September 16, 2021
The people that make up Ogba Egbema Ndoni Local Government Area, ONELGA, share a common historical origin: a triple heritage. These include the Igbo, Benin and the Yoruba heritage, this resulting from the different waves of migration of the different groups that make up the present day ONELGA. Split in the middle it spells, ONE LGA. Indeed, our people realize the historical fact that they are ONE people. Ogba ,Egbema and the Ndonis have common history dating back to many centuries. This has been strengthened by intermarriages and internal migrations in the recent past.
The people of Ogbaland i.e. the Ogba migrated from the ancient Benin kingdom. Some had previously migrated from Yoruba land. Yoruba names such as Okoya, Onosi-Ogun, Akogun, Olowu, Olori, Idu, Egba, Ede, and Ake etc are all found in Ogbaland. The Ogba kingdom is ruled by an Oba (king) just like in Benin and Yoruba land. The great legends of Ogba are Oguola (the colossus) Akalaka and Oba Okoya.
Lets pause for a moment and reflect. How come there is Ogba in Lagos state (Ikeja) in Edo State, (Ogba market) and finally Ogba in Rivers State? There is more to this than meets the eye.
History has it that Lagos i.e EKO was founded by an Edo Prince, Ado.
The Edo, Eko ( Lagos) and Ogba trajectory is illustrated in these three questions spoken in the Ogba dialect.
EKO lo kije je?Where, yonder, are you going to?Ndala ede idebe nmiya OGORO ya?Where did you keep the palm wine?EDO lo kidebe wheni ya nmu nigi?Where in this place, have you kept what I gave to you?
Like a fabric holding these string of words is the igbo root words like ije je ( go, journey) nmiya or nmaya ( wine) and nmu ( I, me)
Around the beginning of the second millennium, the Ogba left ancient Benin kingdom journeying through the Niger, the Orashi and the Ethiope-Sombreiro Rivers. Next of kin to Ogba, the Ekpeyes trace their ancestry to Akalaka, one of the Legends of Ogbaland. The Ikwerres call him Akaluka.
In their trade dealings with the Kalabaris (Ijaws) the Igbos and the Abohs, the medium of exchange apart from the Barter system, evolved from the cowry, the ivory and the manila introduced by the white merchants (Europeans). Beneath the land of the ONELGA lie huge deposits of oil and an almost inexhaustible volume of Gas-Untapped.
The three Multinational oil giants, Shell, Agip and TotalfinaElf have been in Onelga for decades. According to the NNPC statistical information Bulletin, between 1986 and 1989 alone, ONELGA alone accounted for more than 20.83% of the total production of 854,2994,540 barrels for the old Rivers State. During the same period, Onelga accounted for 38.75% of the old Rivers State of the Thirty nine billion and forty six million, eight hundred and eighty eight thousand standard cubic meters gas, the highest figure also. Out of the proven reserve of 197 trillion standard cubic meters of natural Gas concentrated in the Niger Delta region, the Ogba Egbema Ndoni Local Government Area alone is contributing more than 46.6% of the entire feedstock of gas for the NLNG project in Bonny Island. What’s more, Onelga supplies the entire gas feedstock to the Eleme Petrochemical Plant in Rivers State.
Now how about taking a vacation and rediscovering those long forgotten routes. Lets start with an exploratory Canoe ride from Ellah Lakes (Obrikom.) to kreigani or shall we navigate the Ikiri River (Sombrero) connecting the Akabuta and Obiezimini axis. There is an ancient Benin legend connected with the name Ikiri . (See Sir Francis Ellah’s Book, Ali Ogba; History of Ogbaland) Here, was once a thriving center for trade and commerce, then called The Kalabari Beach, the old trade center and one of the ancient gateway to ogbaland and entire Onelga.
A weekend trip to the sandy banks of the Orashi River at Ndoni or the beautiful sights and sands of River Niger at Ndoni or Igbogene, a border town very close to Omoku, connecting Delta and Rivers State, will be very exciting. There are numerous investment / Tourist potentials out there.
There are a lot of beautiful Hotels and Resorts in ONELGA, Check out Krisdera Hotel and Resorts, Royal Fortress and lots more. You are welcome to ONELGA.
ALI OGBA ;History of Ogbaland by Sir Francis Ellah
CREDITS: Google, TOTAL E& P, NLNG, ENI Nigeria, SHELL Nigeria, Nigerian Tide Newspaper
Francis Amirize is an entrepreneur, social engineer and voice-over artiste. He is blessed with his wife, Benedicta Amirize and they have three brilliant and lovely children.