Somebody told me that PH is not an igboland while the real landlords speak, hear and bear igbo names, i mean the IKWERRE people.
Somebody told me that PH is not an igboland while the real landlords speak, hear and bear igbo names, i mean the IKWERRE people.
Traditionally Port Harcourt belonged to Igbo tribe, more precisely to its Ikwerre group, which occupied this land and was actively engaged in farming. The original name of the city is Ụ́gwụ́ Ọ́chá, which is an Ibgo name. Later on in 70s of the last century during the conflicts over 2 million of Igbos got killed and many of their properties in Port Harcourt were confiscated and the people were made to run away from their home.
Must we seriously rehash this issue over and over and over again? The fact of the matter is that Port Harcourt developed largely from farmlands owned by the coastal town of Diobu as well as some fishing settlements of Borokiri Okrika. The term 'Iguocha' is just a name used to describe that whole coastal area/zone. It is not a settlement, just part of Diobu land. I don't understand what the difficulty is in understanding this, and why people must continue harping on this actually non-existent boundary issue (non-existent, because the actual people concerned aren't even having this discussion; its always got to be an outsider trying to contest this topic).
sir i appreciate your answer but it raises more questions than it answers,
firstly regarding the meaning of iguocha you say it means white cliffs and you say this with such categorical certainty that every other igbo person should agree sadly there has been a lot of disagreement about is it iguocha or igwe ocha. the other question is this was iguocha a settlement??. i will like to learn more but all the evidence seems to suggest that it was not. there is no history of forced or voluntary evacuation . regarding diobu the port of port harcourt is quite a distance from diobu closer to borokiri and in an area that cannot be completely claimed by ikwerre people.
finally i do not understand your point about lugard.
a)did he ever visit port harcourt? i do not know maybe you do
b)even more importantly what happened before he wrote down the name
a lot of people have come here claiming that the original name of port harcourt was iguocha.
now we seem to agree that this is incorrect and it was just uninhabited cliffs that were known as iguocha all the surrounding towns and villages of diobu rebisi borokiri,abuloma etc already had names which were not iguocha. is this the case or do you have a different version of events.
finally sir it is my practice to always ask HOW DO YOU KNOW?? it is not an insult please tell me
If any name is new, it would be "Igwe Ocha" and Port Harcourt. Iguocha though, has its place in antiquity, referring particularly to the coastline/coastal zone. It has nothing to do with white people. I've not heard "Ugwu ocha" before. Who calls it that?
By the way, Aribisala, I hope you're not taking the term "ocha" to particularly mean "white man". It actually doesn't. Ocha just means white/clean/dazzling (all referring to the emissive/reflective, or shining nature of light. It's an adjective. Coastal zones/coastlines have a particularly dazzling/glistening nature.
Ugwu ocha does not mean 'White man's hill', it means 'white cliffs', as in the white cliffs near the port of Diobu. It was Frederick Lugard who first wrote down Port Harcourt's name as 'Iguocha'. There was never a port connecting the Igbo people in what is now Port Harcourt, to the rest of the word and 'oyinbo'
in yorubaland today there are many places called oke-oyinbo. oke is up or high and oyinbo is white man but oke-oyinbo would mean white mans hill or something like that. this would usually be an area where the native court and other administrative buildings would be located. i know of at least 5 in different states.
they are small districts not towns and have no real identity.
i struggle to see, though how the word oyinbo or ocha in igbo could have been part of the name of any town or district before the white man's arrival which suggests to me that that part of diobu that became known as igu ocha was either uninhabited or had another name that did not include the word ocha. i make no comment here about whether any previous name if any was in igbo or not but clearly iguocha is a name quite new i.e .not centuries old. compare this with many clearly old villages in port harcourt almost all have their names beginning with the prefix rumu-(there are a few that don't)e.g.eligbam,woji elikahia,ogbunabali which really are add-ons to port harcourt much later but have occupied their locations long before port harcourt was named.it is note worthy that it was the terminal for a rail line for coal and the outlet into the atlantic through which this coal .was exported. diobu about a mile away rapidly developed into a major trading hub which was dominated by igbo traders not of ikwerre origin. the ikwerres were not and are not noted for their entrepreneurial acumen. they are noted for other things. the other thing worth mentioning is there were several riverine ethnic groups occupying many of the waterfronts of what is now port harcourt e.g. okrikas,kalabaris.
whether or not the ikwerres are igbo i don't know but it is clear that by the time of the civil war diobu and that part of port harcout was dominated by igbos who were not ikwerre who were forced to flee because of the war and consequently lost a lot of property. this confirms one thing whether or not the ikwerres are igbo they did not have any qualms about taking over their property and this was justified by rhetoric that revealed deep animosity.in fact another prominent ikwerre son fought on the side of nigeria. i do not believe all of this can be brushed aside by polemics. clearly the matter remains a very raw one for many igbos and this makes if difficult to accept alternative perspectives. i think it is important when presenting ideas that might be hurtful to do this in a way that is sensitive and respectful. above everything we must always respect the igbos no matter what and i hereby express my utmost regard.i do not suggest anyone change their minds but i think all of us need to learn how to listen with tolerance to ideas with which we have a visceral disagreement. that is the only way to live in peace
i dont know if you are from southwest.is ilesha a yoruba town or an ijesa town?is aba an ngwa town or igbo town?is port harcourt an ikwerre town or igbo town?
the indigenous folks in port harcourt are ikwerres who happen to be igbos(like igbos).another 15% is okrika and kalabari who are ijaws(like ijaws)
It can't be "multitude" because the tone arrangement of "Igwe" in reference to "multitude" is LL (low low), while the tone arrangement you hear in "Igwe Ocha" is HH (high high). It also can't be "most high", because the tone arrangement for "Igwe" in reference to "most high" is HM (high mid), or am I mistaking. . .?
Anyway, I know Igwe Ocha by a different name (Igu Ocha). That's the name we have for it, where I'm from, in reference to the actual costal zone. That's also the reason I asked where people got Igwe Ocha from, because I hadn't come across that name, until I read this topic. So, until recently, I've always known Igu Ocha as the only name, referencing to that coastal zone.
I'm still interested in knowing if any oral traditions of Bonny tell of peoples who were either already settled there, or who settled at the same time, or later. Na2day?, do you happen to have any information on this?
my point is simple, just like many places around the world, PH and many other places had indigenous folks but the igbo tribe who are a well traveled ppl got there and mingled with the ppl and settled there, that's why they are referred to as "settlers" and the fact the original occupants are not toatally extinct, u can not claim it to be igbo land period!, u can say it is "igbo settlers" resting place or something but not owned by them. when settlers start to claim the land of their dwelling, it never ends well around the world
'Igwe' means 'most high', 'ocha' means 'white', so Igweocha can be seen as the 'white man's frontier' or less formally 'were the white man is met', 'the white mans start' 'the town populated with white people' etc. They probably named it this because Europeans had not encroached on Igbo territory as they have done for most people in the world, so Port Harcourt must have been the start of the Igbo land the white man had populace or had more control of. Thats how I see it.
First, a bit of history would do some good;
Port Harcourt originally known as 'igweocha' before the colonial secretary then Vistus Harcourt got permission from the then governor general, Lugard to rename it. This happened in 1912. Igweocha as it was known then was an 'IGBO' settlement as the people you call landlords today i.e the Ikwerre people were the ones to settle there first. The issue of whether it is an Igbo town or not remains complex as the ikwerres 'emselves don't entirely give in to the fact that they are an' ethnic stock with ''Igbo viens" runnin' in their blood, which inversly means that they re Igbo!
For those of us that understand Igbo, what does 'Igweocha' mean?
Okay, now we are in agreement. You know one of the reasons why it is almost impossible to carve out a boundary between Kalabri, Igbo, Ibibio, Ijaw, etc. is because were all mixed in together, so yes we are one. I guess some people on this thread assumed that when I said there were/is Igbo people as far as Bonny they thought I was saying Bonny solely belongs to Igbo people.
If you laid proper information out like Ijaw_girl did there wouldn't have been any need for the circular arguments. When you want to prove a point or if you want to educate somebody about something you have to do more than write "do a research". Which shows me that you probably don't know much about what your talking about and "giving up" was what you had to do.
Yes there was a huge igbo population in Bonny
A significant number of bonny and Opobo people are of Igbo descent
We also have some igbo elements in our culture (food,language, etc). The average Ibani man is proud of his igbo roots—
We have mixed with igbos and even continue to intermarry[b]
But what you have to understand the igbos that came to bonny had to become Ibani. They became acculturated into Bonny society. [/b]
Ubani is just the Igbo name for Bonny. Some Igbo people still use "Ubani" when referring to Bonny till today
Awayz, no biggie-we are all one
@AMA-DIVA: There is this thread on this culture forum that goes like this: Re: Igbo kwenu: join us if you are proud to be Igbo Guy/lady. Check out for it and you will find out that ndigbo also argue about their own affairs. You may make a contribution a I am not surprised that a lot of Rivers state persons can write this thy great language-Igbo.
In my own case, I only involve my dear self only where you have Ndigbo. Hence, do not be amazed to see my contributions in Delta Igbo and Rivers Igbo deliberations. I do not involve my self in Kalabari, Ijoo and Urhobo affairs. I might stop arguing about Rivers state if Ndigbo in Rivers are given there own state for Example Obigbo state or Port Harcourt state. Godbless. state.
For the fact Ndigbo argue about Port Harcourt and Rivers State is because of our kits and kins over there. What ever thing that affects Ndigbo in Port Harcourt and Rivers state affects South East Ndigbo.
My wife is a Rivers Igbo, how about that?. Before you can say that we do not argue about South East towns and cities shows that you have not read Igbo threads in this forum. Go and read all the kwenu threads and you will know what I mean.
Name me a place in Zaria that has been renamed to reflect the Igbo populace, in fact name me a place in Lagos that has been renamed (officially) to reflect the Igbo populace, when you find that place, tell me if the size of the place can compare to the size of the entire Island of Ubani (or Bonny).
You are not serious, I actually think your joking and your just giving an example of somebody trying to win an argument they have already lost.
I do not remember mentioning 'Hausa' in my thread so I don't know where you came with the conclusion that "ppl like u call every northern Hausa". Second of all it would be pretty hard for you to convince me that the Igbo that were right next door to Bonny and were so much more larger than the other inhabitants of the Island, could not own pieces of that land. If not then why does Bonny not have an Ijaw/Kalabari etc. name? How do you know that Bonny was not originally owned by the Igbo?
Bonny is like PH. Non African names.
Igbos and Ijaw and the mixed don't need to twist their names to ijagbo or watever. Riverine ppl need to learn how to let go off bigotry especially when its towards each other and their neighbors. Let em go learn from Arochukwu and Abiriba people how to coexist and move on. From Rivers to Warri yeye ppl are still battling over who is settler and native and who owns land, whether ppl are Igbo or Ijaw. Seems like there's a campaign to wipe out any trace of Igbo. Well sorry u might as well kill urself out coz u might have a drop of Igbo in u including your relatives. SO SAD.
Arochukwu ppl who settled in Ajali, Okigbo, Izuogu, Ikwerre, etc are not being told by anyone that they are settlers even though they still maintain their Aro identity wherever they are. People in Arochukwu and Abiriba are not having any identity crisis. Arochukwu is a mix of Igbo, Ibibio and Akpa while Abiriba is a mix of Igbo and Efik ppl. Why don't we hear of any dispute from that side? Simply leaders in that area don't have time to cause division and trouble over oil. Na unconditional love.
Go learn from us how to not HATE ourselves. Na2day?
if ijaws and igbos can unite and give themselves only one name eg Ijogbo or Igbojaw/Igbojo there wouldnt be a need for the everlasting question of who owns Port Harcourt.
cany say I'm too convinced Bonny is derived from Ibani though not to say it's not possible. However, Bonny is also a very common Scottish or English word. Quite a coincidence, imo.
U can have an Igbo FUCKIN U sef and t won't change the fact that u are ignorant. If u had Igbo relatives then u should know a thing or two about Igbos and where they are found native. Don't gimme that bullshit. Ewu nkapi.
In 2009 u want to tell us igbos in bonny are settlers. They've been there since da mid 15th century. We are all settlers and came from somewhere.
Do we have native Igbos in Rivers state? yes or no
Only Riverine people argue about BS like this. Who owns Bonny, ubani, opobo, bla bla bla. Do u think u are the only ones with towns where 2 groups have intermarried and settled in? Who owns arochukwu? or who are natives of ARO? Do we Aro talk about such nonsense? NOPE. There are bigger fishes to catch jare.
If the thought of igbos living ubani makes u angry please go and chase em if you have the guts or shut up.
Okay, well, the reason I asked about Igwe Ocha, is because where I'm from, we also have an oral tradition that mentions Igwe Ocha (what I remember as Igu Ocha), as well as Igwe Nga, as our outposts. So I was curious to know where people were getting "Igwe Ocha" from. Anyway, thank you all for your replies.
Igwe-ocha refers to modern day of Port Harcourt and environs. As for the Ikwerre's and entire Igbo nation, Diobi (Diobu) was the heart of Port Harcourt. In the early 20th century, there was no distiction between Ikwerres and their Igbo kinsmen who provided labour for the building of the new town. The British either did not see them as different entities. With the trends of this days, the division is in anticlimax.
We should acknowledge however that just like many other towns and cities in the East (because our people didn't necessarily live in cities like those in the West and North) 'Port Harcourt' is a British made town (Hence its name) and wasn't an important land mass for the Igbo before colonialism.