History On How The Igbos Migrated To Different States In Southern Nigeria In The Olden Days

History On How The Igbo Tribe Migrated To Different States In Southern Nigeria In The Olden Days

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First of all, Igbo is not a tribe, Igbo is a nation. A nation with different tribes. Now let us talk about history and migration. There are many reasons I don’t believe in States. I don’t confine me being Igbo to mere geographical and political boundary called State.

That’s why when some ask me where I come from I tell them Igbo land. The state has limited us as a people.

Take for instance, someone from “Igboụzọ” (Ibuza) will be claiming Delta Igbo or not Igbo at all because they are in Delta not knowing that the progenitor of “Igboụzọ” was from “Isuama” Igbo (now Imo State). A man from “Ọgwashị-Ukwu” might be claiming Delta and not Igbo not knowing the progenitor was from “Nshi” (the original name of Nri).

History On How The Igbo Migrated To Different States In Southern Nigeria In The Olden Days

Do you know that “Ọrọfịa” in Anambra State were descendants of “Ọhafịa” in Abịa State? Do you know that “Ezza-Mpụ” in “Aninri” Enugu State migrated from the “Ezza” people who settled predominantly in the northern part of Ebọnyị State?

Do you know that many people from Ebọnyị State are carved into Benue? Do you know that some parts of Abịa were carved into Akwa Ibom and Rivers?

“Igbo-Echee” was supposed to be in Imo but now in Rivers. “Ọhaji-Egbema” is in Imo State, but it’s divided, some “Ọhaji” in Rivers State and some in Imo. Those in Rivers will say they aren’t Igbo but Rivers. Rivers is it an identity? Rivers mean water.

In Arọchukwu, there is “Ibom”. There is “Ọrọ” in Arọchukwu. These are Ibibio languages. But because of contact and linguistic as well as cultural assimilation, they speak Igbo. History has it that the “Arọ” had a fight with them and chased them, as it was in the olden days, survival of the fittest.

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If you go to war with a community and win, you take over the territory. But what we can’t take away is the proximity of Arọchukwu with Akwa Ibom. You can go to Ikot Ekpene by “ọkara” to Arọchukwu. If you are going to Arọchukwu from “Bende”, you must pass “Itu”. Itu is in Akwa Ibom. It’s also a boundary of Igbo land (Itu Mbaụzọ).

In “Ọhafịa”, some bear names like “Mfong”, “Inyang”, “Mong”, “Akpan”, etc. They are Igbo. They also eat “Efik” food. The proximity gave in to cultural borrowing. Even the “Ibini Ụkpaabi” of “Arọchukwu” was an Efik/Ibibio deity. Some parts of “Ọkpọsị” migrated from “Ikwo”, “Ụmụakụma” migrated from “Uturu”, Abia State. Some migrated from “Ọmọkụ”, Rivers State from a town called “Ọkpọsị”. Some migrated from “Anịnri”, some migrated from Benue and settled in “Ọkpọsị”, and assimilated into one culture and language known as “Ọkpọsị” language.

Igbo is Igbo. No one is more Igbo than another. We all at one time travelled from one place to another and settle there.

In my village, some kindred migrated from “Akpụọha”. Akpụọha has a boundary with Afikpo and Cross River State. We are now one family except some elders tell you, as I got information and researched about the migration of every kindred in my village. We are one community now with the same ideology, culture and mindset. Human nature is beautiful and complex.

If our grandfathers who died in 1966 wake up now and hear Anambra, Imo, Abịa, Ebonyi, Enugu, they will ask us; “what is that?”

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It was because the Igbo wanted to leave Nigeria that made Gowon and co, as advised by the British government, create States. They really achieved their aim. Now you can look down on someone because he comes from a different state that’s not yours.

You see why history should be told. Igbo is one. If we should dig your history, where you are claiming as your ancestral home now, must have been where your ancestors migrated to.

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