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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Controversy over Igbo Origin: ‘We have proof that Umueri is the cradle of Ndigbo’

Written by By Dotun Ibiwoye - Vanguard Nigeria

The debate over the true origin of the Igbo  continued recently when two communities laid claims to being the progenitors. Now, the professionals of Umueri extraction in Anambra East Local Government Area of Anambra State, under the auspices of Greater Umueri Liberation Forum, GULF, debunked the claims by Nri & Aguleri,  saying their town was the ancient Igbo settlement in Omambala valley.
Eze Obidiegwu Onyesoh, the traditional ruler of Nri in Anaocha Local Government of Anambra State, had  said the Igbo originated from his community.
GULF described  the claim of the monarch and that of Aguleri as baseless and fallacious.
According to GULF,  the story of the of the  Igbo was first dismissed  by one Elder Ndive Aniegboka, an elder from Umueri, who said  the monarch was being economical with the truth as Umueri was the first area of human settlement before the Igbo of Igala descent migrated.
The group, in its report  endorsed by nine of its members, described  Aguleri & Nri, as erstwhile partners in FOISTERING an inconsistent and inaccurate story on the Igbo  people, which they termed fallacious & misleading. The report was signed by Comrade Biafra Diboh, Chief.Daniel Obi Aninwetalu, Mr.Obi Kachi Nzedigwe, Mr. Titus Ugo Nwoye,  Comrade Sonny Onochie ,  Ms. Purity Nwofia, Mr.Oliver Chinweze, Mr.Chike Nnamdi and Sixtus Chinedu.
Igbo-areainsisted that  majority of the people who make up the Igbo of today were those who came from Israel while the rest migrated from Igala and other places.
According to the group, the founders of  the  earliest settlers of the town are from Eri clan of Israel who left the Israelites during their time in wilderness (post-Egypt exile), migrated from East Jordan towards the Mediterranean Sea and later crossed back to Egypt from there to Ethiopia, then to Southern Sudan from where they sailed through the rivers and finally found themselves in Omambala or Anambra valley where they settled.
“They now named the place after their clan, Umu-Eri, which means children of Eri. The migration was long-time ago before Saul was made King over Israel”, GULF said.
It went on:  “At the new settlement, the culture of Hebrew worshipping, circumcision, burial & other customs remained  visibly the same with some modifications. There was no king or culture of king-making until the invasion of the land by the second wave of migration from the Igala descents who brought the system of priest-king along with it.
“The Bini Kingdom also tried introducing its kingship by imposing the Ezes & Onowu but with limited success. However, the Umueri  people resisted the cultural encroachment from them until the colonial  administrators foisted warrant chief system on them.
Relationship between Umunri and ancient Umueri
“The original settlers of the communities that make up the Umunri clan are descendants of the first settlers of Umueri. Therefore the people of Umunri, otherwise called Nri Kingdom, are part of our ancient town. It is a  fact that amongst numerous people that constitute the Umunri Kingdom, the descendants of Umueri people are regarded as aborigines or the head of their various communities. Those communities were even named after founders of Umueri lineages. The original settlers in Nri are from Nri-aka in old Ugume ana of Ikenga Umueri.
“Nri people were actually occupying the large expanse of land between Ugume Umueri and Ikem Nando (then in old Umueri town) which today subsist in Ugwu Nzu.
“There is a popular road path which exists  till date which the the Nri people use for their itineraries from  Ugume to Ugunzu and is called ‘EZI NRI AKA’ till today.
The vast area was inhabited by the descendants of Eri up to Omabala na Ezu before the present settlement of aguleri which is a recent settlement.
“The Ire and Oraeri were living in the portion of land lying between Agu Eneneanya and Agu Oda in today Ifite Umueri and Nneyi Umueri. The Ire people abandoned this area in flight due to the war between them and the Igalas.
“Today the Ire people can be found in Abba, Obosi, Ogidi, Umuoji  Enugu Ukwu. Occupying these portion of lands today are several artefacts’ and monuments, shrines, etc left behind by the fleeing Ires.
“The Umunri oral tradition also confirmed that they once lived amongst our people here in Omambala valley. The Nri people of Umueri extraction had no king just like every other true Igbo town until the arrival of the Igala settlers who were forced to scatter and live amongst all Igbo towns in northern Igbo communities as a result of  the ancient war that was waged by the people of ancient Umueri clan.
It was the Igala elements that brought the issue of kingship in Nri. It was  a foreign culture amongst the earliest settlers.
Migration and trace of Umueri people
“The founders of ancient Umueri community was not just a single man and woman as fallacious story peddled around by people, but group of people amongst whom was Eri, a great hunter and warrior from Eri clan of Gad’s tribe of Isreal around I,300BC.(See Gen46:16, Numbers 26:16).
They found themselves in Omambala valley where they settled. Original ancient Umueri people settled amongst basically in all northern Igbo communities notably Nteje(Umueri/Umuevi Nteje), Umueri Awka, Umueri Ogbunike, Umueri Okija, Umunagu- Achala, Amåleri Ichida, Umueri Awkuzu, Umueri Nkwelle Ezunaka.
The Influence of Bini Kingdom
“Another group that impacted its culture on the Omambala people are the Binis known formerly as the Idu in the local parlance. At the height of Bini Kingdom, it  annexed territories at will through conquest, but the emerging communities in Omambala valley through  juju & war charms were able to stop the Binis.
In mutual pact agreed upon, Umueri and other communities in Omambala  communities, through their powerful medicine men; charm makers, provided the needed spiritual support to the Bini Kingdom whose standing army was busy fighting numerous wars during the ancient days.
In reward  for their effort, the Binis rewarded and imposed them as Eze & Onowu Iyasele. This is how all those parading themselves as royal homes in northern part of Igboland emerged. It was not part of our culture and so anyone telling you that at  the death of Eri, his fore fathers became kings and that he is the 100th King of Eri is being far from truth. Our culture has no room for such political stool.
“It’s obvious that the name Umueri (the name by which other Omambala people address Umueri from time immemorial), which literally means “Children of Eri”, is a natural and unbiased nomenclature indicating Umueri special relationship with Eri, even though several attempts have been made in the past to deny Umueri its rightful position as the cradle of Igboland through mispronunciation of our name & heaping of false name as our ancestor.
Archaeologically, the traces of the habitat of the early Igbo settlers are still visible today in Umueri. For Instance, ‘Akpu Nri’ and ‘Okpotoevi’ are still at Ugume Umueri. Akpu Nri is an antiquity of great importance. It’s about half a thousand year old tree located at Ama Iruakpu-Ugume, Umueri. It was said to be founded by founders of early settlers of Agukwu-Nri who left long time ago.
“Apart from oral tradition & archaeological evidence, the early European visitors confirmed  Umueri communities in Anambra valley as the cradle of human existence in Igboland. “According to the works of  Dr Elizabeth Isichei, while quoting L Froberius,  wrote.
“The first cradle of human habitation in Igbo area was  probably the Cross River and Anambra River Escarpment. In each of these areas, latter Stone Age sites have been excavated. The scholar cited an ancient storage relic which was excavated in Umunagu Umueri in 1975 by Mr. Emmanuel Ozoemena which shows human existence in Umueri during Stone Age era probably before 980 AD’ Elizabeth Isichei went further to state, ‘This picture of an early nucleus of settlement in  northern Igbo land is confirmed by Igbo traditions’.
We urge all Igbo historians, scholars & anthropologists of Igbo culture to go the who hag  in unravelling the true ancient map of Umueri town (clan) and also to focus their searchlight on this ancient town of Umueri to study her unique culture and oral tradition which has so far been suppressed deliberately by fallacious works of some authors and writers, who were unable to conquer prejudice and bias, thereby ending  up into distortion of fact”.
Migration and trace of Umueri people
The Umu asaja-owu clan of Mmanomma Nneyi Umueri along with other families of Umudiana Umueri founded Abegbu (and to extention the Umuoba anam community), where as the constant raid and inter tribal war between the ancient Umueri town and Igala forced some of our people to migrate to distance places around the River Niger.
The Original Umueri settlers can be found amongst the Umuchi Ossomari Ogbaru, the Ozeh Nkwelle & the aborigine Onitsha, whom the Eze Chima conquered to establish the Eze Chima dynasty. Other distant places that descendants of the first Umueri people founded directly were the Ụmụeri-Owerri, Ụmụeri Ọraukwu, Umuoba Anam and even in far away Kwale in delta state where the Ugume Kwale still recounts there history that they migrated from Ugume Umueri.
At the height of Bini empire, most of our people who went to war of conquest for the Binis as medicine and Juju men in far away Yoruba land and could not return back founded places like Okeri(in Oyo), Iponri(Lagos)and Igboeri now called Igberi(in Kwara State).
Apart from Umueri no other community in Igboland has such connection of lineages. Relationship with Aguleri People Long ago, some of the Aguleri people and Umueri live in ancient Umueri town as a community before the people of Ezi-agulu, Enugu & Onogu migrated into our land from Ibaji in Kogi State. Aguleri which really translates to farmland of Eri (Agu-Eri) just like other farm settlement such as Agu Nneyi (Nneyi’s farmland), Agu-Mgbede(Mgbede farmland), Agu Ukatta(Ukatta farmland) was indeed a recent settlement inhabited by the descendants of Okpu of ancient Umueri town(now in Aguleri) until they were joined by strangers elements from Igala also referred as umusiolu.
The Inhabitants of Aguleri as presently constituted are immigrants from different places and they met the Okpu people who is been referred as the head Village in Aguleri. The Okpu Village traced their lineage to Ugume-ana Village of Ikenga Umueri.
The Oral tradition of Umueri traces the genealogy to Dabawor, one of the Sons of Eri whose daughter was Okpu, the founder of the most elderly village in Aguleri till today. Nevertheless, to prove the fact that the Okpu , the head village of Aguleri emanates from Umueri, the Okpu Village has kept the ritual practice of paying tribute to Dabawor Shrine. And they have never failed to pay the homage despite recent stain in the relationship Occasioned by land dispute, litigation and war.
During Sacrifices, their elders received the daughterly share (an Omambala culture that’s still in existence) of hip of Cow or Goat used for its sacrifice. Apart from the Okpu, the Igboezunu Aguleri was also part of ancient umueri clan as they have blood relationship with Ugume Umueri. Umumba Igboezunu,Aguleri- the Custodian of Ajana Aguleri has never DENIED it’s blood relationship with Ugume(Dabawor) Umueri.
At the Installation of an AJANA Chief Priest, Ugume Village of Umueri is usually informed. It’s mandatory that “Sons of Dabawor (Ugume) should be there to perform the customary rites. The story of how Enugu, Eziagulu and Onogu people were settled amongst our people, in the ancient Umueri clan after series of war of conquest from the Igala are well known facts. The series of war known in Umueri oral tradition as ‘Ogu Onoja Nwa Oboli’ saw the war brought to an end with treaty dully signed by the Igbos and the Igala.
The Umungalagu of present Aguleri was settle in their present place by the people of Ugume after taking Oath of obedience before their hosts; the Okpus then of Umueri (now in Aguleri) and Ugume allocated some portion of land to Isiokwe after Oath taking; Some others were settled in Umunkiti Aguleri. The areas WHERE these immigrants were settled was known as Agu-Eri- (Eri farm settlement).
These immigrants assimilated with each other to become known as Aguleri. While the Onogu people are scattered amongst the Igbariam, Nteje, Nsugbe and other coastal Igbo towns. In 1974, the then traditional Ruler of Aguleri, Igwe Raphael Akwuba Idigo admitted openly in a publication that Aguleri people are from Igala ( See’The History of Aguleri’ by MCM Idigo, Page 5 (Published in 1955) ), that they migrated to Omambala about four hundred years ago. According to him they met Igbo Speaking people and by mixing with them and inter-marriage, the immigrants adopted the language. Even with this open confession, it’s worrisome to see some Aguleri declaring that they are the Igbo aborigine.

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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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