AGBOR KINGDOM–REMINISENCE

 

Agbor is an ancient city, one of the
oldest in Delta State and in old western region, later, Bendel State. Agbor was
next only to Benin city and the Obi of Agbor, next to the Oba in hierarchical
order in the traditional council. It was a delight with virtually all the
streets tarred, with well layed out coverts. Most streets were adorned with
street lights, there were functional tap water scattered all over the town.
Water board then, was functional and government was alive to it’s
responsibility. The general Hospital was small but functional. Schools,
(secondary and primary schools,) not as many as they are now, but were all
functional. Teachers were the least paid, but there were very functional in the
discharge of their responsibilities impacting knowledge and instilling
discipline in the pupils and students.

            Life
was fun and living exciting. Providence beamed smile on the old city, causing a
streams to crisscross it. There were, what was referred to Iyi Orogodo, Iyi
Mary George Iyi Aghakun, Iyi Ekpen, and Iyi Ofulue. These streams were clean
and clear and served multipurpose functions. Fishing, laundry, fermentation of
cassava, swimming and for drinking and other house hold purposes. People came
from far and wide to fetch water, some on their bikes, most on foot, both the
old and the young ones. If typhoid fever existed it never reared its ugly head
in Agbor community then, otherwise why would the people drink water from the
ponds and still remain strong and healthy for their farming and other manual
preoccupations. Indeed, the peoples immunity defied every medical reasoning.
The streams were recreation centres and public swimming pools”, where those who
could swim openly demonstrate their swimming skills and those who wouldn’t aspired
to learn. Hide and seek games were carried out in the streams by different
groups of friends and relations at different times. A skinny lazy looking but
good swimmer could terrorize a strong sturdy boy in the stream.

            In
those days, there were dreaded wrestlers as they were champions in the streams
and could subject any folk to drink buckets of water in the streams. Those days
were good. Life was valued as it was respected and the people lived Life
abundantly. There seemed to be enough for everybody. The people were ever ready
and happy to shared their goods and belongings with an identified brother and
friend. There were warm and friendly and eager to please. This explains why
children and goats were freely given out by our people to anyone they cherished.
It was unthinkable to sell drinkable water to a thirsty stranger talk less of a
brother. The inordinate and satanic tendencies to scramble for and amass wealth
in order to be seen to be bigger and more affluent them ones brother was
non-existent. Fraternity bond among the people was very high as was their
patriotic zeal. Emergency wealth and sudden riches, prevalent in today’s Agbor
kingdom was non existence then. Every known wealth of any person or family has
history of hard work and perseverance. Houses, then had no fences neither were
their doors fortified as it is done today. The wealthy men of that time didn’t
have police escorts or private guards. The rich didn’t intimidate the poor,
neither was the poor hunger for the rich man’s belongings. There was total
freedom and general feeling of egalitarians in irrespective  of differences in social  standing. People could move about anytime of
the day and in the might without fear of molestation, harassment or being
robbed or kidnapped. There were no cultism neither was there total disdain for
law and order. Justice at town or village halls and at the palace were
discharged without fear nor favour. Truthfulness without any shade or
colorization was associated with elders of the land. The taste of elders was
simple and their aspiration was the communal (common) good of the community.

            Women
folk in the ancient Agbor kingdom though relegated to the background to  the extent that they were seen and not heard,
were accorded tremendous respect and the their bodies esteemed  men go in group of men and women in group of
women. It was near abomination to see a man and a woman together when they are
not married. It was an out right abomination to see a girl was pregnant without
being married. At home, men were assertive as they were authoritative, even the
weakest of them.

            Women
were submissive and unconditionally loyal to the male tolk. The words of
husbands were laws. Fathers were respected, dreaded and reverend. Discipline
prevailed in every aspect of life and living fraternal responsibility did not
begin and end with ones direct siblings and children but extended to all. An
adult was a father to all children in the community as a child is the child of
all adults. The child automatically receives love and affection from the
community as he is also subjected to intensive discipline from every male and
female adult of the community if he or she misbehaves. The resultant effect of
this massive love and discipline made crime and criminality shade of every
shared  almost impassible. Crime was at
it’s lowest ebb, yet there were very few churches in existence in Agbor, St.
John Catholic Church along Old Lagso Asaba, Anglican Church also by Lagos/
Asaba Okoh Street junction and  Church of
God Mission at Morka Street, were the only few that exited. The fear of the
efficacy and potency of the various shrines contributed immensely to the
existing disciplining disposition of the people.

            Everything
that was done and was not done, was for the proper up bringing of the child and
the general good of the community. The reason male and female adults amorus
affection even though married was not to spoil the child. The reason, the only
six education given to female children them, was that if they were as much as
were touched by their male counterparts, they would be impregnated
authentically. The reason children though not forbidder to eat meat but should
not show interest in it, otherwise that child would be branded a thief and
would be so treated. The reason male and female from that disciplined
generation would finish their meal. before eating the meat in the meal. The
reverse is the case with the modern generation of boys and girls. They would
discern on the meat before eating their meal. Spoiled generation.

            Agbor
symbolizes Ika Any Ika speaking person, anywhere in Nigeria is persevered as an
Agbor person.

            History
is replete of rise and fall of nations and kingdoms different times and in
different places. Agbor kingdom has been on a downward slope. It is declining
and dwindling as it is also decaying with an alarming speed for the past two
decades .Can her past glory be rekindled ? Will the characteristic
non-challenge and indifference and the sorrowful individualistic disposition of
an average Agborman not be an encumbrance to the rejuvenation of Agbor kingdom.

            Are
we prepared as a people to harnesses and galvanise our resources towards
effecting a positive change for the generality of the greater majority of the
people? Is these any iota of patriotic deposit, latent enough to retrieve our
past glory? Will the small mindedness and visionlessness of the people at the
corridors of power both in the monarchical settings and in the distorted
democratic arrangement. Were without problem .Can the encumbrances militating
against our infrastructural development and political unity of our people be
eliminated?  We Are patiently waiting as
we are praying and believing God for the emancipation of our people from our
people. Fidelix Akpenyi, prolific writer and public affairs analyst based in
Agbor.  

           

 

We are very much interested in historical
write ups from any part of Ika nation to show the new generation how we lived
in the past.

Editor Note:    Interested persons should call 08033417578,
08069287815 or send their articles to Ika Weekly office, 108 Old Lagos Asaba
Road, Agbor opposite Marymount College      

 

 

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