Azia is a town in Anambra State in Nigeria. It is located in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State. Ihiala consists of several cities, such as Amorka, Azia, Okija, Mbosi, Iseke, Orsumoghu, Ubuluisuzor and Uli. It lies in the agricultural belt of the state. Ihiala is an unusually peaceful part of the country, attracting settlers wishing to escape other chaotic Nigerian cities. Its people are one of the Igbo speaking peoples of Eastern Nigeria. The Biafra in International Airport, which was used for humanitarian relief, was located in Amorka during the Nigerian Civil War. Also located in Amorka is one of the Bunkers built by the then Leader of the Biafrans.
Azia was named after the founder and the father of the inhabitants of the town, Azia Alamatugiugele who according to oral history lived about 1,400 years ago (470-585 A.D). Azia, Orsumoghu, Mbosi and Isseke were the sons of Osunano by his first wife who is the owner of the portion of land that cuts across Azia and Orsumoghu known as Ama-Lolo (Lolo's farm land). Osunano in turn is a son of Igbonano. Before the coming of the white men, there was a region of the Igbo country called Igbonano. A conglomeration of clans, Igbonano was supposedly located in the area now occupied by some thirty autonomous communities from both Anambra and Imo states.
These communities on the western axis of Anambra-Imo border area, till today still have many things in common e.g. similar names of idols, a type of ancestral masquerade called 'mmanwu ozaebile', a similar style of red cap title ceremony graced with uhio music, a set of ozo title prefixes (Ezike,Dara, Duru, Dim, Ume, Ezeani, Ezeahia, Ezeloma and Okpara) e.t.c. Azia had four sons, Dara-Nsu, Ezebo, Ihite and Ukwakwa. These sons are the founders of the five villages in Azia namely Umudansu, Umudiokpara, Ihite, Ukwakwa and Abam. The people of Umudiokpara and Abam are the descendants of Ezebo the second son of Azia. Ezebo had two great sons: Ezike Okwe (Diokpara) and Abamliwu (Abam). Their descendants became numerous and formed two villages but they chose one share as Ezebo-household in Azia. Later the descendants of Abamliwu revolted and were granted autonomy.
Geography and land families
Azia has a town called Ukpor at the Northern end just across Urasi river; Ihiala and Okija lies at its Western end; Mbosi and Orsumoghu are situated at the Southern and the Eastern ends respectively. The landscape of Azia is bounded by valleys, hills and rivers which in local mythology is ascribed to be the handiwork of the goddess of land (ala), Alamatugiugele. In ancient times, during wars these boundaries served as a strong defense against external attacks and aggression.
According to oral history, the families of Umu-Orie in Ukwakwa, Umu-Nnama in Umudiokpara, Aworoba in Abam, Ekwuru in Abam and Umu-Duru-Ulim were populous and rich. It was claimed that these families owned the majority of the area of land known as Azia today. Owing to revolution these families lost not only land but their population. It was told in Azia mythology that their population grew teemingly large and constituted danger to the entire community as they became aggressive, proud and sectional hence the spark of the revolution. In the history of Azia we have some individuals who have assumed leadership and reigned either because of their great wealth, brave deeds or seniority. We have Nsu the first son of Azia, who reinged after taking his high title: Dara, The great Ezike Okwe (the first son of Ezebo and the father of Umudiokpara people, Eze-Ala of Ukwakwa, DuruEze of Ihite, Ezike-Oha a son of Abamliwu (the man who was reputed to have reared an elephant as one his domestic animals. Later about the year 1845, Ezike-Osuagwu (the father of Ogbuamuma people) reigned. About this age Chief Eze-Chukwu of Dim-Ocha family in Abam reigned. The reign of Ezike-Osuagwu was very remarkable as more wars were waged during his time in defense of the city. At that time, Azia's best fighters were mainly from Ukwakwa and Abam. The agility of Ukwakwa warriors in those days earned them the name 'Ezioha na obi di ike' while that of Abam warriors earned them the name 'Idima na egbu agu'. After the year 1885 Chief Nwaenyi, Chief Ezeanochie, Dara-Anyaeji, Chief Eze-emelahi, Chief Ezike-Okolie, Chief Ezike-Onyekwere, and the warrant chief Ezeanochie-Ohanu. Ezeanochie-Ohanu was made warrant chief by the Colonial Administration because of his brightness and wealth.
"culledfrom the books 'ACIENT CITY OF AZIA: A Typical Igbo Community Of Old' and 'KNOW THY ROOT: an addendum to Acient City of Azia: A Typical Igbo Community of Old'by Ambrose M. Chukwudum"
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