HISTORICAL ANALYSIS OF IDUMUESAH CLAN

The various
people of Idumuesah do not lay claim to common ancestry.  It is a clan founded by seven settlers from
different parts of the present day Edo and Delta States.  Since each settler founded a village of its
own, federating into a clan, the name IDUMUESAH meaning “Seven Villages” speaks
for itself.  The seven villages are
Ali-obume, Ali-Egboh, Ali-Ilor, Ali-Oje, Ali-Eketu, Ali-Asuku and Ali-Echenim.

                Ali-Obume founded by Ibili
traces it’s origin to Ugboha in Esan Local Government area of ancient Benin
kingdom of the present Edo State.

                The next settler Egbo who
founded Ali-Egboh came from Aboh in the riverine area of Ukwani in the present
Ndokwa Area of Delta state.

After Egboh
was Ilor, the founder of Ali  Ilor who
came from Uromi In the heart land of “Esan” area of ancient Benin kingdom, now
Edo state. The last but not the least to arrive was Ojeh who, according to
history was a brother of Ilor. Therefore he also came from Uromi as described
above. His settlement was Ali-Ojeh. Eketu, Asuku and Echenim, whose ancestral
home were traceable to the present day Ezi and Onicha Olona in present Aniocha
North Local Government Area of Delta State, founded Ali-Eketu, Ali-Asuku and
Ali-Echenim. However the other of their arrival is lost to history as their
villagers became extinct in the distant past because of lack of written history
of these settlements. The factors which made it possible for their people from
diverse cultural, religious political and traditional background to fuse and
live in such harmony and charity as one political and administrative unit are
lost to oral history.

IDUMUESAH
POLITICAL AND ADMINISTRTIVE SYSTEMS

Every
political unit has its political and administrative system either peculiar to
it or universal to the units within its area of location. This explains the
uniqueness of the system practiced by IDUMUESAH CLAN as compared to other ten
clans of Ika nation.

While
others operate kingship or monarchical system of Government, Idumuesah operates
a system of administration based on the frame work of GERONTOCRACY a system
whereby leaderships devolves on the oldest male. It is not quite clear why the
Obiship or Enogieship system is not adopted having regard to the fact that all
the settlers/founders of the present existing villages except Egboh, came from
the area where OKPARANSHIP SYSTEM based on Gerontocracy is practiced. As a
matter of fact, the present system as practiced since founding the clan appears
to have been influenced by the federating villages not to practice the
monarchical system of Government.

The
uniqueness of it’s system of administration has been source of strength instead
of weakness as it’s hegemony has never been challenged, it is also on record
that the history of Idumuesah is characterised by peace, harmony and good
neighbourliness with it’s neighbours over the years as there is complete
absence of border clashes, boundary cases or violent clashes of any nature or
war with any external authority. In pursuit of the noble ideas of democracy,
power is shared among the villages that make up the clan to avoid concentration
of political or administrative power on an individual, group of people or
village.

However,
each of the villages enjoys a measure of autonomy and sovereignty.

Ibili being
the first settler in the present location of Idumuesah clan was honoured with
the senior Okparanship of the clan translated into the people usage as “Okpara
Uku” of the clan. This underscores why Ali-Obume which Ibili founded has been
presenting the Okpara-Uku irrespective of whether or not any of the Okparan
from the other there villages of Ali-Egboh, Ali-Ilor or Ali-Ojeh is /are senior
to him in age.

To bring
about checks and balance in the powers of the senior Okparan/Okparan Uku,
certain political/administrative offices are reserved for the three other villages
Ali-Egboh, Ali-Ilor and Ali-Ojeh. For example, the Olotu-Uku of the clan (is
the minister and leader of all the age groups below him is reserved these three
villages of the clan in rotation. So also is the position of usage (the prime
minister) the Odogwu (the war lord) and the Obaseki. Each of the four villages
of the clan is ruled by a council of elders (Inniche) headed by the oldest
among them that bears the title of Okparan. Therefore, it is to differentiate
the rulers of Okparan of Ali-Obume while performing the administrative,
political and religions leadership of the clan that the nomenclature of
Okpara-Uku is ascribed to him. On administration of each of the four villages,
each Okparan has the autonomy over the affairs of his village in so far as his
actions do not conflict with the over all interest of the clan. Little wonder
they all meet to discuss and resolve issues that border on the over all
interest of the clan as unit.

Idumuesah
clan, from ages of its existence has continued to maintain peaceful
co-existence, mutual understanding/respect and good neighbourliness with its
immediate and far distant neighbours without compromising her economic rights
and privileges.

However,
complexities and intricacies of modern administration and political approaches
to the general welfare of it’s citizenry has made it necessary to effect some
modernization to meet the challenges of the present day social, economic and
political growth. Even then it’s method of governance has not drastically
changed in traditional and religious matters.

                All such write ups should be
forwarded to the publisher or the editor, Ika Weekly at the newspaper
co-operate office, 108 old Lagos/Asaba Road or to our
email:ikaweekly@yahoo.com. Better still you can call Mekiriuwa on 08033417578
or Augustin 08064929488.   

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