Edo Origin Of Onitsha

BY UGONABO ONWA AMENE ESQ.
AN ATTORNEY WHO PRACTICES MOSTLY IN THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF TRADE

Our history as a people should neither be a mystery nor a guess work. It must be written by us for us based on our knowledge of what was, what is and what will forever be as children of Onicha: a divine town of assured prospects; a town that was oriented and aligned to sacred stars of the immortal galaxies; a town, that was divinely inspired and strategically founded on the sacred banks of God’s own river, the Niger. Onicha, the sacred abode, uniquely ordained to soar and tower above all obstacles; a town, where the immortal flame of God’s own love will forever glow. Onicha-Ado n’ Idu! Atulukpa Ose! Onicha, oke Ebo na eri agu! Eke nwe ovia! (The royal python that reigns in the the sacred forest!) Oke Nnunu Mmuo n’ ebe n’ oku!(The great mystical bird that perches on deadly flames and yet remains immuned from the inferno!) Onicha; my Onicha, our Onicha, the divine breasts whose nourishing milk has sustained all from the misty dawn of times!
The word “Onitsha” is an alienization of the proper spelling of our correct name “Onicha”. From my research, this word was first used by Mungo Park in his reports of his expedition amongst the Niger people and this was continued by other Europeans. The compound term “tsha” is non-existent in any African or Igbo syntax. We should abandon the perpetuation of this anomaly and revert to the correct form of our name: Onicha. The ancestral name of our beloved town is “Onicha-Mmili”.This was to distinguish it from our other kinsmen at other Onicha settlements on the West of the Niger, like “Onicha-Ugbo”; “Onicha-Olona”; “Onicha-Ukwu”; and other blood relatives that branched out from the major migrational group to develop those settlements on the West of the Niger or “Enu Ani”. It is really sad that these days, our interactions and dynamics with these our blood relatives at Enu Ani have become almost extinct.
My immortalized and legendary kinsman, Chief Philip Okonkwo Anatogu, the Onowu Iyasele of Onitsha, once explained that the word “Onicha-Ado N’ Idu” referred to the Nation of all Onicha stock that made the exodus from the Idu land. Idu was one of the names for ancient Egypt. “Idu” or “Edo” was later corrupted to Edo and was usurped by the Benin nation. The Iyasele explained that the towns of Onicha-Mmili, Onicha-Ugbo, Onicha-Olona, Onicha-Ukwu, Issele-Ukwu, Issele Mkpitima, Ezzi, Obamkpa and other towns of Benin migrational orientation were all collectively referred to as “Onicha Ado n’ Idu” by the Edos! Over the years when Onicha-Mmili became very accomplished, the usage of the name “Onitsha Ado n’ Idu” appeared to have been narrowed down to her. Many of our brethren at Enu Ani had criticized this as what they perceived as an attempt by Onicha-Mmili to solely assume what was a national identity of all Onicha children. Who are Ndi Onicha? Onye ka anyi bu? Ebe ka anyi sii? Anyi abu ndi Edo/Idu/Benin?

However, many of our traditional titles are the same with the Edos/Binis: Onicha titles like “Iyasele” is “Iyasere” in Bini; “Ogene Onira” is “Oliha” in Benin; “Odu Osodi” is “Osodin” in Benin; “Omodi Daike” in Onitsha is “Edaiken” in Benin; “Esagba” in Onitsha is “Esogban” in Benin; the “Isama” titles are the same in both towns amongst many others. The “Obi” of modern Onitsha today is the continuation of the ancient Pharonic dynasty of ancient Kemet or Egypt. Onitsha must retrace the history of her monarchs from his imperial Majesty Obi Achebe back to the Ogiso Kings of Igodomigodo in Edo, then to Egypt; to Pharoah Tutankhamon, Pharoah Amenemhet, Pharoah Amenemes, Pharoah Amenkhuti Ra; Pharoah Khafara, and back to the first dynasty in Egypt. Enough of this tracing of our kingship to just Obi Oreze or his father Ohime(corrupted to “Chima”) by his later descendants. Onicha people came from Benin or Edo land, they were also in Igbo land. I suspect that the Priests of Nri were distantly connected, that is why till date an Nri King upon consecration must bring certain sacrifial items to the Obi of Onicha and must sleep over in Onicha before assuming the Nri throne. Why would the very traditional Nri people who were(and still are) known all over the Igbo land as a holy people and the spiritual custodian of all Igbo lands, accord these rights to Onicha Kings? All these indicate that Onicha and many other tribes had had prior interactions and established certain traditional precedence which had been ongoing before the Onicha town was founded just around 700 hundred years ago. No Nri man would just concede to subject his divine King to some unknown immigrants who just crossed over from the Niger River, if that were to be the case.
BENIN EMIGRATION OR EXODUS:
The migration of Onicha people from Benin happened in phases over many years and did not happen once. The Ohime/Obi Ezechima’s exodus was one of the last ones that occurred but it should be noted that not all Onicha people left with Obi Eze Chima or Ohime. Some stayed back and are still in Benin today. Some took a different migrationary route towards Ile Ife and Ado Ekiti. Some went to establish Ondo. Some made a northern migrational journey towards the north to establish the Igala Kingdom.The Attah of Igala and a substantial part of the Igala kingdom were Onicha people who immigrated into Igala from Benin. The first Attah of Igala was a Prince of the Edo/Benin Kingdom. Now it can be understood why the Onicha people were ferried across the Niger and greatly assisted by their Igala kinsmen when they reached the banks of the Niger river. It can also be understood why Onicha people easily incorporated many Igala rituals and traditions into their own concepts. They were of the same roots but different branches. Onicha people left Benin to establish Igala; that was the secret behind the easy adoption of and exchange of different tenets amongst Onicha and Igala people.
Some Onicha people, before Eze Chima’s exodus, had left Benin to establish other towns like Issele Ukwu, Ebu, Kwale, Ezzi, Onicha-Ukwu, Okpanam, Asaba(originally called “Araba”) and some other towns of Benin orientation that had been established before the Ezechima’s exodus from Benin.. It was these settlements that habored Obi Ohime/Ezechima when he and his family fled from Benin. The migration from Benin to Onicha Mmili took many years, towns of Onicha-Olona and Onicha-Ugbo were established by Onicha people who felt reluctant to continue and follow Obi Ohime to Onicha-mmili.
ESTABLISHMENT OF ONICHA-MMILI AND HER RULING DYNASTY:
Obi Ohime or Eze Chima, having been told that he could not enter Onicha, stayed for a long time in Obio with his family and relatives before he died. After he died, his relatives decided to continue with their migration to establish Onicha. The qualification for whom shall be crowned king was conditioned upon who shall sound ancient rhythms on a wooden Ufie. Traditionally, Ufie cannot be owned or be sounded/beaten by a person whose father is still alive. The contestants to the throne having just lost their father, had no ufie, however, Oreze Obi, had carved one which he hid under the boat and sounded first upon getting to Onicha whilst his siblings were busy looking for the appropriate wood to cut for the Ufie.
The contestants to the throne were Oreze, Ukpali, Agbor Chima, Ekensu(Aboh Chima), Obio, Obamkpa and Isele. All these men were all children of Eze Chima. This is very important because I have read some articles being written about “non-royal and royal” Onitsha families by people who are very ignorant of our history. Dei Ogbuevi was uterine brother of Eze Chima and was therefore not excluded from Onicha kingship unlike the children of Eze Chima outlined above. That is why any Dei descendant can still aspire to the Oncha throne, unlike the descendants of the children of Eze Chima that contested the throne. Rather than contest the election of their sibling, they resolved to emigrate from Onicha and go back to “Enu Ani” to establish their own clans. Thus Obamkpa, left to establish Obamkpa town. Umuasele, Iyiawu and Umu Odimegwu Gbuagwu villages are all descended from Obamkpa. Ukpali went to found Agbor and Ekensu went to found Aboh. After, Ojedi’s sacrifice of her life tosave Onicha, her father Dei, left Umudei village to reside with his nephew Ukpali who had founded Aboh town(because then, it was a taboo for a child to die before the parents.) Whilst at Aboh, Dei had more children, who just like their Aboh relatives, became very wealthy by fishermen and traders. These children of Dei in Aboh, whenever they came to Onicha to trade and market their wares, would spend some days with their relatives at Umudei village. Some later settled at Umudei after exchanging marital vows with other Onicha people and founded the “Ogbe Onira” clan in Umudei village, a very spiritual, mystical and tough clan. The term “Aboh Rika” is now being erroneously applied to all Umu Dei people, but this is historically incorrect. It was originally used for Ogbe Onira clan because of their “Dei-Aboh” roots. Till date, our relatives from Aboh town are saluted with “Abohrika”. It literarily means Aboh predominates! One always sees that pride wherever children of Eze Chima are founded.
When Dei later left Aboh, he went and founded Oguta town in Imo State and till date, only descendants of Dei can assume the throne of Oguta town. In Oguta today, the Umudei Village exists. Traditionally, whenever, the Obi of Oguta visited Onicha-Mmili, he would first go to the Diokpa of Umudei village who would then accompany him to the Obi of Onicha.
ONICHA TRADITIONAL CONCEPTS OF SPIRITUALITY: 
Onicha people traditionally beleive in one omnipotent God whom we call”Ose Ebuluwa” or “Osa Ebuluwa” ( “Olisa Ebuluwa”.) One of the original ancient Egyptian, Kemetic names of God, was “Osa”. The Greeks changed it to “Osiris”. Another name of God in ancient Egypt was “Ra”. In Onicha today we bear the names “Chukwu Ra” etymologically it alluded to “Ra”, the high spirit. It was this aspect of God that the Jews worshipped that is why the term”RA” is reflected in many Jewish and Isreali names. Terms like (Abraham);Ab “Ra” ham, (Israel): Is “Ra” el, {Sarah};Sa “Ra” h, (Raphael);”Ra” phael, (Gabriel);Gab “Ra” el, (Ariel); A “Ra” el, (Mount Ararat);A,ra “Ra” t, and so many others. Could these be “just” coincidental?
In Benin, God is called “Osa No Obuwa”, which has the same etymological root with “Ose Ebuluwa”. The closest transliteration(it cannot be adequately translated into English) of the term “Osebuluwa” can be glimpsed if one attempts to etymologize the term “Osebuluwa”. The term is derived from “Ose/Osa(mystical force/being), ebili(waves), uwa(world), Osebuluwa therefore, subject to my human limitations, means “The mystical being whose waves sustain the world.” Going into the mystical and esoteric meaning of “OLISA”: which literarily means “the devourer of mystical seven”, would cast me beyond the scope of this article. MAKA NA IVIE LIE ISAA ONAA! (WHATEVER DEVOURS SEVEN CEASES TO EXIST!)
The name Ose Ebuluwa was (still is) deemed so holy that the Onicha men, especially Priests of Nze(Agbalanze) would not respond to any greetings from family members upon waking up in the morning, until they ritually cleansed their mouths with (chewing stick) Atu Oborsi, bathed and then faced the direction of the rising sun to pronounce the sacred name “Ose Ebuluwa”. He does this whilst standing in a very consecrated and hallowed ground called “Ani Ezi”. This name is very powerful:none should dare to falsely swear in this name. Our ancestors were spiritually advanced to know that God had no gender, we therefore till date ascribe no gender to God unlike in our European oriented creeds.
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Nnamdi Azikiwe: My Genealogy and Nativity
“Thus, in tracing my paternal lineage, I could say that both parents of my father are direct descendants of Eze Chima. As for me, I can trace my paternal ancestry in this wise: I am the first son of Chukwuemeka, who was the third child and first son of Azikiwe, who was the second son of Molokwu, who was thethird son of Ozomaocha, who was the second son of Inosi Onira, who was the fourth son of Dei, the second son of Eze Chima, the founder of Onitsha.”

SOURCE – Nnamdi A zikiwe: My Odyssey, Chapter I (Spectrum Books, 1970) “My Genealogy and Nativity” p4
“I can trace my maternal ancestry thus: I am the first son of Nwanonaku Rachel Chinwe Ogbenyeanu (Aghadiuno)Azikiwe, who was third daughter of Aghadiuno Ajie, the fifth son of Onowu Agbani, first daughter of Obi Udokwu, the son who descended from five Kings of Onitsha. Five of these rulers of Onitsha were direct lineal descendants of Eze Chima, who led his warrior adventurers when they left Benin to establish the Onitsha city state in about 1748 AD.
” SOURCE – Nnamdi Azikiwe: My Odyssey, Chapter I (Spectrum Books, 1970) “My Genealogy and Nativity” p5
“One day I asked her (grandmother) the meaning of the word ‘Onitsha’. She explained that it had historical significance. The terminology meant one who despised another. It is a contraction of two words, Onini to despise, and Ncha meaning others. So that the two words when joined together mean one who despises others. Then I asked her why we despised others. She patted me on the back and told me that it was due to our aristocratic background and tradition. I insisted that she should explain to me the basis of this supercilious social attitude. She told me that we despised others because we descended from the Royal House of Benin and so regarded ourselves as the superiors of other tribes who had no royal blood in their veins, “
“I continued to belabor my grandmother to tell me more of the history and origins of the Onitsha people. She narrated that many many years ago, there lived at Idu (Benin) a great Oba who had many children. Due to a power struggle regarding the right of precedence among princes of the blood and other altercations, there was a civil war in Benin. One day, the supporters of one of the princes insulted and assaulted Queen Asije, the mother of of the Oba of Benin, who was accused of having trespassed on their farmland. Enraged at this evidence of indiscipline and lawlessness, the Oba ordered his war chief and brother, Gbunwala Asije to apprehend and punish the insurgents. In the attempt to penalise them, Chima, the ultimate founder of the Onitsha city-state, a prince of the blood in his own right, led the recalcitrants against his Uncle, Gbunwala. This intensified the civil war which rent the kingdom of Benin in two and led to the founding of Onitsha Ado N’Idu,  , ” “As the great trek from Benin progressed, some did not have the stout heart of the pioneer-warrior, and decided to settle at different places, known today as Onitsha -Ugbo, Onitsha-Olona, Onitsha-Mili, Obior, Issele Ukwu, Ossomari, Aboh, etc,
” SOURCE – Nnamdi Azikiwe: My Odyssey, Chapter I (Spectrum Books, 1970) “My Genealogy and Nativity” p 11 – 12
 
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BENIN ROOT OF ONITSHA
Many of our traditional titles are the same with the Edos/Binis: Onicha titles like “Iyasele” is “Iyasere” in Bini; “Ogene Onira” is “Oliha” in Benin; “Odu Osodi” is “Osodin” in Benin; “Omodi Daike” in Onitsha is “Edaiken” in Benin; “Esagba” in Onitsha is “Esogban” in Benin; the “Isama” titles are the same in both towns amongst many others. The “Obi” of modern Onitsha today is the continuation of the ancient Pharonic dynasty of ancient Kemet or Egypt. Onitsha must retrace the history of her monarchs from his imperial Majesty Obi Achebe back to the Ogiso Kings of Igodomigodo in Edo, then to Egypt; to Pharoah Tutankhamon, Pharoah Amenemhet, Pharoah Amenemes, Pharoah Amenkhuti Ra; Pharoah Khafara, and back to the first dynasty in Egypt. Enough of this tracing of our kingship to just Obi Oreze or his father Ohime(corrupted to “Chima”) by his later descendants. Onicha people came from Benin or Edo land, they were also in Igbo land. I suspect that the Priests of Nri were distantly connected, that is why till date an Nri King upon consecration must bring certain sacrifial items to the Obi of Onicha and must sleep over in Onicha before assuming the Nri throne. Why would the very traditional Nri people who were(and still are) known all over the Igbo land as a holy people and the spiritual custodian of all Igbo lands, accord these rights to Onicha Kings? All these indicate that Onicha and many other tribes had had prior interactions and established certain traditional precedence which had been ongoing before the Onicha town was founded just around 700 hundred years ago. No Nri man would just concede to subject his divine King to some unknown immigrants who just crossed over from the Niger River, if that were to be the case.

authoritatively portray the following facts that the Ikelike people from the Bini kingdom were the first to settle in Ogwashi-Uku (see Ben Nwabua, Ogwash-uku Kingdom, 1000 Years of Traditional Democracy and Cultural Life, 950-1914). Both traditional and empirical sources gives credence that Ikelike people were the first set of immigrants to settle in the present Ogwashi-Uku as against the notion that Adaigbo who purportedly came from Nri in present Anambra State today is the founder of Ogwashi-Uku. So far, no counter claim has been made on this. According to Ogwashi-Uku intelligence report by Mr. J.E Hull, the then Assistant District Officer dated on the 9th of April 1936, the Ikelike people from all indications migrated from Benin to settle where they are found themselves today, because of a reign of wanton persecution of subjects by the then Benin Monarch, Oba Eweka 11. The story further goes that at the head was Odigie Ikelike with his younger brother Ado who later founded Adonta, a relatively small village close to Azungwu in Ogwashi-uku today.

The Ikelike migrants were said to be politically averse and could not, therefore evolve an orderly method of governance even though there were small in number. Jull`s report further went on to point out that because of such indisposition towards an effective means of governing themselves, it cost them the political leadership they were first to settle in. Rather, Adaigbo, the prince from Nri later came, controlled the situation and imposed leadership based on Igbo customs and tradition on them and what later became Ogwshi-Uku kingdom. Adaigbo’s imposed of republican system, however, later gave way to the hereditary system of the Benins . BENIN EMIGRATION OR EXODUS: The migration of Onicha people from Benin happened in phases over many years and did not happen once. The Ohime/Obi Ezechima’s exodus was one of the last ones that occurred but it should be noted that not all Onicha people left with Obi Eze Chima or Ohime. Some stayed back and are still in Benin today. Some took a different migrationary route towards Ile Ife and Ado Ekiti. Some went to establish Ondo. Some made a northern migrational journey towards the north to establish the Igala Kingdom.The Attah of Igala and a substantial part of the Igala kingdom were Onicha people who immigrated into Igala from Benin. The first Attah of Igala was a Prince of the Edo/Benin Kingdom. Now it can be understood why the Onicha people were ferried across the Niger and greatly assisted by their Igala kinsmen when they reached the banks of the Niger river. It can also be understood why Onicha people easily incorporated many Igala rituals and traditions into their own concepts. They were of the same roots but different branches. Onicha people left Benin to establish Igala; that was the secret behind the easy adoption of and exchange of different tenets amongst Onicha and Igala people. Some Onicha people, before Eze Chima’s exodus, had left Benin to establish other towns like Issele Ukwu, Ebu, Kwale, Ezzi, Onicha-Ukwu, Okpanam, Asaba(originally called “Araba”) and some other towns of Benin orientation that had been established before the Ezechima’s exodus from Benin.. It was these settlements that habored Obi Ohime/Ezechima when he and his family fled from Benin. The migration from Benin to Onicha Mmili took many years, towns of Onicha-Olona and Onicha-Ugbo were established by Onicha people who felt reluctant to continue and follow Obi Ohime to Onicha-mmili.ESTABLISHMENT OF ONICHA-MMILI AND HER RULING DYNASTY: Obi Ohime or Eze Chima, having been told that he could not enter Onicha, stayed for a long time in Obio with his family and relatives before he died. After he died, his relatives decided to continue with their migration to establish Onicha. The qualification for whom shall be crowned king was conditioned upon who shall sound ancient rhythms on a wooden Ufie. Traditionally, Ufie cannot be owned or be sounded/beaten by a person whose father is still alive. The contestants to the throne having just lost their father, had no ufie, however, Oreze Obi, had carved one which he hid under the boat and sounded first upon getting to Onicha whilst his siblings were busy looking for the appropriate wood to cut for the Ufie.

The contestants to the throne were Oreze, Ukpali, Agbor Chima, Ekensu(Aboh Chima), Obio, Obamkpa and Isele. All these men were all children of Eze Chima. This is very important because I have read some articles being written about “non-royal and royal” Onitsha families by people who are very ignorant of our history. Dei Ogbuevi was uterine brother of Eze Chima and was therefore not excluded from Onicha kingship unlike the children of Eze Chima outlined above. That is why any Dei descendant can still aspire to the Oncha throne, unlike the descendants of the children of Eze Chima that contested the throne. Rather than contest the election of their sibling, they resolved to emigrate from Onicha and go back to “Enu Ani” to establish their own clans. Thus Obamkpa, left to establish Obamkpa town. Umuasele, Iyiawu and Umu Odimegwu Gbuagwu villages are all descended from Obamkpa. Ukpali went to found Agbor and Ekensu went to found Aboh. After, Ojedi’s sacrifice of her life tosave Onicha, her father Dei, left Umudei village to reside with his nephew Ukpali who had founded Aboh town(because then, it was a taboo for a child to die before the parents.) Whilst at Aboh, Dei had more children, who just like their Aboh relatives, became very wealthy by fishermen and traders. These children of Dei in Aboh, whenever they came to Onicha to trade and market their wares, would spend some days with their relatives at Umudei village. Some later settled at Umudei after exchanging marital vows with other Onicha people and founded the “Ogbe Onira” clan in Umudei village, a very spiritual, mystical and tough clan. The term “Aboh Rika” is now being erroneously applied to all Umu Dei people, but this is historically incorrect. It was originally used for Ogbe Onira clan because of their “Dei-Aboh” roots. Till date, our relatives from Aboh town are saluted with “Abohrika”. It literarily means Aboh predominates! One always sees that pride wherever children of Eze Chima are founded.

When Dei later left Aboh, he went and founded Oguta town in Imo State and till date, only descendants of Dei can assume the throne of Oguta town. In Oguta today, the Umudei Village exists. Traditionally, whenever, the Obi of Oguta visited Onicha-Mmili, he would first go to the Diokpa of Umudei village who would then accompany him to the Obi of Onicha.

ONICHA TRADITIONAL CONCEPTS OF SPIRITUALITY: Onicha people traditionally beleive in one omnipotent God whom we call”Ose Ebuluwa” or “Osa Ebuluwa” ( “Olisa Ebuluwa”.) One of the original ancient Egyptian, Kemetic names of God, was “Osa”. The Greeks changed it to “Osiris”. Another name of God in ancient Egypt was “Ra”. In Onicha today we bear the names “Chukwu Ra” etymologically it alluded to “Ra”, the high spirit. It was this aspect of God that the Jews worshipped that is why the term”RA” is reflected in many Jewish and Isreali names. Terms like (Abraham);Ab “Ra” ham, (Israel): Is “Ra” el, {Sarah};Sa “Ra” h, (Raphael);”Ra” phael, (Gabriel);Gab “Ra” el, (Ariel); A “Ra” el, (Mount Ararat);A,ra “Ra” t, and so many others. Could these be “just” coincidental? In Benin, God is called “Osa No Obuwa”, which has the same etymological root with “Ose Ebuluwa”. The closest transliteration(it cannot be adequately translated into English) of the term “Osebuluwa” can be glimpsed if one attempts to etymologize the term “Osebuluwa”. The term is derived from “Ose/Osa(mystical force/being), ebili(waves), uwa(world), Osebuluwa therefore, subject to my human limitations, means “The mystical being whose waves sustain the world.” Going into the mystical and esoteric meaning of “OLISA”: which literarily means “the devourer of mystical seven”, would cast me beyond the scope of this article. MAKA NA IVIE LIE ISAA ONAA! (WHATEVER DEVOURS SEVEN CEASES TO EXIST!) The name Ose Ebuluwa was (still is) deemed so holy that the Onicha men, especially Priests of Nze(Agbalanze) would not respond to any greetings from family members upon waking up in the morning, until they ritually cleansed their mouths with (chewing stick) Atu Oborsi, bathed and then faced the direction of the rising sun to pronounce the sacred name “Ose Ebuluwa”. He does this whilst standing in a very consecrated and hallowed ground called “Ani Ezi”. This name is very powerful:none should dare to falsely swear in this name. Our ancestors were spiritually advanced to know that God had no gender, we therefore till date ascribe no gender to God unlike in our European oriented creeds.

http://edo.890m.com/edo/history/benin-root-of-onitsha/ 

ANIOMA PEOPLE: 

There are quite a number of today’s South-East communities that arguably trace their ancestral home to Anioma in present Delta State of Nigeria. The first of these communities is Onitsha in Anambra State. Although Onitsha remains the commercial heart of Ndigbo of the South-East geo-political region it traces its origin to Anioma. The community is still referred to as “Onicha-Ado” by the Anioma people with ancestry to the Ezechime descendants. Ezechime is correctly known in Igodomingodo (Benin) as Ovbi Ikhime, a Benin migrant that left Iduu (Benin) Kingdom after he committed an offence punishable by death. He in addition to Onitsha founded many other communities in Anioma some of which are Issele-Uku, Issele-Mkpitime, Issele-Azagba, Onicha-Ugbo, Onicha-Uku, Onicha-Olona and many more. Issele-Uku is still regarded as the traditional headquarters of the Ezechime clan which includes Onitsha. The traditional ruler of the town (Issele-Uku) is also seen as the head of the Ezechime clan. The geographical position of Onitsha has exposed it to the social influence Eastern Igbo. Much as the Onitsha people are typically of Anioma extraction, there are still a few Anioma historians who slightly differ on constant mention of this great town as an Anioma settlement.

There are debates that, By origin it is but was not founded on Anioma territory. The land the town was founded was owned by Ezunaka Nkwelle (Oze) people.They merely got that land via conquest. Because they settled on a strange land they kept to their identity as Enuani but that land is not Anioma territory”. The above may well be personal views of some persons representing Onitsha historical link to Anioma and may be well founded only that historical link may not necessarily be broken by distance. Onitsha is just too important for the Anioma to “seize” from the Eastern Igbo and this is also applicable to Oguta. Anioma historians have been told to focus more on the western front that comprises of Ndoni, Igbanke, Inyelen and Ekpon and make cultural references to them. Another Anioma community outside Anioma is Obosi. Obosi is geographically located in Anambra State and lying quite close to Onitsha. History claims that Obosi was founded by Adike from Ojoto with Umuota its royal clan originating from Obior, an Ika community in Anioma. In Anioma tales and fables the closeness in origin and geographical locations shared by Onitsha and Obosi and frequently told. The Obosi are noted to have retained much of the Anioma cultures that truly single the town out as one of the Anioma communities lying outside the Anioma area with foreign social subjugation. There is also Oguta. Although much of the history of origin of the town has been in dimness, it is truly of Anioma origin. They natively speak Ukwani of Anioma and live close to Ekpon. The Oguta also bear Ukwani names but modern issues stand between their Anioma identity and South-Eastern identity. Migrants too have subjugated the Anioma identity of the people. Remarkably, typical Anioma names are becoming extinct are only borne by the elderly people of the community. Ozubulu was founded by refugees from Ubulu-Uku, an Anioma town after the Adesuwa war with Iduu (Benin Kingdom). The name “Ozubulu” means “the gathering of Ubulu people”. The newly founded Ozubulu settlement was to further found such present towns as Ubulu-Isiuzor and Ubulu-Ihejiofor, all around similar geographical environment. The Ozubulu of the South-Easern region remains an Anioma ancestral branch.

Ogba, Egbema and Ekpeye, all have history claiming to have originated from Anioma but linguistics is one social difference that today sets the people far apart from their Anioma kinsmen but that it intertwines with the Igbo interests have rewritten its historical claims of Anioma migration. The oral tradition of the people believes that the communities were founded by Akalaka who migrated from Benin . An Oguta person may also refuse to be identified with Ukwani origin as he may rather prefer “Oru” as his extraction. Oru is only an Igbo word used to describe Igbo communities and people living outside the present South-Eastern part. Thus for many centuries the Nnewi people preferred to be referred to Ibusa people as “Ndi-Olu (Oru) because of the series of wars carried into the towns and adjoining ones by the Ibusa people. The Oguta people therefore have the tendency to historically link themselves to the Ogba, Egbema and Ahoada people. They claim Orashi lineage for a separate state with Ukwani language. In all, some historians share the opinion that “the Western Igbo cultural group has three sub groupings Enuani, Ukwuani and Orashi. Only the Orashi do not fall into the Anioma identity and this is why they are pursuing an Orashi state. We do however share many things in common with them but that does not mean we are of the same ethnic group.” Ndoni was formerly part of Aboh division and the influence of Anioma people of Aboh can still be noticed among the people of Ndoni. Ndoni has an inland area measuring about 600km2. Although Ndoni is of diverse origin, the original settlers are believed to be Okefi (Okehi) in Etche present Rivers state but later joined by migrants from Aboh and Ogume. Ndoni is rich in oil and plays important roles in the economic development of the country. The Ndoni people still happily count themselves among the family of Anioma nation and have also preserved much of their culture that bears the Anioma testimony.

In Edo State, there exist several communities with Anioma ancestry, notable among these towns are the Igbanke people also known as Ika. The Igbanke have since their unfortunate, aberrant and perverted location in Edo State continued to agitate for reunion with their Anioma kinsmen in Delta State or better still, with the creation of Anioma State. They have quietly exhibited this with the usage of social infrastructures in Delta State while hoping to reunite with their Anioma brothers and sisters with the creation of Anioma State. The youths of the area have also on several occasions openly campaigned against their present synthetic location in Edo State where they continue to face marginalization. Igbanke people are of Ika. The story of how the people have found themselves in Edo State is known too well. Evidences suggest that the small Ekpon community is part of Esan family but these evidences are disappearing on a fast note. Agbor, an Anioma community is chiefly responsible for the economic resilience of the Ekpon community. It is for this reason that many Ika of Agbor extraction can be found in the community. Its cultural identity derived from its cross border location further exposes it to cross-cultural influence that the people have taken advantage of for the optimum expansion of relationship.

The history of Ebu cannot be written without the mention of Inyelen. Ebu is an Anioma town located on the banks of river Niger bounded by Illah in the east and Ezi in the west, and founded by Ubuenu. Inyelen was one of the towns that the fleeing Ubuenu settled. Inyele which today is situated in Edo State of Nigeria is another town that traces its origin to Anioma and has equally exhibited this through its cultural relationship with the people of Ezi, Illah and Ebu.

However, Cheime, a refugee from Benin is historically credited with the foundation of majority of Anioma communities. Historical accounts records Cheime who was driven away from Benin fled from the kingdom traveling eastwards towards the Niger River and founded Onitsha where he finally settled, his followers having been exhausted founded certain of these Anioma towns. Many of which includes the present day Onicha-Uku, Onicha-Ugbo, Onicha-Olona, Onicha-Ukwu, Issele-Uku, Idumuje-Unoh, Idumuje-Ugboko and a lot more. At the present day Onitsha in Anambra state, his final place of settlement, Cheime had had a daughter called Owuwu, Owuwu was believed in oral history to have abandoned Onitsha fearing she might lose her life after her father lost nine of his sons in this very town owing to witchcraft. Owuwu was soon to return to Agbor settling at Osarra in Agbor. The name “Owuwu” which now is a Quarter in Agbor is a historical testimony of this. The argument in certain Quarters that Agbor people bear Igbo names and to some extent assimilates Igbo language and vocabularies is well a defeated one, it is asking why the language of Onitsha people is Igbo having been founded by Cheime from Benin. ”

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