Nigeria (Blank NEWS Online) –:
His Highness, Onihe Odimegwu Nwanze, the Okakwu of Oko-Amakom, Elders and Elites of uwaile (Isi-ani), quarters Oko-Amakom deem it necessary to debunk all the distorted stories and put the following facts straight and clear before the Author, Chief B N Awasia, and the general public, especially the Oko indigenes.
That Chief B N Anwasia work on the History of Oko was a distortion of facts in the History of Oko and mythical which may mislead Oko indigenes and future generation of the kingdom.
That Oko kingdom was not founded by Odeaja alone but with many other people like Uwaile (Isi-ani), Umu-ogwu, Umu-okpai, Inyele, Igbulie and Umu-Ngwu, as he falsely wrote in his book to suit his claimed lineage.
The self acclaimed historian, Chief B N Anwasia fabricated stories have forced us to write a brief History of uwaile Isi-ani, Quarters in Oko kingdom.
That Uwaile Isi-ani people of Igala extraction under the leadership of prince Ajor from a royal ruling house in Uwaile quarters in Idah, Kogi State sailed down to a virgin forest by the west bank of river Niger, a settlement which they named Ajor-Oko meaning Ajor farm/settlement situated by Ajabukwu and Akpu- umunnenabo area in 16th century. For clarity and record purposes, the settlement was named after prince Ajor, the head/leader of the Uwaile-Isi-ani people in the settlement as a mark of respect.
This settlement, much later with the arrival of other groups like Odeaja children, Umu-ogwu, Inyele, Umu-okpai, Igbulie and Umu-Ngwu was jointly and unanimously named and called Oko as a clan.
That Akor title(kingship) is not a prerogative of Odeaja children alone as written by chief B N Anwasia because Uwaile Isi-ani people of Igala origin from Idah also came with their royal staff of office ( Ofor-Eze) to the settlement named Ajor-Oko before the arrival of Odeaja children and other groups to the settlement later jointly called Oko. And the Author wrote in his book that the children of Odeaja became jealous of the prosperity of Uwaile(Isi-ani) people because they nearly outnumbered the children of Odeaja. They were also wealthier because they owned many fishing lakes. And that their immediate aim of ambition was to contest for kingship. Hence, the children of Odeaja secretly planned and executed mass killing of Uwaile Isi-ani people. This is a good evidence that Uwaile isi-ani is a royal lineage of Igala origin who came down to the settlement later called Oko with their royal staff of office (Ofor-Eze).
The following is a list of kings/Akors in Oko kingdom till date:
1. EZE ONU – OKO-ANALA
2. EZE OSUME – OKO-ANALA
3. EZE IDUU – OKO-ANALA
4. EZE EZEJIOFOR – OKO-OGBELE
5. EZE ANOCHIE – (UWAILE ISI-ANI) OKO-AMAKOM
6. EZE OGBOME (UWAILE ISI-ANI) OKO-AMAKOM
7. EZE ODILI (IDOKONMADU) OKO-AMAKOM
8. EZE EDEMUZOR (IDOKONMADU) OKO-AMAKOM
9. EZE IFEAKWAZIA (IDOKONMADU) OKO-AMAKOM
10. EZE OGWUMIKE – OKO-OGBELE
11. EZE OJUGBANA – OKO-ANALA
12. EZE OSAKWE – OKO-ANALA
13. EZE ANYAFULU – OKO-ANALA
14. EZE NWOHA – OKO- OGBELE
15. EZE EGBUNE – OKO-ANALA
16. EZE ATISELE – OKO-OGBELE
17. EZE EMEAGWALI – OKO-OGBELE
18. EZE IJEOMA – OKO-OGBELE
19. EZE OLISA I – OKO-OGBELE
20. EZE ANICHE – OKO-ANALA
21. EZE CHUKWUMA – (UWAILE ISI-ANI) OKO-AMAKOM
22. EZE OPUTA I – OKO-ANALA
23. EZE OLISA II OKO-OGBELE
24. EZE OSITA I – OKO-ANALA
The above list of the past and present kings in Oko kingdom has exposed and proved, the Author self acclaimed Historian, Chief B N Anwasia wrong in his claims that only Odeaja children are entitled to kingship in Oko kingdom.
That it was the Odeaja children and other groups that met Uwaile (Isi-ani) people at the settlement called Ajor-Oko (Ajor farm/settlement) situated by Ajabukwu/Akpu umunnenabo. This fact was made clear when the Author mentioned in his book that it appeared Uwaile Isi-ani people were living there before Odeaja children and others came to the settlement. That there was never a time in the history of Oko that Uwaile Isi-ani, children were admitted by Odeaja children into their fold. Uwaile Isi-ani has been an independent royal lineage, Quarters and autonomous before Oko was founded as a clan.
It is interesting to note that Uwaile Isi-ani people sailed down from Idah to the settlement with their royal staff of office (Ofor-Eze), titles, festivals, Burial ceremonies, shrines, all that are needed in a kingdom before the Odeaja children and others came to live with them side by side. All what Uwaile Isi-an- people were doing with Odeaja children and others were Joint ceremonies like Egwugwu festivals as people of the same origin and neighbours of the same kingdom in accordance with the custom and tradition of Oko.
To put the record straight, the Umu Odeaja and others met and Joined Uwaile Isi-ani quarters at the Ajor-Oko settlement on Afor –Ofor day during Ofor festival and they were happily received as people from the same Igala kingdom. But then the issue of knowing the actual date for the Ofor festival (Ogaigai) came up. The Umu Odeaja and others claimed that the actual date was adopted and announced before they left Idah that Uwaile quarters left Idah long time ago. But the Uwaile quarters disagreed and insisted on the date by their calculation. Hence this mixed up in the veracity for the actual date for the festival caused the Uwaile quarters celebrating the festival nine(9) days (Oge-ato) after the other Oko communities have celebrated it.
However, after a long time the whole Oko clan adopted and agreed on a common and general date for the Ofor festival. It is pertinent to mention here that Uwaile quarters willingly agreed on the accord because they suffered economically in hosting other Oko communities when they were celebrating it on a different date.
That Uwaile Isi-ani lakes were never confisticated by Odeaja children any time as written by Chief B N Anwasia. But Uwaile Isi-ani people out of magnanimity willingly donated their lakes for general use by Oko people. However, the reason behind this kind gesture was due to financial difficulty in raising fund for the land case between Oko and Umu Ezenei, quarters in Asaba. Hence the big lakes being rich in accommodating fishes were often sold in order to raise fund for the land case. Although, at times the lakes were fished during Ulor and Ofor festivals.
That during the Uwaile Isi-ani massacre by the Odeaja children, some of them that escaped fled to Ogwashi-uku, Asaba, Onitsha, Oko in Anambra State is axiomatic but Uwaile Isi-ani people still relate with them till date as people of the same origin. We thank Chief B N Anwasia for reminding Uwaile Isi-ani children of our bad past experience but no regret for the loss of lives and we can not question God since it was just part of History of our great lineage.
That there was never a time in oko History that Amakoji, was a name of a title Odeaja gave his son as wrongly wrote by the Author, Chief B N Anwasia, a self acclaimed Historian who believes in fabrication of stories for cheap popularity. Amakom community means Amalgamation of the five quarters that make up Amakom. They are Uwaile (Isi-ani), Idokonmadu, Umu-Okpai, Umu-Ogwu and Inyele. This is a known fact in Oko History till date.
For History and records purposes, that in as much as Uwaile Isi-ani believes in unity of Oko and we are enjoying good neighbourliness with Odeaja children and others, Uwaile Isi-ani quarters don’t want to join issues with anybody, family, quarter or community in Oko kingdom based on what Chief B N Anwasia falsely wrote in his book to suit his lineage, that “OKO” originated from Ojo-Oko which is not true. But if the truth must be told Oko originated from Ajor-Oko meaning Ajor farm/settlement which was the name of the settlement occupied by Uwaile Isi-ani people before Odeaja children and others came to the same settlement that was later generally and unanimously called and named Oko.
For clarity and records purposes, the settlement was named after the Head/Leader of Uwaile Isi-ani people, PRINCE AJOR who was denied his installation as the Attah of Idah by the king makers because of his deformity caused by the lost of one of his eyes and this accident happened when he was playing with a fishing implement (Ndudu) at a tender age in Idah. So prince Ajor felt cheated and decided to leave Idah and establish his own kingdom by the west bank of the river Niger.
For the sake of history and fact findings, the Author, Chief B N Anwasia in his book wrote and made Oko indigenes and the world over to understand that Odeaja returned to Idah from Ani-Oto and did not reach Ajabukwu (Akpu-Umunnenabo) or the settlement where his children met Uwaile Isi-ani people called Ajor-Oko before it was unanimously proclaimed, named and called OKO by all the different groups that founded Oko as a kingdom or clan. Hence, it is erroneous and unacceptable for the Author, Chief B N Anwasis to write or claim that Odeaja founded Oko when Odeaja himself did not reach or know the settlement that was later named and called Oko. It is interesting at this juncture to note that Chief B N Anwasia a self acclaimed Oko Historian is only trying to distort facts and steal a glorious moment in Oko History.
However, we the people of Uwaile(Isi-ani), want to remind Chief B N Anwasia and his cohorts that Uwaile people were called Uwaile Isi-ani as a mark of honour for being the first settlers on Oko land. Hence we advise the Author of the History of Oko, Chief B N Anwasia to withdraw his books on the History of Oko out of circulation because of the fabricated stories in the book which may mislead Oko people and the future generation and this can encourage crisis and disunity in the kingdom.
We also understand that Chief B N Anwasia did these fabrications in his Associateship Certificate of Education project in view of an award of Advance Certificate of Education (ACE). We are happy and congratulate him for his success in obtaining the Advance Certificate of Education (ACE) with these distorted facts in his book on the History of Oko Kingdom. It is also interesting to note that Chief B N Anwasia real lineage in Oko History is allegedly still in doubt.
Finally, we challenge the Author to launch his book in the palace of the Akor of Oko or any other venue where the sons and daughters of Oko kingdom will be invited to know the accurate History of Oko kingdom.
*His Highness, Onihe Odimegwu Nwanze is the Okakwu of Oko-Amakom
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