I'm asking this because i have noticed that all my friends from opobo cant speak ijaw.is it that igbo displaced the original language or igbo is actually the original language?please this is strictly a language issue.I NEVER CALLED OPOBOS IGBOS.
I'm asking this because i have noticed that all my friends from opobo cant speak ijaw.is it that igbo displaced the original language or igbo is actually the original language?please this is strictly a language issue.I NEVER CALLED OPOBOS IGBOS.
Some Nigerian tribes have similar languages and culture, but they are not the same. That is why not all those belonging to Igbo or other tribe can understand people from this same tribe, but from other locations. That is one reason why English has united Nigeria. Otherwise, there would be no way for Nigerians to understand each other as there are over 500 languages spoken on the territory of this country. READ ALSO: Culture shock in Nigeria - Ijaw people throw their newborns right into the river! Is that right? here https://ask.naij.com/culture/culture-shock-in-nigeria-ijaw-people-throw-their-newborns-right-into-the-river-is-that-right-i23525.html.
I perused the Ibani website in the past, but didn’t assimilate the Ottam angle of the history, I must admit.
One could see why the modern Ijaw had always insisted that the Igbo people of Ndoki were ancestrally Ijaw. It appears to be the only way to achieve a wholesome Ijaw Bonny history as the documented Ibani account of the Ottam people would have gone contrary to any other assertions. Many people were surprised when an educated Ibani son like Hon. Dakuku Peterside said he's Igbo. Bonny/Ibani history is much deeper than most people think. Thanks for the link.
I don't believe there's anything confusing about my statement, but I do believe we are not on the same page. You seem to want to talk about the boundaries of Asaland, while I was only highlighting the use of 'bu' in local speech. Anyway, the Asa can be found in Abia (Ukwa West LGA) and Rivers (Obigbo urban and surrounding communities).
[quote author=abagoro post=27871391]
There is distinct Asa homeland which is Ukwa west LGA in Abia State that has boundary with Omuma and Etche in Rivers State, Ugwunagbo and Ukwa East(Ndoki) in Abia while they own farmlands alongside Ndoki and Etche at Obigbo in Rivers State. Asa is very rich in crude oil. Owaza reknowned for their oil wealth is in Asaland.[/quote The same Owaza that Ndoki people said to be part of them, Asa did not start and end in Owaza it gose beyound and covers a large area.From your statment it looks your sayin that Ndoki are also Asa because that has been what i'v know about them for many years.
There is distinct Asa homeland which is Ukwa west LGA in Abia State that has boundary with Omuma and Etche in Rivers State, Ugwunagbo and Ukwa East(Ndoki) in Abia while they own farmlands alongside Ndoki and Etche at Obigbo in Rivers State. Asa is very rich in crude oil. Owaza reknowned for their oil wealth is in Asaland.
I don't know about their history and origin, nor how distinct their speech is from Ngwa and Ndoki. What I do know is that a distinct Asa identity apparently exists. There may be historical explanations for the Asa place-names in Ngwa, Etche and Ndoki which you pointed out. Just as there could be a historical explanation for an 'Ikwerre' place-name in Etche. Maybe migration. Maybe isolation and Ngwanization/Ndokinization of Asa groups by Ngwa/Ndoki groups pushing into what was originally Asa lands. I don't know.
In any case, Asa identity (outside the Asa place-names within the neighbouring groups) is real, and they do have a homeland, south and west of Ngwaland as can be seen in the map below (from "A Study of the Slave and Palm Produce Trade amongst the Ngwa-Igbo of Southeastern Nigeria" by J.N. Oriji).
Perhaps you could find useful information about this Asa subethnicity on this Asa website: http://www.adu-usa.org/
Unless my geography and ethnography of that region is inaccurate, Asa and Ndoki are distinct groups from the Ngwa, and their territories are south of Ngwa, making Ngwa an interior group relative to Asa and Ndoki. That is what I meant.
It appears however that you do not recognise the existence of a distinct Asa sub-ethnicity.
The write-up isn't available for the time being. I wanted to strengthen the chronology with more research, so I took it down for re-editing. I actually managed to successfully get the research done, but never got around to actually re-editing the document. I guess I could get back to it all once my schedule frees up, but for the time being I'm much more interested in dispelling falsehoods via discourse with willing Ijo.
Just so you're aware though, the write-up is not all-inclusive. It primarily focuses on the controversy concerning inter-relations during the formative years, and not the later years of the established kingdom, as I feel that has been extensively treated by the academia.
What Deltagiant sourced is a post from an old discussion here on NL. The quoted post was not the original post I wanted to make in that discussion. Firstly, the information presented is not very detailed, but rather it is cursory at best (and in my opinion, it is insufficient for a holistic understanding). Secondly, due to the nature of the discourse at the time, I did not present the information as I originally intended. To avoid what I felt was any unnecessary back-and-forth between myself and anyone else (Igbo, Ijo or otherwise), I resolved to present the information as a 'joint-founding' sort of deal. Information and the history between the communities in the area is much more comprehensive than that.
Radoillo, the issues I discussed in the write-up focused primarily on the nationalistic approaches to Bonny history. I discussed the controversy and national tug-of-war politics between Igbo and Ijo over Bonny ethnic identity. Then I focused on the one-sidedness with which Ijo people have been treating Bonny history. Since the re-authorization attempts that began in the 1930s, Bonny-Ijo history has been told as if Bonny existed in isolation from the time of its establishment, up to the 20th century. I went over the different re-authorizations and touched on some of the logistical and chronological problems they created.
I then discussed the traditions of the communities in the Ngwa-Asa-Ndoki axis, in respect to the recognized traditions concerning early Bonny settlers (both the early 20th century traditions and the 1930 re-authorizations). In comparison to the 1930 and onward re-authorizations, the traditions collected from the Ngwa, Asa, Ndoki and Bonny in the early 20th century independently corroborated each other, and they did so surprisingly well. The 1930 re-authorizations and the re-authorizations following broke that corroboration and essentially helped foster the national controversy that we see today.
Needless to say, it was a long write-up.
Hmmm. Interesting. I have read elsewhere where Alagbariye was described as an 'Ibo hunter'. Where exactly in Igboland I wasn't able to find out. I assumed that if there were Igbos present in Bonny in the early stages of its history, they would be Ndoki, rather than Ngwa who are found farther in the interior.
But I really don't know much about the history of the Ngwa-Ndoki-Ibani area.
Again, this is interesting. Thank you.
I Googled and found this piece on Ngwa-Bonny relations by ChinenyeN. Very interesting.
According to Ngwa traditions, an Ngwa man remembered as Okobo had two sons, recollected as Agba (said to be short for Agbayiegbe) and Okwuleze. Agba was a known hunter, and it is said that one day he headed toward the coast, on a hunting expedition. He returned days later to report that he came across a place with lots of birds, most notably curlew (Igoro-omirima, Igoloma, Ugoloma, depending on where in Ngwa/Ndoki one is from). Agba and some members of his family and some of his kinsmen later on then decided to migrate over and settle there. Some of Agba's family members though (being some sons, his brother [Okwuleze] and his [Okwuleze's] family), and other kinsmen didn't migrate, and instead remained where they were, at what is now known as Umuagbayi (Umu Abayi in Rivers State). Ijo people though, say Alagbariye was from Central Delta and that his name is Ijo. *shrug*
Now, here are some interesting things to note (and also infer)
#1. Umuagbayi traditions are silent about Ijo contact. They don't speak of any Ijo migration.
#2. G.I. Jones, the European man who did the most thorough work on the various groups/clans in the area, also notes similar, by stating: Both Ijo and Ibo traditions are silent about any contact between the two groups, apart from the Azuogo Ndokki, and Kalabari legends. - Trading States of the Oil Rivers
#3. Bonny traditions on migration route admit to Ijo coming in contact with already established Ngwa (Igbo) in what is now Ndoki, some of whom they then traveled with to Bonny.
#4. Referencing #'s 2 & 3 above, and in correlating Ijo and Ngwa accounts, we can see that Ijo migrants likely came in contact with Agba [Agbayiegbe] and co. (who were likely already en route toward the place with lots of curlew [Igoro-omirima] birds) and likewise joined them.
#5. No one seems to know the meaning of Alagbariye (or if they know, they aren't saying), but one thing that's interesting to note is that in Bonny/Ijo traditions, Alagbariye is said to be a prominent hunter (confirmation to Umuagbayi-Ngwa traditions) and a chief, and interestingly enough, "chief" in Ijo is ala (chief/leader).
#6. Seeing as to how the meaning or history behind Alagbariye's name is more or less unknown to the Ijo, and noting that the Ijo expression for "chief/leader" is ala, we can likely infer that the Ijo, in coming into contact with Agbayiegbe and co., must have referred to Agbayiegbe as Ala Agbayiegbe (chief/leader Agbayiegbe), as he is indeed the one who was leading the migration toward Bonny (as oral traditions recount), and as Bonny and Ngwa oral traditions further state, he became the chief/clan-head once the migrants settled at Bonny; the founder.
#7. Overtime, there maybe could have been either a corruption in speech (as there typically tends to be in things like this) and/or some error in transcription when Europeans recorded the oral accounts of the natives (as we are all familiar with, i.e. Sirie [Siriye], Onitsha [Onicha], Okrika [Wakrike], Bonny [Ubani/Ibani], etc.), which is likely responsible for Ala Agbayiegbe (chief/leader Agbayiegbe) being either eventually spoken as Ala-Agbariye and/or eventually recorded variously by Europeans as Alagbariye, Alagbara, Alagba-n-ye. Both [the speech corruption and the European transcriptions] seem equally likely.
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So, basically, attempts to match Bonny/Ijo and Ngwa oral traditions seems to indicate that Alagbariye (Ala-Agbayiegbe) was an Ngwa man, as Bonny oral tradition says.
Now that we are on this subject, I was looking for information on Ngwa-Bonny relations online. I have previously heard vague remarks about Ngwa playing some role in the founding of Bonny. During my search, I stumbled on a Nairaland thread. It appears you had written something on that. I was unable to read it though. Apparently it had been taken down from Scribd (or was it ResearchGate?).
Do you mind going over some of the issues you discussed in that write-up? I'm really interested.
What would you like to reason on? Perhaps you have yet to deal with someone with enough knowledge and understanding about the subject-matter to reason with. You have yet to deal with me, and I don't discuss like most others here on NL. So, would you still like to reason on Ibani, because I'd be interested.
The question will then be, do you yourself have enough knowledge and understanding about the subject-matter to be reasoned with as well, because reasoning is not a one-way street. Treating it as such [a one-way street] only creates an argument where there need not be one, and I'm not interested in arguments. There's enough of that wasteful nonsense on NL as it is.
I'm not so inclined to call 'bu' a northern Igbo peculiarity, especially when Ekpeye, Etche, Ikwere, Asa, Ngwa and Ndoki communities natively use 'bu' instead of 'wu'. This is the entire southern end of the Igbo-speaking region, and these communities have been pretty good about preserving their speech. It seems highly unlikely that 'bu' is a peculiarity from northern Igbo which they later learned.
Asa generally speaks the same type of Igbo that is spoken within the Mbaise-Etche-Ngwa axis, with its own nuances of course. Parts of Ndoki share ancestral affinity with Asa. These parts speak similarly with Asa and Ngwa, but with some Ndoki peculiarities (ie. the use of 'wu' as opposed to 'bu' for 'is'). In general, Ndoki shares linguistic affinity with Opobo, but the main Ndoki-type dialect is spoken by the Umueze Ndoki clan.
Chiwude, I say you're stressing for nothing. Bonny traditions have been recorded, Ndoki traditions have been recorded, Asa traditions have been recorded and Ngwa traditions have been recorded. These traditions corroborate each other well, and they were documented prior to the re-authorization efforts that started in the 1930s. So, despite what you may view as the Ijo 'national agenda', and despite the socio-politics that color Bonny traditions now, historical documentation will not change. In fact, thanks to the Portuguese and the British, we can find historical corroboration on Bonny going as far back as the pre-Grand Bonny days/pre-Bonny Kingdom days to the end of the 20th century (Palm Oil Trade). Unlike many West African culture-groups, Bonny has been uniquely favored in this respect.
This historical documentation (which can easily be pulled) is exactly why no one has any reason to stress. However, if you're still stressing it, then I take it that you're a nationalistic Igbo. If that's the case (you being a nationalistic Igbo), then you're in for an eternity of stress, because there will never be a time in which the nationalistic Igbo and nationalistic Ijo agendas will not be at odds. That is simply the nature of the politics in the area. If you're looking to not stress, then simply remember that documentation isn't going anywhere. Also, judging from what you've posted on the thread so far, I can confidently say that you're not familiar with much of the traditions and documentation concerning Bonny.
Yes, part of the grand design to severe the Igbo ties is not unconnected with the long kingship tussle that greeted Opobo at the demise of her last Amanyanabo. As we all know, there was a gang up by some chieftaincy houses of Ijaw origins in Opobo to unseat the Jajas. But after 30 years of legal battle, the Nigerian Supreme Court, on the 23rd of April, 2003, ruled that “Opobo is not a traditional town as we know it. It is a Settlement founded by King Jaja, and remains his estate and that of his descendants” Led by the legal giant, the late Chief G.C.M Onyiuke (SAN), the Jajas' authority over Opobo was permanently signed and sealed.
It was after the landmark ruling that the family established a foundation in honor of their patriach and quickly appointed Anyim Pius Anyim, the then Senate President, as the life Chairman. Thus, the success or otherwise of de-tonguing Opobo - from Igbo to Ijoid Ibani - will largely depend on the acceptance of the Jaja dynasty. Opobo was founded on Igbo language. And King Dandeson Douglas Jaja, the man I saw at Peter Obi’s farewell gathering at Awka, does not appear like someone who would play with history and tradition.
Opobo is one settlement that will be difficult for revisionists to undo as all documents signed by King Jaja himself on behalf of his estate were well secured. And which helped the surviving off-springs reclaim their father’s settlement in the Supreme Court. Therefore, it is only the Jaja family that can determine the cultural identity of Opobo.
In August 2014, at the Elekahia Stadium, Port Harcourt, Hon. Dakuku Peterside representing Opobo told the “unification” gathering of Ohaneze Ndigbo that “I’m a full blooded Igboman….My town, Opobo, was founded by an Igbo, the mighty King Jaja...”
This is why I say that the true history of the Ibanis have not been given an holistic study. Are you aware that there was an agenda post 1969 to wipe away any Igbo trace in the Niger-Delta. These plans have been going on for almost five decades since the end of the civil war. Currently, it is true that some persons have crafted history by severing the Igbo ties of the Ibani people. We now hear that Okpara Ndoli or Asimini was'nt Igbo but Ijaw. That this man who founded the Bonny monarchy and also cemented the Ottam cultural practice in the Kingdom was actually an Ijaw leader who on his migration from Nembe country founded not only Ibani, but Ndoki land. And that the Ndoki's were originally Ijaws before they were suddenly Igbonized by their hinterland neighbours. To them, every clan who inhabits the sea (east of the Niger) are Ijaws. And that communities in these areas with pockets of Igbo culture and language became Igbonized when the Igbos took charge of the Eastern region. All these and more, have been the gospel we've been hearing all these years.
To be sincere, I'm not trying to confuse you or anyone, but all I did was state the obvious. It is true that the Kalabari, Wakrike and Ibani form a language cluster and that this language cluster align with the Ijaw nationalistic creed. It is also true that the Kalabari man speaks Kalabari, and the Okrika speak Wakrike. Yet, can the same be said about the Ibanis? What native language is spoken in a large chunk of Bonny-Opobo land. And based on the topic of the thread, what language do the people of Opobo speak ? Do they speak Ibani(Ijoid) or do they speak (Igbo) as a native dialect - the language nobody wants to call by it's true name. Hence, giving outsiders a false impression that they speak Ibani - a language (some among them) keep saying their fore-fathers abandoned, which we hear is now being revived.
Chiwude, I think you're a bit in out of your depth on this one and are just making things more complicated than they actually are. The 'situation' (if we can even call it that at all) in Rivers is not that complex. There's really no reason to be worrying about false propaganda, etc. Yes, there is a nationalistic Ijo agenda. No objective person can deny that, but the communities in Rivers state know themselves, and there is no confusion.
Now, let's drop the Naija politics and simplify this. Kalabari, Ibani and Wakirike are three independent culture-groups. You can liken this dynamic to Ngwa, Etche and Ikwere. Just as how we would say that an Ngwa man speaks Ngwa, Etche man speaks Etche, etc. is exactly how we would say that an Ibani man speaks Ibani, a Wakirike man speaks Wakirike, etc. That really is the simple reality of it. You can't go around calling Ibani a 'phantom dialect'. Ibani egere is an identifiable and observable speech form, and calling it a 'phantom dialect' is the direct equivalent of calling Ngwa or Etche or Ikwere 'phantom dialects'. I hope you see where I'm going with this and also where you went wrong. Don't needlessly confuse yourself and others over this topic.
Honestly though, if I were to be candid, I would just say that you are not as conversant as you believe you are concerning the dynamics and histories of the groups in the now Rivers state. If you truly were well-informed on the subject, you wouldn't have made some of the statements you have so far made in this thread (many of which have already been thoroughly addressed on NL before, you can search them up).
The Ngwa migration into Bonny was at about the time the Ijaw chronicled the founding of the Island, viz 14th century. The commencement of slave trade and Bonny being an export port of Igbo slaves, could have blunted the presence of Ngwa Igbos on the island.
This said, it’s also reasonable to ask why Okpara Ndoli took instead the title of Amanyanabo. On the other hand, we may never know whether the ‘Opara’ was actually the kingship title Opara Ndoli held.
As it is also difficult to ascertain when ‘Amanyanabo’ title came into existence in the emerging Bonny order than the guess work which has has become the official stand of the kingdom. However, it would be safe to say that there were two groups of Igbo speakers in Bonny at the time. Slaves/freed slaves and those of Ngwa lineage.
You made a plausible hypothesis on the name 'Ubani'. You may want to visit Ngwasocialclub.org
Also, one cannot fully Isolate an Ngwa connection in relation to Okpara Ndoli. Since it was evident that the Ndokis and Ngwas share a common boundary. In addition, the name Ubani as a typical surname among the Ngwas and Ndokis came to prominence precisely during the period when the Ibani's monopolized the oil trade with the Royal Niger Company. Hence, It was evident that the middle men (from the Igbo hinterlands) who supplied oil to King Jaja were of Ndoki and Ngwa stock. So, it was a thing of pride by these people who dwelled along the Imo river to name their children after the great Bonny (Ibani) kingdom.
No, I understood your points quite well in that post especially in the aspect of marriage prohibition. That was why I put across the kind of questions any curious mind would like to get answers to.
The history of Bonny as they relate to the Igbo hinterland is a different issue which I’m very much interested in. Most Ngwa will dispute the assertion that their history in Bonny was as a result of marital relationship. They’re of the opinion that Opara Ndoli or Opara Azumini was an Ngwa leader. This said, the Azumini website of Abia state has an opinion on this; that Opara Ndoli’s real name was Asikunuma and an Ijaw leader.
So, In the first place, how did he acquire the name Opara Ndoli that later became an artificial one?
As we all know, oral tradition is subject to embellishment. And which side are we to believe?
Another thing striking to me is the prevalence of the name ‘Ubani’ amongst the Ngwa in Abia state.
So based on my write up, I'm actually basing my understanding of the Nigerian concept of a fantom Ibani which has been termed an 'Ijaw' dialect and Igbani(Ibani) which is the original Igbo dialect spoken in Bonny-Opobo and related to Ndoki. Now, you should be able to decipher what I mean by Ibani a fanthom Ijaw dialect spoken in Kalabari and Igbani the real Igbo dialect spoken in Bonny. Mind you the concept of an Eastern Ijo is only but a political propaganda that would soon get busted when it loses it relevance.
Concerning that YouTube video, I was listening to see where I would hear the typical Umueze-Ndoki clan dialect, because that is the sort of Igbo Opobo speaks, but I wasn't hearing much of that archetypical Ndoki. In fact, that man used a lot of expressions that makes me believe that he wasn't speaking truly speaking Opobo.
One important thing about Bonny-Opobo people is that they cherish their lands, culture and language. If you ask the Bonny man his tribe, he will simply tell you Igbani. And when you ask an Opobo man, he'll tell you Opobo or Opobian. Yet, they see themselves as blood brothers. Their cultural festival (Nwaotam and the boat regatta) and their Igbo dialect is their most unifying factor. In time, I see them creating a distinct ethnic nationality that is distinct from the Igbo and Ijaw hegemony. My thoughts though!
If this is undiluted Opobo, then I don't think it is at all different from the Igbo one would hear in the major cities throughout southern Igboland (SCI). That on its own is enough reason to be suspicious of its undiluted Opobo-ness. Is there any explanation for why he kept saying 'm' for 'me/I' instead of the characteristic Ndoki/Igbani 'ikem'? I thought that was a bit odd.
I heard many years ago that the Igbo Bible was even written in the Igbani-Igbo dialect. Though some of our Ijaw friends would never accept that Igbani has/had anything to do with Igbo language.
Concerning your friend, why would his Igbo speaking community forbid non Igbos from marrying in the community even as they claim not to be Igbos themselves? Does it make any sense? Could it be they're of the stock of the original Umu-Ubani Ngwa co-founders of Bonny and indirectly hiding it as a result of the war?
So I watched the video, and based on the little information I have on Bonny-Opobo Igbo and Ndoki Igbo, I don't think the man was speaking Opobo-Bonny Igbo. He appears to be speaking SCI. I also had an Opobo friend when I was in PH who spoke fluent SCI. The Ikwerre are also able to communicate fluently in SCI in addition to speaking their own dialect which most Igbos (but not all) have problems understanding.