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Monday, March 12, 2007

Anambra is ancestral home of the Igalas.


It was Professor Anta Diop of Senegal who observed that ethnic groups often do not realize the extent to which they share kinship with the language, culture, traditions and historical socio-political structures, evolved by communities they have come to view as rivals. Indeed ethnic groups tend to see themselves as self-enclosed communities. But as an example are the Luluas of Kenya aware of their kingship with the Luluas of Senegal?
By the same token how many of us in Nigeria are aware that Anambra State is the ancestral home of the Igalas, Ngwas, Jukuns and Binis? Yet it remains historically true that Anambra State is the birth place of the founding fathers of Bendel, Imo and Benue States. Hence in language classification these separated people speak a common language which forms part of Kwa group of West African languages.

From Archeological discoveries at Ugwuele near Okigwe dating their existence to some ages follows that the Igbos were descendants of the first men of earth now traced to the Oduvai Gorge in East Africa. In historical literature, the Igbos, originally known as Iduus had their territorial distribution covering South west of the African continent later converging at the whole of the low lying land mass North and South of the Niger and Benue river confluence, down the Niger and Anambra River basins right down to the Niger Delta and westward to River Okpara beyond Lagos as shown in Rev. Johnson’s map in his history of the Yorubas. Later the low land dwellers were characterized as the Olu and the highlanders as the Igbo.

Waves of migratrants led by Eri settled at Anambra River basin, establishing the ancient Iduu Ime KINGDOM at Aguleri. Historical traditions relate that his progenitors included Agulu and Menri (from who were descended the Nri), Igbo, Igala, Oba (whose descendants were the Binis) Enuike and a daughter, Ulu-uwa.
Igbo, an itinerant missionary acquired large Iduu followers who became known as Igbo people thus losing their Iduu identity just as followers of Christ are called Christians whether they came from Rome, London or Bonn.
Eris other descendant Menri established a priestly kingdom at Nri known for purification ceremonies and coronation of tributary of Iduu Ime kingdom. Hence, the Eze Nri Obalike (Nri kings (1989-1935) in the first decade of the 20th century told the Government Anthropologist, Northcote Thomas, that the area subject to him was Iduu.

On the same matter Lawton wrote:
“A marked feature of this (Nri) tribe is its hostility to the European, natural enough, when it is remembered that prior to the British, the Obalike was Eze Nri and crowned the kings of Benin and presided over all the religious observation of surrounding peoples”.

It was the tradition that coronation titles were usually conferred on tributary kings by the ancestral Iduu Ime kingdom which also assigned to each a General as head of the palace guards. Hence in honour of their ancestor, Atta the ruler of Igala was titled Atta of Igala. The founders of Benin were the descendants of Oba Eri whose habitation was UgwuOgodo where exists today, the Ogodo spring in Umuleri, near Aguleri. Hence the Binis in modem times still trace their ancestry of “Igodo” a corruption of Ogodo, an Igbo word for elevated place. Hence the first king of Benin, Iweka (anglicized to Eweka) was titled Oba in honour of their ancestor, Oba Eri. Eweka is English spelling of Iweka just as the letter E in England is pronounced I, This name Iweka an Igbo name in full means Iweka n’uno. It reflected the internal feud at the time the-would-be king was born. His second name was Edoziuno, Edo for short, meaning peace maker, thus was derived Edo Kingdom.

The name Benin itself was a corruption of the Igbo words. 'llo obi inu', meaning a place of bitter mindedness, again reflecting the quarrelsomeness of the people at that time over kingship disputes. To the first Benin king was assigned General Ado from Iduu Ime as head of his palace guards. According to the tradition of the people, Egbunike, the founding father of the Ogbunikes has three brothers, Awkuzu, Umuleri and Nando and a sister, Nwonicha. General Ado who was assigned to the Oba of Benin, married Nwonicha and the marriage resulted in such progenies as Onitsha Ado, Ado Ekiti etc.

The Marriage formed the basis of the link between Ogbunike and Onitsha, thus giving the historical background to the Igbo adage which says: “Afuzi Onicha, Ogbunike ewelu,” meaning in the absence of Onitsha, Ogbunike takes its turn. When therefore Eze Chima, a descendant of General Ado in his flight with others, first from Benin, then from Agbor, named his son Onitsha, in honour of their maternal ancestors, and established Onitsha Ugbo and Onitsha Olona and the entire Umu Ezechima being referred to as Onitsha Ado, the origin of nomenclature cannot therefore be in serious doubt.

The Igalas who are descendants of Atta Eri had their ancestral home in Aguleri in the area of Ama Atta (Atta-in-the-fields). Igala was said to be the father of Ikem and was reputed to have such descendants as Omor, Omasi and Umuneke. The Ikems had sometimes settled in Umukete Agukeri, whose descendants were supposed to be the Ikem of Nando, Ikems in Nsukka, Ikems in Onitsha and other areas.

It is relevant to note that in a preliminary statement on the excavation made in Aguleri by the Department of History and Archaeology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Dr. F.N. Anozie said that the excavation took place at a site known as “Okpuno Igala”; and that is known to everybody including school children in Aguleri as a deserted Igala settlement. He said, there were sites with walls, one deserted and the other still inhabited by a group of Aguleri people, who during the author’s filed work in the area said they had blood relations with the Igalas. At the approach is the Ama Atta which seemed to have once been a village square. Almost at the centre of the enclosure is a mound known as “Ukpo eze” (kings throne” and North –East of the mound is the Owelle Atta (toilet area) and Ajo Agu Atta (cemetery).

The present Umukete people in Aguleri who claim blood relationship with the Igala people have their village walled, and traces of the wall could still be seen today. When an elderly man from this group was asked by excavators from the University the relationship between them and the Igalas, he said that the father of Igala and Igbo were sons of the same parents and that whenever anybody from Umukete went to Idah he normally would go to greet the Atta or the King. The greeting usually went as follows: “Ata abikibo bie takata bie Igala” which translates the lgbo saying that “Igbo is senior to Atta and Atta begot lgala. This is also reflected in the lgbo saying that: lgbo mulu Atta, mana Atta mulu lgala.” This oneness of lgbo and lgala is also reflected in lgbo adage which says “Alusi lgbo jebe mbana, obulu, alusi obodo lgala” which interprets that the spirits of lgbo-land in transit constitutes the spirit of lgalaland. Those who still doubt the common ancestry of lgbo and lgala could refresh their memory with this popular lgbo adage which says, “ Egbusia lgbo nine, lgbo afodukwa na lgala”, meaning even if all lgbos are wiped out of existence, the lgbos still remain in lgalaland. As with lgala, so is ldoma, who still have remnants of ancestors of ldoma community in Aguleri.

Aku was the fourth son of Agulu whose pregnancy were the Jukuns. The Jukuns as a result of their assertion of their monarchical sovereignty moved North-East of the Middle Belt area. They adopted a kingship tradition that is based on the lgbo abuana (puffada) life cycle. As the puff ada is said never gives birth naturally, but that the young ones bores through its mother which dies in process, the Jukuns kings live very short lives, dying untimely after about seven years when there are signs of maturity of a successor.
The Jukuns greet their kings after his coronation as Agaba Iduu meaning” Iduu Field Marshal whereas in their ancestral lduu land, Agaba Iduu does not refer to the king but to a war lord. Traditionally, the Jukun king’s title is Annum Agaba or Ojogwu Oji Agaba. The Jukun separation from Iduu kingship tradition followed the battle of Nando waged against their relations, the Aguleries. It ended in the Jukuns settling up coronation spot in Wukari. Thus the Nandos in Wukari, in the Middle Belt are presumed to be relations to Ikem, son of lgala in Benue State, and the Nandos in the present Anambra Local Government Area.

The war of succession from lduu Kingdom was initiated by the Oba of Benin known in lgbo historical literature as Agha lduu na Oba. (war of the lduu and Oba). It was a protracted war that touched most lgbo areas. It was intensified when the Benins acquired arms from the Portuguese. Then followed the war of secession of lgala initiated by the Atta. General Ogbe the son of Ajide attacked him at ldah, and was supported by General Udenze who controlled the Anam riverine area. Onoja Nwoboli left Aguleri and joined the lgalas because he was one of the remnants of the lgala descendants still at their Aguleri ancestral home.

General Onoja was stopped at Ogurugu from pushing Southward by General Enewelue who founded the Anyamelum area and part of Nsukka districts. But some remnant of lgala at Aguleri loyal to Atta created disturbances at their Aguleri ancestral home which made a section of Okpuno Nri, to move in a hysteria of haste to the present Imo State where they settled as Ngwas, a name reflecting the nature of the hurry (ngwa ngwa) with which they fled.
Okpuno Nris were made up of Okpu-enu, Okpuana and Aro. From the Okpuno dynasty came Disi Nri whose descendants founded Abacha named after their leader, Ikendu Abacheleku, in the present Idemili Local Government Area. There the principal village is Umudisi. Their ancestral home is Umudisi village at Ikenga Aguleri. Of the Okpuno elements comprising Okpuenu, Okpuana and Aro, the Okpuana people during the lgala disturbances left in a hurry hence their present settlement is known as Okpuala Ngwa. In remembrance of their ancestral structure and traditions during the Annual get-together of the Ngwas of Okpuala, they usually went on a pilgrimage to Okpuno Ngwa.


Onyemobi said...

Nice! Appreciate the info.

Anonymous said...

please I still do not understand how Igalla people have a different language from igbos, yet you say they are frpom an igbo ancestor. please send your answer to thanks.


I am an Igbo, I was born an Igbo, I live the life of an Igbo, I come from Igbo, I speak Igbo, I like to be Igbo, I like to dress in Igbo, I eat Igbo food, my heritage, culture and tradition is Igbo, my parents are Igbo.

Am sorry I cannot help it if you hate my lineage. Am sorry I cannot help it if you detest Igbo, am sorry I cannot help it if you hate me because am Igbo. Igbo is who I am, my name is Igbo and I must die an Igbo.

You see Igbo as a threat, why? You call Igbo rapist, criminals, ritualist, prostitutes, kidnappers. You attribute all negative vices to represent Igbo? Why do you do that? You do because you feel threatened that Igbo might outrun the rest of the tribes. Why do you hate Igbo and despise us? You do that because we are creative, enlightened, hardworking, industrious, genius, intelligent, smart, rich, beautiful and amazing. But its difficult for you to admit it because you feel jealous of my race.

Igbo do not own politics, Igbo do not control the economy neither do we control the natural resources and the common wealth of the nation. You do, we don't and yet, despite the fact that you own everything, we still remain one indispensable race that has outshined the other race in all ramifications.

You fear us because you want to exterminate and annihilate our race, you deny us many things and yet we are stronger, richer and mightier. You fear us because we are everywhere. You fear us because no matter how rural a place might be, when Igbo steps in, they turn it into a Paradise. We have our own resources, which lies in resourcefulness, we do not bother you and your control over the polity, but yet when we cough you and the other race begin to shiver.

Am proud being an Igbo, am proud of my heritage and culture. Igbo means high class, Igbo means independence, Igbo means hard work and strength, Igbo means riches, Igbo means resourcefulness, Igbo means self belonging, Igbo means self esteem, Igbo means pride, Igbo means swag.

Udo diri unu umunnem.
# IgboAmaka
# AnyiBuNdiMmeri

Michael Ezeaka

This is beautiful poetry ...

In response to Alaba Ajibola, the Babcock Lecturer Hate Speech against Igbos.


In Igboland women live apart from their husbands and neither cook for them nor enter their husband's quarters when they are in their period. They are seen as unclean. Even up till today such practice is still applicable in some parts of Igboland especially by the traditionalists. Before a woman can enter the palace of Obi of Onitsha, she will be asked if she is in her period, if yes, she will be asked to stay out.

Leviticus 15: 19-20
When a woman has her monthly period, she remains unclean, anyone who touches her or anything she has sat on becomes unclean.

An Igbo man's ancestral heritage, called “Ana Obi” is not sellable, elders will not permit this. If this is somehow done due to the influence of the West the person is considered a fool and is ostracized by the community.

1 Kings 21:3
I inherited this vineyard from my ancestors, and the Lord forbid that I should sell it, said Naboth.

Igbos have practiced the taking of a late brother's wife into marriage after she had been widowed until the white men came. Now it is rarely done but except in very rural villages.

Deuteronomy 25:5
A widow of a dead man is not to be married outside the family; it is the duty of the dead man's brother to marry her.

In Igboland, there is a unique form of apprenticeship in which either a male family member or a community member will spend six (6) years (usually in their teens to their adulthood) working for another family. And on the seventh year, the head of the host household, who is usually the older man who brought the apprentice into his household, will establish (Igbo: idu uno) the apprentice
by either setting up a business for him or giving money or tools by which to make a living.

Exodus 21:2
If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve you for six years. In the seventh year he is to be set free without having to pay you anything.

In Igboland , the yam is very important as it is their staple crop. There are celebrations such as the New yam festival (Igbo: Iri Ji) which are held for the harvesting of the yam. New Yam festival (Igbo: Iri ji) is celebrated annually to secure a good harvest of the staple crop. In the olden days it is an abomination for one to eat a new harvest before the festival. It's a tradition that you give the gods of the land first as a thanksgiving.

Deuteronomy 16:9
Count 7 weeks from the time that you begin to harvest the crops, and celebrate the harvest festival to honor the lord your God, by bringing him a freewill offering in proportion to the blessing he has given you. Celebrate in the Lord's presence together with your children, servants, foreigners. Be sure that you obey my command, said the Lord.

In Igboland it's a tradition that the male children are circumcised on the 8th day. This tradition is still practiced till date.

Leviticus 12:3
On the eighth day, the child shall be circumcised.

In Igboland, there is a practice known as "ile omugwo ". After a woman has given birth to a child, a very close and experienced relative of hers, in most cases her mother is required by tradition to come spend time with her and her husband. During which she is to do all the work of the wife, while the new mom's only assignment to the baby will be to breastfeed. This goes on for a month or more. In the Igbo old tradition, at this time, the new mom lives apart from her husband, would not cook or enter his quarters.

Leviticus 12:1-4
For seven days after a woman gives birth, she is ritually unclean as she is during her monthly period. It will be 33 days until she is ritually clean from the loss of blood; she is not to touch anything that is holy.


The Igbo tribe is in a serious problem and danger of extinction for the following reasons:

50% of Igbos are born outside Igbo land. Meaning that those children are not likely to live and work in Igbo land and cannot speak Igbo language but foreign language (Yoruba, Hausa, French, English).

40% of Igbos girls between the age of 25 & 45 are single with no hope of marriage because 35% of Igbo boys live overseas and they have all married white ladies.

75% of Igbo youths leave Igbo land every year in search of opportunities in Yoruba, Hausa land or overseas.

85 % of Igbos have family houses and own investments outside Igbo land. They strongly believe in one Nigeria but failed to know that NO Yoruba or Hausa man has a family house or investment in Igbo land.

Igbos are the only people who believe that living outside their land is an achievement.

Igbos are the only tribe that celebrate their tradition outside their land e.g. Eze Ndi Igbo, Igbo Village in America and this is because they have family homes in foreign lands.

Igbos have failed to know that the children you have outside Igbo land especially overseas will never think of living in Igbo land. So what happens to the properties you are building for them when you are gone?

Igbos are the only tribe who see their land as a place to visit or a tourist site than a place to work and live.

Igbos are the only tribe who instead of promoting and appreciating their culture through movies and documentaries they have sought to ridicule it by portraying rituals, killings, wickedness, love for money and other social vices which were not originally inherent in our culture thereby cursing more harm than actually promoting their culture.

Igbos are the only people who without hesitation believe their history and description when it is told or written by an enemy or a foreigner. E.g. that you do not love yourselves or that you love money.

Igbos are the ONLY largest tribe on earth who fought for their independence and failed to achieve their freedom after 40 years.

Igbos are the only tribe who fails to honour their brave heroes and heroines especially the innocent children starved to death during the Biafran war.

Igbos are the only tribe who embraced their enemy after a bloody civil war and subsequently become slaves.

Igbos do not find it necessary to teach their own version of history to their children.

Igbos fight for marginalisation in Nigeria but has no collective strength or teeth to bite.

Igbos how long are you going to fight for your relevance in Nigeria?

How long are you going to fight for a functional airport, rail networks and other structural establishments that underpin sustainable development?

How long are you prepared to wait for your enemy to guide you to your destiny?

Oh Igbos!
Where are your leaders?

Unfortunately, none of them live and work in Igbo land. If you wish to save the future of your children, your identity, your generation and your race then you need freedom and that freedom is Biafra.

Ukpana Okpoko gburu bu nti chiri ya!

By Chime Eze

The Igbo: We die for causes, not for personalities

Written by Emeka Maduewesi

~on fb. 28th September, 2016.

The Igbo will never die for anyone. We will not even riot for anyone. But the Igbo will die for any cause they believe in because the Igbo have a true sense of justice and a determination to obtain it.

The Igbo will not riot because one of their own lost an election. Operation Wetie was the Western response to a massively rigged 1965 election. The Yoruba doused fellow Yorubas in petrol and burnt them alife. Properties were burnt with occupants. The Igbo will never do this.

In 1983, the Yoruba went on a rampage again over the massive rigging by NPN. Lifes were lost and properties destroyed. The riots were over personalities.

Contrast that with Anambra State where Chief Emeka Ojukwu was rigged out by his own NPN, who also rigged out Chief Jim Nwobodo. The Igbo did not protest because the goat's head is still in the goat's bag.

In the North, ba muso was the battle cry when Sultan Dasuki was imposed on the Sokoto Caliphate. The riot and protest lasted for days and crippled economic activities.

The Igbo will riot over issues and causes. The Aba Women Riot was over Tax. The Enugu coal mine riot was about conditions of service. The Ekumeku Uprising was over British colonialization.

Those of "Ekumeku" ancestry - Umu Eze Chima and Umu Nri - were at the forefront of the struggles for Nigerian independence, with people like Dr. A A Nwafor Orizu and Chief Osita Agwuna serving prison terms. Any struggles the parents could not conclude is continued by the children by other means.

The Biafran war was a response to the genocide. The war in fact was brought upon us. The battlefield was Eastern Region. The war ended in 1970 but the issues and causes were not resolved. That is where we are today.

The Igbo will also jointly rise to fight evil in their midst. They did it in Onitsha in the 1980's, Owerri in the 90's, and with Bakkassi in the 2000.

The Igbo will not die for any man. But the Igbo will stand by any man who symbolizes their cause and their pursuit of justice. Even if the man dies, the struggle continues, and like the Ekumeku warriors, the children will pick up the baton from their parents.

This is the Igbo I know, the Igbo I am, and the Igbo we are. This is my story. Feel free to tell yours.


"My boy, may you live to your full potential, ascend to a dizzy height as is possible for anyone of your political description in your era to rise. May you be acknowledged world-wide as you rise as an eagle atop trees, float among the clouds, preside over the affairs of fellow men.... as leaders of all countries pour into Nigeria to breathe into her ear.

But then, Chuba, if it is not the tradition of our people that elders are roundly insulted by young men of the world, as you have unjustly done to me, may your reign come to an abrupt and shattering close. As you look ahead, Chuba, as you see the horizon, dedicating a great marble palace that is the envy of the world, toasted by the most powerful men in the land, may the great big hand snatch it away from you. Just as you look forward to hosting the world’s most powerful leader and shaking his hands, as you begin to smell the recognition and leadership of the Igbo people, may the crown fall off your head and your political head fall off your shoulders.

None of my words will come to pass, Chuba, until you have risen to the very height of your power and glory and health, but then you will be hounded and humiliated and disgraced out of office, your credibility and your name in tatters forever...”


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