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Ika People by comfort3: 2:53pm On Mar 23, 2009
The Ika people

Onyeche Ifeanyi Joseph, PhD

Saturday, 11.02.2002, 03:21pm (GMT+1)




The reader is advised to note that the facts presented here in no way represents the whole facts of the history of the Ika people. The more detailed description of the Agbor clan (one of the Ika eleven clans) more than the other clans is only due to the materials available to the writer at the time of writing. More research on the part of the reader is encouraged. For the complete bibliography/Sources of citations in this work, write to the webmaster.


Introduction

In this work there will be a description of the Ika community, the various Ika clans and their claimed sources of origins. These accounts of origins will be based on oral traditions and legends of the various clans as well as some historical facts documented by ethnologists, historians and colonial officials.

Geography

Geographically, the Ika speaking people are found in the north west of Delta State. They share borders linguistically in the west with the Edo speakers, in the north with the Ishan speakers, in the East with the Aniocha language speakers and in the south with the Ukwuani speakers.

Politically, Ika speakers are mainly found in two local government areas, Ika North East and Ika South local government areas, both created in 1991 from a single Ika Local Government Area, in Delta State. Ika South and Ika North East local government areas, occupy a land area of 117.45 square kilometres (Delta State Government website, 1999) with a total population of about 240,000 people. There are other Ika speaking people that are political outside the Ika North east and Ika South local government areas. The exact population of speakers of the Ika language or those with Ika as mother tongue is not known since this information was not included in the 1991 census result (1991 census). Ika people do not have any shared physical characteristics distinguishing it from other ethnic or language groups in Delta State.

In this work, Ika North East and Ika South local government areas of Delta State, will be referred to as the Ika community although there are some Ika language speaking areas (i.e. Igbanke) outside these two local government areas. The Ika community is made up of eleven independent groups, which I will refer to as clans, and a metropolis. All eleven Ika clans speak a common language, the Ika language, with a cluster of dialects, which belongs to the Igboid group (Williamson 1968). There are however, no significant differences between these dialects but mainly phonological and lexical variation.


Origin of the name Ika

Although earlier colonial documents have referred to the present Ika people as Ika speaking people (Marshall 1936, Whiting 1936, Simpson 1936, Denton 1937, and Stanfield 1936), the present Ika people have not always been the only group known by the name, Ika. Forde and Jones (1967) used the term Ika for a wider community, which included the present Ika group. Ika was used by Forde and Jones (1967) to represent the inland parts of the four groups that make up the western Igbo group (Aniocha, Oshimili, Ika and Ukwuani) found in present Delta State away from the shores of the river Niger. The remaining members of these groups that are on the shores of the river Niger i.e. Asaba, Aboh and others were referred to as Riverain Ibo (Forde and Jones 1967: 49-50). Within this Ika group the present Ika community was classified as Northern Ika along with Aniocha and Oshimili while the Ukwuani group was classified as Southern Ika (Forde and Jones 1967). However the origin and meaning of the name Ika and when only the present Ika community and their language began to be known and referred to by that name, which they retain until today, is not clear.

Ika Structure: Clans, villages (Ogbe), quarters (Idumu) and family units (nmunne)

As has been stated above, there are eleven clans and a metropolis that make up the Ika collective group, which I refer to as the Ika community. Except for the Idumuesah clan the rest ten are today also referred to as kingdoms as they have the hereditary kingship traditional system. The kings are known and referred to by the title of Obi (king), however the king of Agbor clan has changed his title from Obi to Dien for reasons not clear to me at this time. The following are the eleven clans and a metropolis that make up the Ika community:

1. Agbor clan,
2. Owa clan,
3. Abavo clan,
4. Ute-Okpu clan,
5. Ute-Ogbeje clan
6 Umunede clan,
7. Akumazi clan,
8. Igbodo clan,
9. Otolokpo clan,
10. Mbiri clan,
11. Idumuesah clan
12. Orogodo/Boji-Boji

Clan is used in this work to refer to the shared belief in a common lineage (or agbon) of descent held by members of each of the eleven Ika clans who occupy a certain land area. For instance Marshall (1936: 3) regarded Ute-Okpu clan as a "true clan" since all the units traced their "ancestry to a common origin." A lineage is regarded as a unilineal descent group composed of people who trace their genealogies through specified links to a common ancestor (Bates 1996). Although members of a clan may sometimes not be able to tangibly prove a blood relationship, it is the case that clans " derive from lineages that become too large or too dispersed to keep track of their genealogies" (Bates 1996: 218).

The concept of kings and kingdom in the Igbo speaking areas is a more modern concept (Nwaubani, 1994). Unlike clan, the concept of kingdom is more territorial. Kingdoms are not necessarily made up of groups with shared belief in common origin or groups that perceive each other as siblings. For instance, the Old Kingdom of Benin consisted of both the Edo and non-Edo speaking groups, which are not linguistically or genetically related to each other (Osae and Nwabara 1977). However, there are instances where descent groups and territorial groups intertwine (Tosh 1978). In describing how some kingdoms were formed, Isichei (1983) stated that:

"In some areas, where the celebrated kingdoms developed, a change seems to have taken place which often follows a similar pattern, whereby a multiplicity of small-scale states, whose 'priest-kings' were sometimes rulers of little territories…gave way to unified kingdoms (1983: 129)."

There has been no reliable documentation or account of such pattern of formation of kingdoms in the Ika area. There is no word in Ika language for 'kingdom' the closest word is ali (land). The different Ika clans, refer to the physical area or territory they occupy as ali, e.g. ali Owa, ali Abavo e.t.c. However, among each Ika clan people do not perceive their physical land space as being separate from the people and their ancestors. Although there is a coinage such as ali eze (King's land) it still is not the equivalent of kingdom. Each of the Ika clans refer to themselves as nmu nne (siblings). For instance the members Abavo clan refer to themselves as nmu Abavo (children of Abavo) based on their belief in a common lineage of descent, which unites all the villages that make up ali Abavo (abavo clan). This applies to all the eleven Ika clans with or without kings.

The concept and belief held by the various Ika clans about their land, is no less powerful than that embodied by concept of kingdom. Members of each Ika clan have always regarded themselves and their land from the point of view of their belief in shared lineage of descent which created that collective consciousness causing them to refer to themselves as nmu nne (relatives or siblings) or clan. During the colonial period, there was a rise in new kingdoms (Nwaubani 1994). Any area with a king began to be regarded as a kingdom. Groups, such as in the Igbo speaking areas like some Ika clans that previously had no monarchical system, followed this pattern mainly because of the independence that the concept of kingdom implies (Intelligence report on Mbiri clan, 1932; Denton 1937). When kingship systems were created where there were previously none, in order to make administration easier for the colonial administrators, a kingdom was also created (Nwaubani 1994). However the concept of a land (ali) emphasised in clan concept made up of siblings has always been there, since the prehistoric times, in the mind of the people unlike kingdom whose emphasis is basically political.

Although I refer to the Ika collective group (all eleven clans) as a community, they are sometimes regarded as an ethnic group or tribe (Bates 1996; Lewis 1996; de la Gorgendiere 1996; Jenkins 1997). Bates describes tribe as:

"a decentralized descent-and kinship-based grouping in which a number of subgroups are loosely linked to one another… There is no centralized system of authority, decision making, or social control, but potential exists to unite a large number of local groups for common defense or warfare… The internal organization is similar in principle to that of the lineage or clan. Just how the lineages are expressed and maintained varies from society to society. One system is for two or more clans to see themselves as related, even though each group generally will act autonomously in managing its affairs. However, the sense of common identity can be called into play for defense" (1996: 219).

A tribe can be seen as sometimes containing several independent clans or what Bates (1996) called subgroups that are not necessarily related through shared lineage of descent (Gutane 2001). However, in this work, I will refer to Ika as a community instead of tribe or ethnic group due to the fluidness of the meaning of tribe and the emotion they sometimes evoke.

All eleven Ika clans are bound together by shared language, custom, culture and an unclear but strong belief in their oneness, though not like that which exists within individual clans. The Ikaness of all the clans is grounded in subjective and emotionally charged identification (Dahl 1996) which manifests itself in their belief system in the form of the gods such as o¤`zun (the god of iron) and in festivals like Igwe (New Year) and Iwa-igi (New yam festival) and general cosmology. Further, their share language, the Ika language, concretises their legendary sameness of origin. Ika clans are made up of villages and villages are made up of several quarters or idumu in the Ika language.

As in most parts of Nigeria, a village or Ogbe (Ika word for village) in the Ika area is sometimes geographically identifiable. Apart from modern government records of village boundaries, in most cases village boundaries are marked historically by certain natural markers like trees, hills, rivers, etc. A typical Ika village, or ogbe, consists of residential areas and a considerably vast farming area. Ika villages are made up of several quarters or Idumu (in the Ika language). The quarter (idumu) is made up of a family (nmu) or several family units depending on the size of the family. When a family gets too large for its present site it expands geographically forming a new quarter or Idumu (Marshall 1936: 6).

Ika villages or ogbe sometimes claim a common descent that could be described as nonunilineal (Bates 1996). This descent is usually narrowed down to a specific ancestor on the level of quarters, Idumu, which is usually made up of a unilineal descent group within a village. For instance Jegbefume, the Obi of Abavo, who ruled between 1910 and 1953 married fifty wives and had about two hundred children. These number of wives and children may have made up a substantial population of a quarter in the Abavo village called Ogbe-Obi which is the village of the royal family and since polygamy was a way of life the other quarters of Ogbe-Obi village may have been populated by other branches of the royal family (Amokwu and Jegbefume n.d).

The typical Ika family unit or nmunne consists of both immediate family unit directly linked by blood ties and the extended family unit linked by distant family ties which could sometimes be a 'fictive kinship' (Freed and Freed 1976: 148). This term will be used in this work not to indicate that the relationship or kinship is not real or genuine to the people involved, since it is as real to them as the extended family system, but that it is not biologically determined.

The non-biologically determined family tie is normal in many quarters (idumu), village (ogbe) and clans. It is usual for a family for a different ethnic or language group to migrate to an Ika village and is of good behaviour, participating in village activities and rituals, it is then accepted by the neighbours or the quarter, and later by the village elders. Finally, the family members are then accepted as members of that village thereby becoming entitled to all the benefits of membership (Forde and Jones 1967). Marriage is another way of establishing kinship between families (migrant or not) of different lineages. When a marriage takes place both families involved consider themselves related by marriage. However, the conditions (such as marriage) on which their relationship is built is most often forgotten after a generation or two, if there continues to be active positive interaction between both families, with both families considering themselves as simply related. According to Marshall (1936) it is indeed not clear at what stage a family, nmunne, evolves into Idumu, quarter.


Ika clans, structure and claimed account of origin
In this section I will be describing the structure of the various Ika clans. The origin of each Ika clan based on documented oral tradition will also be discussed in order to show the relationship between all eleven clans.

AGBOR

Agbor is and has always been the largest of the Ika clans. It was to the most politically and militarily powerful of all the Ika clans due to its constant war with Benin until the late nineteenth century (Isichei 1983 and Simpson 1936).

Agbor and Abavo clans make up Ika South Local Government Area while the rest make up Ika North East Local Government Area. Agbor clan consists of twenty-three villages and a metropolis known as Orogodo or Boji-Boji Agbor:

1. Ogbemudein
2. Ihogbe
3. Obielihe
4. Ihaikpen
5. Ogbeisore
6. Ogbeisogban
7. Agbamuse/Oruru
8. Alifekede
9. Omumu
10. Alisor
11. Alilehan
12. Alizomor
13. Ozanogogo (Ozara)
14. Alisimien
15. Ewuru
16. Idumu-Oza
17. Aliokpu
18. Alihami
19. Agbor-nta
20. Alihagwu
21. Oki
22. Ekuku-Agbor
23. Emuhun
24. Boji-Boji Agbor

The villages of Alisor, Alilehan and Ozanogogo are not Ika speaking. They speak an Edoid language known, especially to the Ika speakers, as Oza or Ozara.

Simpson (1936:6) quoted Talbot's reference to the Origin of Agbor documented by the Dutch historian traveller Nyendael that describes an exodus from Benin before his visit in 1702. This exodus involved two families one of them "settled in Agbor while the other went to Obior."

Agbor oral tradition claimed that the village of Agbor-nta was the original headquarters of the old Agbor kingdom several centuries before Christ (Obuseh, n.d) while the first king to be accounted for in Ika oral tradition was Dein (1270-1307) . This is ambiguous since the kings of Agbor are traditionally called Dein unless one assumes that the title must have started from the first (accounted for) king of Agbor. The headquarters of Agbor has been moved several times until the recent in 1935 to Ime-obi (Anonymous, 1998:19). The reasons for the movement of the headquarters several times have been given as farming convenience and wars of succession. Since the old Agbor had always faced threats from the old Bini kingdom, it is also possible that the security of the headquarters from external invaders was an important consideration in the constant relocations of the headquarters.

In emphasising the relationship between all the Ika clans, Obuseh (n.d) recounts Agbor legend that states that all the founders of the Ika clans were related by blood. One of the kings of Agbor, Igbudu, fearing for his security sent his children, apart from Owuwu who was later crowned the Obi of Agbor after him, to settle distant from Agbor to form out posts against enemies. One of his children named Ika was sent south as protection against the Aboh people and founded Otolokpo clan, another son, Ede, was sent east and founded Umunede'. This, according to Agbor clan's legend, was how all the clans were founded. Agbor's oral tradition claims that all the Ika clans were part of the Agbor Kingdom. This kingdom, it claims, was ruled over by the Obi of Agbor with other clans as vassal states ruled by chiefs or perhaps kings that were subordinate to the Obi of Agbor. The oral tradition of the other Ika clans contradicts this claim

However kings of Agbor, at various times, had married several wives from other clans like Akumazi. Agbor regent, Ekeze's (1929-34), married wives' from other clans such as Akumazi and their families were given lands to settle in parts of existing villages in the Agbor clan, giving birth to new quarters in such villages. There are other instances where immigrants from other clans or ethnic groups like Ishan and Benin were given lands to settle away from the existing villages resulting in a new village being born. Such inter-marriages may partly explain some of the bonds existing between some of these clans especially among the royal families.

Alisimie village was founded by a great hunter from Benin called Ene while his friend, Adagbe, who migrated with him founded the quarter of Alijemisi in Alisimie village. People that fled Uteh-Okpu clan and sought refuge in Agbor clan after a kingship succession dispute founded Aliokpu village (Simpson 1936).

There are also villages that were founded by people who moved far way from Agbor. For instance the village of Ekuku-Agbor (see map 4) that is located in the far south of Ika south local government surrounded by villages of the Abavo and Owa clans and those of the Ukwuani speakers, was founded by by Ose the Ologbosere (War chief) of Agbor who was sent by the king of Agbor, Obi Madu, to stop the incursion of the Ukwuani people into Agbor land. Influential farmers founded the villages of Agbor-nta, Ewuru, Alihagwu and Alidinma while Ohumadia, the Elema (Agbor chief), who was sent to protect the southern border of Agbor land, founded the village of Oki (Simpson 1936).


Abavo

Abavo shares borders with Agbor clan in the north, Owa clan in the east, the Edo speaking people of Uronigbe in the south. Abavo clan, also known as Awuu, comprises of five villages:

1. Ogbe-Obi (Abavo Central)
2. Azuowa (made up of four quarters: Ekwueze, Ekwuoma, Okpe, Oyoko)
3. Udomi
4. Igbogili
5. Obi-Ayima

In the account gathered by Forde and Jones (1967) on the founder of Abavo, they learnt that Awu who had the title of Eze (meaning a leader in Igbo) was himself from a place called Awu. This, perhaps, was stating the obvious that Awu was from Abavo. However, Abavo oral tradition claims their founding father, Awu, had migrated directly from Benin (Amokwu and Jegbefume, n.d). According to Abavo oral tradition, their founding father, Awu, was originally from Benin. He escaped from Bini kingdom around the 15th or 16th century to avoid being sacrificed and later settled at Abavo (Amokwu and Jegbefume, n.d).

Owa clan

Geographically, Owa clan shares borders with Agbor clan in the west by the Orogodo River and Abavo clan, in the north Orogodo (Agbor metropolis), in the east by Umunede, Otolokpo and Ute-Okpu clans. Owa clan is made up of the seven villages and a metropolis:

1.Oyibu
2. Alizomor
3.Owa Alidinma
4.Ufie
5. Aliro
6.Owanta
7. Owa-Eke
8. Boji-Boji Owa (a metropolis)

Owa has its origin in Nri, Northern Igbo (Forde and Jones 1967 and Isichei 1983). The founder of Oyibu village (also know as Owa Oyibu) was Odogu son of Ijie of Ute-Okpu (another Ika clan) who is from Nri (Northern Igbo) while "the other villages found in Owa clan are derived from Benin or other Agbor groups" (Forde and Jones 1967: 47). Oyibu village is the political centre of the Owa clan.

According to Whiting (1936), Owa oral tradition has it that Odogu angrily left Ute-Okpu and settled near the present site of Oyibu village because his brother, Okpu, inherited everything after his fathers death, while Odogu was away serving the Oba of Benin in wars. However Ufie, the founder of Ufie village presently in the Owa clan, had already settled in the present site of Ufie village on the directive of the Oba of Benin who had bestowed on him the Obi title. After Odogu settled in Oyibu, it was claimed that Ufie invited Odogu to his Ikenga festival. Odogu, impressed by the festival, decided to celebrate it himself at Oyibu. He then invited Ufie. According to the legend, Odogu deceived Ufie into taking a subservient role during a ritual sacrifice thereby serving him. This action was observed by Odogu's subjects then proclaimed Odogu as greater than Ufie. Odogu then took the Obi title from Ufie. This, it is claimed, accounts for why Ufie is today a village in the Owa clan. Ozomo, Odogu's brother who followed him from Ute-Okpu founded Alizomo village while Omi and his wife Iro who came from Benin founded Aliro village. Okue who came from Benin founded Owanta village. Later, Adie later arrived from Ute-Okpu to found Idumu Adie, a quarter in Owanta (Whiting 1936).

According to oral tradition, Ekei and his wife Abor who migrated from Benin when Ise was the Obi of Owa founded Owa-Eke village (Whiting's 1936). However the village of Owa-Eke initially moved away from Owa due to problems with Ise the Obi of Owa and settled at Owanike in the Benin Kingdom but the Owanike village later split and one part returned to Owa-Ekei in Owa still considering themselves as subjects of the Oba of Benin while serving the Obi of Owa. Ugbebo who was sent there by Obi Gbenoba of Owa to protect Owa traders buying guns and gunpowder from the Kwales founded Alidinma village (Whiting 1936).

Concerning Boji-Boji, Whiting (1936) stated that "when the troops that came to Agbor station in 1906 the usual camp followers settled on the other bank of the Orogodo River where the settlement is known by the delightful name BOJI-BOJI. Nearly every tribe in Nigeria is represented and the only educated and progressive element in Owa is found here. They were originally allotted their land by the District Commissioner and later came under the control of the Obi of Agbor. In 1926 there was a dispute as a result of which the portion south of the main Agbor-Asaba road came under the Owa and is recognised as being part of the Owa village lands of Owanta and Owekei" (1936: 7).


Ute-Okpu Clan

Ute Okpu shares common borders with Agbor and Otolokpo clans in the north, Ekuku Agbor in the south, Idumuesa and Owa clans in the west and Ute-Ogbeje clan in the east. Ute-Okpu is made up of eight villages (Marshall 1936):

1. Ibi-Agware
2. Owele
3. Ogbe
4. Idumu Eze Aje
5. Odah
6. Alihe
7. Alumu
8. Enugu

Ute-Okpu people claim two sources of origin: Benin and the Igbo side of the Niger. In his account of the origin of the Ute-Okpu clan, Marshall (1936) stated that the original founder of Ute-Okpu was called Ute who migrated from Nri near the present Onitsha in Anambra State, Eastern Nigeria, after a quarrel with the Eze of Nshi (Nri). He settled near the present location of the village of Ibi-Agware. He had two sons Okpu and Odogu, Okpu later became the Obi of Ute-Okpu while Odogu later founded Oyibu village in Owa (1936: 3-4).
The dual claim in the origin of Owa clan appears to indicate the presence of an original Igbo group before there was contact with other groups of Benin origin. Isichei (1976) hypothesised that the present Ika region may have been inhabited by a group of people of Igbo origin. Isichei (1976) also hypothesised that there was a possibility that they existed in the location of Owa clan before Odogu became their leader their leader. It is not unusual for most Nigerian clans to trace the origin of their clan to their king's origin. The first King is always considered the founding father of the clan even if some of these kings emerged or were imposed on them long after the founding of the clan. For instance the history of Benin is always traced to the first Oba of Benin, Oranmiyan, who himself was from the Yoruba town of Ife (Bradbury 1973). This, however, does not mean that the people of Benin are certainly from Ife themselves. Likewise, the Ika clans think of their history in 'dynastic terms'.


Ute-Ogbeje

Ute-Ogbeje is made up of four villages (Marshall 1936):

1. Ogbe Obi
2. Ogbe Akpu
3. Emike
4. Akpama

The origin of Ute-Ogbeje, like those of many other Ika clans, is surrounded in myth. According to Marshall (1936), the Ute-Ogbeje people claim that Ogbeje was the brother of the Oba of Benin and came with him to discover a place to live. The two brothers travelled by canoe. As they were paddling along a bird called Ukpoko dropped a snail into Ogbeje's canoe. Ogbeje threw the snail overboard and land immediately surrounded him. Ogbeje decided to settle on this new land while the Oba moved on. Ogbeje then had a son, Inai, who succeeded him. Inai was extremely cruel and many of his subjects fled and formed a new settlement called Ute-Okpu (Marshall 1936). This account, however, seemed to contradict that of Ute-Okpu. Marshall writes further:

"There appears to be no doubt that there was some connection between Ute-Ogbeje and Ute-Okpu, but it is not impossible that the two branches of the Ute clan got separated in their easterly migration and came back at different times" (1936: 4).


Idumuesah clan

Idumuesah shares boundary with Ute-Okpu clan in the east, in west and south west by Abavo clan and Owa clan in the north. Idumuesah was founded by a group of people that migrated from Ugboha in Ishan, north of Ika community (Forde and Jones 1967; Whiting 1936). Whiting (1936: 22) states that "It is uncertain whether they came to their first settlement in what is known as the Agbo bush between Oyibu and Aliro before or after Odogu". He stated that Ibile, one of the founders, is said to have come from Ugboha in Ishan Division and to have joined with Abu from Aboh in Kwale District in settling in the Agbo bush. Oje and Ilor came from Uromi in Ishan Division and joined them (Whiting 1936). Idumuesah consists of four villages, which may once have been quarters (Idumu):

1. Iliobome
2. Aliobo
3. Alioje
4. Alilor

It should be known that the name Idumuesa means seven quarters (Idumus) but the above list of current villages shows only four villages. It is claimed that, "the other three which were said to have been very small, have returned to their home towns in other districts" (Whiting 1936: 24).

Whiting (1936) stated in his report that Owa claimed that Idumuesah served the Obi of Owa (Obi Ise) and revolted later but Idumuesah denied this. But the people of Idumuesah, for some controversial reasons, left their first settlement for their present site, which is south east of Oyibu but, according to Whiting, "they are unable to say why they left their old settlement" (1936: 23). N.E Whitings' hypothesis is that "Owa, after overcoming Ufie by trickery, became full of their importance and tried to claim over-lordship over Idumuesah who refused and left their settlement. Whatever their particular reason for leaving the main reason was to escape from Owa and it is unlikely that they would settle on any other land claimed by Owa" (1936: 23).

In the early part of the 20th century, according to Whiting (1936: 24), "one Aholor was sent by the Obi of Owa with some Oyibu people to settle there and to be Obi of Idumuesah. He caused considerable trouble, committing arson and was eventually fined and ordered to leave Idumuesah. The Oyibu people were ordered to return to Oyibu and troops went to effect this evacuation. Aholor returned and was chased and eventually captured at Nsukwa. On his way to Agbor under escort he fell in a well near Igbodo and was drowned. His son Obakpolor tried to raise a claim to the Obi title but was ordered not to return to Idumuesah.

During the colonial period, 1906, Idumuesah was placed under Owa clan but became independent in 1907 (Whiting 1936). However, Whiting (1936) recounts that the British resident, in 1915 recorded that no Obi in Idumuesah could be recognised. The polittical authority in Idumuesah is vest in age. The Onyeichen (the oldest man) of Aliobome village is always the clan head. Whiting (1936) cited the record of the resident that in1919 and 1920 the elders of Idumuesah were informed that they were subordinate to Owa clan and that they raised no Objection" (1939: 24). The reasons for these decisions were not given. It is most likely the subordination referred may have had to do with their role or representation in the district court, then in Owa, where clans in the area were represented during the colonial period. Idumuesah has remained an independent clan like the other ten Ika clans even though it has no monarchical system found in the other Ika clans.


Mbiri clan

Mbiri clan lies in the north east of Agbor clan and off the Lagos-Benin-Onitsha highway. Mbiri's oral tradition claims that Arun who migrated from Iwaisi, or the native doctor's quarter in Benin founded Mbiri. Arun, a hunter, reached the present site of Mbiri on one of his hunting expeditions and settled down there. Mbiri's oral tradition also claims that Arun had four sons three of whom were responsible for the founding of the following towns: Ewuhimi, Mbiri and Igbanke. The fourth son is claimed to have returned to Benin (Intelligence report 1932).
Mbiri adopted the monarchical system, based on Benin tradition, found in most Ika clans. According to Intelligence report (1932), "1n 1915 the Mbiris attempted to put themselves directly under the Oba of Benin, and sent a large sum of money to the Oba to gain this end. It is obvious that it was at this time that the present Chief went to Benin and received the title of Obi from the Oba, along with the Ada, or ceremonial sword, which forms part of the regalia of this title. They were again visited by the district District Commissioner who told them that they were part of Agbor District and could not therefore come under Benin"(Intelligence report 1932: 10). The Mbiri clan has the same political system as other Ika clans.


Umunede clan

Umunede occupies a strategic location along the Lagos-Benin-Onitsha highway. Umunede shares its borders with Agbor clan in the east, Igbodo in the north, Akumazi in the east, Otolokpo and Owa clans in the south. There are four villages (ogbe) in Umunede:

1. Ogbe Obi
2. Idumuilege
3. Idumugba
4. Idumuile

Although there of the villages above still retain the idumu (quarter) prefix in their names they are villages. These are perhaps some examples of quarters expanding in size and then forming villages.

Umunede's oral tradition, like those of most of the Ika clans, traces their origin to Benin. However, Stanfield (1936: 1) states the following about his observations of the Umunede people:

From legend of their origin are of Bini descent, but in their language and social structure they resemble closely the Ibos of the Ogwashi and Uburukwu clans in the Asaba Division.

According to Stanfield (1939: cool, "there were no titles in Umunede until 1919 when the then Eze (named Niago) obtained an Ada from Eweka, Oba of Benin." This resulted in the first Obi title and the start of the monarchical system like those found in some of the Ika clans.


Otolokpo

Otolokpo shares borders with Umunede and Akumazi clans in the north, Ute-Ogbeje clan in the east, Ute-Okpu in the south and Owa and Umunede in the west. There are seven villages in Otolokpo:

1. Ogbe Obi
2. Idumu -Oji
3. Achala
4. Idumu-Okete
5. Idumu-Obome
6. Umuhu
7. Alugba

According to Stanfield (1936), Gbobo, from Benin founded all villages apart from Umuhu, formed by migrants from Agbor, and Alugba village formed by migrants from Ute-Ogbeje (Standfield 1936).

Akumazi and Igbodo clans

Akumazi clan shares borders with Umunede in the west, Igbodo in the north, Otolokpo in the South and the Anoicha speaking town of Obior in the east. They trace their origin to Benin from where their founder fled (Simpson 1936).

Igbodo occupies an area in the north east of the Ika North local government area. It share border with Akumazi in the south, Mbiri in the west, the Ishan groups in the North and the Anoicha groups in the east. Like many of the Ika clans, they trace their origin to Benin (Fordes and Jones 1967).

In summary, while Owa and Ute-Okpu, Ute-Ogbeje have their origin in both Igbo and Benin areas, Agbor, Abavo Ute-Ogbeje, Akumazi, Umunede, Igbodo and Mbiri trace their clans to a single source, Benin (Fordes and Jones 1967: 47). Idumuesah traces its origin to Ishan but there also are villages that may have been established by people of Ukwuani origin. While Otolokpo traces its origin to Benin there are also villages in Otolokpo that trace their origin to Agbor.

The relationship among all the Ika clans appear to be mainly in their Benin origin as well as a population shift, for various reasons, which resulted in movement or relocation of villages from one clan to another forming new allegiances as well retaining their former relationship with their origin.

Ika Speakers outside the Ika community:

Igbanke clan

Igbanke clan is north of the Ika south local government area. It is located in Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State. Orhionmwon Local government area, except for Igbanke, is mainly an Ishan language speaking area. Igbanke is made up of six villages (Osunde, 2000):

1. Ake
2. Igbontor
3. Ottah
4. Idumodin
5. Umolua
6. Oligie

All six villages speak the Ika language. Farmers from Ishan and Agbor villages who settled in this area, which is within Benin territory, founded the five original villages, namely Ake, Igbontor, Otta Idumodin and Umolua. Oligie village, the sixth village in the Igbanke clan, is claimed by Oligie people to have been founded by Ottor from Benin (Kerr, 1937; Simpson, n.d).



http://www.ikaworld.com/index.php

4 Likes

Re: Ika People by ChinenyeN(m): 3:40pm On Mar 23, 2009
This is interesting, to say the least.
Re: Ika People by comfort3: 4:22pm On Mar 23, 2009
wink
Re: Ika People by osisi2(f): 5:17pm On Mar 23, 2009
Igbos Of Delta State And Crisis Of Identity (Conclusion)

By Ephraim Adinlofu Published 09/5/2008 Nigeria Matters Rating:  Unrated

Ephraim Adinlofu


Continued from: Part 1

In 1999, Mr. Peter Okocha { from Ibusa} contributed financially and campaigned vigorously for the OBJ/ Atiku ticket. In 2003, as a PDP party loyalist, he did exactly the same, supporting the duo. There was an unwritten agreement that after James Ibori, the governorship would be zoned to the Delta Igbo senatorial district. All eyes were on Peter Okocha who belonged to the Atiku camp to clinch that ticket.

Thus when the war of ‘attrition’ between OBJ and his Deputy started, Peter Okocha, rather than following the much hackneyed principles that in politics, there is no permanent friend but permanent interest, remained loyal to Atiku. That, became his undoing. He probably thought he was still doing business. So, OBJ mobilized the state apparatus to make sure that he did not clinch the ticket. Okocha  decided to go under AC to contest. Prof. Maurice Iwu’s INEC did another abracadabra on him. He was ‘disqualified’. His case is still pending in the electoral appeal court- to be determined by only God knows when, by a seemingly compromised section of the judiciary.

Chief Ibori, who benefited from Peter Okocha’s electoral largesse and support throughout his stay as governor, did a u-turn and stabbed Okocha on the back. Overnight before the 2007 charade called election, a decision was taken that the PDP governorship race should be zoned to the other senatorial district while Delta Igbos were to make do with state Chairman of the party. That was how Mr. Peter Nwaoboshi became the state PDP Chairman. The Urhobos, Itsekiris, Izons, Ijaws, and Isokos, aptly supported by OBJ, ganged up and executed that coup against us. They rounded it up with the puerile logic that since we have the state capital, we should not produce the next governor.

Again in the 2007 election, as a prelude to that charade, Prof. Pat Utomi { from Ibusa}, whose wife is from the East, went to OHANAEZE to solicit for support for his presidential ambition. Chief Orji Uzor Kalu also went to solicit for his too. A section of OHANAEZE  that rejected Pat Utomi, gave me a terrible food for thought. One of them, according to some daily Nigerian newspapers’ reports, hankered abject adroitly : “Is he really a proper Igbo man? Look at him, he cannot even speak Igbo properly.” Others even insinuated that his name did not sound Igbo. I was shocked to the bone marrow.  I couldn’t believe what I was reading from prominent Igbo citizens.

Instead of asking the two candidates to present their programmes and manifestoes, they were busy hankering on whether one of them is a “proper Igbo” or not. I was shocked of words. If any Igbo person does not know the meaning of Utomi, then that person should take a suicidal dive into the river Niger.

I guess some Igbos will ask of the true meaning of my surname - ADINLOFU. An Igbo man ones asked me in London whether I am a Yoruba man, that my surname looks like one. I just laughed { even though my spouse is Yoruba} and politely asked the man to pronounce my name. He ended up pronouncing it with all the Igbo-ness and accent which goes with it. While he was slowly pronouncing it, the meaning was unfolding before his eyes. He simply laughed and  laughed himself to scorn.

Besides, it is a historical fact writes Emma Okocha of Izu-Anioma, that when Ojukwu even declared the Biafran Republic, he never had us in mind. Ojukwu’s Biafran and its boundary ended at Onitsha, living his kiths and kin - Midwestern Igbos - to their destiny. And yet during that pogrom of 1966, most Delta Igbo officers ran, not to Mid -West or to the West but to their kiths and kin in the East. The Chief of Biafran Navy,  the late Captain W. A. Anuku, was from Agbor.

Ojukwu went further to choose Col. Banjo against the overwhelming preference of Nzeogwu {a then Mid-Western Igbo officer}, to lead that tactical assault on Midwest and on to Lagos. Most writers call it tactical because, the choice of Banjo and his subsequent antics {Read WHY WE STRUCK 1983 by Ademoyega} changed and swung the war to the advantage of the Federal troops. In that assault, Col. Banjo, who was then assisted by Lt. Col Igboba { from Ibusa}, got his assistant locked up in Benin prison over disagreements on tactics and the way and manner the invasion was being compromised.

However, while the Biafran soldiers were retreating from the Federal counter attack, Banjo, Ademoyega, and coy deliberately left Lt. Col Igboba behind at the Benin prisons only for the invading ‘British troops’ called Federal forces under the command of  Lt. Col. Murtala Muhammed to stroll casually into Benin prison, locate Igboba and had him beheaded. That was the same Igboba who helped General Ironsi to quell Nzeogwu’s coup in Lagos.

Even in their genuine demand for more Igbo states, the East never count the Igbos in Delta state as worthy. Their request ought to always incorporate the demand of our people for the creation of Anioma State out of the present amorphous Delta State. After all, it will still be another seemingly full fledged Igbo State. However, I still remembered quite vividly that the late Dr. Chuba Okadigbo ones in while, had requested that the Igbos of Delta State should be given appropriate hearing in their quest for Anioma State which would have extricated and freed  us from the strangle-hold of the Urhobos. But that was a lone support in the wilderness.

There is a need for the Igbos in the East to reach out to their brothers and sisters across the river Niger. This is not to say that we cannot stand on our own. The point here is that there is strength in number-“Igwe-buike”. The Igbos in the East should always seize the initiative because of their strength. They should make it their statutory duty to come to us and embrace us.

They are our fathers and, like most migration theories have confirmed about the origin of most of these communities, we are their children. We may not be business inclined like them because we are not cut out for such but we are educated and are good civil servants. Our word in most cases is always our bond. Our people are sincere to a fault and are prepared to fight with anybody for a just and sincere cause in as much as you don’t cunningly backslide or sabotage the cause. The causes that Major Nzeogwu, Pat Utomi, Col Tim Onwuatuegwu, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, Col.Nwanwo, Col. Achuzia had fought and still fighting for, is a testimony to our strength and character.

In fact to reinforce this view, I want OHANAEZE to move forthwith, their headquarters to either Asaba, Ibusa, or Ogwashi-Ukwu. I believed that the closer you are to us the better. Let us have a sense of belonging. By this invitation, I am not saying you should now come and colonise us. I am saying that we should relate and that there should be a strong cultural affinity and rapport.

Anybody in the Igbo culture area of Delta state who is in doubt about his or her Igbo historical connection, should contact Prof. Nolue Emenanjo, E

xecutive-Director, National Institute Of Nigerian Languages, Aba, for more explanation and Professor Okoh, UNIBEN. The late intellectually versatile Prof. M. A Onwuejeogwu, another Igbo encyclopedist, who was from Ogboli-Ibusa, and founder of the Nri Museum, should have been  another contact but for his death.

The intellectual bloc of OHANAEZE should not shy away from its responsibility. The bloc should pickup the pieces and do more research work in this Igbo culture area of Delta state to establish more historical connectedness and build on such relationships. The Israelis are doing exactly that all over the world. When the State of Israel was created, most Falashas of Ethiopia, were lifted to that state because it was established that they were Jews. The Yoruba is doing the same, tracking their Oduduwa kiths and kin all over Africa and even beyond, as far as to Brazil.

Besides, this is not a question of whether the people of Agbor or Ndokwa are disclaiming their Igbo-ness or have decided or deciding to opt-out, no, it is a question of research, based on solid historical and archaeological evidences. I reckoned that all research should focus on that title of “Obi” which has been handed over to our traditional rulers from generation to generation. “Obi”, as the title designate, is an undiluted Igbo nomenclature. It is not an Hausa, Bini, Yoruba, Ishan or Fulani terminology. Apart from the differences in Igbo dialects, accents or phonetics, and historical variances in origin, the other common variable for research revolves around this term and title of “Obi ”.

Flowing from this, and of secondary relevance, is the Igbo name of their subjects. For Example, the people of Agbor and Ndokwa bear names like Isioma, Ngozi,Nwabuzor, Nduka, Chukwuma, Chukwuekwu, Chukwuka, Ibegbulem, Nwanyimogor, Nwajei, Obika, Ijeoma, Ifeoma, Nwaokolo, Nwoko, Iwebelua, Chiedu, and other names with the prefix-“Umu”. And “Umu” is a complete Igbo terminology which means “Children”. Thus “Umu-dein” means the “ Children of Dein” and there is a street in Agbor with that name- Umudein street.

It is not an issue of sentiments, emotions and unsubstantiated trivialities. Almost all the traditional leaders of  Delta Igbo communities that I’d  listed in part {1} hold the title of  “Obi” and not Oba. And if any of them wants to invoke the anger of the gods by changing to another title, just because the leader does not want any linkage with the Igbos, may the ancestors and IGBOPHOBIA take care of that person.

In about 1979, I travelled from Agbor to Benin-city to spend some days with late Prof. Mike Onwujeogwu, who was then { I think}, either the Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences or the Head of Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Benin. One day, he told me to get  dressed that we will all be travelling to Enugwu-Ukwu, the wife‘s village. While we were meandering through pot holes and following some short cuts here and there and stopping over here and now for the Prof. to greet his friends and for the wife to greet relatives, we came to a village called { I think} Isu or Isu-Aniocha near Awka. I was already fast asleep in the car.

Then the Prof. woke me up and said. This is Isu, where the founder of Igbouzo anglicised Ibusa, migrated from. He then gave me a thorough lecture of what happened. I was so stunned and  flabbergasted. Since then, that indelible sight and lecture, even though he has written a book on it since 1972, has not left my memory.

After the civil war in 1970, my parents decided to migrate to Agbor. The Obi of Agbor then, Obi Ikechukwu, welcomed Igbos like wise was the Obi of Owa. Obi Ikechukwu has a friendly, approachable and welcoming disposition. By 1978, the Obi, just like any other Obi and going by the principles and practice of the patrilineal system, was anxious to have a son - a heir apparent. Fortunately, his Royal Highness had one from one of his wives, who was pregnant for him before he {the obi} died.

It was alleged that the heir’s life was in danger from other jealous wives and sensing that, the Agbor Council-of-Chiefs in consonance with perhaps, the Oba of Benin, decided to smuggle the young “Obi” out of Nigeria to London, where he lived and studied at Lewisham college, imbibed western cultures, MORES and ways of life and came back to assume his throne in about 2002. Since then, the young “Obi” has been behaving like the Duke of Edinburgh.

The Royal Highness should take time to study the history of his community. He should thrive to do away with most of his westernised ways. His subjects are complaining about that. Rumours have it that he wants to, or has changed his title from “Obi” to “Dein”. If unchecked by Agbor elders, then I won’t be surprised if at a later date he changes to Emir of Agbor. Although, I learnt from my source that it is a rumour; however, if is true and it is assented to by his Agbor Council-of-Chiefs, may the council direct all their subjects with Igbo names to drop such names and choose Benin names like Anini or Osunbor. Enough of this hypocrisy! If in this age some educated people are still contesting their culture and cannot make do with profound evidence before them because of a peculiar phobia of their own creation, then such a culture is a dead culture. “A contested culture is a dead culture.”

And this is why I call on OHANAEZE to embark on further research in this “Igbo culture area” of Delta state, establish the historical links, migration trends, patterns of settlement, cultural diffusion, symbolisms, feast and festivals and their resemblances, contacts and acculturation in the whole amalgam and; to try as much as possible, to harmonise researches that have been done already and to stand firmly by the synthesized result. There is a need to focus research on the following movements in their chronological order as culled in the late Professor Onwuejeogwu,s book titled: The traditional Political System Of Ibusa {1972}, namely;

“the Owerri-movement before A.D. 800 ; the Eri-movement about A.D. 800; the Nri-movement about A.D. 900 to 1911; the Isu-movement between the 15th and 16th centuries; the Ubulu-movement around the 17th century; the Aro-movement around the 17th and 19th centuries; the Idu or Bini-movement around the 18th century and the Igala-movement between the 18th and 19th centuries.”  These movements, especially the Nri, Isu, Ubulu, Idu, Aro and the Igala movements should be of tremendous interest to OHANAEZE research unit and this is because these movements seemed to be the ones which have had profound impact on the cultures and thought processes of the people of these communities.

The studies and research should be based on technique of participant observation. By this, I mean the researchers have to live with the people they are studying over a long period of time. You don’t stay in the USA and London and lift opinionated articles devoid of any research technique to claim that you are Urhobo or Benin while your name is Emeka Okafor.

I believed strongly that If tomorrow the Jews are to prove that there is a trace of archaeological evidence establishing consanguinity between Igbo and Hebrew and as such, have come to lift the willing Igbos to the State of Israel, as they did to the Falashas of Ethiopia, [b]I guess those people of Ika and Ndokwa and some others, who are still in a state of denial about their Igbo linkage, will automatically turn around to announce that their father’s father’s father’s father’s name is NRIJIOFO, just because they want to migrate to Israe[/b]l. Funny world! I rest my case!

4 Likes

Re: Ika People by dgreatrock(m): 5:38pm On Mar 23, 2009
**osisi:

Igbos Of Delta State And Crisis Of Identity (Conclusion)

By Ephraim Adinlofu Published 09/5/2008 Nigeria Matters Rating:  Unrated

Ephraim Adinlofu


Continued from: Part 1

In 1999, Mr. Peter Okocha { from Ibusa} contributed financially and campaigned vigorously for the OBJ/ Atiku ticket. In 2003, as a PDP party loyalist, he did exactly the same, supporting the duo. There was an unwritten agreement that after James Ibori, the governorship would be zoned to the Delta Igbo senatorial district. All eyes were on Peter Okocha who belonged to the Atiku camp to clinch that ticket.

Thus when the war of ‘attrition’ between OBJ and his Deputy started, Peter Okocha, rather than following the much hackneyed principles that in politics, there is no permanent friend but permanent interest, remained loyal to Atiku. That, became his undoing. He probably thought he was still doing business. So, OBJ mobilized the state apparatus to make sure that he did not clinch the ticket. Okocha  decided to go under AC to contest. Prof. Maurice Iwu’s INEC did another abracadabra on him. He was ‘disqualified’. His case is still pending in the electoral appeal court- to be determined by only God knows when, by a seemingly compromised section of the judiciary.

Chief Ibori, who benefited from Peter Okocha’s electoral largesse and support throughout his stay as governor, did a u-turn and stabbed Okocha on the back. Overnight before the 2007 charade called election, a decision was taken that the PDP governorship race should be zoned to the other senatorial district while Delta Igbos were to make do with state Chairman of the party. That was how Mr. Peter Nwaoboshi became the state PDP Chairman. The Urhobos, Itsekiris, Izons, Ijaws, and Isokos, aptly supported by OBJ, ganged up and executed that coup against us. They rounded it up with the puerile logic that since we have the state capital, we should not produce the next governor.

Again in the 2007 election, as a prelude to that charade, Prof. Pat Utomi { from Ibusa}, whose wife is from the East, went to OHANAEZE to solicit for support for his presidential ambition. Chief Orji Uzor Kalu also went to solicit for his too. A section of OHANAEZE  that rejected Pat Utomi, gave me a terrible food for thought. One of them, according to some daily Nigerian newspapers’ reports, hankered abject adroitly : “Is he really a proper Igbo man? Look at him, he cannot even speak Igbo properly.” Others even insinuated that his name did not sound Igbo. I was shocked to the bone marrow.  I couldn’t believe what I was reading from prominent Igbo citizens.

Instead of asking the two candidates to present their programmes and manifestoes, they were busy hankering on whether one of them is a “proper Igbo” or not. I was shocked of words. If any Igbo person does not know the meaning of Utomi, then that person should take a suicidal dive into the river Niger.

I guess some Igbos will ask of the true meaning of my surname - ADINLOFU. An Igbo man ones asked me in London whether I am a Yoruba man, that my surname looks like one. I just laughed { even though my spouse is Yoruba} and politely asked the man to pronounce my name. He ended up pronouncing it with all the Igbo-ness and accent which goes with it. While he was slowly pronouncing it, the meaning was unfolding before his eyes. He simply laughed and  laughed himself to scorn.

Besides, it is a historical fact writes Emma Okocha of Izu-Anioma, that when Ojukwu even declared the Biafran Republic, he never had us in mind. Ojukwu’s Biafran and its boundary ended at Onitsha, living his kiths and kin - Midwestern Igbos - to their destiny. And yet during that pogrom of 1966, most Delta Igbo officers ran, not to Mid -West or to the West but to their kiths and kin in the East. The Chief of Biafran Navy,  the late Captain W. A. Anuku, was from Agbor.

Ojukwu went further to choose Col. Banjo against the overwhelming preference of Nzeogwu {a then Mid-Western Igbo officer}, to lead that tactical assault on Midwest and on to Lagos. Most writers call it tactical because, the choice of Banjo and his subsequent antics {Read WHY WE STRUCK 1983 by Ademoyega} changed and swung the war to the advantage of the Federal troops. In that assault, Col. Banjo, who was then assisted by Lt. Col Igboba { from Ibusa}, got his assistant locked up in Benin prison over disagreements on tactics and the way and manner the invasion was being compromised.

However, while the Biafran soldiers were retreating from the Federal counter attack, Banjo, Ademoyega, and coy deliberately left Lt. Col Igboba behind at the Benin prisons only for the invading ‘British troops’ called Federal forces under the command of  Lt. Col. Murtala Muhammed to stroll casually into Benin prison, locate Igboba and had him beheaded. That was the same Igboba who helped General Ironsi to quell Nzeogwu’s coup in Lagos.

Even in their genuine demand for more Igbo states, the East never count the Igbos in Delta state as worthy. Their request ought to always incorporate the demand of our people for the creation of Anioma State out of the present amorphous Delta State. After all, it will still be another seemingly full fledged Igbo State. However, I still remembered quite vividly that the late Dr. Chuba Okadigbo ones in while, had requested that the Igbos of Delta State should be given appropriate hearing in their quest for Anioma State which would have extricated and freed  us from the strangle-hold of the Urhobos. But that was a lone support in the wilderness.

There is a need for the Igbos in the East to reach out to their brothers and sisters across the river Niger. This is not to say that we cannot stand on our own. The point here is that there is strength in number-“Igwe-buike”. The Igbos in the East should always seize the initiative because of their strength. They should make it their statutory duty to come to us and embrace us.

They are our fathers and, like most migration theories have confirmed about the origin of most of these communities, we are their children. We may not be business inclined like them because we are not cut out for such but we are educated and are good civil servants. Our word in most cases is always our bond. Our people are sincere to a fault and are prepared to fight with anybody for a just and sincere cause in as much as you don’t cunningly backslide or sabotage the cause. The causes that Major Nzeogwu, Pat Utomi, Col Tim Onwuatuegwu, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, Col.Nwanwo, Col. Achuzia had fought and still fighting for, is a testimony to our strength and character.

In fact to reinforce this view, I want OHANAEZE to move forthwith, their headquarters to either Asaba, Ibusa, or Ogwashi-Ukwu. I believed that the closer you are to us the better. Let us have a sense of belonging. By this invitation, I am not saying you should now come and colonise us. I am saying that we should relate and that there should be a strong cultural affinity and rapport.

Anybody in the Igbo culture area of Delta state who is in doubt about his or her Igbo historical connection, should contact Prof. Nolue Emenanjo, E

xecutive-Director, National Institute Of Nigerian Languages, Aba, for more explanation and Professor Okoh, UNIBEN. The late intellectually versatile Prof. M. A Onwuejeogwu, another Igbo encyclopedist, who was from Ogboli-Ibusa, and founder of the Nri Museum, should have been  another contact but for his death.

The intellectual bloc of OHANAEZE should not shy away from its responsibility. The bloc should pickup the pieces and do more research work in this Igbo culture area of Delta state to establish more historical connectedness and build on such relationships. The Israelis are doing exactly that all over the world. When the State of Israel was created, most Falashas of Ethiopia, were lifted to that state because it was established that they were Jews. The Yoruba is doing the same, tracking their Oduduwa kiths and kin all over Africa and even beyond, as far as to Brazil.

Besides, this is not a question of whether the people of Agbor or Ndokwa are disclaiming their Igbo-ness or have decided or deciding to opt-out, no, it is a question of research, based on solid historical and archaeological evidences. I reckoned that all research should focus on that title of “Obi” which has been handed over to our traditional rulers from generation to generation. “Obi”, as the title designate, is an undiluted Igbo nomenclature. It is not an Hausa, Bini, Yoruba, Ishan or Fulani terminology. Apart from the differences in Igbo dialects, accents or phonetics, and historical variances in origin, the other common variable for research revolves around this term and title of “Obi ”.

Flowing from this, and of secondary relevance, is the Igbo name of their subjects. For Example, the people of Agbor and Ndokwa bear names like Isioma, Ngozi,Nwabuzor, Nduka, Chukwuma, Chukwuekwu, Chukwuka, Ibegbulem, Nwanyimogor, Nwajei, Obika, Ijeoma, Ifeoma, Nwaokolo, Nwoko, Iwebelua, Chiedu, and other names with the prefix-“Umu”. And “Umu” is a complete Igbo terminology which means “Children”. Thus “Umu-dein” means the “ Children of Dein” and there is a street in Agbor with that name- Umudein street.

It is not an issue of sentiments, emotions and unsubstantiated trivialities. Almost all the traditional leaders of  Delta Igbo communities that I’d  listed in part {1} hold the title of  “Obi” and not Oba. And if any of them wants to invoke the anger of the gods by changing to another title, just because the leader does not want any linkage with the Igbos, may the ancestors and IGBOPHOBIA take care of that person.

In about 1979, I travelled from Agbor to Benin-city to spend some days with late Prof. Mike Onwujeogwu, who was then { I think}, either the Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences or the Head of Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Benin. One day, he told me to get  dressed that we will all be travelling to Enugwu-Ukwu, the wife‘s village. While we were meandering through pot holes and following some short cuts here and there and stopping over here and now for the Prof. to greet his friends and for the wife to greet relatives, we came to a village called { I think} Isu or Isu-Aniocha near Awka. I was already fast asleep in the car.

Then the Prof. woke me up and said. This is Isu, where the founder of Igbouzo anglicised Ibusa, migrated from. He then gave me a thorough lecture of what happened. I was so stunned and  flabbergasted. Since then, that indelible sight and lecture, even though he has written a book on it since 1972, has not left my memory.

After the civil war in 1970, my parents decided to migrate to Agbor. The Obi of Agbor then, Obi Ikechukwu, welcomed Igbos like wise was the Obi of Owa. Obi Ikechukwu has a friendly, approachable and welcoming disposition. By 1978, the Obi, just like any other Obi and going by the principles and practice of the patrilineal system, was anxious to have a son - a heir apparent. Fortunately, his Royal Highness had one from one of his wives, who was pregnant for him before he {the obi} died.

It was alleged that the heir’s life was in danger from other jealous wives and sensing that, the Agbor Council-of-Chiefs in consonance with perhaps, the Oba of Benin, decided to smuggle the young “Obi” out of Nigeria to London, where he lived and studied at Lewisham college, imbibed western cultures, MORES and ways of life and came back to assume his throne in about 2002. Since then, the young “Obi” has been behaving like the Duke of Edinburgh.

The Royal Highness should take time to study the history of his community. He should thrive to do away with most of his westernised ways. His subjects are complaining about that. Rumours have it that he wants to, or has changed his title from “Obi” to “Dein”. If unchecked by Agbor elders, then I won’t be surprised if at a later date he changes to Emir of Agbor. Although, I learnt from my source that it is a rumour; however, if is true and it is assented to by his Agbor Council-of-Chiefs, may the council direct all their subjects with Igbo names to drop such names and choose Benin names like Anini or Osunbor. Enough of this hypocrisy! If in this age some educated people are still contesting their culture and cannot make do with profound evidence before them because of a peculiar phobia of their own creation, then such a culture is a dead culture. “A contested culture is a dead culture.”

And this is why I call on OHANAEZE to embark on further research in this “Igbo culture area” of Delta state, establish the historical links, migration trends, patterns of settlement, cultural diffusion, symbolisms, feast and festivals and their resemblances, contacts and acculturation in the whole amalgam and; to try as much as possible, to harmonise researches that have been done already and to stand firmly by the synthesized result. There is a need to focus research on the following movements in their chronological order as culled in the late Professor Onwuejeogwu,s book titled: The traditional Political System Of Ibusa {1972}, namely;

“the Owerri-movement before A.D. 800 ; the Eri-movement about A.D. 800; the Nri-movement about A.D. 900 to 1911; the Isu-movement between the 15th and 16th centuries; the Ubulu-movement around the 17th century; the Aro-movement around the 17th and 19th centuries; the Idu or Bini-movement around the 18th century and the Igala-movement between the 18th and 19th centuries.”  These movements, especially the Nri, Isu, Ubulu, Idu, Aro and the Igala movements should be of tremendous interest to OHANAEZE research unit and this is because these movements seemed to be the ones which have had profound impact on the cultures and thought processes of the people of these communities.

The studies and research should be based on technique of participant observation. By this, I mean the researchers have to live with the people they are studying over a long period of time. You don’t stay in the USA and London and lift opinionated articles devoid of any research technique to claim that you are Urhobo or Benin while your name is Emeka Okafor.

I believed strongly that If tomorrow the Jews are to prove that there is a trace of archaeological evidence establishing consanguinity between Igbo and Hebrew and as such, have come to lift the willing Igbos to the State of Israel, as they did to the Falashas of Ethiopia, [b]I guess those people of Ika and Ndokwa and some others, who are still in a state of denial about their Igbo linkage, will automatically turn around to announce that their father’s father’s  father’s  father’s name is NRIJIOFO, just because they want to migrate to Israe[/b]l. Funny world! I rest my case!




Anioma state we must have. grin

1 Like

Re: Ika People by tpia: 5:45pm On Mar 23, 2009
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Re: Ika People by osisi2(f): 6:55pm On Mar 23, 2009
dgreatrock:

Anioma state we must have. grin

Iseeeeeeeeeee

1 Like

Re: Ika People by tpia: 7:00pm On Mar 23, 2009
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Re: Ika People by tpia: 5:16pm On Mar 25, 2009
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Re: Ika People by comfort3: 9:34pm On Mar 27, 2009
wink
Re: Ika People by AndreUweh(m): 1:54am On Dec 12, 2009
Ndi Ikaigbo, dalu nu ooh!.
Ekeresimesi oma.
Ka Chineke gozie Igbo nile.

1 Like

Re: Ika People by Dynamite98: 8:19am On Dec 12, 2009
Andre Uweh:

Ndi Ikaigbo, dalu nu ooh!.
Ekeresimesi oma.
Ka Chineke gozie Igbo nile.

Iseeeeeeee  cheesy
Re: Ika People by franel79(m): 5:36pm On Oct 11, 2010
Become a part of the Ika community, join: ikaland.com
Re: Ika People by innocentoh(m): 9:04pm On Jan 01, 2014
Every clan of Ika unanimously claim to have descended from Benin.
Can we say all these clans are just cooking up false history? or are they really claiming a fact?
The Ika people understand and speak Igbo language, they are not at war in any sense of it with the Igbos and I don,t think they hate the Igbos or like the Benins more than the Igbos. So, why the insistence by them (the Ika People) that they originated from Bini (Benin Kingdom). Why such a unanimous claim.
I think the Igbos believe the claim of the Ika people is untrue, they should go further to disprove it.
Now away from Ika, what of the Asaba people, the Igbo-Uzor people etc. the never contest their Igbo origin but the Easter-Niger river Igbos do not regard them as one of them. This was evident in the story of Prof. Pat Utomi as narrated by the commentator above.

1 Like

Re: Ika People by nwaniru: 7:00pm On Jun 22, 2015
I am from Iru and we speak Ika language as well but better still we live under Edo state just like igbanke and other Ika speaking dialect, We live the same kind of life with Agbor and we never associate or do things with Benin even our relatives, families all live in Agbor clans like 1.Oyibu,
2. Alizomor, 3.Owa Alidinma, 4.Ufie, 5. Aliro, 6.Owanta, 7. Owa-Eke and others, so i want us to be always remembering Iru because we speak Ika but not Benin.
Re: Ika People by Nobody: 8:07pm On Jun 23, 2015
innocentoh:
Every clan of Ika unanimously claim to have descended from Benin.
Can we say all these clans are just cooking up false history? or are they really claiming a fact?
The Ika people understand and speak Igbo language, they are not at war in any sense of it with the Igbos and I don,t think they hate the Igbos or like the Benins more than the Igbos. So, why the insistence by them (the Ika People) that they originated from Bini (Benin Kingdom). Why such a unanimous claim.
I think the Igbos believe the claim of the Ika people is untrue, they should go further to disprove it.
Now away from Ika, what of the Asaba people, the Igbo-Uzor people etc. the never contest their Igbo origin but the Easter-Niger river Igbos do not regard them as one of them. This was evident in the story of Prof. Pat Utomi as narrated by the commentator above.

Utomi is a proud Igbo son and most Igbo youths identify with him, I don't think if the Ohaneze issue is true because I followed Utomis's presidency with great enthusiasim.

Aniomas are core Igbos, they have produce Ohaneze chairman and they are well represented in Aka Ikenga
Re: Ika People by pazienza(m): 11:04pm On Jun 23, 2015
According to Intelligence report
(1932), "1n 1915 the Mbiris attempted to
put themselves directly under the Oba of
Benin, and sent a large sum of money to
the Oba to gain this end. It is obvious that
it was at this time that the present Chief
went to Benin and received the title of Obi
from the Oba, along with the Ada, or
ceremonial sword, which forms part of the
regalia of this title. They were again
visited by the district District
Commissioner who told them that they
were part of Agbor District and could not
therefore come under Benin"(Intelligence
report 1932: 10).



Chai! I felt so ashamed reading this part! A typical case of Stockholm syndrome. This Bini charm must be so strong! Imagine an oppressed striving so hard to be part of the oppressor. Little wonder they cooked up Bini origin stories! How can a people so eager to be part of Bini lose their Bini language, if they at any point in the history spoke Bini as a native tongue. It's obvious they were not Bini to start with, but have been striving to be Bini from time immemorial! What a shame.

3 Likes

Re: Ika People by pazienza(m): 11:14pm On Jun 23, 2015
However, Whiting (1936) recounts
that the British resident, in 1915 recorded
that no Obi in Idumuesah could be
recognised. The polittical authority in
Idumuesah is vest in age. The Onyeichen
(the oldest man) of Aliobome village is
always the clan head. Whiting (1936)


For some reasons, Idumuesah retained the proto Igbo political system of leadership by elders. But no, the British will not have none of it, they must be put under monarchical Owa.
Re: Ika People by pazienza(m): 11:28pm On Jun 23, 2015
According to Stanfield (1939: , "there were
no titles in Umunede until 1919 when the
then Eze (named Niago) obtained an Ada
from Eweka, Oba of Benin." This resulted
in the first Obi title and the start of the
monarchical system like those found in
some of the Ika clans.


This is how the identity crisis and history manipulation starts. They revere the Bini empire. Seek for Oba bini protection, Oba obliges and sends them a stooge, probably a Bini one, who introduces Bini government words in the royal courts, probably marries from the natives, and soon the native starts claiming to have all migrated from Bini, simply because they have it bad for Bini, when in actual sense, they were originally republicans who spoke and still speak Igbo, but now have a foreign(Bini) leader who introduces Bini modelled monarchy with many Bini elements into the originally Igbo community, and even brings many of Edo people into the area.

But because the natives had always been Igbo, and are in majority, the. language of the whole community eventually ends up as an Igbo dialect that had become tainted with too many Bini/ edo words.

This to me, is the story of Ika and her Bini ancestry claim.

1 Like

Re: Ika People by pazienza(m): 11:31pm On Jun 23, 2015
However, Stanfield (1936: 1) states
the following about his observations of
the Umunede people:
From legend of their origin are of Bini
descent, but in their language and social
structure they resemble closely the Ibos
of the Ogwashi and Uburukwu clans in the
Asaba Division.



Well, what are you not saying! A distorted history right from time immemorial, so much that any neutral observer would notice the Discrepancy.

A bini people that without force or push, dumped their Bini language for Igbo language, right from the first day they left Bini. This must be unprecedented in history of human groups. Kam nukwa.

1 Like

Re: Ika People by PabloAfricanus(m): 1:03am On Jun 24, 2015
pazienza:
According to Intelligence report
(1932), "1n 1915 the Mbiris attempted to
put themselves directly under the Oba of
Benin, and sent a large sum of money to
the Oba to gain this end. It is obvious that
it was at this time that the present Chief
went to Benin and received the title of Obi
from the Oba, along with the Ada, or
ceremonial sword, which forms part of the
regalia of this title. They were again
visited by the district District
Commissioner who told them that they
were part of Agbor District and could not
therefore come under Benin"(Intelligence
report 1932: 10).


LOL...pathetic aint it?
And the same old concocted fairy tales continue trending from great-grand fathers to grand fathers to fathers to sons.
They were not just smart enough to complete the destruction of their ancestry by switching completely to Edo language.
Smh.
Is it that they have no imagination to set up their own kingship traditions if they so desired or they have been
suffering this inferiority complex since ages ago?
Going all the way Benin to bribe the Oba just to legitimize an already autonomous and independent chief's status?
Wow, I doff my hat to the ancient Bini empire and her nobles! It does not get more royal than this.
No wonder they don't take Igbos seriously everywhere they go.

Care to forward me the link to this intelligence report? Would be obliged.

1 Like 1 Share

Re: Ika People by pazienza(m): 7:27am On Jun 24, 2015
PabloAfricanus:


LOL...pathetic aint it?
And the same old concocted fairy tales continue trending from great-grand fathers to grand fathers to fathers to sons.
They were not just smart enough to complete the destruction of their ancestry by switching completely to Edo language.
Smh.
Is it that they have no imagination to set up their own kingship traditions if they so desired or they have been
suffering this inferiority complex since ages ago?
Going all the way Benin to bribe the Oba just to legitimize an already autonomous and independent chief's status?
Wow, I doff my hat to the ancient Bini empire and her nobles! It does not get more royal than this.
No wonder they don't take Igbos seriously everywhere they go.

Care to forward me the link to this intelligence report? Would be obliged.

Sorry bro, I don't have any link to that intelligence report. Hopefully someone with the link will post it for us here.

But it's really shameful that the Ikas don't even feel ashamed of this their Inferiority complex,they even had to post that part of the report in their ikaworld site. A people with a sense of pride would have removed that part from the story and taken a turn to re claim their Original Igbo origin. Chei!

1 Like

Re: Ika People by victor1464(m): 8:02am On Sep 08, 2015
wats ur business with ika. Y not mind ur business. U igbos r just too dubious.

2 Likes

Re: Ika People by fr3do(m): 11:32pm On Oct 03, 2015
nwaniru:
I am from Iru and we speak Ika language as well but better still we live under Edo state just like igbanke and other Ika speaking dialect, We live the same kind of life with Agbor and we never associate or do things with Benin even our relatives, families all live in Agbor clans like 1.Oyibu,
2. Alizomor, 3.Owa Alidinma, 4.Ufie, 5. Aliro, 6.Owanta, 7. Owa-Eke and others, so i want us to be always remembering Iru because we speak Ika but not Benin.

smiley I'm from Iru too
Re: Ika People by fr3do(m): 11:53pm On Oct 03, 2015
pazienza:



A bini people that without force or push, dumped their Bini language for Igbo language, right from the first day they left Bini. This must be unprecedented in history of human groups. Kam nukwa.

Thank you
This is the point I passed to Grandma when she opinionated that her people - the Ukwuanis and Ikas are from benin, she argued that we are binis whose language have been 'corrupted' by Igbo, but I respectfully objected stating that it can only be the other way round since Aniomas speak basically Igbo with only few shared words with bini.

On the other hand, I dismiss South-East migratory tales because such promotes ideas that pin Igboness to the politically defined South-East, the same way yorubaness is pinned to Ife and Oyo.
Anioma communities don't need to have foundersfrom the SE to be considered Igbo, Anioma is intrinsically Igbo just as Igbo-Ukwu, Nri and Aro.

7 Likes

Re: Ika People by boskolin: 12:13am On Oct 04, 2015
This is an ika man, is this how Igbo man dress?. ika are not Igbo. grin

2 Likes

Re: Ika People by pazienza(m): 12:18am On Oct 04, 2015
fr3do:


Thank you
This is the point I passed to Grandma when she opinionated that her people - the Ukwuanis and Ikas are from benin, she argued that we are binis whose language have been 'corrupted' by Igbo, but I respectfully objected stating that it can only be the other way round since Aniomas speak basically Igbo with only few shared words with bini.

On the other hand, I dismiss South-East migratory tales because such promotes ideas that pin Igboness to the politically defined South-East, the same way yorubaness is pinned to Ife and Oyo.
Anioma communities don't need to have foundersfrom the SE to be considered Igbo, Anioma is intrinsically Igbo just as Igbo-Ukwu, Nri and Aro.

Of course. That's the missing point those in Igbo denial in Anioma and those in SE insisting that Anioma is Igbo have failed to grasp.

Anioma doesn't need to Migrate from SE to be Igbo. No Igbo speaking group need to have migrated from SE, for all we know, those Igbo settlements outside SE could have been occupied by those Igbo speaking people, right about the same time those of us in SE came to occupy our present abodes. Anioma land had been occupied by Igbo speaking groups right about the same time SE was occupied, being an Igbo doesn't have to mean you migrated from SE.

Anioma doesn't need to be attached to Nri, Aro or any other part of SE to be Igbo.

Ominijie in Agbo had been populated by Igbo speaking Ika people before the rise of Bini empire. How then can someone say that Ikas are Binis? isn't this madness.

5 Likes

Re: Ika People by Donarozzi: 7:51pm On Oct 04, 2015
fr3do:


Thank you
This is the point I passed to Grandma when she opinionated that her people - the Ukwuanis and Ikas are from benin, she argued that we are binis whose language have been 'corrupted' by Igbo, but I respectfully objected stating that it can only be the other way round since Aniomas speak basically Igbo with only few shared words with bini.

On the other hand, I dismiss South-East migratory tales because such promotes ideas that pin Igboness to the politically defined South-East, the same way yorubaness is pinned to Ife and Oyo.
Anioma communities don't need to have foundersfrom the SE to be considered Igbo, Anioma is intrinsically Igbo just as Igbo-Ukwu, Nri and Aro.

fr3do, you are a true son of Igboland.

2 Likes

Re: Ika People by tonychristopher: 8:00am On Oct 06, 2015
fr3do:


Thank you
This is the point I passed to Grandma when she opinionated that her people - the Ukwuanis and Ikas are from benin, she argued that we are binis whose language have been 'corrupted' by Igbo, but I respectfully objected stating that it can only be the other way round since Aniomas speak basically Igbo with only few shared words with bini.

On the other hand, I dismiss South-East migratory tales because such promotes ideas that pin Igboness to the politically defined South-East, the same way yorubaness is pinned to Ife and Oyo.
Anioma communities don't need to have foundersfrom the SE to be considered Igbo, Anioma is intrinsically Igbo just as Igbo-Ukwu, Nri and Aro.

A true son of the father has spoken .....hear him out

Nna GI mulu GI

1 Like

Re: Ika People by tonychristopher: 8:03am On Oct 06, 2015
boskolin:
This is an ika man, is this how Igbo man dress?. ika are not Igbo. grin

No tribe in the south of Nigeria dress like this ...this dude doesn't know culture


He is wearing danshiki

Benin don't dress like this


He is like aboki

Just that he is tying bandanna or scarf
Re: Ika People by tonychristopher: 8:04am On Oct 06, 2015
victor1464:
wats ur business with ika. Y not mind ur business. U igbos r just too dubious.

Benin immigrant how far?
Re: Ika People by tonychristopher: 8:05am On Oct 06, 2015
nwaniru:
I am from Iru and we speak Ika language as well but better still we live under Edo state just like igbanke and other Ika speaking dialect, We live the same kind of life with Agbor and we never associate or do things with Benin even our relatives, families all live in Agbor clans like 1.Oyibu,
2. Alizomor, 3.Owa Alidinma, 4.Ufie, 5. Aliro, 6.Owanta, 7. Owa-Eke and others, so i want us to be always remembering Iru because we speak Ika but not Benin.

Chukwu golzie GI...


What the meaning of iru ...nwanne

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