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Onitsha-Ado is the small, original village that was later incorporated and formed the city of Onitsha, on the east bank of the river Niger in eastern Nigeria, in the area currently called the Anambra state of Nigeria. The Onitsha-Ado are s subgroup the Igbo people.

The people forming the Onitsha-Ado (originally called 'Onicha-Udo' but corrupted by the British colonial masters to 'Onitsha-Ado') were perhaps originally Aro people from Arochukwu, Ohafia, Bende, Afikpo, Edda, Okigwe, and other parts of Igboland.

Today, the people of Agbor speak a dialect exactly like that of the present day Afikpo and Owerri people, showing that these may be descendants of the contingents from the areas in the Igbo hinterland.

These show very ancient civilization in the Igbo areas. although the made impossible the republican system that is also associated with the Igbo civilization. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] For instance the Igbanke people are Igbos; Ika and Anioma people are Igbos. The Igbo people of Benue and Kogi states are some of these Igbos who migrated from the bank of the river Niger or other parts of Igboland. The genocidal agenda of Yakubu Jack Gowon and his administration's use of the military, police, paramedicals and all the law enforcement agents to massacre defenceless Igbo men, women and children in cold blood during the crisis of 1966 and the civil war and the genocidal killing of Murtalla Muhammed at Asaba and northern Nigeria and Western Nigeria including the Midwest made all the pockets of Igbo communities and Igbo indegines fabricate nonsense. Therefore the present migratory life of the Igbo did not start after the coming of the Europeans but predated it. . Ukwuani people are Igbos from Nsukka and still speak pure Nsukka today. [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]WHO WAS EZECHIME?

The Issele people who are the most emphatic of a Benin origin claim he was a son of the Oba of Benin. This may not be true since the migration occurred during the reign of Oba Esigie (c.1504-1550) and there is no evidence that Ezechime was the son of Esigie or even Ozolua , Esigie’s father. So, a claim like that should not be taken literally. It only meant to emphasize the strong connection the Isseles have with Benin.

Now let’s hear from Benin authorities. Egharevba J. U. A short History of Benin, Ibadan University Press, 1960, p.13 and A.F.C. Ryder, Benin and The Europeans, Longmans, London, 1969, p.11 observe that Chime is an Igbo word and hence could not be emigrant from Benin. Rather, they (Ezechime and his people) appear to be Igbos who was displaced by Benin military expansion eastwards from about mid fifteen centuries. I wonder why some of our western Igbo brothers are forcefully attaching themselves to other people?

The Onicha Ugbo people on the other hand say that Ezechime was an Nri priest originally. Having assimilated into the Bini population, he led a revolt against the Oba (after the Oba’s mother had trampled on his farmland) and this led to his expulsion from Benin. Obior and Obior elements now fully integrated as Igbodo people also claim that Ezechime came from Benin after a quarrel with the Oba. The Oba was claimed to have been envious of the wealth of Ezechime and had plotted to have him killed. Ezi also claims a Benin origin though it seems to be more emphatic on its claim to one Ifite who is claimed to be one of Ezechima’s sons. But Onicha Ugbo, Issele Uku and Obior claim that Ifite was not a son of Ezechime but a follower whose origin was from an eastern homelend and he was related to Obomkpa. Obomkpa people claim that their ancestor, Anagba migrated from Ogidi in Anambra State and that Anagba was a relative of Ezechime and his spiritual consultant. This will put the origin of Ezechime at least according to this account to Ogidi.

There are strong reasons to believe that Ezechime came from Nri. In Umuezechime , the Ozo title system( called Okpala or Ichimmor) is well developed . Also bear in mind that in Issele Uku are Ogboli and Ogbowele communities that still hold on to their claims of migrating from Nri.

The Ezenri based at Oreri worships in Onitsha shrines (Henderson, 1972) yet another reason to believe that Ezechime possibly had Nri origin.

In addition to all I have said in support of Nri origin of Ezechime is Jeffery M. D. W. The Oreli Mask' Nigerian Field, Vol. 10, 1941, pp 140 - 142. He noted that Nri people were performing certain ritual functions at the installation of a New Oba of Benin

For Agbor , it emphasizes that Chime originally came from Alisimien-Agbor , thereafter moved to Benin and after settling a while in Benin returned to Agbor as a wealthy man. It was claimed that with the wealth acquired from his soujourn from Benin, he had sought to overthrow the then Obi of Agbor (identified as Adigwe or Ogwade) but was defeated and he fled to Obior. The defeat of Eze Chima in Agbor is re-enacted in the Agbor royal festival of Osiezi. It was also claimed that chima tok with him Agbor royal symbols of authority like the Ufie gong. Onitsha claim that Chima was a native of Ado (possibly Udo , then as large and cosmopolitan as Benin City) and that the Oba’s mother had trampled on his farmland leading to the Queen mother being assaulted. This led to the flight to Agbor and thereafter to Onitsha town. From these accounts its quite clear that there Ezechima as much as its claimed to have migrated from Benin have other versions putting his origin to such eastern Igbo towns like Nri and Ogidi.

It’s apparent that there was a migration from Benin but what is being disputed is where he originally came from. Obomkpa insist on Ogidi, Onicha Ugbo on Nri while Obior and Issele claim Benin. One account tries to emphasize that Chime was originally derived from the Edo name Ikhimen. Fine, let’s accept it but they should also tell us how the Igbo title of Eze came from! July 29 at 3:06am Aralu Chidiebere Aralu Chidiebere Till this day, Prof Utomi is involved in Igbo activities. Chief Dennis Osadebay the political leader of Anioma people and who coined the word ANIOMA itself was a member of Ohaneze. It is therefore strange for anyone to assume that Anioma has no sociological, political or cultural connections with Ohaneze. It is even interesting to note that Obi Efeizomor of Owa has always been involved with Ohaneze activities.

What do we say about Chief Iduwe of Agbor? Rev Okolugbo of Obiaruku who elaborately wrote on the Ndokwa people Or the likes of Prof Don Ohadike and Prof MA Onwuejeogwu? All these people maintained their positions.

Records suggests that the earliest settler of Igbodo, Ikpekwu was a member of the group that founded the Umuezechime clan. No evidence suggests that he was not of Edo origin. It is also through this same migration that led to the founding of Ase and Aboh , however some of the names in this Aboh migration suggests west Igbo elements. Ozoma( the founder of Ashaka), Etim( founder of Obetim) and Osuntili( founder of Ossissa) suggests that they could only have JOINED Esume at/from Agbor and moved southwards with him. The Idumujes of Idumuje Uor and Idumuje Ugboko are believed to have followed the trail of the Umuezechime. They were of Edo origin sent as soldiers by the Oba to retrieve the fleeing Umuezechime party. They failed and were absorbed into the population.

There is a theory that most of the Anioma people are of Benin origin because of some cultures they had in common like Igue/Igwe. To start with Calabar people celebrate Ekpe with the Aro people but when it is observed that Aro people are from Awka axis without any blood relationship with Calabars this theory falls. Meanwhile, even towns that did not come from Benin especially in the Ika area do mark Igwe. But there are stark differences between the Igwe celebrated in some Anioma towns and the Igue festival of Benin. Fine, people use the Ewere (which we call Akwukwo-Egbo} leaves in the Igwe festivals; however it is different in many respects. In Umunede, it is similar to Benin and it’s usually marked in October or Sept. In Agbor, it is just a cleansing feast, the main festival in Agbor is Osiezi, in Owa the Igwe is completely different from the way it’s celebrated in Benin and it’s marked in December. It’s usually celebrated in March or April and it’s a ritual to cleanse the land before farming commences. UBILOR changes I think to ULOR which is the name used in other Anioma areas. For most Aniomas except for Umunede, IGWE or UBILOR or ULOR festival is basically for cleansing purposes and not commemorative purpose which is the case in Benin. Obviously, Igwe is the remains of the relics of BENIN’S COLONIZATION OF ANIOMA IGBO.

In south East are communities without Igbo origins but they like western Igbos have evolved to become Igbos. If not for the quarrel that took place during the days of King Esigie, both Igbos and Edo people would have remained a people because they are of one blood.


  1. ^ Ikime O. Ground work of Nigerian history, Ibadan; Heinemann educational books, 1980.
  2. ^ Onwuejeogwu MA. Igbo civilization: Nri kingdom and hegemony; London, Ethnographica, 1981
  3. ^ Roth RL. Great Benin. Its customs, arts and horrors. Northbrook, Illinois, USA, Metro books Inc, 1972
  4. ^ Uchendu VC. The Igbo of south-eastern Nigeria. New York, USA, Holt, Rinehart and Winston Inc, 1965.
  5. ^ Okonjo IM. British administration in Nigeria 1900-1950-A Nigerian view. New York, Nok Publishers LTD,1974.
  6. ^ Ikime O. Ground work of Nigerian history, Ibadan; Heinemann educational books, 1980.
  7. ^ Onwuejeogwu MA. Igbo civilization: Nri kingdom and hegemony; London, Ethnographica, 1981
  8. ^ Roth RL. Great Benin. Its customs, arts and horrors. Northbrook, Illinois, USA, Metro books Inc, 1972
  9. ^ Umeh JA. Igbo people-their origin and culture area. Enugu, Nigeria; Gostak printing and publishing Co.Ltd, 1999
  10. ^ Crowder M. West Africa under colonial rule. London; Hutchinson and Company (publishers) limited, 1976