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Kalabari People! - Culture (3) - Nairaland

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Re: Kalabari People! by ow11(m): 8:33am On Jan 25, 2009
Ras Pwn:

I just read through this thread and I read the long article on counterfoil choices, interesting stuff. Can a Kalabari person explain how true the article is and I also want to know if Kalabari people still do that till this day.

I read it and yea most of it is true but you should be aware that with people growing up far away from their ancestral homes, many of those traits would not be adopted by young Kalabari people.

@kiwi992, na2day?
any other suggestions?
Re: Kalabari People! by kiwi992(m): 6:14pm On Jan 25, 2009
Hi Ow11,

Tell you the truth, I thought the write-up was much too long so I didn't bother to read all of it.  I decided to skim through the rest, after noticing a significant error under 'SETTING'.  There, the writer mentions 'canoe house'. 

Be rest assured that there is no such thing as a 'canoe house' in Kalabari kingdom.  Most definitely not!  Take it from me - I originate from Bakana and if I don't know my own history then I might as well give up and not bother knowing anything about other people and their cultures.

Any Kalabari would tell you that we have family compounds (polo).  Such compounds as Princewill polo, Erekeosima polo (Buguma) Bob Manuel polo, Briggs polo (Abonnema), Iyalla (Yellowe) polo, Braide polo, Davies polo (Bakana), and so on, in all the thirty three towns and villages that make up Kalabari kingdom.  Those are NOT 'canoe houses' as the writer seemed to imply.  Surely, they are compounds, stupid!  What a plonker - he's got his history mixed-up!

The compounds are a grouping of related family members, their wives (both Kalabari and non-Kalabari), subjects, workers, ex-slaves (who got automatically assimilated into the Kalabari society through various native ceremonies and change of name to a Kalabari one) - by the way we don't call anybody a 'slave' (omoni bo), never!  It is a derogatory term in Kalabari society.

In ancient times, each compound in every town was required, in times of war, to bring forth an armada of boats (omu aru), armed with canons (kurusu), guns (alagba), gun powder and so on.  By the way, we got our arms and ammunition from the Europeans as a result of trading with them, being that the peoples of the Niger Delta were the first to come in contact with them.  The boats in the armada were usually manned by strong and fearless male warriors.  Each warrior wore a bandana on his forehead, with a white feather stuck through the bandana, immediately above his right ear.  The warriors rowed the boats frantically but in a synchronised manner, accompanied by a frenzied beating of the traditional drums (akwa) as well as other musical instruments such as nkuro, kuku, and so on.  The atmosphere in the boat was highly charged, the warriors all hyped up, and fearless of death because they were going to war inorder to protect the Kalabari kingdom.   At the helm of the armada was the coxswain (pronounced 'kok-sin') - or 'commodore' in modern military terms.  He was the one in-charge of his own armada of war boats, their steering and direction.  He was the one who would be standing up all the while in the leading boat, and pouring incantation into the river with the local gin (akamiri) and calling out the names of our ancestors, the water spirits, as well as the goddess of the Kalabari people (Awomine Akaso - a female whose shrine still stands today in Elem Kalabari, otherwise known as Elem Ama) and so on, for safety and protection.  Each boat in the armada had buntings and raffia dorned all over it and most of all, flew the flag of its compound to signify its origin. 

The armada was a common war effort by every compound making up a Kalabari town or village, inorder to maintain the integrity of the Kalabari kingdom i.e. to protect its people, land and rivers as well as fight its enemies.  If an aggressor attacked a Kalabari town or village, that meant that the one attacked ALL of the Kalabari towns and villages and would be faced by the combined Kalabari forces.

The war boats would usually rendezvous at strategic points along the banks of the various rivers in Kalabari - for example along the New Calabar River (Bakana), River Sombreiro (Abonnema), Asari Toru (Buguma), the rivers in Tombia, Elem Kalabari, Kula (which is right at the tip of the Atlantic Ocean), Ke, Degema, Obuama (Harry's Town) and so on.

Having an armada was a necessity for us because Elem Kalabari (Old Kalabari) was frequently attacked by its neighbours in ancient times.  It was for this reason that the Kalabari chiefs took the strategic decision to split Elem Kalabari into three main towns and thirty smaller towns and villages, so as to re-locate the Kalabari people in various key areas of the Niger Delta, inorder to forestall any attack from unfriendly neighbours and Europeans invading from the sea.  This was a movement of the Kalabari people, many hundreds of years ago and long before the slave trade ever started, with Paramount Chief Iyalla (Pina Pina Inai), his chiefs and people moving first, to found Bakana, then Abonnema and lastly Buguma (the capital of Kalabari kingdom and where the ama nyana bo - king, resides), followed by the rest of the towns and villages.  Good thinking on their part if, you ask me.

The boats never ever, formed the basis of a family unit - what the writer calls 'canoe house'  I'm most surprised that the writer, a Kalabari, doesn't know that!  Any Kalabari child would tell you that.

If you look at Google Earth or a map of the Rivers/Bayelsa States, you would see the strategic location of the various Kalabari towns and villages.  An example being Bakana, located nearest to Port Harcourt, to forestall any attack from Okrika, Bonny and Opobo, then Buguma - located where it is, to forestall any attack coming from Iwo Fe and sorrounding areas (the Ikwerres never waged any war against the Kalabari people in the olden days, so we never saw them as a threat, still we had to be prepared, just in case), whilst Abonnema was strategically located to fend off any attack from the Ijaws (Nembe, Brass and so on).  So are the other towns and villages - Tombia, Kula (to ward off any attack coming from the Atlantic Ocean, UNTIL help arrived from all the other Kalabari towns and villages.

The Ibos never waged any war against the Kalabari people in the olden days because that would have meant their having to cross the rivers to invade us, which they couldn't, simply because they are an upland people that didn't know the topology of the riverine area or indeed, how to swim, for that matter.  Rather, we waged wars against them (sadly), for our own selfish reasons, mainly to fuel the slave trade.  They still hate us up 'til today for that and I don't blame them for it. 

In view of our first contact with the Europeans, we (the peoples of the Niger Delta) were the first to trade with the rest of the world as well as being heavily involved in the shameful slave trade.  In Kalabari, we have a collection of traditional clothing called 'india', 'madras' 'njiri', jewellery, artifacts and so on, that were procured as a result of this.  These are never sold, instead, they remain in the family heirloom and have done so for centuries.  They are used to dress up the bed on which the departed is laid (only if the one died very old as opposed to dying young), and such special occasions as weddings, to dress up a woman on her emergence from the fattening room (iria) and so on.

Going by the names of some of our traditional clothings as mentioned above, I'm of the strong opinion that the Kalabari people must have had strong trading links with the Indians in the olden days.  Other than that, I couldn't figure out as to how traditional clothings that are centuries old could have been given Indian names by our forefathers.   

Talking about independence and self-reliance, I was taught to be independent by my dad at a very young age and that has helped me a lot in my adulthood.  If that runs through the Kalabari people, then that's all well and good.  However, I can not vouch for the rest 'cos I don't live at home.  One thing though, I know that the Kalabaris are a fiercely proud people.  Much too proud if you ask me and tend to look down on other neighbouring tribes.  That's surely something with which I don't agree, especially, after having faced racism living in the West.  The Kalabaris would never wish to do anything to tarnish the family name either.   

Lastly, I feel the writer made too complex a thing of the so-called 'counterfoil' choice scenario.  I didn't quite like his use of the word 'counterfoil' either.  There are much better words that would have clearly imparted the idea he was trying to convey.  Again, the scenario should have been made a lot simpler.  That said, I understand that he was writing from the Nigerian perspective and way of self-expression.  The rest of the discourse seems to be too long-winded for my liking.  Too much waffling, if you ask me and not straight to the point.  However, the facts are essentially true except the major error that I pointed out.

Oh yeah, the English anthropologist, Dr Hutton immersed himself in Kalabari culture and tradition and was made a Kalabari chief.  He spoke the language much better than most of us as kids whilst I was at home.  I remember that he used to call us up and correct our Kalabari grammar!  He actually wrote a book about the Kalabari language with a family member of mine - the late Dr C.I Berepiki.      



Without wishing to stir up things and with all goodwill in the world, I honestly feel that the Federal Government of Nigeria should engage in genuine dialogue with MEND because, going by the history of the people there, they know the riverine area like they know the back of their palms, as shown here.  It would be nigh impossible to defeat them simply for that reason.  If anyone thinks that military action is the only solution to the problems there, then, the one needs to have the one's head examined.

The peoples of the Niger Delta have been fighting wars from time immemorial.  They had been engaged in wars with the European slave traders that came from the sea (under the pretext of Christianity), hostile neighbours, and so on.  It must be noted that we were never conquered by the European slave traders, despite their guns and ammunition.  Rather, we were their trading partners in the illicit trade involving human beings.  I can, but only attribute this military success to our sound military strategy.  That experience had taught us how to engage in a military theatre.  The military strategy that's involved in all of this is all too self-evident, even in this little write-up of mine.

Hope you can see my point because I don't condone violence of any sort.  Dialogue and fair play is what would win the hearts and minds of the peoples of the Niger Delta.

Now, lets get talking seriously and unite Nigeria once again.  Let's start re-building the country and cast out the corrupt politicians by throwing them to the sharks to feed upon.


Re: Kalabari People! by Ikomi(m): 6:29pm On Jan 25, 2009
Am a heavy kalabari man from Abonema.

Am in here to say kalabari Igbakam.

If u dont understand that, then ur not a true indigine of kalabari. angry

Long live the daughters and sons especially daughters of kalabari.

So be it. angry
Re: Kalabari People! by na2day2(m): 12:41am On Jan 26, 2009

I read it and yea most of it is true but you should be aware that with people growing up far away from their ancestral homes, many of those traits would not be adopted by young Kalabari people.

@kiwi992, na2day?
any other suggestions?

most of what i learn about kalabari comes from my cousin in florida, she is very deep into research about us kalabari people
Re: Kalabari People! by SisiJinx: 1:04am On Jan 26, 2009
Ah ha! Now I know. . . . grin grin grin grin

Who's your daddy now? cool
Re: Kalabari People! by na2day2(m): 1:19am On Jan 26, 2009
Sisi Jinx:

Ah ha! Now I know. . . . grin grin grin grin

Who's your daddy now? cool

u fell right into my trap! i am just here to collect the oil money they are sharing grin grin grin grin
Re: Kalabari People! by SisiJinx: 4:28am On Jan 26, 2009
Mon. . . Did you say money??!!

Hmmm, I like the sound of that!!
Re: Kalabari People! by na2day2(m): 4:30am On Jan 26, 2009
Sisi Jinx:

Mon. . . Did you say money??!!

Hmmm, I like the sound of that!!

thats why u are my baby! cheesy cheesy cheesy cheesy cheesy
Re: Kalabari People! by ow11(m): 5:33pm On Jan 28, 2009

great write up!!

I must've sworn I did see 'war canoe house' on some IV cards sometime ago. Maybe it's an Okrika thing, lol!
Re: Kalabari People! by kiwi992(m): 9:01am On Jan 29, 2009

Thanks. Hope we've all learnt something new. 

Re: Kalabari People! by Nobody: 6:54pm On Feb 05, 2009

Nice history there. But Kalabari and indeed the Ijaw race actually have what we call the CANOE hOUSE, The original people were not land dwelling people. The life of our ancestors were almost water dwelling. The canoe Houses is the original family of a kalabari and each canoe house is refered to as Omu-aru, ( war canoe ) Kalabari chiefs were the patriach of these canoe houses . For a kalabari son to be a man his father or him self must have his own canoe house. the canoe house would comprise himself, his wives, kids, and slaves or other people feeding under him and people that might be his wariors or body guards. he is then the chief of that group which would be called the CANOE house.

The polo arrangements were actually brought be the portuguese and dutch to rearange the family system. POLO is a latin word meaning central from the actual latin word of polis. we know that metro polis or metropolitan means central part of a town. metro- polis hence metro-polo.

each canoe house was then placed in the ancient european format were family members are housed with the houses making a circular formation round a central square which is actualy the metro politan square or center which we call POLO-GBO. ogbo meaning whole and polo which is the family under the same canoe house .

Our culture was very much influenced by europeans hence our creole formation. we are creole in terms of our dialect and blood. our original ijawness was adulterated. the Kalabari patriach married and adopted a lot of IGBOS and set a lof of igbo slaves free to be parts of the Kalabari Ijaws. these Igbos influenced our language a lot making the Kalabari dialect a bit Igbotic, when KALABARI want to say it belongs to Telema we say Ouwu Teleme nyeh, thats pure Igbo, OUWU NKECHI, OUWU NGOZI . ( IT IS NKECHI, IT IS NGOZI) . The rest of the dialect is embedded in portuguese , french and dutch. But the ijaw grammar in us still remain strong.

About Kalabari dispersal from Elem AMA. KALABARI was not just a one city state. prior to the formation of the Kalabari kingdom by King AMAKIRI. The towns of Tombia, Ifoko,ABISSA,KULA,KE,SANGAMA et al were existing and speaking this same language we now call KALABARI but they were not KALABARIS. Tombia was an Ibani group that splitted from the ancient Nyakpo family half of which became FINIMA in Bonny. ABALAMA people were IBANI people from Bonny and many others like that are now KALABARIS were originally IBANI CLANS. The Ibani and KALABARI speak 100% similar dialect and could be said to be a one people. Now the dispersal of KALABARI PROPER FROM THE OLD SHIPPING WAS DUE TO INTERNAL CRISES. It started when Chief Igbanibo rebeled against the authority of KING AMAKIRI. cHIEF iGBANIBO BEING ONE OF the strongest warriors at that time was able to move out of the town when he found out he has been slated for execution. He left the town in 1801 along with his supporters and wariors to settle first at IWOFE ( Rumulumeni) BEFORE HE FINALY SETTLED at the FOUCHE land where they are now . His very good friend chief Iyallah was his hench man and the two of them and thier people together waged a brutal war against the remaining KALABARI of Elem AMA and succeeded in blocking their trade route forcing them to leave that location. The secrete is. They could not defend them selvs against the powerful Bonny army who have alligned with Bakana to wage war against them. KALABARI PEOPLE LOST A LOT OF CAWTHORN TERRITORIES to the Bonny due to that internal conflict. How ever, CHIEF YOUNG BRIGGS and his friends JACK,GEORGEWILL,BLACK DUKE, BOBMANUEL and many others finally left to found the town of ABONNEMA and finally the remaining people left to found ASARI which was discovered by the HORSEFALLS.,

The rest of KALABARI towns never came from Elem AMA except HARRIS TOWN and Minama.



Re: Kalabari People! by kiwi992(m): 11:24am On Feb 06, 2009

Thanks for the input. 

I don't know as to whether you are a Kalabari or an Ijaw per se but I think there's too much of a leaning towards the Ijaws in your narration of Kalabari history.  It seems as though you are narrating it from the point of view of an Ijaw person - i.e. giving it an Ijaw perspective, if you see what I mean.

I say this because we, as Kalabari people, have never seen ourselves as Ijaws (although grouped by the colonialists as belonging to the Ijaw tribe).  The typical Ijaw towns (Nembe, Brass, Yenagoa, Sangama and so on) are much too far away from Kalabari kingdom, almost nearer to Warri and Sapele in the Mid-West than to the Kalabari towns and villages or indeed, Okrika, Bonny or Opobo.  Hope you get my point and not take offence at it 'cos any Kalabari would tell you that.

Having said that, I would say that you've shed some light on this, some things about which I'm either not aware, not taught, or have totally forgotten, being that I have been away from Nigeria for most of my life - 34 years to be precise and have never been home in all of those years!

As a primary school kid in BAKANA, I can't ever remember our being told about the existence of 'canoe houses' before the Portuguese came on the scene.  I can but, only go by the history of the Kalabari people as we were taught in primary school, and as narrated to us by the elders of the town

Still, you and I are not quite far-off in our narration of Kalabari history.  In saying that, I'm from Iyalla's compound in Bakana so do know that Fouche is Ifoko - a part of Bakana and not too far away from Iyalla polo.   

As I said before, I don't quite get the Ijaw part of your narrative, as we Kalabaris don't see ourselves as Ijaws.  Neither do I agree with you on the bit about Ibani, the Kalabari language, or the part about the other Kalabari towns not having moved from Elem Ama, amongst very many other points raised in your write-up.  Albeit, a good account of Kalabari history, I must say.

Understandably, none of us was present at the time the history of the Kalabari people was being made, that many hundreds of years ago, to give a witness account of what went on, hence must be most careful not to sound pedantic as if the one were present at the time.

I do know however, that Okrika and Kalabari have an almost identical language and fought so many wars in the olden days.  I never knew either that Ibani (Bonny) and Kalabari languages are similar!!  Surely, Kalabari language is NEVER similar to Ibani, or is it?  Never heard, never been told that, either.  In saying that, there was a guy from Bonny that lived in West Bromwich.  He dated my cousin and I can swear that he never sounded like a Kalabari whenever he spoke to me.  Never!  Okrika, most definitely yes but not Ibani (Bonny), as you seem to imply.  Maybe there's a mix-up here.    

Iyalla is the Kalabari name of my family whereas, the Europeans addressed us as 'Yellowe' in view of the skin-tone of my late forefathers.  Thus the name Yellowe is exactly the same as Iyalla and my family members bear either of those two names.  I'm a direct descendant of the Iyallas, as my dad, the late Dr C.I. Berepiki was the last born of Ine, daughter of Paramount Chief Iyalla.  My late uncle, Chief Vincent Yellowe was the chief of Iyalla's compound in Bakana, at the time I was at home.  I know for sure that the Iyalla family originates from Tombia (we have Iyalla's compound in Tombia even now), but not the Ibani Clan bit from which Tombia originates, according to you.  I also know that Paramount Chief Iyalla founded Bakana and handed over the ruling of the town to his cousin - Chief Braide, as he was the elder of the two.  I don't ever remember being told in primary school history class (or by the elders, when I was a kid at home), that Bakana fought against Elem Ama (Elem Kalabari) - whatever for?  However, I do know that Paramount Chief Iyalla and his people were the first to move from Elem Kalabari to found Bakana.

There are some other key points in your narrative about which I totally disagree and beg to differ because I don't live at home and so can not verify the facts from our elders.  That said, I'll never give credence to the history of the Kalabari people as written by the European colonialists other than one by the English anthropologist and crowned Kalabari chief -  Chief Dr Hutton of Buguma.  I guess he is still alive and living amongst his fellow-Kalabaris, even though a white man.

Maybe a Kalabari that lives at home, and is well-up on our history would come in here to add their piece to this discussion.  I would really want to have a third opinion on this.

Kalabari people, where are you?  Come in please.

Nigerian jobs for Nigerians
Re: Kalabari People! by Nobody: 7:43am On Mar 04, 2009
Bro Kiwi,

Kalabari people are 100% Ijaw people, The founder of the Kalabari was a man known as Perebo kalabari. his father was MEIN OWEI. tHEY MIGRATED FROM THE YENEGOA area of the central Ijaw land and moved east wards.

Kalabari territory today is actually sharing boundary with NEMBE AT THE OLUASIRI END where SOKU AND ELEM SANGAMA share border with NEMBE VILLAGES AT THE Kula side Kalabari villages like Robert kiri share border with NEMBE settlements too. infact Nembe is closer to Kalabari then it is even close to Yenegoa.

The Kalabari dialect is almost Ibani, INFACT. I'd say the Kalabari dialect is Ibani if I like and thats because 50% of Ibani people are off Kalabari originated from Kalabari, those people are called the KOROAME OF Kalabari who during the wars of Okoloma ( bonny) and Kalabaris were moved to the Bonny side, and many groups in Kalabari too are of Bonny blood. these are mainly the Jumbo of Bakana. Fyneface, the entire Tombia, Abalama village and families in Ke and Kula.

Besides this. the Kalabari dialect is every thing the same with the Ibani dialect, The ibanis only lost theirs to Igbos for reasons known. Today the finima part of Bonny and the kala-ibiama part of Bonny have reserved the Ibani dialect and the AMAYANABO OF Bonny has declared Iabni to be used even in Bonny island, names like, BELEMA, SENIBO, BOMA, DIEPRIYE, OBELE, IBIYE, IBISO would be wrong to be called Kalabari names since they are purely Bonny names too. words like BO ( COME) SO ( GO) MINJI( WATER) TAMUNO ( GOD) could also not be said to be KALABARI since they are also Ibani words. Bro Ibani is purely KALABARI.

iF YOU UNDERSTAND KALABARI you'd see that THE BONNY town KALA-IBIAMA, means small fine town in KALABARI, that is exactly what it means in Bonny too, but the real name of the town is KELE-KELE IBI ARI AMA, WHICH MEANS A TOWN THAT IS GRADUALLY BECOMING FINE, and that is exactly what it means in Bonny too,

Bonny and Kalabari are purely the same people and are all Ijaws

Many Kalabarius and Bonnies today have light skin due to European mixture. The Bonny and Kalabari chiefs traded with Europeans and had a lot of Igbo slaves. During that time some Europeans had sexul contact with Kalabari and Bonny people that produced new breed of people. Then after the slave trade many Igbo people were also adopted in to Kalabari and Bonny families,
Re: Kalabari People! by Nobody: 8:09am On Mar 04, 2009
Bro Kiwi

I just found that you are from Bakana From the great Yellowe ( Iyalla). My mom is also from Bakana and from both Berepiki and Joe Jim compounds .

The Iyalla family were originaly from Tombia. a powerful group of old that Joined IGBANIBO against the rest of Kalabari during the civil wars. The TOMBIA people from where Iyalla came from were once at a place near elem AMA called ELEM TOMBIA and were never Kalabaris, the language as spoken by the Tombias of today was the same language they spoke when they were in Elem Tombia that Chief Yellowe also belonged. the language is similar with the Elem Kalabari language, Infact Elem Kalabari was a town and not a tribe. the inhabitants were Ijaws who were speaking the same dialect with the people of Okoloma, Elem Tombia, Ifoko, Ke, KuLA AND EVEN FAR AWAY AROGBO in Ondo state. It was territorial claim by the Okoloma and Elem KALABARI KINGS that brought about Kalabari kingdom and Bonny Kingdom. Both Kings struggled to control as many Ijaw territories as possible with King Amakiri of elem KALABARI TOWN WINNING MORE, INCLUDING the ijaw villages of KE, KULA, ABISA, FOUCHE (IFOKO), TEMA,, meanwhile, settlements like Tombia ( elemTombia ) and Abalama were Nyakpo villages that actually came from the Finima end of Bonny, NYAKPO DIVIDED IN TO TWO with one half becoming Finima ( FINIMA ACTUALLY MEANS feni ama ) land of birds, the town therefore is actually FENIAMA corrupted to FINIMA ) and the other settling at elem Tombia and Abalama, Elem, Tombia people moved to new Tombia where chief Yellowe left to aligne with Chief Igbanibo to fight King Amakiri. and finally settled in Bakana.
Re: Kalabari People! by Ibime(m): 1:40pm On Mar 04, 2009
Interesting discourse.

I never understood this Kalabari claim that they are not Ijaws.

Surely most Kalabaris have outgrown that by now.

Thanks to Asari-Dokubo, Kalabaris are not only part of Ijaw, but are leading the emancipation fight.

When Kalabari showed up in Rivers State and bumped into Okrika and Ibani people, the Ibanis and Kirikes listened and understood the Kalabari language perfectly and they said "surely, we are the same people".

Pure Ibani language is not at all dissimilar to Kalabari language. Any subsequent divergence must be due to the Igbo influence.

The notion of the Ijaw nation is a new one. We mostly identified ourselves as Ibani, Okrika, Nembe, Kalabari etc rather than Ijaw. It is time to embrace the future as one people.

1 Like

Re: Kalabari People! by Abagworo(m): 3:28pm On Mar 04, 2009
@ibime and whoever consider themselves ijaw.most kalabaris deny being ijaw because of their mixed blood.i however know how such denial feels cuz i'm igbo.you go just dey wonder why.is it oil?is it access to sea?are they more well off?thats just as funny as that of ikwerres denying being igbo.kalabaris are ijaw offshoot just like ikwerres are to igbo.in all colonial write ups ijaws occupied new calabar while igbos lived proximal to them and further inland.
Re: Kalabari People! by Nobody: 7:04pm On Mar 04, 2009
Kalabari people have never denied being Ijaws. They have however denied being Izon. Just as a Nembe would not agree to be a Kalabari or an Okrika would not agree to be Ibani. we all collectively Ijaws. A Kalabari kid dening to be Ijaw is actually denying to be an Izon. The Izons are more original in terms of the Ijaw people because there are more original Ijaw elements in them and so are a bit different in lots of ways from the Kalabari and Okrika. Just as the Arogbo and Egbema Ijaws of Ondo and Edo have intermariage with the Yorubas and Itshekiris and Ilajes to have become a neo Ijaw group at the extreme west of Ijaw land is how the Kalabari/ Okrika/Ibani Ijaw groups have mixture with Ikweres,Igbos, Abua, Ogonis, Efiks and Portuguese and Dutch. But our TRADITION has always been centered on Ijaw. Our names are Ijaw names, TONYE, BIOBELE, BOMA, PRIYE Diepriye are all both Okrika/Ibani and Kalabari and Nembe and Izon NAMES and are all therefore Ijaw names.
Re: Kalabari People! by na2day2(m): 8:39am On Mar 07, 2009
wow!, i don lost oooo shocked shocked shocked shocked
Re: Kalabari People! by ow11(m): 1:33pm On Mar 07, 2009

@ibime and whoever consider themselves ijaw.most kalabaris deny being ijaw because of their mixed blood.i however know how such denial feels cuz i'm igbo.you go just dey wonder why.is it oil?is it access to sea?are they more well off?thats just as funny as that of ikwerres denying being igbo.kalabaris are ijaw offshoot just like ikwerres are to igbo.in all colonial write ups ijaws occupied new calabar while igbos lived proximal to them and further inland.

Why are you talking from both sides of your mouth?

Kalabari = Igbo then Kalabari = Ijaw What denial are you talking about?

1 Like

Re: Kalabari People! by na2day2(m): 5:02am On Mar 09, 2009

Eliezer Ben Yehuda (1858-1922) regarded as "the father of modern Hebrew Language" was quoted as saying "a nation is its language". This man and his family single-handedly revived the Hebrew Language 1700 years after it was officially used as the language of Israel. The people of Israel were exiled to several nations of the world from AD 70. It was in 1948 they came back to their native land. Few years before in 1882-, Eliezer Ben Yehuda began to revive the language forming new words to accommodate the new English vocabulary of the present time. At first, he was seen as a dreamer, often persecuted with no funds to work with. Nevertheless, he and his family persisted. On top of that he was having serious ailment but he kept on.

Many told Ben-Yehuda it couldn't be done and many told him it shouldn't be done. Happily, he didn't listen. Instead, he reunited the Jewish people with their ancient language and at the same time gave them a voice in the modern world. His efforts yielded result and today the Hebrew Language is the official language of Israel – used in their parliament, universities, industries, etc. Imagine a man (and later other linguists) formulating Hebrew words for all the intricate & many names in Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Astronomy, Medicine, Law, Engineering, etc as used now in their universities. And, permit me to remind you, that Israel is one of the best technologically & scientifically advanced nation.

No wonder, when Eliezer Ben Yehuda died, 30,000 people followed his casket to the cemetery and the governemnt declared a three-day mourning for him. What a way to honour a hero!. In the Kalabari Kingdom, the man who had attracted the biggest crowd till date in his burial was Late Chief (Dr) Nabo Graham-Douglas. Practically everything edible in any store in Abonnema that day was bought up. Wave upon wave of people thronged to the "York City". Still, the number is a far cry to that that attended the funeral of Eliezer Ben Yehuda.

Suppose we as a people were to be dispersed to the nations of the world, can we come back after 1700 years and still meet our language with THE ATTITUDE SOME OF US ARE SHOWING REGARDING THE PRESERVATION AND USE OF OUR MOST-CHERISHED LANGUAGE?

I was at the swearing-in ceremony of ASALGA councilors at Buguma. From the opening prayer, to oath-of-office administration, to the closing prayer, all was done in English. IF WE CANNOT OFFER SIMPLE PRAYER IN KALABARI, tell me, is it in the learning of Nuclear Physics or Space science or Petro-chemical Engineering or Neuro-surgery, etc that we will use the Kalabari Language [ It is in the Hebrew Language Universities in Israel learn all these tough courses!!!)

One of our attitudinal problems has been: YE KE YE SIN-AA. And it is setting us back in every area of our life as a nation – not only in our general apathy to the preservation & use of the Kalabari Language. When we develop this attitude in what we think are "irrelevant issues", before we know it, many other issues very politically, economically, socially and spiritually relevant have eluded us. MAY THAT NEVER BE, AMEN.


1. Jewish magazine (1999), 43mag/ben-yehuda
2. Malka Druker: Eliezer Ben Yehuda - Father of Modern Hebrew
3. "Resurrecting Hebrew" by Ilan Stavans (Nextbook: Schocken, 2008)

Pastor Dawari Braide

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Re: Kalabari People! by kiwi992(m): 11:55am On Mar 09, 2009
Iyimbere Killayut,

Nice write-up, I must say! 

I'm lost for words in terms of what to say 'cos it seems you do know a lot about Kalabari history, much better than I do.  I guess you live at home, so it's only expected.

That said, you failed to quote your sources to substantiate the argument you are putting forward.  As you know, it's one thing to say something, and another to backup it up with verifiable facts.  Ha ha - gotcha!  Still, my respects to you for your extensive knowledge of our history.

Do I throw in the towel at this juncture or what?  Na-a, I need to have sight of your sources or hear from some other Kalabari before doing so.  Altogether, a very good account, if I may say so.

Good to know that you are from Berepiki's compound as well.  What a small world eh?  Here was I, coming to Nairaland to try and have a feel for what's happening at home, with a view to visiting Nigeria at some point, after thirty four years abroad, and we bump into each other, discussing our people.  How cool is that?

Actually, I thought you were an Ijaw hence had been banging on about the Ijaws.  Anyway, as you know, any Kalabari would tell you that we are NOT Ijaws.  Sorry!  Just go to any Kalabari town or village and tell people that we are Ijaws (wa mine Ijaw na apu) and you'd hear what their answer would be.  That doesn't mean that your argument doesn't hold any water, mind.  It's just the way it is with us as Kalabari people.  Hope you understand.

Re: Kalabari People! by kiwi992(m): 12:42pm On Mar 09, 2009
Hi Na2day,

Good point. 

I do think that the chiefs and elders at home should stress the importance of upholding the one's culture and tradition, especially by speaking the lingo, as opposed to speaking English.  Perhaps they are trying to create a mis-conceived impression on others.  How so daft.

It's bad enough having to add bits of English, here and there, whilst speaking the one's native language, let alone abandoning it in place of English, when the English themselves don't take much pride in their own language.  Colloquial English aside, they (the English) speak the most grammatically incorrect English, you won't ever believe it.

On a personal note, it's a bit hard for me particularly because I have to think very hard about the Kalabari words before speaking the language.  I'm ashamed to say that I now speak my native language like a foreigner, whereas I don't think about any word whilst speaking English.  Still, I do try, even though it gets me irritable as I constantly have to stop and remember the words, hence my sentences in Kalabari no longer flow as much as they should do.

What?  A Bakana citizen - the best Kalabari speakers - speaking incorrect Kalabari grammar?  What a bloody shame!  It's the price you pay for living in a foreign land, I might add.

That said, I do know that the only way to hang on to the one's culture and tradition, especially living abroad, is by making a conscious effort to speak the one's language, no matter what.  Failing that, the one definitely feels lost in the foreign land.

On a side note, I do know that Asian kids do speak both languages fluently - English and their parents' native language such as Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi or whatever.  Good on them.

Re: Kalabari People! by ijawgirl: 2:39pm On Mar 09, 2009
but Kiwi Asari Dokubo a chief in Kalabari land, celebrated Ijaw leader, was once the president of the Ijaw youth council
Dokubo says hes Ijaw before Kalabari sef, hes role model is actually Isaac Adaka boro

And what Killyut said abt Kalabaris and Ibanis(Bonny) is true, do your research. I know about Kalabari culture and Language, theres no difference
Your just too ignorant to admit it
Anyways, step by step
Today I see alot of Kalabaris who say they are Ijaws  from ph to Ca
If Ibanis cld do so and dont see why you cant,

Re: Kalabari People! by Ibime(m): 3:03pm On Mar 09, 2009
Don't mind Kiwi. He's been away too long.
Re: Kalabari People! by dakobu: 1:05am On Mar 12, 2009
The Kalabari engaged in overland trade with other West Africans before their first European trading contacts with the seafaring Portuguese in the 1400's. Later, the Dutch, French and British also arrived by sea for trade and various attempts at missionary work.

The 1700's and 1800's were the heydey for the Kalabari as expert traders and middlemen (for men did the trading) with the Europeans. Among the items they chose in trade were cloth from India but also other commodities rare in their time, such as Venitian glass beads and coral.

The fortunes of the Kalabari shifted markedly after the British took political control of the geographical area that became known as Nigeria in the late 1800's. Instead of the king and chiefs controlling their own political and economic affairs, they were subject to British decree.

In 1960, when independence was declared for Nigeria, the Kalabari maintained pride in their ethnic heritage of prominance in public affairs. Many rose to the challenge of seeing themselves as part of the larger political, economic, and geographical unit of the Nigerian polity. Many were educated abroad and occupy strategic positions in national government.
Re: Kalabari People! by edlando: 9:00pm On Mar 12, 2009

My position on the Amanyana
bo stool and Tonye Princewill’s 40th birthday
By Prof. Tam David West
Monday, February 02, 2009

David West
Photo: Sun News Publishing
More Stories on This Section

Tonye, I thank you for the invitation to your 4oth Birthday. However, I was unable to attend because the invitation was issued by your father, my cousin, who signed as "King (Prof) T.J.T Princewill Amanyanabo of Kalabari Kingdom. Amachree XI" I would like to believe that as a responsible and highly educated young man you are aware that there is no "King" or "Amanyanabo" of the Kalabari Kingdom as of today. The law of Nigeria is blind to the existence of your father as "Amanyanabo" because he was not properly installed in accordance with our 300 years old tradition and custom. He is accordingly not recognised by the Federal Government of Nigeria as Amanyanabo (King) of the Kalabari kingdom.

The Federal Government's non-recognition is also planked on the not mutually exclusive ground that there is an existing INTERIM (INTERLOCUTORY) ORDER handed down by the Honourable Justice A.A. Wodu on April 12, 2002 RESTRAINING him from parading himself (or be so paraded) as "Amanyanabo of Kalabari, Amachree XI" until the final resolution of the CHALLENGE to his purported and clandestine 'installation' as 'Amanyanabo' in SUIT NO: PH/624/2002 instituted by four other princess (all professionals) who also have no encumbrance whatsoever to the Patriarch King Amachree Throne.

Interim Court Order is both Interlocutory and Prohibitive (In: “Injunctions and Enforcement of Orders” by Afe Babalola, SAN).

Thus, by 'parading' himself as 'Amanyanabo of Kalabari' in the invitation letter, your father, my cousin, is palpably CONTUMACIOUS to the Court of the Land or CONTEMPTUOUS of it. And this is most embarrassing and dangerous especially in the contemporary President Yar'Adua's administration whose mantra is the "Rule of Law," especially OBEDIENCE to court orders.

A categorical rock-solid proof that the Federal Government did not recognise him was provided by the fact that when he was awarded the National Honour, CON, as 'Amanyanabo of Kalabari' two years ago, the President Olusegun Obasanjo government later realized that there is nobody like that by law, and so he most advisedly and responsibly withdrew the award from him. This is why he did not use "CON" after his name in the invitation letter.

He was ONLY recognised by the former Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili on June 06, 2002 for political purpose. 'Recognition for Votes.' Trade by Barter of sorts. And that even surreptitiously and criminally contemptuous of the April 12, 2002 interim court order by The Honourable Justice A.A.Wodu.
Please, cousin Tonye, read the details in my 40-page Open Letter No.3 to Governor Odili, "ODILI: LEGALITY, MORALITY, INTEGRITY" serialized by the Independent Monitor in December 2002. I wrote it from London. The issues raised were that grave to the King Amachree's Dynasty

Also read: "Royal Battle Continues As Odili Makes Princewill Kalabari Monarch, , Government Shuns Court Order. Recognise Princewill as Monarch" (Independent Monitor June 29, 2002). And, "Amanyanabo of Kalabari Issue: Judge Worried Over Non-Enforcement of Order" (Independent Monitor October 14-16, 2002 Back page).

A number of leading Kalabari communities have issued statements in the newspaper that they don't recognise as their King or Amanyanabo. This has never happened in our history as proud Kalabari people throughout the 300 years of the King Amachree Dynasty.

In short, your father is a soi-distant, self-styled, titular, nominal 'Amanyanabo' or 'King'. Putting it epigrammatically, our father is to all intents and purposes a 'Government House Amanyanabo' and not Amanyanabo of the Kalabari Kingdom by the law of Nigeria. Because the law is blind to his existence. Since his purported 'installation' corrupted our age-long tradition and custom.

I will plead with you, my dear cousin Tonye, please let us save the Amachree Dynasty and the sanctity of Kalabari tradition and custom from further corruption, prostitution and desecration. This is a sacred duty we owe the Ancestors, History, Present Generation and Posterity.

I am sincerely proud of you. I do. Outside your parents nobody in the Family can ever dare to claim to know you more than me. For instance, I’ve followed you up from pampers in 1971 in Leeds, UK. Your father was doing his PhD Bacteriology. I was post-Doctoral Commonwealth Fellow, and also Commonwealth Tropical Medicine Fellow (in tandem) in London. And being very close cousins, your father and I, we exchanged visits (your mother of blessed memory was very much around).

Your father was so close and so dear to me I christened my first son, “Theophilus,” after him. We were so close he stayed with me at my father’s house (David-West Compound) when we were in Kalabari National College. Forget about all the nonsensical excuse that my father’s house is nearer to the College. Didn’t students attend from George’s Compound? Which is at least 4-times farther off. We were so close we called each other with the sobriquet, “De Bro.”

But I cannot allow these to drown my constructive stubbornness on things PRINCIPLES, I will continue to fight against any attempts to prostitute our Kalabari culture, tradition, and custom. The veritable glues that define us and hold us together. Let me say emphatically that I have neither regrets nor any apologies for the two major issues I have against him.

(1) I opposed his "Regency." Because it gave him an unfair advantage over the other four princes interested to be King (Amanyanabo). The Military Administrator, Group Captain Ewang, later removed him on April 20, 1999 (4 Month Regency) by a special Government Announcement. (Ref: "The Sack of Prof. Theo Princewill" In: "Musing in a Kalabari Cab" by Fitzallen A. Briggs (2001).

(2) I remain (and will remain) implacably and inexorably opposed to his purportd 'installation' as 'Amanyanabo' in flagrant corruption of the revered Amanyanabo Institution of the Kalabari Kingdom.

It is a fight not for me a matrilineal prince. But for some patrineal princess among whom you are one, Tonye. Kalabari operates a sort of SALIC LAW.

Nobody with any shred of grey matter can ever claim a monopoly to arms or to desecreating criminal rascality. It is a time-honoured Kalabari aphorism that when someone falls to the ground in a fit of laughter it is not the laughing that makes him fall down. But he chose to fall down.

Asari Dokubo (Formerly Melford Goodhead) openly confessed: "Prof. T.J.T Princewill cannot deny the role I played to make a King(sic), This was my plot, I did what I did because I and the king(sic) are from Ogo House." The Hard Truth March 3-9, 2005 Page 9. Part of his CONFESSIONS.
"A secret plan to achieve some purpose, especially one that is illegal or underhand" (Collins Concise Dictionary 21st Century, (2001).

"A plan forming the basis of a conspiracy" (Black's Law Dictionary Seventh ed. 1999).

It is clear that your father, my cousin was NOT properly installed as King or "Amanyanabo." It was all clandestine plot by Asari Dokubo and his militia. Becuase other more responsible, more disciplined, more circumspective and clearly more law abiding chose to 'fall' at the time confident that the BOGUS 'installation' will burn out.
YES indeed.

And when "Things Fell Apart" between them, your father and Asari Dokubo, he and his men attacked your father at a public function at the Integrated Cultural Centre, Aba Road, Port Harcourt. Your father was smuggled out. Is this edifying?

Next, he disrespectfully told your father: "The gun I used to make you King I will Use it to remove you." Is this a threat that should make any one happy? After all, without prejudice, he was talking to the "Throne."

But don't ever blame Asari Dokubo. Your father invited the INSULTS to himself. Because if your father was properly installed as Amanyanabo and if Asari Dokubo ever dare to insult him, the whole of Kalabari Kingdom will fight him and even ostracize him.

Tonye, my dear cousin, the ancestors are clearly outraged. Remember, my "De Bro," your father, told the Hard Truth reporters how lightening struck his residence (or one of them) when they decapitated the statue of our Legendary King Abbi, Amachree IV and took it to his residence. King Abbi a celebrated mystic. I kept the copy of the popular journal; indeed like lots of other documents. More terrible things are recounted. More perhaps may visit us. No superstition. Cosmic imperatives. I'm concerned. I'm worried.

Re: Kalabari People! by kiwi992(m): 1:10pm On Mar 13, 2009
Hi All,

Hmmm - a very interesting posting.

If there is any accuracy to the contents of the above-mentioned letter, there's just one important question that I'd like to ask.  How can a king of the Kalabari Kingdom be enthroned due to the efforts of just one person?  How come? 

Is it not the case that whenever a Kalabari king is to be enthroned, ALL the chiefs of Kalabari Kingdom would meet up in Buguma (our capitial) and crown the one that meets all the criteria, in accordance with our time-old tradition?  I didn't think that anybody could be 'interested' in becoming a Kalabari king, other than being enthroned, through a consensus of all the Kalabari chiefs, sitting in that meeting.

There are two sides to every story, so, I'm going to take this letter solely on its face value - two cousins having a squabble or trying to settle an old score.  Indeed, these two gentlemen are contemporaries of my late father - Dr C. I. Berepiki, as well as uncle, ex-Ambassador Joe Iyalla.

Tell you the truth, I don't wanna get involved in something about which I don't know the true facts.  Even if I did, I wouldn't wish to get involved in such things 'cos life's much too short to be embroiled in other people's affairs.  Moreover, I'm too miniscule a fish in the big Kalabari ocean to give an opinion on matters such as this.  This is a domain of the Kalabari chiefs, most definitely not yours or mine.  That said, however, I do know for certain that a Kalabari king can, but, only be crowned by a consensus of ALL the Kalabari chiefs. 

Anyway, why should it be that only chiefs from Buguma could be privy to the Kalabari kingship?  Why not someone from the other towns or villages - say Abonnema, Bakana, Tombia, Bile, Ke, Kula, Obuama, and so on?  Why not?  What's wrong with that?

As I said, I'd rather not get involved in this, as it's too sensitive a subject.  What do I know eh?  I only live in a foreign country, so there!  The last thing that I wish to do is to tread on someone's toes.

Re: Kalabari People! by Mortiple(m): 1:21pm On Mar 13, 2009
I am neither a Kalabari nor an Ijaw.  I am a full-blooded Igbo man.  I was enjoying this thread until I stumbled on some misrepresented facts about the Kalabaris and Igbos.  

Kiwi992 rightly said that "Ibos never waged any war against the Kalabari people" but was wrong to have thought it was because "they didn't know the topology of the riverine area or indeed, how to swim, for that matter." FACTS: (i) Igbos do not share common boundary with the Kalabaris (I stand to be corrected). (ii) Igbos never consider predating on their neighbours as an act of heroism.  (iii) When he sets out, no task is ever too difficult for an Igbo man to achieve.  

Kiwi992 wrote:
", Rather, we waged wars against them (sadly), for our own selfish reasons, mainly to fuel the slave trade.  They still hate us up 'til today for that and I don't blame them for it."

Are you kidding me? This is like saying the people of Bahamas or Samoa waged war against the U.S.A "for their own selfish reasons, mainly to fuel the slave trade". This statement is ridiculous!

Igbos may hate you, definitely not because of the above reason you stated.  We HATE YOU because of your betrayal during the Nigerian Civil War.  Unfortunately, you are paying dearly for your sins now. The Ijaws will remain slaves of the Nigerian state until Jesus comes!

Quote from Kiwi992 and Killayut: The Bonny and Kalabari chiefs  traded  with Europeans and had a lot of Igbo slaves. During that time some Europeans had sexul contact with Kalabari and Bonny people that produced  new breed of people. Then after the slave trade many Igbo people were also adopted in  to Kalabari and Bonny families,

Besides  this. the Kalabari dialect is every thing the same with the Ibani dialect,  The ibanis only lost theirs to Igbos  for reasons  known.

Are you telling me that a people lost their dialect to their supposed "slaves" (IGBOS)? It's like someone is being too economical with the truth. Could not be that Igbo migrants got to Kalabari towns and TOOK OVER?

Please back up your story with facts.

1 Like

Re: Kalabari People! by ow11(m): 5:46pm On Mar 13, 2009

Are you telling me that a people lost their dialect to their supposed "slaves" (IGBOS)?

Not exactly, Many Igbos were assimilated into the Kalabari households and became Kalabari. Since they were numerous, the language evolved, its that simple. The presence of African/Carribean migrants to East London has invented a new English accent/dialect http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jafaican

It's like someone is being too economical with the truth. Could not be that Igbo migrants got to Kalabari towns and TOOK OVER?

Re: Kalabari People! by kiwi992(m): 3:01pm On Mar 15, 2009
Hi Mort,

You said:

Igbos may hate you, definitely not because of the above reason you stated.  We HATE YOU because of your betrayal during the Nigerian Civil War.  Unfortunately, you are paying dearly for your sins now. The Ijaws will remain slaves of the Nigerian state until Jesus comes!

You shouldn't be hating.  Hatred gets nobody anywhere.

This is a Kalabari thread and I really wouldn't wish to discuss anything relating to the Nigerian Civil War.  That said, you stated that you IBOS hate us because we, the peoples of the Niger Delta betrayed you during the civil war.  Well, cool and so be it.  It's within your rights to feel the way you do about us and I've got no qualms whatsoever, about that.

Can I just say that I saw the sad events leading up to the Nigerian Civil War, right in front of my eyes as a kid, as I was being driven home to Ikoyi, at the foot of the Carter Bridge, Lagos, close to Ebute Meta market.  I'm sure, that market exists 'til today.

During the carnage, I can tell you that it wasn't only the Ibos that were being slaughtered by the Hausa soldiers.  All Easterners were, and that included the Efiks, Ibibios, Ijaws and so on, as long as you were from the former Eastern Region.  A lot more Ibos were killed because you guys are in the majority in that part of Nigeria.

If you were an Easterner, then you were a 'nyamiri' as far as the Hausa soldiers were concerned, and fit for slaughter.  Many of my dad's Ibo friends and colleagues were killed.  We just mananged to escape to Ibadan and then to Port Harcourt before going home to Bakana.

The Yorubas were kind-enough to provide a safe haven for many people from the East, the Ibos included, believe it or not.  Bless them!  Please remember this whenever you wish to bash them in this Forum and elsewhere. 

Considering all that went on, (and the fact that ALL Easterners suffered the same fate in the hands of the marauding, gun-wielding, trigger-happy Hausa soldiers of then), you guys, the IBOS, decided to secede from Nigeria, to form the Republic of Biafra. 

I don't blame you for it - who wouldn't, under the circumstances?  I would have, 'cos there's no way that I would have wanted to remain in a country that didn't want me.

That said, you, the Ibos, made a fundamental mistake as regards the way you went about conducting the Biafran War.

In short, how could you have expected us to support your war efforts when:

1.  We, the peoples of the Niger Delta were NEVER consulted before you seceded to form Biafra - a sovereign 'nation' that was supposed to encompass all of the former Eastern Nigeria, of which we also were.  Remember, we all suffered the same fate in the hands of the Hausa soldiers.  Did we not?

2.  You (the Biafrans) in your perceived wisdom or otherwise, EVACUATED Bakana Town, dispersing the whole populace to the Ibo hinterland, causing the deaths of thousands.  You then made Bakana a garrison town, to wage war against the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Ever wondered as to why your soldiers were dying like flies as well as drowning in the shallowest of waters, whilst occupying Bakana?  That was the Kalabari goddess, Awomine Akaso, wreaking havoc on your troops! Remember the un-explained nightly goings-on in the ghost town?

By the way, had it not been for the kind-hearted Ikwerres that gave shelter to some of my townsfolk, Bakana would have been wiped off the face of this earth, thanks to you Biafrans!

How do you think the citizens of Bakana (and indeed, other Kalabaris) felt?  Sit on their arses and do nothing about it?

This ill-thought-out strategic move on your part (the Biafrans), was the last straw for my people and perceived as an open invitation to guide the Third Marine Commandoes, under the leadership of the very capable Scorpion, Major General Adekunle, through the creeks of the Niger Delta, all the way from Lagos to Bakana, inorder to mount a ferocious attack on you rebels.  Bakana fell, then Port Harcourt, Aba, and so on.

If the act of steering the Federal troops through the creeks of the Niger Delta inorder to liberate Bakana was seen as an act of betrayal by you Biafrans, so bloody well be it.  You should have thought about it most carefully before evacuating the town.

3.  When it was clearly OBVIOUS that you were fighting for yourselves and yourselves alone.  You were shouting 'Ibo kwenu' in all of your rhethoric.  I presume this was because you saw Biafra purely as an Ibo country, right?  Can't be too far wrong on that.   

4.  You were openly making all sorts of THREATS against the peoples of the Niger Delta, saying that you'd deal with us once the war with Nigeria was over.  Saying such things as - 'we would take over your towns and islands and drive you away into the Atlantic Ocean' or even worse.  What does that signify?  Bloody selfish, if you ask me.  Perhaps you guys forgot that there is such a thing as self-preservation. 

Saying things like 'nde mba mmiri' (the riverine people) 'only had sense when the tide had risen and no sense when the tide ebbed'.  Such mis-construed, stupid generalisations, simply because we wouldn't support you.

You can not force a people to support you.  Rather, you earn the people's support and in the eyes of the peoples of the Niger Delta, you Ibos never earned it.  You were fighting a selfish war to create a nation purely for the Ibos and no-one else.  The greater goal being to get your hands on the massive oil wealth.  Sorry, that's the truth and the truth is always bitter.

I think that we, the peoples of the Niger Delta, through this Forum and elsewhere, have more than demonstrated that we are a great force to be reckoned with, when it comes to intelligence, academics or military strategy.  How can a people that eat fish on a daily basis right from childhood lack intelligence, to warrant your people saying that we only had sense when the tide had blah, blah, blah?  Perhaps you don't know how good fish is, for your brain.

I put it to you that your long-standing hatred of the peoples of the Niger Delta stems from our role during the slave trade, not as you seem to put it, by saying that it's because we betrayed you during the Nigerian Civil War.

Having said all that, my personal opinion is that the peoples of the Niger Delta would rather be 'slaves' to the Nigerian nation as opposed to being 'slaves' to the Ibos.  At least we are fighting our own little corner, for our rights, whilst remaining within Nigeria because we believe that there is strength (and indeed, SAFETY) in numbers.


I do apologise, if I've offended anybody here with my views.  I just had to speak my mind and the truth as I see it.

Anuli Onyeabo, my childhood sweetheart (partly from Onitsha and Bakana), and my childhood Ibo friends in Lagos (particularly John Oti of Ibom Village in Arochukwu) and other Ibo friends in the UK and elsewhere, I'm not being disloyal to you.  Hope you understand.
Re: Kalabari People! by Abagworo(m): 4:55pm On Mar 15, 2009
I felt saddened reading the last post.though i was born 28 yrs ago,about 10 years after the war,i've never in my life heard of igbos hating any niger-delta person because we are part of niger delta.if you are talking about the riverine people(those that you need canoe or speed boat to visit),we don't hate them either.the oil you emphasized on sounds so funny because i dont think theres more oil in your home town than mine.maybe the only thing that igbos really lack is access to sea.before you presume being hated by igbos,try to visit your perceived igbo towns and villages and mingle with them.i live in rivers state and my mum is a rivers indigene.a lot of my aunts and cousins are marrying rivers men.including one of your most prominent traditional ruler in riverine.my grandfather loves them and so do my mum's parents love me.so where is this your hate?most people in rivers state that hate igbos are the lazy and poor ones who believe igbos made them poor.it happens in most big towns including aba & onitsha
Re: Kalabari People! by asha80(m): 5:27pm On Mar 15, 2009
Why is that people have a way of dragging igbos to something that ordinarily does not concern them?

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