Aro-Ibibio Wars

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The Aro-Ibibio wars
Southeastern Nigeria
Result The Arochukwu Kingdom is founded
Eze Agwu clan
Nnachi clan
Obong Okon Ita rebels
Akpa allies
Obong Okon Ita
Obot Mme
Commanders and leaders
Agwu Inobia
Akakpokpo Okon
Oke Nnachi
Osim and Akuma Nnubi
Akpan Okon
Unknown Unknown
Casualties and losses
Slight Slight

The Aro-Ibibio Wars were a series of conflicts between the Aro people (subgroup of the Igbo) and several Ibibio groups in present-day Southeastern Nigeria from 1630 to 1720. These wars led to the foundation of the Arochukwu kingdom.

The Arochukwu conquest[edit]

For about a thousand years, the Ibibio lived in the area which later became Arochukwu. During their staying, they founded several states (Obong Okon Ita and Ibom) and had a strong cultural presence. The Eze Agwu clan from Abiriba, initiated Igbo migration into the region around the mid-17th century. The Ibibios resisted these newcomers and this resulted in a stalemate. The Eze Awgu clan searched for ways to subdue the stiff Ibibio resistance. The Priest Nnachi from the Edda group near Afikpo, was called by their king Awgu Inobia (Eze Agwu) for help. When he arrived, Nnachi and Eze Agwu allied with prince Akakpokpo Okon of the Ibibio kingdom of Obong Okon Ita. Akakpokpo Okon was the son of a marriage between an Igbo women of the Eze Agwu clan and the King of Obong Okon Ita in an attempt of a peace treaty. The Eze Agwu/Nnachi faction decided to help Akakpokpo attempt to overthrow his brother king Akpan Okon. The coup was heavily resisted which called for even more help. Through Nnachi, an Eastern Cross river group answered the call for help. They were known as the Akpa. These warriors and traders, may have had European guns which were new to the Aro territory. Being the Igbo allies, the Akpas were led by the royal Nnubi family. Osim and Akuma Nnubi led Akpa soldiers to help fight against the Ibibios. Together with Igbo forces and Ibibio rebels, they defeated the Obong Okon Ita forces (1690). During the final battles, Osim Nnubi was slain in Oror city state making it the capital of Arochukwu. In Obinkita the remaining Ibibio warriors became prisoners and were judged and that is why the city state is the holder of the Ikeji festival. But at the end of the war, Osim and Akakpokpo were dead. In order to honor Osim's legacy, his brother Akuma was crowned the first EzeAro (king). After his death, Nnachi's descendants took the throne starting with his first son Oke Nnachi. The Arochukwu kingdom, was founded.[1]


After Arochukwu was formed, it began to expand because of the growing population and territorial protection. Ibibio groups who were kicked out and their allies (Obot Mme, Mako, etc.) sporadically attacked Arochukwu shortly after its formation. In order to neutralize Ibibio invasions, Aro forces formed vigilante camps which eventually grew into communities on the Arochukwu-Ibibio boundaries and repelled the invasions.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "The Confederation of Three Dynasties". Editorial Suite. 8 March 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-02.[permanent dead link]