Okija is a city in Ihiala LGA, Anambra State in Nigeria. It is home to those who fought the white people that came to take the land of Igbos in the olden days. Okija, the oldest town in the Ihiala local government area, and one of the biggest towns in Igboland. Okijians are generally christian. However, the notorious Okija shrine was also located in the forests outside the town.
Notable Nigerians from Okija
Okija is home to many notable Nigerians, including;
- Ben Chuks Onyido (former director of Central Bank of Nigeria)
- Chief Okezie Chidi (Director of New Age Computers)
- Nze Akachukwu Sullivan Nwankpo (special adviser to Goodluck Jonathan, President of Nigeria)
- Dr. Ernest Azudialu Obiejesi (Group Managing Director Nestoil PLC) Obi Jackson (a prominent name in Oil & Gas)
- Ebuka Obi-Uchendu a popular television and media personality
- Mmadu Jude Egozor (the author of "Who is a born again?")
- Barr. Fred Ozoemena Obiejesi, a leading Lagos-based member of the legal community
- Prince Kenneth Emeakayi, Chairman of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra State
- Lieutenant Colonel Ibeabuchi Charles Ogamanya, Defence Liaison Officer at the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
- Ven. Dr. Fred Nwachukwuma (Anglican clergy & an Archdeacon in Diocese On the Niger, a renowned theologian & Co-founder of EFAC-Nigeria)
- Chief Mathias Chidi Anohu (former permanent secretary, former commissioner and elder statesman)
The shrine achieved notoriety in 2004 when Anambra state police raided it and found 50 decomposing or shrunken bodies and 20 human skulls in the compound; over 30 priests were arrested, and other nearby shrines were raided afterwards. Forensic tests established that the bodies were poisoned with chemicals, and that the priests had taken the property of the victims from their homes and shared in the loot. The shrine was subsequently rededicated to Jesus Christ as the only God for all Okija people.
The shrine was also prominent as the location for the deal between Chris Ngige and Christian Uba, godfather of the People's Democratic Party (Nigeria), where Ngige's 2003 election to the governorship of Anambra state was arranged. Following the fraudulent election, Ngige took a more independent direction, resulting in Uba kidnapping him back to the site, and violently extracting a "letter of resignation". When this was presented to the state legislature, there followed a period of tit-for-tat media disclosures, and the undated letter was revoked. After three years of legal wranglings, matters were decided in the Nigerian Federal Court of Appeal, with Peter Obi being declared the actual winner of the original election.
- Macabre discovery in Okija, Anambra State! - by Alfred Obiora Uzokwe
- OPINION :- The Ogwugwu Okija fairy tale - by Jimmie Asoegwu and Obi Anoliefo, courtesy of Vanguard and the Internet Archive
- "Okija: Shrine Saga Enters the Movies"
- Understanding The Okija Shrine Phenomenon And The Art Of Mental Poisoning by Emmanuel U. Obi
- Full, Authentic List of Patrons of Okija Shrine (Part Two)
- Horror: Police find 50 bodies, 20 skulls in Anambra shrine