Ogidi, Anambra

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Ogidi
Ogidi is located in Nigeria
Ogidi
Ogidi
Location in Nigeria
Coordinates: 6°9′N 6°52′E / 6.150°N 6.867°E / 6.150; 6.867Coordinates: 6°9′N 6°52′E / 6.150°N 6.867°E / 6.150; 6.867
Country Flag of Nigeria.svg Nigeria
State Anambra State
LGA Idemili North
Population (2009)
 • Total 70,418
 • Ethnicities Igbo
 • Religions Christianity, Odinani

Ogidi is an Igbo town, the headquarters of Idemili North Local Government area, Anambra State, Nigeria. It has an estimated population of 70,000 and has as its neighbours Abatete, Ṅkpọr, Ụmụnnachị, Ụmụoji, Ọze, Ogbụnike and Ụmụdiọka. Ogidi is best known for its mid-July annual Nwafor Festival, and for being the birthplace of author Chinua Achebe. Other attractions include the famous Iyi-Enu Hospital and Aforigwe market. The people are known for not killing pythons, as the creature is regarded as a deity. Ogidi means pillar.

History[edit]

Ogidi has a very rich history that dates over 450 years. The founding father of the town, Ezechumagha (born c.1550) married Anum-Ubosi and they had a son in 1580 named Inwelle. Inwelle married and had a son in 1611 named Ogidi (meaning strong pillar because he was a great warrior). Ogidi had 2 wives: (i) Duaja whose children were Akanano, Uru, Ezinkwo, Umu-Udo, and Ama-Okwu; and (ii) Amalanyia whose children were Ikenga, Nne Ogidi, Uruagu and Achalla Ogidi. After the migration of five of his children, the remaining four sons (Akanano, Uru, Ezinkwo and Ikenga) formed the present Ebo Ino (four quarters) of Ogidi.

History has it that Umu-Udo migrated to present day Umunya (in Oyi Local Government of Anambra State). Ama-Okwu was either sold off into slavery or got integrated into other parts of Ogidi, especially Odida in Ikenga. Nne Ogidi was married off to Agulu and is a thriving village in Agulu. Uruagu migrated and settled in Nnewi although present day Uruagu Nnewi people deny any claim with Ogidi, and Achalla Ogidi (a great elephant hunter) migrated to present day Okija (derived from Oka Ije Achalla Ogidi).

Of the four sons who stayed back in Ogidi, Akanano had 2 wives. The first wife had Ire and Abo, while the second had Ezi-Ogidi and Umuru. Uru (born c.1643) had 8 children: Ntukwulu, Ajilija, Adazi, Umudoma, Uru Ezealo, Uro Oji, Umu Anugwo, and Ogwugwuagu. Ezinkwo had 2 sons: (a) Ogidi-Ani who had Ogidi-Anu Ukwu and Ogidi-Ani Etiti; and (b) Nkwelle Ogidi who had Ezinkwelle and Uru Owelle. Ikenga had 2 wives: (a) Aghaluji Ejebe Ogu who had Obodo Okwe and Anugwo; and (b) Ezenebo who had Nanri and Odida.

Kingship[edit]

The kingship stool has historically been vested in the Amobi family. His Royal Highness Igwe Amobi I of Ogidi, Walter Okafor Okerulu Nwatakwochaka Amobi (1838 - 18 December 1925), was the first ruler of Ogidi. His father, Abraham Amobi was born in 1806, and was one of the first people to encounter the English Church missionaries and embrace their religion when they arrived in Onitsha through the River Niger. He became the first catechist in Ogidi.

His son, Igwe Walter Okafor Amobi I of Ogidi had the rare opportunity of being exposed to Christian education and culture. He was active in the palace council of HRH The Obi of Onitsha and adjudicated in native courts there. A wealthy and prosperous noble, he was appointed a Political Agent of Queen Victoria's Royal Niger Company in 1898 and had a contingent of soldiers at his command. On July 9, 1904, he became the first Igwe of Ogidi in a ceremony recorded in the Colonial Administrative Intelligence Book and witnessed by colonial officers representing the government of HM King Edward VII of England.

As Igwe, he was instrumental in establishing peaceful and mutually beneficial contact between the Royal Niger Company and the people of Ogidi and the greater Igbo hinterland. Though peace-loving by nature, he was a brave, able and resolute warrior in battle and at other times of conflict. His courageous leadership earned him the respect and gratitude of his people and those of the neighbouring provinces. During this period, he was invested with the princely and ducal title of Ozo in recognition of his successes against Portuguese raiders striking inland from the Niger Delta, and indigenous soldiers attacking from provinces to the north. HRH Igwe Amobi I reigned as ruler of Ogidi for 21 years until his death on 18 December 1925. Upon his death, Amobi I was succeeded by his eldest son, HRH Prince Benjamin Olisaeloka Amobi, who, as HRH Igwe Amobi II of Ogidi, later represented the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria at the coronation of HM King George VI of England in 1937.

During Amobi II's long reign, he ruled wisely and, like his father, he maintained cordial relations with the rulers of other kingdoms and provinces including HRH The Oba of Benin, HRH The Obi of Onitsha, Ojiako Ezenne of Adazi, HRH The Oni of Ife and HRH The Oba of Lagos. His eldest son, HRH (Dr.) Benedict Vincent Obiora Amobi became Igwe Amobi III after the death of Igwe II in 1975. When he died in 1986, HRH (Engr.) Walter Nnamdi Ifediora Amobi ascended the throne as Igwe Amobi IV of Ogidi until his death in 1998.

Igwe Amobi I died in 1924. Walter Amobi was born on March 19, 1929. He married, Uche in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1957 and has six children, including his send son, Ifediora Chimezie Amobi, born on October 1, 1960. He has three children, including Chastity Lynn Nwakego Grant-Amobi born on October 27, 1982.