Geographically Illah is a town in Oshimili North, Delta State, Nigeria on the west bank of the River Niger, a few miles north of a straight line from Benin City to Enugu. It is located at 201 meters above the sea level. Historically, illah was originally formed by five major villages, who became subject to intimidation 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 honour for his bravery and he became the founder of the sixth village. Through the course immigration, Illah is today made up of nine villages, each village is headed by the eldest male known as 'diokpa'.A village is further divided into a number of quarters. Politically, Illah is governed by council of elders consisting of the head of the nine villages and a number of Obis headed by the "Ogbelani". 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. 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 80's, 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, though not as viable as the later. In the heart of the town is the main market known as Afia Eke. These markets attracts all sundry of neighbouring states in Delta state, and in the recent years, the markets(especially otu umutei) has remained a centre of controversy seeming a major source of revenue accrued for growing youth and the local council.
Culturally, 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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