telling a comedy story that is purely for entertainment purposes. It is like changing your father’s name to that of a strange name just because you do not like the way your father’s name sounds. Invariably you have lost your identity and family roots and have become a HISTORICAL BASTARD who does not have a genuine history or ancestral background so you can no longer be regarded as part of the true history of your ancestors.

 

For instance the Yorubas do not know their true historical origins which they claim started from Ife and Oduduwa whom as educated as they are foolishly were claiming that he came down from heaven (imagine that) and when they saw how dumb it sounded in the 20th century history books quickly discarded that ridiculous and ludicrous postulation and started a new fabrication that he wandered all the way from Saudi Arabia in the Middle East until he came to settle in the tiny village of Ife. Please check the distance and imagine how one single man could possibly stroll down across the Mediterranean sea, into Africa through the River Nile in Egypt and down the Sahara Desert into the West African jungle and settle down in Ile-Ife and become their king and juju priest while renouncing his Islamic religion at the same time . Is this not the height of madness in history? Okay who were the people he became king over in Ile-Ife and what is their history or did the same Oduduwa father all the Yoruba people as he did all the Yoruba kings?

 

You see why it hurts to lie about your history as it is now proving that the Yorubas who have been lying all along about their history have now been caught out in their lies. They do not know their true origins and history for we know that Oduduwa was the son of the Benin monarch called Ogiso Owodo, who fled persecution in Benin to Ife to seek refuge and having hailed from a far more civilized and superior society was able to civilize the Yoruba people he met there who had never had a monarch in their entire history just like the Igbos; by teaching them the monarchical civilized ways of Benin Civilization whence he came from. Then the Yorubas turn it around and claim the exact opposite that the Yoruba spawned Benin to their own ignorant deception. The world’s knowledge of Benin history written by the Europeans who visited the empire for centuries before the era of African colonization is clear, concise and unchangeable.

 

Even the history of Lagos (Eko) established by the Benin Empire in Yoruba land proves to all and sundry who was who amongst the twain that the fabled Oyo Empire was indeed a “paper empire” that existed in the imaginations of the Yorubas. There is no historical trace or document to show that Oyo empire ever existed as written by contemporary Yoruba historians. All the ancient maps of West Africa drawn by the European cartographers, merchants, slave traders and sailors have no record of such a vast empire or kingdom for that matter only a slight mention of the Yoruba speaking Oyo & Ijebu tribes in the hinterland who always engaged in internecine wars amongst themselves is what is recorded about them. Proving their existence as a cluster of small tribal towns, villages and communities; and most definitely not a vast empire with a renown emperor and an organized system of governance that these “incompetent” Yoruba historians want you to believe. Meaning that if that is what they mean by an “Oyo Empire then the Igbo towns, villages and communities will also qualify as an “Igbo Empire” according to their own personal definition of an empire. The major West African empires like Songhai, Mali, Ghana, Ashanti and of course Great Benin need no introduction as history is awash with all their recorded achievements and civilizations. Look at these ancient maps of West Africa called Guinea in those days when the so called Oyo Empire was said to have flourished and se if there was any record of such a thing as Oyo Kingdom let alone Oyo Empire.

 

benin2

MAP 1: OF WEST AFRICA AS AT 1727 AD DURING THE HEIGHT OF SLAVE TRADE SHOWING THE SLAVE COAST KINGDOMS OF DAHOMEY, LAGOS & WARRI WHICH WERE ALL TRIBUTARIES OF THE MIGHTY BENIN EMPIRE IN THE BIGHT OF BENIN REGION: SO WHERE IS OYO EMPIRE LOCATED?

OH…I SEE…THE OYOS OR AYOES OR EYOES ARE RECORDED IN THIS MAP AS A WARLIKE “PEOPLE OR TRIBE” BUT NEVER AS A KINGDOM AS IN DAHOMEY, LAGOS & WARRI TALK LESS OF BEING AN EMPIRE AS IN BENIN. OKAY MAYBE THEY WERE MISTAKING THE KINGDOM OF LAGOS (A TRIBUTARY OF BENIN) FOR THE OYO EMPIRE

350px-Negroland_and_Guinea_with_the_European_Settlements,_1736 

MAP 2: SHOWING SUB-SAHARA AFRICA CALLED NEGRO LAND AND WEST AFRICA CALLED GUINEA AS AT THEN & VERY PROMINENTLY THE BENIN EMPIRE: SO WHERE IS OYO EMPIRE LOCATED?

1670_Ogilby_Map_of_West_Africa_(_Gold_Coast,_Slave_Coast,_Ivory_Coast_)_-_Geographicus_-_Guinea-ogilby-1670

MAP 3: SHOWING WEST AFRICA CALLED GUINEA AS AT THEN & BENIN EMPIRE: WHERE IS OYO EMPIRE LOCATED?

benin map 

MAP 4: SHOWING WEST AFRICA CALLED GUINEA AS AT THEN AND GOLD COAST (GHANA) AND SLAVE COAST (DAHOMEY, LAGOS & WARRI) AND THE BENIN EMPIRE: WHERE FOR GOODNESS SAKE WAS OYO EMPIRE LOCATED?

I HAVE PROVEN AND DEMONSTRATED THAT OYO EMPIRE NEVER EXISTED IN WEST AFRICAN HISTORY OF MAPS MEANING IT NEVER EXISTED AT: ALL AS A SINGLE TRIBE OF YORUBA SPEAKING PEOPLE CAN ONLY MAKE A YORUBA KINGDOM AND NOT AN EMPIRE THAT CONSISTS OF MANY DIFFERENT TRIBES AND NATIONS AS IT IS WITH ALL THE KNOWN EMPIRES OF THE WORLD.

A SINGLE TRIBE CANNOT MAKE AN EMPIRE FOR

AN EMPIRE IS MADE OF MANY TRIBES!!!

QUOD ERAT DEMONSTRANDUM!!!

 

Indeed history has so backed fired on the Yorubas that they do not even know their roots which we all know are from the scattered tribes of Benin Republic and Togo found in Nigeria to the extent that the word Yoruba is a strange word to them that means absolutely nothing in their language yet that is what they call themselves and their own personal language for that matter. The Hausa / Fulani Jihadist called them “YARIBA” after conquering them and converting them to Islam by the sword as a “slave name” used to identify them in their own Hausa language and Islamic writings. Then they in turn adopted that “slave name” or nick-name if you like and bastardized the pronunciation to YORUBA instead and started to address themselves and even called their own language by that “nick-name” given to then by their Jihadist rulers and emirs. Imagine that!

 

If the Yoruba historians want to dispute it they should step up with facts proving otherwise as well as tell us the original meaning of the word Yoruba even as they are always at pains to tell us that the word Benin is a derivative of the word “Ubini” that Oranmiyan the son of Oduduwa called it when he was sent there to restore the throne of the late Ogiso Owodo his paternal grandfather who died heirless. We know how the name of Benin came about called Beny at first by the Portuguese and Edo by Oba Ewuare so we need no distorted historical accounts for we know our history. Let the Yorubas first go and research out their own historical true origins so that they will not end up as historical bastards before trying to tell others about their own history.

 

A typical example below is this mis-placed map of Africa ostensibly charted or advocated by Yoruba historians of the various locations of ancient African kingdoms and empires where the position of Benin Empire was cunningly usurped by juxtaposing Oyo Empire on it thereby distorting true historical accounts. Imagine how they completely obscured Benin out of their own version and made the “little known” Kanem-Borno kingdom located only in north eastern Nigeria that is falsely depicted in the map to have expanded all the way to Algeria and Libya in North Africa and the “unknown” Oyo kingdom located only in south western Nigeria that is depicted to have expanded all the way from Benin to Ghana as the main ancient kingdoms that rose out of Nigeria. Thereby completely eroding out of that fake map the existence of Benin Empire which was the second Greatest Empire and civilization to ever arise in Africa second only to Ancient Egypt. This has always been their ways of lying and fabricating history which has now come to light to their shame and disgrace. Please compare this fake Nigerian map below with the original European maps highlighted above for you to see the difference between the truth and lie.

mapaa 

FALSE MAP SHOWING OYO EMPIRE COVERING MOST OF THE AREA

WHERE BENIN EMPIRE IS SUPPOSED TO BE LOCATED  

    10647198_10204581433753552_441454951504452838_n    BENIN EMPIRE TERRITORIES COVERING MOST PARTS OF THE YORUBA SPEAKING TOWNS & VILLAGES FROM IJEBU TO LAGOS TO ADO-EKITI TO IDAH FALSELY CALLED OYO EMPIRE BY YORUBA HISTORIANS

If some Togolese, Beninoise and Ghanian tribes who are far away can trace the link of their historical origins back to the ancient empire of Benin I see no reason why this is becoming an impossible yask for the Yorubas to do except maybe the raw historical truth will hurt their “false pride” of an illusive “Oyo Empire” going up in false smoke and be forced to accept after all that they trace their origins back to the same old Benin Empire as virtually every other tribe around it has accurately done. First of all Oduduwa’s true origin and identity as a Benin prince MUST be accepted by them and then all other things in their history will begin to fit into place. But as long as Oduduwa remains for them a mythical Saudi Arabian immigrant in Africa, then the Yoruba’s true history will remain a mythical fallacy of facts!

I REST MY CASE!

EBENINALIVETODAYBenin_empire

FLY THE FLAG OF FREEDOM!!!

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3 thoughts on “Edo History

  1. “The Ika tribes of Agbor, Asaba & Onicha axis in the Benin Empire have allowed the “uncivilized” Igbos who knew next to nothing about a building a royal court in a civilized and organized society like it was in Benin Empire to influence their ancestral roots and be claiming to be Igbos when it should have been the other way around just because their language has been bastardized and overwhelmed by the multitudes of Igbos living in their mids” …………….as an igbo person who loves edo culture i think i lost my appetite i dont think i can use this article for my research , an article full of hate

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  2. we have a lot to do, we need to trace out our territories even if they are in other states like Ondo, Kogi etc. Edo, Delta are one till date, states created in Nigeria will not separate that. there are other tribes that where under Benin empire like, Ijaw, Ibibio, and Efik these people are great tribe today. what matters now is not rebuilding an empire which will not work, but uniting the Niger delta states together as a republic. the Ibo has no history but today they’re building up a nation called Biafra that never existed, using it to claim other tribes as theirs. we are Niger Delta Republic we can unite again to stop the Igbo and the Yorubas from tearing us apart. our history is clear even the white people knows, so we have a stake. we have to draw our map prepare our flag and this have to be done fast because the present President is tearing this nation apart.

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