FUSION OF TRIBES IN EDO LAND
NIGERIA, WEST AFRICA.
The early people of Eka (Ika) emigrated from Benin wave by wave. The first wave was headed by a man named Eka, the founder, by whose name the land is known. Eka was the founder and first settler of Ẹvbo-Eka, afterwards Agbọr, according to the name of its conqueror, Agban, the Ezọmọ of Benin.
Agbọr, the first settlement, is the capital town of Eka. Then followed others in successive waves, but the language of the Ibos, their neighbours, especially those who migrated from Ibo land to settle with them, ultimately predominated over their original Bini tongue or speech. They however, still retain some of the customs, institutions, style of dress etc, the same ways and methods of worshipping the gods. The first Obi was sent to Agbọr by the Ọba of Benin to be their ruler. Likewise the other towns in Eka respectively.
All the Obis of Eka were installed in office by the Ọba of Benin, at Benin City, in the early days, and also given the Sword of Office (Ada) on special application. They owe allegiance to the Ọba of Benin, their overlord at Benin City.
The following are the Chief towns in Eka: Then
- Abavo (Avbavbo)
Obika, the previous Obi of Agbọr was sent to Benin City to study the Local Administration in 1933, and the Obi of Ọwa was sent for the same thing in 1934. All the Ibo-speaking people on this side of the River Niger were early Bini emigrants to the various towns or places. The language of the Ibos on the other side of the River Niger, two settled with them through bartering and adventurous instincts, predominated over their original Bini tongue.
The early people of Esan or Ishan were Bini emigrants from the first and second periods of the Benin Empire. Esan is the name of the first man who migrated from the City of Benin and became the founder and progenitor of Esan; then others respectively according to their different localities. Their first Enije were mostly princes of Benin who founded the various towns.
Of course, all the Enije (or the ruling princes of Ishan) were installed in office by the Ọba of Benin, at Benin City. Some of them were and are still given the Sword of Office (Ada) by the Ọba on special application. They owe allegiance and tribute to the Ọba their overlord at Benin City through the chiefs of Benin who were in charge of the various towns and countries under the Benin Empire in those days.
Erhumwusẹe (or Eromosẹle) was installed in office in 1895 as the Ojirrua of Irrua and made the Ọka-Ijesan by Ovọnramwẹn and also given the Sword of Office (Ada). On his visit to Benin in 1917, Eromosele was received with a degree of cordiality and alacrity by Ọba Ẹweka II and the chiefs of Benin. He was awarded many precious things by the Ọba. His son Mọmọdu also made several visits to Benin City to see the Ọba his overlord. In 1941, Isidahomhen (Isidahomwẹn) the son and successor of Mọmọdu was sent to Benin City to study the advanced Benin Native Administration under Uku Akpọlọkpọlọ Akenzua II, the Ọba of Benin for two weeks.
The present Ọkaigun of Iguẹbẹn was awarded as Sword of Office (Ada) by Ọba Akenzua II.
Then the following are the towns in Esan:
- Ẹbhoisa (Ẹvboisa)
- Ẹwohimi (Ẹvboikhinmwin)
- Uzea (Uzia)
- Ozigono (River Port of Ishan)
- Uro (Urohi)
Ọmọrọdiọn, popularly known as Ọdiọn by the people of Uwokha was one of the older sons of Ọba Ẹwẹka I, the son of Oni Ọranmiyan of Ifẹ. He ranked next to the eldest son Ọmọnuza of Use. Ọmọrọdiọn’s claim to the crown after the death of their father was passed over. He, in consequence, left Benin City in anger with his family and followers and became the bounder of Uwokha in Ivbiosakọn. He said: “I am going to find abode in Uwọha (or bush) rather than be called a prince of Benin”. The name Uwoha was afterwards corrupted to Uwokha.
Here Ọzọlua sought refuge when he was banished from Benin City in 1473 before he became Ọba of Benin. From Uwokha, Ọzọlua founded Ora. Ọzọlua with Uzẹba. His followers from Benin were the early people of Ora. He left Uguan, one of his sons, in his home at Ora, when he became Oba of Benin. The Oras are generally known as Ivbi-Ọzọlua or “the Children of Ọzọlua”.
The, the important towns in Ora are:
- Evbiobe or Sabongida
- Afunje Emai
- Ukhuse, etc.
The majority of people in Kukuruku (now Afenmai), or the Etsako are Benin emigrants. Auchi people migrated from Udo, Jato people from Ikpe, Uwarake people from Ezide, for refusal to bring a leopard killed to the Ọba of Benin at Benin City, according to custom. The inhabitants of Ibie (Ivie) are from Ogbọka, Benin City; Ikpesi people from Isi, Benin Division; early Okpera people from Ọkha. The agbede, Alegbete and Uneme people are from Idunmwingu-Ugbọha, Benin City; the early settlers of Ekperi from Ọbadan, Benin Division. People in Agenibodẹ were the guards of the Benin Royal troops during the Idah war. Agenibodẹ means (Agọ nibodẹ) or “camp of the guard”. The early people of Ihevbe, or now Isevbe, were from Ehọ in Benin Division.
The founder of Okpe was a Bini who was sent to Ifẹ on a special embassy. Having returned, he, in furry, left with his family and followers and became the founder of Okpe. But the Olokpe of Okpe was the son of Ọba Ọzọlua who was sent there as a ruler of the people years afterwards. Others are offshoots of one of these.
WHO IS AN EDO PERSON
The great Benin Empire had expanded to Idah in the north, Atlantic ocean/sea and Lagos in the south, River Niger in the east, Nupe kingdom in the north-east, Ọyọ kingdom north-west. Benin emigrants went as far as to Dahomey (Republic of Benin), the Ga people of Accra-Ghana left from Benin in about 1300A.D. However, over time they were unable to consolidate their gains. Today, Benin is at its original base from where it all started, yet the character of Benin/Edo people for resilient and strength of character remains with them, at home or in the Diaspora even where the language is lost to external influence or culture.
At present, the known Edos occupies the seven Local Government Areas of Ẹdo South-Senatorial District in Ẹdo State of Nigeria. Benin area (Edo-South) with reference to 2006 National Census is rated as the highest populated area in Edo State with a population of 1,678,411, Edo Central: 587,858 and Edo North 952,063 respectively, having a land mass of 10900sqm.mk, 2799sq.km, and 6148sq.km in that order.
The language spoken by the Benins is Ẹdo language which our kit and kin in Edo State Central and North Senatorial Districts has semblance of language or dialects, yet of the same stock, even with those ethnic groups in Delta State.
Benin City is the capital of Ẹdo State, the seat of the monarch, a commercial city yearning for industrialization with its rural agricultural settlements that abound in the local government areas that surrounds it. We have Ẹdo people who speak Edo language that is the Benins.
- Ẹdo People who speak Esan Language
- Ẹdo People who speak Eka Language
- Ẹdo People who speak Oran Language
- Ẹdo People who speak Etsakọ Language
- Ẹdo People who speak Urhobo Language
There are many Ẹdo people who do not speak Edo language, but speak other languages; we are all brothers (EDO PEOPLE).