Origin of Agbor
Agbor link with Edo people and how their language was corrupted through
missionaries teachings, during their crave to spread their religious
By Emeka Esogbue
The History of Agbor Kingdom like those of other African ancient kingdoms, empires and peoples is based on oral tradition. Various oral accounts on the origin of Agbor and Ika people exist but the most credible being that “Ogunagbon” and his followers who founded Agbor came from Benin and first settled in “Ominije” presently located in today’s Agbor-Nta. Following what can best be described as personal crisis between two princes in Benin and subsequent settlement of this dispute as agreed to by the chiefs and elders of Benin determined by casting of lot, one of the princes settled in what became known as “Agbon”. Agbon like other Anioma towns and communities was later anglicized by the Bjritish who found it difficult to pronounce as “Agbor” the present name of the town. For certain reasons, I have decided to ignore all other events that transpired leading to the foundation of the town called Agbor in acknowledgement of the fact that what concerns us here is the progenitor of the kingdom and his origin. Agbon (Agbor) in Benin means “Earth or “Land”.
Anglicization of names of Anioma communities found difficult to pronounce was not new by the British was not uncommon to these peoples. Igbuzo in circumstances beyond the understanding of the indigenes was anglicized as “Ibusa,” Ahaba (Asaba,) Ogwanshi-Ukwu (Ogwashi-Uku) Isei-Ukwu (Issele-Uku) Isei-Mkpitime (Issele-Mkpitime) Okpam (Okpanam) Umuede (Umunede) Notice also that in some cases the name remains the same but the spelling may change as in the case of Onicha (Onitsha) of Anambra state another of Anioma city.
As noted earlier Cheime, a refugee from Benin is historically credited with the foundation of majority of Anioma communities. Historical accounts records Cheime who was driven away from Benin fled from the kingdom traveling eastwards towards the Niger River and founded Onitsha where he finally settled, his followers having been exhausted founded certain of these Anioma towns. Many of which includes the present day Onicha-Uku, Onicha-Ugbo, Onicha-Olona, Onicha-Ukwu, Issele-Uku, Idumuje-Unoh, Idumuje-Ugboko and a lot more.
At the present day Onitsha in Anambra state, his final place of settlement, Cheime had had a daughter called Owuwu, Owuwu was believed in oral history to have abandoned Onitsha fearing she might lose her life after her father lost nine of his sons in this very town owing to witchcraft. Owuwu was soon to return to Agbor settling at Osarra in Agbor. The name “Owuwu” which now is a Quarter in Agbor is a historical testimony of this.
The argument in certain Quarters that Agbor people bear Igbo names and to some extent assimilates Igbo language and vocabularies is well a defeated one, it is asking why the language of Onitsha people is Igbo having been founded by Cheime from Benin.
Available records show that the British colonial government encouraged Christian missionaries from Igbo land who taught the Ika people using Igbo Bible, hymns and songs. Again the British disregarded homogeneity in their creation of provinces and regions in Nigeria as in else where. Onitsha emerged as a commercial nerve of Anioma but after the Anioma people lost in the Ekwumekwu wars, the town was put in separate province where it now finds itself.
The following names similarly exists between Ika and Bini
Common festivals celebrated with Benin
The following places with same names exist in Agbor and Benin
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- Agbor link with Edo people "Origin of Agbor - Agbon" By By Emeka Esogbue
- Benin (Nigeria) and its Mystique By MIKE JIMOH
- Benin History and the Museum's Benin Collection From the museum.upenn.edu
- Benin and the Europeans, 1485-1897 by Alan Frederick Charles Ryder
Product details: Hardcover: 388 pages / Publisher: Prentice Hall Press; 1st Edition edition (July 1969) Language English / ISBN-10: 058264514X / ISBN-13: 978-0582645141
- Graham Connah. 1975. The Archaeology Of Benin: Excavations and other researches in and around Benin City, Nigeria. Clarendon Press : Oxford. Pages - 266 (plus photographs) ISBN - 0 19 920063 7 https://ihuanedo.ning.com/profiles/blogs/the-archaeology-of-benin
- Kings, Magic,& Medicine " by Chief Dr. Dayl Peavy JD. An African American that has an Esan Chietaincy title (2007). An Ob'oguega as well as an Ob'orunmila. Have been conducting research in Edo State since 1997 and published in a book titled: "Kings, Magic & Medicine". https://ihuanedo.ning.com/forum/topics/new-book-on-great-benin
- Evolution Of Benin Chieftancy Title (Very specific facts on Edo and Edo's in Diaspora). $25.00
- Benin City Pilgrimage Stations (Detailed Edo History). $25.00
- Benin City- Edo State Capital (More details on the colonial Era).
- The Edo Man of the 20th Century (Oba Eweka 11 life history). $10.00
- Erediauwa, Prince of Benin. (About the Price and not this Oba).$10.00
- Iwu- The body marks of Edo People. $10.00
- A DVD on Edo History from Ogiso to current. Concluded by an address by Omo N'oba himself. $10.00
TOURIST PLACES TO VISIT:
- The Portuguese National Archives in Lisbon
- British Museum
- National Museum Benin City