Search this Site and the Web

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Igbo And Igala – Geographical, Historical And, Cultural Relationships

By Joy

June 9, 20210

It is a vague fact that the Igalas have a close tie to the Igbos, just how close is this tie? In almost every Igbo state, a sprinkle of indigenous Igala people is found thriving, be it an element of their culture, religion, dialect, or descendants. Who are the Igalas and what is their relationship with the Igbos?

Igbo And Igala Relations

The Igala are an ethnic group in Nigeria. Their homeland, the former Igala Kingdom, is an approximately triangular area of about 14,000 km² in the angle formed by the Benue and Niger rivers. The area was formerly the Igala Division of Kabba province and is now part of Kogi State. The capital is Idah.

The Igala people rank amongst ethnic groups in Nigeria with the highest population, they are situated east of the river Niger and Benue confluence, straddling the Niger in Lokoja. Unlike every tribe in Nigeria, they practice Christianity and Islam almost in equal proportions, with few traditional worshippers. It is beautiful to note that both religions exist side by side without little or no squabbles. 

The Igala people are found in several parts of the country, with an estimated population of 4 million. In all the Southeastern states, traces of Igala descendants have been found over the years. 

Five Most Ancient Igbo Towns

On the northern border of the Enugu state, the Kogi Igalas overflow the boundary and dominates the communities there. In Abia state, communities like Onu-Aku, Umuogu, Amaogu, Umuogwu towns have traced their origin to the Igala kingdom of 15500, in every state in Igboland, there are communities who trace their origin of migration to the Igala kingdom.

In an Igbo creation story, the Igala people are Igbo descendants who migrated westward during the proto-Igbo expansion at the beginning of the first millennium. Some eight hundred years ago, after the god-like Eri settled and his household expanded, some of his sons left in search of their own settlement and greener pasture, Onoja his second son departed northwards. Onoja is believed to be the founder of the Igala kingdom.

Igbo And Igala Relations

It will be a grave misrepresentation of history to ignore the Igala influence on the modern Igbo culture. Arguments and traces of the cultural mix appear to be factual and undeniable. 

Around the period of 4000 BC to 500 AD, there was a heavy flow of migration into the Igbo hinterland. According to historical stories, the northern neighbors of the Igbos were among the migrants in search of rich aquatic life and fertile land. The northern neighbors were the Igalas, hence, the start of the Igala/Igbo mixing. This was the introduction of Igbo culture evolution.

Along the east of the Niger, the Igalas settled amongst the locals causing a shift in both culture and lineage dynamics of many towns in the present Anambra state and parts of the present Oshimmili Local Government in Delta state. Today in Anambra state, there are traces of Igala history in some communities such as – Ayamelum, Ihiala, Oyi, Awka North/South, Aniocha, Dunukofia, Onitsha North/South, Ogbaru, Anambra East/West, and Njikoka. Nzam, Igbedor, Inoma, Odekpe, Owelle, Ukwala, Onugwa, Ode, Ala and Igbokeyi.

The migrant not only settled in Anambra state, but several communities with Igala ancestry also abound in Enugu state. Enugu state shares a direct boundary with the Kogi Igalas. Unlike Igalaland borders with Anambra separated by the River Niger, there is no water between Kogi Igalas and Enugu.

Hence, migration/encroaching to fertile unoccupied land in Enugu state for trading, farming, as well as the establishment of new territories (by Onogu/Ajogu clan) by some Igalas was very easy as the boundary lines can get blurry.

Today, the cross-cultural mix has some indigenous Enugu/Igala people having both languages as their first languages. It is common to see names like Attah, Ameh, Akor, Okolo, Ogu, Onogu, etc amongst the Enugu people today. These are traditionally Igala tribal names. It is almost impossible to tell the Igalas and Kogi-Enugu border Igbo towns apart.

Both groups assimilated each other’s cultures and traditions (food, marriage, burial, Egwu feast, etc).

It is very notable that most traditional chiefs within the Nsukka region were beaded and given their traditional staff (traditional staff) by the Attah Igala in his palace at Idah ancient Igala kingdom, Kogi state.

Some of the Igala communities found in Enugu State are Abbi, Adani, Alor, Enugu Ezike, Igah, Ibagwa-Aka, Ibagwa-Ani, Ibagwa-Nike, Itchi, Nimbo, Nrobo, Nsukka, Obukpa,  Ogurugu, Ojor, Opanda, Unadu.

There are several other purported Igala communities within the southeastern states as supported by  Amb Ayegba Abdullahi Aduojoh after his three years research work titled “Discover and Reconnect All Indigenous Igala people Across Nigeria and Beyond Project”.

He claimed that Igala also has indigenous communities in Anambra, Abia, Ebonyi, and Abia.

There is no strong evidence to back these researches up neither have some communities listed there come forward to verify this claim. The claims that these communities are part of the indigenous people of Igala to a large extent can be termed bogus and unverified.

The close cultural ties are also evident in both languages, some Igala words can be found in some Igbo dialects. These include ‘Atama’ which translates as ‘Chief Priest’ in both languages, “Ajogwu” which means ‘warrior’ amongst both tribes. Osikapa as rice, Abacha as cassava, Egwa/Agwa as beans, AKPATI as clothing box. 

The four traditional market days in Igboland do not just stand for commerce, it has a spiritual and in-depth connotation.  The Igbo and Igala people also have four market days which are – EKE, ORIE, AFOR & NKWO in Igbo and EKE, EDE, AFOR & UKWO in Igala. Both the Igalas and Igbos share a lot of common words together, what more influence or cultural ties could there be.

No comments:


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...”


Biafra Videos: Explosive secret about Biafra...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Featured Post


Topics: Mindset of the enemy. Yoruba were in world's best universities when Usman dan fodio was still learning to ride a horse Th...