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History of Obiaruku

History of Obiaruku

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Published by Kaine Edike A

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Kaine Edike A on Jun 12, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/20/2014

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HISTORY OF OBIARUKU (EKPEMILI) PEOPLE OF UKWUANI
A
well grown town extending 18 kilometers north of the River Ethiope and a predominant trade zone found in the southern part of Nigeria. It shares borders to thenorth with the Benin division (fondly called the Idus by Ukwuani), on the south by her inherent brothers (the Akashiada clan), on the west by her neighboring Edoid settlers (theUrhobos) and the south east by fellow Ukwuani’s, Umukwata.The geographical position of Obiaruku, places the town at a focal point of trade betweenher boundary counterparts, the Akashiadas, the Urhobos, the Ikas and her former heritagethe Idus. The town is a growing rural centre and head quarters of the Ukwuani localgovernment council area the last in three local government areas given to the secondlargest ethnicity in delta state of Nigeria.Obiaruku settlers are inherent farmers, yams and cassava are cultivated for subsistenceand export, and the men are both farmers and fishermen. Other variety of cash anddomestic crops are cultivated such as the melon, Pumpkin leaves, local beans, Maize andother crops. The women also assist their husbands and have the rights to trade producethat are meant for cash income at the market (Afia ogbe). During the early 20
th
century,Obiaruku was a dominant commercial region for palm produces, Rubber and timber hence the location of the African Hardwood Company just across the River Ethiope inOkuzu quarters of the town during the mid term of the 20
th
century.At the time of the arrival of the colonial masters Obiaruku was already a fully integratedtown and reports have it that there were five recognized quarters at the time:1Ogbe Obiaruku (Ogbe aka and Ogbe ofu )2Umu Edede3Okuzu ( Obodoagu )4Obi Ugbe5Umu Esume.
 
TRADITIONAL HISTORICAL LINE OF ORIGIN
Though there’s no controversy on the heterogeneity of the Obiaruku clans in tracingtheir very foremost heritage through the Benin kingdom. However from varyingaccounts and information’s from elders across constituent quarters of Obiaruku it is of  paramount importance and need that we discuss the very sole father of our origins.As it is known and invariably undisputed the first wave of migrants from Benin tosettle in the Ukwuani nation were the Umu-Akashiada, Ebedei and the Akarai clansoccupying the best parts of the country with no disputes? This migration was said to be around the 13
th
to 14
th
century during the reign of the Ogiso’s of Benin. Among theearly settlers, the Umu Akashiada claim to be the earliest settlers in the Ukwuaniland. Akashiada was said to be a warrior then and was the father of Okpo, Ezie andEbu while there was a fourth son called Ovilli from the second wife usuallyrecognized as the unfavoured wife.After the death of Akashiada around the early 14
th
century, the first settlement at Umuoshi in now Eziokpor became too congested for all the settlers. And hence as it istraditional and customary of the Ukwuani’s, Okpo the eldest son was betrothed withthe inherent centralized geographical settlement, while Ezie was given the lands tothe east and Ebu being the youngest was given to the west and Ovilli being theunfavored son with his mother whom is very much believed to be of the UrhoboExtraction migrated further east to the current Abraka inland and integratedvehemently with other settlers there.After these migrations, Okpo’s settlement became known as Eziokpor, Ezie’ssettlement became known as Ezionum and Ebu’s settlement became known asUmuebu literary meaning the descendants or children of Ebu. It should be noted thatEbu settled at first in Obi Agbuluga then moved to Obi ata before finally settling at present site called Umuebu just an Opposite of Obiaruku.
 
In Eziokpor history holds it that a section of the next Aboh conquering party stoppedand founded the Umu- Esume quarters of Eziokpor. Also a group of people fromOgume joined and linked up with the infamous Ebo-odu family of ogbeiso quarters inUmuebu still.Today current and unfounded literature holds it that one Nmorka founded Obi Aluku(Customarily called Obiaruku) in the middle of the 19
th
century during a huntingexpedition from Umuebu and that he hails from umu Ojugbeli in Umuebu. This factis widely disputed by the Okuzu and Umu-Esume quarters of Obiaruku.Though there is not much to contemplate further as Okulugbo, 2004 mentioned thatthe then Morka (a man whose very origin has been disputed seriously and muchacclaimed to have hailed from our Ika neighbors) founded the Ogbe-aka quarters of  present Obiaruku hence he is right because such hunting expeditions were notuncommon, but what holds wrong in that fact is that he definitely had met alreadysettlers at the more centralized Okuzu region. Because the whole current regionreferred to now was known as Obi Ugbo and Obi Nkwu strectching from Okuzu present site to the very ancestry boundary near present day Owa-Abbi. Now let’s takethe whole table historically to during the reigns of Oba Evwuare the great and later Oba Esigie.According to elders of the Umuebu and Eziokpor clans, legend, history and even prominent folk tales in the whole clan hold it that during the famous invasioncampaigns of the Oba’s around the 16th century, the Monarchy of the Benin regularlysent in intimidating parties to frustrate the various Akashiada clans into payinghomage through reputable hospitality and recognition measures and failure to meet upwith such expectations such clans were immediately subjected to sudden annexation.It was recorded in the Benin archives and also evident in folktales all over theAkashiada clans that Umuebu being the strongest and most populated of theAkashiada clans withstood the Edo warriors and refused to pay tribute forcing them

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Michael Meekydon added this note
thanks for making me known this as an indigen of obiaruku but to share pls, and where else can we find more details and any book guiding this history. Thanks
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Ezekiel Mathews Ebiurhie added this note
This is a very biased write-up on the side of the Urhobo, I think this writer needs to accord respect to the Urhobo nation. What is the references for this book. Lets be guided.

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