|Posted by Edonaze on May 29, 2011 at 2:57 PM|
Abolish Edoid Group of Race for One Edo Nation or Edoid Nation!
For The Future Of The Ediod Nation of Nigeria
By Uwagboe Ogieva
28th May 2011
“United we stand, divided we fall” – Unknown
“The more united a people become the more powerful they are.”--unknown
According to internet Dictionary, there are more than 25 Edoid group of dialects present today in southern Nigeria. Edoid is taken from word Edo. Edo is what the Ancient Benin people spoke and called themselves as stated by Ben-Amos, Paula on Encyclopedia of World Cultures, 1996. quote:
"Edo" is the name that the people of the Benin Kingdom give to themselves, their language, and their capital city and kingdom. Renowned for their art of brass and ivory and for their complex political organization, the Edo Kingdom of Benin is one of the best known of the pre-colonial kingdoms on the Guinea Coast of West Africa. From at least the fifteenth century, the Benin Empire held varying degrees of authority over neighbouring peoples, including the western Igbo, north-eastern Yoruba, and various related Edo-speaking groups. In 1897 British-colonial forces conquered the kingdom and made it part of the Niger Protectorate. Today it is incorporated into the modern state of Nigeria.
Edo is Benin in the English co-relation term for Edo(Edo grammar), and the popularly known Benin Empire is Edo or Edoid Empire, which was one great nation but in diversities. Edo was a "generic name given to a group of people who have a common ancestor and have a common language, with some different variants, depending on the distance between the group and the " tap root, " residing in and around the present day Benin City. A land, political state, people, race, language and the principal city called Edo. Understanding fundamental principles of the Edoid group of race means understanding the Benin(Edo) language, people and history. Before 1897 and the birth of Nigeria with diverse language and dialects today, the Edoid – Benin Kingdom was one great nation, except for few that have mix up with immigrants in other kingdoms like the burno, Ashanti, Oyo and mid igbos. It should be well noted that Edoid dialects of today have there deep roots and affiliation in the Benin-Edo language, mainly spoken in southern part of Edo state. The Edo/Edoid language is said to be, of the Kwa-Niger group of languages according to Linguist.
Relating to the ownstory of the Benin: Many centuries ago, at the time when Benin was called Igodomingodo, that geographical area now known as Benin, was the hob of a conglomeration of little towns that developed or spread into most of the areas of modern Bendel State, now further represented by South South geo political zone of Nigeria. Throughout that period, lgodomingodo made steady progress especially in the areas of spiritual, philosophical and administrative development. Its efforts were largely concentrated on the arrangement of human order so that by the time Europeans made contact with the people of Benin in the 15th century, they had already established an administrative system which, till this day, baffled the Europeans and earned for the Capital of this "far flung" African country, the appellation "City". The nucleus of this great civilization was the monarchy which the Binis perfected around the 18th century when, after a series of experimentation with the Ogiso, and some of the past-Ogiso Obas, they introduced a monarchical system that is based on the principle of primogeniture, beginning with Ewuakpe, about 1712 A. D.From the days of Owodo until now, the system of direct ascension has endured making the Benin Royal family one of the oldest families in Africa. It's history spans more than 800 years. Benin City remains today as conservative as it ever was. Shifting slowly, sometimes uneasily, under the pressures or demands of modernity, Benin recognizes that all living organisms (including states and cities) change. That change has reduced to mere historical fact the political influence Benin exercised over places such as Eko (Lagos) which she founded at the time of Oba Orhogbua (about 1550 A.D.) Ghana, Dahomey, both across the borders of modern Nigeria; Onitsha on the Niger and many other places such as Asaba, Agbor, lssele-Uku, Warri, ldah etc. Many of these towns actually owe their corporate existence to Benin. Since inter-action between African kingdoms began around the 14th century, Benin found herself in a unique geographic position by occupying mid -way between what the early Europeans referred to as the "Yoruba country" and the "lbo country". This proximity to the two areas no doubt broadened the outlook of the Benin in later years.
Amongst group of dialects and clans of the Edoid race mostly seen in present Edo-Delta, Rivers and part of Ondo State are the Afemais known as Ivbiosakon by those living in and around Benin City to the north of Ishan/Esan clan, Akoko-Edos based in Igarra, Ibillo and its environs to the north of Afemais, The Owans-Oras occupying Eme, Sabogida-Ora, Afuze, etc. Uhobe and Ifon in Ondo State, Ekas-to East of Benin. A sizeable chunk of the Edo speaking people flow across River Niger and ending at Onitsha, Isoko, Urhobo, Itsekiris and about 70% percent of western Izon (Ijaws) in Ndegeni and its environs, A sizeable chunk of the Edos is found in River States and Balyesa States e.g. aduge in kwara state, Degema, lga, Atala, Usokun, Ediro, Inedua, Ogua in rivers state, Ivhimion, Emai, Iuleha, Epie, Atissa, Eruwa, Erohwa, Erakwa, Arokwa, Ekpon, Ghotuo, Ikpeshi, Ndokwa, Ivbie, Okpela, Arhe, Iyayu called Idoani, Okpamheri, Okpe, Ososo, Sasaru-Enwan, Uhami, Ukue-ehuen, Uneme, Urhobo, Uvbie, Yekhee, Auchi, Uzairue, south Ibie, Uwepa-uwano (weppa wano), Avianwu (fugar), Aviele, Ivhiadaobi, Izon, Western Ijaws. In Ogba land, Diobu, Port Harcourt and a sizeable now Yorubanised in Ondo, Ekiti, Lagos and Ogun States. There are many Edos in Ekiti land, Idoani, Idanre etc going through life in Nigeria with Yoruba names. Acculturation taking place. You are either a Yoruba man or you go nowhere, according to Prof. Iyi Eweka
Before I continue, will like to use Chris Okafor' quote on his article “The Origin of Ogwashi-Uku, Anioma, and The rest of Delta Ibos:
“What really is the point of trying to teach anything to anybody?’ This question seemed to provoke a murmur of sympathetic approval from up and down the table. ‘What I mean is that if you really want to understand something, the best way is to try and explain it to someone else. That forces you to sort it out in your mind. And the more slow and dim-witted your pupil, the more you have to break things down into more and more simple ideas. And that’s really the essence of programming. By the time you’ve sorted out a complicated idea into little steps that even a stupid machine can deal with, you’ve learned something about it yourself.’ - Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Agency Detector ”.
Chris Okafor continued that the chronological history of early settlements in Ogwashi-Uku can authoritatively portray the following facts that the Ikelike people from the Bini kingdom were the first to settle in Ogwashi-Uku (see Ben Nwabua, Ogwash-uku Kingdom, 1000 Years of Traditional Democracy and Cultural Life, 950-1914). Both traditional and empirical sources gives credence that Ikelike people were the first set of immigrants to settle in the present Ogwashi-Uku as against the notion that Adaigbo who purportedly came from Nri in present Anambra State today is the founder of Ogwashi-Uku. So far, no counter claim has been made on this. According to Ogwashi-Uku intelligence report by Mr. J.E Hull, the then Assistant District Officer dated on the 9th of April 1936, the Ikelike people from all indications migrated from Benin to settle where they are found themselves today, because of a reign of wanton persecution of subjects by the then Benin Monarch, Oba Eweka 11. The story further goes that at the head was Odigie Ikelike with his younger brother Ado who later founded Adonta, a relatively small village close to Azungwu in Ogwashi-uku today. The Ikelike migrants were said to be politically averse and could not, therefore evolve an orderly method of governance even though there were small in number. Jull`s report further went on to point out that because of such indisposition towards an effective means of governing themselves, it cost them the political leadership they were first to settle in. Rather, Adaigbo, the prince from Nri later came, controlled the situation and imposed leadership based on Igbo customs and tradition on them and what later became Ogwshi-Uku kingdom. Adaigbo’s imposed of republican system, however, later gave way to the hereditary system of the Benins .
Oba Ewuare and Ozolua is traditionally regarded as the gladiators, ancestral fathers and founder of most towns and villages during their reign as Oba. He fought these wars as mater plan of re-uniting the great Edo family who were dispatched and scatered away from the kingdom with many emigrations duriing ogiso period and the reign of subsiquent political leaders who were in one way or the other making strict policies and strong laws. There were emigrations due to family problems, communial disagreements, economic and marital factors. The Ilaje community at Okitipupa and its environs, for example, the Ishans/Esans were principally the medicine men and warriors of the ancient empire. They were the medical practitioners. Following Prof Iyi Eweka's narrative: The chieftancy groups responsible for the Oba's well being were dominated by Ishan/Esan descendants. The Ivbiosakon (Afemais) were the dental surgeon of the palace. That is the origin of the name Ivbiosakon. Oba Esigie assigned that function to them in the c1500's.The Owan/Ora people were the propitiators of the physical earth for the Oba of Benin. It was their responsibility to prevent things like earthquake, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanoes and anything associated with geological disturbance to occur in Benin. In short, they were the geologists and weathermen of their day, forecasting and preventing physical calamities. Those we call Benins today, were the traditional bureaucratic administrators and military generals. The Izons (Ijaws) were the " Ozigue" -Sailors. The Ekas were farmers. They were in charge of the royal farms. The Ibos across the Niger call the Edos, Idu, the name of the progenitor of Edo race, the Yorubas call us Ado, which is a corruption of the word Edo. However, the Itsekiris, another sub group in the Edo clans call us Ubini. Tradition asserts that it is derived from Ile-ibinu, which is descriptive of the exasperation and frustration encountered in Benin City, by Prince Oranmiyan of Ile-ife. A further research may prove that, it was the Itsekiris who gave that name, to the people living in and around Benin City. The Itsekiris told the white man of the powerful overlord living in Igodomigodo. It was the Itsekiris who told the Whiteman that the name of the tribe of this powerful king was Ubini a term which Whiteman corruptly wrote down as Benin. For example, the name of the eldest daughter of Oba Osewende, the mother of the Osulas and the Aiwerioghene is today known as Aghayubini. A closer examination of that name would reveal that the name is an Itsekhiri phrase-" The Ubini Lady or woman " i.e. the woman from Benin. Aghayubini was a very wealthy trader among the Itsekiris, from whence she got the money she used, is getting the throne for her brother, who became Oba Adolo. An Itsekhiri descriptive phrase has simply over powered her original Edo name, to the extent that nobody knows anything about it now. The ancient Edo/Benin Empire covered the whole of Bendel, parts of Bayelsa State. The second son of the Enogie of Brass, popularly known as “Iyase ne ohenmwen” became the Iyase of Benin under Oba Osewende. Iyase Ohenmwen is the ancestor of the Otokitis, the Okeaya-Inneh and the Aiwerioghenes of Benin today. He went further to explain that The Edoid race covers the Igbo-speaking areas of Delta State stretching to Onitsha. That the actual title of the Obi of Onitsha is Aigboghidi. The historical Chief Agho Obaseki of Oba Ovoranmwen era and later the Iyase of Benin under Oba Eweka II, was a descendant of the second son of Enogie of Nsukwa now in Delta State. It extended to the whole of Ondo State, parts of Ekiti and Ogun State and the whole of Lagos State including Badagry. It stretched to southern Dahomey (Republic of Benin) and on to the coast of Togo and Ghana.
Again, the Benin - Uzea war for example have it that Oba Ozolua (1481-1504 CE) , left his son call Ugan to be the Enojie of Uromi, After the war. He beat the people of Uzea near Uromi to a pulp when there was a revolt. Ozolua invasion of Uromi/Uzea was basically to bring them under control of the Benin kingdom and the people of Uzea/Uromi were happy and welcomed his reunion peace plan to bringing the people of Uromi/Uzea [early emigrants from Benin, during Ogiso and Ewuare strong rule] back again to their ancestral lordship of the Benin Kingdom. He extended his carnage to Uromi when the Enogie was reported to have been rude to his messengers. He went up through Akoko land, wandering into Nupe lands where he acquired a lot of sophisticated weaponry then. Attacked the Igallas and Igbirras in the present Kogi and Kwarra states. After spending the greater part of his life in Ora, he left behind his son Ugan and returned to Benin City were he was murdered on his way. But before he left, he proclaimed everybody free men and free women, entitled to enjoy the privileges of Edo princes and Princesses, for all the services they had rendered in his military campaigns and reunion peace plan. That is why the Oras and Afemai call themselves today, the children of Ozolua. The Ogbas people trace their ancestral origin to Ancient Benin Empire, a migration they said, took place during the reign of Oba Ogun whose two sons were Ezuwarha and Edaiken. In Ogba myth of origin, Akalaka is the founder of Ogba nation by Ben-Fred Ohia and Henry O. Onyedibia on the Ogba Nation 1460-2003 Volume 1 (19). Akalaka left benin were he was born during war , married a Benin girl called Iyavaeme. Before leaving, prepared some charms which he placed on his bow and arrow, shot into the air that directed him to the destination where he and his followers, eastward. The number of years it took Akalaka to get to the Ogba and Ekpeya present day location cannot be easily estimated because of orality of the narrative. Ekpeye was the first of the three sons of Akalaka.
By theodore Anani on Afemai People of Nigeria, Oba ozolua´s reign marked what one might called a migration plaque. During his reign mass migration of different tribes and at different times were recorded. The Edos speaking people of north-east of Benin city migrated to their present home lands in groups in Ozolua´s reign. Some had left to escape pains, conscription and for refusal to bring to the Oba leopard skins as the custom dictated. The migration of the Etsako peoples- the Ibies, Uzairues, the Avhianwus, the Weppa Wanos, the Auchis, the Agbedes, the Okpellas, the Avhieles, the Jagbes and the Anwains- had been associated with these movements. Azama, who later become the great Ancestral Father and the Foster father of the peoples who today form two thirds of Etsakor, was a Bini by birth. Azama married his first wife called Ughiosomhe for whom he had four sons. They were Imekeyo, Ikphemhi, Anwu and Omoazekpe. Azama married another woman Etso for whom he had two sons. Eppa and Ano. The marriage with Azama has been Etso´s second. Her first son, Uneme, was from her first marriage. Etso married for the third time after Azama´s death and had her fourth son, Ekperi. All sons and parent lived happily together in Bini.
The Itsekhiris by J.O.S Ayomike states that a party from the Benin Royal family about the end of the 15th century set up a monarchy which constituted erstwhile autonomous mini-communities into a nationality that exist till today. Prof. P. C Lloyd says that "in the English literature they are known as Warri or Jekri, though in the 19th century they were often referred to as Benin since contacts with them were first made on the banks of the Benin River". Here was a Kingdom founded by the royal party from Benin, but by the early sixteenth century through th e seventeenth, it had done so much overseas trade to match or exceed that of the mother - kingdom; the reason being its advantageous position within the empire on the rim of the Atlantic. The Itsekiri speak Yoruba dialect also whose vocabulary has been widened by the infusion of a large number of Portuguese, Bini and English words.As an introduction of the influence of the Bini culture in Itsekiri land, it is pertinent to recall part of the address presented to Prince Solomon I.A Akenzua, then Edaiken of Uselu (now His majesty the Oba of Benin by the Itsekiri community in Benin) by the Itsekiri community in Benin on the occasion of his retirement from public service and return home in 1973.
The Ika historical accout have it that Umunede Kingdom was founded by a Benin Prince, called Ede and his wife, Iye who migrated from Benin and settled in the present location, later known as Umunede. The exact date of migration of Ede and his wife from Benin was not recorded but generally, historians put the approximate period as the Thirteenth Century A.D., during the reign of Oba Ewedo The Great (1250-1280 A.D.) Thus, the Kingdom is over seven hundred years old and many historians believed that Umunede Kingdom is one of the oldest kingdoms east of the Benin Empire. Historians had contended that during Oba Ewedos reign, the Oba had two battles to fight: a diplomatic battle against the great nobility led by the Ediommehan and military battles against Ogiamien III in order to destroy once and for all this anti-royalist movement. As a result of these events, many princes and noble men fled with their families to different safe locations. The second wave of migration to Umunede probably took place under Oba Ewuare The Great (1440-1485). During his reign, an attempt to eliminate members of the nobility who were threatening the monarchy gathered momentum and brought about another wave of migration out of the Benin Empire.
The Urhobo history generally began from an Edo territory supposedly around where the ancient town of Udo and Benin City are currently located. At the end of the Ogiso dynasty, many Urhobo and Edo-groups left Udo in different directions, each at its own pace, in search of more peaceful territories. It was natural that in those compelling circumstances, peace loving and less powerful Edo-groups had to leave the territory to seek fortunes in less populated but more economically resourceful territories. The Urhobo left under separate leaders in different directions to found separate governmental organization .Egharevba (1960:14), When some of the emigrant left Benin, they found in their destinations in Urhobo territory some Edo-speaking settlers. Each 22 socio-political unit was called a "clan" by earlier writers especially by British Colonial Officers in their various intelligence/assessment reports. The word Urhobo is used to describe the Urhobo group or clan of the Edoid race.
The orthographic composition of Edoid dialects are taken from the Benin(Edo) alphabets [a b d e ẹ f g h I k l m n o ọ p r s t u v w y z] with some double consonants varing from one dialect to the other. Basically all the edoid dialect have same alphabet with the Benin-Edo language.
Scholars have argued that, the lack of a structured and standardized language institution and documentation of the Edo language in early history of the great Benin Empire gave rise to its multiplicity of dialects, though language variations wasn't a problem as chiefs and traditional leader including the king's subjects could communicate perfectly, a developed common language problem, at least by writing resulted to lots of today's mistaken identity and doubt of a common ancestral lineage. Brothers of same father or mother, now enemies or strangers. While this identity crisies not only peculiar to the Edoid race because most descendants of slave still finding their root in west Africa, it is therefore important to note that factors like inter-marriages with other ethnic nationalities, travelling abroad, use of foreign language [English in the case of Nigeria as national language], political and economic reasons have also contributed to these great changes. Most youth or children of the 21st century may find this obvious history and linguist afiliations uninteresting as they cannot or do not understand the present day Benin-Edo language because their dailect (to them ) is totally difference from Edo. Many have eventually come to find or see the central Benin(Edo) City, people and language as distance or probably other nationality in his entity. Again politicians are not standing on that ground to gain momentum, on their political carrier and corrupt motives, enriching themselves and family living the mass to huge, unemployment, illiteracy, poverty and underdevelopment. Sad but true some scholars are also becoming indulge to fairy tales of distorted histories and statics to suit their egos and clans loyalty in the name of ethnic nations. A menace to an Edoid civilizations that have thrived for centuries and scores of years before Nigeria was born. That children, whose grand parents were once Edos or Benins that travelled oversea countries like Germany, France, Italy, Holland, Spain, Japan, China, Senegal, Cape Verde, etc now nationals of other nation does not mean that their ancestral lineage is false being Benin or Edo.
The Edoid race as it is today wasn't how it was in pre-colonial times. Scholars like Dr. Nowa Omoigui on “The Benin-Urhobo relationship” drawing a dynamic linguistic affiliation between the Benin-Edo-Edoid language with the Urhobo. Presented the political analogy of the of “Benin and the Midwest referendum” connecting the Edoid race in the region. Prof. Iyi Eweka on “What is Edo” , Naiwu Osahon on “Edo civilization and Empire: The correct history of the Edo people of Nigeria” , Pa Anthony Enahora Autobiography and his paper on the proposal of 18 regional structure for Nigeria, Peter P. Ekeh on Ogiso and Eweka times: A preliminary history of the Edoid complex of culture, Uyilawa Usualele of the institute of Benin studies, on “Colonial State and Education Benin Division 1897 – 1959”, shared some light on the devastative effect and marginalization of the colonial administrative rule on the Benin people, education, land and politics including their divided and rule tactics employed to disorganise, destabilize a reunion and reformation of the great pre-colonial Benin-Edoid Empire. And recently Prof. Patrick Edobor Igbinovia on The future of the Benins in future of Nigeria delivered at the 12th Egharevba's memorial lecture at the Institute of Benin studies 2010, All commenting on historical co-relations of the Edoid race.
WHY EDOID – EDO NATION?
The world is changing. All across is a revolution going on starting with the suppose first Black president of the United State of America, Barack Obama, elected into presidency in the midst of economic crises and Bush war. People and integrity in action all over Arab world, building their lives and future, from Tunisians to Egypt, Egypt to Libya and to other parts of the continent. These is obvious over the place, on digital satellites and local broadcasts. Youths, women and children rising up to challenges designing better life and future for their generation unborn. The Edoid race is not left out on the blowing wind of change as they must break new grounds and boundaries to emerge a better nation of Nigeria, an exemplary Nation of diversities on the African hemisphere. Yes, with recent uprising by most Nigerian scholars, politicians, organisations and foreign commentators for a sovereignty national conference to restructure current states of the Nigeria federation to ethnic state or regional autonomy, it is therefore crucial that the Edoid race come together to forge a common future and linguistic fusion, using their shared and common language(Edo), culture, tradition, custom, and historical values.
National self determination and actualizations is not new in world history, if that is the fear. European countries have always had this historic advantage. The Germans for example, have always been one people. one culture, one language, one religion, one history, under the same political system for more than a 1000 years. They were separated into two countries by the allies only in 1945 - after world war ll. The Chinese always have been one people. one language, one culture, same history for close to 7000 years. Those on the island of Taiwan - traditionally a part of china - "escaped" theirs during the Mao communist revolution, and have been since sustained artificially as a "separate nation" by American might. The Koreans have always been one people - one language, one culture, one history for some 2-4000 years - until they were forcibly split up, again by the Americans - after the so-called Korean war - and it is the Americans who are still artificially maintaining south Korea as a viable nation. Czechoslovakia, the former soviet union, and Yugoslavia on the other, splited along its line of ethnic division. The Spanish too, though proclaim as one country, do have their various nations, with their language, political structure and future nations developed within. Recently southern Sudan splited with northern Sudan for a new nation born. Pakistan and Bangladesh were splited, and they have both moved on. Eritrea was carved from Ethiopia along its line of ethnic-religious divide and they have both moved on. so while not in Nigeria?
However, Inspite of all attempt by pan African scholars, politicians, revolutionary groups and organisation to unite, organise and develop Africa states, people and resources against their common enemies and exploiters, Africa still remains one of the most disorganise, disunited and underdevelopment nations on planet earth. Reasons range from wrong territorial and geographical boundaries of the colonial administrators, impositions of foreign language and religion, miss-education, deculturalization and above all wrong and corrupt leadership. Developing Africa means organising Africa and organising African means learning from history to correcting or ameliorating the present designing the future. A re-awakening, enlightenment, re-culturalization, building common linguistic unifications and territorial regionalization. The Edoid race must understand that to organise and develop Africa they must unite to form the Edoid nation. One people, One language(Edo as a national language), shared culture, education, politics, economy, industrialization, science and technology. Unity is strength translated from an ancient Benin philosophy quote “Akugbe ér'óh étin”.
The common values, history, culture and linguist relations in dialects around the Edoid group of language, including the Esan or Ishan makes their strong connection and affirmation obvious. In fact, the words “Edoid language ” directly related to “Benin language”.
What must be done to Implement the Edoid language as National language.
To discontinue the trend of more further duplicity and divide in Edoid race, Edo language should be encourage, thought and adopted by the Edoid Nation of Nigeria.
A bill should be passed by the federal and state house of Assembly on the Use of Edo language as the National Edoid Nation language.
This should be entrenched into the federal constitutional of Nigeria as the common and general future language of the South South geographical zone of Nigeria
Edo language should be use as one of the main language on media broadcasts in all communications media on the region.
Edo language should be included in primary and secondary school educational curriculum
More Books and Lecturers should be encourage, trained and employed.
All Universities in Edo-Delta-Rivers should have a departments of Studies for research, development and use of the Edo- Edoid language.
The Edoid race should seek their national vision from the cricket construct call Nigeria. Pursue a family unification extending as far north with Kogi, west with Ondo, Delta and River state. The Edoid race can form a viable Edoid nation where Edoid culture and language is use as national language along side English, under the same political system - if need be at least for the transition period with a general consencors from representatives of all mini-dialectical composition within its geographical zone. Edo or Edoid nation and people have suffered for too long in the body politics of Nigeria, and must no longer wish to continue the injustice and marginalization by WAZOBIA political / ruling elites. Denounce and minority statues because they are not minority but the largest Nation of Nigeria with diversities. Mobilize growth and develop across the region...Save the African children from further disintegration!
"They who have seen only a little vociferate about how much they have experienced, while they who have seen a great deal cannot even find the words to express what they have gone through" - EWUARE OGIDIGAN (The great) Oba of Benin 1440 AD - 1473 AD (A great Magician, Physician, Traveller and warrior; constructed Akpakpava street, created the Edaiken title, renamed the land Edo and the first Oba to come in contact with Europeans).
Long Live the Federal Republic of Edo
Long live the king!
Oba gha tor kpere Isee!
28th May 2011