Ugbo

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Igbo

Origin[edit]

Ugbo (formerly Ogulugu) is one of the few aborigines east of the River Niger, Nigeria. Known for its natural habitat, including serene hills, caves, large rocks and stones, rivers, forests, wild animals, and fertile lands; Ugbo is the ancestral home to many towns in Igboland. Ogulugu (now Ugbo) is the oldest son of Ewa, the original progenitor of nearby communities, including Obeagu, Amoli, Agbudu, Isu-Awaa (Ewa), Ituku, and Ogbaku. The Ewa (Awaa) kindred, together with Ntuegbe, make up what is known as Mbanabor clan in Awgu LGA of Enugu State.

Location[edit]

Ugbo is located in northwest part of Awgu Local Government Area, Enugu State. Based on 2006 census, the population of the town is projected to be about 32,000. Ugbo comprises three large villages, namely, Ugbo-Okpala, Ugbonabor, and Ngene Ugbo. The town occupies a vast area of land bounded by other communities, such as Obeagu to the southwest, Achi to the west, Amoli to the northwest, Owelli to the north, Ogugu to the east, and Mmaku to the south.

Traditional government[edit]

Ugbo features traditional rulers and chiefs. The central stool is currently vacant after the demise of HRH Igwe G E Udeonu, Unagwo 1 of Ugbo.

Religion[edit]

There are two main types of religion in Ugbo, namely, Native Religion and Christianity. Native Religion: Many deities and oracles exist in the town but most notable is the Anu Ogulugu. The Anu Ogulugu is the supreme deity and sits at a hilltop, Umu-Ewa, the ancestral home of the different Ewa communities, from where he is worshiped and oversees the welfare of Ugbo and the entire Ewa people.Even though many governments in history have attempted to convert the hilltop to other uses, the people of the land have for long wisely decided to preserve the sacred Umu-Ewa for posterity. Christianity: After a stern resistance and a fierce battle that lasted for years, the White Christian Missionaries finally gained entrance to Ugbo in the year 1917. Since then, Christianity has grown in the town with many denominations but most common has been the Anglicans and the Catholics. Notable churches are the Emmanuel Anglican Church, Ugbo-Okpala (1918); St. Anthony's Catholic Church Ugbonabor (1933); St. Bridget's Catholic Church, Ngene Ugbo (1935; and the Christ Apostolic Church, Ugbo-Okpala.

Festivals[edit]

Ugbo celebrates Native as well as Christian festivals. Prominent native feasts include Iriji ohu (new yam festival) which is observed yearly; the famous Aju (Iwa ekwa-age grade celebration) which comes every three years in the month of August; and Olili Anu Ogulugu, which is also commemorated at three-year intervals. It is worthy of note that the Olili Anu Ogulugu has lost steam in recent years due to the growing popularity of Christian religion in the town. The common Christian celebrations are the Christmas and Easter, marked every year for the birth of Jesus Christ and his ascension to heaven, respectively.

Education[edit]

The town has two secondary schools: Community Secondary School Ugbo-Okpala, and Community Secondary School, Ngene-Ugbo. It also has a Computer centre, three primary schools in the three main villages, and other private schools.

Healthcare[edit]

The entire community is served by the Community Health Center Ugbonabor constructed by an age grade.

Water[edit]

Primary source of water is the famous Oji-River, which originates at Ishi Oji in Agu Ewa in Ugbo. The river traverses through the entire town before flowing to the neighboring communities. Ugbo witnessed modern developments in water resources through the construction of Ugbo Dams and Water projects. Both were originated during the governments of Presidents Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan regimes but currently abandoned.

Road[edit]

Ugbo boasts of two major roads: the 5 km Ugbo-Achi and 4 km Ugbo-Mmaku roads. These roads saw wide-scale construction activities during the Jonathan regime but are currently abandoned by contractors.

Economics[edit]

Ugbo has a diversified economic base. The town is blessed with highly qualified manpower as evidenced by individual successes in the fields of agriculture, education, politics, trade and industry. Ugbo is also endowed with abundant but untapped natural resources, including stones, clay, iron, fertile land, and traces of coal and gas deposits. The agricultural mainstay of the town is cocoyam and cassava cultivation. The Ugbo cocoyam (Ede ndi Ugbo) is the choice of buyers who travel from all parts of Southern Nigeria to the central market, Nkwo Ugbo where sellers from the three main villages converge after four market days.

Culture[edit]

Ugbo has diverse cultures which unfortunately are faltering due to the influence of Christianity in the community. The town once had a rich masquerade culture where each village sported their best masquerades. There are also the women's dance groups adorned in their native attire who entertain during ceremonies.

See also[edit]