|• Type||Parliamentarian, Monarchical|
|• Ogbelani of Illah||Obi Christopher Akazue Gbemudu II|
|Time zone||GMT (+1)|
Illah was originally formed by five major villages: Edem, Utei, Iyagbo, Agwu and Nwabukwu. According to local history, the villages came under perpetual torment by people across the river Niger until a messiah from the descendant of Benin kingdom called Idaiken rescued them. This man was allowed citizenship as an honor for his bravery and he became the founder of the sixth village called Ukwumege. He was also granted autonomy among so many other privileges due to the role played. The Iyase and the Odogu of Ukwumege is the only once recognized in Illah. Through the course immigration, Illah is today made up of nine villages, to include Onya, Ogbolu, Ogbeji. Each village is headed by the eldest male known as 'diokpa'. A village is further divided into a number of quarters.
Illah is located on the west bank of the River Niger, a few miles north of Benin City to Enugu. It is in the South-South geo-political region of Nigeria. Illah is bordered by five villages to include Ebu, Ukala, Ezi, Akwu-Igbo and Ugbolu, just after Asaba. It is set at approximately 201 meters above the sea level.
Economically, Illah is blessed with natural resources ranging from fertile land and fishing opportunities to the large oil discovery at Umuagwu, Onyia and Ajaji village land mass in the '80s, accord to a seismographic result, conducted by Shell. About 98% of the population are farmers adjoining other peasant activities. The town has a resourceful market situated at the bank of River Niger called 'Otu Umutei' or Otu Eke, in addition we have Otu Upkologwu and Otu Onya, Nkwor Ajaji and Afia Ngegu. though not as viable as the later. In the heart of the town is the main market known as Afia Eke close to Abuse. These markets attracts all sundry of neighboring Towns in Delta state, and in the recent years, the markets (especially outumutei) has remained a center of controversy seeming a major source of revenue accrued for growing youth and the local council. Religiously, Illah is dominated by Catholic and Traditional worshipers.
Illah is governed by council of elders consisting of the head of the nine villages and a number of Obis headed by the "Ogbelani".(Most Senior Among the existing Obis within the royal families of the town. The system of governance is not monarchical, you have to be assigned by the ancestors to become the Ogbelani, but this has been adulterated making it possible for any wishing individual to attain the leadership. This has not only damaged the valued substance of Ogbelani but also adversely affected the good governance of the town.
Each Village and quarters has a specific greetings. Illah celebrates her new yam festival every September/October. The commencement of festival is always announced by the Iyase of Ukwumege, known as "Ikar Nmor". This is a period of peace and thanksgiving to ancestors for a good harvest. The festivity lasts for one month full of activities during which every village goes dancing on different chosen days.
Also the Illah people have a fishing festival similar to the Arugungu fishing festival in the North, ours is known as "Iyi Okar" fishing festival.
Source; Andrew Ndudi Ateli(England), Chike Ilabor & IK Egwuatu.
Five of the original villages were formed by Edem, Utei, Iyagbo, Agwu and Nwabukwu, in the order of seniority. These men formed Umutedem, Umuagwu/umuiyagbo, Umutei and Ajaji.
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