Sunday, October 10, 2010

HISTORY AND TRADITION OF THE PEOPLE OF IGBO- ETITI

PREFACE
     In preparing mankind for the emerging world of the next century and beyond and for the inevitable global interdependence, researchers on history, ethnography and anthropology should not overlook the differences among people and cultures. The heterogeneity and homogeneity of people and their environments need to be seen against the backdrop of shared traits – our common biological and mental heritages as members of the human race; members of the same country, the same state and the same local government. Although we have certain cultural attributes in common, we differ in certain fundamentals, philosophy and outlook. For example, to an outsider our dialect is the same but among us the differences are clear.    Thus, this work aims to x-ray the differences in our people’s way of life and culture.
 Before I leave you to judge for yourself  the merits of this work, I must say the least that this work has not been an easy one, not only on the account of its scope but on the account of the newness of it’s character. According to an Italian philosopher “nothing is more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success than to take a lead in the introduction of a new order of things”. This is in view of the fact that very few of the communities in Igbo-Etiti LGA can boast of documented accounts of their history and way of life, thus majority of the communities required tedious exercises to gather/translate information from oral sources into legible form.
 On July 1, 2004, circulars for an inaugural meeting were sent out to fourteen communities in Igbo-Etiti LGA. The inaugural meeting was held on August 1, 2004 and those present registered; the name of the club was approved and it was also agreed to be an academic group, non-political and non religious and is, dependable and research oriented. Later on the venue for the meeting was shifted to Central School Igbodo in Ikolo from C.S.S. Ohebe Dim, on March 6, 2005. Members also agreed that the venue of meetings be rotated from one community to another, on monthly basis. 
 Research in a rural community is a difficult task especially when it touches on the history and culture of the people. We made sufficient effort to sell our mission and needs to others, yet people were suspicious and ignorant. Even members who started the race could not reach the end. We invited two members from each community, but we could not succeed in some communities. We invited write-ups from different intellectuals from some communities, but what we met was general apathy. It is very ironical to observe that those that failed us are intellectuals. How can we progress if intellectuals do not support research efforts on their people? Readers are likely going to discover some errors but we request our readers to bear with us and make their input in subsequent editions. These writers will surely come your way again.
 We thank those who contributed in no small measure to see to the success of this work especially our members and Editorial Consultants and other “big brothers” of ours who supported financially and morally throughout this serenade in adventure. We have tried to demonstrate that if the people of Igbo-Etiti should use the foregoing principles of the Writers Club and attend to other socio-political problems of the citizenry, their development will not only be based on a solid foundation but also will be accelerative in its tempo. If you are ready to learn, then let’s move together.
Simon Ezike
Editor-in Chief
Jan. 2009.

FORWARD
      I am very pleased to write this forward to the most outstanding literature on the history of Igbo Etiti people of Nsukka Senatorial Zone, Enugu State. The PORTRAIT is a novel and illuminating attempt to record the diverse history and culture of the various towns that make up Igbo Etiti Local Government Area. It is a well researched, incisive and educative compilation. Indeed the materials contained in this book could have been used to publish serial books but for the zeal, altruism and commitment of Igbo Etiti writers Club to leave a book of reference and identity for our people.
As I recommend this book to our Universities, researchers and all lovers of history, I pray that it will provoke further discussions on the subject matter of its discourse and lead to more publications.
John Nwodo Jnr
“Ike Nsukka”

FOREWORD
       It is a thing of joy that our young men are developing interest in life around them, they are asking questions about their origins: who they are, what makes them what they are and why they are. Curiosity leads to the desire to investigate. While investigation may throw up more questions than answers, it is a useful beginning of the road to the land of progress, development, cooperation and unity.
I am delightfully surprised that young men of Igbo Etiti were able to bring themselves together to write a book on the communities that make up the local government.  It takes courage, determination, excellent organizational ability, discipline and conviction to get over twenty young men from thirteen out of the fourteen communities that make up the local government to sit down and engage in the difficult and very demanding exercise of writing something worth reading. It did not escape me that no females were involved. This is a serious oversight that needs immediate remediation.
The more we write and the more we read, the more we discover ourselves, our strengths and weakness and the more we extend ourselves into others and thereby influence them positively or negatively.  Think of Chinua Achebe, one of whose books is so popular that it has been translated into more than fifty languages.  All those who read and studied the book know Achebe without ever seeing or touching him and he must have influenced all of them probably positively.
Igbo Etiti has everything to gain if our young men continue to cooperate in carrying out meaningful projects of cultural and aesthetic values.  Such interaction may lead to project cooperation such as in business, research, technology, social and religious organizations, all to the advantage of the area and its people.
This book of about 400 pages and which I would like to call, The Shadow, Smoke and Candle Light of Igbo Etiti is interesting and worth reading. The first thing that catches one’s attention is the struggle, the exertion of effort of the authors to express a perfectly understood phenomenon or story in a cultural setting quite unrelated to the culture of the foreign language of expression.  It is a daunting task especially to non-experts in history and anthropology.
One of the engaging topics in the book is the gallant attempt made by contributors to trace the origin of the various communities in Igbo-Etiti: Ikolo, Onyohor and Ukehe trace their origin from communities in present Udi area. Onyohor and Ikolo are said to be descended from Ugwunye and therefore blood relations of Affa, Egede and Nike, while Ukehe is one of the seven children of Ojebe Ogene (Ebe, Abor, Ukana, Awhum, Okpatu, Umulumgbe and Ukehe). Udueme claims Igalla paternity while Aku and Ekwegbe claim to be a mixed race of Igbo and Igalla.  A majority of Aku are said to be of Nshi (Nri in Awka) origin while some Ohemje people are said to be of Igalla.  In the case of Ekwegbe, part came from Akpugo, Ikem, Agulu (Awka) and Igalla. It is instructive that the black-smiting village in Ekwegbe answers Agulu (Eguru) while all black smiths are called Umu Eguru (Agulu).  Diogbe and Umunko claim to come from Eha-Amufu and Ikem (Isi-Uzo) respectively.  Ohodo claims to be blood relations of Obimo and Ogbodu Abba while parts of Ozala claim to come from Nkitiba Udueme. Ochima claims to be the father of all Igbo people so that Ochima is the central locus of dispersal of all Igbos.  Very interesting! Belief and acceptance of blood relationships among communities can be exploited fruitfully for political, social and economic ends. The very influential Nwodo family of Ukehe exploited the Ojebe Ogene identity to win overwhelming votes in the area during the governorship elections of 1990.
The relationship between Aku and Ekwegbe needs to be further explored.  It is claimed that Ekwegbe formed part of the Igalla descendants of Aku from where they moved to their present position through Umunna.  In fact there is a special relationship between Aku and Ekwegbe in which it is believed that all people who die in Aku pass through a special road in Ekwegbe on their way to the land of the spirits. While Ekwegbe people use the road, no Aku person has ever walked on the road.  By listening to the conversation and instructions from such dead people using the road, Ekwegbe people are able to inform and warn Aku people to observe or desist from certain behaviours or songs.  Twice in the life of the writer, Ekwegbe had sent word to Aku to stop certain popular songs and dances.  Within a few days of the recept of the news, the songs and dances were discontinued throughout the length and breadth of Aku
The Odo masquerade cult is a dominant cultural feature of Igbo Etiti area. With regard to the origin of the Odo, there is a puzzling unanimity.  All the contributors on this topic claim that Odo appeared first to a woman with a male child on her back.  If so, why are women not eligible for initiation into the cult? Another question is why the ten Odo towns represented in the book point to a woman as the first to see the Odo on its first apparition? It is worth investigating whether other Odo towns outside Igbo Etiti such as Neke, Ikem, Eha-Amufu and Ojebe Ogene Zone have the same story of origin of the cult.
This book is a must for every Igbo Etiti person.  A person who does not know where the rain started to beat him will not remember who gave him shelter from the rain. Wisdom is all around us but only disciplined intelligence know how to exploit it to advantage.  A good orator is one who treasures and learns from the thoughts of others including those of mad people.
There is life only in the past, the present is in the process of realization and the future is only a dream which, when realized, becomes the past.  This book is our past helping us to dream.
Prof. Lawrence Offie Ocho (KSM)
Okwesirieze, Enyiduru


FORWARD
      The portrait, a book on Igbo-Etiti people of Enugu State, is the result of a painstaking and praiseworthy research effort which has been conceived, supported, managed and collated by a patriotic group in Igbo-Etiti LGA that rightly calls itself “The Igbo-Etiti Writers Club”. The book is an assemblage of research results from earlier documented accounts on Igbo-Etiti people, oral or written documents from Igbo-Etiti elders/traditionalists and preserved records from colonial administration, government and religious missionaries. As far as records show, the portrait is the first-hand effort of Igbo-Etiti, as a cultural group, to produce a record of its historical, cultural, economic and political life.  Producing this portrait under a culture that has up to the recent past relied heavily on oral transmission of its history and way of life from one generation to the other is a very difficult task.  Naturally, the oral transmission of historical facts from one generation to the other has the disadvantage of losing details of the historical account and/or corrupting the authentic historical account.  As a result, what is contained in the portrait as the pre-colonial history of each of the 14 communities in Igbo-Etiti LGA constitute a skeletal but relatively exciting historical information on which more accurate details derived from future intensive and coordinated archeological research, can be built on.
 Over the period of British Colonial rule and post Colonial rule, the portrait contains fairly interesting information on Igbo-Etiti people’s culture, value systems and development.  This colonial and post colonial information includes the Odo cult, Omaba cult, religious beliefs and practices, traditional title taking, funeral rites, marriage rites, traditional festivities, community administration including bye-law enforcement and the administration of justice, educational development, agriculture and commerce/trade.  Building on this valuable information, the contemporary cultural and historical record of Igbo-Etiti can be made richer and more accurate through increased and sustained effort in organized and effective research toward the realization of a continuously refreshed book on the history and general way of life of Igbo-Etiti people.
 Therefore, the Igbo-Etiti Writers Club, by producing the first encompassing document on the culture, history and the development of Igbo-Etiti communities has thrown a noble challenge to Igbo Etiti people.  In response, Igbo – Etiti people and beyond are called upon to give all necessary support to the club to continually improve and expand the historical and cultural portrait of Igbo Etiti people.  The impressive work (in the form of a book on Igbo Etiti people) which the club has produced is a rich treasure which all groups, families and individuals of Igbo Etiti origin should add to their libraries.  Each Igbo Etiti community is called upon to mobilize its people to contribute fund, information and ideas towards the correctness and improvement of subsequent revised publications of the portrait.
Prof. Marcel U. Agu
Department of Electrical Engineering,
University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
                   

FORWARD
    The book: The Portrait; History and Tradition of Igbo Etiti L.G.A is a classic example of scholarship demonstrated by some indigenes from a local government area in Enugu State. This is Igbo Etiti Local Government Area which comprised of fourteen (14) villages/communities. There are two sequence/cultural contiguous groups - Igbo Odo and Igbo Omaba. 
 There is no doubt that the knowledge and appreciation of the history tradition and other cultural attributes of a people provide the facts for socio-economic and political development planning.  These have been made available by this book in a situation of dearth of recorded history of the people. The late arrival of Western Education in the area, in the 1930s, largely accounts for the dearth of documented history and culture of the communities.
 Christianity and Western Education have very much impinged on the culture of the people. Through research conducted mainly by oral interview few materials, in the literature and personal observation of the authors, the history and the culture of the communities in the local government area, have been presented to this book. This has been made possible by the coming together of emerging young scholars in the local government area as “Igbo Etiti Writers Club”. The authors have jointly and severally made significant contributions to history, culture and development.  The achievement should serve as a challenge to other scholarly minds in the local government.
Prof. Mama Romanus Onyishi
Agricultural Education,
University of Nigeria, Nsukka
Chapter One
AKU TOWN
By Ezike Simon and Ochiaka Damian


INTRODUCTION
        Aku Diewa Mgboko Odobo is one of the largest communities in the whole of Enugu state. Aku is situated in a valley of many Hills, the Ugwu Ase, Ugwu Aturu, Ugwu Ezugwu, Egbaugwu, Ugwu Omani Oshigo and Ugwu Iyi Afor.
 It is bounded on the North by Obimo in Nsukka L.G.A; on the South by Affa in Udi L.G.A; on the East by Ikolo and Ohebe Dim in Igbo Etiti L.G.A and on the West by Udueme in Etiti LGA and Akpugo in Uzo Uwani Local Government. Aku is linked by road to Enugu, Nsukka and Onitsha through Adani. Going by the population census of 1963, Aku is put at 35, 635 people. If 2.5% growth rate which is generally used for population projection in rural areas, is employed, the population of Aku by the year 2009 should stand at 100,000 people.
 Aku comprises of three quarters: Akaibute, Akutala and Ejuona. Akaibute consists of these villages; Use, Amabokwu, Mgboko, Umuezike, Ohemuje and Offienyi. The first three villages are called Ihekwuani, while the last three villages are called Ihekwuenu. Akutala has these villages: Nua, Ugwunani, Obie and Amogwu. Ejuona consists of three villages, Oshigo, Orda and Ugwuegede. With the creation of autonomous communities by the Enugu State Government in 2001, Aku has six autonomous communities Viz –Ihekwuenu, Ihekwuani, Akutala Enu, Akutala Ani, Oshigo and Ugwu na Orda autonomous communities. In all, Aku consists of three quarters, six autonomous communities, thirteen sections and sixty-three villages.

ORIGIN
      Writing on the origin of a preliterate society like Aku presents a lot of difficulties. Most authorities believe that the centuries that lie between the 9th and 19th century were the most difficult period for historian of Igbo land to write about. For the 9th century, we have vivid details of archaeological discoveries. For the 19th century we have an ever-swelling stream of evidence, both oral and documented but the thousand years which lie between, are full of obscurities. Many authors have written several materials on the origin of Aku. Each writer based his data collection on oral interview because written records came with colonial education which started in Aku in 1922 with the first Aku Magazine published in 1965 (The Aku Youth Congress Magazine) and the Okikpe of 1974 which documented a lot about Aku history and way of life. There is a genuine problem in reconciling the various versions because every oral history is subject to exaggeration, misinformation or glorification.
 According to Ocho in Okikpe “A man by name Ijija while on a hunting trip came to the present position of Aku and was enchanted by the place. Except for the present people who were living at the place we now call Use and a few others at Umudiukwu, the place were uninhabited. Ijija then went back to his place and brought his entire family to the present position in Mgboko where one of his wives Odobo gave birth to a male child – Mgboko Odobo to distinguish him from other sons of Ijija. The first son of Mgboko was Aku. Aku had three sons – Akaibute, Akutala and Ejuona in that order. These three sons formed the quarters that eventually gave rise to the thirteen sections in Aku.
 The second tradition on this asserts that Ijija was the Prince of Nshi (Nri). He went home and reported to his father that he had seen a place to live in. Having described the place to his father – Eze Nshi, the King objected to this pointing out that Igala harassment would not allow him the peace of mind in the area. According to this tradition, the prince suggested going to marry the daughter of the Attah of Igala who would then be very reluctant to fight his son-in-law. At this juncture, the King agreed and this prince went and married this Attah’s daughter –Odobo. Attah also gave his daughter and son-in-law a servant as a farm labourer. This man was called Ejike (Ezike) the eponymous father of Umu-Ezike that accounted for their being Attama Shujioku in Aku today. Continuing this tradition asserted that Ijija and Odobo had four sons–Ugwuocha, Dimotue, Dimaloke-ocha and Ayom. It was Ayom who was the father of Owerre Mgboko. This tradition claimed that other people from Aku migrated from somewhere else, and that Diewa was only an administrator from Attah Igala who came to Aku at the same time that Asebero and Asadu came to Obimo and Nsukka respectively.
 The third variant on Nshi origin postulates that Aku came from Nshi and only their dead ancestors go back to Nshi. This according to this tradition is the reason why Nshi Namoke always sends a message that Odo is overstaying at Igbo-“Nshii Namoke ezitelu Odo na- onoyalu n’ Igbo”. This was why every head Odo (Ishi Odo) has commentatory cry (iwa oka) before leaving finally “Eshim Oka no!” (I am from Awka) three times before other recitations. According to this tradition, the group from Nshi (Nri) entered Aku through a western direction of Nkpologu.
Some other informants refuted this version of Aku origin from Nshi (Nri) but claimed that Aku is Aku Diewa because Diewa who was the putative father of Aku came from Igala land. According to this claim, Diewa lived at Ohemuje and had three sons, Akaibute Akutara and Ejuona. These multiplied and increased to form the whole of Aku. The few others immigrated to Aku from other communities like Affa (Amoze) Nzue (Umuneri and Amaezi), Uvuru (Umuehelette), Ugwuamoke (Ameti) Eke Aku (Owere Mgboko and Umudikwu), Nrobu (Use-Use Nne Nrobu), Uzagba (Ohemuje), Ekwegbe (Amidi Oshigo) and so on. It is further claimed that the father of Aku (Diewa), the mother of Obimo (Asabero) and the father of Nsukka (Asadu) all came from Igala land and from one mother. It is because of this that Aku does not shed blood with Obimo.
A variant of this Igala origin claims that Odobo Igala had two issues–Asebero Odobo and Mgboko Odobo. Mgboko Odobo was married to a man. His first and only child was called Diewa. Diewa had Aku as a son. Aku married three wives and each of them had a son Eze elechi (Akaibute), Onugogu (Akutara) and Areje (Ejuona). These were the people who formed the present Aku (Quoted in the Reconciliation of the Origin of Aku by J.N. Ezikanyi, in Patriotism and Leadership Values P.27). He concluded by saying, “It is pertinent, having examined all the traditions in detail, to reconcile that Aku Diewa Mgboko Odobo, like most Igbo communities has no united and systematic tradition of origin and migration from a common place for all the people. There exists immigrations into Aku and emigration from Aku, as could be shown by the presence of Nwa Nua in Owerre Lejja when Lejja is Igbo Omaba clan and their Nwa Nua (though no Nua existed in Lejja) does the same racing (Igba Oso Nwa Nua) on the same day with Nwanua Aku. It is claimed that Owerre Mgboko and a part of Ukwu-Uvuru Offienyi emigrated to form Owerre Lejja, people in Enu Onicha emigrated to Nike to answer Nike Enu Onicha Aku. Odoachi existed today in Egari Imilike Ani even though the town is an Omaba cult area. A part of Ohemueje emigrated to Ugbene Ajima.
Ezike Amadi in Visions, a journal of Ejuona Acada Front stated that “The origin of Aku might be traced from a period before the birth of Christ. Test excavation by Professor Hartle at the University of Nigeria farm at Nsukka shows evidence of human habitation in the nature of pottery shreds. Carbon dated, the site dates back to 255 BC +_ 30, which shows that people lived there by the third millennium BC. Yet those Igbo Omaba people in Nsukka area settled after Aku in Igbo Odo cultural zone”.
In a paper: “Evolution of Eze-ship in Aku” J.A. Ezeorah gave an account of how Aku originated: “Diewa the great grand father of Aku who eventually was the great founder of the present place Aku named after him. Diewa as we are told migrated from Igala, the land of famous Attahs of Igala. Diewa who must have been a very wonderful and versatile warrior having conquered all foes and defied all barriers as he journeyed from Igala to the present place now known and called Aku”.
In his contribution to “Diewa Profile”, a publication of Diewa Research Foundation Vol. 1 B.C. Ani, a historian of high repute examined all the documented opinion survey on Aku History and came up with the conclusion that the ancient and modern history of Aku will be continuously reviewed and published from generation to generation and as long as man has eternal quest for relevance, for truth and for knowledge so long would Aku History be revisited for addition or subtraction of facts, new analysis of events and new conclusions.

CULTURE AND CUSTOMS OF AKU PEOPLE
 THE ODO MASQUERADE
     Aku people see Odo as a link between the dead and the living. The mask is a representation of the spirit deity. The spirit refers to the ancestors and the deity refers to the gods. Odo speaks a complex language, heightened by high or deep guttural tones buttressing its anonymity. The uninitiated males must be initiated into the secrets of Odo to comprehend the complexity of Odo language. Interaction with Odo is mainly male affair. The mystery in Odo cult makes the stories about its origin vary. It is this mystery that is primarily responsible for the survival of Odo system in the face of changes imposed by Western civilization.  One of the versions of the origin of Odo stated that Origene Odo Eze, the son of Dimewa, saw a number of Odo on his way from Idah. Among these Odo, were Ovuruzo, Ahaleka, Eze-Elum and Akwari. He left these Odo and hastened home to tell his father what he saw. His father asked him to go back and lead the Odo into Aku. When Origene went back to the scene of the Odo, he discovered that Ovuruzo was no longer there. He then asked Ahaleka to go with him. But coming home with Ahaleka, he heard a distant noise of jubilating people at Akutala part of Aku. Incidentally he was told that an unknown spirit called Odo had arrived into Aku. He was told that a hunter from Nua led Ovuruzo into Aku. Another version had it that when the first Ovuruzo emerged from an unknown place, the strange shape frightened the fowls in Umudiukwu where he appeared. The noise of the frightened fowls drew the attention of the mother of Dikwu Aloke. The woman with her son Dikwu Aloke on her back came out and saw the Ovuruzo. She was so frightened that she could not call out “Odo” on the order of the Ovuruzo. Ovuruzo then asked Dikwu Aloke to call him. Since then Dikwu Aloke inherited the right to invoke Odo. From Dikwu Aloke, Ovuruzo went into the hands of his son Elechi Owuru in Ezeora Ogota family of Uwani Umundikwu.

THE ODO YEAR
     Every odd year is an Odo year in Aku. The Odo stays from February to July/August in each year. The first Odo day is the Aho Ovuruzo day. Aho Ovuruzo day is to Aku people what the famous ancient Olympic Games is to the Greeks. Its popularity remains yet to be equaled by that of another Odo in Aku. Ovuruzo typifies the emergence of an athletic champion demonstrated by its agility in races, physical endurance from pains, and a masculine survival from a whole -day toil, rough handling and endless race. The events open with the Ovuruzo on track at Amoze with a sprinter from Ejuona. After the Ovuruzo day, the Okikpe feasts continue the Odo cycle of activities in Aku. Another Odo feast that draws many participants is the Ogbeje Oshigo feast.
 Ogbeje Oshigo festival comes up about seventeen days after Odo Ogwugwu. Ogbeje Oshigo is another occasion of variety, fantasy, drama, sports and myth in Odo cultural rejuvenation. This is an occasion where all the items of culture in Odo ranging from masquerade display to music are represented. The occasion is an epitome of cultural rehearsal as well as a day for ecstatic ceremonial rejuvenation with all roads going to Oshigo. The last in the series of Odo feast in Aku is the Idu Ishi Achi in Onyagbada Nua village. Odo Achi is a single Odo which belongs to Umuigwe family but is celebrated since ages with a feast as elaborate as Okikpe feast. The feast comes up exactly two native weeks after the Egwu Ogbeje Oshigo.
MARRIAGE CUSTOM IN AKU
 When a man is mature enough to marry and has the fund, to do so, the relatives will begin to search for a suitable and marriageable young girl. When one is found, the relatives of the groom, if traditional religionists, will consult a soothsayer so as to find out whether there will be any obstacle in the marriage. If all is well, the process of wine carrying will begin in stages.
Stage I,  Mmanya ekwu okwu
Stage II, Involves mmanya Oju-ese.
Stage III,  Involves mmanya Nna.
Stage IV,  Involves mmanya Nne.
Stages V,  Involves mmanya Umu Nna.
Stages VI,  Involves mmanya Igba Nkwu.

CUSTOMARY BYE LAWS OF A MARRIED WOMAN IN AKU
      After the wine carrying and Igba Nkwu ceremony, the Okpu Ekwu ceremony will be performed indicating that the girl is a married woman of the family subject to the following commandments:
1. Should not commit adultery.
2. Should not cook for her husband during her menstruation.
3. Should not steal people’s property or money.
4. Should not poison people.
5. Should not remove any property of the home without the knowledge of her husband.
6. Should not keep any charm within the compound without the knowledge of her husband.
7. Should not run away from her matrimonial home on an Nkwo day. If a woman runs away from her husband on Nkwo day, it signifies that the marriage has failed irretrievably.

OZO TITLE SYSTEM
      In Aku, the Ozo title represents authority honesty and wealth. Ozo titled men in Aku are called Idi while their women counterparts are called Loloanyi. Only the wives of ozo titled men can perform Loloanyi ceremonies. The non-Ozo title holders in Aku are called Oheke. The origin of Ozo title in Aku, according to oral tradition is traced from Nzue, a neighbouring community in Udi. Ezike Ogbonne from Use brought Ozo title from Nzue. After bringing the Ozo home, he invited all the villages in Aku for the ceremony. The people from the various villages brought gifts of all sorts to Ezike Ogbonne to seek a date for the commencement of the ceremony in their various villages. Ezike Ogbonne fed all and told them all about Ozo and how it is done. He then became the Oniyishi Ozo Aku. After Ezike Ogbonne had brought Ozo into Aku, other interested villages went to Use to obtain the right for initiation. The number of Ozo groups in Aku today has risen from one to about thirty-seven. Some of the notable groups include (1) Idi Ejuona, (2) Idi-eshim (3) Ozo Dimarua, (4) Idi Ekwo etc.

INITIATION INTO OZO TITLE
    Ozo title ceremonies are usually performed in a non-Odo year. In the hierarchy of the system, there are the Ishi Idi, the Okango, the Umuidi and the Eri-Idi. When a person is ready to undertake the process of ozo-title the first thing he does is to invite the Ishi Idi in his house. He entertains them and discloses his intention. The Ishi Idi introduce him to the stages of ozo title taking which include (i) Ogor-Ofor (prayer stages) (ii) Nri Ozo (iii) Ima Ani Ozo (iv) Iwa Onu Ozo (v) Mbuba Ozo (vi) Ila Ala Nne (vii) Izu Ahia (viii) Oroo-Ozo.

RULERSHIP IN AKU

The people of Aku were brought up with a system more republican than governmental in outlook and application. They had more often than not resisted monarchical institutions. They feared that their representative and consultative institutions might be desecrated and abused. At about 1910, during inter-town war with Akpugo, the British soldiers intervened and forcefully stopped the war. The British soldiers remained in Aku for a few days during which the commander got acquainted with some of the leaders of the town. During the white man’s subsequent tour, Offie Nwa Eyado was one of the people he visited in their houses. That was when he was considering which of the leaders he would make a warrant chief. When Ugwu manu Nwaidigwuogu learnt that the white man intends to pick a chief amongst the leaders, he went to Offie Nwa Eyado with a large parcel of assorted European products. He confided in Offie his desire to be a warrant chief. When Mr. Spronston offered Offie Nwa Eyado the position of chief of Aku, he accepted the offer and begged the white man that he would like his young energetic son to perform this function for him as he, Offie was ageing. The white man accepted the request and so Chief Ugwu Manu became the first Warrant Chief of Aku. Between 1912 and 1940 was a turbulent period in Aku History. Various interest groups emerged to fight the warrant chief system, which was strange and autocratic to Aku people. Chief Ugwu Manu died in 1938. He left an enduring legacy for Aku people. He was instrumental to the early introduction of education and Christianity in Aku. His policy of forcing every village to send and retain a stipulated number of young school children in school made it possible for education to be wide spread in all parts of the town. After his death, Chief Felix O.C. Manu became the Igwe of Aku. During his reign, Aku fashioned out a constitution for the traditional rulership of Aku. The constitution made the traditional rulership stool to be rotatory amongst the three quarters of Aku viz-Akaibute, Akutala and Ejuona. Igwe O.C Manu with many other interest groups in Aku advocated for more autonomous communities in Aku with many traditional rulers to equate the representation of Aku with other smaller communities in Igbo Etiti by the government. Before his death on 10th September 2001, the government of Enugu state created six autonomous communities in Aku. Ever since the creation, six of the communities have started the process of selecting a traditional ruler but were entangled with the problems of who becomes their 1st traditional ruler.
THE OJIYI DEITY IN AKU
The shrine of Ojiyi Deity is located at Use, the eldest village of Aku. Ojiyi is an umbrella deity that has survived the onslaught of Christianity, though it drove it to the background and almost to insignificance these days. In Aku mythology, Ojiyi deity is said to give instant justice to offenders. Ojiyi is an assemblage of carved wooden pieces and decorated with small looking glasses and pieces of cloth. In December of each year, it is carried round the town until recently that it became confined in its shrine where believers pay homage. In those days, marriageable beautiful girls were offered alive to Ojiyi Idol to own as its property. They were given out for atonement of very serious and forbidden crimes like murder or theft committed or said to have been committed by the parents or relations of the girls. They were not killed but were regarded as living property for the dreaded Ojiyi deity. In Aku, other villages also have their own deities by which they vouch for veracity their assertions of or seek for their lost properties. Oshigo has the Omani Oshigo, Ugwunani has her Aturu, Amaogbo has her Ekumaha while Nua people have their Ase, and Mgboko has her Chikerueguru.
FIJIOKU (The god of yam)
 History has it that Ezike Attah, the father of Umuezike was a native of Igara in Kogi state. Ezike introduced yam to Aku through his Obimo friend. Before Ezike Attah died, he ensured that the cultivation and consumption of yam is spread throughout the village in Aku and till today, Umuezike Attah is given the honour of Attama Fijioku being the first to introduce yam in Aku. Like the deity, it hears and grants requests from everyone both poor and rich. It is believed that anybody who deceives Fijioku by not carrying out the necessary operations will have-poor harvest as a reward. One may knowingly or unknowingly provoke the god of yam-Fijioku. It is the fortunetellers who find out how it is offended and what are needed to pacify it. Some of the items needed most of the time to pacify Fijioku include cock, dried fish, alligator (Owani), kolanut, wine, cooked yam and black beans. If a woman is pacifying Fijioku, other materials needed include a hen, and the head of a snake.

Abomination To Fijioku (Yam)
A woman must not sow yam and she must not harvest yam in annoyance. Fighting or battering of children is forbidden in the yam barn or farm. Passing excreta or urinating in a yam plot is forbidden. Stealing of seed yams after sowing them is sacrilegious. One must not sit on tubers of yam. It is annoying to pound yam and cassava together.
ADVENT OF CHRISTIANITY
 In 1885, Rev Father Joseph Lutz arrived in Onitsha to establish the Catholic Church Mission and he was received by the the King of Onitsha His Royal Highness Eze Anazonwu. When Father Lutz died in 1895, Rev. Leo Alexandre Lujeune was appointed the superior of the mission and was assisted by Rev. Father Joseph Shanahan. Father Shanahan was later appointed the prefect apostolic of Southern Nigeria and also a member of the Education Board of Nigeria in 1906. During his administration, churches and schools grew and spread to different parts of Southern Nigeria including Aku.
The pace of conversion efforts by the early missionaries in several places was initially slowed down because of the people’s belief in the dangers and powers of the evil spirits and idols. The fear of attack by the devil scared people away from joining the Christian missionaries and scholars. Thus the missionaries were given land to build churches and schools at sites regarded as home of the evil spirits.
About 1913, Rev. Fr. Muller CSSP, travelled from Aguleri to Aku and stayed with Chief Ugwumanu Idikweogu (the warrant chief of Aku). Both men discussed and agreed on the establishment of schools and churches within Aku. In those early days, school education was considered to be for only male children and as the chief had no male child to permit to go to school at that time, the agreement on the opening of the school in Aku was deferred until 1922 when a male child was born to the chief by one of his wives.
SCHOOL OPENED AT AGBASE IN 1922
Through the efforts of Aku community, a school built with mud and thatched roof was opened at Agbase on the 8th of August, 1922. The first teacher in the school was Thomas Ekpunobi from Umuoji. Amongst the first pupils were: Felix Offie Ugwumanu (son of the warrant chief), Micheal Atta Igata, Patrick Nsude Nwidi, Ochonwa Anigbo Offie, Patrick Ezike Omeja, Celisus Ogbuanya Dike and others.
By the turn of one academic year, many Aku people were willing to send their children and relations to school to learn the ‘white man’s wisdom’. They were desirous and fascinated by the new knowledge of reading, writing and interpreting English language. In appreciation of this ‘white man’s wonderful language’, the Aku people started sending their children to school as well as to the church. Amogst the foundation members include; Ugwu Odobo (Paul Okagu), Pius Eleamu, Peter Akubue, Jeremiah Nweze, Isaiah Offie, Patrick Ugwu Ezeugwu, James Okagu (Oboduuzu), John Diyoke, John Nwidu, Robert Ndanatuegwu and a host of other pople not represented here.
The entire Aku people, both catholics and non-catholics built the first church and it was named after the parish priest of St. James Catholic Church Aku, which was the first to be carved out of St. Theresa’s Parish Nsukka. Rev Fr. Charles Heerey CSSP, the first Arch Bishop of Onitsha gave the approval in 1952. The first parish priest was Rev, Fr. M.U. Eneja. St. James parish Aku started with 42 out- stations made up of Ukehe, Ikolo, Idoha, Onyohor, Ochima, Ohodo, Umunko, Ekwuegbe, Ozalla, Umuna, Ohebe Dim, Udueme, Akpugo, Ifite Ogwari, Igbankwu, Omor, Umunbo, Akuyi, nkume, Lekpats, Umerum, diogbe, Adada, Ogbosu, Asaba, Omasi, Umueje, Nkpunato, Nkpologwu, Ezioha, Umolokpa, Ukpata, Umulokpa and Aku.
The parish priest was automatically the manager of the catholic schools within the parish and chrisitian converts increased by leaps and bounds. Today, the old Aku Parish has split into many parishes with St. Luke Parish Ozalla as the latest. Ten years after the coming of the Catholic Church in Aku, the C.M.S established a mission station in Aku at Onuegu Obie in 1932. St. Thomas’ school/church started in the village hall of Ezelu-Uwani Obie on 23rd August 1932 and later moved to its permanent site at Ofifia Oka at OnueguObie. A group of Aku traders who were acquainted with the C.M.S church at Enugu and Onitsha met Rev. H.H Daws at St. Peter’s C.M.S church Ogbete Enugu and requested him to establish the C.M.S church at Aku. The teacher/catechist who opened the C.M.S. church and school at Aku was Mr. Benson Jideofor Ezewudo of Nnobi. Membership of the church was limited to some extent to the villages surrounding its location ie Obie, Ohemuje and Offienyi. Competition for converts and school children between the R.C.M and the C.M.S was high. This rivalry made it possible for C.M.S church to open churches at Ohemuje (St. Matthew), and at Oshigo. By the year 2000, more than 10 Christian churches were operative in Aku.


POLITICAL SYSTEM
THE AKU GENERAL ASSEMBLY (A.G.A.)
 Long before the British colonial system, the Aku General Assembly had been in existence. The sixty-five village units in Aku constituted the Assembly and decisions were reached by consensus. Even at the time the colonial masters introduced warrant chiefs in Aku, it did not affect the Republican nature of Aku people. The chiefs were regarded as errand boys for the colonial masters to collect taxes but do not have powers to make decision for the people. By 1920, Oha Aku came up with a more orderly administration for Aku people but not long enough, there arose a bitter struggle for leadership. The Oha Aku was split into two and there was no effective forum for Aku people meeting till 1942 when some Aku leaders formed what was called the Aku Town Council. The most important achievement of the town council was the introduction of free primary education in 1944 for all Aku school children.  The Aku Town Council continued with the leadership of Aku until the war broke out in 1966.  When the war ended in 1970, the first challenges that faced the post war leaders of Aku were revitalization of the zeal and love of Aku people for education and restoration of pipe borne water for Aku people. In pursuance of these challenges, the Aku community council was established in 1971 and the council encouraged Aku children to return home and continue with their education.
On the 8th of August 1971, the Aku General Assembly was formed which comprised of community councilors and Aku leaders. The first chairman of Aku General Assembly was Engr. Aka Ogbobe and Felix Didigwu served as his secretary. When the local government council system was introduced throughout Nigeria in 1976, the community council system was abolished and thus leaving out the Aku General Assembly as the only Governing body in Aku. The following persons served Aku General Assembly as chairman and secretaries Engr. Aka Ogbobe and Felix Didigwu, Emma Idike and Chris Okechukwu, Ngwaka Francis and Isiorji Vincent, Ezike Amadi and Ewelum Fredrick, Chris Okechukwu and Ezike Simon, Ben Ezike and Aruma Marcel, When Enugu state Government created 6 autonomous communities out of Aku, the Aku General Assembly was suspended in 2005 under the leadership of Chris Odo and Victor Odo.
AWAF (AKU WELFARE ASSOCIATION FEDERATED)
 AWAF had earlier on been started in the 1940’s but became moribund as a result of the Biafran War (1967-70). It was revived later on and federated in 1985. It comprised of Aku indigenes living outside the borders of Aku town and has branches virtually in all the states of Nigeria. It aims at bettering the condition of the Aku man in whichever branch of the association he finds himself. It also propagates educational, economic and social development in Aku as well as promotes the culture of Aku people amongst other aims and objectives of the association. AWAF, since formation has enhanced rapid development of Aku people; notable amongst the developmental projects is the Aku Diewa Community Bank, super market and petrol station. Those who served AWAF as presidents and secretaries include Amorha Kenneth and Gab Ugwuozor, Goddy Mba and GB Ugwuozor, Gab Ugwuozor and Emma Ugbor Nwani.
For limitation in space, the writer cannot exhaustively discuss the import of groups that are involved in Aku political and administrative system but worthy of mentioning is the Ndiomu Aku General Assembly, the Catholic C.M.O., C.W.O. and their Anglican counterparts.
AGRICULTURE
The People of Aku are disadvantaged by location in that the town is surrounded by hills and the available lands are not fertile. This compelled the people to look for fertile land elsewhere. They moved to places like Obinna, Ogbakere, Nkpologu, Opanda, Adani, Ugwu Nimbo, Ugwu Rice, Ugwu Uvuru, Daba, Adaaba in Uzo-Uwani, L.G.A Other people settled in Egbe Dagda, Iyi Ube, Odo Odum, Ugwuneke, Ujoma, Inyiopo in Udi L.G.A.
 The love for agriculture has made Aku people to settle in far away areas in Kogi state like the famous Reserve and Okwuru Ogbo. The people plant a wide variety of crops like yam, cassava, maize, black beans, pigeon pea, groundnut, cocoyam to mention but a few. In animal husbandry and management, the people of Aku faired very well. Story had it that one man from Ezi-Oshigo Aku (Ezike, Nnadikwu Oparu Nwaefi) had numerous cows and calves that many of his calves were lost in the tether without his knowledge when there were many who cannot boast of a cow in the neighbouring communities. Animal husbandry then embraces the feeding, breeding, and management of different domestic animals, which include cattle, sheep, goats and domestic fowls. The animals are reared under the traditional system of management.   These animals were put to various uses during festivals and are slaughtered for food while some are sold for money. The animals are kept as mark of high economic status and serve as insurance against crop failure. Keeping of animals provided employment for some elderly people who can not be actively involved in crop production.

TRADE AND COMMERCE
Aku people are well known for their unquenchable interest in the field of trade and commerce. Aku traders had traversed the length and breadth of Nigeria. Indeed, it is a popular belief amongst the Igbos of Igbo Etiti that any town you don’t see an Aku man or woman, you better leave the place because it is not habitable.
The Aku traders of the old moved in troupes (of not less than sixty traders). The market days when Aku traders brought their wares were regarded as big market days in that community. They sold cloth (Ajima Aku) jewels, beads, soap, elephant tusk, hoes, knives and other items like tobacco, salt, fish and other food items. They travelled to market places such as Opanda, Nimbo, Omashi, Nkpologwu Ugwueke, in Nike, Onueke in Ezza, Aku in Okigwe, Atani, in Abam, Ejule, Omor, Akaiyi Umulokpa, Ifite Ogwari, Afor Eyi in Opi, Uburu in Ebonyi State, Uzuakoli in Abia, Ejule in Kogi  to mention but few. Their journey to these areas of marketing do not prevent them from attending to their local markets like the Eke Aku, Aho Oshigo, Eke Uwenu, Orie Uwenu, Orie Uwani and Nkwo Ogbede. That was Aku traders of yester years. Today, trading in Aku is more sophisticated than what it used to be. Some of the traders have gone international, dealing on computer and information technology some are transport magnet both sea, land and air transport.

EDUCATION IN AKU
A Catholic priest from Eke (Udi L.G.A) opened the first school in Aku on 8th August 1922. School education started in Aku 80 years after it was introduced in Nigeria (1842-1922). As an innovation, Aku people were skeptical about sending their children to acquire the white man’s knowledge, so the first set of Aku children to go to school were nominated and donated to the school. Aku leaders decided that every one of the 63 villages in Aku must donate at least two children to the school, which was opened at Agbase Nua. Since it was Aku people as a unit who compelled children to attend school, Aku people decided to bear the cost of the school fees. Teachers’ salaries were also paid by each of the villages in rotation.
The pioneers of the school were very few in number. A class was added in ascending order from year to year. Those who passed standard three at St. James were moved to Eke or Nsukka to complete their primary education. What is now known as nursery schools were not in existence then but primary classes were done in the following order: Infant class one (ABC), Infant Class two (Infant), standard one, two, three to six.
The population of school children grew so that by 1945, St. James Catholic School got approval for standard six while St. Thomas reached that stage in 1958. By 1950 Catholic School had feeder schools in all sections of Aku. St. Gregory’s Aku, Christ the King School (L.G.A school) Ugwunani, St. John’s School Ejuona and St. Patrick’s School Amogwu were opened. By the year 2000 AD primary schools in Aku had risen to ten viz, St. James School or Egbugwu Primary School (U.P.S) St. Thomas School or (Community Primary School) St. John’s School or (E.P.S) Oshigo Christ the king school Ugwunani or Ugwunani Primary School (U.P.S), St. Patrick’s Amogwu or (U.P.S Amogwu) St. Gregory’s School or Central School Aku, Diewa Primary School Ohemufe, Premier Primary School I and II Mgboko, Amabokwu Primary School.
SECONDARY EDUCATION
Most of the secondary schools that Aku people attended in the thirties and forties were located outside Aku. The pioneers of secondary education in Aku included, Hon Francis Mgbulu Amadi who attended St. Charles College Onitsha, Bernard Edoga, St. Charles College Onitsha, Joseph Okpo, Christ the king College, Isaac Ozor Edoga, Christ the king College, Josiah Okechi Amu Nnadi, Denis Memorial Grammer School, Onitsha, Isaac Nwodo, African College Onitsha Lawrence Ekwom, Christ the King College F.N. Ugwuoju, St. Charles Onitsha James Nnadi, S. Charles College Onitsha, Joseph Ezeorah, St. Charles College Onitsha, Hon. Engr. Aka Ogbobe, African College Onitsha, Prof  Lawrence Offie Ocho, St. Charles College Onitsha, Hon. C.U. Okechukwu St. Charles College Onitsha, Igwe (Bar.) B.U.M. Anekwe of C.I.C. Enugu.  When schools were opened within Nsukka zone, the number of Aku students increased in leaps and bounds. In 1956 the Elementary training college Aku was opened and was converted to grade III teachers’ college in 1958. When the East central state Government took over schools from missions at the end of the civil war, it was converted to Boys secondary school Aku in 1975. In 1976 Girls Secondary School Aku was opened. In 1992 Community Secondary School Aku was opened. A distant learning programme-the National Teachers Institute was introduced in Aku by Mr Simon Ezike on the 10th of March 2000 to award TC II and N.C.E certificates.
HIGHER EDUCATION
It is a thing of great honour to Aku people that the first Nsukka graduate is an Aku man. Josiah Amu Nnadi was among the foundation students of the university college Ibadan. He graduated in 1952. Engr. Isaac Ozor Edoga and Francis Mgbulu Amadi graduated in 1956. In 1962, Engr. Aka Ogbobe and Lawrence Ekwom graduated in Engineering and Law. Bar. Benedict Anekwe graduated in 1967. Other early University graduates include Mr. Christopher Ozo (1963), Prof. L. O. Ocho (1966), Prof. C. A. Attah (1966), Mr. Ig. Nwani (1966), Mr. J. N. Odo (1966), Mr. B. Ani (1966), Barr. Cletus Ugbo (1967), Igwe B. U. Anekwe (1967), Engr. S. O. Didigu (1966). More of the Aku children entered for University Education when the University of Nigeria Nsukka was opened in 1960. Christopher Ozor, Sam Didigwu, Matthew Diyoke, Lawrence Ocho, Bonny Nwani, and Matthew Mba were the first set of Aku students to attend the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Many others went to other Universities within and outside the country. By the turn of the millennium (year 2000) the number of Aku graduates rose to over 2000 excluding the dead ones. (Diewa Profile 2002).Aku has many Postgraduate students and Doctorate Degrees in many field of study. The following are Professors;
1. Professor L .O Ocho - Education
2. Professor C.O Onyeji -Pharmacy
3. Professor C.I Anekwe -Space Technology
4. Professor C A Attah  -Medicine
5. Professor Ogbonna Alaku - Agriculture
6. Professor Dympna Ugwuoju-Social Science
7. Professor Okoro Ogbobe Polymer Technology
8. Professor Moses Edoga-Medicine/Fine Art
9. Professor Vincent Ozor -Theology
10. Professor Aloysius Attah -Engineering
11. Professor Emmanuel Egbe -Education
12. Professor Lawrence Ugwu – Agriculture
CONCLUSION
A complete History and ethnography of Aku people cannot be contained in a 20-page-space as requested by the publisher of the portrait. However, an attempt has been made to give brief information about different aspects of Aku culture. An in-depth work of any of these aspects of Aku culture could be found within the referenced materials. No rural community in Enugu state can compare with Aku in terms of documented information about her people. The true knowledge of an Aku man should be accessed from the opinion survey and not what others think and say about the people.




REFERENCES
Ani B.C (2002), Aku History: A Critical Analysis of Existing Write Ups  on the Origin of Aku. Diewa Profile. A Publication of Diewa Research Foundation P 1. vol. 1
Attah VO and Ugwuoju F.N. (1999). The 2000 A.D Jubillee Book – A Short History of St. James Catholic Church Aku (1922-1999) Pp 1-4.
Ezikeanyi J.N (2002). The Reconciliation of the Origin of Aku. Patriotism and Leadership Values. A Publication of Ugwunani  Express Fraternity Aku Pp 21-27.
Ezikeanyi F.U (1982). Odo Ancestral System. Okikpe Vol 2. A Publication of Diewa Writers Club Pp 35-47.
Ezikeanyi F.U (1997). Ozor Title System in Aku. Okikpe Vol 3  P 180.
Ezike.C.C.Amadi (1988). Mass Mobilization in Aku. The Patriot. A Publication of Patriot Organisations Aku P 13.
Manu Pius (1982). Some Customs of Aku Okikpe Vol 2 P 48.
Mba G.C.E (2000). AWAF and Development in Aku Visions. A Publication of Ejuona Acada Front P 123.
Nnadikwu C.E (1982). Fijioku (Yam Goddess), Okikpe Vol. 2. P. 60.
Ocho L.O (2000). Formal Education in Nigeria, The Aku Experience. Vision. A Publication of Ejuona Acada Front P. 24.
Ogbobe Aka (1988). The Evolution of Aku General Assembly. The Patriot. P. 7.
Offie B.A (1997). The Warrant Chiefs of Aku. Okikpe Vol. 3, P.125.
Onu J.E (2000). Agricultural Development in Aku: The Role of Animal Husbandry. Vision P. 115.
Ugwu M.O (2000). Aku Elites and the Challenges of Leadership in Contemporary Nigeria. Vision P. 141.


Chapter TWO
DIOGBE COMMUNITY
By Hon. Victor Ilo Ushi
INTRODUCTION
A HISTORICAL SURVEY
 This paper traces the historical origin of Diogbe community, the nature of her philosophy/cultural life, foreign religious impact on the community, her socio-economic and political development as well as educational trend and development in the community. In all honesty, this study is a venture into the unknown .There is this singular satisfaction however that in spite of all difficulties in the survey, which we acknowledge, this is the first time any event worthy of note relating to Diogbe Community is being placed on record.
 We hope that the study will form the basis for further study and investigation into the history, customs and traditions of Diogbe.  This is a challenge to our budding eminent scholars.
 We would want to associate ourselves with this great town of ours – our home – the land of our forefathers.  It is significant to note that in consonance with her greatness and achievements, the town had gained in the past, glamorous names at different times and on different occasions of her history.  Whichever name there was, we feel exceedingly proud of it:  Ngalakpu – Diogbe (Ngalakpu begotten of Diogbe) (the father); and Diogbe – Ugwu (Diogbe begotten of a renowned, prosperous and majestic deity (Ugwudi elemagi).
 Diogbe people love themselves and their homeland. “The strong feeling of camaraderie and brotherliness and an irrepressible sense of humour among the people account for the extreme reluctance of Diogbe people to reside permanently in locations outside the town”.  The people themselves often claim, “We eat from the same bowl and drink with the same cup”.  This adage has always sounded incredible to the outsider but it is true.  The people maintain the same ancestral lineage having been born out of the same stock.  The stock remains more or less unadulterated because there are no immigrants into the town.
 There are historical details to indicate that our people love their custom, respect law and order and are fervent adherents to the Deity – Ugwudi.  Diogbe was very peace loving and hospitable to strangers, and so are his descendants. The author concludes that no matter the amount of disappointments and frustrations facing the community presently, the dry bones will surely rise again.
THE HISTORICAL ORIGIN AND GEOPOLITICAL LOCATION OF DIOGBE TOWN
 This study is based on the historical account given by our elders.  If we succeed in this venture, this will be the first recorded history of Diogbe.
Diogbe formally known and addressed as Ngalakpu1 is one of the thirteen towns that make up the present Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area of Enugu State. According to Janning (1963:7), Diogbe lies on a hill of about 420 metres above sea level. It is situated on latitude 702DE. It covers an area of about 30sq kilometers with a population of about 4.425 people .Diogbe is almost completely surrounded by heavy thick forests.  It is also guarded by four notable hills at the North – Western part of the town called Onuanyanwu. The hills are Ugwidi, Ugwunzu, Ugwuikpere and Ugwugburugburu. There are six quarters (major lineages) that make up Diogbe town viz: Amokpe, Umueze, Umunekwu, Okechi, Ndiugwu and Umunachi, in order of seniority. Each of these six quarters is made-up of several villages. Diogbe neighbours are Ekwegbe (Ukopi) and Umuna to the North, Ukehe to the West as well as south, and Umunko to the East.
 Diogbe is along the Nsukka – Enugu road, otherwise called “old road”, such that when coming from Nsukka, it is just after Ekwegbe (Ukopi), whereas when coming from Enugu, it is directly after Ukehe. Diogbe has three traditions of origin, but for want of space, we shall contend ourselves with the one that seems to be the most authentic.
According to Ozor Okwumanya and Chief Godwin Ushi2, Diogbe formally known and addressed as Ngalakpu, was a village in Eha-Amufu, a town in Isi-Uzo local government area of Enugu State. Sometime in the past, Diogbe (Ngalakpu) migrated westwards and later settled at its present location. He married and had six sons – that later metamorphosed into the six quarters that make-up the town.
Geographically, the soil is red-ferralitic, porous and non-gravelly sand loam with loose reddish brown topsoils. According to Janning (1963: op cit), Diogbe lies within the tropical hinterland with annual rainfall amounts of up to 150cm and five months of dry season – November to April.
 Linguistically, Diogbe according to Ikekeonwu’s classification of (1986/87), falls neatly under the Northern Igbo dialect cluster. Like any other speech community, Diogbe indigenes communicate effectively and meaningfully in their dialect. Language, greatly, influences the social ranking in Diogbe not only as a linguistic group but also as a social entity that expresses her culture through language. The Diogbe people are mainly farmers, who practice subsistence agriculture with many of these farmers performing part time tasks in fields such as trading, palmwine tapping and administration work.  In terms of livelihood, therefore, the busiest period in the town is the rainy season: from April to November, in a year of average precipitation records. Due to the consequent low status of agricultural production, and the drastic shortage of opportunities for salaried or wage employment, it is not astonishing that a large number of Diogbe’s young men and women these days prefer “hot spots” like Onitsha, Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Enugu, and Nsukka, where they spend the greater part of their working lives.  Such temporary migration is a socio-economic and geographic safety – valve, though at the same time, it contributes to the depressed state of affairs and low level of development in the town.  Closely linked to her geography and agriculture practices, Diogbe is culturally rich.
 In our society, that is Diogbe per se the family is very important.  The immediate family and the extended family system form the foundation on which every other structure is built.  The family has influence over the aspirations and activities of each individual with culture, customs, traditions, religion and education, all closely associated with the family. The society therefore is not complex but simple.
NATURE OF DIOGBE PHILOSOPHY
 & CULTURAL LIFE
Culture is one of those concepts that defy a single definition. As Hornby Gowie Gimson (1970:210) sees it, culture is “all the arts, beliefs, social institutions etc characteristic of a community, race etc”. Also Linton (1945:60) states “the culture of a society is the way of life of its members, the collection of ideas and habits which they share and transmit from generation to generation”. From the above scholarly definitions, it could be deduced that culture is the way a people live their life with what they have. One important thing about culture is that it is perpetuated from generation to generation. Therefore, Diogbe community cultural life could be seen as the totality of the people’s existence, comprising all the things they have devised to adjust to their physical and social environments.
If philosophy means having certain basic beliefs and conceptions about the universe, life and existence generally, such that constitute a worldview and which is related to the social and natural environment in which a people are historically, situated, then Diogbe community like all other towns has a philosophy.
According to Mr. Iyoke Onuoha3, “the traditional Diogbe possesses a philosophy which is traditional and customary that is handed down from one generation to another”. That philosophy he continues “is unwritten and unsystematized. It was at the same time personalistic, highly ritualized and full of myths. It was authoritarian, being an instrument of social control. It was pragmatic, meant to solve practical problems of food, security, peace, and general welfare of the community. It was thus non-systematic, less abstract in content, a bit conservative and led to some narrow-mindedness. Besides, it was religiously – oriented with an economic base. Its ontology according to Igwe D.N Aroh4 emphasized their beliefs in the spiritual nature of things and a type of cosmic harmony in which man and his actions are centred, with supernatural powers and forces supervising.
Diogbe is culturally rich. Her cultural heritages are usually expressed through festivals such as Ahiajioku, Agbi, Chukwu, Eke, Gbii, Abaridenyi, Odo, Ozo title takings and holdings. The greatest and the most highly practised of all these festivals is “Odo”, a type of masquerade cult, prevalent in some towns of Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area. The practice of Odo cult is made real by the people’s belief in polytheism and the practice of traditional religion originally, although Christianity has infiltrated into the community. The people’s religious beliefs greatly influence their social life.
RELIGION
 Religious beliefs control the behaviour of our people.  All actions are influenced by one or the other religious beliefs.  According to Okoro Elvis, “the whole life is entangled in the mesh of trying to satisfy one god or the other”.
 At this juncture, it becomes necessary to discuss Diogbe gods and sacrifices. Some of the Diogbe gods are, Ugwudi, Anyanwu, Ala inyi, Chukwu, Gbii, Abaridenyi. Etc.  In the pre-Christian era, Diogbe people believed in one supreme God (Ezechitooke).  This supreme god has no shrine or any definite place where sacrifice is offered to Him. “Ezechitooke” is the controller of all human beings and gods alike.
Besides this belief, every other religious idea according to Igwe D.N. Aroh5 is centred on ANIMISM.  This is the belief that certain virgin forests, thickets and trees are inhabited by souls or spiritual beings. Sacrifices are offered in the shrines instituted in or around these objects where the souls are supposed to inhabit. The time of sacrifice and place are determined by priests who are supposed to know more about these gods and how best to please them. Thus, if one meets with series of hardship and misfortune, one often consults oracles that indicate the quarters from where the mischief is being wrought. Appropriate sacrifice or sacrifices for the appeasement of the spirits of the dead ancestors or gods responsible are recommended. The articles for the sacrifice often range from cows to day-old chicks (okiko ikimgbe) and or rotten eggs.  They must relate to the power of the spirit involved; thus big gods like Ala inyi and Ugwudi may have a cow while other inconsequential mischief fairies may have a day old chick and rotten eggs. 
With the advent of Christianity, there developed more complex religious belief system giving rise to a clash in religious allegiance. According to Hon. Paul Ike Okoro, “an individual may harbour two opposing beliefs due to the acceptance of some native rites which appear right, coupled with the allegiance to his new religious beliefs”. ‘Some people still keep charms and are aware that keeping charms is essentially idolic, he concludes.’ Today, Diogbe is predominantly Christian and the advent of this Christian religion will be treated later.
THE ODO MASQUERADE FESTIVAL IN DIOGBE
The name Odo is a shortened form of the word Odomagala. Odo masquerade festival occupies a central place in the life of Diogbe people. Odo festival takes place every odd-number year. Thus, Odo festival makes life tick and that is why everyone prays always for heaven’s blessing to enable him once more witness and enjoy this festival.
Tradition has it that Odo is an embodiment of our ancestral spirit. However, these spirits are not worshiped rather they expect the people to regularly host, entertain and feast them to compensate for the period of time they sojourned in the land of the spirits. According to Hon. Iyoke Emeka, Odo’s demand for this continuous communion and reverence is not so much because, the ancestral spirit is an entertainer, an arbitrator, a reformer and a revealer as well as that people are always prepared to respond to his never-ending demand for Ochotocho (meat) Chaginzu (wine) kpotomkpo (kola), always asking for more like Oliver Twist. As Onyeneke rightly observed in his study of Igbo masquerades:
When the community is faced with the study and problems of religious worship (aesthetic needs) territorial and internal protection, regulation of peace and harmony, bringing the young up in discipline, correcting errant women, subduing recalcitrant men and lynching dangerous criminals, the masquerade is their instrumental symbol.    
     
 Certain customs, rules and taboos surround the masquerade institution in Diogbe. The violation of such conventions attracts the attention of Umuishi-Odo – the highest ruling body on Odo affairs, comprising of all the Dikwus and Akparas in the community. This body performs both legislative and judicial functions while the executive power lies on the masquerades themselves. The people lay serious emphasis on Odo masquerading because it re-enacts the traditional power structure of the kindred’s, legends and myths of settlement patterns. The dramatic style of the people is highly typified in Odo. According to Mr. Philip Okeakpu8, Odo is ritualistic because it brings a change from scarcity to seasons of plenty in fertility – child bearing, bumper harvest etc. It is essentially religious since it is bound up in the idea of gaining immortality, revolving round the circle of birth, death and rebirth.
 Odo festival is a celebrative event involving the participation of majority of the people in the community. The people engage in a lot of human and material activities during the Odo festival, and according to Okoro Elvis, “they do it with all pleasure because before you know it, Odo has paid back tenfold”. Diogbe people participate actively in Odo performance by clapping of hands, beating the musical instruments, singing, dancing, offering of money or gifts, engaging in dialogue with the Odo etc. Every man or woman, at one time or the other, directly or indirectly participates in Odo performance – a proof of the potency of the Odo in the life of the people.
 Masking of the Odo is a co-operative village affair to be supervised by skilled elders. Every Odo mask represents a natural phenomenon or supernatural beings that are very mysterious to human beings but such natural characters are also endowed with supernatural aura. Odo’s potency and influence on the life of the people are expressed in encomiums showered on them each time they appear. These praises are often made by both sexes – male and female. The Odo can be addressed as:
Nna m (my father)
Nna anyi (our father)
Nna di m (my husband’s father for women only)
Otegburu agbogo (exceller of girls in dancing)
Nna nwanene (my dear father)
Ndidikoko (strange creature)
Okakarakuka (the undoubtable)
Enya hee, onwu hee (dare peep, dare die)
Akpatakpa na–aha jimjim (strong in appearance, great in action)
Ike lugwo okperii azi (he who pulls out last from the battle-field).
 Different attributes can be easily seen as one moves from one part of the community to another, as some masquerades have peculiar qualities and therefore peculiar attributes. Odo festival activities are spread through the seven months of the year. The foremost activity held for the Odo is known as Egorigo. This is a ritual performance that turns the face of the Odo from its ancestral abode to the world of the living.  The rest of the activities are segmented as follows:
(a) Odida Odo: A period that ushers in the ancestral mask known as Odo Ishi aha (Odo umuamu).
(b) The returning of (Okpu) masquerade, which is the second in command.     
(c) Uhamunaasaa: This is a period that ushers in the ancestral “Odo Ishi aha” from other villages that are not involved in the two categories above.
(d) Iweri - is the fourth in command and it acts as the chief provost since it maintains peace and order in the community.
(e) Odo agu -: This marks the return of the musical troupes of the Odo as well as the return of every other Odo that has not returned.
(f) Ozi ahia = youthful, elegant and dignified masquerades entertain spectators with dances at the village square.
(g) Nri Akawo: principal officers of the Odo cult feast the Odo.
(h) Ohihe Odo: A period set aside to offer drinks, foods, meat and other sacrifices to the Ishi Odos in the community to solicit for their guidance and their successful departure to the ancestral world.
(i) Inyi Ugwu: (Ascent of the Hill) the entire Odo in Diogbe assemble at the highest hill in the community overlooking “the land of the dead” to where they descend in a couple of days. A guardian Odo called ‘Odo Ugwu” returns on this day solely to take the Odo back home on guard ensuring that every Odo leaves at the appropriate time.
(j) Ula Odo: The Odo departs in procession beginning with smallest to the greatest.
(k) Eke-Orurue: This is the epilogue of the circle. On this day, everybody including women and defaulters of the Odo taboos meet the principal officers of the Odo cult in their “Obi” for cleansing.
The return and staying of the Odo with the people create a very joyous and lively society but as the Odo departs, the people experience a lot of catharsis. On arrival at the final ‘bus stop’, the musical troupe sings sorrowful song which purgates pity and fear. The last music of the Odo is always followed by a tumultuous cry of men at the village squares. Women also observe some minutes of silence from their homes. Several gunshots hasten the Odo’s movement as Odo Ugwu’ and ‘Nche-agu’ guide them into the ancestral world after seven months of communion with their living progenitors.
 The last blessing of the Odo manifests in the October rainfall that concludes the entire festival, thus justifying their supernatural aura to the doubting Thomases.

OTHER ORACLES
 In Diogbe, we have two great oracles namely “Ugwudi” and “Ala – Inyi”.  Ugwudi according to Nsoke Owere, is the spiritual father of the Diogbe people. It secures everybody and it is regarded as the oracle of truth. The chief priest of the oracle is known and addressed as ‘OLUOHA”. (Voice of the people). He comes from Ndiugwu and he is regarded as sacred because of his purity in anything regarded as sin. The other Oracle is called Ala-Inyi, which is the central earth goddess. The chief priest comes from Umunachi.
OVUAJA (New Yam Festival)
 Yam is a kind of tropical climbing plant with tuber.  The tuber is edible only when boiled or roasted, otherwise it is poisonous (Eja) to humans. In order to render the yam non-poisonous the belief is not so much that the poisonous acid in yam is destroyed by boiling or roasting but by appeasing the god of yam – “Ahiajioku” through a form of sacrifice accompanied with feasting called “Ovuaja”. Ovuaja is a yearly feast.  This is a very important feast.  Yam in itself is held in high esteem. To steal yam is a great “sin” against “Ahiajioku”.  The punishment then is death.  The culprit is usually roped and dragged along the high streets until he dies.  According to Ozor David Anikwe9, once yam is planted, it no longer belongs to the individual but to “Ahiajioku”. Even if the yam is ready to be harvested, the apparent owner cannot do so until the day of “Ovuaja”. The Ovuaja day appears in the annual calendar prepared by the council of elders.  One important item of this feast of Ovuaja is the oblation of a cock and roasting of yam (obaranaabo) by the elders to (Ndi nweala) (dead ancestors) and to “Ahiajioku to thank them for the present harvest and to ask the ancestors and the god for good and improved harvest in the next season.
 It is a one-day feast when participants must feed on pounded yam.  Pounded yam is regarded as the most palatable and prestigious dish in Diogbe.  Today the feast of Ovuaja has been modernized and christened, “New Yam Festival” which is celebrated by both Christians and non-Christians.  The feast has ceased to have any attachment to any idol, god or goddess.

BURIAL CEREMONY
 Like in the Christian religion, human life in this world is intended to be a preparation for life after death. Our people believe in life after death especially in reincarnation. This belief, therefore, has a very important part to play in the way our people handle the dead. The corpse is highly respected and the burial ceremony for each person depends on whether the dead person is titled or not, rich or poor, male or female.  In the past, for the young, nothing worth mentioning is done. 
 When an “Ozor” titleholder dies, the death is not announced immediately. The very near kinsmen and his children will rally themselves round to decide on the form of burial.  In the past, if a very prominent person died, the young men would gather to discuss possibilities of getting a human head, which would be used to bury the dead.  Elaborate preparations are made for the burial ceremony. The preparations will include sending urgent messages to the eldest man in the village, “Onyishi” and “Umuada” (women members of the village).  They also buy large quantities of food, wine, and kegs of gunpowder, guns and cannons and purchase a host of different animals for the burial rites.  If the death occurred in the wet season, many rainmakers will be engaged to prevent rain from disturbing the activities. It is the responsibility of “Umunna” to dig the grave where the dead man will be laid to rest.
 Efforts will be made to conceal the news from other “Ozor” people, because according to Ozor Noel Ushi10, from the time a titled man hears about the death of another, the living “Ozor” will begin the “Ozor fast” till the dead is buried”. As soon as the bereaved are ready and the corpse is lying in state, the professional crier “Onye ozi” will give signal of the death.
 The corpse may lie in state for a day or two. All these time, an Ikpa” dance troupe will be performing on the top of the roof of his house. During the “Ikpa” dance ceremony, the Umunna especially the young men in a large group will carry sticks and swords and dress in fearful costumes.  They move up and down the entrance of the dead man’s house.  As they move they dance the “Ikpa” dance and from time to time burst into a crescendo of war dance and other rowdy activities. The most awe – inspiring activity among other things during the ceremony is the struggle by the male “umunna” to take possession of the “Ekwe Ikpa”.
 Another significant thing about the ceremony is the last honour before the dead is laid in the grave.  The last honours include offer of material goods like goats, fowls, money etc with which to go to the other world; incantation of admonishment which will enable him change some of his bad habits when he comes to the world again. (Ibiri Ozu Obibi Uwa).  In the mid-night of the last day of lying in state, about twenty-one gunshots are fired and the following morning, the dead body is buried.
 There are other post-burial ceremonies like cutting down his “onu egbo” and generally a second funeral ceremony aimed at preventing his spirit from haunting the living. The wives of the dead man are not allowed to move outside the house for the first “Izu asaa” (28 days) nor take their bathe.  Generally for two years they will not be allowed to go to the market or to any gathering intended for enjoyment.
 When a woman dies, the death message (Ozi onwu) is sent to the paternal family of the dead woman.  After this, the first son takes her “umakwu”– kitchen knife and “oku”– earthenware plate to his grandfather.  Grandfather is synonymous with the nearest oldest male relation of the dead woman’s family or extended family. After this, the woman’s son will return home and come back with a handful of his kinsmen for negotiation on how to get his mother’s relations to come and bury the remains of his mother. This negotiation is often not easier than the bride price negotiation. After the negotiation, a trumpet is sounded and all the relations of the dead woman gather. Minutes later, they are off to bury the remains of their sister.  On getting to the husband’s house, few rites are performed and the woman is buried in a grave prepared in the compound of her husband.
 We may add that when criminals and traitors die as well as those who died as a result of taking false oaths, they are not buried but thrown into the “Ajo-ohia” evil forest. This, according to Obodoha the 3rd of Umunachi Chief Francis Ushi11, is intended to discourage them from reincarnating since no family will welcome them.
CHRISTIANITY IN DIOGBE
 Christianity according to BBC English Dictionary is “a religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ and on the belief that he was the Son of God. Christianity comes to Diogbe around the year 1936 but before that year, some indigenes of Diogbe like James Okoro Iyoke, Simon Ushi, Theresa Iyoke (nee) Okeakpu, Elizabeth Anikwe, all late, had already embraced Christianity from outside the town. According to Chief Marcel Ugwumgbor, late Okoro (James) Iyoke was the first to embrace Christianity in Diogbe. The present central school Diogbe was established in Diogbe with the help of the missionaries, for then, unlike now, schools were so deeply and inseparably married to the church.
 According to Mr. Ugwuele Isaac, the protagonists of Christianity came to Diogbe with some aggressive evangelism and were conscripting people to school which later amounted to forcing them into Christianity. The unsuspecting people of Diogbe, he continues, innocently but ignorantly received Christianity and even showed the early Christian missionaries some portion of land where they built their church/school and then established their religion even though it constituted a challenge to their own traditional beliefs and practices.
 Also on arrival of the early Christian missionaries in Diogbe, they according to Okoro Elvis saw virtually nothing good in the existing religion of the people and as a result, they unrelentlessly preached against all the ways of life and religious practices of Diogbe people such as Odo cults, second burial ceremonies, ancestral worships, Ozo title takings etc. As a socio- religiously conscious people, the traditionalists in Diogbe rose in defence and thus clashes erupted among the adherents.
 Despite the shortcomings of the Christians, Christianity has been playing leading role in tackling pressing issues and facilitating developments in Diogbe. Christianity in Diogbe brought about the extension of the sole primary school in Diogbe. It goes further to point out fearlessly the societal problems, which call for attention at any given time. Christians do not stop at that, for they also suggest ways of tackling such problems either through prayers or meaningful suggestions to the central town union – in an effort to move the community forward. That our son Rev Fr Charles O. Ushi is the first indigenous Catholic Priest of St. Peter’s Parish Ukehe is enough to show the influence of Christianity in Diogbe. We still have many of our sons in the seminary school. All these efforts according to Mrs. Maria Okoro are geared towards maintaining peace and unity in Diogbe, which will form the bedrock for community development.
 It is however imperative to state that religion is a matter of the soul as opposed to matters of the flesh of the mundane. Since all true religions should preach love and peace as a means of attaining eternal glory, all our people needed is some kind of public enlightenment to create that awareness, awareness of their belief as a corporate and indivisible entity, and the inalienable right to the beliefs of the individual persons that constitute the community. Religion should not be confused with morality. According to Chris Onubuleze, while the former is of the soul, the latter is of the world, and therefore concerns every member of the society irrespective of his religion or religious denomination. That one belongs to a particular religious group does not in any way justify or condemn that individual with any moral act.
 It is therefore expected that the adherents of the varying religious interests should be made to adopt persuasive evangelism rather than the use of force, intimidation and character assassination to win converts or sustain followership.

SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT IN DIOGBE
 No written account can be traced about any traditional system of government in Diogbe. It is believed that whatever system that existed evolved from customs, conventions, and common practices which later on matured into a generally acceptable method of government.
MACHINERY OF GOVERNMENT
(i)  Okpara System of Administration 
 The government was republican in nature and its administrative functions were carried on through – the family, the kindred, the village and the town through the council of elders.
(a) The family – includes the extended family system.  This is usually identified by the prefix Umu – (eg) Umu-ushi, Umu Okoro, Umu-otikpo, Umu- nwezugwu, Umu-Ominye, Umu-arigo, etc. The head of the family (Di-Okpara) is the eldest male survivor of the family.  He holds the family “ofo” as a symbol of authority over every other member of the family, no matter how highly placed in the society. He combines spiritual and temporal leadership for the family and this earns him the respect and loyalty of every member of the family group including daughters married outside the family, their children, and husbands.
 Disagreements amongst members of the family are first settled at the palace “Obi” of the family head.  Similarly, regular meetings and consultations are held in his obi to discuss problems as they arise. Such meetings are summoned by the family head on his own notion or at the instance of any member of the family.  Issues discussed often include the apportionment of family land during each planting season, allocation of a residential piece of land to grown up young men in the family, arrangement for family marriages and burial ceremonies, etc.  Families could also assemble to agree on the common stand members would take on any controversial issue at the kindred or village meetings.
(b) The kindred:  Comprises a group of families with an identifiable blood relationship within which inter-marriage is prohibited.  The assembly of all male adults in the “obi” of the kindred head is the supreme authority in all issues.
Often times, meetings are held at the obi of the kindred head to settle inter family disputes, arrange for the partition of the kindred communal land and to discuss any other issues of common interest to members of the kindred.
(c). The Village:  This is a large unit consisting of a group of kindred. At this level, a general assembly of all the people in the village could be summoned.  This situation very much resembles the system of direct democracy of the ancient Greeks. But here, a two-tier pattern of government is established;
- The general assembly of the people which is the supreme authority;
- A Council of kindred heads which meets in emergency situations to take decisions on issues that require urgent treatment. But such issues would eventually be referred back to members of the kindred for ratification.
(d) The town/the council of elders.  The highest Diogbe socio – political and judicial body is the council of elders (Ndi Oha) composed of every eldest man (Onyishi) or their representatives who are delegates from their lineage. However, they are delegates and not rulers, thus bearing the opinions of their group to the meetings and bearing the final decisions home. According to Mr. Stan Ushi16, “the council derives its power from “Onu Ugwudielemagi” (Ugwudi Oracle), with the chief priest serving as their over lord. It is at the shrine of the oracle that the council of elders discusses every sensitive issue concerning the town.
THE DIOGBE GENERAL ASSEMBLY (TOWN UNION)
THE SPIRIT AND PHILOSOPHY OF DIOGBE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
 DGA is a philosophy, an idealism whose main tenet was and continues to be an attempt to break away from the shackles of unnecessary domination and/or misdirection by the elders.  It was an attack on the unprogressive and reactionary forces, an attempt into the orderly organization of Diogbe community to achieve good administration, economic and social improvement in the living standards of the people, in order to ensure peace, harmony and stability. The Diogbe General Assembly was fashioned out of a rebellion” of the Youth against the aged; it is a revolt against the intolerable and inept leadership of the Diogbe Development Committee formed in 1987; it is an attempt to reform leaders who lacked vision and drive; it is a war against stagnation.
 There was a clarion call arising from an innate urge to be articulate.  The call was for the youths to rise and declare their inalienable right to be free from the apparently high handedness of the elders.  The call was answered in 1992 at Enugu, the birthplace of Diogbe General Assembly.
BACKGROUND
DGA started as a message of hope. In the message, it punctuated high ideal and projected a set purpose, which was meaningful and re-assuring.  But the history of DGA cannot be seen from this end result.  We now see DGA as an organization of the Youth Christened in later years as Diogbe Town Union, a union that has its history 16  (sixteen) years back – 1992.
 Thus, “Ndiabrod” were no longer at ease with the state of affairs at home. Under the auspices of Chief Okegbe CC, Okoro Ike Paul, Igwenagu Francis, etc, they proceeded to organize a development union, which later became known as Diogbe General Assembly.  The Assembly was hatched at Enugu and then brought home in 1992.  Her first chairman was Chief Okegbe CC.  The Diogbe General Assembly is now known as Diogbe Town Union. The present Diogbe Town union, under the leadership of UWAKWE OKEGBE as a matter of fact has been described as the most pragmatic, most humanistic, most liberal and most God – fearing since the inception of town union system in Diogbe.
 At least Diogbe under this union has successfully completed and still undertaking several projects among which include developing the Orie market, attracting World Bank counterpart project for the renovation of the central school Diogbe, acquiring a secondary school site for the community, pipe borne water project, reconciliation of different groups etc.
 Without being told, one knows that these projects attract enormous fund to carry out. But the source of generating revenue has been on self-help method as the community has from time to time organized launching ceremony where reasonable amount of money would have been realized but for the non-challant attitude of some cabals who swore never to see anything good for and from Diogbe.
          This association, since inception in 1992 has piloted the affairs of the community creditably. It is described as the “last bus stop” for the unity and progress of the town by Mr. Okwelu George and according to Mr. Emmanuel Nsoke, the union’s secretary general; accountability is the watchword of the association. And following this spirit of patriotism, the people of Diogbe are equally followers provided good leaders are leading them.
 So far, construction works have been in progress and others have reached advanced stages as the secondary school site has been cleared and other works concerning the school are improving. If not for logistic problems, the water and electricity projects would have reached appreciable stages.
 It is therefore expected that Diogbe people should heighten their efforts toward these projects. Diogbe people should develop and cultivate the spirit of contributing one’s own quota in one way or the other in pushing the town forward and not backward. Above all, leaders of the town union should not arrogate powers to themselves and should not see the association as their private company where they do whatever they like. In other words, there should be room for constructive criticisms to pave way for better performances.
 All said and done, it has been noted that Diogbe under the auspices of the town union has taken up lots of projects, which are being handled gallantly and with utmost seriousness. It is advocated therefore that the leaders of the town union should imbibe and enshrine in them the spirit of forward ever backward never.

EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS
Finance:  Neither the town nor any of its component units had a standing fund or a treasury.  As a result, there was no definite system of taxation.  Instead funds were raised as the need arose through levies “utu” on all adult males and at times females.  Other sources of fund included fines, and income realized from the sale of property communally owned. For collection of fines and enforcement of communal labour the “Diogbe Task Force” is employed as the local police.  The presence of the members of the task force in a man’s compound for debt collection is not only feared but abhorred.  Consequently, the task force always succeeds in collection of difficult fines and debts, and affords the most effective police action against any recalcitrant member of the community. 
Social Welfare: Most significant   here is the maintenance of roads “Ibo-Uzo”.  This is an annual event arranged at village levels.  Each village once a year, during the dry season, announces the day on which all roads in its area would be cleared.  On such a day, all hands in the village are engaged on this job, elderly men direct the operations, male adults clear the roads and foot paths, while the adolescent male sweep away the rubbish.  Any person who fails to participate in this exercise without reasonable excuse is liable to a fine.  The work is rounded off with feasting and merriment.

JUDICIAL FUNCTIONS
Settlement of Disputes:  A traditional court system existed from the family to the town level, which decided both civil and criminal cases.
 In civil cases, the aggrieved party sued the defendant at the court of the kindred head with a given sum of money.  The kindred head would invite the defendant to pay to his court a sum equal to that paid by the plaintiff. The court was constituted of all adult male in the kindred.  The parties would be summoned to air their grievances.  Both parties would leave the court when the members would confer amongst themselves to arrive at a decision.  When the parties were recalled, the kindred head through the “Onye Oke”– the sharer would deliver judgment.  Thereafter, all the members of the panel would share the sum paid by the parties.  The judgment could involve fines levied on the guilty party, declaration of title in land disputes or “Igbu ewu, nkita or okuko asiri maasi” in case of slander.
 Criminal cases are regarded as an offence against the community.  Where for instance a thief was caught red handed, he receives the wrath of the people by public beating and disgrace.  Crimes range from stealing minor goods, seduction of a relation’s wife, adultery, pre-marital pregnancy without a proposed husband,  “Ime mkpuke” and abortion, to such heinous crimes as arson, house breaking, leaking official secrets to the enemy (sabotage) and murder (Igbu ochu).  From the list of crimes one would observe that the community was anxious to maintain a high moral standard and acts tainted with immorality were invariably regarded as criminal.
 According to Mr. Stan Ushi, where in the settlement of any dispute it was difficult or impossible to discover the truth, the community would decide upon consulting the oracle “Ugwudi” or swearing to an oath as the last resort”.  The effect of oath swearing could not be determined until after 28 days “izu asaa”.  If within this period the person on whom oath was administered did not die, he would celebrate his discharge and innocence with funfair, Mr. Ushi concludes.
 In all civil cases, an appeal system existed from the kindred to the village and town levels. A council of representatives for the whole town – the council of elders “Ndi oha” was the final court of appeal.

ARBITRATIONS
 Since native tribunals are by law denied all civil and criminal jurisdictions, Diogbe citizens can only settle their local disputes through arbitration at the request and with the consent of the parties.
 At the family kindred, village or town levels, women of the family, kindred, village or community married outside “Umuada” or their issues “Umudiala” at times play a mediatory role in the settlement of local disputes.  There have been matters, which proved almost impossible of settlement by members of a family, kindred, village or the entire community, which were resolved by either of the said groups.
 Worthy of mention is the peculiar way in which “Umuada” can impose their decisions on both or either of the disputants. They at times intervene in family feuds uninvited, their concern being the unity, peace and harmonious living by their kith and kin.  It is believed that they are incapable of taking sides in a dispute or giving biased judgments.  The confidence reposed in “Umuada” in peace making during family disputes, according to Mrs. Cordelia Ushi (Nee Ugwu) “is thus shrouded in the myth of their being sacrosanct and incorruptible in handling such matters”. They give their verdict impersonally, and if any of the parties fails to comply with their recommendations, their only sanction is to refrain from visiting their home families and if such a person dies, they would not attend his funeral nor keep their traditional vigil at his death. Hardly can any person withstand such a sanction and as a result, in many cases, their intervention, which is rare, usually succeeds in reconciling the parties.
 Today, as in yester-years, the machinery of government is a marriage between the traditional systems and the government institutions.  The traditional systems are on a continuing basis modified to suit the requirements of the day but they have not been modified out of existence.  The native courts have given place to customary courts, which are now completely abolished.  Native or local and county councils have been replaced by community and divisional councils, yet most of the features of our indigenous systems, the family, kindred and town assembles remain constant.  This is an evidence of a people with a stable traditional pattern of authority, which has proved durable in spite of the influence of modern government institutions.
EDUCATIONAL TREND AND DEVELOPMENT IN DIOGBE
 Education has been identified by all nations as an instrument for development. The national policy on education (1981) confirmed this when it stated “the federal government of Nigeria has adopted education as an instrument par excellence for effecting national development and that education will continue to be highly rated in the national development plans because education is the most important instrument for change. According to Uwazurike (1991), “we are sure of the potency of education for development when we credit it with power of socialization, transmission of culture, skills, knowledge and social norms as well as inculcating desirable moral values and attitudes”.
 It is therefore clear that human skills and knowledge more than anything else determine the rate of economic, social, cultural and political development of a nation. The development of human skills and knowledge is effected through education. The national policy on education (1981) succinctly stated that any fundamental change in the intellectual and social outlook of any society has to be preceded by an educational revolution. Looking at the individual and the society as the focus of education, it will become clearer that the main responsibility of education is to remove the area of conflict between the individual and the society and then harmonize their relationship. The family or the home is the first classroom of a newborn baby. This baby is a cultural barbarian and strongly needs to be groomed into the folkway of the people. To achieve this task both parents must be actively involved in nurturing the baby.
 It is a common knowledge that in Diogbe, most of our children are offsprings of illiterate and semi-literate parents whose families are not properly organised for preparing children adequately for inculcation of the Western type of education. Western education is alien to ours as most of our people are peasant farmers and traders. Without mincing words, when it comes to education, Diogbe could be classified as among those communities that woke up late from a deep slumber when their counterparts have as a mater of fact covered a mile race.
 According to Mr. Nsoke Donatus, crisis of attitudes and values stand above most of the problems of education in our community. Improper value judgement and orientation tend to destroy the very fabrics of acculturation already laid down during childhood. The manner any society, at any given time, interprets meaning of life and reality is the sine-qua-none for any level of educational achievement in that society, Mr. Nsoke concludes.
 To be precise, Diogbe realized her educational problems too late and is poised to tackle them within the shortest possible time. That a lot of her people are now pursing different degrees in the universities, while so many have graduated and more still struggling to gain admission into various high institutions is a pointer to this fact. This notwithstanding, there is the need for the community to embark on a programme that will ginger and encourage the youths to further their education and abandon the quest for “quick money”. If no energy is spent on this, it will have a long-term adverse effect on the community, hence the adage, “a stitch in time saves nine.”
 It is acknowledged that ignorance, fear, superstition and apathy constitute the greatest obstacle to community development. Education is a powerful instrument for breaking the shackles of poverty, ignorance, fear and superstition. Poverty and ignorance breed fear and superstition. If poverty and ignorance are expelled, fear and superstition disappear. To dispel ignorance, proper enlightenment and education is very important. The weapon of education, therefore, can destroy negative aspects of tradition such as ignorance, superstition, envy, and backwardness and pave way for development in Diogbe.


DIOGBE COMMUNITY AND HER NEIGHBOURS
 Diogbe has close relation with her neighbours.  Diogbe is closely related to Umunko, Ukehe, Ekwegbe and Umuna on account of marriage affinities. Diogbe is very peace loving and hospitable to strangers.  It was her non-aggressive nature that made it possible for the surrounding towns to crowd her into the present small living space.  This does not mean that Diogbe as a town did not take part in the inter-town wars in the days of yore.  Some of the external wars were Diogbe versus Umuna, Diogbe versus Umunko, Diogbe versus Ukopi and Diogbe versus Umuofiagu.
 From the account of these wars, one will see a confirmation of the earlier statement that Diogbe people were not aggressive.  They fought many of these wars as retaliatory measure against the enemy who provoked them.  Worthy to mention here is the diplomatic immunity accorded women married from outside the town – “Nwanyi Mba”. Such a woman by custom is treated with utmost care because if she was ill-treated and she ran home, it could mean recrimination from her people.  In extreme cases, if she was seriously wounded or killed by her husband or a member of his family kindred or town, an inter-clan warfare could result.  But even where there were wars, these were later settled amicably. This was an evidence of her good diplomatic relations.
THE WAY FORWARD
 Traditionally, one could say that Diogbe people are a happy people. This is witnessed in the cherished place given to festivals and rituals in her culture. They are also a peaceful people who have respect for culture and potent values.
 Diogbe culture is communalistic. Members of each village are tied together with physical and metaphysical knots that anyone who riffs the communion is considered to be a cheat. Villagers worked together, suffered together and gloried together. To speak like Senghor, Diogbe people reasoned by embrace.
 Unfortunately, today, Diogbe seems to be loosing one of the central aspects of her culture and unity – COMMUNALISM. As it stands, it has not been too easy for many to divest the factors of this loss from the many problems affecting Diogbe today. With time, people have developed pungent individual ideologies and visions, which cordon off all communal affiliations. And it has reached to the extent that no one considers the other. This has gone a long way to risk the issue of patriotism. Since no one thinks of the other, the other soon becomes a material to be exploited for individual gains. But because of the difficulty of exploitation, there is a resort to mutual suspicion and attendant accusations and counter – accusations. The scenario produces a chain reaction that gives room for wide disunity.
 Diogbe community therefore has the basic challenge of uniting together to harness her resources with one mind. The Diogbe Town Union should help us here. It will be a very heady task to accomplish but not an impossible one. This task is hard because not all has agreed that we have a problem. Attempt should be made in different villages to see that there is a general reclamation of the communalistic value. In this case however, communalism will not be as crude as it will be tolerant to accept other modern alternatives.
 Different experiences, says K.C Anyanwu, produce different people. Even though there are multifarious interest pressure groups in Diogbe with different experiences and people, those experiences and people can be harnessed to push Diogbe forward. Actually, it is not that the concept of UNITY was alien to Diogbe, hitherto; it is just that collective historical experiences left her with a big chunk of the ill of disunity. And there is no way real development in Diogbe will be a possibility if things continue as they are, says Brother Kevin Nwodo. Therefore, the challenge of developing Diogbe lies in our eradication of hatred by imbibing our traditional communalistic character in defiance of Western psychological individualism. This will start from the minutest unit of our community. This is very necessary since it is only from the mysterious equations of love can any logical reasoning emerge.
 We can right these wrongs, difficulties, setbacks and worries can be salvaged. Even though our bones are dry, they can rise again says Brother Kevin Nwodo. Every trouble or disappointment is a stepping-stone for greater success. Where there is greater evil, there is the possibility of greater good. Paul who was formally Saul proved this right. The Israelites passed the desert before they reached the Promised Land.
 Love is possible in a world of hate: victory is possible in a world of defeat; sacrifice is possible in a world of selfishness; virtue is possible in a world of vice; appointment is possible in a world of disappointment; joy is possible in a world of sorrow. It is the possibility of saying “No” that gives charm to the heart when it says “YES”. We do not walk out of a theatre or film show because our beloved actor/ actress is shot in the first scene. Let us not loose hope because of initial disappointment. It is the final scene that crowns a play. God also will crown our life and town’s dramatic scene with victory. However, in order to achieve victory, we must look up to God and not concentrate on our problems cautioned Brother Chibueze Ushi. According to him, “a child offends his parents but the father concentrates on the crime whereas the mother concentrates on the child. Mary is that woman who concentrates on the welfare of God’s children irrespective of their prodigal ways”. Let us turn to her. She will wipe away our tears, comfort us in our difficulties and present our prayers to his Son, concludes Rev Fr John Chibueze Ushi.
 Conclusively, the troubles of this world may be many but we have a steady support.“The troubles and disappointments, frustrations and worries are limited. They cannot cripple love, they cannot corrode faith, they cannot eat peace away, they cannot destroy unity, they cannot damage confidence, they cannot kill friendship, they cannot invade the soul, they cannot silence courage, they cannot shut out memories, they cannot quench the spirit of oneness, and they cannot lessen the power of resurrection. The dry bones will surely rise again!


REFERENCES
Anthony Onyika and Ogbonna C. Ushi “Change of Name” (Advertisement) Daily Star (February 24: 1977) P. 19
BBC English Dictionary (2004). “A Dictionary for the World. London: Harper Collins Publishers. 
Bjork R. and Adams D. (1969).  Education in Developing Areas. New York: David  Mckay
Federal Republic of Nigeria (1981).  National Policy on Education. Lagos: Federal; Ministry of Information Publications.
Ikekeonwu C.I (1980). A Lexico – Phonotactic Study of the Northern Igbo Dialects. Ph. D Thesis: U.N.N
Janning (1963). Elements of Map Interpretation.  USA Macmillan Co.
Uwazuruike C.N (Ed) 1991).  Educational Planning and National Development: A Nigerian Perspective Awka:  Meksluk Publishers Nigeria.

Chapter Three
EKWEGBE COMMUNITY
By Thaddeus Chidi Onyeke
INTRODUCTION
 The above article can be discussed under two sub-headings:
1. The historical origin of Ekwegbe community and
2. The geo-political location of Ekwegbe community.
THE HISTORICAL ORIGIN OF EKWEGBE COMMUNITY
 The historical origin of Ekwegbe Community dates back to the Pre-Colonial period i.e. before 1500. According to Ani, (1999), “This period had no recorded history”. In the same vein, Ekwegbe Community of that period had no recorded history of origin due to reasons given above. The history of the people was preserved mainly through oral tradition and folklore.
Name: The name ‘Ekwegbe’ was given to the earliest emigrants to the Community by the people of Umuna Community. According to (Igwe Ezeani, Igwe Chiduabo and Simon Attama), the earliest ancestors of Ekwegbe were Odika and Nome. Odika was a man and Nome was his wife. They were descendants of the great Attah of Igala who settled at Aku Community in Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area before they moved eastwards through Umuna to their Promised Land, Abaegbedu, the current Ohumofia quarter in Ekwegbe Community. Like the Biblical Moses and the Israelites, they journeyed to their promised land, which they could not easily arrive at due to interruptions and interrogations by the Umuna people with the following questions, among others: What are your names?, Where do you come from?, Where are you going?, Are you dumb?. The response to every one of the above questions was continuous nodding of their heads until they were asked the last question. Are you Ekwebe? (Ekwebe meaning continual affirmation). This sounded like Ekwegbe. They also nodded in response. They were finally allowed to pass through Umuna Community and settled at Abaegbedu near Umuna, a place assumed to be the present Ohumofia quarter in Ekwegbe Community- their promised land. They were influenced by the natural fertility of the soil capable of sustaining them in agricultural activities, the earliest and only occupation at that period.
 Odika and Nome, the first parents of Ekwegbe, gave birth to their first son-called Ugwumbitima whose other name was Igboke Odika Nome and a second son called Ugwuapi-Ekwegbe Odika Nome. They had only one daughter called Ada-Oha.
 At Abaegbedu, their first place of settlement, they established the following: Their Land goddess, Onu Ani-Ekwegbe; their god of creation, Onu Okike Okechi Abiama-Ekwegbe; their god of harvest, Onu Fijioku-Ekwegbe. From Abaegbedu, Ugwumbitima, the first son, moved eastwards to settle at the present Umuorogu Uwelu-Ohumofia quarter. Ugwuapi, the second son, moved to settle permanently at Umunshionyugwu of Ishameleokpe in Amudu Ekwegbe. Ugwuapi was described to be so bold and popular. He was a giant, strong with imposing physique, which earned him a war hero. He bluntly left his parents and his only brother Ugwumbitima to settle at the foot of the highest hill at the centre of the community (Ugwuologwu). As a war captain, he decided to settle at a strategic position where he could easily have an overview of the security of the entire area presently occupied by Ekwegbe Community. He lived and died there. It was believed that he transformed into a Lion –the most famous animal on earth (Agu-Ugwu). Even the entire area where he settled is called Agu-Ugwu. During his lifetime, he was believed to be in charge of the security of life and property of the community. He grew to be more popular than his elder brother Ugwumbitima. Many tributes were dedicated or paid to him. For examples, any extraordinarily large sized tuber of yam harvested in the community by any farmer was taken to him. The same applied to extra-ordinarily sized lobe of kola harvested in the community, and palm wine tapped from palm trees that yielded three-in-one (Nkwu gbara-ato). After his death, the succeeding Chief-Priests continued to enjoy such rights as Ugwuapi. Of course, when Ugwuapi is to be worshipped, all the wine tappers must surrender their palm wine yield to the worshippers. The same applied to Ugwumbitima, his elder brother.
 Odika and Nome, the ancestral parents of Ekwegbe, lived and died and were buried at Ishamelu Ohumofia village where an Egbu tree was planted in their memory. The EGBU tree is the tallest tree at the village square of the current Ishamelu-Ohumofia. Every Omaba or Okango Music must salute Odika’s graveyard before displaying in the village square each time they should touch the village.
Ekwegbe has a population of about 26000 people (1991 census figure) and a landmass of about 54 square kilometers. If 2.5 % growth rate for population projection in rural areas is applied, the population of Ekwegbe Community will hit 32,500 by the year 2009. Ekwegbe Odika Nome was very strong in that she engaged eighteen communities in warfare and defeated them. Ama Ominye Odobo from Uwenu in Umuezenavu of Ozeachalla Ekwegbe was the strongest man of his time. He was so excessively strong that he even prayed Ejarija deity in Ozeachalla to give him what he would wrestle with in order to test his strength. When he was going to his farm at Agu Ekwegbe, a wild bull stood by his way. Ama Ominye became happy and thanked Ejarija for having given him what he asked for and the wrestling started. The match ended one score apiece.
 .
EKWEGBE AS A COSMOPOLITAN COMMUNITY
 Apart from the earliest settlers in Ekwegbe community, there were other immigrants from time to time to build up the earliest population of the people. There were people who migrated from West, North, Northeast and Southeastern parts of the present Ekwegbe community to make up the earliest settlers. For instance, some immigrants came from Akpugo in the present Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area to make up the earliest settlers at Ohumofia, which gave them the name-Umu Akpugo Dim-Okoro while their earliest name was Ohumofia Dieze Oka.
From the Southeast: According to oral tradition, some came from Ibagwa-Nike and Ibagwa Okwe to make up the earliest population of Ukopi quarter in Ekwegbe community of that period.
From the North: Ekwegbe was classified as members of descendants of Ideke Arumona like Nsukka, Obukpa, Okpuje, Edemani and Ibagwani.
 From the neighbouring town of Opi, North-East of Ekwegbe, were descendants of Ugwobo Ogazi-Idi-Opi who immigrated to Ekwegbe and increased the population of the earliest settlers at Amohu quarter specifically Umueke village. That was the origin of Ugwobo Ogazi of Umueke-Amohu’s ancestral god. In Amonucha quarter, the eldest village, Ezama-Aram was believed to have immigrated from Ikem in Isi-Uzo Local Government Area.
 Also believed to have immigrated from Ikem were a section of Ishamele Okpe called Umu-Ugwu from where they brought a god called Ora-Ikem. A village called Amolu-Ozi traced their ancestral origin from Mbu-Amolu in Isi-Uzo Local Government Area. From there, they brought their god called Mkpume (stone) Amolu.
 Agulu Ugwu Eriom, the earliest settler of the present Agulu village, migrated from Agulu -Awka in Awka, Anambra state. He established a deity called Agbuyi Agulu Ugwu Eriom for protection against invasion, incursion and hostility. He was a blacksmith.
 The chronological orders of seniority of Ekwegbe community according to six quarters that make up the community are as follows: Ohumofia, Amonucha, Amohu, Amudu, Ukopi and Ozeachalla. This order is strictly emphasized and rigidly adhered to in sharing communal things in the community. For instance, the councillorship position that rotates among the quarters started from Ohumofia, the eldest quarter.
The six quarters have various villages arranged according to seniority at Ekwegbe level, viz;
OHUMOFIA: -Amaeshilagwo, Ishamelu Ohumofia, Amaduloka, Umuokparanzu, Umuorogu, Ogbodu, Ishamani, Amashieke, Umungwoke. Ohumofia is divided into two Aka-aya groups: (Umuorogu, Umungwoke, Amashieke, Amaduloka, Umuokparanzu, Amaeshilagwo, Ogbodu) and (Ishamelu Ohumofia, Ishamani).
AMONUCHA: - Ezama-aram, Umuerombele/Amairagu, Amaoshim, Ezamagu, Ewenu na Uwani (Amadilebo and Amezi), Aniagogwu, Ndiagu-Akwashi. Amonucha is divided into three groups: Ezama na amonucha (Ezama-aram, Ezamagu, Amaoshim, Ewenu na Uwani, Aniagogwu); Umuerombele/ Amairagu and Ndiagu-Akwashi.
AMOHU: - Umugwacha, Umuchima, Uwani Amohu, Ama-ogbodu, Umuezenoba, Umueke, Umuwarama, Etiti Amohu. Amohu is divided into two groups:  Eshi Amohu (Uwani Amohu, Umugwacha, Etiti Amohu, Umuezenoba, Umuwarama) and Uwenu na uwani (Umueke, Umuchima, Ama-ogbodu).
AMUDU: - Amoluoshi, Eshiamudu, Ishamele okpe, Agulu, Amolu Uwani, Umuibe/Umunweshi. Amudu is divided into two Aka-aya groups: (Eshiamudu, Ishamele okpe, Umuibe / Umunweshi) and (Amoluoshi, Agulu, Amolu Uwani). 
UKOPI: - Amadulu, Amuke, Amangwu, Amaezike, Etiti, Ishamele (Umuevunike), Ezegbani, Ishiokpo. Ukopi is divided into Amokofia (Amangwu, Etiti and Ezegbani); Eshi Ukopi (Amuke, Ishiokpo, Amadulu, Ishamele (Umuevunike) and Amaezike)
OZEACHALA: -Umuezenavu, Amugwu, Ibegama, Amauwenu, Amegbu. Ozeachala is divided into Uwani Ozeachala (Umuezenavu and Ibegama); Amugwu n’ ato (Amauwenu, Amugwu and Amegbu).
THE GEO-POLITICAL LOCATION OF EKWEGBE COMMUNITY
 According to Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, the word ‘geo-political’ is ‘the study of the effect on a country’s politics of its position, population etc’ while ‘location’ is defined as ‘a place or position’.The geo-political location of Ekwegbe community can be discussed in two ways namely: The internal and the external (modern) geo-political locations.

THE INTERNAL GEO-POLITICAL LOCATION OF EKWEGBE COMMUNITY
 The internal geo-political location is traditionally designed. According to (Igwe Ezeani and Simon Attama), Ekwegbe community traditionally divided herself into two main groups using North and South poles called Akama-Enu and Akama-Ani. Akama-Enu is made up of three quarters namely: Ohumofia, Amonucha and Amudu and is located at the Northern part of the community. Akama-Ani is located at the Southern part of the community and is made up of three quarters namely: Amohu, Ozeachalla and Ukopi. The Eke market is at the centre as well as the early Churches, the Roman Catholic and the Anglican Communion currently St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and St. Matthew’s Anglican Church, Ekwegbe along with their mother schools -Central school and Community primary school Ekwegbe respectively were located at the centre of the community.
 Akama-Enu has common boundaries with Opi in the North and Northeast, Ohodo in the Northwest, Ozalla in the West. Akama-Ani zone shares boundaries with Umunko in the Southeast, Diogbe in the Southwest and Umuna in the West.
 At Agu-Ekwegbe, which is located in the Eastern part of the Community, the community shares common boundaries with Opi-Agu in the North, Neke in the North -East, Nike in Enugu North in the East and Ukehe in the Southeast
 Traditionally, the community was also geo-politically structured into two main groups called Aka-Aya, which filled the gap created by the early North and South division. These were East and West divisions for security and unity of the community. Aka-Aya balanced up the sharp division that would have been created by the Aka-ma Enu and Akama-Ani pattern. The Aka-Aya structure is as follow: Ohumofia, one of the minority quarters, was merged with Amohu and Ukopi, the majority quarters as Aka-Aya zone ‘A’ located in the Western part of the community.  Aka-Aya zone ‘B’, is made up of Amonucha, a majority quarter, Amudu and Ozeachalla, another minority groups, was located in the Eastern part of the community. Ekwegbe community was blessed with natural features/physical features that create natural boundaries between her and her neighbouring communities for examples Obara-River is the natural boundary between Ekwegbe and Opi communities. Their names helped to minimize internal disputes on the ownership of particular areas/places in the community. For example, Obara-River is owned by Akama-Enu, Ukopi owns Idodo River. Others whose associated names pinpoint their owners are: - Ejiyi Nwansisa (Lake Nwansisa), Ejiyi Adehe (Lake Adehe). Ejiyi Elemutu (Elemutu Lake), Ejiyi Oroko (Oroko Lake), Ejiyi Umuero (Umuero Lake), Ejiyi Amolu (Amolu Lake). Others are Iyi-Uzu, Okpote, Ishi-Ozi to mention but a few. Other physical features like Ugwuegele hill, Ugwuologwu, Ugwu Idodo, Ugwu Aku, Ugwu Oroko, Ugwu Ugolodu, Ugwuiketaku, Ugwu Akpoti, Ugwu Amolu, Ugwuodu, Ugwuanyanwu, and Ugwu Agboaputu are self-pointers to their respective owners in the community.
THE EXTERNAL OR MODERN GEO-POLITICAL LOCATION OF EKWEGBE COMMUNITY
 In the current political map of Nigeria, Ekwegbe was one of the six communities that make up Igbo-Etiti North Federal Constituency created in 1979 namely: Diogbe, Ekwegbe, Ohodo, Ozalla, Umuna and Umunko. Ekwegbe is also one of the autonomous communities in the old Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area created in 1976. In the current map of Igbo-Etiti geo-political zones, Ekwegbe is one of the three communities that make up Igbo-Omaba zone namely: Ekwegbe, Ohodo and Ozalla. Presently, Ekwegbe is in Igbo-Etiti central development council created by the government of Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani, the former Executive Governor of Enugu State. The current map of Ekwegbe shows Ukopi as an autonomous community but for the purpose of history, which deals with the past, the history and location of Ekwegbe community will be incomplete without including all the quarters that made up the community in the past. The map is skipped because of insufficient space.
UGWUAPI EKWEGBE
 Ugwuapi Odike Nome (the second son of Odike and Nome) lived and died at Ugwuologwu, a place located at the foot of a hill (Ivu Ugwuapi) behind Eke Ekwegbe market. Due to the fact that he protected Ekwegbe from incursion, aggression, invasion and hostility when he was alive, it was believed that his spirit could render such services to the community from the spiritual realm. His grave was therefore designed and worshipped as the God of the community (Ugwuapi Ekwegbe).
 Ugwuapi, the most popular god in Ekwegbe, is invoked to save the people from the scourges of pandemics, famine, acute draught, warfare etc. The invocation is through communal chanting across the community and beyond (Igba Agbo Ugwuapi) and/or sacrifice. It is incredible that any sacrificial cow of whatever size is slaughtered single-handed by the chief priest without the cow resisting.
 Any victory recorded by Ekwegbe people in any warfare or competition is attributed to Ugwuapi Ekwegbe. It was also believed that Ugwuapi is the brain behind any exotic fortune in Ekwegbe but failures are never attributed to it. The name is commonly exclaimed in the event of excitement, surprise, fright, unexpected and unpleasant situations. Ekwegbe people also saw Ugwuapi as the last resort whenever unusal phenomena and temptations are experienced for security and perseverance respectively. This was evident on 21st May, 1947 eclipse of the sun when Ekwegbe people in reaction to the unprecedented and wonderful event started chanting ‘ululu uu’ (meaning Ugwuapi ee) to invoke Ugwuapi for intervention as darkness suddenly enveloped the day. It was jubilation galore and songs of praises to Ugwuapi when the eclipse was over which they believed were the handiwork of Ugwuapi. Ekwegbe people root their children’s names to Ugwuapi for security of their lives.  The Ugwuapi shrine (onu Ugwuapi or onu Ugwu) is a monument.
ONYISHI EKWEGBE (THE ELDEST VILLAGE IN EKWEGBE)
 According to (Vincent Ezike, Ugwoke Madu et al), the original eldest village in Ekwegbe was Ogbodu in Ohumofia. It happened that an Onyishi from Ogbodu called Attama Neze Nwa Ishiali Ada, who used to bring the Onyishi Sceptre (Arua Ivom) to Ekwegbe assembly or to Onu Ugwuapi, became old and sick. A man therefore escorted him to those meetings from Amaeshilagwo called Evuru Ugwuegu. The mother of Evuru Ugwuegu was from Ogbodu and in such a situation, customarily, it is such a relation (Nwa-Nwunye) that does such a job. Then at a point, he (Attama Neze) told Evuru Ugwuegu that he should not stress himself anymore by coming to collect him each time there was a meeting and therefore handed over the sceptre to him to be presented on his behalf. Then Evuru continued that way until Attama Neze died. It is interesting that Evuru Ugwuegu took possession of the sceptre and started to present it to the meetings in his own capacity. Ogbodu people saw this as an usurpation of their right and had a feud with Amaeshilagwo people in order to recoup their property but could not succeed. That was how Amaeshilagwo of Ohumofia became the eldest village in Ekwegbe community till today.
 Other seniority arrangement (chronological order) among quarters and villages in Ekwegbe came to be with such events, stories and drama.   
THE HISTORICAL LINK BETWEEN AKU AND EKWEGBE
According to folklore, the Aku hill popularly called the Ugwu Aku which situates in the outskirts of Uno Ekwegbe and along Akamenu,   Agu Ekwegbe road is believed to be the reincarnation site (be – oluwa) of Aku people therefore they do not go there otherwise they would die. It is also believed that any time there is a landslide in the hill; the people of Aku may die en masse. This is why Ekwegbe people wedge the hill with big trees and rocks to prevent the landslide from occurring and safeguard the lives of the Aku people.
In times past the Ekwegbe people alerted the Aku people of impending health pandemic e.g. influenza, measles, chicken-pox etc, which they inferred from the happenings in the hill. To this end the Aku people were asked not to wear traditional bangles (eriri eka) or put traditional indelible ink (Uri) on their bodies. They were also asked to place Ikpere Odu, Eriri Agwo or Ntu (ashes) at the entrance of the compound in order to deflect the diseases mentioned above.
Available history has it that the immigration and settlement of Aku and Ekwegbe were somewhat done interchangeably, that is while Aku, who originally settled near the ‘Ugwu Aku’ before migrating to their present Aku, Ekwegbe people migrated from Useh village in Aku to the present location of Ekwegbe. It is strongly believed that Ekwegbe people do not go to Useh village in Aku community.     
CULTURE
THE ORIGIN OF OMABA
 According to (Igwe Ezeani, Pius Ezugwu, Ugwoke Madu et al), Omaba masquerade was first brought to Ekwegbe community by one Mr. Agada Nwachara of Umuezugwu Okoko in Umuokparanzu. This earned him the nickname: ‘Agada Nwachara Wetara Igba Dara Ogogo’ in the traditional folklore. This Omaba was given to Ekwegbe community by the said Agada Nwachara to bind them together.
 The said Agada Nwachara of Umuezugwu Okoko brought it from the neighbouring community, Ozalla. Mr. Agada officially handed Omaba over to Ekwegbe community in general. Ekwegbe in turn decided to get the Omaba secured at Idenyi Shrine at Ogbodu village, popularly known as Onu-Idenyi Anama Ogbodu in Ohumofia quarter in Ekwegbe. The Omaba which was kept at Idenyi Anama Ogbodu Shrine was later taken possession of by the Idenyi Shrine located at Ogbodu at Ogbodu village-Ohumofia which earned her Onyishi Omaba while Umuezugwu Okoko of Umuokparanzu remained Ishi-Omaba of Ekwegbe. Ishi-Omaba is one and only Omaba that is not owned by a single Village or quarter but the entire community and it is called Ishi-Omaba Di-Ekwegbe. The Omaba masquerade music is a melody so fascinating that no average Ekwegbe man or woman can afford to miss it.

THE OMABA YEAR
 The Omaba homecoming takes place every even-number year, therefore 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 etc are Omaba years. It comes home in February and goes back to the spirit world in October / November (nine months).Each is a very grand festival in Ekwegbe Community in that people do invite their friends (Oke Omaba) from other communities. During home coming, the people are very excited to receive Omaba in that they buy delightful wears, slaughter cows, rams, goats etc for the occasion. The droppings of these animals are put on palm fronds and openly displayed at the compound’s main entrance conspicuously on the eve of Omaba feast. This is called ‘Ichipu Ebuba Igu’. Gunshots do boom in the air throughout the period. The going back of omaba to the spirit world (ula maa) seems to be more costly.more boisterous and more convivial than its coming home (uda maa) in Ekwegbe.   
 The first and foremost impression about the returning of Omaba is the communal chanting (Imioru maa) signifying that the home coming of omaba is around the corner. This is done within the month of Fijioku Festival. Eight days after the month of Fijioku, Omaba stakeholders shall gather at a square called Obodo-Egwu on Eke day to solicit for the home coming of Omaba. The highlights of the meeting are the performing of some incantations by the chief priest that do not involve rituals and cultural displays that elicit ovations from spectators whereupon the chief priest announces to the gathering that ‘Irenya ga nwe ozi’ meaning that ‘The Irenya has the message’.  The next day (Orie), the first Omaba music (Iwa-onu) by the Irenya (Ekpo di Ogbodu) of Ohumofia is heard and the home coming day is therefore the 29th day. Other quarters shall perform the Iwa-Onu and Ibata-uno events with strict observance of the quarter seniority order by Omaba viz: Ohumofia, Amonucha, Ukopi, Amudu, Ozeachalla and Amohu. The two stages do overlap across the quarters in the sense that when Ohumofia is at the stage of Ibata-uno, Amonucha is at the stage of Iwa-Onu; when Amonucha is at the stage of Ibata-Uno, Ukopi is at the stage of Iwa-onu etc. There is an interval of four days between adjacent quarters. The women folk do not see it at the two stages. The nocturnal and anonymous cuttings of banana stems (Efi ita Jiarua) and its preparation at omaba groove (uham) for use during the period, rebuilding and cleaning of Omaba house (Okiti) are preparatory exercises. When Amohu concludes its own Ibata-uno, the next four days (afor day), Omaba will come home with the first port of call being at various squares for the six quarters for people to see and appreciate before they retire to their various houses called Okiti.  Virgin palm fronds (Omu Nkwu) are cut down and prepared and tied at the entrance of Omaba house as a sign that Omaba has returned and so it is out of bounds to the female folk. Each Okiti has a name by the Omaba. The next Eke day, the masquerade shall aggregate at the Eke market square for the masses to see and appreciate the allure and glamour.  This is Izu-afia. The masquerades are: - Ovuruzo, Okokoro, Oriokpa (Ugwokeoku or Perere), Ujamezigwoke, Eburuebu, Egbe, Ogiriugwunedem, Odukwe (Edi), maa – eruro etc.
 Odukwe (from ogbodu), by virtue of its position as the oldest masquerade, first announces its day of merriment called ‘Nkaji’ or ‘mmaji onu okachi’ on the 4th day of Omaba’s return and celebrated on the 8th day (Afor).It is an opportunity for the masquerade that did not return on the very day of Omaba’s return due to one reason or the other to do so on this Nkaji day after which none can return again. Women do organize welcome party for Omaba variously when it returns. Omaba beats its music for four days in honour of a man who dies during Omaba year.
 After twenty-eight days of homecoming, Omaba Ogbodu of Ohumofia will announce its special day of merriment called Obu-Egba-maa. Next month, Ejuona of Amonucha will announce its own day, then Ishamele of Ukopi, then Ishamele okpe of Amudu, Umuoyida in Umuezenavu of Ozeachalla and Umueke of Amohu. They would come out for people to see and appreciate them. The eldest masquerade in Ekwegbe, Ishi Omaba di Ekwegbe in Umuokparanzu, will make announcement of its own day which is the last in the series. All these happen in intervals of one month. At this point, all other ones including memadi of Amonucha can now announce its own day and demand food from the male ones that have not taken the Nrimaa title (Ogbodu) and the female ones that have neither married nor living with their husbands (Nri-Mgboto). Each day is an occasion for feasting and dancing the music of the particular Omaba masquerade.  Then the Uhere of Umuokparanzu will finally announce its own day and that concludes the stage. On the Uhere day, all masquerades shall appear naked and move in files around the community with songs (Igba Oto). After that day, only Edi and Oriokpa can come out with or without palm fronds. The aim of using palm fronds is to cover their selves so that their admirers will not recognize them, as they are now more serious in pursuing and catching them.
 After eight days, Omaba will go to Ugwu (Onyinyi Ugwu). This entails all the masquerades aggregating at a common square called Ikpogwu- Omaba with their musical instruments. At the Ikpogwu, it is difficult to easily distinguish the music of a particular group from that of the other as each group is enthusiastically beating its own music. Then the next eight days (orie day), Omaba will go home. ‘Otoma bu na Omaba alagu orie’ meaning ‘It is a blatant falsehood that omaba did not return to the spirit world on orie day is a popular statement of certainty or firm decision in Ekwegbe community.  The virgin palm fronds are therefore dismantled. On the day of its going home, normally in the night of the Orie day, wives do give their husbands fowls (Igo Ukwu) to show love on one hand and in appreciation of the totality of the house hold helps rendered by the husbands during the period on the other. Omaba disappears to the spirit world with the technical and pathetic songs ‘Iwerere iwelee’, ‘Nuwe nuweo’ etc in the night. After twenty eight days, the men that escorted the masquerade to their homes (Ogbanukwu) will feast for having survived the Omaba home going period because if any of them died before the end of twenty eight days, it is believed that he was killed by the Omaba and therefore cannot be accorded any funeral rite till after one year of his death. The over whelming socio-cultural functions of Omaba in Ekwegbe make the people grieve for its departure to the spirit world (Ula maa).
 Apart from comedy and cohesion, an outstanding social importance of Omaba masquerade is its ability to checkmate women excesses.
ABOMINATION TO OMABA (IKA MAA)
 Internal affairs of Omaba masquerade are exclusive things for the men folk. Stripping the masquerade naked, fighting or cursing Omaba masquerade, women entering the house or going to see the music, wearing attire peculiar to Omaba etc are taboos to Omaba and are regarded as revealing the sacred secrets of Omaba (Ika Maa) in the traditional context. In the event of any of these, the people or person responsible shall provide a cow and a goat for appeasement. If it is a woman, her parents or the people of her parents are liable to provide a cow and a goat but not her husband or the people of her husband.
AGALABA
 This is an Odo masquerade and the biggest masquerade so far. It comes out during fijioku festival and at any other days for people to see.
ESUSU OF ISHAMELU OHUMOFIA
This is an Omaba masquerade with a difference. It comes home sixteen days after that of Omaba and goes home together with Omaba. It operates alone.
UDELE UGWU DEITY
 This deity is a unique Omaba masquerade. It is from Ishamele Okpe in Amudu quarter. It is unique in the sense that it has a very great occult power more than other deities in the community and it is called Udele Ugwuezugwu Oshimiri. People who are indicted of complicity or atrocity take oath by it to prove their innocence. Women take oath by it squatting at a distance. If a calamity befalls a person who took oath by it within twenty-eight days of the oath, it is believed that the person actually committed the offence and he/she will be ostracized by the people till some appeasements and fines are made. If the person dies within the period, the deity will confiscate his/her property. It has its chief priest that carries the movable instrument of the deity to who requests for it for oath taking or property security etc. Some non-Omaba deities are Iyiokoro Ozeachalla (a goddess), Ejarija Ozeachalla, Ugwegede Ukopi, Idodo Ukopi (a goddess) etc.
THE AKATAKPA MASQUERADE
 This is a harmless and liberal masquerade whose main function is to keep the Nri-maa party lively. During Nri-maa party, it is the duty of Akatakpa to exorcise, with mild lashings of cane, the Ogbodu-ness in the aspirant to a vibrant Nwa-maa. Unlike Omaba masquerade, it has neither house nor music but the secrets of it are not divulged to the women folk. It always carries canes. Akatakpa Ishasha Ogoro is hostile to commercial sex workers (prostitutes). It throws its canes to youths (male ones) and gives them a hot chase thereby training them in sprinting and agility. It stays shortly when it returns in September / October period.
MARRIAGE SYSTEM
There are five officially recognized and practiced stages in Ekwegbe traditional marriage system, viz:-
1. Iju-ese / Iweje Oji-eha (official inquiry / taking of kolanuts to the family of the fiancée).
2. Igo nna n’ ili (Appeasing the fore fathers)
3. Iwe-Oji  (the marriage proper)
4. Marube / Ogo marube (official visit by the parents and relations of the fiancee to the house of the suitor).
5. Oririo (Request for the release of the wife to the husband).
However, there are informal transformations and fusions of the traditional stages due to infiltration of the Western methods (Wedding and Biology) into the traditional marriage system. There are therefore two unofficial stages in the contemporary marriage system in Ekwegbe community, viz: -
FIRST STAGE- THE CONFIDENTIAL STAGE
 This includes courting, coming together of the intending couple, who must have no blood relationship, at an agreed venue for identification and the conduct of biological compatibility tests.
SECOND STAGE – THE OPEN STAGE
This consists of four substages, viz: -
i. Iweje Oji eha: - Taking of 13 seeds of kolanut (large size), a carton of large stout, a crate of maltina, a carton of star, 6 gallons of palm wine and some amount of money officially to the family of the fiancée through the go-between who must be a male person and must have blood or social relationship with the two families. If there is acceptance, the suitor has to go to the family with his relations and friends to celebrate it by feasting with them for the acceptance.
ii. Igba-Nkwu: - This involves carrying various stipulated items to the family of the fiancée like 13 tubers of yam (large size), 20 seeds of kolanut, 3 fowls, 24 gallons of  palm wine, 2 kg of detergent, 2 crates of mineral, a crate of malt, a carton of large stout, a carton of star, 2 bars of soap, 2 rolls of toilet soap, a bottle of hard drink, a bottle of cream, a head of tobacco and some potash and an amount of money (which depends on what the suitor can afford to provide). The kins of the fiancée do give some items like cutlass, kolanuts, rolls of toilet soap etc, collected in a tray, to the suitor through the go-between as gift of appreciation. 
iii. Marube /Ogo Marube: - The family / relations of the fiancée will officially come to the home of the suitor for the first time. The suitor shall host them to their satisfaction and gives them a purse (which depends on the much the suitor can afford to provide) and officially informs them that it is his intension to wed their daughter.
iv. Wedding: - This is the western method that involves the exchange of nuptial vows and wearing of wedding rings by the couple before the two families / relations, the congregation, the officiating priest /Pastor / Iman, friends and well wishers as witnesses. A reception party is usually organized by the couple in consummation of this with cutting of wedding cake, bridal dance and giving of gifts from the families, relations, friends and well wishers as high lights.
CUSTOMARY BYELAWS OF A MARRIED WOMAN IN EKWEGBE
Byelaw 1  She should live in peace and harmony with her husband.
Byelaw 2  She should not have extramarital relationship
Byelaw 3  She should not embark on any costly project without the expressed permission of the husband.
VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES
 If a married woman violates byelaw 1 by being the source of quarrels in the house, she shall be subjected to tight counseling pressures from the people to change for the better. Her continued obduracy may earn her the chances of being asked to leave the house by the husband for eventual replacement. If a married woman contravenes byelaw 2, the husband shall sanction her until she presents a hen that shall be used to appease the gods of the land. In the event of matrimonial disputation and the wife leaves the house of the husband for her father’s house or elsewhere, it is the customary duty of the husband to look for her for reconciliation. If the woman violated byelaw 2 while she was away, she has to return to the house of the husband with a hen that should be used to appease the gods of the land. However if she did not, she has to pick kolanut part placed on the ground with her mouth and eat to prove her innocence.
 If a married woman violates byelaw 3, the husband has the right to abort the project at any stage and inflicts commensurate punishment on the wife.
These byelaws are not exhaustive. 
DIVORCE
 Acute insubordination, unguarded extra-marital relationship and other nefarious attitudes on the part of a wife that have defied counselling efforts can earn her repudiation from her husband. In this case, the husband either uproots her personal god (chi) and gives to her before the go-between or gives her a calabash plate ‘agbugba’ before the go- between with or without such remark that he has brought back the breadfruit from where he collected it (Idu Nwanyi). If this happens, the husband has no customary right to demand whatever he spent in the course of marrying her and no condition can re-establish the marriage.
DEATH AND FUNERAL RITES
 When a man dies, the information is duely passed to the Onyishi of the clan/village. The Onyishi will therefore invite his people at his house for the arrangement and for the information dissemination to those concerned including the descendants, relations and inlaws (if any) of the deceased. The Umuada (native women) on hearing this will aggregate at the place to take care of the corpse till burial. The men will arrive at the place, collect the corpse with a casket or an improvised and lay him to rest. Gunshots shall boom in the air signifying his demise. The men will display kolanuts in small containers at their hall (Obunube) for four days excluding the day of burial for the commiserators to pick. The Umuada shall stay at the scene continuously for eight days before dispersing. The descendants and the immediate relations shall be visiting there during the day for the next twenty days. The wives of the clan and relations will give food to them all along. There is head – shaving event (Iwe-ishi) on the twenty eightieth day. His wife (if any) has to stay indoors in black apparel for one year always holding a kitchen knife (Uma-ekwu). She neither talks loudly nor goes out alone because it is believed that the ghost of her husband is around and will attack her if it sees her alone or hears her voice.
 When it remains four days for the year to elapse, she will paint her body black and go to a nearby market or road junction with a small basket into which an item must be dropped by another widow planted in the market or road junction. Then she will go back crying. The journey is such that she will never turn while going or returning. When she returns, the apparel, the basket and the contents are both burnt. In the morning of the last day of the year, a widow shall shave her head and she takes her first bath since the mourning. She organizes a survival party for her friends and relations who then give her some presents like raw yam, plates etc. She is now emancipated to engage in out of doors activities. She shall use her changing gown for the next one year. She will now stage the first visit to her parents place called Igbashi manu. This requires ten tubers of yam, a jar of palm wine and some palm oil or whatever she can provide for the purpose.
 If a woman (married one) dies, the information shall first be passed to the Onyishi who then calls for the men of the clan/village for burial arrangement. Normally the clan will send the eldest son or daughter (if she has no son) with some individuals to go and inform the kins of the woman about the episode. Any person can be sent if the woman has no child. The Umuada shall go to the place and take care of the corpse. The men from the deceased village/clan shall go to the place to lay the woman to rest. The co-wives shall perform the breaking of Oke-ekwu function on the fourth day of burial. The men shall gather at the Obunube to display kolanuts for four days. The husband will be at the Obunube receiving sympathizers without displaying kolanuts. He shall be holding kitchen knife (Uma-ekwu) and he neither talks loudly nor goes out alone for twenty-eight days. This is because it is believed that his wife’s ghost will attack him if it sees him alone or hears his voice. He shaves his head (Iwe-Ishi) on the twenty-eight day.  He can invite his age group to take him to the market for celebration as the concluding rites.
 The funeral rite of a deceased is a thing that involves the relations and descendants to organize. The funeral rite of a man is consummated with the presentation of a cow by the relations / descendants to the clan with big ceremony. The sons- in-law shall prepare their wives in gorgeous attire and all shall proceed to the scene with accompanying dance group. Cow is used or its equivalent in cash pinned and displayed on palm stick as their major contribution to the occasion and it is called Ije-utu.
 The funeral rite of a woman (married one) is organized in such a way that the descendants and relations etc. dance along the street leading to their mother’s home in jubilation believing that their mother has died a good death and has lived a good life. Food, wine and other consumables do flow like water, as they shall invite groups, associations, individuals etc. It is  believed  in Ekwegbe that he who come must go back, the woman shall therefore be taken back to where she came from by the use of a piece of cloth to stand in place of the woman . This cloth is followed with a cow. The cloth belongs to the eldest man (Onyishi) of the clan of the woman.  The woman’s kins shall be ready to receive the mourners with some customary presents.
 It is a customary demand in Ekwegbe that a complete funeral be accorded a person otherwise the descendants must be denied it when it is their own turn. It is an abomination for a widow to die within one year of the death of her husband. If this happens, there will be no funeral rite for her. On the other hand, if a widower dies within one month of the death of his wife, he will not be accorded any funeral rite.
 Any funeral that was not done for the deceased within one year of his / her death graduates to a more elaborate one called Onwu Okochi.
 A son who has not accorded full funeral rites to his deceased father pays a little fine to his clan / village yearly (Ndurunye) until it is done. 
IWA OJI (KOLANUT BREAKING)
 In Ekwegbe General Assembly, kolanuts are presented by each eldest man (Onyishi) from villages or any other person and collected in the traditional saucer called Nkpukpu. The Onyishi Ekwegbe shall be given kolanut from the lot to offer prayers with. The sharers are Umunwenyi in Amaogbodu of Amohu representing the first Aka-aya namely Ohumofia, Amohu, Ukopi and Amegbu in Amugwu n’ato of Ozeachalla representing the second Aka-aya namely Amonucha, Amudu, Ozeachalla. These are the two contextual Aka-aya (Akama Oha) grouping. If people from these Villages (Umunwenyi and Amegbu) are absent, any other persons from other villages in Amohu and Ozeachalla following their seniority order can equally perform the function. Also if people of Amohu and Ukopi are absent so that it remains Ohumofia people, any person from them, though they are the eldest quarter, can still participate in the breaking and sharing to maintain the status quo.
 After breaking of the kolanuts, a seed and a piece of it, depending on the quantity, are given to Ohumofia in recognition as the eldest quarter (Ichi Onyishi). Half of what was given to Ohumofia is given to Amonucha as the second eldest quarter. Some pieces of it are given to all Attama maa persons (chief priests of deities) by hand that is they do not pick from the saucer.
The Attama maa’s (chief priests of deities) are: -
1.     Attama Idenyi - Ohumofia (Ogbodu)
2.   Attama Ugwumbitima  –  Ohumofia    (Umuorogu)
3.   Attama Ugwuegele - Amonucha  (Aniagogwu)
4.   Attama Adehe   -  Amonucha (Ezamagu)
5.   Attama Iyikwu   - Amohu (Amaogbodu)
6. Attama Ezebem   - Amohu (Uwani Amohu)
7.  Attama Ururo  -  Amudu (Umuibe)
8.  Attama Ugwuapi   -  Amudu    (Ishamele okpe)
9.   Attama Idodo    - Ukopi (Ishiokpo)
10. Attama Ugwegede   -  Ukopi (Ishiokpo)
11.  Attama Ejarija  - Ozeachalla (Umuezenavu)
12. Attama Iyiokoro   -  Ozeachalla (Umuezenavu)
 A chunk of it is given to the Igwe of the community in recognition of his position. If eventually a woman is around, a piece of it is given to her that is she does not pick from the saucer. Such is done to non-indigenous persons. The sharers shall collect some pieces for their own use called Aka-Oke and announce that they have finished breaking the kolanuts.
 It is now ready for general picking according to seniority across the Aka-aya (Akama Oha) grouping, starting from Ohumofia till the kolanuts are exhausted or when every one has been given or collected.
 If the onyishi share is given to a person from Amaeshilagwo, then it is the right of another Amaeshilagwo man present to start off the picking. However, if there is no Amaeshilagwo person again, then the next eldest village in Ohumofia starts off the picking. As those given in the process of ichi onyishi do not pick, the rule stipulates that any village, which has picked gives chance for the next village in the same quarter to pick in the ensuing round. For instance, if it is the turn of Ukopi in a round and Amadulu village has already picked in the previous round, then it is the turn of the next elder village, Amuke, to pick in the round and so forth. Picking starts afresh in this order if the kola nuts still remain after each person has been given or picked. There is also seniority observance by people inside villages such that the elder picks kola nut before the younger.
 In a situation where Ohumofia people are absent in Ekwegbe general assembly or any other gathering, Amohu quarter automatically becomes the eldest and therefore should be accorded recognition as done to Ohumofia if they were present and the system continues.

LAND / LANDED PROPERTY OWNERSHIP
 It is the custom in Ekwegbe that the girl child does not inherit both movable and immovable property of her parents and a man has all the customary rights to take over the property of his late wife.
Now, if an unmarried man dies, all his property goes to his immediate brothers or other relations (male ones) if he has no brother. If a Childless married man dies, his landed property would be under the wife’s supervision and use for one year only after which she relinquishes them to the male relations of her late husband.  If a man that is married to one wife or many wives and with male children dies, the eldest son acquires his landed property. His land is made use of by the other sons under the permission of the eldest son. If he married many wives with many male children from both wives and his property are to be shared, the number of his wives determines the number of shares. Each wife then goes to her own child / children with her own share. If a man decides to share out his property, both movable and immovable in his lifetime to his children, what each one gets is at the man’s discretion.
OMUGO
 The birth of a child is a happy occasion in Ekwegbe.When a child is born, the father normally goes to his inlaws himself to break the news. There shall be jubilation galore by the members of the family and even beyond. The mother inlaw shall first of all go to her in-laws place to confirm the news. She now returns and starts to inform her relations of this and her intention to present condiments (Ikpaje abubo) to the inlaw. That day, the father inlaw will present a goat (or sheep etc.) with some wine. The son inlaw will treat them to a party. After the occasion, they will go home without the mother inlaw who stays back to offer some assistance to the daughter such as bathing the daughter and the child. There is circumcision of the child on the 8th day. There is also ‘Nku Omugo’ event by the inlaws.
  The child is called Obochi (if he / she lives, we see) till the sixteenth day when the naming ceremony will be conducted. This is done by consulting a diviner. Palm fruits are collected from palm trees of the clan members called Igbu Ekwu Omugo
  On the twenty-sixth day, the mother inlaw shall present her own Nri-omugo, which includes food and condiments. Those consumables belong to the Nrimaa and Nriekwu titled ones in the clan. The relations of both families shall present their own Nri-Omugo on the twenty-seventh day. This also belongs to the Nrimaa and Nriekwu titled ones.
 The twenty-eighth day is the final day of the Omugo period and it is occasioned by official introduction and outing of the child to the members of the clan.  On this day, the son inlaw shall give some cloths to the inlaws, the wife, his mother and other relations. He shall treat every one to a party. He shall also present a jar of palm wine to the clan members to show appreciation for the Ekwu-Omugo he collected from them. The men members of the clan do donate money to the child called Itinye Nwa Ihe N’ aka on this day.
THE OHA TITLE (OHA EKWEGBE)
 The Oha council (the collection of Oha title holders) is a revered institution in the community. It is an exclusive investiture for the native male folk in the community. Normally, an Oha titleholder should be wealthy, gentle, responsible, charismatic and a star in oratory. The heir to an Oha titled man, who must be a son of the deceased Oha man, can inherit his title through the process called “Ina Aka Oha”. This requires a low-keyed hosting of the Oha titleholders to renew the title of the deceased and the consequent initiation of the heir.
Oha Title Taking (Ichi Oha) has neither age nor place of birth limitation. The basic requirements are interest and the ability to host the titleholders and provide the requirements for the investiture to their satisfaction.
The steps are: -
First Hosting the Onyishi, Ebonebo and Oha title holders in the village of the aspirant to formally announce his intensions (Igo Ama).
Second Hosting the Oha titled ones only in the village.
Third Hosting the Oha titled ones, the eldest men and youths of the quarter. The aspirant announces his Oha title name at this level and receives the staff.
Fourth Hosting the Oha titleholders in the Akama Oha (Aka-Aya) where the aspirant comes from. This is Akama Oha.
Final  Hosting the Oha Ekwegbe titled ones at Ekwegbe level that culminates in the confernment of the Oha Ekwegbe title on the aspirant.
The investiture is consummated with the aspirant receiving the title staff and announcing again his same or different Oha title name.
NOTE:  The participation of Oha titled ones in the different stages of Oha investiture is a function of the stages they are. 

FUNCTIONS
• Wades into land disputations and infightings voluntarily or on invitation.
• Custodian of the provisions of the customs and traditions of the community.
• Offers complementary functions for community governance.
• They represent Ekwegbe in the settlement of inter-community clashes.
NDI ONYISHI (THE COUNCIL OF THE ELDEST MEN)
 Where as Ohaship position is a function of wealth and interest, the Onyishi position is a function of age and divinity. An Onyishi is the eldest person / man in a village. Ndi Onyishi is therefore the collection of all the eldest men from villages across the community. The council of Ndi-Onyishi is also revered. Onyishi position is not achieved but inherited. Each Onyishi holds “OFO” of his village/clan.
FUNCTIONS
• The chief custodian of the customs and traditions of the community.
• Wades into land disputes and infightings etc voluntarily or by invitation.
• Offers complementary functions for community governance.
• By virtue of their position, they give definitive decisions on some important issues
ICHI ONYISHI
 Irrespective of the fact that the Onyishi position is not achieved but inherited, the person who has inherited it must treat his people to a party to formally institutionalize his/her position. By this, he/she is qualified to be accorded all his/ her entitlements and recognition from his/ her people as their Onyishi.
NRI-MAA TITLE
 This is an exclusive title for the male folk in Ekwegbe community. When a male child is born and after some birth ceremonies are done, it is a customary demand that the child must go through the process of initiation in the clan to be regarded as a full-fledged member. This is done through the organizing of Nrimaa party for the male members of the clan who are equally the Nrimaa titled ones.
The procedures are: -
1. Presentation of   an agreed sum of money to be shared by the Nrimaa titled ones.
2. Hosting of the Nrimaa titled ones with the provision of the agreed items for the party.
The title can be accorded a male individual at any stage of development preferably the childhood stage. A person who has been accorded an Nrimaa title is called a Nwa-maa (son of the god). An Ogbodu is the one that has not taken the Nrimaa title.
IGEDE TITLE
 This is the smallest and staffless title in Ekwegbe community. It is open to men as well as women. The requirements are interest and the ability to provide the agreed amount of money to the village/ clan in question. The aspirant, after presentation of the money, shall dance the Igede music at the square on the appointed date after which he or she is addressed as Obo-Igede of that village/clan. This is unlike other titles in which the holders do have some share in the subsequent hosting by aspirants. Igede and Echo music are beaten during deaths and funerals etc. 
NRI-EKWU TITLE
 This is the title for the married women in the community. When a woman is married to a man, it is a customary demand that the woman takes an Nri-Ekwu title for her to be socially installed in the fold of her married women counterpart in the clan who are Nriekwu titled ones. It is therefore the duty of the woman; her husband, her parents, her friends, her mother inlaw, her father inlaw etc or a partial or total combination of them to organize the Nriekwu party to the Nriekwu titled ones.
The procedures are
• Presentation of an agreed sum of money to be shared by the Nriekwu titled ones.
• Hosting of the Nriekwu titled ones with the provision of the agreed items for the party.
A woman who has taken the Nriekwu title is called Nwa-maa (daughter of the god). A married woman who has not taken the Nriekwu title is called Ogbodu.
UMUEZUGWU TITLE
 This title is for the women folk only and equivalent to Oha title.  The aspirant hosts Ndi Onyishi, Ndi Oha and youths to take the title if there are no Umuezugwu titled ones. She is given a carved calabash as the title staff. The titleholder is an honourable one and regarded as a woman leader therefore handles feminine matters in her Village. The Umuezugwu titleholders cannot be chased by Omaba masquerade and can visit Ndi Oha during Oha title taking. Palm oil collected yearly from the six quarters of Ekwegbe belongs to the Umuezeugwu tittle holders.
NKWA IKE
The heroic sounding music is beaten by Aniagogwu, Umuorogu, Ishamele Okpe and Ukopi because of Ugwuegele, Ugwumbitima, and Ugwuapi and Ugwegede deities the dancers are lion killers, ancient warlords and the chief priests of the deities mentioned above. It is beaten when any of those chief priests or dancers dies and other matters that need urgent attention. It is also beaten at Onu Ugwuapi or on Igba-Agbo day /period.
AGE GROUP (EGU)
 Men and women group themselves by age into social sects called ‘Egu’.
FUNCTIONS
? Celebrate fortunes with members
? Mourn the deaths of members and their parents etc.
? They used to fight wars in the past.
? Check community abominations among members.
? Offer assistance in community development and upkeep.
BLACKSMITHING (IKPU UZU)
 This is the practice of subjecting metal materials to high-level heat intensity to make it malleable for reshaping and repairing. It is here that some farming implements like hoes, cutlasses, spades etc are made and repaired. Agulu Ugwu Eriom in Amudu and Etiti-Amohu provide the service in the community.
RAIN MAKING (ISHE IGWE/MIRI)
 It is the peoples belief that the rain is made and controlled with some mystical powers. That is why the people that are believed to have such powers are consulted so that rain will not disrupt people’s ceremonies.  In severe drought during which crops and animals die, the community usually approach the rainmakers to make rain. Those, it is believed, that provide the services are Okpuhu and Umuezealoke both in Ukopi, Ede-Idenyi of Ogbodu in Ohumofia, Ede Ugwuapi of Amudu and Amonucha. It is also believed that Okpuhu people do make hamattan.
RECREATION
 When farm work is concluded, Ekwegbe people do engage themselves in some indoor and outdoor games to while away the time and avoid idleness. One of these leisurely games is the native draughts called ECHA. It is a two-man game. It is normally played on a bar of hard wood on which forty rectangular and similar shallow holes, twenty on each side, are grooved (Ugbo Echa) with ninety ball-like dry seeds called ECHA. The people also gather at the recreational centre (village square) called ‘Obodo’ and stay on stairs–like hardwood construction (Igbe) for interactions and relaxation.   Wrestling takes place at various squares and mostly during Eja festival. Odabara, Okango, Echo, Ode, Obobo-Igwe music, Abuga, Ajibo, Nwangwu, Anama (Ikorodo) etc. are recreational music in the community.

CLAIMS AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION BY OATH TAKING
 Accusation cases are left for the gods to prove as well as unravel some mysteries in Ekwegbe community. If a person is accused of heinous abomination like murder, poisoning, stealing etc, the accuser is finally asked to take the accused to a deity or idol for him/her to take oath by. If she/he takes the oath, a 28 – day grace is given to the accused in such a way that if a calamity like death or accident etc befalls him/her within the period, it is taken that he/she actually committed the offence. He/she faces sanctions by his people; age group and other social organizations his/she belonged.  However, if no calamity befell him/her within the time, it is taken that the accused did not commit the offence and the accuser must treat the age group of him/her to a party as a cleansing approach. New clothes are given to the accused (females only) by the accuser as a concluding event.
TEN – CHILDREN CEREMONY
 Ability for mothers to give birth to many children is revered in Ekwegbe. If a woman gives birth to nine children, a sheep is used to celebrate the achievement for her personal god (chi). A cow is used in the respect if a woman gives birth to ten children.
FESTIVALS
AMA: - This is the period when married women visit their native homes for ancestral and heritage re-discovery, enjoyment and affection. This is during the month of March/April every year. The women do take to their parents some presents like fowls, yams etc for subsequent Ama visits or ten tubers of yam and a goat or ram etc if it is the first Ama visit (Ama Odii). Umuanwugma in Umuokparanzu gives official date for Ama festival (Ika-Ama).
EGBA CHUKWU: - This is a feast celebrated annually in Ekwegbe in recognition and honour of the creator. It is divided into two parts:-
CHUKWU-UYA:-It is a feast in which it is the customary duty of the wife to host the family. It takes places in July. 
CHUKWU-UDUMIRI: - Here, the father of the family hosts the members of his family. It takes place in November.
EJA: - This signifies the end of food scarcity period in the community. The festival ushers in the period of harvest and the eating of the new yam. It is an offence before the god of yam to eat new yam before the festival. That is why some farmers who collect new yams from their farms hide them by covering them with grasses, leaves or whatever. New yams are neither sold nor bought in any of the Ekwegbe markets before the Eja festival. It is an abomination to organize any funeral rite for a person who died within the Eja period until it is over. Okpuhu people in Ishamele Ukopi are the Eze Nri (Eze Uha or Ovua m afo) in Ekwegbe. They therefore handle cases of food, food crops, economic trees abuse and damages of crops by domestic animals. They give the official date of Eja festival.
 The most outstanding high light of Eja festival is the wrestling competition called Ote-Eja. The selected able-bodied men from different age groups engage each other in wrestling matches amidst supporters and spectators in squares called Ozuobodo in Amonucha for Akamenu zone and Obodo Amaogbodu for Akamani zone respectively. The grande finale is at Obodo-Egwu in Ohumofia between the two zones. The rule is that one of the wrestlers will make a small heap of sand and his opponent levels it down and the game starts. Eja takes place in August. Black beans meal (Akpuru akidi eja) is specially prepared that day.
EKEPUTU – This is an honour-oriented event in which men carry big tubers of yam to give in respect of their forefathers at a place called Onu-Ndi-Ushi. The eldest of the kindred takes the yams.  It takes place in October.
EGBA UGWUAPI – This is a feast observed in honour of Ugwuapi Ekwegbe. Exotic harvests are offered by Ekwegbe people at onu Ugwuapi on this day. It is ushered in by Nkwa Ike music, which is beaten early in the morning at onu Ugwu on that day. Youths run round the community chanting and drumming on this day (usually Eke day). Heroes drop their catches at onu Ugwuapi when they return. Igba Agbo Ugwuapi comes after this occasion. Egba Ugwuapi takes place in October of every year.
DIOBI – It is a special day in which sons inlaw with their wives visit their fathers and mothers inlaw for feasting together. It takes place in October / November of non-Omaba years (odd -number years like 2005, 2007 etc).
FIJIOKU – This is the god of yam. The feast signifies the completion of the native calendar year. It is a feast in which the people express their appreciation to the god of yam for the previous farming season and solicit for her blessings in the next farming season they are about to set out. This prayer is accompanied with the killing of cock or goat etc and sprinkling of the blood on the farm tools gathered together at the god of yam shrine called Onu-Fijioku as sacrifice. The next farming activities commence after the festival. It takes place in the late December of every year. The Ugele music beaten by Ezamagu in Amonucha consummates the fijioku festival. 

HEALTH CARE
Diseases are cured with the administration of some herbs collected around, viz:
CUT: - liquid squeezed out from the fresh leaves of Eupathorium odoratum is rubbed on the cut or application of earth on the cut or mere placing the back of an oji-azu-eje leave on the cut etc.
STOMACH UPSET: - The patient drinks palm oil, warm water with salt etc.
MALARIA: - Ogere (a bitter herb), Onugbu-agu, Ogwu-akiri, Egbu etc are used.
ACHES AND PAINS: - The patient gets near the fire for the body to get heated or lies on the bed that rests on fulcrums above the fire.
MEASLES: - The patient drinks fresh palm wine and rubs it all over the body for rashes to appear on the surface of the body. Then the cooked oil bean leaves are used to bath the patient. The black liquid substance (Uri) is rubbed round the eyes to prevent it from infesting the eyes.
SNAKE/SCORPION/CENTIPEDE BITES: - The very first aid is to kill the creature. The position is tied against the entire body to prevent the poison from getting into the brain or heart of the victim. The point is cut open to squeeze out the contaminated blood in the area. If it is scorpion, the patient will eat it roasted, eat raw onion. Some herbs including Aramjila leaves are collected, mixed and rubbed at the point. The patient is asked to go and sleep so that the spirit of the scorpion will think that it has killed its victim and therefore goes. Unlike the snakebite in which the victim is not allowed to sleep because it is believed that the venom may enter the brain or heart while asleep. Ibodo, made with Ikpereodu, is tied round the ankle or wrist as a sign of security of the patient.
CHILD DELIVERY: - If a pregnant mother experiences labour, a traditional birth attendant is sent for. She comes and takes her into yam barn. She then concocts a mixture with herbs and gives her and she delivers.
DISLOCATION AND FRACTURE: - An assembled device of plant material called Mgbaji-Okpukpu is tied round the point. Some herbs are also administered and the damaged or dislodged bones set and strengthen. This is done by Umu igiri ogu in Umuezenoba of Amohu.
 In alternative to the above medications, Ekwegbe people do consult diviners to disclose to them the cause of their life failures, temptations or sicknesses etc. The diviners use a device made of plant and animal materials called Eha or a tortoise carapace with some preparations called ‘pipi’ etc to perform the magic. It is their believe that whatever they tell them is true and therefore do not hesitate in conducting any appeasement as they direct them. They even approach herbalists in some situations.
 Other ailments that are not mentioned above have ever–defied traditional cure methodologies with indigenous herbs.
EDUCATION
 Ekwegbe people did not enjoy the dividends of early education. This was because of some social impediments, value system, ignorance and culture conflict resulting from culture contact. However, Ekwegbe community has done creditably well in education as she has produced a considerable number of graduates and postgraduates in various disciplines. Ekwegbe community is yet to produce a professor.
There are currently nine primary and five post primary schools in the community, viz:

PRIMARY SCHOOLS
1. Central School, Ekwegbe.
2. Community Primary School, Ekwegbe.
3. Community Primary School, Agu-Ekwegbe.
4. Hill top Primary School, Ukopi.
5. Amonucha Primary School, Amonucha.
6. Migrant School, Ozeachalla.
7. Migrant farmers’ Children’s School, Ugwugolodu, Agu-Ekwegbe.
8. Primary School of Nomads, Agu-Ekwegbe.
9. Ohayi Memorial Primary School, Amohu-Ekwegbe.
POST PRIMARY SCHOOLS
i. Community High School, Ekwegbe.
ii. Community Secondary School, Ukopi.
iii. Success Comprehensive Secondary School, Amonucha, Ekwegbe.
iv. Royal College, Amohu.
v. Brain Field Standard Secondary School, Ekwegbe.
CHRISTIANITY
 The first church to be established in Ekwegbe Community is The Church Missionary Society (C.M.S.) now The Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion in 1931. The Igede misunderstanding that existed between Oha-Ama and Oha-Eze groups brought about the coming of the second one, The Roman Catholic Mission (R.C.M.) in July 1933. These two are the first generation churches in the community. Other ones are second-generation churches, which arrived at the community in the recent past.
 The Oha-Ama and Oha-Eze politics brought about the introduction of The Roman Catholic Mission in Ekwegbe. According to (David Agbo et al), Ekwegbe community government forbade Oha-Ama group from beating their Igede music but permitted Oha-Eze group to be beating their own. This group   (Oha-Ama) disobediently beat their Igede music and squabble ensued between Oha-Ama and Oha-Eze groups. Then the Oha-Eze group, supported by Ekwegbe government, went to Opi customary court and instituted the case against the Oha-Ama group. The case could not be decided at this court and it was transferred to then Igbo-Etiti district court at Nsukka.
 One of the white men, who was the presiding judge, asked the two rival groups to come with their Igede music and beat for him to see them practically. After seeing the music, he asked both groups to continue to beat their Igede music the way they liked inasmuch as it is nothing but music. This was the verdict. The Oha-Eze group was not satisfied with the judgment. They returned and started campaigning against the Oha-Ama because of their indiscipine and excommunicated them in everything especially going to school and church together with them at the C.M.S., the only church by then in the community.
 The Oha-Eze group with the support of Ekwegbe government went to Rev. Father Millet at Nsukka and requested for his church to establish at Ekwegbe When the church was brought, it was established first at Ezamagu village in Amonucha before relocating to Agu–Owere Amonucha. The Oha-Eze, in conjunction with Ekwegbe community, mounted a heavy campaign against the Oha-Ama group and branded C.M.S. “the church of Oha-Ama group who were not in good terms with Ekwegbe”.  The present location of the R.C.M. at the heart of the town near Eke market was made in the recent past.
The campaign resulted in some people who were already members of C.M.S. withdrawing and declaring for R.C.M. Even some non-Christians started to troop out in their large numbers and joined the R.C.M. This diminished the number of the members of the C.M.S. adversely. This is the origin and one of the reasons why the R.C.M. members are greater than that of the C.M.S. by population today in Ekwegbe.     
     Ekwegbe community did not hesitate in jumping on the bandwagon of accepting the western religion hook, line and sinker. There are only eight western religious denominations in Ekwegbe presently, viz: -
i. The Church Missionary Society now Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion.
ii. The Roman Catholic Mission–RCM.
iii. The Redeemed Evangelical Mission–TREM.
iv. The Deeper Life Ministry- DLM.
v. Christ Holy Church (a.k.a Odozi Obodo).
vi. Assemblies of God Church.
vii. Born Again Christian Church.
viii. All Christian Prayer Band, Ekwegbe.
IMPACT OF FOREIGN RELIGION
 The presence of foreign religion is felt both positively and negatively in Ekwegbe. As a matter of fact, about ninety-eight percent of Ekwegbe people are Christians. The remaining percentage is an admixture of etheists and non-Christians without commitment. For short, it has almost deadened the practices of idol worshiping and patronage in Ekwegbe community.
 Foreign religion has contributed in no small measure in deteriorating and debilitating the dexterity with which our people participate and patronize other liberal and acceptable customs and traditions like Omaba, Ama festival etc just like the proverbial tenant who came and displaced the landlord. Village square clearing and sweeping which are by custom the exclusive duties of married women have been virtually stopped across the community. This is because they (the women) claim that there are icons of idols in the squares and not idols themselves. Ama festival which is a period when married women visit their families of origin with presents for ancestral and heritage re-discovery, enjoyment and affection had been put to rest in the pretext that they are diabolic and unclean and therefore against their faith let alone Omaba masquerade and its comedy and uncommon power of cohesion has lost its potency.
 The age long method of consummating the funeral rites of deceased member of a family by the presentation of a cow by the immediate relations or descendants to the entire members of the bereaved clan/village has been contemptuously disorganized. This is because, in the event of this, the cow is diverted to the members of the church to which the deceased belonged when he/she was alive instead of the customary and rightful owners.
AGRICULTURE
 Ekwegbe is an agrarian community. She has an expansive and fecund arable land at Agu Ekwegbe where her men and women engage in agriculture and food production with some agricultural mechanization. She produces yam, cassava, banana, cocoyam, water yam, maize, pumpkin, okro, pepper, cotton wool, palm produce, kola nuts, timber, leguminous crops, fiofio (Cajanus cajan) etc in large quantities. To make farm work easier, men and women do organize themselves into work groups and rotate group farm work amongst them called ‘Igba Ohu Oru’. Ekwegbe people also engage in wine tapping, hunting and livestock.
 From February to May is the planting period while from August to January is the period of harvest. Ekwegbe people do not practice irrigation system. Virtually an average Ekwegbe man is a potential farmer. 

TRADE AND COMMERCE
 Trading business is a new generation occupation in Ekwegbe community. It is interesting to note here that despite that Ekwegbe people did not enjoy the early moving advantage in trade and commerce, the sector developed far beyond other sectors in the community. Ekwegbe people engage in various commodities merchandise across the country and in diaspora.
 This sector presently constitutes the bulk of wealthiest people in the community who have contributed immensely in the development and upkeep of the community.  
KINGSHIP IN EKWEGBE
 Kingship is associated with dignity and respect. It is more of dignity than status. Kingship originated from Igala dynasty. It is related with power, prosperity and richness. It goes by name EZE in our area. In Igbo context, the king is regarded as the highest man in the society but varies from place to place or community to community. King (EZE) has special attire. In Ekwegbe, it is known as AWURU EZE. In Ekwegbe, kingship originated from Ishamelu Ohumofia in Ohumofia. The Onyishi EZE hails from there. The significance of EZEship in Ekwegbe depends on the family who performed it. It is by the ceremony (Echichi EZE). During this time, many cows, yams, goats, etc are provided as a mark of the ceremony. The kingship in Ekwegbe is very exclusive to certain people. The only king (EZE) who took title of EZEship in Ekwegbe dated as far back as 1902 was Okenyi Nechi from Ezamagu in Amonucha. After the costly ceremony, he assumed the position of EZE. Okwoka Nwezema, from Ishamelu Ohumofia, later purportedly assassinated the man, Okenyi Nechi, in the same year, 1902. The purported assassin, Okwoka Nwezema, later fled the community to Nike now in Enugu East local government area of Enugu state (Ekwegbe Archives Records, 1902-1906).
 In Ekwegbe context, the highest in nature of custom is Onyishi Ekwegbe from Amaeshilagwo of Ohumofia, but by Ekwegbe constitution of 1976-1977, the Igwe is regarded as a leader hence the entire community gives him the highest honour and respect. The Igweship in Ekwegbe is not hereditary but rotatory.
THE IGWESHIP
 The Igweship is the transformation of Ezeship and so IGWE is the aberrant EZE. The Igweship is the most revered elective post in the community. The person (male one only) that occupies the position is called ‘Igwe’ of the community. He is by virtue of his position the first citizen in the community and regarded as such.
 By Ekwegbe constitution of 1976, the position is not inherited but rotatory.
FUNCTIONS
? He is the Chief of the town.
? He represents Ekwegbe community.
? He represents Ekwegbe together with Ndi Oha in settlement of inter-community clashes.
? He presides over EGA meetings in conjunction with the Onyishi Ekwegbe.
? He sees that his subjects live in peace, tranquility and cohesion.
? He is the chief custodian of the customs and traditions of the community.
? He makes peace amongst his subjects who are in dispute.
? He constitutes and commissions outfits for aspects of community governance.
? He is the security boss of the community.
IGWE’S CABINET
 This is a collection of responsible people across the community who meet as a group to make decision or advise the Igwe on community governance. The constitution is based on the Igwe’s discretion with particular reference to distributive representation across the six quarters in Ekwegbe community. The choice of members of the cabinet is therefore relative and may vary from Igwe to Igwe.
POLITICS
 Modern political development has not yet reached sophistication in Ekwegbe community like what obtains in other communities. Politics and political participation appear to be new to our people. Nonetheless, Ekwegbe community was able to secure some meager political appointments/positions in the recent past, viz:
In 1979-1983, Ekwegbe produced a member of the then Anambra state house of Assembly, representing Igbo Etiti North Federal constituency comprising Diogbe, Ekwegbe, Ohodo, Ozalla, Umuna and Umunko.
In 1984, Ekwegbe produced the majority leader of the same house, which lasted for three months only.
In 1992-1993, Ekwegbe produced a member of the Federal House of Representatives.
In 1994-1996, Ekwegbe produced a member of the Igbo-Etiti Local Government Caretaker Committee.
1n 1999-2003, Ekwegbe produced a member of the Federal House of Representatives comprising Igbo-Etiti and Uzo-Uwani Local Government Areas. 
 During the tenure of Dr. Chimaraoke Nnamani in the PDP led government, Ekwegbe indigenes occupied some political posts/appointments like a State Commissioner, Supervisory Councilors, and Education Secretary of Igbo-Etiti L.G.A. Education Authority etc. But till date Ekwegbe community is yet to occupy the exalted chairmanship seat of the Igbo Etiti Local Government Area.
EKWEGBE GENERAL ASSEMBLY (EGA)
 This is an aggregation of the Ekwegbe men at Obodo Ekwegbe It is the highest ruling body in Ekwegbe community. One thing that is peculiar to this assembly is that nothing is ever done in haste because all the customary provisions of doing things in the assembly are strictly observed and adhered to. The snail speed of the Kolanut presentation, breaking and picking always appears to be more important than the issue to be discussed however urgent, pressing or sensitive.
 Another peculiarity is that where as other bodies can hold their meetings at any venue of their choice, this one is always at Obodo Amaeshilagwo in Ohumofia  The town crier is the medium through which notice of the date and time of the meeting gets to the six federating quarters.
 The moderation of the meeting is by the Igwe of the community in conjunction with the Onyishi Ekwegbe who must be the eldest man in Amaeshilagwo village in Ohumofia Ekwegbe.
FUNCTIONS
1. Ratifies other bodies’ resolutions and projects proposals for implementation.
2. Defines rights, responsibilities and roles of other governing bodies.
3. Receives fines from defaulters of community byelaws.
4. Makes byelaws for the community.
5. Settles disputes when invited to.
EKWEGBE DEVELOPMENT UNION (EDU)
 This is the Ekwegbe Town Union. This body is made up of the democratically elected literate representatives from the six federating quarters in the community. The constitution of the body is such that all the operative posts/offices of the body are shared out to quarters and in rotation arrangement for each quarter to elect and present its own official as it pleases to ensure equity, equal representation and participation. Normally the constituting of the new officers is when the previous ones have completed their tenure of three years only.
FUNCTIONS
1. Offers some complementary functions in the governance of the community.
2. Conducts the oversight functions in any project embarked upon by the community.
3. Acts as the buffer and integrator of the other bodies like Ndi-Oha, Ndi-Onyishi, the Igwe, the Igwe’s cabinet etc.
4. Organizes sporting activities through a committee during yuletide.

POLITICAL GROUPS
 There are presently two different but complementary political outfits in Ekwegbe Community. They are:-
1. Ekwegbe Awareness Forum (EAF), the sole publisher of a monthly Magazine, “The Awareness Magazine”.
2. Ekwegbe Solidarity Group (ESG).
OBSERVATION AND CONCLUSION
 Custom is an established socially accepted practice of the society. Tradition is the body of principles, beliefs, practices, experience etc passed down from the past to the present. Custom and tradition are therefore inextricable and constitute the totality of people’s way of life. Aberle et al defined culture as the totality of life of the people: the tools, implements, technology, skill, norms, values, ideas and beliefs prevalent in a place which a people learn, share and transmit from generation to another.
 In the course of this project, the researcher observed that what is obtainable presently as regards people’s way of life in Ekwegbe community has undergone some changes as a result of cultural dynamism. The envisaged result is that in the near future, the life of our people would muddle along and probably get stuck inasmuch as the customs and traditions that define it are in extinction.
 It therefore behoves on the patriotic, responsible and Godly individuals in the community to mobilize the people to revitalize and reactivate our customs and traditions because a cultureless fellow is synonymous with a sheep without a committed shepherd.  

REFERENCES
Ani. (1999), Nigerian People and Culture.  A lecture note.
Clement, H.A. (1954), The History of the Ancient World.
Ejifugha, A.U. (1998), Fundamentals of Research In Health Education.     Barloz publishers
Ekwegbe Community Archives Records, (1902-1906).
Hornby, A.S. (2000), Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary New York: Oxford University Press.
Obasi; E.(1988), Introductory Sociology for Nigerian Teachers.  Nigeria: KayBeeCee Publications Ltd.
Obasi, E. (1988), Understanding Education and Society in Nigeria.             Nigeria: KayBeeCee Publications Ltd.
Okoro, J.I. (1992), A frincan Humanities.   Nigeria: Mekslink Publishers.
Procter, P. (1978), Longman Dictionary Of Contemporary English. Great Britain: The Pitman Press
Samuel, Edet (2003), Historicworld Publicaion. Samuel Ventures (Rc 117218), Ebute Meta (West), Lagos.
             
                     

Chapter Four
IDOHA TOWN
By Barr. Ariogba Pius
INTRODUCTION
ORIGIN
 This present Idoha Autonomous Community of Igbo Etiti L.G.A of Enugu State of Nigeria sailed through pathetic history from Ukehe and their mercenaries – Abriba and Igala warriors. Idoha is an indigenous town of Igbo Odo1 under Nsukka District prior the colonization of Nigeria. The first known father of Idoha was late Mbiaraka who was married to Lolo Ugwunye.  That Mbiaraka was the son of Ugwu Odulaga whose origin was not recorded.
LOCATION
 Idoha town during Nigeria colonization and on independence is North of Enugu Urban, South-East of Nsukka Urban, and East of Aku Diewa community.  Idoha had common boundaries with these communities as at that time; Umulumgbe and Umuoka in Udi L.G.A, Onyohor, Ikolo, Ohebe-Dim, Umuna and Umunko in Igbo Etiti an Ugwugo-Nike now in Enugu East L.G.A.
 Late Mbiaraka, the first known father of Idoha had two males – Ugwuagu and Awoke who raised six and three males respectively who in turn gave birth to the fathers of the present eleven villages of Idoha autonomous community.  Ugwuagu and Awoke were the forefathers of the two quarters of Idoha Ugwuagu Idoha and Ezi-Idoha.
 Ugwuagu’s children include Dimu and Eze. Dimu Ukwu produced Ekumere Omeji (Amobo) Ozo Umualeke and Amudara while Eze produced six sons. The lineal of dimu ukwu are called Umu Dimu while those of Eze are called Umu Eze Muru Umu Eze.
 Late Ozo Umualeke gave birth to Efoke, Onyika and Ibule.  The six sons of Eze sprang up into these villages: Ndi Odoegbara. Umunee, Ndi Ekele Efuru, Ndi Amuufoku, Amainyi and the present Uwani that partly survived the fatal Abriba and Igala wars that befell her.  Awoke the first father of the present Ezi-Idoha produced these sons: Ikpagu Eriomu, Odekeomaga and Uwuoekwo. Amuugwu was carved out from Ikpagu while Awoke Ogele was from Odekeomaga; these were spear headed by Late Odoiyi Aleke and Okpanku Nwugwu supported and approved of by the then Eziyi and Opuadaraghi2. The comprehensive villages of Idoha then were:
1. Amobo    12. Ibule
2. Odekeomaga   13. Amainyi
3. Efoke    14. Amudara
4. Uwani    15. Amuugwu
5. Onyika    16. Awoke/ogele
6. Ikpagu    17. Ekemgborie
7. Umuokwo   18. Nsiokanyi
8. Ndiodoegbara   19. Odonwaruka
9. Umunnee
10. Amufok/Odi eteUwani
11. Ekele Efuru   

 Idoha in her maiden days possessed her markets, forests wilderness and juju (Ekawos)3. Nkwo Idoha market use to hold outing of Ozo and other titles. Afor Idoha market was situated at the present day Ugwuawarawa now acquired by Amadim and Umuofiagu Ukehe. Idoha performed child market outing.
 Nwotovo square where children’s new teeth ceremony is performed till today, final funeral ceremony outing is done till date and Ekawo masquerade outing – Otiagbaja is performed.  This tradition empowers Ekawo to enter cocoa yam farms while parading when it descends from its abode.  Eke Idoha market was situated at the present Orinaudu community Secondary School, Uwele – Ukehe.  It was then called Eke Nkaa. Apart from the normal transaction, Idoha celebrate Efuru feast there.  It was later shifted to Ukwuofo when Uwele-Ukehe pressed Idoha during her sporadic expansion.  There was Orie Idoha market situated at Odo akpu’s premises where child outing ceremony was done today. Idoha had these wildernesses Owere-Uwani, Upata Uzonga, Ibule, and Onuogu. She also had these forests – Ofia Uwani, Ofia Odoabosi, Ofia Odombiaraka and Ofia Odoakpu.
 Idoha also had the following: Ekawo – juju masquerades, but are now owned and moderated by Ukehe people; Odo Okukoro Ugwuodulaga; Odo Mkpu; Odo Igwugwu; Uroko Ibule; and Erimoke were disposed by the Umuofiagu. Odo Mpuuke; Odoaga; Uroko Obuchiri; Otobute were disposed by the Uwelle-Amakofia.
 Idoha had and have the following forests:
1) Ofia Umu Ani Idoha, which is, situate in Ugwuagu Idoha. It contains six ancestral stone stools on which each of the six village elders sit on convention
2) Ofia Uwani Ugwuagu, which demarcates the present Uwani Idoha from Uwele-Amakofia
3) Ofia Odo Abosi, Amaibule which demarcated Amaibule from Umuofiagu and where Odo Abosi juju resides
4) Ofia Efuru Idoha, which demarcates Ezi-Idoha from Uwele-Ukehe, Onyohor and Umuoka
5) Ofia Odo mbiaraka where Odo mbiaraka juju activities were being performed.  It separates Idoha from Uwele-Amakofia.  It is greater part has been re-claimed by Uwele-Amakofia.
Idoha had and have the following hills;
 Ugwu Udoo; Ugwu Ikpogwu; Ugwu Awarawa; Ugwu Ekenka and Ugwunwode.  She have these wilderness – Owere Uwani; Ibule; Agu Elu; Upata Uzongwa and Owere Ugwu. Idoha have Udoo and Efuru off streams. Idoha town before the first republic comprised of twenty-four distinct villages, but the Igala wars of expansion and Abriba (hired) wars led to the extinction and migration of thirteen (13) populace villages in these proportions:

    Idoha was represented in community council meeting last by Late Uzongwa who later delegated it to Late Chief Michael Ozeme as it disturbs him (Uzongwu) in his voluminous farm works. It is late Ozeme who released it to Late Chief Odo Nwokolo in whose royal family it remained until autonomy was granted to Idoha in 2002 by the Chimaroke Nnamani’s government in Enugu State.
 It was Abriba wars, which was launched by Eze Nike against Ukehe people who refused paying royalties to him that reduced the thick population of Idoha.  The consequences of the wars are that Ukehe people – especially Uwele-Amakofia and Umuofiagu took over most land and landed properties of Idoha and habit them till date.  They also took over the rulership of Idoha and annexed Idoha into Ukehe community whereas Ukehe migrated from Ojebeogene in udi local government; hence the local authority school of Idoha was converted to community primary school Idoha/Ukehe
 Late Chief Michael Ozeme, Isiani Nwugwulegwu and Ugwuutori represented Idoha in the Opi customary court, which had jurisdiction over Idoha then. Late Agunawaedu was then a court bailiff while late chief Odouwa Adighi was a (P.W.D.) Public Works Department Staff representative of Idoha community.
 Chief Gabriel Isiani was the first indigenous local councilor of Idoha carved out under late John Nwodo.  He is one of the first three councils created then as two chances were allocated to Ukehe.  Idoha underwent through terrible drills to obtain her autonomy as a community. The merging of Idoha town with Ukehe came out of denial of her due shares from government allocations at the Igboodo customary court, then headed by Odoegu Nweze Nwamusi of ohebe-dim.  Consequent upon that, Idoha took haven in Ukehe to ensure proper sharing of resources.  Idoha made several peace demonstrations to regain her autonomy from Ukehe, but the near optimistic drive was foiled by Late Okpanku Nwobisi and Late Opuadaraghi both of Ezi-Idoha quarter who opposed separating Idoha from Ukehe by claiming the both towns operate same culture and traditions, and that Ukehe and Idoha is one community as Idoha is a village under Ukehe. The second attempt to liberate Idoha from Ukehe was led by Late Chief Elias Nnabuchi who vied to rule Idoha on separation.  That move was foiled by the leaders of Umuodekeomaga, Umuokwo and Umuawokeogele villages. They wrote protest letter opposing the separation prior the separation slated day.
 It was the second move that gave rise to the false history that Idoha migrated from Edeobara Nsukka. Late chief Elias Nnabuchi propounded that credible but false history just to distinguish the origin of Idoha from that of Ukehe and to accelerate their separation. The thrust that broke the camel’s back was the move made by the Idoha Development Union led by Eze Christian (then Chairman) and Late Dr. Emmanuel Onwura Aneke (Secretary). The Idoha development union is able to achieve autonomy for Idoha community under the chairmanship of Late Prince Nnabuchi Gregory and Aleke Godwin – Secretary. They won it with the help of Chief Clement Nwokolo – (Nkeamedoego ozo) presided over by the Enugu State Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs Commission.
 The first traditional ruler of Idoha was coronated on 31st December, 2002 on H.R.H Igwe Christian I. Eze (Ezeoba I of Idoha) and his cabinet chiefs were inaugurated in August, 2003 with chief Ikpa Aaron as he prime minister and chief Okoro Malachy as their secretary. The history of Idoha community is incomplete without referring to the famous Efuru Idoha goddess deity. Efuru was redeemer deity that came to Idoha from Abbi Ugbele in Uzo-uwani local government. It was a sister to Isieke, and Adada ugbele.  The deity in human form first stepped into Ugwuoga Idoha quarter.  Its shrine was within the premises of Odo agbara juju while its stream sources were at Obieze Nwele of Umueloke village. She vacated Ugwuagu Idoha because women and children washed utensils inside its flowing stream.  She again settled at Mkpuuke while her stream flew through ndi Odo Ukwuakpu (now Uwele-Amakofia-Ukehe).  Here she was chased aware with millet grains which the deity forbades.  She moved up to Ugwu-Amakofia Ukehe to seek joint venture, but Ugwu Amakofia refused her accommodation in Ukehe. It is from there that Efuru diverted towards Ezi-Idoha through eke Nka or Agu Nkwo (Now Orinandu Secondary School, Ukehe). Obi-Oche Nwezugwu of Umuoberu Uwele-Amakofia chased Efuru away as she had feaces all over her body. They used millets to scare her away.
 The people of Uwele-Ukehe laughed at Efuru because she has faeces all over her body.  They deity gave them bumper harvest of melon and vegetables. (over which they fought off killed themselves). Efuru finally settled at Umu Ikpagu village of Ezi-Idoha. Her first chief priest was Late Odekealumu whom Efuru first visited. Late Odekealemu (Eziyi) and his wife were the first worshippers of Efuru at Ezi-Idoha on eke and Afor days at her shrine (Onuala) later Okungo joined.
 Efuru on her formal settlement at Umu Ikpagu, Ezi-Idoha decided to torment those that refused her settlement with down-pour and flood. However, she, Efuru seriously warned Odekealumu, his wife and his brother, Okuugo not to wake up early, as havoc will ravage their environs.  It rained dogs and cats that night and flood flushed away villages around Ezi-Idoha. The most affected area was Ndiamezi of Ezi-Idoha which was the thickest populated area was totally wiped off (Now Odoaga area of Uwele-Amakofia).  Okuugo violated the deity instruction and woke up earlier with the fear that last night flood had flushed Odekealumu and his wife. He moved about a kilometer round his residence and traditionally acquired vacated lands.  It was when he became tired that he decided to check Odekealumu and his who acquired very little portions of land, hence the Umuilokpagu lacks land till date.
 The second Eziyi was Okoro Nwodo who batched his clothes with cane wood solution. Ugwulegwu Nwodo was the third Efuru priest. He was the priest that introduced worshipper’s troop Efuru shrine for protection. Late Ugwu Agala Nwodo was the fourth Efuru priest. He was accused of human sacrifice to the deity. The fact of that allegation was that Efuru deity took vengeance for her worshippers maltreated by others. She also took against peoples that kill an Idoha indigene outside war front.  The offenders of Efuru deity on notice tried to appease her by offering their daughter(s) as wife(s) to the deity.  The first female offered to Efuru as such was Late Miss Eketa Nwefuru of Umuofiagu, Ukehe. Itanyi Nweziyi was the fifth Efuru Chief priest.  He was followed by Late Odoobugini Nweziyi.  Late chief Ngwu Nwejim was the seventh chief priest of Efuru. He was the most wealthy and most prosperous of the deity’s chief priests. Chief George Okoro Nweziyi the last priest of Efuru – a retired soldier of the Second World War and a retiree of the Nigerian Cement Company of the then Eastern region. He remained the deity’s chief priest until its shrine was bulldozed in 1985 by the then Anambra State Government under Captain Emeka Omeruah.
 The first son of pf Efuru was born by Eketa Nwaefuru from Ngalakpu Atugbe, now Diogbe. That Mrs. Eketa Nwefuru was offered to Efuru to appease her vengeance consequent upon the tribal case between Idoha and Ngalakpu that result that both communities do not marry each other up to date. The first daughter of Efuru was Late Afir Nwiyi.  When Efuru settled at Umu Ikpagu, Ezi-Idoha, she had her flowing stream at Ugwu Efuru.  It is called Nkpoputa efuru. It is also worshipped and offered libations there by the presiding chief priest. Outside Onuala and Nkpoputa, efuru can be worshipped and offered libations at individual’s shrine in the worshippers premises. Efuru Idoha had market named after it such as Eke Efuru market, (which foiled by the presents Eke-Ugwu Ukehe off market). It was later sited at Agu Nkwo when chief Ugwuagala was its priest. Efuru deity protected Idohans and her other worshippers from domination and tormenting by Ukehe, Abriba and Igala warriors.
Idoha Community had and has the following musical troops:
• Ochu traditional music: Its members comprises of only four persons who beat its instruments – long drum, two calabash flutes, and Osa. It features only during mourning and funeral ceremonies.  It is usually beaten for four days when its member dies and when a village elder (both male and female) die, on the fourth day its members are given fowl, wine and food. People hire its instruments for oath taking. It symbolizes death. Their member only comes from Umuozo Nwodeke clan of Amaibule and Umuogbuntuma clan of Amaudara villages.
• Abuuga musical band of ugwuagu Idoha, which comprised of selected members: They attended mournings/ funerals and other social occasions. It was founded by late chief Ofiadiegwu Nwikpa of Amobo village.
• Onu udele musical band of Ugwuagu Idoha which comprised of its selected members: It was founded by late chief Ugwulegwu Nwani of Umuonyika village. It featured during mournings/funerals and other special occasions.
• Anamaa traditional music of Ezi-Idoha which comprises of its selected members: It features during funerals and special occasion. It is beaten with flutes, drums and osa instruments.
• Ikpaa traditional music of Efuru: It is beaten by the Umuikpagu and some other persons where necessary. It features during mournings and funeral of adult males who are members and titled persons.

• Ojemba musical group (Ojorima) of Ugwuagu Idoha which comprises of its registered members: It is beaten with drums, iron gongs, wooden flutes, and Osa instruments. It feature during mournings and funerals of all types and other special occasions if invited, they also grace marriage ceremonies.
• Odabara Idoha musical group which was led by late Ala Nwozo, Aroke Nwozo and Native Dr. Ugwulegu Nwani all from Ugwuagu Idoha: It was popular when it existed and featured during morning and funeral ceremonies and special occasions. It was being hired like Ojemba group.
Idoha had the following markets, Afo Idoha, Eke nka/Eke Efuru or Agu Nkwo, but were later erased.

Chapter Five
IKOLO TOWN
By Joseph Offia and Titus Okike (Late Tito)
INTRODUCTION
 Ikolo is a town in Igbo-Etiti Local Government area of Enugu State, Nigeria. Ikolo is bounded by Ohebe-Dim in the North, Ukehe and Ochima in the East, Affa in the South and Aku in the West. All these communities are in Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area except Affa that is in Udi Local government Area. Ikolo is located around Aku and Ogbede is the headquarters of Igbo-Etiti LGA.
ORIGIN
 The history of Ikolo community is not a departure from that of other communities dating back to about 9th century B.C. writing the history of Ikolo was not easy since there is dearth of written document on Ikolo. Most information we had was handed down to us orally. Oral tradition had it that Ikolo community is a biological product of a great hunter, Okpara. It was said that during one of his hunting expeditions, he came to a thick forest full of vegetables and a stream. He was attracted by these abundant vegetables and went back and brought his wife, Umuashi and settled near the stream, now known as ‘Iyi uzu’, which is presently one of the streams and sources of water to Ikolo community.
 Okpara Ugwunye, the ancestral father of Ikolo is said to have the same parent with the ancestral parents of Affa, Nike and Egede. This is why Ikolo do not shed blood of Nike, Egede and Affa people.
 Some towns or villages in the other surrounding communities in Igbo-Etiti and beyond were said to have emigrated from Ikolo. Some of these towns or villages still bear the name of Ikolo or had the same deities, as Ikolo. Some of these villages are Ekeaku in Ochima, Ikolo-Affa, Ikolo-Ozalla, Ikolo-Ihakpuawka and Ikolo-Ibagwa both in Igbo-Eze South local government area and Egbera village in Nze in Udi Local Government Area all in Enugu State.
 Ikolo is made up of ten villages, Ameti Uwelu, Ezogwu, Amaedem, Umuikwelu, Ikoloani, Ameti Uwani, Amauvuru, Amauwani, Umuikwani and Umukoko in the order of their seniority.
THE CULTURE AND TRADITION OF IKOLO PEOPLE
THE HISTORICAL ORIGIN OF ODO
 History had it that a woman was carrying her male child at her back while looking for vegetable she would use for cooking. There was a fowl that was also searching for food in the nearby bush. As the fowl was searching for food a strange thing evolved from the place. The woman saw it first but was afraid. The son that she was carrying on her back then shouted ‘odo elee’.
 The fowl (uru ebede) is still revered as what made Odo to evolve. That is why “Okpara” before his incantations in any odo feast will start by greeting the fowl for making odo evolve. He would greet the fowl as follows “uru ebede kpafuru Odo ako m gi oo”. He will greet thrice before other greetings to ancestors of the town and other neighbouring communities.
 History had it that Odo Ikolo is the head of Odo in Igbodo zone that is why the Odo year in Ikolo is different from other communities. Also, it is believed that other communities like Ukehe, Umuna, Onyohor, Idoha and Ohebe-Dim got their Odo from Ikolo; therefore, Ikolo is “Ishi Odo”. In Odo year that is every even year, Odo comes towards the end of February or early March and leaves towards late September or early October.
 Odo is regarded as the greatest feast in Ikolo. Because of want of space it is not possible to discuss in details all the ceremonies performed in an odo year. Some of them are:
EGORIGO: This feast comes before the return of Odo in Ikolo. Once ‘egorigo’ is celebrated, it is assumed that Odo has almost arrived in Ikolo. This feast, which is first celebrated by ‘Inyomonyo’ people (i.e. Ameti Uwelu, Ameti Uwani, Ezogwu, Umukoko, Amuvuru and Ikolo-ani) and later by ‘Ezi’ people just some 40 days before the coming of Odo “mgbafu Odo”. ‘Egorigo Ezi’ (Umuikwelu, Umuikwani, Amaedem and Amauwani) usually coincides with Christmas celebration.
 On this ‘Egorigo Inyomnyo’ day every male child from Ezi people whose mother is from Inyomnyo takes a gallon of palm wine to his maternal home to show he is also from the place by birth. The Inyomnyo people do the same on the Egorigo Ezi day.
MGBAFU ODO: Ikoloani village is the Chief Priest of Odo (i.e. Onye-ishi Odo). Their Odo comes first before that of other villages. On that very day all roads lead to Ikoloani. They will invite their friends, relations and in-laws from other villages of the town and beyond. In fact, if your friend did not invite you on mgbafu Odo it means that he is not your good friend. Any village that is celebrating mgbafu odo entertains people lavishly with food and drinks (palm wine).
 Mgbafu odo is very entertaining and can even earn foreign exchange for the country if the potentials are well harnessed. Mgbafu odo Ikoloani is seen as the beginning of a new year in Ikolo. For somebody to live till another odo year is seen as a blessing. After mgbafu Odo Ikoloani other villages follow suit in its order, that is, Ameti, Uhamuonuekwesu and the Ezi people, comprising Amaedem, Amauwani, Umuikwelu and Umuikwani villages.
 There are many other entertaining masquerades in Ikolo after the mgbafu Odo. These include Okikpe, Okamkpukpuri, Osu Uhamu etc. Okikpe is one of the most beautiful masquarade in Ikolo.
 Worthy of mention about Odo Ikolo is the music. It is so philosophical and interesting.
ULA ODO: unlike the mgbafu odo, the entire community participates in ula odo the same day.On this very day all roads in the local government area lead to Ikolo. People start to prepare for Ula Odo before mgbafu odo. People form associations to contribute and save money for the celebration of Ula Odo. On that day families kill goats, pigs, cows and fowls. Neighbouring communities partake in the preparation of Ula Odo Ikolo because it is the time traders’ smile home with gains and a lot of profits reminiscent of Christmas celebration.
 All indigenes of the community living outside the community usually return for this all-important feast. Different kinds of dishes and drinks are served within that week to friends and well-wishers. It is also time the community discuss important issues that concerns her since many people do return. It is important to mention that Christian religion had dealt severely with these Odo feasts. It had almost lost its taste and it is no more the same thing now. 
THE OZOR TITLE IN IKOLO
 Ozor is a prestigious title in Ikolo and in most parts of Igbo land in general. It is the highest title taken by men in Ikolo.
Qualification For Membership: A man who is economically viable and a native of Ikolo is free to take the title. He should be a man of proven integrity.
Ozor Groupings in Ikolo: We have five ozor groups in Ikolo namely; Idi Tutazi, Idi Uhamuonuekwesu, Idi Umuomashi, Idi Umuemoke and Idi Ikolo-ani. Idi or ozor in Ikolo is generally divided into two, namely; Idi uke and Idi ekwu.
Requirements For Membership: For one to be initiated, he must first satisfy the members from his village. The steps are:
a) Killing of ewu arua (goat), cock, large quantity of food, three gallons of quality palm wine and nine kola nuts.
b) An amount of money, which presently stand at the sum of N5000.00 (five thousand naira) only.
c) Pounded yam, meat, even gallons of palm wine and nine kola nuts. This is called nri okputukputu.
d) Food with meat and four gallons of palm wine. This is done at the terminal part of the ceremony. It is called nri mgbute ogbu for idi uke.
When the candidate satisfies his village, he proceeds to idi Ikolo in general. Thus he does the following
a) Iye Otobo: This could be a pig, bull or cow and the sum of N5000.00 (five thousand naira) only. To be presented also include nine kola nuts and ten gallons of palm wine. In the past a barn of yam must be given to the tittled men.
b) Nri Okputukputu: The candidate feasts the ozor title members, friends and relations with pounded yam and delicious soup with assorted meats. Also presented to the ozor members is seven gallons of palm wine.
c) Mmanya Idi: On this day, a cup of wine equivalent to one gallon of palm wine is given to each member. This wine must be of high quality.
d) Mmanya Otu Idi: All the aforementioned five groups of idi are given three gallons of palm wine each.
e) Oka Emume: This means fixing a date for the final ceremony. Things required include; pounded yam with good quality soup and lumps of meat, ten gallons of palm wine, a cock and N100.00 (one hundred naira) to each member. This is done three native weeks to the final day.
f) Nri Uchi: This ceremony is done on the eve of the final ceremony. The idi members are being feasted with pounded yam, ten gallons of palm wine and a big basket of yam tubers. On this day, idi soup (a big cup of soup) is given to each member. This has been replaced with the sum of N200.00 (two hundred naira) to each member. It is on this day that chief priests of the town come to enjoy the candidate’s wealth.
g) Iye Okwo Eka: This literally means things used for washing hands. For this each member is given a tuber of yam.
h)  Final Stage: On the day of the title taking, the two groups (Idi uke and Idi ekwu) get separated. If the holder is for uke group for instance, only that group comes to coronate him. For idi uke, the requirements include; roasted yams, ten gallons of palm wine, a tuber of yam each and a cock. This is done at the village square of the holder and the ceremony is called ogwugwu uke. After three native weeks the members assemble at the onu uke and given the same thing as on the last day.
 In the case of Idi ekwu, also roasted yams, ten gallons of palm wine, a tuber of yam to each member and a cock are required. Then, in the morning the entire idi ekwu members will assemble at the village square of the candidate and perform the coronation ceremony known as ‘Iko okpa n’anyanwu’. The ceremony is concluded at night with ‘Ogwugwu ofiani’ festival.
 It is at this final ceremony, that the initiate takes his title name. The whole members will hale him with their elephant tusk (opi).
i)  Mbahu Ozor: This is a period of one month when the new coronate stays in-doors to eat, drink and keep merry with his wife or wives. He does not do any work within this period. Friends and relations invite him to their homes to feast him. Then on the last day he will go to the town’s market ‘afia afor’ and this signifies the end of the mbahu ozor.
MARRIAGE IN IKOLO
 The oxford-advanced learner’s Dictionary defines marriage as “the legal relationship between a husband and wife”. Ottih (2003) defined marriage as “an arrangement which society approves for a man and a woman to form a family and the only means by which children can have legal status and rights”.
 In Ikolo, marriage is consummated when two families (i.e. the family of the groom and the bride) had agreed to release their children (the bride and the groom) to form a separate family unit, after the performance of all the traditional rites due for the relationship. This means that marriage in Ikolo is not only agreement of the families, but there are also certain norms that had to be followed and completed before it becomes legal. Below are the stages that marriage goes in Ikolo before it has a legal and societal approval.
Confidential Stage: These include the approval of the groom’s family to allow their son to go and seek the bride’s hand in marriage and also the approval of the family of the bride to accept the groom and the family as in-laws.
There are many secret investigations at this stage. These include the general analysis of both families that are involved in the relationship. Things like the background, the behavioural pattern, and the sickness most common in both families, the appearance of both the bride and the groom.
When all these had been agreed upon, ‘onye ozi’ (the witness) (which must be a kinsman of the groom that had maternal relation with the bride) would be given four kola nuts and a calabash equivalent to one gallon of palm wine to the family of the bride to declare the interest of the groom and his family. At another time, four kola nuts and two gallons of palm wine will be taken to ask if they should continue to come. Without any response from the bride’s family, the onye ozi will be given another three gallons of palm wine to take to the bride’s family and the confidential stage is consummated. At this stage if the marriage did not work, there would be no refund to the groom’s family.
OPEN STAGE:
 Notification of the Relation of the Bride: At this stage if agreement had been reached and all party approved of the marriage, the bride’s family will name some of their relations to be visited and notified of the marriage. The people to be visited and what they are expected to be given for the notification include;
a) Nwanne Oke (the closest male relation to the girl’s father) will be given a gallon of palm wine, a leg of pig and the sum of N3000.00 (three thousand naira) only.
b) Otueka N’azu (the second closest relation to the girl’s father) will be given a gallon of palm wine, half leg of pig and the sum of N1000.00 (one thousand naira) only.
c) Ishi Nwada (most elderly sister of the girl’s father) will be feasted in the groom’s family and the sum of N1000.00 (one thousand naira) only given to her.
d) Nna Okinye (the maternal grand father of the girl) will be feasted as the ishi nwada and the sum of N1000.00 (one thousand naira) only given to him.
e) Nne Okinye (the maternal grand mother of the girl) will also be feasted as her male counterpart and will be given the sum of N500.00 (five hundred naira) only.
Some immediate relations of the family of the girl will also be visited but the above-mentioned are compulsory. This group of relations will only be given a gallon of palm wine and no money is given.
AFFA EKWE STAGE: When all these relations had been notified, the groom’s family will send the onye ozi with two kola nuts and a gallon of palm wine to the father of the girl to tell him that they have finished the notification stage. Then the girl’s father will prepare a feast for the groom’s family, where he will formally and openly declare to them that his daughter is now their wife. Amidst jubilations the groom’s family will announce to the people that they have gotten another wife in their family. The family of the groom will now take ‘ite Ikolo’ full of palm wine to the girl’s family to thank them for officially accepting them as in-laws. This is called mmanya affa ekwe and all the extended family of the girl will assemble to drink the palm wine. On this day, the bride will take the calabash home to her husband’s family. This will be her first official visit to her husband’s home. She will stay for at least four days to assess if their initial assessments of the groom’s family were correct. If her expectations were not meant, she might decide to call off the relationship at this stage but it will follow normal divorce processes of the town, because the marriage had been declared openly. But, if on the contrary, when she will be returning to her father’s family after the four days visit, the family, friends and well-wishers of the husband will give her gifts. She will also be given a basket of yam tubers, three gallons of palm wine and new clothes depending on her husband or family’s capabilities.
Payment of Bride Price: Bride price is not fixed in Ikolo. There had been efforts to do that but class issue made it impossible. Therefore, it all depends on the wealth of the groom, the training of the bride and opinion of the parent. Also to accompany the bride price are ite Ikolo wine (seven gallons of wine) and four kola nuts. The whole extended family members are to be notified of the day. Also a goat (ewuibe) is provided for the umunna with three gallons of palm wine, a hen and the sum of N1000 (one thousand naira) only. On this day the girl in question will formally leave to stay permanently at his husband’s place.
Ikpu Ekwu: It is after the above stages that couples are allowed to proceed to Christian marriage (i.e. wedding). Christian marriage is optional in Ikolo traditional marriage rites, but due to modernity it is almost becoming a norm since many couples opt for it. It is during this time that the new couple is settled with home items by both families more especially the bride’s family.
 But if the couples are not Christians, it is during their first child naming ceremony that the bride’s family settles them with home items.

TABOOS IN IKOLO
 The custom and tradition of Ikolo is full of certain rules and regulations. Anybody who violates these rules is punishable depending on the strength and the gravity of the offence. Some of the offences are not punishable by men but are left for the gods of the land to do their wishes. Some of the offences are as follows:
a) Women should not set trap. A trap is a metal instrument made by blacksmith for catching wild animals or bush animals. Punishment – Oha (council of elders) will seize some of the offender’s property until she pays some money; feast the ohas sumptuously with food and three gallons of palm wine.
b) Women should not tap palm wine or remove calabash containing palm wine from palm tree. Women should not climb palm or kola nut trees. The punishments for these offences are the same as above.
c) Stealing in any form is prohibited. More serious cases of stealing are; stealing of yam, cocoyam, cassava and any farm crops or domestic animals. Punishment – the offender is sold into slavery. When slave trade got abolished, the offender is stripped naked and taken round the town by the youths. After this he/she is required to pay for what he/she had stolen. In addition he/she will feast the ohas with food and three gallons of palm wine and some money.
d) Poisoning is regarded as a sacrilege in Ikolo. The offender is treated as in the case of stealing. The gods would punish the offender if man is unable to administer it.
e) Anybody initiated into the Odo cult must not reveal Odo secrets to woman or any uninitiated man called ‘ogbanedu’. Punishments for revealing Odo secrets are appeasing the Odo spirits and the Odo priests jointly in a central place normally at Ikolo-ani village square. In most cases oracle is consulted to know what the offender should bring for the cleansing.
f) A woman should not see the Odo masquerades naked. When this accidentally happens, the woman performs a cleansing ceremony. This takes place in the village where the Odo seen belongs. It is believed that a woman who commits such offence would remain barren or will continue to have miscarriages until the cleansing ceremony is performed. It is believed that if a woman sees the Odo masquerades musical instruments performing, the offence is not appeasable. The offender receives capital punishment.
g) A married woman should not commit adultery in the life of his husband. When this happens and the woman becomes pregnant, she must reveal her lover(s). The lover(s) will be informed and they will bring a small he-goat and a chicken to perform the cleansing exercise to the goddess of the land of the woman’s village. The woman will be shaved before she is accepted back to her matrimonial home, which is optional to the husband or his family.
There are many other societal crimes that are forbidden in Ikolo like rape, ritual killing, committing of murder or suicide just to mention but a few, that are not mentioned due to want of space.
CHRISTIANITY IN IKOLO
     Before the mid twentieth century, Ikolo community had no other religion except the African Traditional Religion (ATR). The people were known as ardent worshippers of their gods and goddesses. There are deities that are also worshipped, like the “agbuyi” and Iyiuzu deities.
 There are also other goddesses like the goddess of land (“Ani”), which sacrifices are offered to on special occasions. It is believed that this land goddess was where man evolved. It is highly revered by all in the community. For instance in the case of birth of a new baby, such a child is offered to the goddess of the land on the twelfth day of delivery (Three native weeks). It is on this day that the child is given a name and then the child becomes recognized as bona fide member of the village and the town.
 Also, if a girl is married newly, such a girl will be presented to the land goddess of her husband’s village in a special sacrifice. From that day on, it will be a sacrilege for the girl to sleep with any other man or cook for the husband while in menstrual period. If such woman commits adultery in the lifetime of her husband it is seen as the height of abomination compared only to somebody who had poisoned someone or committed suicide. The adulteress will have to reveal the adulterer who will buy a he goat and perform a cleansing sacrifice to the land goddess of the village before she can resume her matrimonial duties. 
Another goddess that is revered in Ikolo is the “Fijioku”. Our people are predominantly farmers and this goddess is taken seriously, since it is believed that it makes crops to yield well. In every planting season two special sacrifices will be offered to the goddess, immediately after planting to appeal to it to help their crops produce well and after harvest to thank the goddess for the year’s yield.
 These were the religious practices of Ikolo people until 1945 when Christianity was founded in the town. The first Missionary that arrived the town was Rev. Fr. Raphael Eze from Lejja, a Seminarian on apostolic work at the then St. Joseph Catholic Parish Nsukka (now St. Theresa’s Parish); under Rev. Fr. Millet, the Parish Priest.  Though other missionaries had been visiting the community but Rev. Eze was the first person that resided in the town and assembled people and started teaching the faith in the town. He founded the Catholic Mission in Ikolo that is, St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Ikolo.
 His work was not in any way easy for it was difficult for him to even find people to impact the knowledge he had come with. He was combining the work of evangelism and education, and had no helper or any literate person that could help him. All these were his initial problems.
 When he sought a place to teach the youths, he was given a place where evil people were buried, reminiscent of the evil forest of the “Things Fall Apart”. They thought the evil people buried in that place would consume him and his new converts. They thought that in a question of few days he would pack-up, but alas every day he was still bouncing as ever. Initially, they did not allow their children and wards to go there, but when they saw that the young man who was also from a neighbouring town Lejja had survived, they started bringing out, their children and wards to listen to his teaching, though in few numbers.
 Rev. Fr. Eze used a lot of persuasion and facts in winning some converts, though very slowly. Eze also succeeded because he came from the same area and was conversant with our custom, language and tradition. He capitalized on his knowledge of our custom, language and tradition in making his new teachings being accepted by the people. He started by visiting all the leaders of the community and convincing them that the religion and teachings were good. He assured them that they would not regret anything if they embrace the religion instead their children would become teachers and earn a better living in future.
 Some of these leaders such as Ogbobe Okwugwu, Okwugwu Njidoha, Unodiaku Okike, Oboduzu Oyigbo, Atutulum Nwobodo, Ogoeze Aniaku, Asogwa Ugwuezike, Onwunaka and Amunabor Amoke resolved to give him a trial by sending their wards and children to him for his teaching. They also helped in erecting a structure for him, which is used as both school and church.
 Rev. Eze (of blessed memory) stayed for a short time and went back to the seminary. Then, in 1946, Rev. Fr. Kin, the parish Priest of St. Joseph Parish Nsukka (now St. Theresa’s Parish) posted a teacher from Enugu Ezike to teach at the school and the church Rev. Fr. Eze founded. He also stayed for a short while. Three teachers were later posted to the church and school. The teachers include Anthony Uma from Aku, Patrick Owo from Udi and Jerome Okpe from Okutu. They had the dual role of teaching in the local school and winning converts for the church. By then, the church managed the schools. Therefore, the teachers were reporting to the Parish Priest who took care of their welfare. All the teachers resided in the school premises, which is also the church. They did not travel out of the station without getting permission from the parish Priest.
 All this time, the teachers also acted as the catechist of the local church. They taught their pupil and other converts catechism. They moved around the villages in the evening indoctrinating the inhabitants on the new religion.
 The difficulties they encountered were much. Sometime their pupils were withdrawn from school on flimsy reasons or when they were going to worship their idols. The first male child and the girls were not even sent to the school or church. The first sons were to stay around their fathers and learn the tradition and how to perform sacrifices to their gods and the girls were kept in the kitchens to help their mothers in household chores. These girls were not allowed to go near the school or the church because they had already been betrothed to young men as wives weeks after their birth. The leaders that helped Rev. Eze did not relent in their efforts on making the church and the schools survive the difficult time. They started leading by example by sending their own children to school and church. Gradually, they continued persuading others to do the same.
 Sometime in 1947, Rev. Fr. Sheeley celebrated the first holy mass at St. Michael’s Mission Ikolo. Precisely on October 30th, 1948 two sons of Ikolo were baptized at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Nsukka. Therefore, they become the first indigenous sons of the town to receive the Sacrament of Baptism. The two sons were late Vincent Otobo and Chief John Ezugwu. Late James Ugwuanyi followed suit in 1950.
 Many other young men in the town followed their footsteps. Many of them embraced school and the church, though it did not prevent them from participating in Odo festivals and some of the traditional practices of the town. The church and their teachers then were tolerant, because they had few converts at the time. At the time in question some took Holy Communion immediately after participating in idol worshiping. This practice later generated a lot of controversy in the local church in the early 1980’s when the Church became outrightly against idol worshiping.
 In 1952, St. James Parish Aku was carved out from Nsukka and Rev. Fr. Michael Ugwuoke Eneja (now Bishop Emeritus Enugu Diocese) was the first Priest to be posted to the new Parish. He stayed for only two weeks and was succeeded by Rev. Fr. Okeife. He took over all the local churches in Aku, Ukehe, Nkpologwu, Ikolo, Umunko, Uzo-uwani, Omor, Anaku, Ifite-Ogwari, Igbo-oda and what is today known as Igbo- Etiti local government area. He was a zealous, dedicated and diligent young man. It was during his reign as the Parish Priest and school SP in St. James’ Aku and all the concrete stone buildings in St. Micheal’s Ikolo, St Michael’s Ohebe-Dim, St. Patrick’s Umuna, St. Mary’s Umunko and Akpugo were built by him. The buildings were serving dual purposes of a school and a church.
  His persuasion and managerial ability the doctrine of the Catholic Church in the parish and it became difficult for the Anglican missionaries to penetrate. He would start by meeting the leaders of the communities and indoctrinating and persuading them to bring out their children for school and church. Before the Church Missionary Society (C.M.S) arrived it became difficult for them to get any convert in Ikolo, Ukehe, Ochima, Onyohor, and many other surrounding towns.
 The believers kept on increasing daily. Between 1953 and 1955, some of our young men went to Benin for manual labour in the robber plantations. Some of them embraced the religion and education. These people included: Ugwudigbo Micheal, Joseph Igbodiomeme, Azikiwe Ekweme all of blessed memory.
 In the sixties the church noticed an influx of young men into Ikolo. These people formed the greater percentage of enlightened people in Ikolo today. Some of them include HRH Igwe S. A Amunabor, the Okpara of Ikolo, Francis Akadu, Clement Uloh, Eke Nwamadi, Okoronkwo Ologwu and many others. Still at this point girls were still not allowed to either go to school or church. They believed that a girl that goes to school would not marry again because she would be so wise that she would not respect her husband. This contributed immensely in retarding the education in our community, because women attract enlightened people and bring exposure and development.
 In August 1970, John Ezugwu wedded Christiana Nwodo from Onyohor and became the first wedded couple in Ikolo. In fact, the history of the Catholic Church and education cannot be complete without mentioning the contributions of Chief John Ezugwu. He pioneered Christainity and education in Ikolo. He taught around Nsukka zone and was headmaster for many years in the local school in Ikolo.
 From Rev. Fr. Okeife to the moment, several Rev. Fathers have pastored the Catholic Church in St. James parish Aku, with different ideas and style of leadership. Remarkably, the reigns of Rev. Fr. C. Aleke in 1980-83 must be remembered in the history of the church in Ikolo. He was the Parish Priest who outrightly refused his adherents combining the worship of idol and receiving the Holy Communion. Before this time, one could participate in “Odo” feast in the morning and in the evening; the same person receives Holy Communion in the mass. Many people whose faith were not deep rooted fell by the way side. Even some wedded couple fell in their faith.
 After this time under review (i.e. 1980-83) the church suffered but that had to be the River Nile it had to cross before it became the order of the day. With rapid development in the surrounding towns, the youths of Ikolo had no option than to start deviating from the old way of living and embracing the church. Now you can hardly see any young man or woman who will like to be identified as an idol worshiper. This does not mean that all the youths in the community are Christians, but because it is the order of the day, many are pretending to be Christians just to belong.
 Also to be mentioned is the citing of Igbo-Etiti Local government headquarters at Ikolo just north of St. Michael’s Catholic Church. This brought with it some foreigners who were staff of the local government. The staff that were Catholics joined the Ikolo indigenes and the church in the station got a boost. Their participation was not without hindrance with local politics of surrounding communities, but most of them were resolute in their participation. Infact, for now they hold almost all the leadership roles in St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Ikolo. Their participation was anchored on the saying, “where you live you protect”.
 The Parish Priests that worked in Ikolo were Rev. Fr. M.U. Eneja now Bishop Emeritus Enugu Diocese 1952-1952. Rev. Fr. Okeife, Rev. Fr. Quin 1953-56, Rev Fr. Meze, 1957-58, Rev. Fr. Eze 1959-60, Rev Fr. J. Mulqueen 1960-63, Rev. Fr. O’Dwayer 1964-67, Rev. Fr. C. Ikeme 1970-72, Rev. Fr. Ekowa, Rev. Fr. E Kanife, Rev. Fr. C. Aleke, Rev. Fr. T. Anichebe, Rev. Fr. Emma Ugwu, Rev. Fr. John Ogboo, Rev. Fr. J. Nnadozie, Rev. Fr. Martins Emeka Ozioko, Rev. Fr. E. Ngwoke, Rev. Fr. Patrick Agbo, and Rev. Fr. Fidelis Mama. There were many assistant Priests such as Rev. F. Osy Anike, Rev. Fr. Mkpume, Rev. Fr. George Abbah, Rev. Fr. A. Eze, Rev. Fr. Brethan Obasi, and the present Vicar of the Parish.
 It is Rev. Frs. J. Nnadozie, Martins Ozioko who made it possible for masses to be celebrated every Sunday at St Michael’s Catholic Church, Ikolo.
 The Catechists that served in Ikolo were HRH Igwe S.A. Amunabor who served from 1971 till the mid 1980s. Mr. Christopher Didigwu took over from him when it became obvious that he can no longer combine the job with the role of the traditional ruler of the community. Christopher is being assisted by Mr. Francis Akadu till now. No other foreign religion survived in Ikolo may be due to the hard work of the Parish Priests or due to the fact that the community liked the Catholic Church and their teachings and did not want to have the type of acrimony that exists where two foreign religions complete in one community.

THE EFFECTS CHRISTIANITY
     The missionaries always combine the work of evangelization with education. We cannot over emphasize the impact of western education in Ikolo. It brought about development in all spheres of life of our people.
But this religion (Christianity) also had its own bad side. It almost eroded what kept us together as a community. It affected adversely our custom, the way and pattern of our worship. For instance, Ikolo women were known to be faithful to their husband, but today it is no longer what it used to be. Our neighbouring towns do not attempt in approaching any married women from Ikolo because they all knew the consequences.
 Most deities that were revered and feared had been eroded and their powers reduced to mere image. People no longer fear committing crimes. People are poisoned at the least provocation and nothing happens to the perpetrator. All those good festivals like “Mgbafu Odo” and “Ula Odo” which were not only entertaining but educative and also form a rallying point for the entire community are no more the same. Infact, some other festivals like “Ama”, “Ndishi” “Chukwu” “Unwu” are no more recognized. The recent generation does not even know them again. Christianity also affected our language. You can no longer see a youth, who can speak our language without adulterating it with foreign languages.
Robbery and stealing are now the order of the day.  In those old days no thief came to Ikolo without being caught because Ikolo people loved themselves and they see the problems of one another as communal problem. People are no more interested in what affects the society at large.
 Christianity has come to stay in Ikolo especially Catholicism. The Christian festivals had almost replaced all our cultural festivals. My appeal is that we should learn how to blend some of our custom with that of the church instead of allowing them to die.
            
POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT OF IKOLO COMMUNITY
The main issue in this write up is the socio-political development of Ikolo community. This broad issue requires in-depth information on the social, economic and political dynamics in Ikolo. To allow a scholarly discuss, I would rather particularize than generalize the topic. In other words, I will deliberate more on the political development in Ikolo with much bias on the governing of Ikolo community vis-à-vis the decision-making process in Ikolo community. The descendant of Okpara the husband of Umuashi and the founder of Ikolo community – Ikolo people have great regards for age consequently, age assumes a sacred status especially when it concerns the older people and the community.
 Axiomatically, the government of Ikolo is such that the council of Elders known as the ‘OHA IKOLO’ is vested with much power that like the parliament in the parliamentary system or the National Assembly in the presidential system is capable of doing anything except turning a woman into a man biologically. Much more than the legislative body however, the oha is also vested with executive and the judicial functions. It summarily means that the governorship of Ikolo revolves around the Oha Ikolo.
OHA IKOLO: The oha is the highest legislative organ (assembly) of the community and as well as the highest adjudicating body. By formation, oha Ikolo is a collection/committee of the eldest men from each of the ten villages that make up Ikolo community, but for Ikolo-ani and Amauwani villages. In other words, Ikolo-ani and Amauwani villages have a different modus as to the selection of an oha to represent them.
 As against the automatic membership of the oldest man as an oha, oha Ikolo-ani belongs to a deity known as the Agbuiyi. It is therefore; the chief priest of the Agbuiyi diety, which is from Ikolo-ani (as the diety is of Ikolo-ani) that becomes oha Ikolo-ani. In the same vein, Amauwani village produces two members of the council of elders, one being automatic at the incidence of being the chief priest of Iyi-uzu – the stream god of Ikolo and the second being a member as a result of his being the eldest man in the village.
 Numerically therefore, Oha Ikolo is composed of eleven physical persons though the two ohas of Amauwani are practically not recognized as they have only one share in Ikolo and even amongst the council of elders themselves. The only exceptional case to this rule would be at the oha title taking ceremony. During the ceremony, they have two shares because each of them must have performed the ceremony. There is no gain saying that Oha Iyi-uzu is an ex-officio member of oha Ikolo.
AN OHA: An oha presupposes the eldest man from any of the comprising villages in Ikolo community. However, the practice demands that the eldest man performs some ceremonies known as oha title taking to become a bonafide oha man, which makes him enjoy all rights and privileges accruable to an oha man.
 A salient point to be noted is that there also exist defacto oha who serve as a delegate or a representative of the eldest man of a particular village. In other words, there exists a circumstance where the oldest man might delegate the function to another man of his choice who of course must be from the same village. Moreso, Iyi-uzu – the stream goddess produces an extra oha because it is in ‘obu’ iyi-uzu that oha Ikolo sits during Ikolo general assembly and it is only the chief priest or his delegate that intercede for the oha and the entire Ikolo community before deliberations commence.
OKOROBIA: In Ikolo context, okorobia refers to a particular kind of persons not necessarily identified or categorized by age or age bracket but by incidence of fate or by virtue of birth. An okorobia by Ikolo people’s definition is the second to the eldest man in any of the ten villages or their representatives. However, in Ikolo-ani village, the oldest man takes the position of okorobia except if he is from the Agbuiyi clan. Unlike two oha members coming from Amauwani, the village produces one okorobia. In other words, there is no okorobia for Iyi-uzu. The okorobia is likened to the lower House or the House of Representatives in the National Assembly of Nigeria.
AFIA EKE: This is a tag name given to every other mature man from Ikolo community who is neither an okorobia nor an oha. Just like the oha and the okorobia, there exist some criteria which makes an Ikolo man a qualified member of ‘afia eke’.
 Firstly, the person must have reached the age of “ogbaenwghiaha” the age bracket between 18-20 years. Also, he must not be the eldest man or second to the eldest man in his village. If all these criteria are met, the person is then qualified to be an ‘afia eke. The name afia eke unlike oha and okorobia is symbolical because, it was derived from the name of an ancient market place, which existed near the community’s square. Ikolo youths that are present at Ikolo general assembly usually go into the market place to deliberate and present their consensus opinion to the general assembly. As they deliberate in the Market Square, noise and at times pandemonium emanate from within the group and thus, it is likened to the noise, which emanates from a normal market hence, the name ‘afia eke’, which literally means Eke market.
 The above three categories of people put together form what is regarded as Ikolo General Assembly. Any decision taken as a result of such gathering becomes a binding law in the town. It shall be noted that such meetings are not commonly held and cannot just be held anywhere.
OTOBO UGWU EWORO: This is an ancestral meeting point of Ikolo people. Important decisions are hardly taken in Ikolo community if the deliberations are not started, concluded or totally carried out in this particular land space. In other words, Otobo Ugwu Eworo is a sacred square where issues are ironed out in Ikolo community. It is not just a name but also a place with sacred attributes. It is located at Amauwani village sharing the same compound with obu Iyi-uzu.
 To convoke a gathering at Otobo Ugwu Eworo, the services of a town crier is required and the crier do that very early in the morning when almost every grown man is still at home except in the time of emergency. Attendance is strictly by invitation. There is always an approved language of summoning people to Otobo Ugwu Eworo by the town crier. After beating the metal gong for at least three times to call people’s attention, he gives his message which must include the age limit of people wanted in the gathering and the titled man that will blow his trumpet at the appointed time of the summon. The town crier would have to go round the ten villages of the town giving the same message. At the appointed time it therefore, behoves on every member of the age grade invited by the town crier to be present at the appointed venue – Otobo Ugwu Eworo.
 As mentioned before, far-reaching decisions concerning the town are taken in this gathering. It is believed that any one who tells lies or supports injustice in this gathering will attract the wrath of the gods and will die an untimely death.  

REFERENCES
Benezeri, K et al (1977): African Christian Marriage. Camelot press  Ltd, London.
Eze, U.M. (1996): Mixed Marriage: A Frank Advise to Young Christians. Snap Press Ltd, Enugu.
Ezugwu, J. O. (1995): Brief History of St. Michael Catholic Church, Ikolo. An Address of Welcome Presented on Visit of The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka Diocese.
Flannery, A. (1975): Vertical Council II. Dominican Pub. Dublin  Ireland.
Greenback, F. (1992): Marriage and its Implications in Australia. Sanac  Press, Conberra.
Offiah, J.U. (1985): History and Traditions of Ikolo, Other Neighbouring Communities in Outline.  Ikolo town, Enugu State.
Ottih, C.O. (2003): Marrital Happiness, the Expectation of Every Couple. Common NIK Cornels Investment Ltd, Onitsha, Nigeria.

 Chapter Six
OCHIMA COMMUNITY
By Comrade Augustine Nzuteigbo
INTRODUCTION
HISTORICAL ORIGIN AND GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION
ORIGIN
 Ochima is one of the fourteen towns that make up Igbo-Etiti local government area of Enugu State. Ochima is the son of Ebinye hence the name “Ochima Ebinye”.
“Ochima is the oldest inhabitant of Igbo-Etiti land and Nsukka zone in general, hence she is accorded the status of eldest son of Nsukka”. From the interview conducted in the course of this treatise, it was revealed that it is doubtful whether anybody living in Ochima today can still give an accurate account of the origin of Ochima. This is because, very little has been written in connection with the history of Ochima due when people who would have given the history and origin were still alive.
 The interviews conducted in this research were purely based on oral tradition, which may be prone to doubts and half-truth. With reference to the above assertions and other information gathered, it was the general opinion that Ochima has no other place of migration rather than their home place. The belief is that ‘all Igbos’ originated from the town called Agu – “Igboke na Igbo anyinya” which means a wilderness encompassing all Igbo people. In this case Ochima is the eldest of the entire Igbo race.
 According to late Chief Nzuteigbo Nwazogwo (the eldest man in Amaegede) in an inteview with him in 1991, “ Ochima came from nowhere with regard to migration rather Ochima is the eldest of the Igbos because they came first in the creation of the Igbos, and so ochima land is the scene of Igbo creation”. In the same vain, Elder Ugwu Igbodu (late) said, “I have never heard neither from stories, nor any other source about Ochima migrating from anywhere”.
 According to Ozor Otobo Nwokpo, the eldest man in Ochima today, there was a woman called Nne muru Igbo who settled with one man at Agu – Igboke na Igbo anyinya. The said woman is still being worshipped by traditionalists today at Ochima in a place called “Onu Nne muru Igbo” in Ochima. The Nne muru Igbo had two sons Ebinye and Adanshi. Ebinye married and had five sons and one died leaving him with four, namely – Ugwuewulo, Onehu, Ugwidike and Egede Adanshi married and gave birth to Nshi who is the ancestral father of Nri in Awka, Anambra State. Udueme according to him is a descendant of Adanshi linage hence Udueme is next in seniority after Ochima in Igbo-Etiti local government area. They settled in Igbo-Etiti while his brother Nri went on hunting expedition to Awka where he finally settled. Elder Otobo Nwokpo in continuation narrated how a time came when the Igbos were about to disperse to various areas. They assembled at Agu–Igboke na Igbo anyinya to deliberate on the movement, there arose the need for kola nut to be used to appeal Nne muru Igbo and ask for her guidance in the discussion. None of the people could provide the kola nut and they subsequently resolved that whoever provides the kola nut should be accorded the respect as the eldest. Then, Ebinye searched his bag thoroughly and brought out a dried kolanut hence, he took that position till today. In every gathering of the Igbo race, he prays with the kola nut provided as the eldest. His being able to produce kola nut in that gathering confirmed his eldership.
GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION
 Ochima is located at the extreme south of Igbo-Etiti local government area and occupies an area of about 6.5 square kilometersOchima is bounded in the east by Onyohor and Ukehe , in the west by Ikolo, in the north by Ohebe-Dim and in the south by Umuoka and Affa both in Udi local government area. Ochimai is blessed with more streams than any other community in Igbo-Etiti local government. More than six streams viz, Iyiukwu, Ochiozor, Iyiohu, Aguaba, Obuhalu, Iyiagu and Edokwu, to mention but a few surround the town.
 Ochima has only one farm settlement called ‘Agu–Eke’ which is at our boundary with Aku community. Ochima is also surrounded by hills, which serve as a protection against foreign invasions.
CULTURE AND CUSTOMS OF OCHIMA COMMUNITY
 It is a known and agreed fact that culture is the style of life, fashion, language, music, religion, arts and food etc., of a given community. Every community has its own peculiar way of looking, greeting, dressing, building house, using their language or dialect as the case may be.
 Ochima has many customs; the customs enhance peace, unity, sanity and general understanding amongst the people. The community practices Odo masquerade, Ozo tittle taking, Oha system and worship of deities in their land.

ODO MASQUERADE IN OCHIMA
 Odo as a name implies peace. Odo is a common phenomenon among virtually all the communities in Igbo-Etiti local government and its environs. The general notion of Odo varies in form and concept. In Ochima, odo is believed to be a re-incarnated spirit of our dead ancestors. That is why it is regarded with much fear and reverence.
 The origin of Odo in Ochima is said to be from two areas according to oral source. Odo in Ochima generally is said to have come from Ikem Ogwugwu in the Isi-Uzo local government area. For this reason, no Ochima can stay in that town during the departure of odo because of its adverse effects, because Odo ochima returns to Ikem Ogwugwu at the end of each Odo season.
 Chief Ugwu Amadieze (late) said that a woman first saw Odo in Ochima. The woman raised alarm because it was seen as strange thing. On hearing the alarm, the men came out and pursued the masquerade and it was finally caught at Umuazi village in Ochima. Till today, the village became a place where rules and regulations guiding Odo in Ochima are made in every Odo year.
 The other masquerade that has its peculiar way of arrival was Odo Ukpukpa. This was revealed by Chief Nzuteigbo Nwazogwo (late), who said that Odo Ukpukpa came from Okpatu in Udi local government area. The masquerade came to Izama village in Ochima and blew its trumpet expecting a simulative ovation but was disappointed by the little cheers. Odo Ukpukpa then dropped one of the masquerades accompanying it by name Iyigwu igbugbu for them. The masquerade then proceeded to Ibute and Amaudara where it did as before by blowing its trumpet and the cheers were as the former, so it dropped Odo Ububa for them. It continued its journey down to Amaegede and on getting there the trumpet was blown as before and it attracted a stimulating and rousing ovation. This gave the masquerade joy and happiness and it decided to settle down there. This odo today is the most celebrated in Ochima. As the odo entertain the spectators, one should reflect on the importance of leisure in national development and for the individual.
 There are three great moments in an odo year in Ochima whereby complex activities that comprise odo naturally fall into. They are:
1) The return of odo from the land of the dead.
2) The sojourn of odo among the living.
3) The departure/exodus of odo back to the land of the spirits.
 These complex activities are not clear-cut, but one gradually and naturally flows into the other. They are so planned to fit in with the traditional local calendar (thirteen lunar months). All these period above take approximately eight months in Ochima. By virtue and way of life, Ochima qualified as a normal African traditional agrarian society. For that, in readiness for any feast in the town is focused on the provision of abundant foods, drinks, new clothes and other things that brings happiness to any occasion.
OZO TITLE TAKING IN OCHIMA
 Ozo in Ochima community depicts affluence as well as honesty. The Ozo titled men are known as Idi and their wives are called Loloanyi. The origin of Ozo title according to Igwe John Agbo was through Eze Owete of Umudiaba Izama in Ochima. Though he could not say from where Eze Owete got the ‘Ozoship’.
 The Eze Owete having brought the title into Ochima summoned the Council of Elders and cooked plenty of food, supplied abundant palm wine and killed goats and cows accordingly for them. He was the first person to be initiated into the ozo in Ochima. Other people from other villages started to perform the ceremony to him as the Onyishi Ozo Ochima. The first person after Eze Owete was Eze Agumam from Umuowagu village and so it continued. The Ozo title taking is usually done every two years outside the Odo season. In Ochima, there are only two groups of Ozo men viz; Idi ulo and Idi edu. One has to satisfy Idi ulo first  who will then enumerate the requirements for the Idi Edu.to the initiate Onyishi Ozo is any person who is the first amongst the living Ozo titled men and not the eldest in age.
OHA (COUNCIL OF ELDERS)
 In Ochima, Oha is the eldest man from each village. Ochima has twelve villages namely; Umudiaba, Umuafoke, Amudara Uwani, Umuowagu, Ndiomelle, Amauvuru, Umualeri, Umuoru, Umuazi, Amaegede-Uwani and Akaku. This shows that in Ochima, we have 12 Oha’s, representing the twelve villages. Oha system is not a title taking but a nature’s designation in Ochima. Again, Oha today is believed to be the highest ruling body in Ochima. They try cases ranging from land disputes, marriage, allegations and minor quarrels. Their decision is final, as they are believed to possess the authority to ostracize any person who proves recalcitrant.

EDUCATIONAL TRENDS AND DEVELOPMENT, ITS IMPACT IN OCHIMA
 Ochima did not accept western education early enough due to poor enlightenment and poverty. They did not embrace western education because they believed that the missionaries have come to destroy their culture and tradition. It was only at about the 1950s that people like Christopher Ugwuosi, Vincent Okegbe, Marcel Odo (Enyi), Dennis Ochi, Otenyi Alloysius, Joseph Ochi etc. all left in search of western education, and some of them successfully completed and passed their standard six. Some dropped while some failed. Joseph Ochi and Vincent Okegbe attended St. Theresa’s Boys’ School, Jos, Plateau State in 1959. Mr. Ugwuosi Christopher attended Teachers’ Training College. He served as a teacher till retirement while Okegbe Vincent served in Ministry of Agriculture as a livestock overseer till his retirement. Mr. Anigolu Anibueze, Gilbert Amukwolu (late) and others followed.
 It was in this bid to acquire western education that Ochima, Ikolo and Onyohor communities jointly built St. Michael’s School, Igbodo around 1954. The building of this primary school gingered these communities into the pursuit of education.
 Between 1972 and 1973, Ochima people formed Ochima Progressive Union through the help of Mr. Gilbert Amukwolu (late), Ochi Anokwuru, Aniagolu Anibueze, Ugwuosi Christopher, Vincent Okegbe and host a of others. The efforts of these peoples led to the building of community primary school in Ochima in 1976. With the building of this school, every family had the opportunity to sending their wards to school today; in Ochima every home can at least boast of a secondary school leaver. Not withstanding, the community as small as they are can today boast of at least 20-university graduate in various disciplines.
 The impact of education in Ochima cannot be enumerated. By the year 1994, pipe borne water was provided and in 1999 Ochima had electricity, though not yet commissioned. All these amenities came through the efforts of our educated elites. It is a known fact that education co-exists with development. Education has optimistically improved the status of Ochima people in social, economic development and political enlightenment. The people’s life style have drastically changed and improved.

CHRISTIANITY
 It is said, religion is the opium of the masses. Ochima people embraced foreign religion. Ochima is one of the 42 out stations that made-up St. James Catholic Parish, Aku which started in 1952 with His Lordship Rt. Rev. Dr. M. U. Eneja as the first residence priest.
 To be precise, Christianity entered Ochima fully in 1977 and Ochima became a station with Rev. Fr. Edward Kanife as the first priest to celebrate mass in Ochima. In another development, Emmanuel Anglican Church was established in Ochima in 1984 with Rev. Cannon Uvuka as the first to celebrate and administer Holy Communion in the Church.
 To show that Ochima embraced Christianity, many churches are in existence in the community viz; Roman Catholic, C.M.S, Assemblies of God, All Christian Fellowship and a host of others. Some of Ochima indigenes are in the seminary and pastoral schools as at now. This shows that in no distant time the community will produce Reverend Fathers and Reverend Pastors to boost the morale of Christianity.
 On the impact of foreign religion, prior to the emergence of foreign religion in Ochima, freedom of movement and worship were restricted. The traditionalists determine the days people can move freely especially as it concerns women mostly during the Odo masquerade years/season. In the days of yore, every Ochima was expected to be an odo adherent and idol worshipper as a breach of this may attract sanctions. The emergence of foreign religion is said to have liberated everybody. One can serve anything as his God and freedom of movement is exercised.
 However, foreign religion has its negative impact on Ochima. Initiation of every male child between the ages of seven and eight into odo cult is no longer in vogue. That was the system we used in counting those that belong to one age group or the other. The process of initiation shows whether the child will be a coward or a brave person.
 They assumed that uninitiated males are of women inclination and probably have intelligent handicaps. Foreign religion has messed this institution up.

AGRICULTURE
 Ochima people are blessed with fertile land and farm settlement though not enough to serve the industrious Ochima farmers. This made them to look for land elsewhere where they practiced extensive farming. They moved to places like Agu-Nze, Opanda, Ukpata, Adani, Agu-Ogidi, etc in search of fertile and enough land to satisfy their urge. The people plant a wide variety of crops like cocoyam, black beans, cassava, groundnut, yam and maize in abundance. The people of Ochima grow other economic trees like kola nuts, palm trees, oranges etc.
   Ochima people are also keen in animal husbandry. There is no average home in Ochima that one cannot find five to six goats, sheep, fowls and at least one cow. These animals are reared in the traditional system of management.
 It is these animals that are put to various uses especially during festivals. They are either sold in exchange for money or slaughtered for consumption. They are kept as a mark of high economic status and a substitute for elders who can no longer actively participate in crop production.

CONCLUSION
 Due to the fact that not much had been written about Ochima the writers were unable to get the much-needed facts about the community. The researchers mostly depended on oral tradition and their experiences as people of Ochima. However, an attempt has been made to give brief information about different aspects of Ochima origin and culture.
 It is our belief that in subsequent times we will be able to give more elaborate explanation on the history and ethnography of Ochima people.
    

REFERENCES
Nwokpo, Otobo (2006), Oral Interview.
Agbo J. A., Igwe of Ochima (2006), Oral Interview.
Nzuteigbo A. A, (1992), Masquerade in Nigeria as an Organ of Traditional Public Relations: A Case Study of Ochima.

Chapter Seven
OHEBE-DIM TOWN
By Sylvanus .C. Ugwu and Casimir .C. Ugwu.
INTRODUCTION
 There has been no well-documented historical origin of Ohebe-Dim. However, from the folktales, myths and legendary stories, Ohebe-Dim of the present generation maintains its lead and seniority positions among the three grandsons of Dimoka within the present dispensation. From all our findings, we could not deduce from any source the name of the mother of Ohebe-Dim and where Ohebe-Dim came from, hence no documentation.
 According to Jan Vansina, where there is no writing or almost none, oral tradition must bear the brunt of historical reconstruction. They will not do this as if they were written sources. The limitations of oral tradition must be fully appreciated so that it will not come as a disappointment that long periods of research yield a reconstruction that is still not very detailed. What one does reconstruct from oral sources may well be a lower order of reliability, when there are no independent sources to crosscheck and when structuring or chronological problems complicate the issues.
Ohebe-Dim   is a town in Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area of Enugu State. According to folklore, Dim Eze is the father of Ohebe-dim and Ohebe-dim had seven sons. They were Omashi, Umuotuga, Nnawan, Chinwa, Ohodo, Umuoma and Akaibute. Among them, Omashi is the eldest. They are therefore written according to their seniority. The seven sons then became the seven villages in Ohebe-Dim. Again, within these seven villages, it is agreed that Ohebe-Dim married three wives. The first wife gave birth to Omashi, Nnawam and Umuoma and they are collectively known as Ejuona. The second wife gave birth to Umuotuga and Akaibute and the third wife gave birth to Chinwa and Ohodo.
ORIGIN
 Up till date, there is no clear evidence to show where Ohebe-Dim actually originated. But according to the information gathered, Ohebe-Dim, Umuna and Ogwu in Ozalla Town are sons of Dim Eze.
LOCATION
  Many towns surround Ohebe-Dim. In the North of her is Ozalla, in the south, we have Ikolo and Ochima, in the East is Umuna and Ukehe and in the West is Aku.
 There are many roads that pass through Ohebe-Dim. One that runs from Nineth Mile to Nsukka passes through Umuotuga, Agu Chinwa, Agu Ohodo and Ejuona. Another road that goes to Nkpologu passes through Umuotuga and Akaibute. The one that runs from Ogbede, the Head Quarters of Igbo-Etiti passes through Umuotuga Akibute and Chinwa and leads to Ozalla. Another raod that starts from Ekwegbe passes through Ejuona, Chinwa and Ohodo. This road leads to Aku. Ohebe –Dim is surrounded by three hills. They are Gburugburu hill, Owushi hill and Oshi hill. Again, three more hills are found at the heart of the town. They are Omashi hill, Nnawan hill and Umuoma hill.


DEITIES
 There are two major shrines in Ohebe-Dim. One is called Oshi and the other is Akpu. Oshi, which is now a deity, was a human being. The man Oshi who hailed from Ohodo was a warrior. In the olden days, he fought many wars and in all he was successful. He fought those they called ‘Abiriba’ at that time and killed many heads. Then, when he died, the whole town mourned him and from the year of his death, the town fixed a date for his remembrance. The town till date has a feast called Oshi every year in the memory of Oshi and his powers.
 Akpu, on the other hand was a woman. Akpu hailed from Akaibute. She was very famous and she cooked food for Oshi before he moved for war. After her death, the whole town mourned her just like that of Oshi. The town, up to date has a memorable day for her every year.
The idol worshippers attach much importance to these deities because:
i. They believe that these deities protect them from evildoers.
ii. They believe that the deities kill any person who gives poison to anybody in the town.
iii. They believe that the shrines kill or render any person who does what is against the custom of the town useless. (Iru nso ala). 
Sources of Water Supply: Ohebe- Dim is not blessed with any river, but there are two springs which serve the community during the dry season. These are Oshi and Agee. These are the only sources of water supply during the dry season in the olden days.
Occupation: The occupation of the town is mainly farming. Others are cow rearing and tapping of palm wine. Ohebe-Dim is the greatest producer of cocoyam in Igbo-Etiti. The famous market in Ohebe-Dim is Orie market. She has other markets like afor agu, agu Chinwa and Ejuona.
ODO MASQUERADE IN OHEBE-DIM (HISTORICAL ORIGIN)
History had it that a woman went to collect firewood near her house, and saw a domestic fowl searching and scrambling for food and extracted an extra ordinary object/ figure from the earth soil, then the woman with her male child she was carrying at her back saw the object. The child screamed “Odo Elee” and the woman (mother) dropped him and ran away in astonishment.
Then Ububa leaf (tree) was – used to clean the Odo while it was coming out of the earth surface. 
 That is why the spokes person of the Odo   masquerade (Akpara) invokes the fowl three times and the Ububa leaf tree three times before they start chanting other incantations ushering in the Odo into the world. It goes like these, “Okuko votaru Odo, Ububa bara Odo, “and other incantations. That is on the first day the Ishi Odo or Odo Okpanwu comes back from the spirit world.
 A masker that is also believed to come from a spirit world to live among people in the community once in every two years personifies Odo in Ohebe-dim. Odo is also regarded as the reincarnation of the dead members of the community.  From that day Odo started to exist among the people and is being operated by men in Igbo Odo communities for cultural upliftment.
 Ohebe-Dim with her paternal ancestor called DIMEZE was formally a family, but now having thousands of extended families, which gave rise to the existing, different clans, hamlets and villages in the town. Ohebe- Dim, like other towns in Igbo –Etiti L.G.A and beyond operates masquerade known as Odo. Put in other words, Ohebe-Dim is an Odo cultural community (Igbo Odo).
ODO IN OHEBE-DIM
From the myth behind the existence of Odo cult in Ohebe- Dim, we have two schools of thought. The other school traced the coming of Odo into Ohebe-Dim as   this, Odo Amudo, Odo Obeke, Odo Ugbele, Umuinyida and Odo Amadin, as having being bargained and bought from Ikolo. The history had it that these villages paid before the Odo came into their villages.
 Similarly, according to oral history, Umuinyida was formerly the village Odo Chief Priest came from. It goes like this; one late Ikejegwo Ogu from Umuinyida in Chinwa village was the central Chief Priest of Odo throughout the town. His maternal home is Amudo in Akibute village. As his father died, he fled to Amudo his maternal home and handed over the Odo instrumentals to one Ebonyi for fear of being attacked by his people. It was Ebonyi that took the Odo instrumentals to Amudo. The father of Ikejegwo Ogu gave him the rights as a reward because he took care of him while he was alive. Since then, Amudo clan took over and their Odo masquerades return first by March once in every two years; giving other Odo masquerades in the town three native weeks to return with the exception of Ofiatu. This also goes to corroborate an adage in the town, which goes like this. “Ofiatu Ofiatitiri soo Amudo eri Odo, Luagworo na Afor bia ri Odo.”
 The second school of thought had it that Ejuona, Ishiamaal and Ohodo got their own Odo from Ochima. These Odo have their pointed nose (Okpoimi).
 Due to the fragile nature of women they were not allowed to participate in the innocuous Odo ritual.
 Among the interesting features of Odo in Ohebe-dim is that the various origins and feats were being attributed to the masked figures. Without mincing words, most of Odo masquerades represent the ancestral spirit to which clans/ hamlets trace their origins in Ohebe-Dim.
 For want of time and space, we are not going   to discuss all aspects of Odo cults in Ohebe – Dim.
Most of the names given to the Odos represent their places of origin like,
Igwugwu No’lue – Ugbele
Okenya – Ofiatu
Ezike Aloke – Obeke
Ovuru- Uzo Nwonyishi – Ohodo
Ikata – Umudule
Ikejiokwo Nwobodikeze – Umuinyida
Owuru Igbogbokwe Nwobodikeze – Chinwa (Amadim)
Oboridi Nwalu – Omashi
Aji Nwonyishi – Nnawam
Ogadike Nweigbo – Umuoma
Okebule Avueja – Amudo
Other names depict the clan or hamlet of which the Odo comes from example.
Okumkpu – Umeze – Ohebe- Dim in Ugbele village.
Dimokwuruinyi – Amadim – Chinwa
Uzoke – Umuzoke village in Ugbele.
Dulevu – Ohodo village
Digwu okenye – Ishiamaal
Ezugwu Elegwu – Umuogbalaga village, Ugbele.

Other names represent beauty either of the imaginary   name of the Odo or an ancestor.
Otegburu Agbogo – Obeke
Idi Nwonye – Omashi
Onye Okwesiri- Ameziaga, Ohodo village
Ekiri Ishienyi – Amadia – Umuoma village
Also, other Odo represents humour, in this case they were meant to amuse people.
They include;
Udeaya Diegwu – Amadim Chinwa village
Akparaike – Nnawam
Ojinaachi – Ohodo
Osondu Agwuike- Ugbele
Okwunanjo – Obeke
Similarly, there are some other Odo with lethal visional powers which only the priest consults or appeases. These include:
Okebule – Amudo, Akaibute village
Oka mkpukpiri – Umuidu – Ugbele village
Odoeg – Amadim Chinwa Village
Algh – Nnawam, village Ejuona
Odo Akuakuru – Umudim Anwuguuma Ishimaal, Akibute village.
 In all, the   time for the feast of Odo comes up by March, once in two years and goes back to its spiritual world. When it returns, it stays seven months before going back. As history had it they traced its resting place to Ikem (a town in Isi – Uzo L.G.A). Stories were told that during the departure ceremony (Ula Odo) that massages are given to the Odo to be collected by people of Ikem.  
 During the coming ceremony, the preparation is at its groove (Uham) and when they return, they stay at Igidi.
The departure ceremony is groovier than the incoming. Cows, goats, fowls and sheep are being slaughtered during the festivities. Friends and well-wishers are being entertained lavishly by the adherent of Odo masquerade.
 One aspect of the rituals that defies even the white men is the esoteric nature of its music. Even among the women folk, it has been very difficult for them to discover the mystery behind the composition and instruments used by the Odo to play its music.
 Ever before the coming of the white men and their foreign religion (Christianity), Odo masquerades have been playing important religious, social, political and economic roles to its adherents.
 Finally, Odo masquerade usually returns on Afor day of March and departs on Nkwo day of September once in two years. 
OZO TITLE- TAKING IN OHEBE-DIM
In Ohebe-Dim, peoples’ wealth were determined by the number of wives a person married, the number of children in the family, number of barns of yams, cocoyams and domestic animals like cows, goats, sheep seen in a person’s compound. Those were the parameters of measuring wealth. In this community, title taking is addressed as Ozo or Idi. Ozo title- taking in Ohebe- Dim is the manifestation or testimony of a hero who has acquired wealth that has been useful to the people.
The Ozo or Idi title- taking in Ohebe-Dim is at present carried out in village basis and abounds in these stages, unlike the olden days where it is performed communally. Similarly, for want of time and space, we are not going to discuss in detail the processes of taking Ozo title in Ohebe-dim. With time we shall go into detail. The stages go like these:-
Ido Echi- The title- seeker informs the already titled men of his interest. In this case he will lavish them with foods and drinks. He also invites the eldest men (Ohas) within his village. These Ohas must not be titled men. At the end of the conviviality, he dishes out money to the Ozo titled men to indicate his interest. 
Ndigba Arua- At this second stage, all the Ozo titled men and their Ozo escort (Nwekpa) within the village will be in attendance. Foods and drinks will equally be given to them.
Obuegba Okputukputu: This is the notification of the Okputukputu ceremony of which the same men of titular positions with their escorts (Nwekpa) will be invited.
Okputukputu Ceremony: It is almost the climax of the ceremony. In this case, not only the Ozo titled men and their escort will be invited, even the non-titled men known as the “Oheke”. Due to the gravity of the ceremony, the kinsmen of the Ozo-seeker usually support him with food and wine for many invited guests are expected to come and grace the occasion.
Obuegba Owaonu: The Ozo and their Nwekpas are invited to the title- seekers house for the purpose of notifying them of the next ceremony   known as Owaonu. Conviviality is inclusive in all these stages.
Owa Onu Ceremony: This denotes the day the Ozo seeker pronounces his three titled names according to the traditional and customs of the town’s titular institution. Philosophical names like these; Nnebuluaka” (if mother were a collection of beads, when it breaks, the make will repair it), Egonasuofia (Money that clears the bush), “Onyeakalebea” (Let nobody reveals has dwelling place) etc. as well, the wife/ wives of the Ozo seeker will equally pronounce her/their two names each to indicate that her/their husband(s) would be or is a titled man/men. Also to be invited are Nwanzere (must be a woman) who has been previously selected as the helper of Ozo-seeker through the fortuneteller and the “Ogbu Opu” (must be a man, ie a trumpeter or trumpet- blower) who is chosen through mere appointment.
Ila Mbuba ceremony: In Ozo or Idi title taking Ila mbuba is a period of titular confinement either at the would-be Ozo’s compound or clan hall. It usually begins at “Eke” days at night and lasts for a period of three market weeks. The Ila mbuba is also described as a night wake keep for the Ozo-title seeker and the Umuada are invited for the wake-keep. Traditional music like Egwu shakpara, Okango drum and all other known music will be featuring. It is usually a night of merriment, singing, dancing, and drinking with the invited guests.
 On Orie day, the titled men in the village attend the ceremony. The regalia’s like title scepter (Arua Ozo) Akari, is worn around the titleholder ankle. The eldest man of that clan/hamlet gives the Arua Ozo to him while a man from another clan/hamlet/village wears Akari.
 While Nwanzere Ozo will be grinding camwood (Ufieyi) for the Ozo man who rubs the camwood on his body everyday and wears a traditional “akwete” cloth (Ajima) on his waist, a red cap on his head and his traditional trumpet (Opu) to be blowing at his wills. He (Ozo-holder) eats roasted yam, every morning. Friends and relations brings to him food, money and other gifts. Ozo holders have a special seat called Okpara-ekwe.    
 Izu Afia Idi:  This stage marks the newly titled man’s shopping at the four markets in Ohebe-Dim. He starts his market journeys six months after ila mbuba which is in Ohebe-Dim the 8th month of the year. He starts with Afor market at Ohodo Ohebe, followed by Nkwo market near Ugwiorie. The village owners of the four markets i.e the eldest villagers who are idol-worshippers would be called upon to worship the four markets for the new Ozo-holder. The grand finale of the market shopping is being organized at Orie Ohebe now along the 9th mile Markurdi Express way/road. In that market, gifts of different kinds are given to the Ozo man by his relatives, friends and well – wishers.
 In Ohebe-dim, an Ozo shakes hands twice with his fellow Ozo. They are symbolized with the wearing of a red cap, sometimes travels to ceremonies, with their trumpet and the tilted thread anklet (akari) always on his ankle. They are not being addressed in a vulgar language while he should be truthful and straight forward in his dealings with other members of the community and beyond.
With the qualities an Ozo titled man possess, he and his wives, including his compound are obviously deemed sacrosanct. 
EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN OHEBE- DIM
The scramble for the colonization of Africa in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by European countries, notably Britain, France, Spain, Portugal and Germany, had at a later date, the by product of the introduction of formal western education in most black African countries. Ohebe-Dim, being an integral sub-area of the larger Nigeria in Africa experienced the introduction of formal education in the town in the first half of the 20th century.
The early western colonialists in Nigeria concentrated in trade and the development of structures to facilitate trade. These structures included the building of roads, railways and waterways for improved transportation and the appointment of village heads/ chiefs to provide local labor force and maintain relative peace. Ohebe people like other native people in Igbo land kept a distance from the colonialists for fear of being taken away from their ancestral homes to serve as laborers transporters or local law enforcement agents for the white colonialist.
The activities of the colonialists brought about drastic reduction in inter village wars thus ushering in relative peace and sense of security. Under the condition, the Christian missionaries who followed in the heels of the colonialists felt safer and more courageous to penetrate villages and towns preaching Christianity as a new religion that should be accepted by the local people. The soft and friendly approach adopted by the white missionaries was more tolerable to the natives who in return nominated people among themselves to serve and aid the missionaries in their evangelical work.
The missionaries under the leadership of the legendary Father Millet set foot in Ohebe dim in 1933 and in the same year made a convert by name Pius Okwor. About the same time, the traditional headman of Chinwa village in Ohebe Dim by name Eze Nwonu [later christened Jacob Eze had already established link with the colonial administration based at Ogurugu, Nkpologu and later Nsukka.
The efforts of Jacob Eze, who eventually became the first colonial nominated chief of Ohebe Dim and Mr. Pius Okwor the first Christian convert helped to encourage Ohebe people to nominate or offer their children to learn the white man’s language and his way of life. To this end, a thatched building was constructed in 1935 at Chinwa village in Ugwuorie [the center of the town] as the first Ohebe-Dim primary school where youngsters were taught, Catholic catechism, how to read and write in Igbo and English languages. The primary school was named St. Michael’s School, Ohebe - Dim.
The first products of the Catholic missionary efforts in Ohebe-Dim were Joseph Uliaga (from Ohodo village), Mr. Simon Okenyi and Mr. Francis Okpunwa both from Chinwa village. These three adventurers after painstakingly graduating from the Ohebe- Dim infant School followed the missionaries to bigger schools outside Ohebe – Dim where they went through relatively advanced training up to Standard four to qualify them in 1943 as the first missionary teachers from Ohebe– Dim. From 1943 to 1948, these three pioneers served meritoriously in various communities of the present Nsukka political zone to promote Catholicism and basic Western Education.
Other Ohebe-Dim aspiring youngsters came up to improve on the pioneering efforts of the aforementioned three pioneers. Prominent among them was Mr. Matthias Okenyi, who by his very impressive accomplishments at the Onitsha provincial level as a famous athlete of St. Joseph’s School Nsukka from 1946 to 1949 made going to school very attractive for promising youngsters of Ohebe–Dim in particular and Nsukka people in general. Mr. Mathias Okenyi, the first Ohebe person to pass the then highly rated standard six examination in 1949 started his teaching career at Agbo-Ogazi and Uvuru axis in 1950. Following closely on the heels of Mr. Matthias Okenyi was Mr. Fidelis Ezugwu who in 1950 also passed the standard six examinations at St. James School Aku with the legendary Sir Felix Ugwuoju as his teacher. Mr Ezugwu was briefly posted in 1951 to teach at his native town Ohebe -Dim before being posted out to other Catholic missionary schools.
In 1952, through the effort of Chief Joseph Jacob (who succeeded his late father, Chief Jacob Eze as the Chief of Ohebe–Dim), Igbo-Assa people made St. Michaels Primary School Ohebe-Dim the center for standard one and two primary education programme for all Igbo-Assa youngsters in the seven towns of Ikolo, Ochima, Ohebe-Dim, Ngalakpu (now Diogbe), Onyohor, Umuna and Umunko. This center was moved in 1954 to Igbodo customary court building at Ogbede in 1953. The idea of the Central School at Igbodo was to lessen the traveling distance from these minority towns to primary schools at Aku and Ukehe in pursuit of higher levels of primary education. The movement from Ohebe-Dim to Ogbede left St. Michael’s Primary School with educational programs up to standard one with Denis Eze from Orba as the headmaster.
Also in 1952, Ohebe-Dim people decided to elevate their primary school from a thatched house to a more durable building of stone reinforced concrete walls and zinc roofs.
Increased interest of youngsters in going to school was more enhanced by the successes of Mr. Sylvester Ezike, who successfully completed his primary school education between 1953 and 1955 and commenced teaching at various communities in Aku parish. The increased pupil population of St. Michael’s School earned its elevation to standard two later when the new school building was completed by Ohebe -Dim people under Mr. Donatus Ezema as the Headmaster and Ohebe-Dim’s ebullient and amiable Matthias Okenyi as his assistant.
 In 1955, Mr. Ignatius Okenyi and Mr. Hyacinth Eze joined the civil service as workers in the Nsukka Divisional council. The vacancy left by Ignatius Okenyi as a teacher from Ohebe was filled in 1957 by Mr. Christopher Attama who after excellent performance in his 1956 standard six examination commenced teaching as an employee of the Eastern Regional Ministry of Education through the Catholic Management System.
In the middle of 1956 after the crumbling of the Igbo-Asaa Central School Igbodo due to political intrigues from Igbodo area, the elite of Ohebe-Dim with the initiative of Mr. Ignatius Okenyi and Hyacinth Eze formed the Ohebe Improvement Union with the main objective of instituting free primary education in the town and also the restrictions against prostitution and early marriages of young girls so as to boost the school population for both males and females. The activities of the Union from 1956 to 1962, in spite of distracting village politics, ensured steady growth of the Ohebe-Dim primary school.
 In 1957, Mr. Fidelis Ezugwu became the first Ohebe Dim person to gain entry into a Teachers Training College. He gained admission into St. Patrick’s College, Obollo Eke for a two year programme. His entry into a college was a big pride and relief to Ohebe people who were left behind by the earlier successes of their neighbouring minority communities of Ikolo, Umunko and Umuna in producing TCIII AND TCII teachers.
From the end of 1967 in Eastern region of Nigeria, teaching appointment became no longer automatic for standard six-certificate holders except for brilliant pupils who could be teachers only after their successful completion of educational study programme in a Teacher Training College. As a result, primary school teachers started counseling their pupils on alternative avenues through which they could qualify as administrators, Lawyers, Engineers and medical doctors. This development opened up the desire by aspiring youngsters to go into secondary schools for post primary studies.
Also from the same 1967 in Eastern Nigeria, retrenchment of teachers based on their performance in the annual teachers’ assessment examinations became a continuous exercise. By the first quarter of 1959, Mr Fidelis Ezugwu and Mr. Christopher Attama were the only survivors (out of all the teachers from Ohebe-Dim) from the scourge of this continuous retrenchment exercise. Irrespective of this drastic reduction in the number of teachers from Ohebe-Dim in the Eastern Nigeria Education Ministry, St. Michael’s Primary School Ohebe-Dim continued to grow in pupil population, number of teaching staff and level of primary school study which had by 1959 reached standard four.
In January 1959, Marcel U. Agu, Virginia Okwor (now Mrs Onunze) and Gilbert Okwuli gained admission into secondary schools namely CIC Enugu, QRC Onithsa and All Hallows Seminary, Onitsha respectively. As the years rolled by, these three first secondary school students were joined by more aspiring students like Innocent Odo (St. Patrick’s Emene), Raphael Ezoka (All Hallows Seminary, Onitsha), Isaac Edugwu, Titus Obute, Fredrick Eze and later Lawrence Attama gained admission in Igbo-Etiti Grammar School, Adada. Several other Ohebe youngsters were desirous to obtain secondary school Education but their parents lacked the fund to support them.
By 1963, St Michael’s School Ohebe-Dim had been elevated to a standard six school and by the end of 1966; Marcel Agu, Innocent Odo and Virginia Okwor had successfully completed their secondary School Education. In January 1967, Marcel Agu became a teacher with higher School Certificate (HSC) at St. Patrick’s Secondary School Obollo- Eke.
The outbreak of the Nigerian Civil War on July 4, 1967 ended the first phase of the development of western formal education in Ohebe-Dim.
CHRISTIANITY AND ITS IMPACT IN OHEBE-DIM
Before the introduction of foreign religion i.e. (Christianity) in Ohebe-Dim in 1933, the community was known for their full support and adherence in the practice of their native religion called the African traditional religion (ATR). The community had seen religion as the feeling, acts and experiences of individuals in their solitude. People believed that there exist somewhere in the universe, a supreme being (God) “Chukwu” superior to man and all things on earth, and which could offer explanation to known and unknown things.  Religion according to them has to do with man’s relationship with the unseen world to the world of spirit, demons and gods.
 Their religion was characterized by the belief in many small gods like “Akpu”, Oshi, Odo, Umuada etc. The Chief Priest ‘Atama maa’ is carries out the worshiping in shrines and performs s rituals and sacrifices. They believe strongly in life after death. 
 It was after the delegation to the Resident Division Officer (D.O) at Nsukka in 1933 led by the then representatives of the council of elders in the persons of Late Messrs Ogbulagodo Nweze, Anikwe Ezugwu, Ezeoha Nwa-jim and few others that Christianity came into Ohebe-Dim.
 In the same year in 1933 Ohebe–Dim had its first Catholic Primary School through the aid of Rev. Father Millet.  Pius Nwokwor was converted as a Christian the same year and got his baptism in 1934, followed by Okenyi Simon and Uliaga Joseph in 1936 at Nsukka. The church was a mud hut in 1933 and was enlarged and roofed with zinc in 1938. However, the Rev. Father Millet was residing at Nsukka with the first catechist of the station Mr. B. Okoro.
 Before the advent of the foreign religion, Ohebe-Dim community had created some festivals for display of arts, music, crafts and some other talented skills which foreign religion has condemned as idolatrous. The religion also condemned cultural display like Orie odo, Ote Ama (wrestling), inter-festival visits etc. Prior to the advent of the religion, we had natural way of settling cases amicably and possibly finding solution for such cases in the society. The married wives, the daughters of the community, the men folk have their own unique ways of settling cases. Punishments were given to offenders according to the gravity of offences and judgments were usually based on the laid down rules or code of conduct of the community. In most cases, fines were imposed on the offenders but if the offence is so severe, he may be isolated for a number of years to serve as a deterrent to others.
Ohebe-Dim traditional religion had designated powers to some deities to reduce the burden of   the Supreme Being “Chukwu”. The deities act as the agents to the main creators. The deities were categorized as follows: -
1. The earth goddess “Ani” in charge of the entire earth and its belongings.
2. The goddess of Agriculture “Fujioku” is incharge of agriculture both in cultivation and harvest.
 The ancestral father “Ishi ndi Ushi” and Mgbukponkwu represent the departed souls and the recognition of the present elders. People donate the biggest yam from their harvest to the eldest person in the clan/ village as the case may be (ibe ji n’ obu).
3. The 6th month of the year (onwaishi) is a feast to streamline the calendar of the year.
4. The goddess ‘Diobi” is celebrated as a feast where the men are relieved of the responsibility of feeding the family and women take over the feeding of the entire household.
In conclusion therefore, African traditional practice should not be seen as bad and devilish without clear considerations. As a result, we suggest setting up an ecumenism committee to review the attributes of our traditional practices and come up with the good culture of our people and discard the bad and obsolete ones.
The harmonization and modification of our traditional practice will enhance good living; reduce friction and clashes among the Christians and non-Christians. The issue of polarization of belief by different religious groups could do more harm than good to our people and if continued, we doubt if we could ever experience absolute peace and love.
RECOMMENDATIONS
 The writers made every effort to find out the origin of Ohebe-Dim or where Ohebe-Dim migrated from but they could not. Therefore, the door is open to us all to make more research on this for this is the first attempt made to write the history of Ohebe-Dim since western education came to our community. In assessment of the past, we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. Therefore, let us come together and have common understanding. Let us embrace the word “Igbo neshi nwanne buelu Ohebe-Dim” and dream of solidarity. Ohebe-Dim elite should begin the strategy of globalising his transactions, be it politically, economically or socially. The elite should seek to provide Ohebe-Dim with a leadership that is not prone to making more enemies than friends and the type of leadership that understands Ohebe-Dim problems and seek to solve them.In the traditional Igbo society, age, physical ability, good character, ritual or magical powers were the prerequisite for the attainment of political power, authority or influence.
 The Ohebe-Dim elite should strive to transform the chieftaincy institution into a responsive and development oriented one. It should be focused and result oriented. The institution should be used to recognize worthy sons and daughters by way of conferment of chieftaincy titles on them. This is a way of motivating philanthropy, statesmanship and community values. In conclusion, let us join hands together as brothers and sisters to move the town forward.

REFERENCES
ORAL INTERVIEW
Dr. M. U. Agu
Mr. Eze Emmanuel
Mr. Ezeugwu Ernest
Ozo Ugwu Nwaezeora
Ozo Onodagu Okenyi


Chapter Eight
OHODO TOWN
By Donatus Obayi A. & Charles Ezugwu
INTRODUCTION
HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF THE ORIGIN OF OHODO ABBA
 This name Ohodo is an acronym of two words that mean two different but compatible things–“OHA” which in Ohodo context means PEOPLE, and “ODO” which equally in Ohodo context and in most Igbo communities is a symbol of PEACE and GOOD OMEN. Odo is a yellow cam obtained from Cam tree. To get the name “OHODO” the two words are coined to form “OHODO” in this way:- OHA (People) + ODO (Peace) gives OHA ODO (People of Peace). For easy and convenient pronunciation, there is letter assimilation. The letter affected to this effect is letter “A” giving birth to the name Ohodo which means People of Peace.
ORIGIN OF OHODO `ABBA` UJALOGU
 This aspect of work is very important and will be briefly discussed as there is no comprehensively written document on the history of Ohodo `Abba` at the time of this survey. The main sources of information used for this part of the work were oral information obtained through interviews and some articles.
 These sources had it that the ancestral father of Ohodo people was a man known as `Abba` muru  who wandered from Abba town now in Abia State  to Ikwoka Obimo now in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State. This he did when he was so tender that he could not tell who his parents were. This was why he could not give detailed information about himself. Rather he was able only to mention the name of the place from where he came – Abba. This was why he was known and addressed as `Abba` [No reason was adduced as the cause of his separation from his parents.
 It was at that “Ikwoka” that he got married to a woman known as Onyugwu Ezugwu who gave birth to two sons – OHODO and OGBUDU before `Abba` died. `Abba` had two sons from Onyugwu ezugwu before his demise. Ohodo and Ogbodu were therefore known as OHODO `Abba` and OGBODU `Abba` respectively. It was after the death of `Aba` that Onyugwu Ezugwu remarried a man known as Sabere. With Sabere, Onyugwu Ezugwu begot another male child named OBIMO, hence the name Obimo Sabere.
 When Sabere got so old that the time of his death was quite evident on his face, he assembled the three boys – Ohodo `Abba`, Ogbodu`Abba` and Obimo Sabere and shared his property among them. In the course of sharing, he gave the land “Ikwoka” occupied to his biological son Obimo, hence the name Ikwoka Obimo, then stretched his hands towards the East and the South. He asked Ohodo to move South ward and occupy the land there as the senior, then told Ogbodu to move East ward and occupy the area. Each of Ohodo and Ogbodu was given a piece of stone.
 For the fact that Ohodo and his younger brother Ogbodu had deep love for each other, they moved together to the area given to Ohodo now known as Ohodo town with a part of his own patrimony. On reaching the area, Ohodo settled with his brother Ogbodu. Ohodo then went to a place now  known as Umuagogwu village and placed  his own stone so that any time he stood on it, he could have a sight of his half and youngest brother-Obimo.
 As believed, the stone transformed into a hill now known as Ezugwu, Oshimiri hill (a.k.a. Ugwu Duhu). By history, Obimo Sabere, Ogbodu `Abba` and Ohodo `Abba` the eldest had one ancestral mother. It is matrilineal bond that holds the three together. It is quite suprising then that though Ohodo `Abba` and Ogbodu `Abba` have one ancestral father, the descendants of Ohodo `Abba` and Obimo Sabere relate more as brothers  of one ancestral parents than they relate with the descendants of Ogbodu `Abba` though the two have one ancestral father- `Abba` in common.
 As a result of this historical bond, Ohodo people and Obimo people regard one another as “IGBO UMUNNE” [people that are related]. This is why no reasonable Ohodo people or Obimo people will harm or maltreat the other in any way and for any reason. In the olden days, if the Ohodo people were offering sacrifices to or celebrating the feast of Ezugwu Oshimiri and any Obimo man came, that Obimo man automatically became the second in command [the OGA]. The same thing obtained in Obimo if any Ohodo man paid such a visit in Obimo. After the settlement of Ohodo `Abba`, he got married to a woman known as Odobo from whom the people of Ohodo town sprang up. Odobo gave birth to three sons namely – Akutara, Akibute and Ejuona. Akutara was the eldest son, Akibute was the middle son while Ejuona was the youngest son of Ohodo `Abba`    .
 It was from these immediate descendants of Ohodo `Abba`  that three quarters in Ohodo town today emerged, each bearing the present day quarter in Ohodo viz:
1. Akutara quarter - the eldest quarter
2. Akibute quarter  - the middle quarter
3. Ejuona quarter- the most junior quarter
SETTLEMENT OF OGBODU `ABBA`
 History has it that Ogbodu `Abba` settled at a place bounded by the following villages – Umuezikenwoke village, Umuelim village, Umuezenonye Oruku village and Mkpuru Orugu village.
After some periods of inhabitation of the area, Ogbodu decided to vacate the area subsequent upon which he migrated to the present location where Ogbodu `Abba` people now are.
This is why that very area he occupied when he was at Ohodo is still called “Ogbodu”.
 However, due to the departure of Ogbodu from Ohodo, much about his establishment in terms of marriage, procreation, occupation, etc. were not known. Besides, the cause of his departure is not known yet. It is worthy of mention here that while `Abba` muru is said to be the ancestral father of Ohodo `Abba` people, certain groups of people are said to come from different places to Ohodo and got settled. Such people are the Eziama people in Ohodo and some clans in Uwelu Achara village in Achara Ohodo.
 One school of thought has it that Eziama is a fraction of “Ikem” now in Isi-Uzo Local Government Area. The separation of Eziama was inadvertent rather for security purpose. This is because the separation was as a result of sudden waylaying of Ikem people which resulted to Ikem people, who were unaware and unprepared for defence, taking to their heels in different directions and into different groups.
 While some groups managed to go back to their original place, others never went back. One of such groups came to Ohodo town, settled and decided to go by the name Eziama Ohodo. The other group from of Ikem ran to Ogbozalla Opi, settled there and maintained the name Eziama Ogbozalla Opi. This is why Eziama Ohodo is referred to Eziama Aram n’Ikem.
 In another development, there is another group in Uwelu Achara village. It is said that the original inhabitants of Uwelu Achara village was the Umugwonyugwu family. The members of this family were said to have migrated from Useh-Aku in Igbo-Etiti West of Enugu State. This is why the village is known as Uwelu-Use Aku. Besides, history has it that the “Idenyi Upata” deity in Uwelu village originated from “Ojiyi Use Aku” in Use-Aku village from where the Umugwonyugwu people that first settled in Uwelu village came.
 It is worthy of note here that in the olden days pre- western religion, the Uwelu Use Aku people dared not go to Use-Aku because it was believed that should any Uwelu man see any Use-Aku man or woman , that instant death awaited the Uwelu man.
The second group of Uwelu people migrated from Opi town in Nsukka Local Government Area.
 The movement of Achara people from Ubokwuka which was their original place was initiated by a hunter from Umuezike Achara who when on a hunting trip to a forest in Achara discovered a species of African Spinach (Amaranthus hibbridous) – “INENE OJI”. Being marveled and equally attracted by this discovery went back to Ubokwuka and acquainted his people with his new discovery in the thick forest of Achara during his hunting trip. On this note, he requested that they should go and inhabit the place as he hoped and believed that the place would be good for Agricultural activities. To show his optimism, willingness and preparedness, he left with his wife and few other Achara people who reluctantly followed. However, later when others who were skeptical and waited expectantly to see them come back immediately realized that nothing happened to them as none came back; they decided to move away from Ubokwuka to the new land discovered by the hunter.
 In Achara quarter, the eldest village is Umuezike Achara village. It was in this village that the Achara people first settled. Worthy of note is the fact that Umuezike Achara people are known as “Umuonyishi Uha” [people of good fortune or omen]. This is because it was in this village since the history of Ohodo `Abba` that a cow had twin calves.
 On the other hand, while Achara is regarded as the “Attama” of “`Abba` muru”. It is Umukabi village that is solely in charge of `Abba` muru in Achara. This is why the `Abba` shrine is located at Umukabi village. It is significant to note here that some Umuezike Achara people migrated to Umuoti village in Owere Ohodo, settled there and started to go by the name Umuoti people while others went to Umuezike – Aku in Aku town.
 In a similar development, the Umuegwani people and the Umuokoro people migrated from Umuahuga village to their respective present places. History has it that though the Umuezike ogbe people were first to settle where they are before Umuokoro, the Umuokoro village seniors the Umuezike ogbe village. This is because it was the Umuokoro people that provided the money that was direly needed on demand, which the Umuezike ogbe people could not. N/B. Eziama people were the last group to settle in Ohodo.
 History, as a key, unlocks the door to knowledge, education, information, solution/answers to the ambiguities about the past, and as a road leads people to their base line (origin) and ancestral link with other people. This is because history helps in no small measure to have detailed and proper ethnography and ethnology of races of mankind. From the ethnology point of view, this is proved by the historic accounts of Ohodo people, Obimo people, Aku people and Nsukka people. Historically, it was recorded that the Igala people conquered and ruled some towns in the present Nsukka senatorial zone such as Aku, Obimo, Nsukka, etc.  Where the Atta of Igala deployed some men to rule such areas. For instance, Diewa was deployed to rule Aku, Asadu to rule Nsukka and Asabere to rule Obimo, etc. These people in the course of their stay in those areas got married and begot children who were named after them respectively as stated below.
 Diewa who was the person deployed to Aku got there and married Mgboko Odobo. They begot a son called Aku; hence the name “Aku Diewa Mgboko Odobo”, Asabere was deployed to Ikwoka where he got married to Onyugwu Ezugwu a widow of Abba the father of Ohodo Abba Ujalegu. From Onyugwu Ezugwu, Asabere got a son called Obimo and this is why the town Obimo goes by the name Obimo Sabere.
 In a similar situation, Asadu from his own area married unidentified woman begot a son known as Nsukka, hence the name Nsukka Asadu for Nsukka town. From these accounts, the progenitors of Aku, Nsukka people, and Obimo people plus others unmentioned were from Igala. Besides, from the historic account of the Genesis of Ohodo Abba Ujalegu, Obimo people and Ohodo people have matrilineal bond because Abba who was the putative ancestral father of Ohodo Abba people came to Ikwoka, he got married to Onyugwu, Ezugwu from whom he had two children before his last breath – Ohodo Abba and Ogbodu Abba. History had it that when he died, Onyugwu Ezugwu got married to a man called Sabere for whom she got a son known as Obimo.
 From these accounts of Aku people and Ohodo people, while that of Ohodo was silent about where Asabere/Sabere came from, that of Aku clearly states it which now helps us (the Ohodo people) to authenticate the record about the existence of a man called Asabere/Sabere and that he had a son known as Obimo as equally claimed in the history of Ohodo.  In the light of this, the inference one can draw here is that the ancestral father of Ohodo came to Ikwoka before the advent of Asabere from Igala which points to a conclusion that by birth, Ohodo people senior the Aku people.
GEOGRAPHY OF OHODO TOWN
LOCATION
 Ohodo town is situated in the Northern part of Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area of Enugu State to which the town belongs, hence the classification of Ohodo town under Igbo-Etiti North politically. She shares boundaries with the following immediate neighbouring towns: in the North, she shares boundary with Opi town, in the South, she shares boundary with Ozalla Igbo-Etiti, in the East, she shares boundary with Ekwegbe town, while in the West, she shares boundary with Lejja and Ede Oballa respectively.
 Topographically, Ohodo town seems to be the best favoured town by nature in Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area. This is due to the level nature of the area the town occupies. This is why the town is seriously envied by any body that visits or passes through the town.
VEGETATION & PHYSICAL FEATURES
 By vegetation, Ohodo is under guinea savanna zone as Ohodo is covered with trees and scattered grasses and herbs. This is why the area favours the growth of many fruit and timber trees such as Kola, Oil palm, citrus, etc. Though some arable crops like white Yam of different species, Cassava, Maize, Trifoliate yam, etc. thrive in Ohodo town, they are produced at subsistence level.
 Ohodo town is denied those gifts of nature which constitute the bare necessity of life like rivers, springs, streams, etc. instead there are four hills and forests that are located in different villages and quarters in Ohodo. The hills include the Ugwu Ezugwu Oshimiri (a.k.a. Ugwu Duhu which is the ancestral hill). It is located at Umuagogwu village in Akibute quarter.
THE ECONOMY OF OHODO COMMUNITY
 The economy of Ohodo community is predominantly agricultural. The practice of Agriculture in Ohodo is as old as Ohodo her self with special attention on crop and animal production. In cash crop production, the Ohodo people busy themselves in the production of fruit and food crops. The cash crops produced in Ohodo include:
1. Kola trees
2. Bitter kola trees
3. Orange trees
4. Oil bean trees, etc
The food crops they produce include:
1. Yam
2. Cassava
3. Cocoa yam, etc
 Ohodo people are known for the rearing of such livestock like cattle, sheep and goat, and poultry birds. Worthy to mention here is that it is in Ohodo that a cow had twin calves in Umuezike village. It is from the proceeds from these crops and animals that Ohodo people were able to sponsor their children in different fields of academic endeavours and made other achievements like erecting corrugated iron roofed houses, marrying wives, buying automobiles and bicycles, taking titles, etc.
 The agricultural production is at subsistence level; the little produced is of high quality. For instance, during time for yam harvest, many people from neighbouring towns throng the Oye Ohodo market to buy extra ordinary large size tubers of yam usually produced annually by Ohodo farmers. Besides yams, another agricultural product that has earned Ohodo town good and popularity in Enugu State is the type of palm wine tapped in Ohodo. The wine is so special and qualitative that it has created enviable popularity for Ohodo town. This is because due to the non-rival tapping skill and knowledge of the Ohodo tappers in tapping of palm wine coupled with the nature of the soil, they produce potent palm wine that has a very high distinctive classical quality that has attracted the attention of people from different walks of life such as Opi, Ukehe, Nsukka, Lejja, Aku, Ozalla, Enugu, etc., hence the name “Nkwu Ohodo”. The Ohodians were famous in wine tapping since the beginning of the town.
 In mans’ bid to find a means of survival and development, man ventures into diverse areas to source out means for sustenance and development  which may primarily be agriculture or commerce the choice between the two is a function of environmental conditions in which man finds himself.
 From origin Ohodo people were farmers. This occupation of ours has historic attribute. This is because the soil on which all the cultivation and animal husbandry are carried has its origin from rock. The patrimony of Ohodo `Abba from his step father-Sabere was a piece of rock which developed into a hill. From the cradle of Ohodo, the Ohodo people relied solely on Agriculture as the only source of lively hood. Later people ventured into different vocational businesses and trades such as sewing, bricklaying, mechanic and driving, carpentry, furniture making, knitting and weaving, etc.
TITLE TAKING PRACTICES IN OHODO
 Hornby (1974) defines title as word used to show a person’s rank, occupation, status, etc. This cultural practice is quite ubiquitous in Nigeria. Title taking has both social and political importance attached to it. Socially, it bestows on the holder societal regard, prestige, honour, etc. Politically, title taking is a symbol of authority and power. With title, in Ohodo traditional setting, one has qualified, if other behavioral conditions are okayed, to be the Igwe of Ohodo if he so desires and if need be.
 Title taking is one of the social practices that unite Ohodo together. In Ohodo `Abba` town, people engaged in some title taking practices. The tittles usually taken in Ohodo community include:-
1. Ama title (Oha title)
2. Igede title.
3. Igbu Anyinya title, etc.
 The only one to be discussed here is Ama title taking which is highly valued in Ohodo `Abba` community. Oha title is a unisex practice as both men and women are allowed into the cult. This title is common in Nsukka especially in Igbo-Omaba communities like Opi town, Ekwegbe town, Ede Oballa town, Lejja town, Oba town, etc. Formally, when discipline, honesty, justice and trust were people’s watchwords, the individuals that were allowed to take Oha title were experienced people, individuals of proven character, who were both by birth and inclination people of Ohodo culture, etc. Regrettably, reverse is now the case as any body provided he/she can foot the cost of it is allowed to take the title. What an abuse! Age and character are no more prerequisites for present day Oha titleholders.
 In Ohodo traditional setting, every Oha man should have “Okpaneka” (Staff) and “Ogele” (twin gong). The Okpaneka is made of a handle and the tail. The handle comprises Oho stick and either copper coil, bronze coil, silver coil or gold coil which is used to decorate the handle. The tail is decorated with the horse tail. The purpose of the use of Oho stick as the only ideal wood as assumed by those forebears of Ohodo  people who initiated the title was to ensure that every Oha man said the truth and upheld it, was honest, trust worthy, impartial in judgment, etc in his dealings.
 However, this Oha title ethics which obtained then had gone down the drain. This is occasioned by the corrupt tendency, greed and envy. As a result, any wood which is tough enough to last long is now used by the present day Oha men. If you see the real “Okpaneka” the handle should have a slightly curved shape which is the shape of real Oho stick and should be relatively short. The only person that has that type of “Okpaneka” in Ohodo today is the “Attama Eze Ohua”. The so called the present day Oha men use those ones that are straight about thirty centimeters long.
 What an erosion of culture! While the “Okpaneka” is for handshakes amongst the titled men, “Ogele” is used to tell when they are going for a meeting or occasion and when they are dismissing and returning from meeting or occasion.



THE ROLES OF NDI OHA IN OHODO TOWN
 The Ndioha in Ohodo `Abba` town perform some socio-political roles which, promote development in the community. They include:-
1. They take part in the making of bye-laws in Ohodo `Abba` town.
2. They are part of the custodians of laws and traditions in Ohodo community.
3. They serve as the local police as they help to maintain peace and order in Ohodo `Abba` community.
4. They serve as both legislative and executive organ of government because they take part in the formulation of policies and execution of such policies.
5. They help in the settlement of communal cases like land cases, which they do in conjunction with the “Ndi Onyishi” (the village heads).
6. They help in collecting levies and apportioning appropriate penalties to the defaulters, etc.
Note:
1.  The men that take Oha (Ama) tittle are known as “Ndi Oha” while one of them is called “Onye Oha”. On the other hand their female counter parts are known as the “Umu Ada”. The Umu Ada carry a specially designed gourd plate painted with yellow cam powder (Odo). They have special song for which they are known.
They sing it anywhere they go.
2. The Attama Ama (Oha title) in Ohodo are the Eziama people.

MASQUERADE PRACTICES IN OHODO TOWN
 “Masquerade is a social institution that is popular nation wide. Masquerade practices in Nigeria have made significant impact especially in the artistic, social and overall development of our society. Masquerade is reflective of the culture, belief system and values of our people. It is an embodiment of all forms of our artistic manifestation, costuming, music, dance, theatre, etc. [National Council for Arts and Culture, Enugu Zonal Office 1999].
 In addition to the above assertion of the National Council for Arts and Culture Enugu Zone, masquerading is the art of producing, displaying, promoting and preserving masquerades by a people.  This art which is part of man's life is a prevalent phenomenon worldwide. Masquerades basing on the culture of a people appear in various structures, sizes, costumes, genders, designs and patterns, and equally serve different purposes.
 In Ohodo `Abba`, the forebears produced, displayed and preserved various masquerades that performed at different socio-religious functions. Due to the differences in the purposes for which the masquerades were made, Ohodo people had many types of masquerades then as stated below:-
1. Omaba masquerades
2. Agalaba masquerades
3. Nwele Ogbodu masquerades
4. Awuru masquerades, etc.
 Of all the masquerades stated above, the most dreaded of all is the Awuru masquerade. The masquerade unlike others was primarily meant for security against crimes in all magnitude be it stealing, poisoning, and killing of persons or crop destruction. If there was any case of such crimes stated above, the masquerade was consulted and the prime suspect was asked to swear to Awuru to prove his innocence or the person whom any crime was committed against could ask the masquerades to kill (that is "ili mmonwu) who ever was responsible for the crime.
 Frankly speaking, the masquerade performed awful wonders as regards the way it tortured and killed the perpetrators of such crimes. What scared people mostly was the way such offenders died.  They started with violent trembling of the whole body just the way the body of the masquerade did when at work. If such a development was observed, the people around would really know that it was the masquerade in action. When the person died all his belongings would be taken to the shrine of Awuru masquerade.  Another terrible characteristic feature of this masquerade was that if the shadow of the masquerade happened to cross any person or live tree, the person would die instantly while the leaves of such a tree would wither and eventually die.
 To this effect, the masquerade often wore a bunch of pieces of metal round the waist which produced noise that notified people of the passing of the masquerade so that any person on its route would keep off the way. This masquerade served a great deal in Ohodo in checking crimes and even in the neighbouring towns from where people came to hire the services of the masquerade for similar function.
It had terrific costume which comprised the following:-
1. Pure black clothes
2. Black wooden mask that had two horns on it
3. A bundle of brooms
4. A bunch of pieces of metals
 Due to our negative attitude, the elites in particular, borne out of cultural insensivity and lack of accurate information, most of our invaluable masquerades have gone extinct while those that still operate are solely in the hands of the core aged traditionalists who by virture of their knowledge, experience and status can not afford to rejuvenate the decaying masquerade culture of   Ohodo `Abba`.
The most popular masquerades in Ohodo `Abba` town are the Omaba masquerades while the most sacred masquerades are the Agalaba masquerades. The Agalaba masquerades are so sacared and special that they feature only during special socio-religious functions though on invitation.
 For Agalaba to honour and feature in any occasion, a goat must be provided and the masquerade must be accompanied to such a function with Igede music, which is the only music it dances, and its Otielechi masquerade. Besides, a man must fan it with a specially made local fan. The direction of the fanning is always vertical in up and down direction, from head to toe and vice versa and not in any direction.
 The villages that have Agalaba masquerades in Ohodo Abba town include:-
Mkpuru Adada village
Umuoka Ezike Chima village
Umuokoro village
 These masquerades are usually invited to grace occasions that are meant to show case people's culture in different zones of the country where Igbos; Ohodo people in particular, live such as Kano, Abuja, Bauchi, Enugu, etc. The one that features prominently at such places is the Agalaba masquerade of Umuoka ezike chima. What baffles one, from observation, is that masquerade practices are viewed by the contemporary Ohodo `Abba` Christians as being fetish and sinful before God.
What a fallacy!
 The Ohodo `Abba` contemporary Christians have forgotten that this very Christian religion runs across the width and length of the world, yet people who first breathed the wind of Christianity before we did and who are more developed spiritually, economically, politically and educationally than we still observe, promote and preserve their rich cultural heritage of which masquerade practices are one.
 In our country today, many states and communities regard masquerade practices as a well celebrated cultural rite. For instance, in such areas like Imo State and Anambra state respectively, such masquerades like ijere- the Agalaba equivalent in Ohodo town, Izaga, etc. abound. In our neighbouring towns like Aku town, Ozalla Igbo-Etiti, Opi town, Ede Oballa town, Nsukka town, masquerade practices are highly regarded to the extent that apart from steady practices of masquerade in the towns, their masquerades are documented in Video tapes. Why should our own be different my fellow Ohodians.
 It is in recognition of the importance of culture in peoples' life that both federal and state governments create rooms for ministries of Arts, Sports, Youths and Culture which to all intents and purposes are charged with the responsibility of promoting and preserving our Arts and culture. This is why at state level under the auspice of National Council  for Arts and Culture, a period is usually set aside for masquerades display during which communities in the state are officially invited to come and show case their rich cultural heritage through masquerades, the fiesta which is usually tagged "Mmonwu festival".
 Through masquerades, the artistry of a people in such areas of sculpture, designing, painting and knitting is show cased. It is in recognition of the value of masquerade practices in the life of people that a white Rev. Priest in 1957 (Okikpe vol. 2 pg. 67) gave a group of Odo masquerades in Aku-Igbo-Etiti L.G.A. a sum of five (5r) Shillings. Besides, there is a periodic publication by Diewa Writers entitled, "Okipe" whose debute and second volumes bear a cover picture of "Okikpe" masquerade respectively. This Okikpe is the greatest Odo masquerade in Aku Igbo-Etiti which is equivalent to Okokoro masquerade in Ohodo `Abba` town. The publication's name derived from the masquerade's name.
 It is then ironical that during Christmas observance Christian youths in Ohodo who condemn our traditional masquerade practices usually swarm Orie Ohodo market place with their Christmas masquerades such as Iga masquerade, Akataka masquerade, Atiyiluogu masquerade, Oji Onu masquerade, etc. to all intents and purposes, is there any difference between these two classes of masquerade?
 Precisely,, this situation in Ohodo `Abba` town is a typical manifestation of Chief Zebrudia's dramatic statement thus, " When Cockroach wears necklace, it is American Cockroach, but when it does not, it is African Cockroach".  Yes, masquerades by our people [the traditionalists) are profane, devilish and fetish but those ones by Christians are angels and holy blessed masquerades. What a spiritual apoplexy! One who is not properly and accurately informed is deformed.
The Importance of Masquerades
1. They are a source of entertainment
2. They help to portray people's arts as evident in sculpture, knitting, painting, designing of masks
3. They help to initiate and tighten socio-cultural relationship amongst villages, towns, states and nations
4. They promote tourism and museum industries
5. They are  a source of income and foreign exchange earnings
6. They promote educational researches.
7. They are used to effect sanctions against socially unacceptable behaviours and mobilize people for social functions.
FESTIVAL OBSERVANCE IN OHODO ABBA TOWN
OMABA FESTIVAL
 The most celebrated festival in Ohodo town is Omaba festival. It is a biennial celebration which is observed through out the villages in Ohodo.
THE ORIGIN OF OMABA CULTURE IN OHODO TOWN
 Omaba is a generic name for Mmanwu Masquerades. The practice of Omaba is not an indeginous culture I Ohodo town. It is a borrowed culture from Igala land. Accrding to Chief Ngwu, Julius in his brief historic account on how Omaba came to be in Ohodo abba in his letter to the Parish Priest in charge of Aku Parish, entitled, “Dousing the Raging flames in the Ohodo Catholic Community” (1992) had it thus during the intertribal wars of the early twentieth century, the Igala people of the former Benue State attacked and conquered the Northern Igbos [Nsukka zone and parts of Udi] popularly known as the Igbo-Igala border land.
 The Igala war Mogul known as Onoja Ogboni and his troops over ran what is now known as the Nsukka zone up to Aku. He was known to be a giant extra ordinary possessing six fingers and known for his dexterity in handling battles. As a result of the capitulation of the Nsukka people [Ohodo inclusive] some elements of Igala culture were imposed on them by the conquerors pre-eminent among them was the Omaba culture. It is variously known as “Odo” in parts of Igbo-Etiti and even Udi, Omaba in parts of Igbo-Etiti, Nsukka, Igbo-Eze Local government areas and Akatakpa or Ogede in parts of Isi-Uzo.
 From the citation above, it now establishes the fact about how Omaba culture came to be in Ohodo Abba and equally explains the genesis of the name Omaba Atta Igala.
 In Ohodo, when Ohodo was healthy and the system functioned normally the way it should, the period of Omaba was a period of peace, happiness, no family quarrel, no divorce, no separation, people were conscious of their acts because any bad behaviour/acts and the perpetrators were disclosed publicly by Omaba masquerades especially the “Ovuru–uzo” during its tour to all the villages in Ohodo after its return.  The “Ovuru-uzo” masquerades usually composed music with the names of such evildoers and sang along as they moved from village to village. By this act, the evildoers and the evils they did were exposed which ordinary person could not do without being attacked.
 The festival is a biennial event. The celebration is observed when the masquerades return from their spiritual world. The date of the festival is usually fixed and announced by the Umuezenekwa people. The Attama Omaba, while the Ovuru-uzo masquerades are first seen by the Umuiduma people who are the main people to accompany the masquerades during its tour to all the villages in Ohodo.
The festival is observed in three stages namely:-
1. The return of Ovuru-uzo – the first to be observed.
2. The return of Igwe Omaba masquerades
3. The return of Udele and her children.
 They are observed or celebrated at the intervals of three native weeks starting with Ovuru-Uzo. The observance of this stage is usually more pronounced in Amauwani and Umuiduma villages who are the people in charge of Omaba cult in Ohodo.
 Every Omaba activities and festival are usually observed on Oye market day while Eke market day is the eve day.
When the Ovuruzo returns on the Oye day, on the Afor day it tours all the villages in Ohodo town with its music to entertain people. On its arrival at any village, people of that village do welcome it with gun salutes, food and drinks.
 After three native weeks of Ovuru-Uzo’s return, the next stage is the Igwe Omaba festival. This one is generally observed by the entire Ohodo people. This stage is the hottest and grooviest stage because every adult man invites his friends usually from the neighbouring towns to come and celebrate with him. People from such towns like Opi, Lejja, Ozalla and Ekwegbe are usually hungry to come and watch and feast their eyes on the different Omaba masquerades that feature on the “IFUORIE DAY” which is a day every village is expected to come to the Orie market place to show case its masquerades. Apart from masquerades that appear in different genders, costumes and forms, people that accompany the masquerades equally appear gaily in their best attires because the occasion is the occasion that brings people together. Women on the other hand appear in different beautiful dresses to reflect the festive mood.
 After this stage is the “Udele Omaba” stage. The section of Ohodo town that most observes this stage is the Achara people because this stage is when the Achara people produce and feature many masquerades while others do theirs during “Igwe Omaba”festival. This is why all roads lead to Achara as other Ohodo people throng Achara on that day of Udele festival. 


BURIAL/FUNERAL PRACTICES IN OHODO `ABBA`
 Death punctuates man’s sojourn on this earth of ours which begins with birth. When a man takes his exit on this earth, his relations, well wishers and friends do not just fold their arms and watch the remains decay and rot away. Culturally, the affected people grieve with their relations’ exeunt and equally accord the soul befitting burial rites according to burial customs. In Ohoho `Abba` community, the last breath of a man is highly felt and regretted which is expressive in the way the dead are accorded  good bye by  the living.
RELIGION IN OHODO `ABBA`
RELIGION PRE-WESTERN RELIGION
 Religion is a contact with the ultimate and unchanging or that aspect of culture that deals with the sacred things (T. Olatunde Odetola and Ade Ademola 1985). According to Uzoegbunam (1989), Religion is man’s relationship with the supernatural FORCES or BEINGS, which involves paying of DEVOTION and WORSHIP to these Forces or Beings for Continued EXISTENCE and SURVIVAL on earth.
 Ohodo `Abba` as a community of a people who tenaciously believe in the existence of the Almighty God is not left out in the practice of establishing and owning a divine system of religion because with her dogma, liturgy and ethics which are the three basic elements of any religion, it is quite an undoubtful proof that Ohodo `Abba` people had a system of relating with the Almighty God even before and after the advent of the western religion. This is to say that Ohodo people had a well established, organized and revered Religion which every Ohodo man practised with apt reverence, humility, just, love, fear and sincerity.
 With this type of Religion, our fore fathers were quite God fearing, religious, righteous, pious, honest, open minded, observed religion relativity and gave high regard for our cultural values and norms. This is because people at that time purely lived by our values, norms and traditions and this was why people never on religion ground discriminated against one another, there were full love and regard for one another, full patriotism, truth and just, trust and reliability, oneness, unity, etc. Ohodo people under African Traditional Religion (ATR) purely believed in Trinity who comprises:
1. Chukwu Onye Okike – God the creator (father).
2. Chukwu Onye Oseburuwa  - God the Savior (Son)
3. Chukwu Abiama (or Obioma) – God the Holy Spirit.
 From this, Ezechito Oke Abiama simply means the king of all the gods, goddesses, spirits and ancestors, the creator of things, beings, the all knowing, the saviour and the most powerful of all. It was in recognition of these unique qualities of the supreme God, which transcends human power that Ohodo people involved different means of communing with him. This they did by having other less gods, goddesses, nature spirits and ancestors. It was through these agents that they conveyed their request prayers, thanks giving prayer, appeasing prayers, or adoration prayers to the supreme God.
 These gods served different purposes, which was why they were worshipped at different occasions. Some of the deities, gods and goddesses our fore bears paid devotion and worshipped include:
1. Enyanwu – the sun god.
2. Ezugwu Oshimiri – the god of Ezugwu Oshimiri hill and ancestral god of the town.
3. Ndushi – the god of creator and reincarnation.
4. Ani – the earth goddess.
5. Edemiri – the god of rain.
6. Eke – the god of fire
7. Omaba – the socio-religious god of mmanwu
8. Ifejioku – the god of agriculture
9. Ama – the god of Oha title
10. Chi – the personal god of destiny (fate)
 Each of these gods and goddesses with the exception of Chi – the personal god, had a priest known and addressed in Ohodo dialect as “ATTAMA”, hence the names like these:-
1. Attama Ezugwu Oshimiri – the priest of Ezugwu Oshimiri
2. Attama Ugwele – the priest of Ugwuele
3. Attama Ifejioke – the priest of Ifejioku
 Some of the gods and the deities were observed and worshipped by the entire Ohodo community while some others were observed by certain villages or clans. Those that were observed and worshipped generally in Ohodo were
1. Enyanwu
2. Ifejioku
3. Ani
4. Ndushi
5. Ama
6. Ezugwu Oshimiri
7. Omaba
 To this effect, Ohodo is termed a polytheic community, a feature of every other African community.


INSTRUMENTS OF WORSHIP
 Traditionally, during worship Ohodo `Aba` people employed many instruments and all locally were made. Each of these instruments had a particular role to play. Such instruments include:-
1. Ofo stick – Ohodo people call it Oho
2. Arua – the septre
3. Ogele – Twine metal gong
4. Ivom – big metal gong
 These tools were mainly used by the “ONYISHI” (the eldest man in a village) of a village or head of a clan. The Attama maa equally used such tools. Ofo stick is obtained from Ofo tree. Mysterious and sacred Ofo tree is. This is because the branches and the branchlets of this tree are in joints or segments like human limbs. When mature, these segments detach from the joints as though they are deliberately and artistically cut by man.
 The Ofo stick is a symbol of truth, justice, honesty and transparency in the entire Igbo communities of which Ohodo `Abba` is one. In Ohodo `Abba`, no “Onyishi” dares, because we still have some A.T.R faithfuls, offer prayers, worships or talks in the public when matters are discussed without holding Ofo stick in his hand. It will never be held with left hand. This the “Onyishi” does to show sincerely, truth and honesty in what he says. He does this by raising the stick up to heaven where the Chukwu Onye Okike dwells from where he can see and hear him talk.
 Arua is the staff of authority, which every “Onyishi” keeps in his custody. It is handed over to the next “Onyishi” the day the death of the preceding “Onyishi” reaches seven native weeks. This handing over is performed by a woman who is from that village. The woman to perform the rite is determined by a fortuneteller. It is equally this woman that should remove the very ‘Arua’ from the house of the recent late Onyishi and hide it out of the sight of the incoming “Onyishi. This is because it is forbidden of the incoming “Onyishi” to see the ‘Arua’ before the time is due for handover. The woman was usually entertained on the day she would hand over the ‘Ar?a’ to the new “Onyishi”. Besides, she would be given a hen and some tubers of yam to offer to her “Chi” (god of destiny) when she went home. The ‘Arua’ is usually brought out only when there is worship, which involves the entire village or clan.
THE ADVENT OF CHRISTIANITY IN OHODO `ABBA`
 The coming of Western Religion [Christianity] in Ohodo `Abba` dated back to 1933 AD. Though both the Anglican Church Missionary Society  [CMS] “SEMES” as Ohodo people call it and the Catholic church –“ROMALI “ as called were introduced in Ohodo in the same year, the Church of Missionary Society came before the Catholic church.
 One school of thought had it that the person that introduced Anglican Church, the ‘Semes,’ in Ohodo was one Mr. Francis Adibe from Olo in Oji River L.G.A. of Enugu State. This he achieved by going to Onyishi Nkere of Umuoka village who was the Chief of Ohodo `Abba` town by that time for permission to introduce the church.
 The request was granted without grudges. To express this, Onyishi Nkere offered a part of his “?gbaji” [male residential house in Ohodo] to be used as a place of worship. This equally marked the commencement of Western education in Ohodo `Abba` town as Sunday services and teaching and learning commenced at the same time with the founding Catechist (Adibe) being the founding teacher instantly.
 Two other schools of thought have varying views as regards who introduced Anglican church and Catholic church in Ohodo `Abba` town. While one has it that Anglican church and Roman Catholic church were introduced in Ohodo in 1933 AD by Mr. Agbo Abraham of Amadi village and Ugwueriefi Nweze of Umuezenonye village respectively.  The first Catechists and teacher of Anglican Church and the Catholic Church were Mr. Francis, Adibe of Olo in present Oji River and Mr. Nwozor, Onodugo from Aboe in Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State.
 The Catechists were dispatched to different communities to preach the words of God to people by the Over seeing Pastors or Reverend Fathers. In case of the Anglican Church, according to this source, it was Rev. Pastor Isaac Uzowulu Ejindu who resided at Ngwo that sent Mr. Francis Adibe to Ohodo for evangelism. The Anglican Church came to Ohodo from Ehamufu via Nsukka and down to Ohodo. This is because the only available route of travel was the railway, which passed through Enugu and Ehamufu. It was through this route that missionaries reached out to many remote areas. It was also claimed that Evangelist Ejindu used Ngwo as the head quarter of the Anglican Church. It is worthy to note that the establishment of these churches and their accompaniment which were the primary schools was born out of healthy rivalry. What a healthy rivalry worthy of emulation.
THE CHURCH
 The establishment of these Churches and primary schools was born out of healthy rivalry between the “Ndi Asogwa” and the “Ndi Ishiwu” in Ohodo. This is because in Ohodo `Abba` town, the ?ha title holders were mainly and still are classified into Ndi Asogwa and Ndi Ishiwu. The Ndi Ishiwu was mainly Akutara people, while the Ndi Asogwa was mainly the Akibute people. For the fact that Anglican Church and Anglican school were established by the “Ndi Ishiwu” the Ndi Asogwa saw the development as a great challenge that stared them directly in the face. As a result of this, they did not rest on their oars until both Catholic Church and Catholic school were established. What a healthy competition worthy of emulation.
 Worthy of note here is that it was the Anglican Church that produced the first Clergyman in this town. He was Rev. Ugwu Ona, Vincent from Ndiagu Umuokoro village. He was ordained Priest on 10th July 1983 by Rt. Rev. G.N. Otubelu but later died in a ghastly motor cycle accident on 13th Feb, 1984.
Later on 8th September, 2001 another Clergy man was produced in Ohodo `Abba` in the Catholic Church. He is Rev. Fr. Anthony Adani, from Mkpuru Orugu village.

THE IMPACT OF CHRISTIANITY ON OHODO CULTURE
 By fact and circumstances of the establishment of Christianity in Ohodo town in 1933AD, it is imperative as a matter of sincerity and objectivity not to deny the invaluable positive impacts of Christianity on our culture.
 Christianity led to the introduction of western education which in no small measure brought about priceless transformation in Ohodo town. This is because this led to the modernization in social services, facilities and utilities such as water, housing, transportation, mode of dressing, feeding/food, language, communication, creation of awareness, human resource development, modern technology, diversification of business interests, modern health care system, modern government system, etc.  Besides, with the receptive nature of Ohodo people from the origin, Christianity was able to put a halt to some internalized obnoxious and harmful cultural practices that obtained in Ohodo town before the advent of Christianity. Such practices include:-
1. Killing of twins
2. Slavery
3. Infant betrothal
4. Sorrogate marriage [Giving out a girl to Ojiroshi]
5. Widow going to Onu aho deity naked at mid night to bathe as the final mourning custom a widow performs at the death of a husband.
6. Human sacrifice to deity or burial rituals.
 It is worthy to note however,that the advent of Christianity in Ohodo `Abba` impacted both positively and negatively on Ohodo culture with the attendant consequences of a new religion. To all intents and purposes, the above positive impacts not withstanding, the coming of Christianity in Ohodo was a pure rape and enslavement on the ethnic culture. As a result of this rape, the culture was forcefully dethroned and impregnated which led to the commitment of many kinds of atrocities which culminated into disorder and cultural death.
The areas adversely affected include: -
1. Our values
2. Marriage system
3. Oha/Umuada and Onyishi institution
4. Age grade institution
5. Our music/songs
6. Masquerade practices
7. Burial and funeral customs
8. Traditional festivals,
9. Name and naming custom
CHRISTIANITY AND OUR VALUES
 Before the advent of Christianity in Ohodo town, Ohodo people held tenaciously to their celestial values, norms and tradition, and equally lived a happy and harmonious life as there were love, peace, unity, respect for elders, honesty, oneness, regard for one another, tolerance, courtesy, sanitary environment, chastity, good moral etc. which were people’s guiding principles for ensuring a healthy and peaceful co-existence.
 By these standards such human acts like adultery, sexual promiscuity, dishonesty, lack of respect for elders, insincerity, etc. were strictly forbidden and the perpetrators of such acts were chastised accordingly, a measure which helped to maintain the sanctity of our values, norms and traditions.
 However, the advent of Christianity in Ohodo town eroded the town of its chaste values, norms and traditions, a situation which led to many atrocities and abominations which our culture forbids such as high rate of adultery, high rate of sexual promiscuity and scandals, individualism, selfishness, division amongst families, and villages, lack of regard and respect for elders, discrimination, denying of rights and privileges due for the Onyishi’s and Oha’s, weakening of family ties, greed, lies, false prophecies, etc. Besides, the Christians promote evil acts as those found guilty of such offences are tolerated and accepted without any penalty for their offences.
CHRISTIANITY AND OUR MARRIAGE SYSTEMS
 In Ohodo traditional setting, the emphasis usually laid when marriage was being contracted between two persons was mainly on the characters of both the bride and the groom, their family back grounds and the ability of the groom to effectively provide for there bride but not necessarily on how much bride price the groom could pay and ability to foot expensive and ostentatious weddings. The marriage cost at this period was quite okay and affordable by any average man while the contract was not on material basis neither was there any stiff condition attached to it.
 With the absorption of Western value system, every thing about marriage changed completely. Presently, marriage has become so expensive and doubtful making our youths both skeptical and highly scared to venture into marriage without adequate financial preparation, a situation which has led to abundance of over aged unmarried men and ladies. What a sorry situation!
 This is because marriage now is purely on the basis of one’s ability to foot the high bride price, society wedding and to abide by the ensnaring bond/covenant, a characteristic feature of Christian marriage custom, “that the marriage should be on the condition of one man, one wife, that it should be on for better for worse, till death do them part”, whether you like it or not. The couple under the euphoria of new marriage will swallow and assent to the stiff condition hook line and sinker only to regret the aftermath later. The religion preaches monogamy and Christians condemn polygamy as sinful and unholy practice against God, despite the facilitation of the ugly social trend of umarried youths in our society. What a fallacy!
CHRISTIANITY AND OHA/UMUADA AND ONYISHI INSTITUTION
 The Oha and the Onyishi institutions which was a dynamic democratic government of general consensus which purely legislated on socio-economic matters, domestic peace, ethno – cultural survival and sustenance which by intention and desire of the people would have metamorphosed into Ohodo town union but for crisis currently going on in Ohodo town, has been deliberately condemned and destructively criticized by Christians. Onyishi as a result of this ugly development is no longer accorded the due statutory honour, rights and privileges demanded of people by culture. As a result of this, some people who are supposed to assume the positions and duties of Onyishi in their respective villages because of their religious inclinations and belief decline the office in the name that it is fetish and ungodly. In a similar development, people in Ohodo are now skeptical about taking Oha title for the same reason.
CHRISTIANITY AND AGE GRADE INSTITUTIONS
 Age grade institution as earlier discussed, is a social institution comprising people in the same age bracket. The practice is as old as Ohodo town itself.  By composition, mode of establishment and operation, the institution is to my firm belief devoid of any ungodly features as alleged by contemporary Ohodo Christianity. To me this is a situation of giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it. In Ohodo town today no person talks of age grade not to talk of forming it because according to the present day Christians in Ohodo, it is against the scripture and God does not approve of it. What a function of indoctrination and propaganda! In the same manner, our music/songs, masquerade practices, burial/funeral customs, and traditional festivals by which Ohodo `Abba` was known and respected for were critically condemned and branded fetish and ungodly practices which no Christian should involve himself in if he really calls himself a Christian and wants to inherit Kingdom of God. However, it is quite ironical that some of these cultural music the Christians condemn are formed and performed in the Catholic Church today, such as Okanga music. Who fools whom?
 In the light of this, my usual question to my dear Ohodo Christians still remains this, “where will the souls of those founding Ohodo Christians who with body and soul fully observed these few discussed cultural practices of Ohodo people be – Heaven or Hell?
CHRISTIANITY AND OUR NAMES/NAMING SYSTEMS
Naming is one of the aspects of culture which mankind adopts for the purpose of identification and classification of people, animals, places, plants, and objects. Name giving and bearing derives from the culture of a people. Name giving and bearing of a person is influenced by the circumstances surrounding the birth of a person, so a name a person bears is symbolic and unique and this is why people are always very cautious of the type of name given to a person. In Ohodo traditional setting, naming custom is patrilineal because the genus (surname) names of Ohodo people even in other Igbo communities are derived from the paternal lineage and not maternal. By naming customs, in Ohodo the main name giving to a person comes first before the genus (surname) name, hence such names like:
1. Ugwutikiri, Ezugwu (surname)
2. Ikechukwu, Agbo (surname)
3. Uchechukwu, Eze (surname)
4. Duhu, Asogwa (surname)
5. Mama, Ishiwu (surname)
6. Obetta, Ugwoke (surname)
7. Ebonyi, Agbo (surname)
8. Oyima, Ezugwu (surname)
9. Idenyi, Ezeh (surname)
10. Umezuruike, Onyishi (surname)
11. Onyugwu, Ezeaku (surname)
12. Lolo, Ugwuda (surname)
  However, these surnames can equally be used as the main names. It is sad to reflect that another aspect of rape on our culture is on nomenclature (our naming custom} in compelled submission to the Christian doctrines and principles, we the blind folded believers without any objection were made to change our native names by which we were known and addressed.
   These missionaries were able to achieve by making it one of the conditions for baptism which according to their belief was the only way one could be made pure and legible for the inheritance of the kingdom of God, because it was and still is through baptism that the inherent adamic sins were /are forgiven. Sequel to this, before one was /is baptised, one’s native name MUST BE CHANGED and replaced with the foreign ones which ironically are native names of the missionaries. According to them, our native names are fetish and ungodly and equally they found it difficult to pronounce them like theirs, hence the superimposition of foreign names on ours.
 With this indoctrinating teaching of theirs, our people in a spell of socio-religious complexes, ignorance and lack of adequate and proper information accepted the idea with no resistance rather with highly spirited conviction that they are bearing names that God sanctions. Unfortunately, sorry to say, many of these foreign names imposed on us, many of the bearers can not tell the meanings of such names. Such names contrary to our belief are names that bear horrible meanings, which no meaningful human being if aware would like to bear.
     For instance, let’s see the meanings of the foreign names we bear as stated below:
1. Desmond is a Greek word, which means PRISONER.
2. Mary is a Greek word, which means BITTERNESS.
3. Gerald is a German word, which means SPEAR.
4. Jacob is a Hebrew word, which means DECEIVER.
5. Ernest is an English derivative, which means GRAVE.
6. Rebecca is a Hebrew word, which means YOUNG COW.
7. Martina is a German word, which means WAR.
8. Susanna is a German word, which means LILY, etc.
 With these deceitful superimposed naming custom on us, some of us who are religiously insane have absolutely decided to do away with any native name of ours which according to them will constitute a bane of their inheritance of the kingdom of God if they should continue to bear the native names by which they were known for from birth.
 This gave birth to such names like: John Michael, Peter Mary, Rosemary, Williams, Rebecca Robinson, Rueben, James, etc.  What a religious insanity! Sequel to this development .our people have been denied their identity because with the name one bears, you can easily say the tribe /ethnic group to which one belongs.
REMARKS
 It is interesting to remark here that the faithfuls of both Traditional Religion and Christianity in Ohodo that time never discriminated against one another. There was mutual understanding, love, tolerance, regard for one another, good and cordial relationship, open mindedness, etc. between the two and this was evident in the way they exchanged and honoured seasonal invitations during such socio-religious festivals like Christmas festivals and Omaba celebration.
 Unfortunately, instead of this age long good relationship to be maintained and strengthened, it went down the drain with the exeunt of those founding fathers of Christianity in Ohodo `Abba` and the birth of Pentecostal churches. This is because both the contemporary Christians and the Traditional Religionists regard one another as great rivals
LEADERSHIP SYSTEM IN OHODO `ABBA` TOWN

 For the purpose of harmonious living, security, protection, preserving and maintenance of laws and order, development and progress, it becomes imperative that a people that are bound together by ancestral strings, have and share certain things in common should as a matter of necessity establish a veritable and sustainable leadership system.
 This is because human beings being socio-political animals by creation must definitely co-exist and have ideal transparent and equitable leadership which helps to guide and lead such people in the right direction of: - good conduct and discipline sensitivity to the established norms, values and ethos, etc. In Ohodo `Abba` town traditional politics, there was and still are an established system of governance in political lingo, the leadership system is better defined as geronocracy. This is because in Ohodo today, governance is in the hands of the elders who include “Ndi Oha” (Oha titled men), “Ndi Onyishi” (Village heads) and the Igwe formally referred to as Chief in the past. The most effective organ of leadership amongst those stated above in Ohodo is the Oha titled men followed by the Igwe.
 It is the “Ndi Oha” and the Igwe that perform both the legislative and the executive functions. This is because it is they that make laws and equally execute them. For well co-ordinated and effective leadership, these organs often delegate powers to some individuals or group of individuals like the age grades. Equally, it is they that penalize the lawbreakers such as levy defaulters, communal work dodgers, thieves, etc. They determine the modalities and scopes of operation of such customs like marriage, burial and funeral ceremonies, etc. They represent the community in outside deliberations between, the town and other communities.
 For easy tax and rate collection, some tax agents are appointed by every village in Ohodo. These agents collect and remit to the government all the taxes and rate from the taxable adults, funish the people with the information or any development about taxes and rates and equally inclusion of some people in the payment of tax.
 For effective sharing of items, which may come from government, appointment of village representatives and payment of levies, the town is sub divided into thirty-one (31) wards. It should be noted here that the “NdI Onyishi” apart from the statutory right to head villages, it is their traditional right to handle land cases in conjunction with the Ndi Oha. Igwe will only come in where the two organs cannot proffer solution(s) to the case.



THE CHIEFS/IGWES OF OHODO FROM ORIGIN IN ORDER OF  SENIORITY
1. Eze Nwaisheku Snr. The Asogwa Umuoka. He was from Umuoka Ezikechima village. He reigned from 1920 to 1926. He died in 1926. He ruled for 6 years.
2. Chief Onyishi, Nkere, the Edoga I of Ohodo. He was from Umuoka Ezikechima village. He reigned from 1927 to June 1956. He died in 1956.He reigned for 29 years.
3. Chief Onyishi, Lazarus the Edoga II (a.k.a. Abba I) of Ohodo. He was from Umuoka Ezikechima village. He was born in 1918.He reigned in two stages. The first stage was from 1960 to 1977. The second stage was from 1977 to 25 Dec. 1986. He died on 25 December 1986.
4. Sir Onogwu, Igwe Ngwu. Gabriel Edoga III (a.k.a. Abba II) of Ohodo. He was born 20th October, 1928. He was from Umuelim village. He reigned from 1987 to 1992. He died in the year 1992.
5. Igwe, Ishiwu, Fidelis Edoga IV (a.k.a. Abba III) of Ohodo. He was born in 1942. He is from Umuegwal village. He ascended the throne of Igweship in 1997.
Note: After the reign of Chief Onyishi Lazarus, the seat of Igweship in Ohodo `Abba` is now rotatory among the three-quarters in Ohodo. The resolve to practise rotatory system was reached and put into practice during the time of Late Igwe Gabriel Ngwu. Formally, it was the Umuoka Ezikechima village that produced the Igwe of Ohodo and this was why Onyishi Lazarus ascended the throne after the exit of his father Onyishi Nkere. The reason behind this is because Umuoka village is the eldest village in Ohodo town.

DEVELOPMENT OF WESTERN EDUCATION IN OHODO `ABBA`
 For the interest of those of us (the Ohodians) who may hungry to have detailed information about how Western education came to be in Ohodo `Abba` community and those that made the coming possible, I am going to lift and present the prototype of an article by the academic guru who is the first Ohodo man to obtain academic Doctorate degree by name Dr. Romanus, O Mama which was a contribution of his to the publication of a work entitled, Nsukka, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow in Okikpe Vol. 3 1997 pg. 112-115,  a periodic publication of Aku Diewa Writers Club.
 The Church Missionary Society (CMS) now Anglican Church and the Roman Catholic Church brought Western education and Christianity to this community. However, certain citizens of the town pioneered the coming of the churches.
 It was late Chief Abraham Agbo from Amadi who brought the first school and the Anglican Church to Ohodo in 1933. Abraham Agbo saw an Anglican School at Ede Oballa and approached Late Chief Onyishi Nkere, the then Traditional Ruler of Ohodo `Abba` for approval and siting. Chief Nwakere approved and sited the first school in Ohodo– St. Marks Primary School in his villge Umuoka Ezike Chime. Nwakere’s family hall – Obu umu owo ya served as both the classroom and place of Christian worship. The first effective teacher was Mr. Francis Adibe from Olo in Oji River L.G.A. of Enugu State. The school and the church later moved to the present site of Central School and St. Mark’s Anglican Church Ohodo.
 The second school, St. Thomas Primary School, now Community Primary School was also in 1933. It was brought by the Roman Catholic Church introduced into Ohodo by a then popular community leader, Mr. Ugwuioriefi Nweze of Umuezenoye village Ohodo. The first teacher was Nwozor Onodugo from Abor in Udi L. G. A. of Enugu State. Obu Umuezenonye served as the first classroom building from where it was later moved to Onu-ogwu Nwaogeke. This location is the present site of Community Primary School, Ohodo. A feeder school was later established at Ubeokwuka. The feeder school was short lived.
 The third school was opened 44years after the establishment of the first two in 1933. It is the Union Primary School, Umuifo, which was established in September 1977. It was built by the people of Umuifo a subquarter of Akibute quarter in Ohodo. The founding Headmaster of the school was Mr. Ugwu, Benard from Ozalla Igbo-Etiti of Enugu State. The temporary site of the school was the Mkpuru Adada village hall. This was to bring primary school closer to the people of the area. The Umuifo school project created a healthy competition for contributions to development by individuals and groups, which led to the establishment of more primary schools in Ohodo town today. These schools were the Achara Primary School, which was established in the year 1992. The first Headmaster of this school was Mr. Agbodo, Wilfred from Ozalla Igbo-Etiti of Enugu State, and the Igwebuike Primary School, which was opened in 1992. It was first headed by Mr. Nwoga Felix from Ukehe town in Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area of Enugu State.
 These five Primary Schools were all built through community effort through levies and direct labours. When there were only two Christian denominations involved in school building, it was mandatory for every citizen to belong to a group for contribution to school building projects. There was no distinction between Christians and non-Christians in commitment to school building. There can be clearer index of patriotism and coherency of a people.
 In further demonstration of the recognition of the value of education, this town embarked on the building of a secondary school, the Community Secondary School Ohodo. This school was also built through community effort and was opened in the year 1980. The founding Principal was Mr. Obu, G.N. from Umumba Ndi Uno in Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State.
The project was undertaken to meet the demands for secondary school education in the town. There is no gainsaying that these six schools are the corner stones of the educational development of Ohodo. More than 75 percent of our educated elements passed through one of the primary schools. The secondary school has equally assumed the same position.
LEADERS IN EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
 Many citizens of Ohodo have made immense contributions to the development of education in the community. Many have also reached relatively remarkable heights of educational achievement. The story of educational leadership in this community should begin with the respective contributions of Chief Abraham Agbo, Igwe Onyishi Nkere and Ugwu Oriefi Nweze, all blessed memory. Innovative is a rare quality without which humanity cannot make progress through invention and change. We must do something with their names in reciprocation for their pioneering contributions.
 Next in Chronological order were those who embraced and promoted the development of Western Education and the twin sister Christianity in Ohodo town. Among these we have:
1. Late Augustine, Otu of Umuezikenwoke village.
2. Late Chief Michael, Agbo from Amufi village.
1. Late Chief Dominic Agboeze from Umuezenonye village.
2. Late Peter Agu of Umukabi village.
These were all from Roman Catholic Church, others include:-
3. Late Simon Ugwueze of Amezike Ishamelu village.
4. Late Ezekiel Ugwunwangwu of Umuoka uwelu village.
These two men were from Anglican Church.
 These people served in various school/church-building committees. Some of them, notably Late Augustine Otu, Chief Michael Agbo, Chief Dominic Agboeze, Peter Agu and other through personal contributions organized the first scholarship in Ohodo. They founded the Loan scheme through which many of our Elites financed their University and even Secondary education.
 There was an individual who had provided the most outstanding leadership in the overall development of Ohodo. The person was Late Igwe Gabriel, U. Ngwu. He was the first person from this community to pass standard six in 1944.  He attended St. Charles’ Teacher Training College, Onitsha where he obtained a Teachers’ Grade II Certificate in 1950.
 The direct impact and associated multiplier effects of his education are discernible in his records. He provided the pioneer leadership in educational achievement, political awareness and community development in Ohodo. Late Ngwu made significant intellectual /material contributions to a great majority of Ohodians who hold University degree, secondary school certificates and Teachers’ Grade II certificates by 1980.
 Donatus Asogwa Foundation was instituted in memory of a pioneer of secondary and higher education in this community. Late Engr. Dona Asogwa was the first Ohodian to attend a secondary grammar school at the famous C.I.C. (College of Immaculate Conception) Enugu from 1950-1955, the first graduate of higher education and first Engineer of the town. He graduated from Faraday Engineering College, London in 1964. This singular educational achievement and attendant honour and social standing accorded him on his return to Nigeria provided persisting inspiration for the need to be educated among the youths of that time. Engr. Dona, Asogwa died in the year 1966 in the wake of the Nigerian Civil War. DASFUND is giving Dona deserved respect.
 Other early leaders in education in the town worthy of remembering include Messers Late Godfrey, Ugwu Nwangwu and late Godwin, Agbo Iyanyi of C.M.S church. Godfrey Ugwu Nwangwu was the first pupil of the then St. Mark’s (Anglican) Primary School from this town to pass standard six. Godi Ugwu Nwangwu not only offered educational counseling but also gave financial assistance to many students.
 The other person, Godi, Agbo Iyanyi, was the second person from the community to attend secondary school. He entered the popular D.M.G.S. (Denis Memorial Grammer School), Onitsha in the year 1954 and with drew in 1958 due to financial handicap. He died a primary school teacher in the year 1959. Like Dona, many were inspired to attain his academic status.

The first women to attend school then were;
1. Agbo Celine from Umukabi
2. Ugwu, Irine from Umuoka Uwelu
3. Onyishi, Virginia from Umuoka Ezikechime.
 The data accompanying this work are deliberately omitted because there is need for update of the number of Ohodo graduates and the disciplines they professed which was the message in the data.
 However, with the rich comprehensive work of Dr. Mama, every Ohodo man who goes through it will definitely come to understand fully how western education came to be in Ohodo, those who made the establishment possible and equally the premier beneficiaries. It is gladdening to remark here that the light of education in Ohodo still burns vigorously because many Ohodians, youths in particular are desirous of western education.
PACE SETTERS IN ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT
Stated below are some of the Ohodians that made significant break through in academic endeavour.
1. The first Ohodo man to obtain the First School Leaving Certificate was late Igwe Gabriel, Ngwu in 1944. He was from Umuelim village.
2. The first Ohodo man to obtain Teacher’s Grade II Certificate (TCII) was Igwe Gabriel Ngwu in 1950.
3. The first Ohodo man to obtain school certificate was late Engr. Asogwa, Donatus from Umuelim village in 1955.
4. The first Ohodo man to obtain the first Degree was Late Engr., Asogwa, Donatus in 1964.
5. The first Ohodo man to obtain academic Doctorate Degree (2nd degree). Is Dr. Romanus, Mama O. from Amodeke village.
6. The first Ohodo man to obtain Medical Doctorate Degree is Dr. Agboeze, Jude from Mkpuru Adada village.
7. The first Ohodo man to obtain Doctorate Degree in Veterinary Medicine is Dr. Ishiwu, Peter from umuegwani village.
8. The first Barrister Ohodo produced is Barrister Asogwa, Matthew from Umuelim village.
9. The first Engineer Ohodo produced was Late Engr., Asogwa Donatus.
10. The first Ohodo man to become a head master was Late Igwe Gabriel Ngwu.
11. The first Ohodo man to become a school Principal is Mr. Asogwa, Crescent from Umuahuga village.
Stated below are the Ohodo women who proved that what a man could do, women could equally do it as it affected educational pursuit as they were the first set of Ohodo women to attend school to gain western education.
They were:
1. Onyishi, Virginia from Umuoka Ezikechima village. She obtained her first school leaving certificate (FSLC) in the year 1948.
2. Agbo, Celine from Umukabi village. She bagged her First School Leaving Certificate in 1950.
3. Ugwu Nwangwu Irene from Umuoka Uwelu.
 In view of these invaluable achievements of these valiant and scholarly Ohodians, that to me is the eye openers to many Ohodians in the area of Education. I wish to acknowledge and appreciate the fame and the honour they have bestowed to Ohodo `Abba` town. With particular and special regards for the contribution of Umuelim village. This is because by history, it is never disputable that Umuelim is the key with which Ohodo unlocked the world of education and penetrated into it. More power to the elbow of the village.



REFERENCES
PERSONS THAT PROVIDED ORAL INFORMATION:
Late Elder, Elom Tikiri Nwoga from Umukabi, Ohodo.
Sir, Igwe Benjamin, Odua from Eziama Village, Ohodo.
Sir, Engr. Brenden, Ishiwu from Umuegwaal village, Ohodo.
Igwe Fidelis, Ishiwu (Abba III of Ohodo) from Umuegwaal village, Ohodo.
Godfery Agbo (aka Jagwa) from Umuezikeoba village, Ohodo.
Rev. Canon G.C. Asadu (Pastor in charge of St. Mark’s Anglican Church Parish Ohodo).
James Ezeaku from Umuezike Achara village, Ohodo.
Mrs. Mercy, Asogwa (Nee Ezugwu) from umukabi village, Ohodo.
Elder Nwoshimiri Ezugwu (Ishiwu Amufi) from Amufi village, Ohodo.
Elder Gugu, Ugwuobute (aka Oroko) from Umuoka Ezikechima village Ohodo.
Sylvanus Asogwa from Umuezeaguiyi village, Ohodo.
Ngwo Julius from Umueliem village, Ohodo.
Asogwa Oliver from Umuahuga village, Ohodo.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Agbo, D (1999). Important Working Words and Definitions in Culture Nsukka Diocesan inculturation commission.
Anigbo, OAC (1989). A Course Book of Social Science, Anampoly printing and publishing company Ltd. Oko, Anambra State .
Diewa Research Foundation (2002). The Diewa Profile Diewa writers club, (1982). Okikpe vol.2. Chuks Printing Company Ltd. Uwani Enugu, Enugu State.
Diewa writers Club, (1997). Okikpe vol. 3. Nsukka, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Everland printing and publishment company Ltd. 60 Abuja Rd. Surulere Lagos.
Ezugwu, C. U. (2002). Cultural and Religious Conflicts in Ohodo Abba Town, A Symposium Delivered on 27th December, 2000
Hornby (1974) Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary of current English
The English language Book society and Oxford University press, London
Iyidiobi C. (1998). The church: A Threat to our Culture? Trith Peak Publishers, P. O. Box 68, Nsukka.
Light Magazine, vol. 1. August – September 1999 publication.
Lumem Magazine, vol. 6. No 8 April – March 2005 Publication.
Nurudeen, F. (2002). Unveiled: How America folled the World. New era Institute for Islamic Thought and Herritage. E-mail newith 1420 @ yahoo.com.
Ocho, L.O (1988). The Philosophy of Education for Nigeria Haris printing and publishing Enugu.
Odetola and Ademola (1985), Sociology: An introductory African Text. Published by Macmillian Publishers Ltd, London and Bagingstoke 2001 Ohodo Abba, Constitution
Uwguoru, C.D.C. (2002). A Welcome Address  








Chapter Nine
ONYOHOR COMMUNITY
By Godwin Anene Mbah & Hon Anslem Uzodigwe
INTRODUCTION
THE HISTORICAL ORIGIN AND LOCATION
 Onyohor Eliyi Ugwunye is one of the earliest settlers of this zone. She is believed to have Affa and Egede communities in Udi L.G.A of Enugu state as her sister communities. These communities - Umu Ugwunye communities, are believed to have been in existence from time immemorial. The source of their migration can no longer be traced; rather, as result of wars and counter wars, people kept on breaking away from them.
 If any town should answer “Agha melu m” in Enugu state like in Anambra state, it should be Onyohor town. “Agha melu m” meaning “War made me so”. Onyohor town in the early 18th century was one of the most populated communities within her surroundings. She commanded a lot of respect and honour due to her bravery, economic and political strength. She had engaged in tribal wars with almost all the surrounding communities but Idoha community.
 At a certain stage, the political and economic strength of Onyohor attracted the Abriba people of the present Imo state. They come to transact business in the then popular Afor market in Onyohor. When the Abriba traders began to do what is evil in this Onyohor market called “Afor Amobor Onyohor market” the committee of Onyohor citizen called “Oga le achi” meaning “Master has ruled” today ordinarily called market masters felt that the Abriba people had come to intimidate and exploit the innocent citizens in the market, they fought them and even killed some of their men. These Abriba traders then went home and planned heavily for the destruction of the market. They sent a man with a tail to be coming to the market first before every body and also leaves last after every body had gone. This man with a long tail had a pit under his sit where when he comes, he deep that his tail into the pit and will sit there until the day’s market dismisses. When the “Oga le Achi men” market masters, discover that pit, they (market masters) went and filled the pit with palm oil and kept their eyes on it. On the following market, the tailed man arrived as usual before anybody and deeped his tail into the pit without checking. At the peak of the day’s market, the soldier ants that have gone to leak and eat the palm oil began to bit the tail inside the pit. When the pains became unbearable, he (the tailed man) stood up and began to run with shame and disgrace for people have discovered his secret.
 Consequently, an epidemic emerged. People of Onyohor began to die like insects. An air borne disease that affected only Onyohor indigenes broke out which made many tribes and people to run out of Onyohor for their lives. Some of these run-away citizens include: - The Ukwaja eliyi village in Ukehe, the Ogoho Oghe community in Eziagu L.G.A of Enugu state. The Umueliyi of Umuoffiagu Village in Ukehe, the Amobor/Amebu village in Umuoka community in Udi L.G.A of Enugu
The present Onyohor town today is a collection of the debris of then Onyohor. That is the die-hard-minded citizens who insisted to maintain the name of their fathers. No wonder the Ukehe community as the nearest large community engulfed almost the entire Onyohor land.
According to Felix Ide (Mr.) the town Onyohor has never been under any foreign person as a ruler. For now the town has the following as their past and present rulers: - Ogwu Nwa Ocho Ufa, Igboka, Uvuru, Gugu Nwodo and presently Igwe Mathew Ukazi   - the Anya Ora I of Onyohor.
Onyohor has her boundaries with Ohebe-dim in the north by Ugwu-Owushi hill now Ugwu inyinya in Uwelle Amakofia Ukehe In the East is Idoha community behind Odo Mbiaraka forest also overtaken by Ukehe. By the south is Ugwu Udele hill linking Umuoka and Affa in Udi L.G.A of Enugu state while in the west is Ochima through Ugwu Ebengwu hill.
ONYOHOR CULTURE
The culture of Onyohor community is not different from the cultures of others. Onyohor Alinyi-Ugwunye is one of the sons of Ugwunye. Among her brothers are Egede Ugwunye, Afa Ugwunye and others. Various forms of oral literature have existed in Onyohor from the time past and have survived to the present time .The most ubiquitous of these forms are the folktales and animal fables which constitute a domestic medium through which the basic realities of the environment, including the moral values of the community, are transmitted to the young ones. Whether in the form of fireside narratives in mother’s hearth or as village-arena entertainment, the simple tale, often livened up with deities, has remained an important portion of the cultural repertoire of Onyohor. It is essentially and specially made available to the young before they attain adolescence and help to shape their emotional responses and to prepare them for adult responsibilities.
Certain present - day developments, which Onyohor found herself in, has begun to threaten native folktales tradition. Among this are Western education and the fact that school children are given assignments to do at home which cut into time they would have used in the past to tell folktales. These days, children are likely seen clutching their homework text books in the evenings, instead of telling stories. A fair number of children also live away from home with their relations and non-relatives, and are thus cut off from direct participation in folktale session. The oral narrative tradition survives yet but not as vigorously as before. The same fact that has overtaken the folktale and animal fables has also diminished interest in riddles, tongue twisters and other forms of oral literary entertainment. Also the traditional festivities happening alongside with the folktales and riddles in Onyohor community cannot be forgotten. Those prominent among them are the following festivities:-
• The Iyimiyi festival
• The Anyanwu-Nwaezechitoke festival
• The Chukwu festival 
• The Fijioku festival and the Ama festival
This Ama has two categories of the Ama-Efuke and Akawo and the
Okike festival together with a host of others.
THE ODO MASQUERADE
The making of mask is essentially religious, and is bound up with the idea of gaining immortality .In other words; a religious demand has brought this art into being and has offered it sustenance throughout the past generations. Spectacular ceremonies form an essential part of odo culture with its characteristic dance performance. Generally speaking, therefore Odo art is a celebration of the ritual events.


Preparation
Odo festival is celebrated biannually in Onyohor. The first “Odo Umuriko” arrives towards the end of July or early August, depending on the phases of moon at the period. The entire town awaits the coming of Odo with excitement and expectation. Months before the return of ‘Odo Umuriko’ elaborate preparations are made. Food, Livestock and money are collected for the odo adherents. The items collected should be enough to sustain them for at least seven months or more. Sacred forest groves ‘Uhamu’ are fenced with palm leaves to give them security or to seclude them from profane gaze of women and the uninitiated children. Odo huts are constructed at the ‘Uhamu’ and the village parks or square away from the searching eyes of very inquisitive woman-folk. The huts are however, situated at vantage locations in the prominent places in the town other than on the hills. The huts are situated in this manner so that when Odo orchestras sound, villages far and near could hear and enjoy the ritual music.
 The making of masks is a co-operative village endeavor, supervised by the elders who dictated the designs. Every man at one time or other in his life learns to make mask. In some villages, it is compulsory for every adult male to participate in making certain mask depending on the reputation and importantce of it. There is the artist class men to whom is entrusted the making of the mask because it   is competitive to know which village made the most beautiful mask and festivities.
 Certain types of Odo masking, such as ‘Odo Umuriko’ Odo Owa-offia, Odo Ngwu and Odo Ugwu among others must conform to traditional patterns of construction. Every mask represents some supernatural being whose distinct characteristic is manifested. Frame- work or light palm frond armature palm leaves, banana fiber and carved headgears are the structural possibilities available to the designers. Large stripes of palm leave hanging from the shoulders clothes spirit personages. Akawo-Agu has different character. They destroy the property of wrong doers. The masqueraders decoyed ancestors and are owed by families. Their main task is to x-ray public life with a view to enforcing the moral sanctions of the community, such masquerades are very aggressive. They destroy evil women’s belonging, houses or market wares. They order disobedient women to manure their farms and also command them to feed their husbands with delicious foods. They enforce general cleanliness of the Village Square and homes. Akawo-Agu enforces such penalties or fines as money, cloths, mats, and matches on the defaulters , In extreme cases the house of stubborn women are knocked down. More often than not, it is the injured husbands who find their wives uncontrollable who solicit the intervention of the masquerades. Among other things, these masquerades settle disputes between couples, families or even villages. In an important way, they are the Law-enforcement agency of the community.
TITLE HOLDING
 Origin: The Nri hegemony must have played an important part in transforming the socio-political organization of the farming community (Onyohor) probably under the beneficent influence of Nri culture. The tiny community started forming villages and village-groups with the emergence of these larger agglomerations, patriarchal leadership ceased to be meeting the ends of government and thus emerged the typical Igbo system of government based on councils of lineage heads and elders.  Onyohor people, are take ‘Ichi’ title instead of any of the above. Because of the prestige attached to this title, their holders acquired political power and started modifying the political structures and practice of the village and village-groups of the town. The great changes which probably played the key part in determing the socio-political configuration in Onyohor survived in the tradition of this community about stories in founding fathers and heroes who brought certain religious cults and social institutions from Nri in Awka (Meek, 1931). This was brought by a high rank Nri man, who was unwilling to submit to the painful and disfiguring operations of having his face incised with ‘Ichi’ marks which at Awka are insignium of the highest titled grade (Meek 1931). To understand the reaction of this community we must remember that she was politically and militarily so strong that they led in inter-communities and villages wars prominent among who were, Odo Nwogwu Nwanduka (Enyigorom), Apah Nwa-Ugwuikpu and host of others.
The council of elders is neither political nor negotiable. The Almighty God, the creator of the universe, exclusively determined it. The council must be made up of the eldest man of each family head from which village council of elders is formed through which the entire community draw up her own council of elders. The council of elders originally occupied highest political position, but with the emergence of traditional rulers, the reverse is the case with things connected to government.
 Certainly, the mode of dressing, type of foods and ways houses were built, Onyohor is the same with the other neighbouring communities in Igbodo area. In title holding process, there were spectacular dimension that some observe Ozor title while Onyohor take ‘Iche’ title as the highest title in the community. Masquerade making (Odo) is almost the same in all Igbodo zone Onyohor inclusive.
IMPACT OF RELIGION IN ONYOHOR COMMUNITY
     “Man is a religious being” is a popular saying by some school of thought. This pre-supposes that man since his creation has been actively insearch of his creator. He seeks him for protection, prosperity, solutions to hopeless problems etc and according to Maurice Creston “Man cannot behave in a fixed manner”. He continuously has to choose to make decisions to reaffirm old purpose and projects or to affirm new ones. He is continually engaged in the work of self-constriction. A task which is never complete but only ended by death” Hence man’s quest for spiritual and material ascendancy has bestowed on him lots of benevolence impacts. It was against this backdrop, therefore that I wish to discus this particular topic “Foreign Religion and its impact on my community.
THE COMMUNITY
Before the advent of colonialism, my community, Onyohor in Igbo-Etiti Local Government of Enugu state of Nigeria, was worshipping many gods. They worship the God Almighty (Chukwu), personal gods (Chukwu-oke), sun god (Anyanwu), earth goddess (Ani), water goddesses and Masquerade (Odo). In Obedience to the Laws and dictates of their gods and goddesses, they performed a lot of wicked, primitive and evil things in the name of “Omenani”.  The “Omenani” in my community is the embodiment of their culture and customs, that is to say their traditional belief system. They don’t play with the dictates of their” Omenani”. Disobedience to their “Omenani” invokes their anger and spontaneous punishment, which varies from one person to the other according to the extent it was disobeyed.
1. EDUCATION
The early Christian missionaries introduced education in my community to help them facilitate communication and preach the Bible. To achieve this, they organized three communities namely; Onyohor, Ochima and Ikolo to build a primary school known as St Michaels’s schools, Igbodo. My people were opportuned to have a formal education through the efforts and making of the foreign Catholic Missionary Priests from Ireland (UK). It was only after the Nigerian civil war that government formally took –over the running of schools. The missionaries ran schools and educated people for quite reasonable periods of time.
2 CONVERSION TO CHRISTIAN RELIGION
In the wake of the introduction of formal education, the foreign missionary priests facilitated rural infrastural developments by building a school /church within my community. This is a giant leap from primitive and savage lives into modern and western style of civilization and human development. They took a step further by going from one family head to the other, canvassing for pupil’s enrolment into the school. The structural design of the “Oyibo” school motivated the indigent villagers a lot and made them prevail on their timid wards to remain and not desert schools. The direct effect of this was the conversion of the pupils to Christianity. Converted pupils soon passed-out as schools leavers and were subsequently offered employment on contract basis as teachers. The teachers were made to teach the catechism of Christian faith. Its immediate and short-term effect was that pupils no longer escort their parents to the idol shrines, Odo cult, or pasture cows, goats and sheep. To forsake the worship of ancestors are forbidden and were resisted. They employed the use of fines, physical force and estrangement to ensure compliance. That marked the beginning of the struggle and enmity between Christianity and Traditional religion.  However, Christianity continued to make remarkable in-roads into the evil and wicked sides of “Omenani” or native laws and tradition and their inevitable battle fronts were as follows: -
3. HUMAN SACRIFICE
 My community respected and upheld the sacredness of human being or human life. They don’t offer human being as a sacrifice to the idols. But there existed in those days certain title taking amongst woman folk popularly known as “Ogbu na Obodo”. The “Ogbuna Obodo” was the highest title a woman could take. To take this title, the woman in question shall raise a child up in public and strike it dead immediately. Christianity stopped “the Ogbu na Obodo” title taking in my community. Women, who were at same time mothers understood that they, were shedding the blood of their own children in vain.
4. DEDICATION OF CHILDREN TO ANCESTRAL SPIRITS When a child is born it is dedicated to the ancestral spirits. This is known in my community as “Ito Nwa Nani” usually done within four (4) native weeks. One of the fiercest and sustained battles between Christianity and Traditional religion was fought on this front. Dedication of a human being to ancestral spirits is an evil, wicked and ungodly.
5. IFU AMA (AN INITIATION INTO ODO CULT)
 A male child of school age is initiated into odo cult usually at between five (5) and seven years. “Ifu Ama” is the base line of taking titles in my community. The elders and his age mates strictly regard a child who has not been initiated as a woman. The elders and his age mates strictly regard a child who has not been initiated as a woman. This practice was stopped by Christian religion.
KILLING OF TWINS
 In the olden days, it was an abomination, in accordance with the existing native laws, customary and cultural practices known as “Omenani” for a woman to give birth to a twin. Can you see how God’s own gifts and blessings were turned into evil and death by the religious belief system of our ancestors? In accordance with their beliefs, giving birth to twins signified a bad omen, evil and an abomination. The twins are killed instantly and thrown into an evil forest. The household of the twins cleansed after consultation with the gods/oracle. “Through the work of the missionary, the practice of killing twin babies was stopped”. (Buah F.K., 1970). 
7. WORSHIP OF ODO MASQUERADE
 Before the advent of Christianity, the worship of odo masquerade made the people of my community to loose their dignity (true worth). This was because, they bestowed the government of the people, the judiciary, the military and police powers to odo masquerade. Critical decisions of governance were preside over at odo masquerade houses and enclaves. Odo masquerade was credited with many successes in the battles of the olden days. For instance, the famous battle of the Eighteenth century that drove the notorious and dreadful “Abriba” warriors out of the community was credited to odo masquerade. Notable inter-communal warfares were waged successfully by odo masquerade. Sweeping, clearing and keeping personal and village squares clean and tidy are the duties of odo masquerade. Women folk are deployed by “Egali-Ekewo (youthful odo mask) for environmental cleanliness. Above all, odo masquerade are both religious and socio-cultural arbiters. From the above exposition, you can see that odo masquerade was in firm control of the life and government of my people. In performance of the above functions, a lot of evil and inhuman practices are at stake. Odo mask would sit in its “Igidi” (an upstairs house of odo) to adjudicate its governmental functions. To build an “Igidi” in those days, an innocent human head was to be sacrificed first before any other building materials. Any person who broke the laws of odo Masquerade or ate any of the forbidden food are either killed or banished forever. In or about 1920s, Mr. Omegonyohor Nwaru Nwakpu of his blessed memory was forced into exile at “Binin” for eating a forbidden “Ona” (three leaved yam). It was believed that any male who divulged the secret behind odo cult would summarily be executed and the victim’s blood serve as enrichment to odo’s musical instruments. In most cases, the outing of odo as “mkputa” would confine people of both sexes indoors for weeks, even months.  The odo as “mkputa” would kill any person who ventured outside on its set periods. Women folk have been in a real hell in odo communities. They were exploited economically, confounded and deprived socially, secluded and killed religiously. In practical terms, the worship of odo masquerade made the people of my community to loose their dignity (true worth), rights and privileges in all ramifications. 
8. RE-INCARNATION (OGBANJE)
 Re-incarnation is a belief in the process of a dead soul coming back to life through another body. High infant mortality in my community was believed to be caused by “Ogbanje”. Every household would usually take their babies to native doctors for protection. Instead of protecting the infants, they were initiated into satanic cults and sects by the native doctors. The coming of Christian religion liberated the communities from evil and satanic practices as the indegenes were taught to take their infants and pregnant mothers to maternity clinics and hospitals. The causes of high infant and maternal mortality such as the notorious six (6) killer diseases and sickle cell anemia were made known to the people. The missionary sisters stopped the practice of allowing children to wear “Ogbanje” juju and beads.
EDUCATIONAL TREND AND DEVELOPMENT AND ITS IMPACT IN ONYOHOR
 According to Chief Festus O. Nnachi, Knowledge is power and makes a man. Natural and literary education uplifted many men in Onyohor. The story of educational trend and development in Onyohor is a tragicomedy.
 One Yoruba man popularly known as Madu Moyi spoke to our forefathers on the importance of education in early the 1920s.He married in Onyohor in the family of Chief Gugu Mgbo.   
 He persuaded our forefathers to send their children to school to enable them stand on their own in future before Ukehe and Aku citizens as well as other surrounding communities know about education. Onyohor is situated between two giant communities - Aku and Ukehe, hence education to Mr. Madu Moyi would encourage Onyohor citizens to speak up meaningfully in the midst of the large communities.
 In regard to the appeal from Mr. Madu Moyi, Onyohor people sent about nine (9) of their children to school at St Peter’s school Ukehe,One of these nine (9) children is Mr. Ide Ugwu – now Mr Joshua Ide, who is today the eldest man in Onyohor.
 Darkness suddenly engulfed the town academically when one day the pupils that were sent to school in obedience to their religious faith refused to honour Odo masquerade celebration by going to school on that fateful day. The Odo masquerade worshipers then felt disgraced and disappointed on their vision to send their children to school. They therefore met and decided to pull the whole pupils back from school. At this point in time, the effort made by Mr. Madu Moyi and those that reason with him then failed completely due to the people’s misconception of religion and education. In fact, the effect of the above action has not been erased in Onyohor till today.
A NEW EPOCH IN EDUCATION
 It was by divine providence that in 1946, Chief Mathew Ukpazi, now H.R.H Igwe Mathew Ukpazi – Anya Ora I of Onyohor with few other boys then took up the race in education again.
 Again, between 1950, and 1951, Onyohor Ochima and Ikolo built a joint primary school at Ikolo with the name, Central School Igbodo. The three communities sent ten pupils each to the school every year. The school had only three (3) classes in 1955. More so, the moral and financial assistance for the growth of education in Onyohor came from Onyohor farmers that lived at Opanda those early years. These farmers, as they go to Opanda in Uzouwani LGA of Enugu state, they saw pupils going to and from schools. These pupils were from Aku, Nkpologwu, Ukpabi- Nimbo and even Ugbene Ajima. When the farmers came home they helped and encouraged our young boys to go to school. May God reward them abundantly?
 On 8th September 1975 the, community primary school was opened in Onyohor with Mr. Ernest Anikwe of Ozalla as the headmaster, while Mr. Fidelis Amadi of Aku and Mr. Festus Nnachi of Onyohor were pioneer teachers. In Onyohor, some people passed primary education early in “50 s” especially the Igwe of Onyohor, H.R.H Igwe Mathew Ukpazi. At the same time some people graduated from post primary education and Teacher training institution. Today, community primary school Onyohor has within thirty (30) years of existence produced many Engineers, graduates of several disciplines, Rev. Fathers and Rev. Sisters, honourable members of state and local government personnel, successful businessmen and women etc. The  trend in education in Onyohor is improving in comparism to what was obtainable in the 40s, We are not only grateful to God Almighty; we are also thanking all who helped in not only awakening, but also fostering the growth of education in Onyohor and elsewhere.
Conclusively, all have now embraced education, which started badly, hence the earlier statement that the story is a tragicomedy.  
SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT IN ONYOHOR COMMUNITY
SOCIAL RELATIONS
Mutual interaction of groups- (man/women) Onyohor is one of the communities that make up Igbo-Etiti LGA. She is one of the Igbo speaking people in Iboland, which make it easy and possible for her to relate and socially interact with the people around them.

FAMILY MEETINGS
 The people in the community are highly regarded in terms of family meetings. These take place among family members, households, extended families, village meetings and as well as Community meetings where they both share their views for related matters and developments.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT UNION/ASSOCIATION
The community, like her counterparts around such as Ukehe, Ochima and Umuoka organize herself for development purposes. This makes it possible for a good number of people both men and women alike, to form unions in order to enhance development in the community.
MARRIAGE SYSTEM
 The people of Onyohor marry within and outside the community. The marriage can be from people of the same village provided they have no blood relationship.  Marriage is between men and women only. It is performed on ‘Orie Days’.
  The parents of the girl are informed at first through an intermediate or the person to be a middleman. If the parents of the girl accept the man who is asking for the marriage, a calabash of palm wine and four kola nuts will be taken to the girl’s house on ‘Orie’ day towards evening time BURIAL AND FUNERAL CERCMONY
 Burial/funeral rite ceremony is an important occasion in Onyohor. It is a collective ceremony to the relations of both men and women. Men’s funeral ceremony is always done on ‘Eke’ day while that of the women is done on ‘Orie’ day. The ccasions feature a good number of activities and entertainments, such as foods of different types, drinks, and dances. Funeral ceremony in the land is very interesting and attracts people from near and far. What makes it more interesting and soclally attractive depends on how rich or popular the deceased was.
OCCUPATION OF THE PEOPLE
 The type of farming commonly found in the place is non- mechanized system. The people use their hoes, baskets and cutlasses to do the work. They grow crops and vegetables like yams, cocoa yams, cassava and black beans for family use and for sales.
Trading:  The people do engage in trading on crops and vegetables, which they produce in their farms. They also trade on palm oil and palm wine. The people buy and sell at Ogbede market, Orie Orba in Udenu local government and Enugu, etc.
Communalism:  Engaging in rotational service to each other. The people of Onyohor commonly do some work collectively; some group themselves by mates, males, or females. They do these during the farming seasons using hoes cutlasses. Clearing of roads and pathways, streams and market square, village squares etc. women are found in-group doing weeding of farms
POLITICAL FORMATION AND DEVELOPMENT
Leadership/Traditional Ruler (Igwe)
The traditional ruler /Igwe was established in 1976, the time the federal Government made it compulsory for every authonomus community to have a ruler. Before the above date, leadership was based on the heads of families. The oldest man in each family lineage was the chief judge for the entire village. He was the chief judge and highest authority that represent others for both home and external matters. Right now the traditional rulers are the highest judge in any matter that concerns the entire community. They are the mediators between the Government and the people.
Other chieftaincy holders apart from heads of families in the town, the title-holders play other important roles in the community. They command high respects among the people.  They forbid any ugly acts. They are the people seen as wealthy and balanced people.

REFERENCES
Godwin, Anelechukwu Mba, The Origin And Geo-Political Location of Onyohor Community 19.
Ide, D. O. Socio-Economic- Political Development in Onyohor Community.
D.E.K. Ofomata (1978). The Nsukka Environment, Pg3-6
Ekuwereku Anthony - Onyohor Culture and Custom
Festus, Mary Nnachi - Educational Trend and Development and Its Impact in Onyohor Community.
LUMEN, April 2005-March 2006 Edition (page 36)
Rev. Fr. Domic Szymacski,( 1944). The Truth About Devil. (P. 2)  The Holy Bible, Gen. 3 verse 6.  The Holy Gen .3 verse 23
¬¬
Odo, Nichodemus C. (2001). The Foreign Religion and Their Impact in Onyohor Community

Chapter Ten
OZALLA COMMUNITY
By Daniel Enunwa
INTRODUCTION
GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION
 Ozalla is a community in the present Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area of Enugu state of Nigeria. Ozalla is bounded in the west by Aku and Lejja.in the south by Umuna .in the east by Ohodo and Ekwegbe towhs. Ozalla is considerably large in terms of land area and population. The community is estimated to occupy about seventy (70) square kilometers. The poulation is large and dense for the estimated area of land. This greatly results to shortage of land for both agricultural purposes and settlement. According to the 1991 census, Ozalla recorded the third largest populated community in Igbo-Etiti local government with estimated population of 18,000.
 Ozalla is comparatively grassland with few hills and valleys. The topography of the area made it possible for many development projects like road construction, building of schools and hospitals. There is one popular hill in the community called ‘Ugwueluaho’. This hill divides the community into two equal parts: The Ozalla Uwelu with their three quarters in eastern part and the Ozalla Uwani in the western part of the hill. Another is ‘Ugwuagee’ which lies between Aku community and Ozalla community. This very hill also covers some part of the boundary between Ozalla and Ohebe-Dim. It is from this hill that the only stream in the town is located. This stream supplys water during the dry season for the people of Ozalla and Ohebe-Dim. The other known hill is ‘Ugwueleachara’. This one lies between Ozalla, Ohodoand Ekwegbe.
 Because of the presence of hills in Ozalla, the problem created by soil erosion has been defacing the community. The major road linking Igbo-Etiti local government headquarters through Ohebe-Dim has been rendered useless.
ACCOUNT OF THE ORIGIN OF OZALLA  
Ozalla town in the present Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area of Enugu State has many divergent views that explain its origin. Such has been an issue of controversy. However, information through oral tradition has been able to shed light on its origin. There are two major schools of thoughts about the origin of Ozalla Ugwueje community. One school believes in independent creation, while the other school says that the first inhabitants of Ozalla came from Nkitiba Udueme in the same Igbo-Etiti local government area.
 Ozalla town is a community of six villages. In the order of seniority they are: Naru, Ishiamaelu, Ikolo, Akaibite, Ijo and Ujoma. These villages descended from a man called Ugwueje a son of Ugwunye. Ugwunye had three sons. They were Ugwoke 1 (senior), Ugwoke 11 (junior) and Ugwueje. It is strongly believed that Ugwunye originally settled somewhere around the basin of Anambra river. As a result of constant tribal wars, Ugwunye and his family left the Anambra river basin. From here, they migrated, and in the process, Ugwunye and his descendants founded five towns namely; Ozalla Ugwueji Ugwunye in Igbo-Etiti local government area, Affa Ugwoke Ugwunye in Udi local government area, Abbi in Uzo Uwani local government area, Egede Ugwunye also in Udi local government and finally Lejja Ugwoke Ugwunye in Nsukka local government area. Because Ozalla was founded by Ugwueji, it is called Ozalla Ugwueji Ugwunye. It is most pertinent to note that the other sons founded other towns, which are called after their names.
 The most acceptable historical origin of Ozalla was that the people of Ozalla came from Nkitiba Udueme. It was from here Ozalla people came to settle in their present abode. To confirm this oral tradition, according to Chief Titus Ama there are still metal relics used by the former inhabitants of these areas which have been discovered by some archaeologists. ‘Okpo Ozalla’, is the name of the former place of Ozalla in Nkitiba, and ‘Ama Ozalla’, the compound of Ozalla in the same Nkitiba, in Udueme community. It was as a result of unbearable threats to life from the then Igala that forced the people of Ozalla to migrate from Nkitiba to their present place.
 According to D. E. Anih, the people on their way did not settle instantly in their present abode, they first stopped at a place called ‘ohihia Ozalla Ugwu’, which today lies at the boundary between Ozalla and Aku. After some time they made further movement to the place they are settled today.
 On arrival at this present abode, they discovered that there were some people already occupying some sections of the town. It is interesting to note here that the original occupants were the ancestors of Ishiamelu, now one of the six villages that make up the town. According to Hon. Agbo D. C. U., they might be those that left ‘Ohihia Ozalla Ugwu’ before others searching for safer location. His version may be true because Ishiamelu occupies the center position in the town, while other villages live around them. The other group that arrived later did not fight them rather they both lived harmoniously as relations. Sincerely speaking, the people of Ishamelu were the true premier occupants of Ozalla community. They lost their seniority position in the town to Nnaru through diplomacy.
 Conclusively, it was after the final settlement of those from Nkitiba Udueme that Ozalla Ugwueji Ugwunye became what it answers today.
CHRISTIANITY IN OZALLA
Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of current English defines foreign as, “something not natural, something coming or introduced from outside, e.g. foreign religion, foreign languages, foreign education etc”. The same Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defined religion as people’s belief in the existence of a supernatural ruling power, the creator and controller of the universe. It is also one of the various systems of faith and worship based on such belief.
  Ozalla people believe in the existence of a supernatural ruling power, the creator and the controller of the universe known as God (Chineke). The people have their own style through which they worship Him.
 According to Chief Titus Amah, the entire people of Ozalla were traditional worshippers of God the Supreme Being through their own smaller gods/goddesses. Such gods like the Agbuyi (the nne muru oha) is the goddess, which the whole community respected as its mother. There are many other gods that come after Agbuyi. Each quarter as well as every clan has other gods, which the quarter hold as the mother or father of the quarter or clan after Agbuyi. In Akaibete quarter Eziyi Ugbele is there, Ujoma has Ugwuzo, Ishiamelu has Emerenyegini, Ohihia Ugwu is for Ikolo and Eke for Ijo etc. The above-mentioned gods are under Agbuyi and take order from her. Ozalla people worship Anyanwu the god of the sun. They believe that Anyanwu is the direct son of God, that is why they call it Anyanwu nwaezechitoke and in worshiping it they face eastwards where the sun rises. Ozalla people do also worship Ifejioku the god of yam, the king and oldest of all crops.
 The truth of the whole thing is that though the people have other gods, they still believe in God the Supreme Being. These gods function as ministers to God the creator of the universe.
 As the wind of change is blowing throughout the whole universe, it crash-landed in Ozalla unexpectedly in the early part of the twentieth century. The wind brought along foreign ways of serving God, which are purely different from the existing traditional systems. The coming of the new system, Christianity, into Ozalla is to some people a welcome venture and to some it is not. It is true to say here that the coming of Christianity into Ozalla brought a sort of disunity among the people. It was the same in the other Igbo communities. The people have been divided into the believers and the unbelievers.
 Christianity came into Ozalla through two sources, firstly the Church Missionary Society (CMS) and secondly the Roman Catholic Mission (RCM). According to Chief Christopher Majindu, CMS came into Ozalla in 1933. This group first took off from Gbudugbu hall in Nwakakwu Nwanibom clan. Rev. Bernard, a British reverend priest, commissioned the Church Missionary Society (C.M.S) in Ozalla in 1933. As the first church in Ozalla, the C.M.S. had many converts. Some of the first converts of this group were Mr./Mrs Emmanuel Duhunwagbo of Umudikwere Ujoma,  Mr./Mrs Samuel Agbowo, David Igara and host of others. To prove his devotedness Mr./Mrs. Samuel Agbowo was the first to wed in C.M.S. The church later shifted to its permanent site, now St. Philips’ Anglican Church housing Central Primary School Ozalla.
 Few years after came the Roman Catholic Mission (R.C.M) to Ozalla through a white man, Rev. Fr. James Millet. On the arrival of Catholic Church in Ozalla many of the believers in C.M.S. dropped and joined the Catholic Church. According to Chief Fredrick Etum, the mass movement from Anglican to Catholic Church at this early stage drastically reduced the number of Anglican faithfuls in Ozalla. St. Lukes’ Catholic Church took off from Ukwuoto, the boundary between Akaibite and Ijo quarters. From there it shifted to Ugwuelaho and finally to the place it is now, housing Community Primary School Ozalla.
 According to Engr. J.C. Agbo, the reason why the space being occupied by the C.M.S. is larger than that of the Catholic Church is that the Church Missionary Society settled in Ozalla first before the Catholic Church. The early converts of Catholic Church in Ozalla were Mr./Mrs. Dominic Ishenyi, Vincent Oji both of Ndiugwu Amauwani Ishiamelu and Francis Agubuzu from Akaibite.
  Chief Dominic Ishenyi was the first Catholic to wed in Ozalla. Chief Fredrick Etum asserted that late Chief Dominic Ishenyi had been the pillar holding Catholic Church in Ozalla till his death. He further said that Dominic was the chairman of the committee that built the permanent house of St. Lukes’ Catholic Church Ozalla.
 Comparing the strength of the believers and the unbelievers, Chief Titus Amah said that the unbelievers are more in numbers because at the earlier stage of Christianity in Ozalla both Rev. Bernard and Rev. Fr. James came from Nsukka where the missionaries resided. Sunday services and other activities of the church especially among the catholics were done at Nsukka. To participate people had to travel from Ozalla to Nsukka on foot. Many refused to join the new religion because of the distance.
IMPACTS
 Here we consider the effects of Christianity in the life of the people of Ozalla. To be precise, the coming of Christianity had both positive and negative effects on the life of Ozalla people.
POSITIVE EFFECTS:
(i) Christianity totally got rid of some bad aspects of our culture, example killing of twins. It was an abomination for a woman to give birth to twins. One of the babies must be killed.
(ii) The western education we are enjoying today is a product of Christianity in Ozalla.
(iii) Since the advent of Christianity in Ozalla widows are no more forced into levirate marriage. Widows are free to remarry or refuse to remarry if so wished.
(iv) Trade and development of all kinds came to Ozalla through Christianity.
NEGATIVE EFFECTS:
 Culture is an accepted way of living adopted by people inhabiting a defined geographical location, which is for the common goal of human happiness and fruitful existence.
 From the ongoing one can easily deduce that christianity distorted the cultural values of Ozalla people, more so on the side of unity which the people is known for and some other areas of the culture of the people.
EDUCATIONAL TREND AND DEVELOPMENT AND ITS IMPACT IN OZALLA COMMUNITY
 This topic is interesting but very wide in scope. To present something meaningful, I have to ignore some aspect of education in Ozalla community but focus on some aspects. The aspect most appealing to me and any other reasonable individual is the area that presents education as it is in the oxford advance learners’ dictionary of current English. This dictionary defines Education as, ‘systematic training especially of the young in schools, colleges etc’. This dictionary meaning of education is referring to formal education otherwise known as western education in place of informal education otherwise the traditional system.
 This write up has little to do with informal type of education because this system has no origin. It is just as old as the community in existence. Fathers going to farm with their children and showing them how to prepare seed yams and other crops is education of its own, mothers teaching their young ones how to cook, is also a sort of education but not organized. In this write up, the education to be treated is the formal education, which has a systematic and organized pattern of educating the young ones in a fixed place.
  Writing about education in Ozalla, mention should be made of the missionaries in the community. Here one is free to present that the formal education we are reaping its fruits in Ozalla came through Christianity in the community. Therefore, the advent of western education in Ozalla should be traced in the town from 1933; the first time missionary came to the town. Viewing the date, it means that education first came to Ozalla through the Church of Missionary Society (CMS) as it came first into the town before the Roman Catholic Mission (RCM). This face is proved true because the believers of Anglican denomination were first to gain education in Ozalla. Such persons are Chief Michael Omeje, a retired headmaster, who is the first Ozalla man to gain admission into the teachers’ training college. Next was late Chief Geoffrey Ukwuaku and the host of other believers. During this early education in Ozalla, many fathers refused to send their male children to school. Majority preferred taking their children to the farm and/or sending them to rear their cows in the field to sending them to school. The only few that attempted allowed only those male children that are not strong enough or those that are stubborn to school because according to them the weak ones should be brightened by the teacher’s cane and the stubborn ones strangulated and tutored by their teachers. According to Chief Christopher Majindu, the father of Chief Geoffrey Ukwuaku vehemently refused his only son going to school but for the efforts of Late Chief Emmanuel Agbo who prevailed on him to allow his highly intelligent son live with the white man at Nsukka to go to school.
 On the side of Roman Catholic believers and education, according to Chief Fredrick Ettum, the first catholic missionary teacher by name Okanama Ugwuanyi came to Ozalla by 1939. Okanama Ugwuanyi who was from Obollo-Afor, single handedly constructed a thatched house at Ugwueluaho that served as school, though he had very few people then.
 In summary, the following were the first to see the light of western education in Ozalla. They are Chief Michael Omeje, Late Chief Sir Geoffrey Ukwuaku and Late Mr. Ugwuja Arigo all from Umudikwere Ujoma Ozalla and Late Mr. Thomas Obute from Umudim Ikolo Ozalla for the Anglican believers.  For Catholics, we have late Mr. Lawrence Nweze, Chief Fredrick Ettum, late Mr. Paul Attah and late Mr. George Ugwu. In 1951 late Mr. Lawrence Nweze and Chief Fredrick Ettum got Standard Six Certificate from St. James Catholic Primary School Egbaugwu Aku. At this juncture no mention was made of women in the list because mothers never allowed their female children to move outside. They used to keep them inside preparing them for marriage. In Ozalla, at early stage of education, parents saw no gain in educating their female children. Their reason being that it was the duty of the husband to train the wife. The true culture of Ozalla is that the moment one gets married she is no more for the parents but purely for the man to whom her hand has been given to in marriage.
SECONDARY EDUCATION IN OZALLA
In 1957, Chief Christopher Majindu got admitted into the Western Boys’ High School, Benin City. That year would have marked the first Ozalla person in secondary school but for finance young Christopher could not enroll. The gap remained till the year of our Lord 1960. This followed an excellent performance of Mr. Benneth Ugwu from Uwelu Amaebor Akaibite Ozalla. He passed entrance into the same Western Boys’ High School Benin City. Fortunately, he was enrolled and he passed out in 1964 as the first Ozalla indigene to possess the prestigious West African School Certificate (WASC).
 On the side of our women, parents started realizing their mistakes. Many started sending their female children to school. In 1970, Mrs. Bernice Ikoha (nee Agbo) gained admission into secondary to become the first Ozalla woman to enroll and complete a secondary education. She was also the first woman to enroll into the University in Ozalla.

HIGHER EDUCATION IN OZALLA
 In 1975, the first university graduate emerged in Ozalla. He is Sir Euphraim Elejere of Uwani Amebo Akaibite, Ozalla. He majored in physics. Since 1933, 1951, 1960, 1970 to date education attainment has been growing in geometrical progression in Ozalla community. Today, almost every family boasts of at least one university graduate. The turn out every year is five to six graduates in all disciplines of human endeavour.
IMPACT OF EDUCATION IN OZALLA
 Education they say is light. The light of education is shining in all corners of Ozalla. Education brought a lot of development in Ozalla. It brought a lot of reformations in some of the bad cultural practices of our people. It played several roles on the socio-economic and political life of Ozalla people.
ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES OF OZALLA PEOPLE
 Right from creation, farming has always been the predominant occupation in Ozalla. Farming and rearing of animals is and had been the economic main stay of Ozalla people. How many barns of yams a man has and the number of cows, goats and other domesticated animals are measuring wealth in Ozalla.
 Initially farming activities were purely home based. Farmers cultivate their crops in any available land around the town. This is true because every village in Ozalla has many open lands where its people practice crop rotation. Those areas are only for farming, no other economic tree is seen around those areas, the reason being to maintain the fertility of the soil. Ozalla people mainly use organic manure to enrich the soil for farming. Today, Ozalla people still maintain the highest producer of yams in Enugu state, not by quantity but the size of tubers produced. Some big tubers of yams in Ozalla cost as much as N1000 each while the small sized ones cost N600 each.
 Recently some great farmers who do not see enough land for pure commercial agriculture shifted base from home to Uzo-Uwani in search of fertile land. They lived in those areas with their families doing they are known very well for – farming.  In Ozalla, such crops like cocoyams, groundnuts, cassava etc, are crops owned by women. The only crop exclusively left for men is yam, the head of all crops.
  On the other hand, some women of the old earn their living from petty trading. Skilled women engage themselves in weaving of local cloths popularly called Ajima, which, they take to eke Aku market to sell.
 The influence of modernization has seriously worked against the occupation. Women no longer weave cloth in Ozalla because modern way had replaced their old style. Also farming is not left out by modernization. Young men these days prefer trading and civil service jobs to farming causing shortage of food in Ozalla.


Chapter Eleven
UDUEME TOWN
By Odo Emmanuel & Okpe Solomon
INTRODUCTION
YESTERDAY AND TODAY
 This research work about the origin and tradition of Udueme Diobunike community really opened a new page in our lives and the lives of those that may come across this book as well as making it the object of their daily bread.
 Udueme is situated at the front view of Ugwu Ozara and Ugwu Ikonu, which is in a linear form. It has common boundary on the East with Aku in Igbo- Etiti LGA., on the west with Ukpata in Uzo-Uwani LGA., on the North with Akpugo, in Uzo-Uwani LGA and on the south with Nze in Udi LGA. It comprises of three villages namely: Amaenu, Nkitiba, and Uwani. The migration of some people from Udueme to other communities brought about the decrease in her population. History has it that two fifth of the entire population migrated in 18th century AD.
 Udueme is the second oldest community in Igbo-Etiti LGA. It is second to Ochima community irrespective of its population.  Udueme will eventually grow to become a large community like the biblical story the mustard seed. Determination is the key to success.

ORIGIN
 Frankly saying, it is an uphill task to trace back the historical origin of a particular community especially when the first and second generations are no more living. Every effort made to bring first class information proved abortive. However, every information obtained here was through the conduction of oral interview to the elders and historian in the community. According to Ozor Ochi Ekwueme (the eldest man in Udueme), “History proved it that Diobunike was the father of Udueme. That was why Udueme was known as ‘Udueme-Diobunike’.
 The second Traditional Ruler of Udueme His Royal Highness Igwe J.U.  Ugbor, affirmed that a hunter whose name was Diobunike migrated from Igala as he was doing his hunting expedition he found himself between a linear hill and a lake (Oshaba Lake) and decided to settle there because, everything he needed was there in abundance, visa-viz; wild animals, water, richness of the soil and surplus land for agriculture.
 He called that place Udueme, which means, abundance of everything”. He later went back to Igala and married a girl called Nenigwe Obigwo. Two of them came back to Udueme and settled there permanently. They were living at Onu-Diobunike. The wife later had three sons, Diyeke Dimeze, Ezikarekegbe, and Ezikotue in the order of their seniority. The three children married and each of them had a son, Diyeke Dimeze (Amaenu), Ezikarekegbe (Nkitiba), and Ezikotue (Uwani). These three children (Amaenu, Nkitiba and Uwani) formed the three villages in Udueme.
 History also has it that some children from Amaenu and Nkitiba migrated to other communities within Igbo-Etiti LGA. This is as a result of their inability to keep the law of the land, which forbids all from eating monkeys, three leave yam (‘ona’) and millet.
RELIGION IN UDUEME TOWN
TRADITIONAL RELIGION
The people of Udueme believe in the God Almighty, though they venerate through other gods (Odo, Anyanwu, Ezechitoke, etc). As history proves it that Odo masquerade was first seen by some group of women as they were harvesting black beans in their farm in Nkitiba village Udueme.
When they saw the Odo masquerades, they ran back home and informed men. As those men went back to the farm with those women, those two masquerades came out from the bush and they were held and dragged into Nkitiba forest (Uhamu Odo Nkitiba). Later other men were invited to watch and know whether they could describe those masquerades. They named them Okpanwu Odo. They spent four native days in Uhamu Nkitiba.
After naming these Odo masquerades, they led them to Amenu forest (Uhamu Amenu). Then, from there to Uwani forest (‘uhamu Uwani’) and back to Nkitiba forest (Uhamu Nkitiba). It was during that movement (after the first four days) that women were allowed to see them. After these journeys the masquerades were then allowed to be coming out daily during its period except on ‘orie’ day.
The belief of people that time was that those Odo masquerades possess human and spiritual quality because they were regarded as re-appearance of dead men. These Odo masquerades later entertained Amaenu village with their music (egwu odo ekwe), after which they also did the same at Nkitiba within a native week and finally at Uwani village in the following native week. Every activity of the entertainment took place at each village’s Odo masquerades hall (Uno Odo). During “mgbafu Odo” (massive display of other Odo masquerades), about fifty of them came out to play at every village square for people to watch them (they were regarded as children of Okpanwu Odo).
Nkitiba-Odo- display (mgbafu-Odo) came up within five native weeks after the coming of Odo masquerades (mgbafu-Odo) while Amenu and Uwani villages follow suit after six native weeks.
AMA-ODO (ODO CULT INITIATION): This is only done during Odo period to male children between the age of eight year and above. The purpose of initiating every male child in Odo cult is to introduce him earlier to Odo masquerade at the forest (Uhamu-Odo). In order not to let any female know what happened that day, (day of initiation), those children should be instructed to sleep at another man’s house so that they would not let the cat out of the bag. This initiation opens their eyes and they should be allowed to take part in every Odo activity formally after the initiation.
ODO PRIESTHOOD (ATAMA-ODO): Odo- priesthood was a title set aside for adult males only of unquestionable character. Before one could become a priest of Odo, he should be able to present nine kola nuts for pre-information to the entire odo priest in the community, after which he would be asked to go and harvest every palm head from all palm trees in his village. This feast is divided into two, small one (Ukpo-Nta) and big one (Ukpo Nnukwu). In the small one, the person in question should present a basin of cooked yam, kolanuts, and a keg of palm wine, to the priest of odo within the town.
 In the same way, during the Ukpo Nnukwu, (big one), he should present some basins of cooked cowpea (Okpa), colanut and keg of palm wine to the priests of odo. These food should be sacrificed to odo at the shrine (inside odo forest) after which the rest were to be consumed by the priests and other people the man in question is expected to lead in presenting sacrifice to odo (in its shrine) before any other person. The priest is regarded as a holy or most sacred person before other worshippers.
ODO PERIOD: The period of Odo in Udueme community is between December and August in every two years. That is to say that odo masquerades spend eight months before their departure.
 Usually, Odo returns to the world on Nkwo native day and departs on Nkwo native day also. Subsequently, all odo masquerades from the three villages depart one day (Nkwo) except Ebune Uwani which comes back on Eke (the next day) between six and twelve midnight before its final departure. During this period (‘eke’), neither people see it nor does it see people. It is assumed that whoever sees it dies immediately. In the same token, it kills any one whom it sees spiritually.
BENEFITS:
 The people of Udueme community (Odo worshippers) derive much benefit from odo cult. Firstly, odo serves as a source of happiness to them. This was so because every Udueme man believed that an idol man is the devils workshop. Odo is also one of the major sources of unity, love and relationship between the three villages, people and their friends, people and their neighbours etc. Secondly, it was strongly believed that there was a continuous interaction of the dead and living, which epitomizes in people’s belief of, “life after death”. As a result of that, those worshippers take refuge in it for physical and spiritual protection and guidance.
ANI UDUEME DEITY: This deity is recognized as the most powerful spirit that punishes those that commit taboos in the land so as to serve as deterrent to others. Its shrine is positioned at the adjacent side of Uwani village square, near Umu Okpeta Ugwuanyi family. The chief priest of this deity is Mr. Ofia Nwokpe who is popularly known as ‘Atamah Ani Udueme.
 Ani- Udueme deity is made with physical materials; wood metal and blue coloured calico cloth (Okparukpu). However, the wood signifies the god of land. The cloth signifies the sacrifies for living dead while the metal represents the ancient remains.
 Ani Udueme deity had been the most powerful to be honoured and dignified by people of the land. They regard it as their ‘chi’. Moreover, in the old days, young girls, domestic animals and people’s property were sacrificed to this deity in replacement of its wrath or punishment against the offenders. No body or thing influences this deity when its wrath comes up-unless a soothsayer is consulted in order to find out the intention and solution to the situation.
 The celebration of Ani-Udueme comes up every first and last month annually. During this period, the chief priest through sound of his metal gong informs people. This date should always be proclaimed by the soothsayer who is the mouthpiece of the deity before the dissemination of the information to the public.  During this celebration women cook and present pounded yam with Egwusi soup (melon), dried fish or meat. In the same way every man is expected to present a big plate of “Iwu” (local salad) with dried fish/meat and a keg of palm wine. The celebration is usually done in the night (as from 6pm to 9pm)
 The major benefit of this deity to people is that it punishes its offender/s directly and restores peace and harmony in the town.
CHRISTIAN RELIGION
 History had it that Christianity was introduced in Udueme in 1937. Mr. Okereke Isi was the person that donated his house to be used as Catholic Church. The missionary priest incharge of Nsukka was Rev. Fr. James Millet.
 In 1952, the church was later shifted to Ikpogwu Amaenu by the school teacher who also served as the catechist in the person of Mr. Nnadi Moris. He hails from Amadim Nkpologwu in Uzo-Uwani LGA.
 In 1959, Mr. Agbo Boniface from Ohodo was also sent in replacement of Mr.Nnadi. It was then that the Catholic Church in Udueme was given the name- “Holy Trinity”. Rev. Fr. Mulqine, the parish priest, approved this name. Rev. Fr. Eright was his assistant in the parish. It was during this period that the first couple, Mr. and Mrs. Odo Francis wedded in the Catholic Church. They became the first indigenous people that wedded in the year 1964 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church Udueme.
 In 1974, when the Church was shifted to its present position at the primary school building, indigenous catechists took over from the non-indigens. For instance, Hon. Okwor Boniface served from 1960 to 1975 when Rev. Fr. Ikeme was the parish Priest in Aku. Other Catechists that served after him are:  Mr. Ogbu Luke (1976-1978), Mr. Ekwueme Thaddeus, Mr. Odo Francis, Mr. Ogbuanya Alpheus, Mr. Ekwueme Josephant (Acting Catechist) and Mr. Igboke Simon.
 Presently in Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Udueme station, Mr. Enyi Cletus is the catchiest while Mr. Odo Emmanuel assists him under the leadership of Rev. Fr. Mama, the Parish Priest, St. James Catholic Parish Aku.
MARRIAGE CUSTOM IN UDUEME COMMUNITY
 When a man is willing to marry, he searches for a responsible young girl whom he loves in order to marry. After both might have negotiated with themselves, they introduce themselves to their parents individually. Formal introduction should be done by the man’s (groom) relatives to the girl’s (bridegroom) parents. Wine carrying begins after the bridegroom’s family/ parents might have agreed to give their daughter to the groom. The process of wine carrying begins in the following stages bellow:
1. Manya Oju ese Izizi (1st Enquiry wine) The groom’s relatives to the bride groom’s parents, make an enquiry about the girl and go back to their home in order to give these people more time to sit down on a round table with their daughter and discourse on the issue. The parents of the bridegroom should ask their visitors to come back on a stipulated day in order to hear from them.
2. Manya Oju ese nke abuo (2nd Enquiry wine): A keg of palm wine, cola nut and one carton of beer should be taken to the bridegroom’s family. According to the custom of Udueme, these two stages of wine carrying mentioned above are non-refundable if the marriage is finally disapproved. Nevertheless, if the bridegroom’s family accepts the wine, then, the formal wine carrying commences.
3. Mpafu Manya Nna (1st wine to the father)
4. Mpafu manya Nne (1st wine to the mother)
5. Mpakpo manya Nna (2nd wine to the father)
6. Mpakpo manya Nne (2nd wine to mother)
7. Manya Umunna (wine to the clan)
8. Igba Nkwu (General wine)
Traditionally, one may be allowed to go with his wife after he might have completed from stage 1 to vii, if he is incapable to finish all the wine carrying. However, he should promise to do it in previous time.
 In Udueme, once a girl is married, she is bound to live with her husband through “Ije Di” (first formal visit to husband’s house).
IKPU EKWU CEREMONY:
 Ikpu Ekwu ceremony is the traditional wedding in Udueme. This ceremony is meant for the wife, alone which is usually conferred on any married woman from the husband’s family during cooking period. The only person who is responsible to confer the ‘Ikpu Ekwu’ on the married girl is any married daughter in the grooms family or clan. She does that by touching the newly married girl’s hand with a pot guiding stone or half burnt firewood as she was cooking in the kitchen. When this is done, the girl’s (bride’s) action is to shade tears of joy showing that from that moment onwards, she is confined with the customary bye - laws of a married woman. She automatically faces the wrath of gods of the land known as ‘ANI UDUEME DEITY’, which may result in instant madness or acute sickness as the case may be if she commit adultery.
 Though, to the Christians in Udueme, the above belief is fetish. It is an object of obsessive attention or reverence to its worshippers. They observed it immediately they have married and wedded.

CUSTOMARY BYE LAWS OF A MARRIED WOMAN IN UDUEME COMMUNITY
I. A married woman should not commit adultery
II. She should not give or collect big thing like; money, cloths, cars etc. without the knowledge of her husband or any of her husband’s immediate relative.
III. On no account should she desert her husband on Nkwo days as a result of misunderstanding or querrelling.
IV. She should not tie or collect yam in the barn.
V. On no account should she plant or harvest yam.
VI. She should not tap or cut palm head from the palm tree.
VII. She should condone fornication by his children or outsiders in her own matrimonial room or bed, or allow any person to use her cloth or wrapper while indulging in that act.
VIII. On no account should she conceal within her if she offends any before the revelation of the god’s of the land for easier atonement.
TITLE TAKING IN UDUEME
 In Igbo land, title taking is a symbol of authority, wealthy and honesty. Igbu-Ichi and ozo title are the two major titles among others in Udueme community. Igbu-Ichi and ozo title taking is meant for the wealthy men of any age who are willing to initiate into them.
 On the other hand, some people who are not willing or wealthy enough borrow money in order to undertake them so that people would no look- down on them or call them ‘Oheke (untitled man).

ORIGIN OF IGBU-ICHI AND OZO TITLE:
 Oral interview made Ozo Ochi Ekwueme and other titled men in the town proves that IGBU-ICHI AND OZO title in Udueme originated from Nshi na Amoke (Nri). They introduced it when they were visiting Udueme in the old days. During that time, people were confused of where they came from the route they used to take whenever they visit the community. They (Nri people) never exposed or disclosed the position of their town to anyone. The first man they confered ichi and ozo title was Diobunike. He answered ‘Ozor Akoti isi Nganaba’ as his title name.
INITIATION INTO IGBU-ICHI TITLE
 In Udueme community, one undertakes the title of “Igbu-Ichi” before Ozor title. It may be done simultaneously or differently depending on the purse of the person to be initiated. However, in the process of Igbu-Ichi, the person in question invites the Idi-members with these items:  nine cola nuts, one big goat, dried fish, one jar of palm wine and food. With these items, he can disclose his intention to them and they go home bearing it in mind.
 Another day, they should also be entertained with food, nine kolanut and one jar of palm wine. A feedback should be given to the man after the third entertainment, which is done with one jar of palm wine, nine kolanut and food (cooked maize flour with nice soup). This second to last stage is formally known as “isi-Nri- ijiji- ebe”. The next thing the person does is sharing of uncooked yam (Itu ahu), which leads him to “Iba-ichi”.
 During this ‘Iba-Ichi, the person stays in-door for one month in order the complete his final ichi-title stage. This final stage qualifies him to be answering “Otuu-ji” as his title name.
INITIATION INTO OZO TITLE
 In the process of ozo title, one (otuu-ji) has to invite the eldest man in Umuokpe to confer ozo title on him. This is done with an entertainment after which the person in question is prayed for so that his ozor title should be successfully done.
 The next stages after this includes:
i. Ikpu Ewu ozo (three goats)
ii. Isi nri ozo (cooking and entertainment)
iii. Iwete oba-ji (two full barns of yam)
iv. Ibah ozo (one month in doors)
v. Ila Ala Nne (visiting his maternal/mother’s home)
vi. Igba-Akari ozo  (To be done at ‘Ugwu ozo’)
vii. Iputa otobo (coming out in the village square).
Do’s and Dont’s Of Ozo Titled Men
i. They always travel or attend occasion with their tusks
ii. They must be honest and trusted
iii. They do not put on trousers or shorts
iv. They are forbidden to eat cassava, sheep or ram.
THE INHERITANCE OF OZO TITLE
 In Udueme, the death of any ozor titled man introduces his eldest son (biological or step son as the case may be) as the successor of his father. This should be done in a ceremonial form with one goat and fowl. After one month of his father’s death, the successor should give one cow to those titled men, which they kill on top of the man’s grave.
 These processes qualify the man’s son to inherit his father’s title name and share with other titled men. However, his father’s title loses when the inherited son dies.

KINGSHIP IN UDUEME
 Kingship is observed as the supreme traditional authority in Udueme community just like other places in Igbo land. It is the greatest and most dignified traditional stool in the community. King comes from Amaenu village in Udueme because it is regarded as the eldest village. However, the eldest man in Amaenu village inherits kingship immediately the occupant dies. People accord a king a great respect and address him as His Majesty. Whenever any big wild animal like lion, tiger etc, are killed it will be taken to the king’s palace and he the king is given the lion’s share.
The Code of Conduct of A King
i. A king does not leave his compound carelessly
ii. He forbids passing a night in another town/place outside his town.
iii. He hosts every community meeting in his house or village hall as the case may be.
iv. A king should not do any work in the farm, etc
v. He must be honest.
vi. He concludes matters in every village/town meeting.
TRADE AND COMMERCE
 In order to market their agricultural product, the people of Udueme had much to do with trade and commerce. As a result of the richness of their land, many of them are commercial farmers.
 History has it that they used to travel far places like; Oreeh Nkpologwu, Nkwo-Ike Ozalla, Orie Ohodo, Eke Nimbo, Afor Opanda, Ikedimkpa in Affa, Udi L.G.A.etc in order to sell their agricultural products. These far places did not prevent them from attending to near-by markets like; Eke Aku, Orie Nze, Nkwo Ogbede etc. One funny thing was that these journeys were made on foot in the old days.
 However, today, the mode and means of trading in Udueme is less native and more sophisticated than ever. There is no doubt saying that about 60% of the total quantity of palm oil (unadulterated) and palm cannel that are sold at Eke Aku market are supplied by Udueme people. They are also good at producing cassava, black beans, yams, cocoa yams etc in large quantities.
AGRICULTURE
 Agriculture, they say, is the mainstay of every given society. This statement is made more practical in Udueme than other places since all their sources of income depend more or less on agriculture and its products. It is obvious that Udueme is blessed with a fertile land for agricultural activities.
 Anybody that has visited Udueme should believe that it has the richest soil for agriculture in Igbo-Etiti L.G.A as a whole. However, it is appalling that the two neighbouring communities (which belong to different L.G.A) have encroached on about 70% of the total landmass in Udueme. People should understand that, the Almighty God used that rich agricultural land to compensate Udueme becuase of their less population size. The people of Udueme believed that, ‘he who holds a child’s cake must return it when he feels tired of holding it”.
 As a result of the rich fertile land in Udueme, 75% of the total population had chosen farming as their occupation. Subsequently, the fertile land in this town even attracts farmers from other communities to settle at Udueme to do their farming business. Those areas of settlement are Ugwu-Ozara, Ugwu-Amaenu, Ujoma and Egbe-Dada (closer to Adada River). These farmers plant wide varieties of crops like; pigeon Pea, groundnut, yam, maize, black beans, cassava, cocoyam, palm tree, plantain tree etc.
In animal husbandry and management, the people of Udueme have little or less to do with pastoral farming due to their serious engagement with crops and plants production. Some people like; Odo Magbo, Mr Otti Simon and Mr.Ugwu Thomas etc are rearing a given number of sheep within the town. Recently, Mr. Ani Moses popularly known as “Eze na-Agu’ who hails from Amogwu Aku in Igbo-Etiti local government area is rearing about five heads of cattle where he resides in Nkitiba village. 
POLITICAL SYSTEM IN UDUEME
HISTORY
 Udueme was formally in Uzo - Uwani local government area during the British colonial administration in Nigeria. Information came to them from Nsukka through Nkpologwu and Akpugo, all in Uzo-Uwani local government area. As a result of the political intimidation and marginalization by Akpugo community in sharing of government relief, a petition was written and forwarded to the Resident Officer, Mr. John Udeh and District Officer, Mr. Mathias Ossai and it was approved that Udueme should be separated from Uzo-Uwani L.G.A.
 When Igbo-Etiti local government area was created in 1976 Udueme became one of the communities that made up the local government area. This was also done during the military administration of Author Mkpere as the governor of old Anambra state.

POLITICAL RE-AWAKENING IN UDUEME COMMUNITY TODAY
 According to Aristotle, man by nature is a political animal. Going by this aphorism, the year 1992 saw a monumental political re-awakening in Udueme. This was during the military administration of General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd). During this period in question, the community was made a council ward. Hon. Enyi Clement (late) became the first Councillor. The ward was later retrieved in the course of time by the alliance of some bad men. This retrieval of Udueme ward VI (merging it with Ejuona Aku ward brought a shame and total political slumber to the people of Udueme. Through out this period, no Udueme man or woman had smelt even the least political position in the local, state or federal government.
 No wonder the re-awakening of the community from its political slumber must be traceable to Hon (Dr.) Martins Oke, an Honorable Member of Federal House of Representative. This man has contributed and is still contributing immensely to the political development of the community. In fact, his effort to restore Udueme ward came to reality in 2004 when Hon. Ugbor Jude was produced as a councilor representing Udueme ward. His effort remains evergreen in the mind of every Udueme man.
 However, there is no doubt that the retrieval of the ward gave a devastating blow to the spirit of the community, which inadvertently alienated them from the political activities of the period. There is every need for people to know that the community came into political limelight and has always given adequate support to the government or the local government authorities. It has also suffered crisis (both individual and collective) in the course of pursuing party interest.

EDUCATION IN UDUEME
BACKGROUND
 When the missionaries opened school in Nsukka, Chief Okereke Isi who was a warrant chief in Udueme met the resident officer serving in Nsukka and requested for school to be opened in Udueme. Few months later, Mr. Moris Nnadi (a teacher) was sent to inform the people of Udueme that approval has been given for opening of school in their town and it was accepted.
 The first school was opened at Ikpogwu Amaenu village in the year 1937 with about twelve pupils in the persons of Mr. Odo Francis, Ugbor James, Ekwueme Chibuoke, Ugwu Thomas, Udeji Pious, Odo Magbo, Enyi Jacob, Odo Ekwueme, Ugwu Stephen, Ogbuanya Okpe, Egbujie Magbo, and Oboduzu Nwode. Their first teacher was Mr. Moris Nnadi from Amadi Nkpologwu, Uzo-Uwani LGA. He was paid 60 kobo monthly through the monthly contribution of the community members. The order of classes then were, three year programme for; A.B.C, primer, and infant. After which they were transferred to Nkpologwu to read from standard one to six but some of them dropped after three years and the school at Ikpogwu-Amaenu Udueme closed down because of their skeptic behaviour towards education.
 In the year 1943, during the regime of Chief Okereke Isi as a warrant chief of Udueme community, a letter was written to inform the Resident/ District Officer at Nsukka to re-open school at Udueme. The man approved it and it was shifted to Amaenu Village hall. Mr. Ugwuoke Pious from Edem now in Nsukka local government area was posted to the school as the only teacher. Their school programme started from ABC to primer and finally, infant.  Later, the school was shifted to Ngedenge where Mr. Oyigbo Anthony served as a teacher and Rev. Fr. Horgan as a visiting priest who resided at Nsukka. The school programme was interrupted by Nigerian civil war between 1966 and 1970.
 Immediatetly after the civil war, Mr. Igbodomume and Mr. Okwo Boniface from Aku and Udueme respectively, organized school children at Uwani village hall Udueme. The school building was not a permanent structure until 1973 when a permanent structure was built. It was in that permanent site that the school was approved for six years programme (that is from standard one to six). History has it that the first Udueme man that passed standard six was Mr. Ugwu Fredrick in 1953 and seconded by Mr. Odo Francis in 1966. They obtained their F.S.L.C. at Sacred Heart School, Nkpologwu and ST. James Catholic School Aku respectively.
SECONDARY EDUCATION
 When Boys Secondary School Aku was opened in the year 1975, many children who had finished and passed out in primary school enrolled into the school. The first sets of students were, Okpe Celestine, Ugodu Alexander, Ugbor Daniel, Igboke Simon etc. Some other people enrolled in other secondary school around the neighbourhood and beyond.
HIGHER EDUCATION
  Initially, the people of this community felt nonchalant towards education. There reason was to make sure that they first grow in population before any other thing. No wonder they regarded polygamous marriage as their major priority. When they start raising children, they found it difficult to cope up with educational demands of their children; hence, their children became uneducated.
 To God is the glory that people of this recent era have come to realize the impact of education in a given society. They had earlier regretted the mischief and vow to keep the flag flying in order to correct their past mistakes. Today, Udueme boasts of so many graduates in different higher institutions of learning. The first believed to have broken the jinx is Hon Aniokpe Kelvin. Others are, Mr. Ugbor Daniel, Mr. Odo Emmanuel and Ekweme Gerald from different villages in Udueme. Subsequently, many have also graduated after the above-mentioned people while so many are still in higher institutions of learning.

REFERENCES
H.R.H Igwe J.U Ugbor (Ekwulora I of Udueme).
Chief Ochinanwata Ekweme (the eldest man in Udueme).
Mr. Offia Nwokpe (Attama Ani Udueme)
Chief Odo Francis (eldest man in Nkitiba village).
Mr. Ekweme Josephat
Mr. Ugbor Daniel (A political scientist)
Mr. Ugwu Thomas.
Hon. Okwor Boniface (Supervising Councillor for Agriculture, Igbo-Etiti Development Centre).

Ugwu Bethrand, Enyi Celestine, Ugwu Victor etc.          

Chapter Twelven
UKEHE TOWN
By E. I. Itanyi & Nworga Felix
INTRODUCTION
HER EARLY HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY
 Identity is an important aspect of man’s socio-cultural history. A man without history has no past and hence could not trace his beginning and / or origin. Without the past, the future would not only be blink, but blurred. For one to plan for his future, he must look into his past records. By so doing, he would be able to re-discover his name and hence, his identity. Historians were right when they noted that a man without history is like a man who has lost his senses and like a ship without a rudder or compass and hence no direction.
African part is fromt with lots of distortions and Euro centric views. This is partially due to the fact that African history was initially written by non-Africans who always have is in their back minds diffusionist views when ever any discussion on African historiography was raised, and partially for the fact that Africans belong to the non-literate and pre-literate or what some scholars of European extraction referred to as the “ascephalous” societies.
Whatever the case and whichever way, African history has become of age and African historians and others in related disciplines like archaeology, sociology and anthropology, to mention but a few, have woken up the tasks and challenges of putting African history and culture in their rightful prospectively. In addition, knowing fully well that Africa had no earlier written record without distortion, bias or malice, efforts are being made through the study of archaeology of these pre-literate African societies to reconstruct their past. African archaeologists have now put on their bots in place of the books and have left the coffins of the classrooms to the field in search of African past. The fruits of their endeavours can now be found and reaped in the faces and pages of copious textbooks and journals of African archeology, which deals directly with African past and cultural patrimony. At this juncture, I would like to say kudus to eminent African historians and archeology and others in related disciplines that have contributed in one way or the other towards the positively re-writing and reconstructing of African history.
The early history and archeology of Ukehe town in the present day Igbo-Etiti L.G.A of Enugu State Nigeria is not different from that of any other Igbo community in the Eastern part of the country in particular and African society in general.
Commenting on the difficulties of writing reconstructing the history of the non-literate African societies with special reference to Igbo land, Afigbo (1981) has this to write, “my people of Ihube in the Otanchan clan of the northern Igbo have a saying that “Ofe di oku, a na ara ya mgbere, mgbere”! This when literally translated means that the hot soup is, licked gradually from the periphery”. This version helps to explain the problems reencountered by historians in an attempt to reconstruct the history of Igbo land. In addition, in trying to express the myriad of difficulties encountered in reconstructing the history of the non-literate societies, he gave his book the title Ropes of Sand – which means making rope out of sand. He further expressed there difficulties in trying to account for the original and migrations of the Efik speaking people: “there cannot be a more elusive aspect of the history of the non-literate peoples, than those which deal with their origin and migration, for these events are generally associated with very remote past, unanimity therefore is last t be expected in account of those events (Afigbo, 1965).
Most of the history of the non-literate societies is embedded in myths, legends and generally in oval tradition and any body working with this should be cautious of the limitations of this sauce of history. One of the most prominent limitations is romanticism coupled with the fact that human retentive memory does not go far into the past.
This piece of work was motivated by certain aims and objectives of which the most pressing ones are; to reconstruct the early history and archaeology of Ukehe community and part of her environs.
Secondly to document how ever impeccable, the early history and archaeology of the study area. This is in view of the fact that little or nothing has been documented on the history of the community and if care is not taken, our cultural patrimony would be lost to posterity. There is the much hope that at the end of this work, a lot would have been achieved towards the reconstruction, writing, re-writing and documentation of Ukehe early history and archaeology now that the research was conducted by an erudite scholar of both disciplines that handles such matters that deals with the conservation of our cultural heritage well- history and archaeology.
GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION, CLIMATE, VEGETATION AND RELIEF
Anene (1965,) noted “there is no dispute about the fact that the history of an area is written clearly in its geographical features”. Hence the importance geography to the understanding of the history of an area cannot be overemphasized.
Ukehe town is located in the south western end of the present day Igbo-Etiti L.G.A of Enugu State of Nigeria. She in inhabits the areas lying approximately 60 40” north and 70 42” East (Fullard et al (eds) 1920). The height of the area is roughly 1936” above sea level. Barmby (1929) has aptly noted “the country is broken and hilly except in the extreme east where the settlers from Umunko and Ukehe have pushed their farms and houses out into the plain”. Ukehe town is surrounded by hills among which are; Ugwu Udo, Ugwu Ikpogwu, Ugwu Esa, Ugwu Efuru, Ugwu Ifu, Ugwu Amakofia and Ugwu Nfola, just to mention but a few. This can also be shown clearly with the writing of Barmoy (1934) “the village is situated for the most part at the foot of the hills, the top of which is grassy and innocent of trees”. This was as far back as the time when Barmby was writing. Today, people who were made to disperse as a result of population explosion and sanguinary wars inhabit most of these hills. In addition, the people have domesticated and planted certain tree crops of economic importance there and these have effected a change in the natural environment of the area. Even to a large extent, the hills have been terraced for agricultural purposes.
Ukehe town is bounded in the east by Ugwogo Nike, in the North by Umunko and Diogbe (Ngalakpu) communities, in the North West by Diogbe and Ohebe, in the North east by Umunko and Nike/Agu Ekwegbe and in the west by Ikolo, Ochima and Onyohor communities.
There are many streams and rivers that supply water to the community. The streams were mostly located at the upper escarpment of Ukehe called Ulo or Uluo. These includes; Iyi-eja, Udo, Efuru, Aturi, Nfola, Iyi-nyin etc. These streams prior and post to the peoples encounter with the white man supplies them with water for all domestic purposes. All the rivers which includes the Odome lake, Ezebinagu, Ngwogoro, Ofie, Dugudu, Iyi-Ogbakpi and Ebuyi which form one of their sources of economy as they supply the people with fish and other aquatic animals are located at (Agu Ukehe) lower escarpment – large area meant for agricultural purposes.
The vegetation of our area of study is guinea savannah or what could be aptly described as derived savannah mixed with some forest region environment along the river courses (Menakaya et al 1992). The town has a tropical climate with temperature ranging between 24.44oc and 29.44oc. The mean annual rainfall is between 1m and 2m (Menakaya et al 1992) like other parts of Eastern Nigeria, two winds, which divide the year into two seasons, are noticeable in the area. These are the southwest trade wind, which bring rain between April and October with a break in August. The other is the Northeast trade wind, which is dry and dusty and brings in chilly conditions popularly known as (Uguru) or harmattan.
 It occurs intermittently between November and February. There are patches of forests and groves, which mark shrines, oracles, and sacred areas like (uham) Odo masquerade grove, which exist in the community. The existence of these groves shows the natural vegetative cover of the study area. Although the area has turned into a derived savannah, the existence of residual forests in the area can give information on its natural vegetative cover. Its turning into a derived savannah may be as a result of human existence and exploitation. The then District Officer in his annual report on Udi division (1937) rightly observed “in the grass land particularly in ‘Eke’ area, damages are caused by annual grass fire”. In addition, the residual forests noted during archaeological reconnaissance of the area and some of her environs at the site of Ozoumueleke in Idoha and Mbara Ogbudibia Odo masquerade at Ndi-Nwara with other ‘Ekpe’ areas - a strip of land which serve as boundary - can throw more light on the original vegetation cover of the study area. 
The Ukehe soil does not give room for most Agricultural production. It contained fewer nutrients and supports mostly the growth of palm tress (Elaise guineensis) and yam (ji) disscarea spp at subsistence level (Itanyi, 1985).
Geologically, the area belongs to the Nsukka zone and according to Ofomata (1975) was grouped under the upper coal measure (Nsukka formation – Nadian), which succeeds the false-bedded land – stone. This is well exposed in the valley Nadu River a few kilometers north of Nsukka. In terms of relief, the area belongs to the Nsukka- Okigwe cuesta (Ofomata, 1975). As for her drainage, the area falls into the Udi-Nsukka plateau. This plateau has a low density of drainage and is characterized by sand-filled dry valleys attributed to the influence of lithology and the nature of past climate.
Ifemasie (1977) writing on the vegetation of the pre-literate Igbo society has this to say, ‘the apparent conversion of the natural vegetation of the great part of the northern Igbo plateau (of which our study is a part of) from rain forest to a derived savannah would also suggest relatively early settlement and protracted utilization”.
The archaeological discoveries in areas around our study area like Lejja, Opi, Umundu, Owerer-Elu, Ekwegbe, Onyohor, Aku, Obimo, Orba, Idoha-Iron smelting sites and Isi-Ugwu-Obukpa rock shatter and, that on the University of Nigerian, Nsukka agricultural farm site – all in Nsukka zone, when well analysed, will help throw move light into this study.
EARLY HISTORY, ORIGINS, MIGRATION AND SETTLEMENT PATTERNS
The problems encountered in the reconstruction of the history or the past of the pre-literate African societies have been highlighted at the on set of this work. Isichie (1976) expressed has own fillings towards the problems encountered while embarking on the above subject. According to her, “the centuries that lie between the 9th century and the nineteenth are the most difficult for the historian of Igbo land to write about. For the 9th century, we have the vivid retails of archaeological discoveries, for the 19th, we have an over-swelling stream of evidence both oral and documentary. But the thousand years which lies between are full of question marks and obscurities”.
Afigbo (1980) noted that “in the prevailing absence of conventional record dealing with the early history of Igbo people, an attempt to reconstruct how Igbo villages, village groups and clans came into being as a coherent socio-cultural and, at times political units will have to concern itself with the analysis of what social anthropologists have probable aptly described as the ideological character validating existing unities and relationship”. And now for the traditions, the average Igbo village or even clan believe itself to be as Jones (1949) has it “the descendants of a common ancestor whose sons begot either the village sections or the village sub-section”.
Based on the works of these authors and the problems encountered by each of them on making an attempt to reconstruct the history of Igbo land, one can easily agree with the present writer that Ukehe town, being part of the area that make up the Igbo speaking people of South-Eastern Nigeria cannot be an exceptional. There are problems of dates some of the elders interviewed were so skeptical, some romantic while others were eclectic.
Whatever the case may be an attempt is being made here to use however impeccable the evidence may be towards the reconstruction of the early history and archaeology of Ukehe town in the present day Igbo-Etiti L.G.A of Enugu State. According to Isichie (1976) “No historical question arouses more interest among the present day Igbo society than the inquiry “where did the Igbo people come from?” It is sometimes discussed in the press and often put to the author in conversation”. The history of Ukehe town is frout, just like any other Igbo society with myths and legends of varied versions. In this regards two school of thoughts emerged.
One of these schools of thought claimed that Ukehe people came from “Ebe” and had no blood relationship with her immediate neighbouring towns like Idoha, Umunko, Diogbe, Ohebe, Onyohor and Umuoka.
The second school traced the origin of Ukehe to be from Nkanu. According to the first school, Ukehe is one of the seven towns founded by the descendants of Ojebe-Ogene, wife of Igwe Onyi. Igwe-Onyi had many sons of which Ojime was one. The last son of Ojebe-Ogene called Ojime founded Ukehe. Other sons of Ojebe-Ogene in line of seniority and settlement from south towards North were; Ebe, Abor, Ukana, Awhum, Okpatu, Umulumgbe and Ukehe. All these towns with the exception of Ukehe are found in the present day Udi zone in Enugu State. As stated earlier, this claim in line of seniority was manifested in their settlement pattern. These seven sons of Ojobe-Ogene were today referred to as Umu-Ojebe-Ogene. They were all born at the present location of Ebe town in Udi. When they grens up, due to population explosion which brought about scarcity of land and the centrifugal nature of man, they had to find new lands for habitation. Traditionally, Ebe being the first son among them remained in their fathers original home, while the rest migrated northwards. The first among the emigrants was Abor very close to the 9th mile corner. He was followed by Ukana, then Awhuru, Okpatu and Umulugbe. Ojime and his mother Nnahu (ojime le nnahu) were the last to leave their fathers home town.
Traditionally in Igbo land, the mother usually shows more maternal love and care on the last son than others. Sequel to this assertion, Ojime had to leave with his mother and founded his own place of settlement at a place called Ukehe. This pattern of settlement can be supported with the views of Ifemesie (1979) when he wrote “the Igbo people are very local in their cultural orientation that they move very little and when they move, they do not go far”.
Ojima arrived first at the land area around the present location of Omaru which literally according to Ukehe dialect means the ancastral shrine (onual or onu ala) and the ‘Orie’ Ukehe (a market which holds on ‘Orie’ days and was attended and owned jointly by the entire Ukehe community.
Omani is the present village of Ezama or Ramma. Ojebe-Ogene had another wife called Ugwunye that gave birth to Egede and Afa, both in Udi zone of Enugu State. In his new abode, is Ukehe, Ojima gave birth to two sons who in turn begot many sons. The first he gave the name, Ezi-Ukehe and the second, Amakofia. Ezi-Ukehe had two sons that in town gave rise to two clans. Thus we have Ekpu-Ato and Nkpologwu/Ukwaja. Ekpu-ato comprised of Uwile-ukehe, Umulusi, Ndiugo, Umuoro and Ndi-ado. The second batch was made up of Nkpologwu and Ukwaja 
Amakodi also had two sons that gave rise to different villages and clans. Thus, we have Umudule and Amugwu; Umudule gave birth to five (5) villages which include: Ube-Aworo, Umuchime, Umuofiagu, Ndinwara, Agbabinanwankwo and Umu-Alaka.
The sequence was in their line of seniority. Amugwu also had five (5) sons that founded five villages. These also in line of seniority includes; Ezi-Amugwu Uwani-Abaka, Uwele-Amakofia, Amadim and Amanafi (fig 2: table 1). Due to the fact that Ojima fist settled at Onu-Omaru (Ezeama), the people therefore became the eldest village in Ukehe. Moreover, all sacrifices being made to the Onu-Omani Ukehe was done  through the chief priest of  Onu-Omani shrime who is usually the eldest man in Uwele-Ukehe presently Onu-Omani Ukehe is the highest and most supreme shrine in Ukehe which every Ukehe man propitiates prior to the inception of the white man with his domineering Christian religion and culture. At this death of Ojime – Igweanyi, the body was taken to the father’s home town ‘Ebe’ according tradition. But when Ojebe-Ogene the mother died, her body was buried at Ukehe and this adds credence to the reason why Onu-Omani shrine at Ezama was highly revered.
The issue which remains unverified confusing and questionable is who is the mother of Ukehe? Some of my informants were of the view that Ojime married a woman called ‘Nnahu’ and that it was she who gave birth to Ukehe. Thus, some of my informants referred to ‘Ojime-Lanuahu’ as the putative progenitor of Ukehe (plate 1).
ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES
Prior to the coming of the white man, the entire Ukehe people were farmers and this serves as their main sustenance of life. Ucheudu (1965) noted that “farming is the Igbo staff of life”. Till present, most of the people of our study area are farmers.
 Waddington (1926), in his annual report from Nsukka. Division for the year 1926 has this to invite “the population of Nsukka division is almost entirely agricultural but the crops raises – yams (dioscorea spp) cassava (manihot spp) maize (zea mays), cocoyam (xanthasoina spp) and beans (black) are grow for local purposes and only just sufficient to fead the people? This further shows that the people in the pre-colonial days practiced mainly subsistence agriculture though, they at times produced surplus which they exchanged with their neighbours  for others scarce commodities  land was the main factor in agricultural system and except in few occasions belongs to the living and the dead. This assertion was supported by the worship of the earth deity ‘Ala’ or ‘Ani’. The king of crops produced in the area just like in any other Igbo community is yam (dioscorea spp). It is a tabio fore some one to pre-harvest or steal yam or kill a son of the land. The labour required for the planting of the crops in valves the entire house hold. At times outside labour from friends, and inlaws are invited. Yam has an elaborate ceremony associated with its planting and harvesting known as Ifejioku or Fijioku. (New Yam Festival): Other crops cultivated and referred to as women crops include; Maize (Azizi Oka) Cassava (Akpu) Millet (Azizi-Enene) Black Beans (Akidi) Yam Beans (Azam) Melon (Egusi), Guard (Obale) Pepper (Ose), Green (Inine) Okro or Okwuru (Okra) and other vegetables. There are other plants/crops of economic importance which are not being planted, but protected in their natural environment with sanctions and taboos. Okigbo (1980) has listed a great number of these plants and have shown some of the socio-political, cultural economic and religions roles of these tree crops. Among home of them are, Akwu (Elaise Guineensis), Palm Tree Ngwo–(Raphia Palm), Oji (Kola nut) with its various species such as (Kola acuminate) Oji Igbo (kola Nitida), Oji Hausa, Garcinia Kola (Akinu). Other tree crops are; Udara-star apple (Chrisophylum Albidium) to mention but a few.  Apart from the growing of crops, the people kept and still keeps livestock such as Goats – (Capra spp), sheep (Ovis spp), Pigs, Dogs, Cows, Cats and Fowls. Another important economic source of the people is trade. Generally in Igboland, trade was and still is an important economic activity writing in this, Afigbo (1981:127) has this to say, “Although subsidiary to agriculture, trade was none the less an important expect of Igbo economic activity. Just as (Chukwu) God is believed to have instituted agriculture, so is trade and marketing, by creating the Igbo market days naming them after four generally fish mongers each of whom went round Igbo-land establishing markets bearing his name”. Thus in igboland, in generally and Ukehe in particular, we have (4) four market days, “Nkwo, Eke, Orie and Afor”. These brought together make an (Izu) that is one native week in Igbo traditional calendar. Trading within the community was first conducted at Ukehe markets such as, Orie Ukehe, Nwankwo, Eke-Ugwu, Eke-Echara, Ogbodo, Afo Umuani and Ogbede Igbodo jointly owned by the entire Igbo Odo community.
These markets apart from their economic roles perform some socio- cultural, political, religious and touristic roles. They are important in the dissemination of news and vital information and also acts as relief and relaxation centers from the almost continous toil of hoeing, planting, weeding and harvesting through out the year. This attests to why we have the Eke-Echara have market which commences by 6.00 pm on Eke days up till to day. Items of trade include mostly agricultural products using the barter system prior to the coming of the pre-cinafe currencies and the Elizabeth coins.
 Smelted iron from Ndinwara village and its sonthred products were also sold and at times used as medium of exchanges, though this forms an item of trade in their external trade with other communities. Slaves were exchanged for imported items such as done guns and gun powdar, lot drinks and at times jewelries. Later, cowries (lkiribia or Ego-Ayori) and cast or smithed steel rods (Mkpara-Echi) were used a medium of exchanged. Also manilas and copper rods must have been used.  Anozie (of the blassed memory) 1976) was of the opinions that “prior to the coming of the white man, the people of west Africa who were already advanced metal technology, infact made and used manilas of different types”.
 The people of Ukehe also carried out external trade with other neightbouring towns. In an oral interview with late chief Igwe J.U Nwodo (1985) (per coaim), he has this to say “Ukehe people in the early days were mainly traders and kidnappers. They kidnapped and took captive form surrounding villages. These people were taken to Nike on their way to Uzoakoh. They even at times stopped at Agekwu in the place or premises of a man called ‘Ileukwumere’. Then they were taken to Arochukwu where the trader or slave dealer conferred with the Eze Aro who then sent them to the portugues at the coast through cross river. In exchange, these man brought home enamel plates and dishes staff of office, umbrellas etc. he also maintained that Ukehe people were mainly farmers and did most f their farming at ‘Ime Agu’ Ukehe. Mr. Festus Aroh (1980) (per-conrin) was also of the opinion that ‘Ukehe people were traders and practiced horticultural system of Agriculture”.  Ukehe community traded and exchanged goods with Nkwo- Ozala, Eke-Irume, Ugwuogo-Nike and Ukpata. They also had trade contact with Ogurugu, Igala and Aku people. From Ugwuogo – Nike, they bought pots, and from Igala and Ogurugu in Kogi state and Uzo –Uwani L.G.A. of Enugu state respectively, they bought fish and raphia palm wine (Ogoro/Ngwo) in exchange for palm oil and iron bar. They also bought salt from Uburu people. The only means of transporting these trade items was by the head portrage.
 In addition to trade there were crafts men and weaver. The people also engage in hunting using locally produced implement like spears, dame guns, matchets etc. they also trap animals using metal traps and snares. The use of dog in hunting had been a hing of old with the Ukeche hunters, both   past and present.
 However and whatever the case may be, the economic life of the people of our study area cannot be exhausted. This is in line with the views of Hopkins (1977:30-31) when he states that due to lack of coherent choronology, it is harder still to escape a static timeless account of the local economy in the centuries before the coming of the European rule.
SOCIAL-CULTURAL, RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL ORGANISATION
 There are many socio-cultural activities with which the people are known in the pre and post independence Igboland. Educationally, the people had informal or what Ngwu (2003) referred to as ‘non-formal’ education. Both male and female adolescents were brought up in the homes by their parents according to the norms, ethics and tradition of the people.
 Formal education in the study area started with the coming and spread of Christian religion from the coast to the interior or trintenland of West Africa in the 19305, this was sequel to the European whites missionary activities most schools set up then were mainly missionary schools. In Ukehe, one of the most outstanding schools set up them was St. Peters primary school – Ikpogwu Ukehe followed by St. Mary’s Ezi-Ukehe.
 There are many social activities starting from birth to death of an individual. Among them were Afiaomugo which herald’s the outing ceremony of a newly born child to Orie Ukehe market. Other socio-cultural activities include death ceremonies, traditional marriage ceremonies and Ozor title institutions. Others are, Odo masquerade in institutional ceremonies which are also of great tourism importance.
 Religiously, before the Christian missionary activities, the dominant religion in Ukehe was the African traditional religion. A typical Ukehe traditional religionist believes in the God ‘Chukwu’ or ‘Ezechitoke’ – God the creator and his messiahs represented by lesser gods made up of shrines and oracles. Among them were, Ugwu amokofia (the warrior god) Ezetinogu; Omani, Ogwugwu, Iyiokpani; Anyanwu (the sum god) Eguru etc. It is through these shrines and oracles that the people communicate (nuannanyi), other socio-cultural festival in Ukehe include, New yam festival (ifejiaku or fijioku), Iyimiyi, Ogwugwu, Ukehe, Ugodu, Ugwuezeja etc. There are also many traditional musics and dances such as Ikpa, Igede, Odo Mbadnu, Oabara, Agba ekerechi and Ojorine.
 Politically, the people are democratic and egalitarian in nature. Respect mainly came from the elders. The institution of chieftaincy was maintained starting with the warrant chief system instituted they by the colonial government. The family is the lowest unit of government with the eldest male in the family as the head. At the village level, the eldest male is the head and is supported by the council of elders made up of the eldest male in all the lineages that make up the family called the “Oha’ council of elders. In addition to the ‘Oha’ we also have the ‘Ogbaniwu’ made up of able bodied young men in a village.
 At the town level, we have the Igwe who is supported by his cabinet and “Ofbalele Ukehe   made up of members or representatives council of elders. In Ukehe, Igweship is not hereditary but rotational. There is no institution establishing hereditary system of government in Ukehe. An attempt at doing this in the 1980’s brought in a great lacuna and nearly set the town ablaze. The embers of this ill-planned attempt and its ghost are still hovering and blowing ill-wind throughout the length and breadth of the town.
 The place of umuada (a guild or council of eldest female in every family) is highly recognized and respected in Ukehe politica system from the family, via the lineage/ clan to the village and town level. The same is applicable to the village and town age grades
ARCHAEOLOGICAL FORMATIONS WITHIN UKEHE AND HER ENVIRONS
The term archaeology has been variously defined by different scholars within and outside the discipline. One should expect diverse definitions. Originally, the word Archaeology was coined from two Greek words – Acrheos – meaning ancient and Logos –meaning studies or knowledge. Consequently, it became part of Greek-language meaning the study of ancient things – buildings art works etc.
 Today, it is no longer an acceptable definition because it (Archaeology) has got a much wider scope and goals and the methods of inquiry have also been greatly remodeled and overhauled. Ogundele (2000) defined the discipline as “that branch of Anthropology that is concerned with the scientific recovery analysis and interpretation of facets of the material culture of a past population at any given point in time and space. According to him, this is with a view to obtaining an understanding of the working of a society” simply put, archaeology is a scientific and systematic way of finding out about the past of man from the  material remains left  behind by the past or former  inhabitants. These remains are of several different kinds which include the remains of his dwelling, collections of dwelling and buildings, the  remains of peoples rubbish, remains of fortification, groves, religious centres, temples workshops, tools and weapons,  objects of adornment, domestic utensils etc.
 Most of these remains are found in archaeological sites which range from habitation, kill, quarry burial, surface scatters and tell to cave sites. All these material remains of man are unearthed   or exhumed from the soil through a scientific and systematic method known as excavation’.
 In Ukehe and her environs, there are many archaeological sites/formations which when excavated would help very much in the reconstruction of the cultural history of the people. Among such formations/archeological sites, some of  which are also of great tourism importance are; Ndinwara iron smetlting/smithing sites, Ozoumuaneke iron something site in Idoha several ‘Uham’ Odo masquerade sacrade groves, shirines, cares/ rockshelters, mounds and abandoned settlements. There are also some monumental edifices like the monumental houses of late chief Uwunwajangwu of Uwele Amakofia and Amadim Ukehe respectively, (fig.3).
 Ekechukwu (1989) wrote the existence of a new fiancé type used for iron-smelthing in Idoha near Ukehe. This is sequel to the excavation which he carried but in that locality. An archaeological reconnaissance conducted by Itanyi (1985) has reavealed many sites including a cave/rockskelten in Onyohor, a town about one (1km) from Ukehe.
 There is the much hope that with were researches in this area of need with regards to the reconstruction of cultural history of Ukehe, more facts and evidences would be unveiled.
CONCLUSION
This paper generally exrayed “the early history and Archaeology of Ukehe town in Igbo Eititi L.g.A. of Enugu State. Etc. tried and succeeded in explaining the problems encountered by historians in the reconstruction of the history of the pre-literate African societies of which our area of study is a case at hand.
Further more; it succeeded in tracing the early history and migration of Ukehe right from an eponymous father and mother Ojime-Igweenyi and Nnahu. Ojime is one of the seven sons of Ojebe –Ogene. This work further x-rayed some of the socio-cultural, economic, political and belief systems of the Ukehe people. 
 Finally, from this study, it was discovered that there are many potential archeological and tourist sites in our study area. The excavation of the iron something site  in Idoha hoe exposed the technological ingenuity of the community prior to the coming of the white man and has helped to debunk the another Eurocentric and diffusionist views that Africans remained in the dark until the coming of the white man and that whatever is good in Africa were introduced by outsiders. At this juncture, one can only that an attempt has been made. It is now a challenge on scholars of history and other related disciplines to take up the baton where the present writer has dropped it.       

REFERENCES
Afigbo, A.E. (1981). Ropes of Sand: A Stduy in Igbo History and Culture. University of Nigeria Press. P.ix.
Afrigbo, A.E. (1965). “Efik Origin and Migrations Reconsidered Nigerian History (ed) Ohoro Ikime. Ninaman Nigeria P.79. Magazine No 87.
Anene, J.C. (1965). Southern Nigeria in Transition C.U.P p.4.
Anozie, F.N. (1976). “Reflections on the Origins of West African Manillas” paper read at the inaugural Conference of West African Archaeological Association (WAA) Enugu.
Bamby, J. (1934). “Intelligent Report on the village of Ukehe, Onyohor…. Nsukka Division”  p.2.
D.O’s (1937). Annual Report on Udi Division  P.8.
Ekechukwu, L.E. (1989). “A New Furnace Type From the North of Igbo Land”,  in Nnyame akume, A Newsletter of African Archaeology.
Fullard, H. and Darby H. C. (1992). (eds) The University Atlas. George Philip and Sons LTD, London. 11th edition, p.125.                                               
Hopkins, A.S. (1977). An Economic History of West Africa. Longman Group LTD, Third Impression P.P. 30-31
Itanyi, E.I. (1985). “Archaerlogy and Early history of  Ukehe/Idoha Community” (An unpublished B.A  project, U.N.N.).
Hemesie, C.C. (1979). Traditional Humane Living Among the Igbo: An Historical Perspective; Fourth Dimension publishers Enugu, p.21.
Isichie, Elizabeth (1976). A History of the Igbo People. London p.12
Jones, G.I. (1949). “Dual Organization” Africa. Vol. 19.No 2.       
Ngwu, P.N.C. (2003). Non formal Education Concept and Practices. Fulladu Publishing Company. Enugu, Nigeria.
Menakaya, G.C. and Floyd, B.N. (1992). ¬Junior Atlas for Nigeria. Macmillan. Nigeria. New edition. P.16.
Ofomata, G,E.K (1976). Nigeria in Maps Eastern state. Ethiope pub. House Benin City.
Oluwole Ogundele.S (2000). Fundamentals of Archaeology. An Introduction. E.N.E. UI, Ibadan, Nigeria.
Uchendu, V.C. (1965). The Igbo of Eastern Nigeria, Holt Richard and Winston p.30.
Waddington, H. (1920). “Annual Report for Nsukka Division for the year 1960. p.15.
APPENDIX
Mr. Festus Aroh – Ukehe – A Retired Civil Servant
Chief, J .U. Nwodo (late) Ukehe-then Igwe of Ukehe - 1985   

Chapter Thirteen
UMUNA COMMUNITY
By Cletus Ugwuegede Ogbaji, Magnus Ejikeme Ugwu,
Michael Ifeanyichukwu Okoro
INTRODUCTION
GEOGRAPHICAL BACKGROUND
Umuna is a town in Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area of Enugu State. It lies on a hill of about 420 metres above sea level.  It is situated on latitude 6.040N and longitude 7.020E. It covers an area of about 30 square kilometres with the population of about 25000.    
It is bounded in the East by Ekwegbe, in the West by Ohebe –Dim, in the North by Ozalla and in the South by Diogbe, Ukehe and Ugwu Gburugburu. Geographically, the soil is red – ferralitice (sandy-loam with porous and non-gravelly sandy-loam with reddish brown colour.
Umuna lies within the Tropical Hinterland. It is on a double maxims rainfall. The total rainfall is between 150 centimeters and it has up to four months of dry season, from November to March. The relative humidity in Umuna is over 80% in the morning and 70% in the afternoon. Despite the high annual rainfall of about 150 centimeters, the soil does not retain water because the permeable nature of the parent material which allows rainwater to permeate to great depths. In later shortage, dry season is one of the great problems in the daily lives of Umuna. Umuna lies within the Guinea Savannah region. The annual rainfall is up to 100 – 150 centimeters and wet season lasts for 6 – 8 months. In Umuna, there are luxuriant grasses and trees such as locust bean tree, oil been tree, kolanuts, oranges, Iroko. The practice of rotational bush fallow in Umuna makes for fixed settlements replacing the shifting cultivation system as a response to the increased population.
Umuna is blessed with good roads. The old road from Enugu to Nsukka lies very close to the eastern border of the town. There is another road, which also passes through Umuna. Inhabitants produce plenty of food crops like yams, cassava, cocoyams and maize. In addition to farming, Umuna is one of the largest producers of palm wine in Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area. Goats, sheep and cows are reared.  Livestock are pastured on the hills tops but else where is little uncultivated land even the precipitous hills sides been pressed into service for farming purposes.
The town comprises three main quarters Oreti, Ufu and Amokofia. Oreti is made of Amewa, Diodeke, Isiamele and Umuohaka villages. Ufu is made of Umeze-Umuna, Uwelu-Ufu and Umuezikoro, while Amokofia is made of Ameze, Ezenushi, Ubeagu, Umueze - Amokofia, Amadiligwe and Dikwu. On the whole, Umuna is made up of thirteen villages. The name Umuna was used in the primeval past to refer to out town.  Umuna means a family, an extended family having patri-local residence. It means children of a polygamene family.   There is also Umuna in Okigwe and Orlu senatorial zones in Imo State of Nigeria.
 Igbo Language is spoken throughout the town. The Umuna people are argumentative and humanitarian, but they have many good points of which sense of humour is not the least. Umuna people are not given excessively to deeds of violence unless they are in a state of high excitement and their anger is short-lived. At other times both men and women are friendly, cheerful and courteous and appear to be contended and very hard working.
ODO CULT (MASQUERADE)
Odo is a secret cult performed by men in some parts of Nsukka cultural zone including Umuna. Odo is believed to be the reincarnation of the dead members of the society, village and /or family. It is believed to be the dead who have come to earth to stay for a short period among the living especially with their family members.
Every odd year is an Odo year. The seven months of odo year is exclusively devoted to its veneration, mostly men who anticipated, would soon come to visit the living. Odo is entirely men affair. Only the initiates take part in the odo cult, which is attended, in a secret grove (Uhamu). Members swear never to divulge the secret of Odo. Odo is saluted as Ndidi Koko, the name that signifies fear and wonder. Odo music is thrilling and enchanting. It is the highest perfection of Umuna artistry. It is not only music per se, but also artistic use of language as a vehicle for cultural transmission and perpetuation.
ORIGIN OF ODO
 According to Mbiti (1969), “Practically every African society has its own myth or myths concerning the origin of things. The origin of Odo is shrouded in mystery and anything said about Odo origin is based on speculations and hear-say which in turn was derived from oral tradition. This according to Vasina (1965) is the same as all verbal testimonies which are reported statements concerning the past.”
 In the words of Mr. Innocent Ogbuka, there are four versions of Odo origin in Umuna. The first version claims that Odo simply walked into the town and the first village it settled was at Ezenushi. In this village it met a woman called Osuma Aja who after seeing the masked figure went and called a herbalist from Dikwu village who boldly took the ‘masked figure” into a forest. The second version says that Odo was first seen by a woman fetching firewood in a thick jungle with a great pond Iyi-Uzu in Ikolo Community. This version claims that the woman saw a gigantic figure behind an unknown big tree. However, it was this woman’s husband that came and shouted Ndidi Koko and Odo responded. The man haboured it for few days and built for it a house. The name Odo Achi, Obelebe, Odo Aji, Uruoko, Agrinye and others like them derived their names from the unknown big tree.
 The third version claims that odo was founded in Umuna by a man called Dikwu one of the leaders of Dimaleke family during the settlement of Umuna in her present place of abode. One of these travelers called Dikwu saw a spirit that later revealed itself to him. The spirit also instructed him to build for it a house. After that, other villages in the town followed. The fourth version claims that an Umunko woman married at Ezenushi Village in Umuna first saw the masked figure when he was visiting her family members at Umunko. She went back and called her husband who saw the figure behind a tree. The figure charged the men never to allow his women to see him naked. The man ordered the wife to leave. Then the figure was taken to Dikwu who made it known to the community that the figure is Odo - a dead person who came to visit the living members of the family.
 Finally, almost all the versions claimed that a woman behind a tree founded Odo Umuna, yet it is a taboo for a woman to see it naked.


WORSHIP OF ODO:
 The worship of Odo can be regular or occasional in Umuna unless otherwise prescribed by a diviner. A “diviner” or “Dibia” according Arinze “is the person who tells future, is consulted before any sacrifice(s) or offer(s) are made.” People come together to worship odo when misfortune calls, when they are asked    to offer sacrifice by a diviner and when they went to show their gratitude for the blessings, which they have received, from Odo. The rites of Egorigo, Ntiye Odo onu are some of those traditional rites, which are being performed in the honour of Odo publicly.
INITIATION OF NEW MEMBERS:
 The process of becoming a member of odo is long and arduous. It is believed that no woman no matter how highly placed in Umuna is supposed to know the secret of Odo. So, also, any male child that is not initiated, no matter his age is equal to a woman before Odo.  Before a boy is initiated into odo, according to Mr. Godwin Anyanwu, He must perform a ceremony called Oho-Odo. This Oho-Odo is a title, which gives him the right to see Odo in the house and grove. The Oho-Odo ceremony starts about six months before the return of Odo.
 On a Diligwe or Nwa Njereke festival, continued Mr. Anyanwu, any man who has a boy of fifteen years and above will inform his village people that he will perform Oho-Odo ceremony for his son. When those to perform the ceremony must have been made known to people, the eldest man in the village will peg the number of those to be initiated according to his wish.  The father of the eldest boy among them will fix the date the ceremony will take off. This Oho-Odo ceremony takes place only on Nkwo day.
 On the day of the ceremony according to Mr. Remigius Ugwu, the father of the boy to be initiated brings four big pots of palm wine to the male folk of the village in a village hall. About two months before the return of Odo, the candidates for initiation present some money or Ngwugwu Okpa each to the nine functionaries of odo in his village.  This is called Ngo Odo. In the words of odo Igwe “Ngo Odo is a lobby on the part of the boy to be initiated so as to make the Odo be mild and less violents on them on the day of initiation.” 
 About four days to the initiation day, those to be initiated will shave their hair in beautiful patterns called Ishi Nfa-mma and decorate themselves with car wood lotion and drawing beautiful intricate patterns on their body with indigo called Uri Nfa – Mma. It is a taboo for any person to dress his hair or draw such beautiful pattern on their body in the town except those to be initiated into the Odo Ancestral cult.
 When the long expected initiation day comes, the boys are lined up on the part leading to the groove in the order of seniority. They are led to the groove blind folded by Dioke or his representative. When they come in, they are made to undergo certain ordeals in the hands of the dead represented by Odo. Many questions will be asked to them. They are made to eat some types of food. All these are to prove their power of endurance, courage and perseverance. Failure to perform or answer the questions means severe punishment or death by Odo the unsuccessful ones are severely punished while the successful ones come out joyfully to meet their friends, relations and well-wishers who make different types of presents to them.

DIFFERENT ODO MASQUERADES AND THEIR RESPECTIVE PRIMARY FUNCTIONS:
In the words of Ozor Richard Ntikiri, the following Odo Masquerades performs the underlisted functions.
1. Ishi-Odo/Odoegu Ali – This goes from house to house, cleansing people and removing poisonous and dangerous medicines planted by enemies.
2. Obodike- Settling immediate family disputes, restoring moral behaviours among youths by chasing and whipping the offenders especially the woman folk
3. Ihi-Odo - Plays with young men, corrects any young men who live immoral life.
4. Ike Nwakpakpa – Performs no specific functions. But frightens people both male and female with whips and knives. He has   neither friends nor relations on earth.
5.  Aroke, Njo Adihere, Ugwu Nwaimoka: These masquerades entertain people with stories. Each finding the weakness of the other.
6. Okikpe:  Foretells the community problems and their immediate solutions. It also entertains people with its kind of performances.
7. Okokoro: Heavy masquerades with   little ones in her head. He entertains people with dances. He also cleanses people.
OZO TITLE
Ozor Title: Ozor title otherwise known as Idi in Umuna is performed   in six stages. The stages   according to Clement Okogu are:
1. Echi Idi. Presentation of Kola nut and money to the initiated ones.
2. Nri Echi: Feeding of all the titled members by the person who wants to be initiated.
3. Okputukputu: Feeding of all males and Umuada of the persons village. This involves both the initiated and uninitiated ones.
4. Owa Onu Idi: This is the initiation proper. The person concerned will feed the titled members sumptuously. It is highly expected that there will be left over of meat, wine and food. This is the day the person will get his title names. The names must be not less them three.
5. Ohuji – Idi: All the titled men in the village will gather in his house and formally welcome him as a full fledged member of Ozor or Ndi Idi
6. Afia Idi: The newly initiated person with his wife/ wives will now perform the outing ceremony on this day. Friends, relations, in-laws and well-wishers will present gifts to him.
ARMS OF GOVERNMENT IN UMUNA
UMUNA GENERAL ASSEMBLY: This is the highest ruling body in Umuna. Every other arm is answerable to the General Assembly Executive. The Executive is made up of the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Asst. Secretary, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, publicity secretary, Provost II and I.
UMUNA COUNCIL OF ELDERS (NDI OHA) This council consists of the Eldest male adult from each of the 13 autonomous villages in the town. They are the custodians   of the culture, customs and traditions of Umuna.
YOUTH ORGANIZATION: Membership of this organization is open to any indigenous adult both males and females between the ages of eighteen to sixty years.
SOCIO-ECONOMIC  AND POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT OF UMUNA COMMUNITY
 The aim of this note (write up) is top do a survey of typical Umuna man’s socio-political activities within and outside his community. This study also will attempt to supply answers to questions as to her political culture and psychology and to what extent these have influenced her external political transactions and what gains, losses and lessons learnt.
 The study also tries to examine the economic activities of an Umuna person in order to survive. Even though the socio-political activities of Umuna date as far back as the history of the community already aforementioned, one of the major problems of the history of the community is lack of written documents which could serve as sources of information.  This of course is not peculiar to Umuna as this is a common phenomenon in African history. There is no evidence or records to provide answers as to what methods used for recruiting leadership, for managing and sharing powers and for mobilizing consensus    in prehistoric Igbo societies of which Umuna is one.
 Economic Activities: A layman’s definition of economic activities may simply mean what a person does in life through which such person can generate money for himself/family upkeep or simply put what one does to earn a living. Going by this, there are a lot of activities in the Umuna community. A typical average Umuna man is egalitarian in nature. This means that an Umuna man will always try to be self-independent hence he must do one thing or the other provided he feeds himself, his family and always able to pay kinship or community levies. This urge or motive to survive economically has lead to professionalism and division of labour among the people. Hence we have a variety of occupation and professions among the people. The occupations or economic activities of the Umuna people could be classified into the following main sub-headings: -
(1) Farming,   (2) Trading
(3)  Artisans   (4)  Civil service
1. Farming: Farming is a major source of economic sustenance in Umuna Community just like most African societies. Many young men involve themselves in farming activities. This makes it possible for the production of foods like yams, cocoyams, cassava etc. Almost every household is involved in livestock productions such as rearing of goats local chickens and cows.
 There are also a lot of tree crops like kola nuts, coconut, oranges and prominently palm tree. There exist a lot of palm trees which provides palms wine that is why most rural men in Umuna are wine tapers and they make money enough from such activities.
2. Trading has become a very good occupation for the growing population, in Umuna, more than 30% of the youths are involved in trading. This is one of the consequences or effects of transportation and communication on the community hence these youths carry their trading activities in such big cities like Onitsha, Enugu, Katsina, Kaduna etc.
3. Artisans, this includes all the crafts or professionals like carpentry, brick layers, driving, tailoring, just to mention a few. In Umuna Community now, consequent upon the introduction of electricity one can find a lot of hair saloons, welding workshops, and a lot of artisan activities. Through these activities, they earn their livelihood.
4. Civil Service: With the advent of western education into the community, a lot of the children (sons and daughters) from Umuna acquired certificates of various cadres, which enables to get employed.
 In Umuna today, one finds a lot of government workers in the local, state and federal employs. In this category of workers we have teachers, lawyers, engineers, civil servants in different careers and offices. When all these fail, an Umuna man resorts to farming to eke out a living.
POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS IN UMUNA TOWN
            In tracing the political developments of the Umuna town, it has been observed that their political activities are as old as the community. There have been a lot of leaderships and leadership tussles in the community. Due to lack of written documents, most participants, their activities and names have been lost to memory as a result of time factor, however, the political developments could be approached in the following periods: -
(1) Pre-colonial period
(2) Colonial period
(3) Post colonial or independence period
(1) The pre-colonial period refers to time before the coming of the white men (Europeans) into the Igbo County. This period, the Igbo state was known as stateless state meaning that they did not believe in kingship or dynasty hence the popular proverb “Igbo Enwe Eze.” Umuna Community being one of the communities in Igbo race is not different from such political situations. Be that as it may, the community was not entirely left without leaders. Leadership was provided by prominent strong men of the time who could protect his people from outside attacks, who could lead his people to wars, which characterized the period. It is more or less a kind of jungle politics. Leadership was provided by the council of elders, (Oha), the Umuezugwu ie council of eldest indigenous married women representing various villages. The law enforcement came from youths and at time Odo masquerades.
The council of elders was the highest ruling body in the town, they formulated and executed policies in Umuna town. This group saw to the protection and preservation of the customs, traditions and culture of the people. Their female counterpart saw to the protection and preservation of women dignity. Any attempt to defame, assault or dehumanize the women folk would ensure the wants of the Umuezugwu.
In times of inter community disputes, some strong men and at times deities like Odo Masquerade emerged to emancipate the people. According to Chief Ugwuja Nwozor, there were some strongmen and some powerful orators in those days. It is possible that due to time names of such people can no longer be remembered.
(2) The colonial period: this is a period marked by intervention of foreign powers in the political administrations of the town. In history, these were the days of colonial regime by the British Government, which marked the total conquest, and occupation of West African States. Since there were not enough administrative personnel on the past of the Europeans, they decided to introduce Indirect Rule system of Government, whereby some people were selected at Community levels to represent the interest of the whites. Their method of selection was not clearly spelt out as it was based on the physical smartness of the appointees.
 This period could be said to have taken place the yea 1948 till independence. According to Chief Felix Anieze, he said that the year 1948 was the year when Chief Aniaku Nwabodi was crowned the traditional ruler or the “warrant Chief” of Umuna and this marked the effective administration of   the white man’s government in Umuna.
 Late Chief Aniaku Nwabodi was the warrant chief of Umuna between 1948 and 1955 when he died. During his regime Chief Aniaku Nwabodi according to sources made use of his cabinet in addition to the council of elders. Like most warrant-Chiefs, Chief Aniaku Nwabodi was strong, progressive as he attracted primary schools and rain water harvest reservoir to the town. Comments by some people about his regime described him as tyrannical and speculations also had it that his activities might have contributed to his early demise in 1955 at an age that could be described as his climax. However, it is true that his regime did not last, a lot of people believe that he achieved much especially in the encouragement of western education in the town. He inspired and even forced many youths to school. Since the time of his demise to 1976 there has been no other traditional ruler or warrant Chief. In the interim, some people like Ugwu Awuyin, Gugu Eze just to mention but a few have featured prominently in Umuna politics.
(3). Post Independence/ Post colonial regimes: after the death of Chief Aniaku Nwabodi in 1955 the few years that followed immediately i.e. between 1955–1960 was a period of Nationalistic movements and serious agitation for independence in Nigeria.  This among other reasons delayed the selection of another warrant chief. So Umuna remained without a leader. Leadership services was offered by some elite in conjunction with council of elders and some times elected councilors like Omeje Michael. Some of that elite class includes Chief Anthony Okogu, Sir Christopher Okogu, Chief Dominic Amoke, Chief Fidelis Odo, Chief Prince Pius Aniaku, Chie Ogbaji Donatus, Chief Francis Omeje etc. These educated elites often times played advisory roles in Umuna town
 Since nature abhors vacuum, the hiatus created in political scene of Umuna continue to be felt and therefore   there was the need by the people to have a leader. In 1976, a new warrant Chief or traditional ruler in the person of Chief Ugwuegede Nwezike emerged. He was crowned the Ejiofor I of Umuna. From hence forth, the mantle of leadership fell on him. He had his cabinet   and advisers. However, the council of elders of the town (the Oha) played   their own roles as before helping the Igwe formulate and execute his policies.
 Given his level of educational attainment, which of course was below literate level, he performed to the best of his ability. He was instrumental also to the execution of a second-class block at Central School Umuna. The Ejiofor I ruled from 1976 to 1991 when he joined his ancestors at ripe age estimated at about 90 years.
 Ever since his death Umuna has remained again without a traditional ruler. Efforts are being made towards having another political leader, but up till now no success. Such efforts include drafting a constitution for the community in 1993. The draft was unfortunate as it was frustrated by the powers that be in the town. A second and a final attempt were made to review the constitution in 2003 under the chairmanship of Mr. Cletus Ogbaji. The constitution has been signed and became functional since September 2005.
Since the community cannot remain with out political activities, the town has been lead by different communities prominent among was the Umuna Development Consultative Committee (UDAC) with the Chairman as Mr. Donatus Ede Ogbaji. This committee leads Umuna from 1986 to 1977. A lot of progressive Development Projects were handled and completed by this committee. These include Community Secondary School Umuna, Umuna Water Bore hole and Ufu Primary School Umuna.  This community initiated electricity project for the town. 
 It is worthy to note that the group never had it smooth as this period was characterized by attack upon attack by different interest groups’ in the town. The Umuna man has never occupied elective position either at Local Government or State level. This could be either as a result of their numerical strength when compared with our neighbours of Ekwegbe, Ukehe and Aku just to mention but a few. It is hoped that hence forth, there is that need for the people to muster courage and be ready to take political risks. In conclusion, it is sad to observe that an Umuna man is politically aware but due to some factors he has never been heard of outside the community. The only serious attempt once made was by Chief Donatus Onyebuchi Igbeaku who contested for the chairmanship seat under the NRC in 1991 but due to the already mentioned population factor lost to Charles Ochi. 
IMPACT OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE UMUNA COMMUNITY
 Prior to the arrival of and eventual settlement of foreign religion - Christianity in Umuna community, the people were notoriously religious. They believed in the existence of God and goods. The religious practice of the Umuna people dovetails into their cultural practices. In fact it is almost impossible to separate the religion of the people from their culture.
 Quite frankly, Umuna holds highest, the supreme deity, “Ezechitoke Abiama” as the ultimate source and summit of life. Besides the deified deity, other pantheon gods are revered and worshipped.  These range from Ala – the earth goddess, Shujioku – the god of agriculture, Eja – the god of yield and harvest, Enyanwu – the Sun god, Edemii – the god of thunder and rain. The most notably 1worshipped among these gods is the Odo masquerade. These masquerades are believed to be the spirits of the dead, which descended from the realm of the spirit world. Animism is also a popular religious practice in   Umuna. Yes, treess, mountains, rivers, streams, valleys, etc, are worshipped and adored.
 The hand of religion appears prominent in every aspect of the culture of an Umuna man, be it marriage, burial ceremonies, Ozor title–taking, agriculture, commerce and industry; e.t.c.
 Then suddenly came, the visitor - Christian religion. “This religion which, was based on the Teachings of Jesus Christ and on the belief that he is the Son of God”, Christianity, though uninvited disembarked at Umuna and settled in the early thirties. This “visitor” on arrival and settlement impacted seriously on the culture and lives of the people. It became so pervasive that it permeated all the nooks and crannies producing   palpable influences. These impacts are effecting as they are affecting.
Consider the following.  
(1) EDUCATION
It remained an incontrovertible fact that the first primary school in Umuna was built by the Catholic Church. The first teacher Louis Okananma posted by the Catholic missionary attending to the first pupils posted to the school. As people began to attend schools their ways and views of life began to change thus blazing the trail for western education, better understanding and appreciation of the society at large.
(2) MORALITY AND ETHICS
In Umuna Community, the introduction of Christianity diametrically brought to a halt some contemptible inhuman practices. Such odious practices as slave trade, Osu, human   sacrifice to idols, rampart poisoning, killing of twins, use of unorthodox medicine in the treatment of certain diseases, belief in “Ogbanje” etc., the arrival of Christianity actually lessened their firm belief in diabolical practices, fetishes and unfounded superstitions.
(3) IMPROVEMENT IN THE PSYCHOSOCIAL SYSTEMS. 
The arrival of Christianity saw to a change from total nudity to decent dressing, raw and rustic approach to solving problems   to ordered behaviour; in-fact crudity gave way to some elements of modernism. Roads, electricity, pipe born – water became   the in-thing.
(4) ECONOMY /AGRICULTURE:
New methods of farming came with the Christian religion replacing the subsistence agricultural methods.  New agricultural crops were equally introduced such as peas, cashew, mangoes, pineapple, and pawpaw. The system of trade changed from the barter system - trade to the exchange of goods for money. The community   witnessed changes as a result of the advent of Christianity.
NEGATIVE IMPACTS
 Every aspect of the culture of Umuna has been dislocated and dismembered. We no longer act like one nor reason like one.  The Christian folks see every religion cum cultural practice as a “sin”. In fact the “holy water has slapped   our cringing brows “and: the centre can no longer hold” culturally, Umuna can be said to be “floating on the surface”. Christian names have replaced Igbo names.
RELIGIOUS CONFLICT
 The arrival of Christianity sparked off a conflict between the Bible and the Ofo.  Any form of worship or practice that is not amenable to the Bible is branded paganism, fetish and Idol worship. This has led to the destruction of certain vital cultural artifacts in an attempt to destroy   the devil. This very impact has been repudiating, as it is distasteful.
END OF POLYGAMY
 The arrival of Christianity killed polygamy. This practice has become moribund as its adoption is prescribed for childless couples.
MULTIPLICATION OF EVIL
 Christian religion, which was believed to have panacea for social problems, engendered much more problems than it can solve. Such problems as prostitution, rape, homo-sexuality, adultery, lesbianism gay marriages, women trafficking, marital infidelity, divorce, waywardness, family anarchy, and such social evils of unimaginable proportions. Like ritual murderrobbery with violence, child trafficking etc.
 There is no gainsaying the fact that the impact of Christian religion has brought along with it more worthy values for the people of Umuna. The impact indeed has been paradoxically positive and negative, tasteful and distasteful, commendable and condemnable. It was inevitably a necessary evil.
 On a final note, it is an unmitigated fact that in spite of the fatal blows the Christian religion punched on the entire life of Umuna people, it must be agreed that without it the early man’s status could have lingered longer in our society and environment, however, “a religion that took no account of people’s way of life, religion that did not recognize spots and beauty, was useless. It would not be a living experience, a source of life and vitality. It would only main a man’s soul”. Think of that.

REFERENCES
Arinze, F.A. (1970), Sacrifice in Ibo Religion, Onitsha.
Barmby, D.O.(1934), “Intelligence  Report on the villages of Ukehe,  Umuna, Onyohor, Ochima,  Umuna, Ikolo Aku, Ohebe, Ngalakpu and Umunko” Nsukka Division, Onitsha Province, National Archives, Enugu, On Prof. 8/1/4724.
Berthrand Russel (1967), Why I am not a Christian, London: Union  Books.
Edmond Ilogu (1985), Christianity and Igbo Culture. University Publishing Company. Onitsha.
Ekwunife A.N.O. (1995), Spiritual Explosions, Reflecting on Christian lives and Practices in Nigeria. 
Ezikeanyi, F.U. (1982), “Odo Ancestral system in Aku” Okikpe: A  Publication of Diewa Writers Clubs; Vol. 2, No. 1,
Idowu, E.B. (1973), African Traditional Religion, London; S.C.M. Press  Ltd 
Iloeje, N.P.  (1963), A New Geography of Nigeria:  Longman Press Ltd. 
Jennings, J.H. (1963), Elements of Map Interpretations. London Cambridge University Press. 
Mbiti, J.S. (1969), African Religion and Philosophy, London: Macmillian  Press.
Ogbaji, C.U. (1984), Odo Ancertral Cult in My Town – Umuna  Problems and Prospects (Unpublished) NCE Thesis, Dept of  Religion. C.O.E.   Nsugbe.
Ogbaji, D.E. (1980), Pre-colonial History of Umuna (Unpublished) NCE  Thesis, Dept of History C.O.E. Awka.
Vansina, J. (1965), Oral Traditions, Chicago, Chicago University Press.
The Constitution of Umuna Town, Igbo Etiti Local Govt. (2005 Unpublished).








Chapter Fourteen
UMUNKO TOWN
By Chief (Bar) Kris Onubuleze & Mr Frank Agbowo
 “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.” John chapter 1:1
INTRODUCTION
LOCATION OF UMUNKO
 Umunko otherwise known as Umunko Nejele Ogu is a town, in Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area of Enugu State of Nigeria. The word Umunko simply means ‘offsprings or children of hospitality’. Etymologically, the word Umunko is derived from the words ‘Umu’ meaning children or offsprings, and ‘Nko’ meaning distinctly magnanimity, hospitality, mercy, humane, cleverness, sharpness etc as in ‘Omiko or Ominko’.
 The people of Umunko, not withstanding their lion heartedness, brevity, etc live every letter of her name. Umunko is also etymologically and etiologically seen as meaning sharp children. Ejemezu (1994:p3) in Nejele Light said, ‘the biological offsprings from these couples who were born and seen to be (Nko) very sharp, clever, strong, and have lion heart joined together to make up a town. Then a name to reflect these qualities was given to the town as Umu di nko Nejele Ogu’ meaning sharp children of Nejele Ogu and that in coining Umunko the word ‘di' in the middle was dropped and UMUNKO was formed.
 Umunko though previously bounded in the East by the Nike communities of Neke Ulo, Ugwogo etc is today bounded in the East by Ukehe Agu, which now lies, between Umunko and those communities in Nike. Some people like Nwele Agbo and Ozo Akunaguanya in an interview attributed this phenomenon to some obvious factors of population advantages on the side of Ukehe people as against Umunko people as Umunko community is one of the minority communities in Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area.
 In spite of some of these obvious realities, some scholars still hold that Umunko has its boundary in the eastern front with Neke Ulo, Ugwogo communities etc. They argue that those who cut Umunko off and now occupy the area between Umunko and Nike communities are no more or less than tenants of or residents in   umunko land. They hope and argue further that one day, at God’s own appointed time, such land must be returned to Umunko, perhaps by some divine touches of the Holy Spirit on the holders.
 In the west, Umunko has its boundaries with Diogbe and Ukopi communities; in the north with Ukopi community and in the south, with Ukehe community. All these communities surrounding Umunko, except Nike communities, are all in Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area of Enugu State of Nigeria.
AREA OF UMUNKO:
 Demographically, the population of Umunko going by population projection on the 4,504 of 1991 population census figure is estimated to about 7,000 people. Umunko community land covers an area of approximately thirty (30) square kilometers. The limitation is equally attributed to some parts and portions of its land now in the possession of some of her surrounding communities without exception and according to Ugwuele, ‘Umunko community occupies a very vast area of arable land endowed with natural mineral resources’.
 The community has many sources of water such as streams, lakes and springs, thick forests, which harbour wild animals of various types and hills of varying degrees and dimensions also abound. The presence of these features may be responsible for Umunko people being great hunters, farmers and warriors. “It may also be responsible for the covetous quests and encroachments into Umunko community land.The brutal murder of two brothers Messrs Joseph Odo and Bernard Odo in 2005 AD by the Fulani itinerant cattle rearers speaks eloquently for this. May their souls and souls of other late patriots Rest in Perfect Peace.”   
ORIGIN OF UMUNKO
Umunko is etiologically, such a mystified community that several origins are attributable to and associated with it by several scholars and resources persons. While some people claim that Umunko people migrated from Ikem, some others claim that Umunko people came from Mbu, and others view that Umunko came from Eha Amufu and Neke, all in the present Isi-Uzo Local Government Area of Enugu State, Nigeria. Some other significant few believed that Umunko migrated from Abriba in Abia State.
 According to Ugwuele, ‘it is assumed that the father of Umunko community, Dulunankwa migrated or came from Ikem area… hence Umunko tradition/culture and that of Ikem community are identical.’ Ejemezu (1942:2), while expressing the myth behind the origin of Umunko, said that there are two versions as to the origin of Umunko viz: from Ehamufu and Igalla in Kogi State. He however, did not throw much light on this. This does not however, deny his findings some elements of truth.
 From the foregoings, it seems obvious that Umunko community migrated from its Northern axis, especially from the present Isi-Uzo Local Government Area of Enugu State, Nigeria. In the first instance, there are still two adjacent places in Ehamufu called Umunko and Ngalakpu, the old name of Diogbe. The adjacent nature of such two sister communities Umunko and Diogbe (Ngalakpu) in Ehamufu in Isi-Uzo LGA; and the similar adjacency of the same communities Umunko and Ngalakpu (now Diogbe) in Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area has a lot to be desired and lend credence to the thought.
 Also in the vagaries of views about the myth of Umunko’s origin is the fact that the Traditional worshippers in Umunko today believe that their Odo masquerades return from Ikem and go back to Ikem after some months sojourning in Umunko. It is also part of their belief that the people who send the masquerades forth spiritually follow the masquerades to Ikem where they stay for seven native weeks which are equivalent to four Gregorian calendar weeks of sojourning in Ikem before returning spiritually back to Umunko, and on their return, the hairs in their heads are shaved, and merriments thrown for their successful return or home coming.
 As regards the claim of originality of Umunko from Mbu town, still in Isi-Uzo LGA, it becomes very important to examine the myth in the claim of Amagodo village, the first village in Umunko that they are “Ama-Mbuji Eze Utazi, Igbo n’aru ji abara nkashi” meaning a village in Mbu, a community noted for its yam and cocoyam production.
 The next in this work’s list, is the version that ascribed Neke town in Isi-Uzo as the traditional origin of Umunko community. It is obvious that Umunko people were being equally regarded and treated like Neke as brothers by the Neke people in Neke community especially on the matters of Odo masquerades and some other related matters. What is important to note here, is that some other towns or communities were not being so treated by the Neke people. In the domain or shrine of the dreaded ‘Odo Neke’ in Neke town, people from Umunko unlike people from other towns, were not pulling off their shoes or slippers, and were participating fully as members in the sharing of the proceeds from consultations made to the ‘Odo Neke’ deity or Masquerade.
 According to Onubuleze (2005), the school of thought that ascribes Umunko town as having migrated from Abriba in Abia State, the proponents argue as follows:
1. That Umunko people are warsome as Abriba people.
2. That Umunko is one of those hired warriors or mercenaries from Abriba hired by the Umunko’s neigbhouring communities and who stayed back after the wars.
3. That the claim of originality to Isi-Uzo in Umunko’s Northern front is a claim to another war some-like zone.
4. That the link between Umunko community and other communities in Isi-Uzo LGA is an exchange of some cultural aspects, like masquerades, as masquerades were instruments of war, and moreso when ‘Odo’ means warior. In Igalla or Idoma language where the Isi-Uzo people must have borrowed their Odo cultural menu, that was later lent to Umunko.
SETTLEMENT: On the issue of settlement of Umunko people, it is believed that Dulunankwa the father of Umunko, a great warrior, a hunter and farmer discovered the rich potentialities of the area and therefore decided to settle there to tap the rich endowments of the land. (Ugwuele, 2005:1)
According to oral tradition, the said Dulunankwa married Nejele Ogu who begot him the following six sons in their order of seniority;
1.  Dim-Ekwesu 2. Dim-Obuleze
3.  Diogu     4.  Okpara-Alugwu
 5.  Eze Nwanshieya   6. Dulunshi.
      Then the entire families including these six sons were before living together, but later they lived apart as they came of age in what is today called village arrangement.
VILLAGE FORMATION IN UMUNKO: Upon the growth and maturity of the six sons of Dulunankwa, he allotted a portion of land to each of his sons, and from such allotments made, and the resulting children from each of the sons, families, clans, and villages emerged in this order of their seniority and based on age.
1. Amagodo village begotten by Dim – Ekwesu the first son of Dulunankwa,
2. Amaokpuhu village begotten by Dim – Obuleze the second son of Dulunankwa,
3. Ohene village begotten by Diogu the third son of Dulunankwa,
4. Amadime village begotten by Okpara – Alugwu the fourth son of Dulunankwa,
5. Amaho village begotten by Ezenwanshieya the fifth son of Dulunankwa,
6. Amadulu village begotten by Dulunshi the sixth son of Dulunankwa.

1. AMAGODO: Dim – Ekwesu himself begot (a) Dienechi who begot (i) Agogwu-Obere the father of Elechi the father of Elechi Onuoha, and Onyima the father of Umuonyima and Eworo-Obere the father of Umunwokpe, and Ologwu-Obere the father of Umuodibe Nwanshi. (b)  Eloke Oga the father of Umueloke Oga. (c)  Dimeworo-Ogodo the father of the present Amagodo Uwani.
2. AMAOKPUHU: the son of Dim-Obuleze begot (a) Okaelenyi the father of Ani Nwalolo the father of Umuani, (b) Nwele Nwoka the father of Umunwele, (c) Ugwueke Nwalolo the father of Umunwugwueke (d) Ani-Eworo the father of Umuani-Eworo and (e) Ezeode the father of Umuezeode.
3. OHENE: the son of Diogu begot (a) Dimewa the father of Umudimewa, (b) Ezeanwugumma the father of Amadimgbemgbe (c) Amankashi-Etiti and (d) Amankashi Uwani.
4. AMADIME: the son of Okpara Alugwu begot (a) Elemule Nshinye the father of Umuelemule      (b) Oke-Udele the father of Umuoke-Udele and (c) Odufu the father of Umuodufu.
5. AMAHO (AMAFOR): the son Eze Nwanshieya begot (a) Atu-Ugwunye the father of Umuatu (b) Edumoga the father of Umuedumoga (c) Ugwunye the father of ugwunye, (d) Asogwa Ugwu the father of Umuasogwa Ugwu, and (e) Amaebo.
6. AMADULU: the son of Dulunshi begot (a) Oda the father of Umuoda (b) Ajima the father of Umuajima and (c) Uwelu.
CULTURAL ASPECTS OF UMUNKO
 Umunko is one of the communities in Igbo-Etiti LGA with rich cultural heritage worthy of sustaining and perpetuating. According to Biesanz and Biwanz (1964), culture, in general refers to the learned portion of human behaviour, the ways of thinking, feeling and doing things that man himself has developed as part of his environment.
 The Webster’s Encyclopedia unabridged Dictionary of the English language gives the sociological meaning of culture as: “The sum total ways of living built up by a group of human beings and transmitted from one generation to another”.In his own submission Rev. Fr. Onyeneke (1993), sees culture as: “The way of life of a given society which is transmitted from one generation to another”. Continuing, he said that “a group of people, organized in their distinctive way is a society, whereas, their distinctive way of organizing themselves, learned by individuals as members of that society and transmitted from one generation to another is their culture”.
From the fore-going, one can easily deduce that culture is the totality of the ways of life of a people inhabiting a defined geographical location. These ways of life are tranmitted from one generation to another. For the sake of growth and development, and peaceful co-existence of any human society, the culture of that society should be dynamic and not static. Rev. fr. Onyeneke is quite sure of this when he said, “the culture of a society is in no way static. As creative responses of the people to adapt to their environment, culture has to sdhift and change as people’s environment similarly changes”.
To buttress it more, Rev. Fr. Iyidobi (1998) has this to say: “Culture is always a creature of man, since he continues modifies his way of life as his environment changes or demands. At the same time culture “creates” man, beats him into shape, makes him act, behave, speaks, dance, eat, worship, etc. in a particular manner making him or her an Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, English, French man or woman. Man is therefore, both a creator and a creature of culture. It is in dynamics of man creating culture and creating man that we find the possibility of cultural, and that is to say, human developments”.      
 Since culture is a way of life of a given human society, Umunko, as a biological human society, also has its own way of life (culture). The cultural life of Umunko community is, therefore, discussed below in synopsis under the following headings inter alia: Agriculture, Religion, Festivals, Marriage, Ozo title taking, Oha holding, Umu-Ezugwu, Umuada, Age grade, etc. However, for want of space and time our focus of discussion shall be on Agriculture, Religion, Festivals and Marriage.
AGRICULTURE
 Umunko Nejele Ogu is an agrarian community with vast fertile arable lands and other natural endowments like rivers, streams, lakes, timbers and other forests and water resources. Umunko has very good soil and environmental conditions which favour the growth of many agricultural crops. Although her farming is purely based on subsistence level, the community produces enough food for consumption, and for sales in her local Afor market. In fact, UMUNKO IS ONE OF THE MAJOR FOOD BASKETS OF Nigeria in general and in particular, Igbo-Etiti LGA. (Agbowo, 2005)
 People from far and near come to Afor Umunko market to purchase food items like yams, cassavas, cocoyams, vegetables, fruits – both cultivated agro cashews, mangoes, pears, and forest/wild fruits like ‘utu’ and livestock of different species.
Umunko is also the chief supplier of honey, bush and aquatic animals and meats, high quality palm wine popularly known and referred to as ‘Umunko’, pure palm oil and palm kernels, oil beans, kola nuts and a host of other products of cash crops in the Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area and environs.
 Agricultural operations in Umunko to a very large extent are not mechanized. Land clearing and cultivation are done manually with traditional crude implements like cutlasses and hoes. The sources of farm labour include the farmer and his family members, hired labourers and organized community/village labour which is rotatory among the participants. The use of chemicals or synthetic fertilizers is not common at all; instead organic manure is greatly used.
 The major farming areas (Agu Umunko), as we said earlier, are located at the eastern part of the community, a distance of about 13 to 25km away from the residential areas. Some farming activities are also carried out at the residential areas. All the natural resources like streams, rivers, lakes, etc. are found at the major farming area (agu). It is the existence of these resources that make the land in that area to be very fertile and productive too.
 Very few people live at the said Agu Umunko, and even at their death, their corpses are carried home (‘N’ulo’) for burial. In fact, that area Agu Umunko, is an Umunko Reserved Area (URA) for agricultural activities. Still related to agriculture, the people extensively do fishing and hunting. They do these especially during the dry season, which is the off-season for some other agricultural activities.
RELIGION
 Before the advent of western religion, African Traditional Religion (ATR) was the only religion that was in practice in Umunko. But today, there are two main religions – African Traditional Religion (ATR) and Christianity, which came to Umunko around 1930. Recently, the existence of the two religions is no more cordial. Christianity is taking and assuming very much ground. In some kindred today, there are few or no traditional worshippers but Christians.
 For the ATR worshippers, there are many deities or gods and Odo masquerades. Some of these deities are not, however, popular. Today, Iyi Ojii Amagodo, is the most popular and dreadful deity in the community and its adherents have high regards for it, especially in the nature of justice dispensations. According to the worshippers, it is a male deity. The deity even travel to other communities around Umunko for oath takings and administrations especially in very sensitive, controversial and serious issues. Because of the power it exudes, it has been titled EZEVUDE, and in many quarters, it is branded ‘BAKASI’.
 The feast of Iyi Ojii and other deities in the community are celebrated twice every year. Taking Iyi Ojii as an example, the first one is termed Iyi Ojii “Uya”, which is celebrated during the planting season, around the months of July and August. During this period, most of the agricultural crops are not yet mature. The items then taken to its shrine include kolanuts, palm wine, black beans and cocoyams, domesticated animals like cows, rams, goats etc. The second one is termed Iyi Ojii “Udumii” and is celebrated during the harvest season between the months of October and November. By this time, most of the agricultural crops are mature and are being harvested. Generally, the ‘real’ Christians do not participate in the feast of deities in Umunko. It is purely for the ATR worshippers.
ODO MASQUERADE
 Umunko, as an Igbo-Odo community in Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area, has Odo masquerades of various types and sizes. The feast of Odo is a celebrated biennial event, and the Odo masquerades return in four phases. The first to return is ‘Odo Ishi Aha’. This is followed by ‘Mbata ulo Odo’, that is the return of the musical troupes of Odo. Women are forbidden from seeing musical troupes of Odo because the Odo troupes are not masked. They go about naked beating their musical instruments. After the ‘Mbata ulo Odo’ the next category to return is ‘Odo Agu’ and finally ‘Okanrido’ which return twice within one Odo period.
 The return of ‘Okanrido’ in each case is not characterized by festive mood because special foods and drinks are not usually prepared to mark the event. It stays for four days in each occasion humourizing, cracking jokes, ridiculing people, clashing heads of families, relations, and friends and thereafter, goes back to the assumed ancestral spirit world. Women do not like Okanrido at all because during its return and stay, women are kept indoors, and their movement restricted.
 ‘Odo Ishi Aha’, being the first to return, is celebrated with conspicuous quaffing of palm wine. Both Okanrido and Odo Ishi Aha return in mask of young palm leaves (‘omu nkwu’). Odo Ishi Aha also have an eagle feathers piled on its head. During the first return of Okanrido another category of masquerades called ‘Mluamlua’ also return. It does not return twice, and it returns in a mask of young palm leaves. This acts like a security agent (police). It helps to maintain law and order. It hates people quarreling and fighting. In the past it use to compel women to keep roads clean, and women entertain it with wine and tobacco.
Odo Agu is the mostly lavishly celebrated phase of Odo festival in Umunko. The believers usually kill different species of livestock; buy foodstuffs, wine and friends invited from far and near. The Odo festival is believed to be men affairs and because of that, men use to buy dresses for themselves and costumes for their masquerades. There are many types of this category including ‘Okokoro’, Odo opipi and Agu. These are their umbrella names. The members of the category, except the Agu, are richly and elegantly costumed. Agu is usually masked in empty jute bag, old clothes and other tattered materials, and arms itself with canes, thorny sticks, and other dangerous objects like knives etc and as it moves about, it beats and harasses people indiscriminately. The Odo masquerades stay for about seven months before they go back to the ancestral spirit world where they will sojourn till their next returning period. During their stay, the believers are performing different activities and ceremonies.
According to Onubuleze, some Odo masquerades are significantly being used in settling disputes, maintaining peace, enforcing environmental cleanliness, enforcement of rules and regulations in Umunko, evening relaxations, hypertension reducing devices, entertainments etc.  
NEW YAM FESTIVAL IN UMUNKO
 In Umunko, New yam festival traditionally and popularly called “Ovu-Eja” in Umunko dialect is an invaluable and historic cultural festival. It is a festival celebrated annually by the natives to say thanks to the Supreme God, personal gods and gods of agriculture for keeping them alive and strong during the planting period. It is also the feast during which the people formally harvest and eat the new yams, and ask more favours from God, and the gods of agriculture. In Igbo land, new yam festival is a prominent event with varied dialectical nomenclatures.
 In Umunko the festival is celebrated between the months of September and October every year, and a lot of preparations are made ranging from the purchases of different items such as food stuffs, livestock, decorative materials like cloths, camwood and other cosmetic products, clearing of roads, harvesting of yams to be consumed and taping of palm trees extensively to produce palm wine during the period. Friends and well wishers from the neighbouring communities, as well as various tiers of government are also invited to witness the occasion.
 In traditional way, the actual celebration is performed throughout the community in the morning hours of ‘eke’ day with thanksgiving at the individual hamlet’s/kindred’s shrine, and churches. Some of the ritual items are kola nuts, palm wine, yam tubers, ‘odo’ (gorizza powder) and young palm leaves ‘omu nkwu’ to produce “Obara n’abo” which is placed in each of their shrine spots. The eldest male head in each hamlet/kindred or priests of different shrine perform this sacrifice. In the evening of the same day, the second activity characterized by dancing the “Ugeleji” music takes place at the ‘eke’ Umunko square. “Ugeleji” music is the most popular traditional music played during the new yam festival in Umunko, and a particular village, Amadime village, plays it. On this day, the mothers-in-law will invite their sons-in-law and their wives, and prepare delicious foods for them. In order to reciprocate this, the sons-in-law and their wives will carry kegs of palm wine to their mothers-in-law at “Afor” Umunko market square on Afor day during the outing ceremony which marks the end of the event.
 In the preceding day, that is the orie day before the afor day, which is another festive day, the traditional worshippers (males), visit every member of their respective hamlet/kindred from house to house and perform certain rituals. These rituals are performed in the shrines and churches. This to the traditionalists is carried out inside the yam barn, which is dialectically referred to, in Umunko, as “Onu shujioku”, that is, the shrine of the gods of agriculture. The items for rituals are kola nuts, palm wine and domestic fowls. At the end of the visits they will go back to their respective houses and reconvene later in the eldest man’s house with food, cooked fowls used for the rituals, and possibly, where applicable.
 The last day being “Afor” is the traditional outing to afor market and women and youths mostly perform this outing ceremony. In most cases the women will appear in their new attires. This day the women who take the new title called “Igba Echi” within the period of the festival will also appear in the market to dance, demonstrate and showcase the “Echi Ukwu” round the market. All mothers-in-law are expected to get kegs of palm wine from their sons-in-law at Afor Market Square on Afor day to mark the end of the event in the community.
 Christians do not participate in the rituals performed by the traditional worshippers. Rather, they celebrate the “Ovu-Eja” festival by attending the church services, and offering sacrifices in the church. They participate on the outing day because it does not involve any rituals.
 New yam festival (“Ovu-Eja”) is a period of relaxation, a period of reunion of relations and friends. It is also occasions during which people return en-mass and assess the degree of development projects embarked upon, and lunch new ones. In fact, it is a period for merriment, reunion, exchange of gifts, stocktaking, future planning etc. for the community. (Onubuleze: 2005)
TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE SYSTEM IN UMUNKO
 Marriage ceremony is another of cultural institution in Umunko community. Before the advent of western civilization, marriage institution in Umunko was done in the traditional ways. Certain procedures and steps were undertaken during the processes of instituting marriages.
 But with the over increasing and assuming position of Christianity, modern education and social mobility, some of these all important cultural values have been thrown over board. Nowadays, youths travel far and wide and get married to anybody they like with little or no regard for culture.
 The intention of this paper is, therefore, to discuss the traditional marriage in Umunko community starting from the time of our forefathers. The discussion is purely based on the sequential manner of the activities performed. Traditionally, all the marriage ceremonies are performed on Orie day because the community regards Orie as a female day, and the ceremony pertains woman.
STAGE ONE: The first stage is “Ibuyi mmanya n’eju”. This stage was in practice during the time of our forefathers, but it was no longer in vogue. The ceremony was performed as soon as a female child was born. In this case, the parent of the would be husband would carry a keg of palm wine and some kola nuts to the family of the new born baby girl for an engagement. The acceptance of these items was an indication that they had agreed to their request. The dating of the marriage would start from this stage and the girl would then become senior in rank to any other woman to be later married into the same family, village or kindred notwithstanding who is older by age.
STAGE TWO: This is enquiry stage (Iju ajuju). This stage is still in practice, and it starts as soon as the girl reaches marriage age. The desiring man makes enquiry about the family background of the girl and about the girl to be married. If the enquiry proves positive and satisfies the man’s quests, then, the man can now proceed to the next stage.
STAGE THREE: This is the stage of the invitation of the girl’s mother to and by the family of the suitor. At this stage, the man or his family invites the mother of the proposed wife. During this stage a reasonable quantity of palm wine, of about two gallons, and some kola nuts, are presented to the mother of the girl.
 After taking some of the kola nuts and wine, the purpose of the invitation will be made known to the invitee by the man’s father or his stepfather. Normally and ordinarily, the woman will not give an immediate reply. The popular reply is that, “I have heard when I go I will tell ‘Amadia’”, that is her husband. While going, she will be given some of the kola nuts and wine to take to her husband.
STAGE FOUR: This is the stage of the invitation of both parents. At this stage, the suitor will invite both parents of the girl, usually a week after the first invitation. Usually, he will present more wine of about two or more gallons and some kola nuts. After breaking and taking some of the kola nuts and wine, the purpose of the invitation is officially made known to the father of the girl by the father of the suitor or any other elder relation, if the father of the suitor is no more alive. As usual there will still be no immediate reply from the guests.
 While going back, they will take some quantities of wine and kola nuts home, which they will use to inform their own relations. It is at this stage that proper enquiry about the man himself is made. For traditional worshippers, it is at this stage that they will consult with fortune-tellers ‘Ndi afa’ before sending a reply “Aka ekwe” to the suitor and his family.
STAGE FIVE: When the suitor gets positive response Aka ekwe from the would be parents-in-law, he will again invite the girls parents and her grand parents, both paternal and maternal to disclose the same intention to them.
STAGE SIX: this is the stage of presenting kola nuts “Ipa oji” to the parent of the girl to be married. At this stage, an intermediary (go-between) popularly known as “Onye ozi” is appointed or chosen. “Ipa oji” is one of the most important stages in marriage ceremony in Umunko, because it is the official and legal means of authenticating a marriage engagement in the community. Once this marriage rite, “ipa oji” is performed, both the man and the girl are then, being regarded as husband and wife, and then, they are no longer treated as a bachelor and spinster traditionally.
 This stage is also the parameter used to determine the seniority of women married into the same kindred or village in Umunko. This marriage rite is performed with the following items; kola nuts of not less than a hundred seeds, wines of different brands and money. Thereafter, the girl is expected to return to her husband with the empty calabash used to carry the wine to her parents. This will indicate total acceptance of the kola by the parents-in-law.
After this stage of “Ipa oji”, the girl can now visit her husband to help him and his parents in some domestic chores. The husband is also expected to visit and help his in-laws in some farm work and other domestic activities.
STAGE SEVEN “ICHO OKU”: This marriage is performed after the “Ipa oji” ceremony, and it involves the husband sending the intermediary to his in-law with some quantities of palm wine and kola nuts. The essence of this is to beg them to allow his wife to come and stay with him for some weeks/days. This stage is the preparatory stage for the payment of the actual bride price of the girl. The usual period of stay is about one month and “Udu oku” ceremony will be performed.
STAGE EIGHT: “UDU OKU”: This ceremony actually symbolizes the payment of the bride price of the girl by her husband. This is what is today generally called “Igba Nkwu” in Igbo land. On this day the girl’s mother-in-law that is the mother of her husband (“Nne di”) is expected to buy cloths and other gift items for the girl for the first time. The relations of the man as well as their neighbour hood are also expected to present gifts in appreciation to the girl, for having stayed with them for some days or weeks.
The following items are used for the ceremony; a reasonable amount of money, reasonable quantity of wine of different brands, kola nuts and tobacco. The intermediary takes all the items for this ceremony to the girl’s parents with the girl. The girl is also expected to return to her husband together with the intermediary with the empty calabash/gallons used to carry the wine.
STAGE NINE: After the “Udu oku” ceremony, the parents of the girl will for the first time invite their son-in-law, his parents and relations to their house to perform the “Mara be” ceremony, that is knowing their house. The parents-in-law use the occasion to show appreciation for what the son-in-law has been doing for them since the marriage started.
STAGE TEN “MMANYA IKWU NA IBE”: This ceremony is the final presentation of wine to all the relations of the girl by her husband as far as the marriage is concerned. The ceremony is performed at the husband’s house and the quantity of wine depends on the number of the relations of the girl as all the extended relations of the girl are expected to be there.
 STAGE ELEVEN: “IHE NWA ESEGO”: This is the final stage in traditional marriage system in Umunko. It is performed by the husband of the girl to inform his parents-in-law and their other close relations that their ward has come of age to live permanently with him. Kola, food, meats, drinks and some amount of money are presented during the occasion. At this stage the woman will no longer be thinking of going back to her parents again.
 After this stage, the man if a traditional religionist, goes ahead to cohabit with his wife, and there and then, their marriage could be consummated. But where the young man is a Christian, the seventh stage “icho oku” as discussed above serves to inform his parents-in-law that their daughter has come of age and that he wishes to embark on taking her to the alter (wedding). If approved by the parents-in-law, the young man arranges for a suitable and convenient date for their wedding and takes his girl to the altar and weds her, and family life immediately starts, marriage consummated, and the couple becomes husband and wife on license.
 From the fore-goings, one sees that the traditional marriage system in Umunko is worthy of emulation. According to Frank Agbowo (2005), it enables both parties to have a thorough knowledge of each other before being deeply involved in the system. Traditional marriage is much better than the contemporary method of marrying at first sight without proper enquiry about the family backgrounds of both parties. The modification needed is the introduction of modern scientific approach in the system in Umunko.
 All hands must be on deck to ensure that the intending couples are genetically compatible before contracting marriage. When this is achieved, traditional marriage system will ever remain and suppress the modern method being introduced into the community.
OTHER CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS IN UMUNKO
THE “OHA” UMUNKO: This is the council of elders from different villages and hamlets. However, not all hamlets as at today are represented in “Oha”. The “oha” Umunko is the highest law making body in the community. They decide and settle cases and conflicts among individuals and different interest groups. They meet as soon as the need arises.
OZO TITLE TAKING: This is for men. It is the only established and institutionalized title taking in the community, and like in other Igbo community where it is taken, it is for the riches. Ordinary people do not take it because of the cost effectiveness. The holders have their own code of conduct, and are respected everywhere in our society today.
THE AGE GRADE: This is an association of people born within the same year or period. Both males and females have their age grade associations separately. They take their names between the age of twenty and twenty five years. In Igbo land generally, age grade system is one of the recognized cultural institutions. Age grades participate actively in community tasks like road construction, peace keeping and maintenance etc.
UMU-ADA: this is the association of daughters born in each of the kindred but at the community or village level, it is loose. The association at the community/villages level is for the contemporary society and as such, membership is not usually compulsory.
UMU-EZUGWU: This is the council of women elders married in all the kindreds in the community. The eldest woman married in each kindred attend the meetings of the council of “Umu-Ezugwu”. Membership is only for the women who hail from Umunko. Those married from outside the community do not attend the meetings of “Umu-Ezugwu” even if they are the most seniors in their kindred.  All these institutions discipline their erring members according to the gravity of the offence committed. Very grave offences may even attract complete sanctions.
 Worthy of note is that Umunko community is a human biological society with many and diverse cultural values worthy of preservation for the posterity. Cultures, as we have known, is the instrument which shapes human society as any society without sound cultural values is destined to be ruined when faced with violent attacks of confused modernity.
 The culture of any society should be dynamic and not static in order to accommodate the changing environments and circumstances. In view of this, the Umunko community should, from time to time, evaluate and modify some of her antiquated cultural aspects to make ways for the changing environments it is therefore, recommended that any culture that is no more in consonance with the contemporary society will be laid to rest forever.
EFFECTS OF CHRISTIANITY ON THE SOCIO-CULTURAL LIFE OF UMUNKO
What is Religion? Religion, as defined by Encyclopedia (African) includes beliefs from all parts of the world about God. Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionary defines religion as a belief in, recognition of, or an awakened sense of a higher unseen controlling power or powers with the emotion and morality connected there with; which may be a site or worship or a system of belief or worship. Karl Marx observed religion as a bourgeois attempt to feed the masses with opium, the elixir that numbs the sense from a correct perception of reality. Karl Marx also saw religious era as an era of darkness and a scientific era as an era of light.
 Religion is the strongest element in traditional background and exerts probably the greatest influence upon the thinking and the living of the people concerned. Kris Onubuleze (1983) defined religion as the bread of life, the moderator of moral, the belief in, worship of, fear of, and respect for supernatural being or beings, believed to have infinite powers. The conceived supernatural being may be God, gods, spirits, or objects. “Remove religion from man, blot out of his mind the belief in his maker, who rewards the good and punishes the wicked, the fact that he has an eternal destiny, and what we have left in him, is an animal who acts out of sheer material and egoistic motives and sheer convenience, one who obeys the law out of fear of punishment or hope of material gain or for pure intellectual satisfaction” (Amuchiazi: 1980 in Onubuleze: 1983).
 Why religion? (Origin of religion): According to Chief Kris Onubuleze (1983), religion is anthropocentric and, therefore, centers on man. Like culture, religion is man made. It is also by man and for man hence all aspects of religion and belief in it revolves on man in his relationship with the supernatural. It starts from the limit of man’s courage, endurance etc. When therefore, a man’s courage, endurance etc. which are limited in scope, reach their tether, to say the least, man starts to look for supernatural beings he believes are more powerful than he is to help and protect him.
 According to J.P Jordan in his book “Bishop Shanahan of southern Nigeria” at pg. 115, in man, nothing was farther from his mind than in materialistic philosophy of existence. Religion must have evolved from man’s fear and insecurity – the fear of death for example can be overcome by the simple religious belief that there is “life after death” (after life) with God.
 In Umunko community for instance, when somebody feels being unsafe, the person uses to invoke God for help by saying ‘Chukwu Nsoo’ – God protect me or ‘Chukwu, a dim gi n’aka’, - God, I am in your hands. In the dictum of late Chief Ozo Ezevude Onubuleze, religion is as a result of man’s fear and his inability to champion all his causes and his beliefs and this realization of beings with much more power than he has. For instance, in the bible, God was always severally in invocation whenever the people of Israel were confronted with problems.
Religion as a Culture: Firstly, culture according to Bar. Kris Onubuleze (1983: 6), refers to people’s way of life, the distinctive way of life of a people, their complete design for living. It is the resume or the some total of all the aspect of life of a given society or people. Such aspects include marriage, music, language, religion, dressing, greeting etc. Every aspect of culture has a systematic and patterned ways of observing it by its adherent’s right from the simple rudimentary eating.
Similarities between Religion & Culture: Like father like son, religion is like culture because it is a complex whole – complex whole in the sense that people under one religious umbrella have well organized, systematic and stereotyped ways of doing their own things like marriage, dressings, greetings, worship, etc. of which prescribed punishment or doom awaits any defaulters. Beside, religion resembles culture in the following ways:
1. It has already made solutions to all problems.
2. It is man made.
3. It is anthropocentric – focused on man.
4. It is a body of different aspects of life.
5. It provides a nice forum for moral training.
6. It provides a nice arena for socialization.
7. It has a set pattern and stereotyped ways of doing things.
Roles played by religions in our society:
(a) Religion is an important aspect of social disciplines and therefore, conditions the behavoural pattern of our society.
(b)  It leads to the understanding of the social actions since societal behaviours are mostly determined by what they believe in – “People act as they believe”.
(c)  Religious studies facilitates the understanding of the relationships between different religions and among religions and other social sciences like Economics, Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology, Political Science etc.
(d) Religion helps in leadership training since it has a hierarchy of officials – it teaches role-play, leadership and followership responsibilities – “a good follower makes a good leader”.
(e) Religion plays a key role in the natural and national development, moral development attitudes and disciplines that are contributory to development. ‘Development’, according to Mr. E. F. Schumacher, in his book titled “A study of economics as if people mattered”, does not start with goods; it starts with people and their education, organization and discipline.
(f) Religion preaches love, unifies men, individuals, communities, states, nations and leads to a healthy society.
(g) Religion offers answer to man’s various and infinite metaphysical problems.
(h) Religion provides a forum for socialization of individual in his relation to others, since man is a social being.
 In Umunko today, Christianity has effected its so many socio-cultural changes. Such changes that are ushered in by this new religion, like coins, have two sides. One side of the changes favours the community, while the other side does not. In this section, the focus and attention of this discuss will be on the socio-cultural changes – positive and negative as brought about by Christianity in Umunko community. Here below, are the highlights of the changes extracted from consolidated and in-depth research, information, knowledge, observation, intuitions and experiences:


POSITIVE EFFECTS OF CHRISTIANITY IN UMUNKO COMMUNITY
(a) Before the coming of Christianity in Umunko, only one religion religious type – Traditional Religion had been in practice, but with the advent of Christianity the center no longer holds, the center has been divided and Christianity has evolved from, and in the town. This no doubt has broadened the minds of the people in the community, by providing them with an alternative religious system, which helps to create a sort of checks and balances between the two religions.
(b) Social Systems: Christianity brought with it education and this education ushered in new language; new and better methods of dressing, better road networks, better environmental conditions, hygiene, varieties of music, etc. It therefore, makes life to be much more enjoyable and hopeful than before.
(c) Education: It will amout to injustice for any person in Umunko to think of education in the town without associating or attributing it to Christianity. The advent of the missionaries according to Onubuleze (1983 and 2005) and Lawrence Ugwu (2005), introduce a kind of Educational system branded 3Rs in Umunko around the year 1935. This 3Rs Education system was based on Reading, Writing and Arithmetic for keeping of accurate records and accounts. In view of the above, one can say that Christianity through Education brought total emancipation of Umunko people from abject illiteracy, superstitions, fear, and ignorance etc. (Kris Onubuleze: 1983).
(d) Ethics and Morality: In Umunko community, since the introduction of Christianity, slave trade, incessant mini-wars, and practice of killing twins etc. have become historical materials and therefore, no longer obtain. In the words of Onubuleze, (1983) this is a movement from barbaric state of nature to civilized world of accommodation and harmonious co-existence.
(e) Economy: The economy of the Umunko town has increased tremendously since the advent of Christianity. For instance, many new fruits like mangoes, cashews, paw-paw, etc. have been introduced into the town. Some aspects of technology also came into the town with Christianity, and crude and subsistent agriculture, which had been the ruleand practice in Umunko, is fast giving way to mechanized agriculture.
(f) Health: On health sphere, Onubuleze (1983), observed that Christianity played some key roles in the promotion of the health of the community people. According to him, Christianity did this through education. With education, people no longer shy away from disclosing their sicknesses for some therapeutic attention and solution, and the rule of the thumb method of treatment without diagnosis has been replaced with modern scientific diagnostic therapeutic method
NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF CHRISTIANITY IN UMUNKO

 A critical analysis of the positive and negative consequences brought about by foreign religion (Christianity) in Umunko community shows that Christianity has created more problems than it tends to solve. This highlights the saying that “any system, religion, politics etc. that does not take cognizance of the culture, norms, values and attitudes of the people in the community where it is going to operate, that such system is bound to create more problems than it intends to solve.” (Onubuleze: 1983). The community, in short, has fallen victims to Christian religion for a long time now. Such areas of victimization among others include:
(i) Cultural Neglect: The people of Umunko before the coming of the early missionaries with their Christian religion had been under one religious umbrella – Traditional Religion, but with the coming of Christianity, the centre no longer holds; many citizen have joined them, and these new converts were taught to look down on the culture of their land sequel to a betrayal of identity, as a community without a culture cannot stand on its feet in the comity of communities.
(ii) Social Segregation: The advent of Christianity in Umunko, marks a period of social segregation, religious discrimination and domination in Umunko community. On the introduction of the system in Umunko by the early missionaries, they imbibed in their converts, the spirit to disassociate themselves with their relations in traditional religion, the people they branded pagans. This seed of discord sowed by Christianity invariably affected the social and religious psyche of Umunko people, and had caused some breakages of so many families, with the resultant effects of sons rising against their fathers, and daughters against their mothers.
(iii) Cog in the Path To Development: In Umunko community today, non-conciliation, non-alignment and non-compromising of Christianity with the traditional religion tend to hamper developments in the community. “No wonder, the natives dodge the calls made to them for development fund raising, rates and launchings on the conception that the motive behind such calls is to raise fund for the Christians to appropriate”
(iv) Problem of Monogamy: According to Chief Bar. Kris Onubuleze (1983), before the introduction of Christianity in Umunko community, the marriage system had been that of voluntary system, where one had to choose for himself, whether or not to marry at all or to marry one or two or more wives. But today in the community, with the Christians monogamous principles, many Christian families are facing some cultural dilemma as the result of the one-man one wife monogamous rigidity of Christianity.
 Most of them who are childless more often than not have no alternatives as the result of the over-rigidity of the Christian doctrine, than to remain childless “in the name of Jesus”, an aspect, Jesus himself while alive, never preached nor decreed more so, in a world of our time where the population of unmarried women is far and much more out-ragingly above the population of the unmarried men. The resultant effect of this phenomenon is the inevitable multiplication and propagation of sexy-social immorality of prostitution, rapism, adultery, homosexuality, lesbianism or gayism, woman trafficking, sexual abuses of sorts, voyeurism, insincerity, infidelity etc.
(viii) Family Problems and Disintegration: Many a family has been shattered as the result of incompatibility of Christian religion with the Traditional religion. For example, in a family where the man, his wife and children belong to different religions, the tendency for misunderstanding, disagreement and quarrel to crop in is very high.
This is because, “people are to act according to their beliefs”. Also many young ladies had divorced their early husbands on the ground of religious differences. Before now also, many a family had refused to train or send their children to school for fear that their sending them or training them might lead to the disintegration, relegation, abandonment and possible extinction of their cherished traditional religion.
(vi) Socio-Religious Anomie: Anomie is a state of hopelessness in a society or in an individual caused by some breakdown of rules of conduct and loss of belief and sense of purpose. In Umunko today, there are many people who though are in the minority – “the falling-away-Christians,” who are confused on what belief they are to hold – Traditional or Christian religion, and who can neither go back to Christianity nor fit in with the Traditionalists.
(vii) Waywardness: Since the advent of Christianity in Umunko with its monogamous style of marriage, the number of ripped but unmarried ladies has been growing in an alarming rate – a rate T. R. Malthus, a renowned economist would call – a rate in geometric progression. What happens is that at a certain age, parents of these ladies tend to be tired of sponsoring them, and for them the girls to make ends meet, these ladies tend to become subjected and vulnerable to multiple temptations, and as humans, some of them roam about our streets and tracks, social centers etc looking for “a catch” that is, men to trap.
(viii) System of Naming: As a result of their sociological and anthropological ignorance, of Umunko community, the early missionaries according to Onubuleze (1983), on reaching Umunko, as they also did in other communities unguardedly over-assumed that they were coming to fill a cultural vacuum in the community. Based on this their over-assumption the said missionaries on arrival at Umunko started tagging their early converts names – foreign in character, with no Cultural, Local, Tribal or National identity as if they were dogs.
For this reason a school of thought asked, “Is the root of Christianity in the tagging of names?” It is noteworthy that the converts did not receive this attitude without some skepticism, more so when somebody’s name, which is so meaningful, is rejected, and a name without social, spiritual, or otherwise is given to him.
 The still unanswered question is, “why should a name like” ‘Chidinma’ meaning, “God is good” be rejected and such name like “Martin” meaning “a bird” be preferred?”  This is but prejudice arising from jaundice mind.  In reaction to this, very recently, many Christian families have recovered and recollected themselves and have started giving their children some very meaningful Igbo names during baptism – names like Okechukwu, Chigbo, Chiwike, Kosisochukwu, Chideraa, Ukamaka, Kelechi, Nnaemeka, Nnedi, Anayo, Chikodili, Ngozi, etc.  In deed this is a cultural resurrection, and some progressive revolution against religious relegation and subjugation (Kris Onubuleze: 1983 and 2005).
All said and done, from the foregoing, it is highly recommended that for a harmonious socio-religious co-existence, intercourse and interplay, some maximum restraints are required from and among varying religious groups and adherents, who must realize that we are all “Godman” “bearing witnesses to the Universality of God’s love – Bro. John Colriveau OFM. CAP – His message to the Secular Franciscans in Nigeria from Collegio Internationale S. Lorenzo Da Brindisi, Rome on Saturday the 15th October 2002
EDUCATION IN UMUNKO: THE TREND
“The faith of empires depends on the
 education of the youths” – Aristotle.
Education generally is the acquisition of knowledge.  According to Onubuleze, it is the all-round development of a child, and or an individual for the development of the society. Therapeutically, education is the cure for ignorance and superstitions.  Education is an age life continuous process, which starts from birth, continues with life and invariably ends with death.  It could therefore be informal or formal with its agencies as the homes, peers, churches, schools, work places, media, etc.
Chief Lawrence Ugwu (2005:1) citing Chamber’s Dictionary defined education as “bringing up and instructing or strengthening of the powers of the body and mind.”  According to Ugwu, education in Umunko helped to shape and change the bloody power exercise and heavy-hearted style of life, coupled with wanton antagonism which made Umunko Community very dreadful and famous to a life style of communalism as they were invaded by the Europeans who killed some of her citizens, burnt down some of her ancestral central village halls and masquerade halls and houses.
The trend of formalized education in Umunko is not much of chequered origin, as it started in the 1930s.  According to Chief Alexander Eze (Ezeity) in Onubuleze (1983), Rev. Fr. Millet the then Priest in charge of Nsukka Parish and his agents consulted and agreed with Umunko people around 1934 for the erection of a multi-purpose thatched building at Eke Umunko, for the said building to serve as school, church, and meeting place, etc.for the people of Umunko.
Upon the completion of the said building, according to Onubuleze (1983), a son of the soil Chief Alexander Eze (Ezeity}, who had just in 1934 completed his standard four (Std. 4), and was in 1935 sent from St. Theresa’s Catholic Mission, Nsukka to be the first Cathecal Teacher of the school.
The site of the school was later transferred from Eke Umunko to a portion of land along the Old Enugu/Nsukka Road, the portion which had since been retrieved by Amafor people, and which has since been partitioned, sold and or shared among Chief Silas Ugwu-Nwokolo, the principal seller and Chief Basil Ugwuanyigbo, Marcel Odoke (Anibuodi) and Anthony Oka (Ojijieme), and James Asogwa.  From this portion or site, the school was later further transferred to Afor Umunko market site where since it has remained till date.  Also inclusive among the early teachers in Umunko, were Basil Nwugwunwarua of Ekwegbe, John Nwike of Amagodo village Umunko, Simon Ezugwu etc.  (Onubuleze, 1983).
It should be noted that prior to the establishment of any school in Umunko, Christianity was already on the ground in Umunko; and before even Christianity was introduced in Umunko some citizens of Umunko were already Christians.  The first ever-converted Christian in Umunko was Chief Patrtick Odo Agu (Odo Aguogwu).  He was already a Christian before Christianity came to Umunko, and it is on note how he assiduously and untrammeled worked harder to see that Umunko people embraced Christianity, and communally built the multi-purpose building for school, church, meetings, etc.  (Onubuleze, 1983).
The said multi-purpose building used for school, church, meetings and occasions etc. was a product of joint and united efforts of all Umunko Adult Natives financially and otherwise – Traditional Religionists and Christians alike.  According to Chief Odo Ugwu in Kris Onubuleze (1983), during the construction of the school/church block, the natives cooperated, and without their joint efforts, the building should not have been a success.  According to him, it was the natives that provided the sites, the building materials, and moreover, financed the construction of the building from foundation to roofing (Onubuleze, 1983).
Despite all the efforts exerted by the natives, it is interesting to note that on the invitation by the missionaries to the natives for them to send their children to school, the natives became very reluctant to send their children to school to the extent that some of them even accused the missionaries of exploiting them, the natives, of their sons and daughters, hence they branded the missionaries with the name “Onye ocha na amu na Ishi-nne” to mean “the white man that beget children when the children have already grown up.” (Onubuleze, 1983:26).
The people of Umunko at the early stage of their educational development viewed Christianity with its attendant school and style with some degree of skepticism, suspicion and fear.  Christianity as viewed by Kris Onubuleze (1983) came to Umunko community in Western personnel, Western culture, Western philosophy, Western Theology and Western psychology and cultural values like monogamy, institutional celibacy, flowing garments reminiscent of the Roman Toga or of medieval Europe, Western names an d concepts of authority etc. and all these contributed in scaring some natives from joining the missionaries and attending their schools.  
Continuing, Kris Onubuleze (1983:27), viewed Christianity as exhibiting some cultural disregard and subjugation, and social degradation.  He also observed that in revolt, some of the Christians in Umunko especially the opportunists among them in the community, devised means of having their one leg in Christianity and another leg in the African Traditional Religion (ATR), while others unequivocally denounced their membership and or association with the Christian Religion and their schools.  To Chief Lawrence Ugwu (2005:5), “the missionaries on arrival under-rated the Umunko cultural heritage, vandalized and cajoled our ancestral worship, desecrated protective forests and vegetations, introduced divide and rule system in the native courts and polity.”

EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
 The coming of the missionaries according to Chief Ugwu (2005:3) brought with it love, equity, justice, fair play and unity in Umunko.  The missionaries came in with three Bs (BBB): Bibles, Bullets and Business.  With the bible, Umunko were taught about God; bullets were used to bring about colonization through fear and intimidations; and, business brought about trade in Umunko which was used as vehicle of exploitation.
Then education was before based on 3Rs, that is Reading, Writing and Arithmetic, until later when the 3Bs were introduced, and both methods have uncountable impact on the education and development in Umunko community. Umunko, which before had no functional literate indegenes, today has many functional graduates in the varying fields of human endeavour.  According to Chief Ugwu (2005:6), the introduction of UPE in 1955 in the Western Nigeria and 1973 in the old Anambra State of Nigeria marked the explosion of school population and encouraged the recruitment of many teachers, which Umunko is among of the beneficiaries.  It is on record that Umunko had between 1950-1960, only about three trained teachers.  But today, Umunko can boast of many trained teachers and who are variously and gainfully employed.
Notwithstanding the population inadequacy of the community, she achieves what she wants to achieve through adequate attention and educational trainings she gives to her children (Onubuleze, 2005).  As at today, she has produced many men of timber and caliber.  In the words of Chief Lawrence Ugwu (2005:7), “She can today boast of a Chief Magistrate in the person of Chief Kris Onubuleze, and several other lawyers, sound educationists, a Chief Medical Consultant and Neuro-Surgeon in the person of Prof. Dr. G.O. Eze, and other medical and veterinary doctors and other Para-medical practitioners, engineers of assorted disciplines and majors, business magnates, eminent politicians like Hon. Ig. Ishienyi, Hon. Okey Agu, Hon. Dr, Lasbon Onubuleze; seasoned and renowned administrators, engineers, top business men, scientists, linguists, clergies, Reverend Fathers, and other religiosities, technicians and artisans of repute, men of civility, etc.”
SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT IN UMUNKO
 “For any society to be stable, it must have sound social, economic, political and educational systems.  The absence or inadequacy of these systems in any society will bring woes, rancour, disunity, anarchy, character assassination and battered economy in that society.  In very severe cases, it may even lead to extra judicial human killings, kidnappings etc.  Such phenomena can never bring meaningful development in any society.  (Frank Agbowo (2005:1).
The Social Sphere – Umunko people have very high regard for social activities.  Many ceremonies, feast and festivals are celebrated every year, and they spend ostentatiously on them, but because of crumbled economy in the country today, little attention is being paid to some of the smaller feasts.  A lot is still being spent on death and second burial and funeral ceremonies annually.  Such festivals as masquerade (Odo) festival and New Yam festival are very much attended to.  Birth and naming ceremonies are other areas, which the people do not joke or play with.
 According to Godwin O. Eze (2005:1), socially, Umunko has abundant interactive activities.  Such activities are marriage ceremonies, funeral ceremonies, Odo festivals, Ozo title taking ceremonies, Echi-ukwu, naming of newly born babies, Ama ceremony and “Shujioko: (new yam festivals).  However, with the advent of development in religion and ardent instructions of religious leaders, the center can no-longer hold as it was in the past.  There is now serious impairment and the shadow of the social activities in the recent times has greatly been severed.
Youths of Umunko according to him, are also very much engaged in sporting activities.  During Christmas periods, the youths in all the villages in the community engage in friendly football matches among themselves.  Such friendly matches also extend to their neighbouring communities like Diogbe, Ukopi, Ekwegbe, Ukehe, Umuna etc.  According to oral tradition, during the time of their forefathers, wrestling was very much in vogue especially during the new yam festival (“Ovu-eja”) celebration. Then, people from other five villages in the community and neighbouring communities used to go to Amagodo village for the purpose of wrestling and other social interactions.
The Economy – from time immemorial, agriculture has been the main occupation and economic base of Umunko people. These include also farming, tapping, fishing, hunting, animal rearing etc. Other activities like hunting and fishing are done on part-time basis.  This is, probably, because the father of Umunko by name Dulunankwa was a farmer cum hunter.  So, it is a legacy transmitted to them from their ancestors. 
Although, agricultural activities are carried out in traditional ways with crude implements like hoes and cutlasses, the community has been able to produce enough food for family consumption and for sale in her local market.  However, today the occupation of the people has been diversified.  Many people are today civil servants of different categories.  Others are engaged in businesses of different scopes and dimensions.  Some are petty traders while others are giant merchants, drivers, farmers, etc.  The people of Umunko get their livelihood form these exercises. (Godi Eze: 2005)
According to Eze in the past most of our residential houses have thatched roofs with mud walls, but today, many modern houses with varying architectural designs are being built because of the improved economy and civilization.  The community also has many other infra-structural facilities such as rural electrification, pipe-borne water, Health Center, Secondary Schools, Primary Schools, Civil Centers and established market called “Afor Umunko” where they showcase their agricultural and other economic products.  All these are as a result of the economic awareness and desire for development of the people of the community.
The Political Sphere – In the past, the only system of administration in Umunko was the traditional system of government.  The Council of elders, made up of the clan heads, was the highest organ of administration.  During that time, the community experienced many inter-tribal wars, but in the present dispensation, there are the Town union, Youth’s associations and women organizations, which help to foster developmental activities in the community.  In the modern system of government, Umunko is not left out in Igbo-Etiti Local Government Politics.  (Eze: 2005).
According to him, Umunko ranks the third community as far as the political administration of the Local Government Area is concerned.  He said that their people participate actively in politics today and occupy very important political positions.  In his words, “Umunko community is a politically peace-loving society, and embrace the politics of “No victor, No vanquished”, playing like the players in the football field, not daunted, but fighting to win or lose gallantly”.
From the foregoing, it could be deduced that sound social, economic, political and educational systems bring about even development in a society, which is a change from one stage to another.  In Umunko today, there are a lot of social, economic, religious, political and educational improvements.  As a vibrant and dynamic society, Umunko community is a community to be proud of and emulated, especially in its drive for peace, security and development.


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1 comment:

  1. Please identify who wrote this article. It is a beautifully thorough article. I saw an Odo Festival during my Fulbright in Nigeria in 1991-1992, culminating in a slight rain during each of the 4 stages of the festival over several weeks, the final (departing of the spirit) festival ending in a torrential downpour heralding the end of Harmattan and the beginning of the wet season. I would love to know who wrote this so I can cite you in a paper I'm writing. I am Brent Blair, and my e-mail is bblair@usc.edu

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