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The Ika people are found in Delta and Edo states of southern Nigeria. They speak the Ika language. They share borders linguistically in the west with the Edo speakers, in the north with the Ishan speakers, in the East with the Enuani speakers and in the south with the Ukwale speakers.
The Ika people are specifically located in the North-West of Delta State but some of their communities like Igbanke, Inyelen and Ekpon spilled over into Edo State. Ika communities mostly comprise the following: Agbor, Owa,(Agbor and Owa being the major Ika speaking place) Umunede, Owerre Olubor, Ekuoma, Emuhu, Mbiri, Abavo, Orogodo, Otolokpo, Igbodo, Ute-Okpu, Ute-Ogbeje, Idumuesah, Akumazi, Ekpon (Edo State), Igbanke (Edo State), Inyelen Edo State), Iru (Edo State). Other Ika communities found in Edo State are Owanikeke, Ute Oheze, Ute Obagie, Owa-Riuzo Idu and Igbogili.
Geographically, the Ika speaking people are found in the north west of Delta State. They share borders linguistically in the west with the Edo speakers, in the north with the Ishan speakers, in the East with the Aniocha language speakers and in the south with the Ukwuani speakers. Politically, Ika speakers are mainly found in two local government areas, Ika North East and Ika South local government areas, both created in 1991 from a single Ika Local Government Area, in Delta State. Ika South and Ika North East local government areas, occupy a land area of 117.45 square kilometres (Delta State Government website, 1999) with a total population of about 240,000 people. There are other Ika speaking people that are political outside the Ika North east and Ika South local government areas. The exact population of speakers of the Ika language or those with Ika as mother tongue is not known since this information was not included in the 1991 census result (1991 census). Ika people do not have any shared physical characteristics distinguishing it from other ethnic or language groups in Delta State.
Ika people speak the Ika language. To keep the language alive, there is now news in Ika language as a different language on Delta radio. Ikas have commenced writing the bible in Ika language and right now the gospel of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John have been published and there are books written in Ika language as well.
The Ika people do not trace their ancestry to common origin. The various clans that make up Ika have heterogeneous origins. Similarities of the language with Igbo suggests they are of Igbo origin who migrated to their current location across the River Niger. Their time spent close to the binis have made them acquire certain cultures however their language has no semblance with bini language, it is rather a dialect of the igbo language. An igbo man can understand an ika man and vice versa.
The Ika people are predominantly Christians although traditional worship is still much in progress as ika people have been recorded to have kicked against the white men greatly. Ika people refer to God as Oselobue and Chukwu.
Prominent Ika people
- HRM Benjamin Ikechukwu Kiagborekuzi I, The Dein of Agbor Kingdom
- Jim Ovia, Nigerian business man ; founder of Zenith Bank
- Sebastine Okoh, SSA To Deputy Senate President On Politics > > CEO Stiinos Ltd
- Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria
- Akpenyi Simeon, Nigerian business