ORIGIN OF AKUMAZI KINGDOM

According
to available records, both oral and written, Akumazi in Delta
State are said to have had primordial
relationships with the Binis in the present Edo
State of Nigeria.

 

These
records, which are both verbal transcriptions of stories from our progenitors
and written accounts of colonial officers, tend to indicate that the origin of
Akumazi could be put at about 12th Century A.D.

 

Akumazi
Intelligence Report shows that the founder, “Onona” and his wife, Azi came from
Benin
and settled at the present position (Simpson, 1936).

 

GEOGRAPHICAL COORDINATES OF AKUMAZI

Akumazi
geographical coordinates lies on latitude 6.2833, longitude 6.3500, altitude
(feet) 688, Latitude (DMS) 60161N, Log. (DMS) 6021160E.  Altitude (meters) 209.  Nearby town West, North, East and south are
Mbiri (7.84km), Ute-Ogbeje (4.12km), Umunede (4.12km), Otolokpo (5.23km),
Igbodo (7.84km), Obior (5.83km).  Akumazi
share boundaries with Umunede in the West, Igbodo, Ekpon and Ewohimi in the
North, Otolokpo, Ute-Okpu in the South, Ute-Ogbeje and Aniocha speaking people
of Obior in the East.

 

Akumazi
is made up of four communities, which are the children of Onona, they are;
Akumazi-Umuocha (The Headquarter of the Kingdom), Ekukwu-Akumazi (known known
as Ekuoma), Owerre-Akumazi (now known and addressed as Owerre-Olubor) and
Ilabor a daughter.  These communities are
under the control and leadership of His Royal Majesty, Obi Stephen Chukwuyemeze
Osagie III (JP).  The 22nd Obi
of the Kingdom since 12th century AD.

 

ELEMENTS OF ADMIXTURE OF THE BINIS AND IGBO LANGUAGE

There is
an admixture of language which found today in Akumazi’s dialect, religion and
other customs.  Whereas the Obiship
cultures are essentially of Benin
institution, some of the chieftaincy system follows Igbo lines.  Akumazi people bear names similar to Binis
and Igbo, like OSEMEKE “OSE” in Bini – meaning God, while “EMEKE”
in Igbo means has done well (i.e God has done well).  The strongest cults in Akumazi are Olokun
of Benin
origin and Ikenga of Igbo origin.
The dual mode of origin, Bini and Igbo has influenced Akumazi physical
features.  The older generations of
Akumazi people have tribal marks (tattoo) “Igu” or “Egbugbu” which the younger
generations have discontinued due to westernization, etc.  This situation tends to pose crises of an
identity of Akumazi people is being neither Binis nor Ibos.

 

The
original language of Akumazi people is believed to be Bini, but through
migration from Eastern communities to Akumazi, commercial, marital and social intercourse,
the Igbo language soon superseded the language of the former.  This situation perhaps, has to do with the
classification of Akumazi in Ika nation with the Aniocha/Oshimili and
Ndokwa/Ukwuani people in a group dubbed Ika-Ibo in the Nigerian socio-political
nomenclature.  ‘This taxonomy is
occasioned by the scanty information about Akumazi, which gained prominence
during the Nigerian Civil war (1967-1970)

 

COMMUNITIES THAT MAKE UP AKUMAZI KINGDOM

The
founder Onona settle down initially in small family group with his wife Azi
which out of love the settlements was named after the first son of Onona,
Akumazi and this laid the foundation for different towns/villages.  The towns represent the sons and daughter of
Onona while soon, many villages were reduplicated.  The population of the towns grew by leaps and
bounds.

 

Villages
grew and expanded into smaller units formed by their outstanding grand and
great grand children.  These small unit
formations are the many ‘Idumu’ found in the different clans and which were
subsequently named after their founders.

 

1.     Akumazi-Umuocha comprises of:

(i)     Idumu-Obi

(ii)    Odugan

(iii)    Isi-Ube

(iv)   Idumu-Igwe

(v)    Idumu
Idogbo

 

2.     Ekuoma comprising of:

(i)     Odopo

(ii)    Umuosi

(iii)    Idumu-Echem

(iv)   Idumu-Ute

 

3.     Owerre-Olubor comprising of:

(i)     Umudese

(ii)    Umunofo

(iii)    Umuaguma

(iv)   Idumu-Etiti

(v)    Umu-Ikpuru

 

4.     Ilabor

AKUMAZI TRADITIONAL ADMINISTRATION

There are
three layers of administrative structure. At the village level of Akumazi
Traditional government, the accepted practice was participatory democracy, a
system which has survived the British contract.
At the town level, a collegiate representative system was adopted.  And equality among the associating towns, was
maintained through the principle of ‘equal sharing of kolanut’ and equal
contribution of material resources’ for the development of communities.

 

For
purpose of good and practical administration, Akumazi founder segmented the
kingdom into villages with the name of his sons and daughter which is
Akumazi-Umuocha, Ekwukwu-Akumazi, Owerre-Akumazi and Ilabor, this were further
segmented as population grows into a number of Idumu.  Each Idumu was segmented into Umu or lineage,
and each lineage or Umu was further segmented into major and minor sub-lineage
or families called Umu-Nedi or Umu-Nne.

 

RELIGION

Every
nation or tribe has its own system of acknowledging and worshiping God, the
Almighty.  Akumazi people have had a
system which dates back to many centuries ego.
This is the ancestral system of God worship, and it is the Akumazi
Traditional Religion (ATR).  Akumazi
Traditional Religious belief can be likened to a pyramid.  At the top is God, supreme in spiritual
power.  At the sides are lesser gods or
spirits, who are God’s servants.
Alongside them are the ancestors, who remember their families on earth
and take an active interest in their welfare.
At the base are the lesser spiritual forces; magic divination and
witchcraft.

 

Akumazi
people worship several gods which they regard as intercessors before the
Supreme Deity (God) e.g. Olokun (water deity); Uzun or Idigun (the god of
iron); Ifejioku (the spirit of the farm); Ani (the divine earth or mother
earth), etc.   Akumazi people believe in
spirit, understanding that there is no area of the earth, no object or creature
which has not a spirit of its own, or which cannot be inhabited by a
spirit.  For example, they believe in
“Ehi”, the guardian spirit or the man’s double; Ogbanje, “Nwamiri”, Dada, braid
haired children; etc.  Akumazi believe in
ancestors worship as the centre of their Traditional Religion.  For example, the ancestors who are deitified
after death are believed to protect the family and are given befitting
sacrifices.  The spirit of the dead King
still holds its authority.  It still watches
over his kingdom and protects them from their enemies; rewards the right and
swiftly punishes the wrong.

 

Akumazi
people also believe in reincarnation.
The belief is the unseen drive which compels an Akumazi man to do
good.  The belief has to do with life
after death.

However,
as a result of western education, contact and influence of Christian
missionaries, a great majority of the people, particularly the younger
generation, have become Christian.

 

FESTIVALS

At
various times in the year, some traditional festivals are held in Akumazi Kingdom for one reason or the other.
Festivals are the only means, with exception of religious worship whereby
Akumazi people have sought from time, to express their joy or happiness or
sorrow openly.  Festival marks the
history and life of Akumazi people as many beliefs are associated with
them.  The significance of these
festivals lies in the fact that the festivals illustrate gods and supplication
for protection against enemies or evil or epidemic disease, etc.  During the celebration of these festivals,
the people are at their best.

 

1.     IGUE FESTIVAL:  This is a festival celebrated by Akumazi
people to Herald the beginning of farming period – Akumazi people uses this
particular festival to thank the gods for successfully cultivating their farm
without casualties.  It is usually
celebrated between the end of the third month or the beginning of the forth
month of every year (i.e. either end of March of beginning of April).

 

2.     IWAJI:  This is the biggest festival celebrated by
the people of Akumazi, to thank God for bountiful harvest, it start by thanking
the Spirit of the farm (irua ifejiokun) then the next day
new yam is been eaten by non-titled people in the community, the following day
is cain duel with age grade (Igbu-nkpisen – this flogging of cain
signifies, flogging out evil spirit, bad luck, diseases, etc, among members of
Akumazi Community). It was on record that the year this cain flogging was not
observed, people started dieing in their numbers.  The next four days is dedicated to rehearsing
of dance known as Ogbamigbe dance.  The
sixth day, the chiefs celebrate eating of the new yam, on the seventh day; the
main dance of Ogbamigbe is done in a carnival like manner throughout the
kingdom. This festival is climaxed with HIS ROYAL MAJESTY eaten/celebrating
this eating of the new yam (this is done within end of September and early
October every year).

 

AKUMAZI
GREETINGS

As a mark
of respect, the young calls the elders not by their names but by the pseudonym,
“diokpa”
or “baba”
(aba)
for the elderly males and “odede or “nne” for the elderly
women, before greetings.  Refusal to
exchange greetings indicates a strained relationship.

 

Akumazi
people have very many greetings suited for various people, time and occasion.

 

–       FOR TRADITIONAL RULER:  “Agun” or “Agu” is the greeting to
the Obi of Akumazi Kingdom – “Agu” is a name of a strong animal in
the forest, Tiger.  By the greeting, the
Obi is adulated as a Tiger in strength. “Agu” is a short form of prayerful
greeting.  The greater fervently prays
that “this throne shall never terminate”, meaning that “Ukponi-Agu”.

 

In greeting,
one stands in an upright position and says, Obi “Agu” with genuflection, with
the right fist held in the form of a bow, or put at an upright angle towards
the king, firmly supported by the left hand below the elbow.  The greeting cold just be made with a bow in
olden days, people prostrated on the floor when they greeted the King.  Also, the king can be adulated with such
forms of greeting like, “Agbogidi, tutu etc. in response, the King prays for
the greater.

 

–       GENERAL GREETING:  “Uwe-oma”, is a general greeting for
Akumazi people (“Owe-oma” is a prayerful greeting wishing the elder a blessed
and fulfilled living. “Baba (aba)”, or “Nne”
is added as a suffix to distinct the greeting between man and a woman.  The greeting is “Uwe-Oma Baba” shortened
to sound “ma-aba” for male and “Uwe-Oma Nne” shortened to “Ma-nne”
for the female.

 

–       “ISICHEI” OR “ISICHERI” is a greeting of
both sexes to very elderly people in Akumazi those in the highest age-grade in
life or the retrieved people.  “Isichei”
is prayerfully wishing the “elder’s head” to continue to survive or live.

 

–       “OKPA” is the greeting for elderly
female at all times for Akumazi people.

 

–       “OMU” is the greeting for elderly
female at all time for Akumazi people.

 

–       “OMODI” is the greeting for the younger
ones in Akumazi at all times.

 

–       “NDO-O” is a greeting expressing sorrow
to somebody who is hurt, or who has suffered something which needs sympathy.  It means sorry and age does not have any
barrier in the greeting.

 

–       “ALUA” is a greeting expressing welcome
from any journey, visit or outing.

 

–       “DARU’ is a greeting for a person who
engages in any work, or who has shown favour to the person greeting.

 

TRADITIONAL RULERSHIP IN AKUMAZI KINGDOM

According
to the Oba of Benin: “Traditional ruler means the traditional head of the
ethnic community whose stool conferred on the incumbent since the time before
the beginning of British ruler — if the position did not exist as such before
the — then to ‘create’ it or ‘promote’ to the highest traditional authority,
thereafter is nothing short of the untraditional — this makes distinction
between a ‘traditional ruler’ and a ‘chief appointed by him— the traditional
ruler’.

 

The
people of Akumazi enjoy unity under this stable traditional institution with
unbroken successions.  However, with
independence in 1960s, the new political leaders did not fully preserve
traditional rulership.

 

Akumazi
has been lucky to have had great Kings reigning over it since 1200AD.  Starting from Onona.  Although, we might not be so much privilege in
putting a one time Obi of Akumazi in the Guinness book of record, but for
record purpose, it should be mentioned that Obi IDINAGWUN of Akumazi reign
between 14-20-1620 which is 200 years. History has it that he did not die
naturally, but have to call his family together, use a white chalk to make a
mark round, with a promise to sink into to great beyond and that a tree will
grow immediately, with instruction to always honour the tree, that anytime the
tree is not bringing out blood, shows that he has finally died.  Today the tree stands as a tourist attraction
in Akumazi.

 

His Royal
Majesty, Obi Stephen Chukwuyemeze Osagie III (JP) the reigning King of Akumazi
since January 5th, 1953 is seen as a monarch of towering
stature.  He has indeed put in place a
formidable administrative structure that attracts followership.   He is a monarch who had a vision and mission
for the people of Akumazi kingdom.
Akumazi people are proud of him and feel greatly honoured to be
associated with him.

 

His Royal
Majesty Obi Osagie III (JP) stand today as third longest reigning Monarch in
the world, he is one of the most accomplished traditional rulers in Nigeria
having ruled for 60 years and counting.
He has left a resounding legacy for traditional rulership not only in Nigeria but in Africa.

 

 

CHRONOLOGY OF AKUMAZI TRADITIONAL RULERS

 

SN

NAME

DURATION

CALCULATION

1

ONONA

1201 – 1307

106 YEARS

2

AKUMA

1307 – 1388

81 YEARS

3

ITAMI (WHO GAVE HIS THRONE TO IYAYI)

1388 – 1389

1 YEAR

4

IYAYI

1389 – 1420

31 YEARS

5

IDINAGWUN

1420 – 1620

200 YEARS

6

OROKONAFOR

1620 – 1625

5 YEARS

7

UGBEDE

1625 – 1684

59 YEARS

8

UMUEHEREN

1684 – 1692

8 YEARS

9

UJERE

1692 – 1698

6 YEARS

10

EKOZUE

1698 – 1740

42 YEARS

11

OSEH

1740 – 1762

22 YEAS

12

AGWIE

1762 – 1764

2 YEARS

13

DIAGBON

1764 – 1773

9 YEARS

14

ONYEFEOYI

1773 – 1783

10 YEARS

15

UZONTA

1783 – 1790

7 YEARS

16

OJEFOR

1790 – 1793

3 YEARS

17

DIAI

1793 – 1833

40 YEARS

18

USIFOR

1833 – 1853

20 YEARS

19

AGHAULOR

1853 – 1896

43 YEARS

20

AGHAULOR OSAGIE I

1896 – 1946

50 YEARS

21

JEGBEFUME OSAGIE II

1946 – 1953

6 YEARS

22

STEPHEN CHUKWUYEMEZE OSAGIE III (JP)

1953 – DATE

 

 

Compiled under the
instruction of Obi-in-Council by: Hon. Okafor O. Wallace
(19/11/2013)

2 Comments on ORIGIN OF AKUMAZI KINGDOM

  1. This is a diabolical write up. how do you make claims that OWERRE OLUBOR AND Illabor are part of Akumazi. This write up should be taken down as it is divisive and promote hate. Mores so, the writer should be arrested for this divisive and dangerous rhetoric.

  2. Your claim concerning neighbouring communities can you justify how Akwumazi shares boundris with Igbodo, Ekpon,Ewohimi and Aniocha speaking people of Obior. You need to clear yourself so that you don’t mislead the unborn generations. Your write up promotes hate and division in Ika nation just as Agbor Citizen has stated.

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