Friday, 29 May 2015


I am immensely grateful to God Who Has preserved us to witness this day and this occasion. Today marks a triumph for Nigeria and an occasion to celebrate her freedom and cherish her democracy. Nigerians have shown their commitment to democracy and are determined to entrench its culture. Our journey has not been easy but thanks to the determination of our people and strong support from friends abroad we have today a truly democratically elected government in place.
I would like to thank President Goodluck Jonathan for his display of statesmanship in setting a precedent for us that has now made our people proud to be Nigerians wherever they are. With the support and cooperation he has given to the transition process, he has made it possible for us to show the world that despite the perceived tension in the land we can be a united people capable of doing what is right for our nation. Together we co-operated to surprise the world that had come to expect only the worst from Nigeria. I hope this act of graciously accepting defeat by the outgoing President will become the standard of political conduct in the country.
I would like to thank the millions of our supporters who believed in us even when the cause seemed hopeless. I salute their resolve in waiting long hours in rain and hot sunshine to register and cast their votes and stay all night if necessary to protect and ensure their votes count and were counted. I thank those who tirelessly carried the campaign on the social media. At the same time, I thank our other countrymen and women who did not vote for us but contributed to make our democratic culture truly competitive, strong and definitive.
I thank all of you.
Having just a few minutes ago sworn on the Holy Book, I intend to keep my oath and serve as President to all Nigerians.
I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody.
A few people have privately voiced fears that on coming back to office I shall go after them. These fears are groundless. There will be no paying off old scores. The past is prologue.
Our neighbours in the Sub-region and our African brethren should rest assured that Nigeria under our administration will be ready to play any leadership role that Africa expects of it. Here I would like to thank the governments and people of Cameroon, Chad and Niger for committing their armed forces to fight Boko Haram in Nigeria.
I also wish to assure the wider international community of our readiness to cooperate and help to combat threats of cross-border terrorism, sea piracy, refugees and boat people, financial crime, cyber crime, climate change, the spread of communicable diseases and other challenges of the 21st century.
At home we face enormous challenges. Insecurity, pervasive corruption, the hitherto unending and seemingly impossible fuel and power shortages are the immediate concerns. We are going to tackle them head on. Nigerians will not regret that they have entrusted national responsibility to us. We must not succumb to hopelessness and defeatism. We can fix our problems.
In recent times Nigerian leaders appear to have misread our mission. Our founding fathers, Mr Herbert Macauley, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Malam Aminu Kano, Chief J.S. Tarka, Mr Eyo Ita, Chief Denis Osadeby, Chief Ladoke Akintola and their colleagues worked to establish certain standards of governance. They might have differed in their methods or tactics or details, but they were united in establishing a viable and progressive country. Some of their successors behaved like spoilt children breaking everything and bringing disorder to the house.
Furthermore, we as Nigerians must remind ourselves that we are heirs to great civilizations: Shehu Othman Dan fodio’s caliphate, the Kanem Borno Empire, the Oyo Empire, the Benin Empire and King Jaja’s formidable domain. The blood of those great ancestors flow in our veins. What is now required is to build on these legacies, to modernize and uplift Nigeria.
Daunting as the task may be it is by no means insurmountable. There is now a national consensus that our chosen route to national development is democracy. To achieve our objectives we must consciously work the democratic system. The Federal Executive under my watch will not seek to encroach on the duties and functions of the Legislative and Judicial arms of government. The law enforcing authorities will be charged to operate within the Constitution. We shall rebuild and reform the public service to become more effective and more serviceable. We shall charge them to apply themselves with integrity to stabilize the system.
For their part the legislative arm must keep to their brief of making laws, carrying out over-sight functions and doing so expeditiously. The judicial system needs reform to cleanse itself from its immediate past. The country now expects the judiciary to act with dispatch on all cases especially on corruption, serious financial crimes or abuse of office. It is only when the three arms act constitutionally that government will be enabled to serve the country optimally and avoid the confusion all too often bedeviling governance today.
Elsewhere relations between Abuja and the States have to be clarified if we are to serve the country better. Constitutionally there are limits to powers of each of the three tiers of government but that should not mean the Federal Government should fold its arms and close its eyes to what is going on in the states and local governments. Not least the operations of the Local Government Joint Account. While the Federal Government can not interfere in the details of its operations it will ensure that the gross corruption at the local level is checked. As far as the constitution allows me I will try to ensure that there is responsible and accountable governance at all levels of government in the country. For I will not have kept my own trust with the Nigerian people if I allow others abuse theirs under my watch.
However, no matter how well organized the governments of the federation are they can not succeed without the support, understanding and cooperation of labour unions, organized private sector, the press and civil society organizations. I appeal to employers and workers alike to unite in raising productivity so that everybody will have the opportunity to share in increased prosperity. The Nigerian press is the most vibrant in Africa. My appeal to the media today – and this includes the social media – is to exercise its considerable powers with responsibility and patriotism.
My appeal for unity is predicated on the seriousness of the legacy we are getting into. With depleted foreign reserves, falling oil prices, leakages and debts the Nigerian economy is in deep trouble and will require careful management to bring it round and to tackle the immediate challenges confronting us, namely; Boko Haram, the Niger Delta situation, the power shortages and unemployment especially among young people. For the longer term we have to improve the standards of our education. We have to look at the whole field of medicare. We have to upgrade our dilapidated physical infrastructure.
The most immediate is Boko Haram’s insurgency. Progress has been made in recent weeks by our security forces but victory can not be achieved by basing the Command and Control Centre in Abuja. The command centre will be relocated to Maiduguri and remain until Boko Haram is completely subdued. But we can not claim to have defeated Boko Haram without rescuing the Chibok girls and all other innocent persons held hostage by insurgents.
This government will do all it can to rescue them alive. Boko Haram is a typical example of small fires causing large fires. An eccentric and unorthodox preacher with a tiny following was given posthumous fame and following by his extra judicial murder at the hands of the police. Since then through official bungling, negligence, complacency or collusion Boko Haram became a terrifying force taking tens of thousands of lives and capturing several towns and villages covering swathes of Nigerian sovereign territory.
Boko Haram is a mindless, godless group who are as far away from Islam as one can think of. At the end of the hostilities when the group is subdued the Government intends to commission a sociological study to determine its origins, remote and immediate causes of the movement, its sponsors, the international connexions to ensure that measures are taken to prevent a reccurrence of this evil. For now the Armed Forces will be fully charged with prosecuting the fight against Boko haram. We shall overhaul the rules of engagement to avoid human rights violations in operations. We shall improve operational and legal mechanisms so that disciplinary steps are taken against proven human right violations by the Armed Forces.
Boko Haram is not only the security issue bedeviling our country. The spate of kidnappings, armed robberies, herdsmen/farmers clashes, cattle rustlings all help to add to the general air of insecurity in our land. We are going to erect and maintain an efficient, disciplined people – friendly and well – compensated security forces within an over – all security architecture.
The amnesty programme in the Niger Delta is due to end in December, but the Government intends to invest heavily in the projects, and programmes currently in place. I call on the leadership and people in these areas to cooperate with the State and Federal Government in the rehabilitation programmes which will be streamlined and made more effective. As ever, I am ready to listen to grievances of my fellow Nigerians. I extend my hand of fellowship to them so that we can bring peace and build prosperity for our people.
No single cause can be identified to explain Nigerian’s poor economic performance over the years than the power situation. It is a national shame that an economy of 180 million generates only 4,000MW, and distributes even less. Continuous tinkering with the structures of power supply and distribution and close on $20b expanded since 1999 have only brought darkness, frustration, misery, and resignation among Nigerians. We will not allow this to go on. Careful studies are under way during this transition to identify the quickest, safest and most cost-effective way to bring light and relief to Nigerians.
Unemployment, notably youth un-employment features strongly in our Party’s Manifesto. We intend to attack the problem frontally through revival of agriculture, solid minerals mining as well as credits to small and medium size businesses to kick – start these enterprises. We shall quickly examine the best way to revive major industries and accelerate the revival and development of our railways, roads and general infrastructure.
Your Excellencies, My fellow Nigerians I can not recall when Nigeria enjoyed so much goodwill abroad as now. The messages I received from East and West, from powerful and small countries are indicative of international expectations on us. At home the newly elected government is basking in a reservoir of goodwill and high expectations. Nigeria therefore has a window of opportunity to fulfill our long – standing potential of pulling ourselves together and realizing our mission as a great nation.
Our situation somehow reminds one of a passage in Shakespeare’s Julius Ceasar
There is a tide in the affairs of men which,
taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life,
Is bound in shallows and miseries.
We have an opportunity. Let us take it.
Thank you
Muhammadu Buhari
President Federal Republic of NIGERIA and
Commander in-chief-of the Armed forces

Sunday, 24 May 2015


           A.  WHERE IS IGBERE LOCATED ? !!!
    The first question that will enter the minds of our friends who are not indigenes of igbere will be; where is igbere? Who are these igbereans? These are the questions this lecture is going to answer. Before we go into the main subject of this physiographic of igbere.
Igbere is situated northeast of umuahia, the Abia state capital city. It is located at latitude 50/41-N and longitude 7/44-E. It is interested to know that there is a village in south of Abakaliki called igbere on latitude 6/2-N and longitude 80/2-E. igbere’s closest neighbors are (ABIRIBA ON THE EAST, ITEM ON THE NORTH, ALAYI ON THE WEST, AND OZUITEM AND UMUHU AS THE SOUTH).
IGBERE covers an area of 40 square miles with a population of about 2,000000 (two million ) persons according to last national census. Igbere can be described as a town perched on top of a hill because of hilly nature of the area. The prominent and popular among the hills are ( MGBELE IBINA WITH WHITE SAND, MGBELE COURT….UGU-KOT BEFORE IGBERE HEALTH CENTRE, AND MGBELE OKAFIA).  Igbere most popular rivers are ( IGWU-RIVER IN OKAFIA AND MBUBA RIVER IN AMANKALU). In 1925, the mbuba river was traversed from its source to its confluence with the igwu river by Europeans explorers. The first time a white man touched foot on igbere soil was in UMUIKPO OKAFIA IGBERE in 1903.
The people’s environment has greatly influenced the social, cultural, economic and political life. Igbere people are well built, and they have great capacity for work and considerable ability. They are very hospitable and peace-loving people. The splitting of the town into 13 Autonomous communities by (GOVERNOR, CHIEF, ORJI UZOR KALU…OUK) in 1998 following the communal war erupted through the demise of (LATE EZE SAMPSON UKAEGBU….EBIRI 11) who was assassinated by unknown persons.
The creation of these communities has not diminished the legendary unity among the people. They have continued to live together as UMU EBIRI. ( IGBERE WELFARE UNION) still act as the binding cord which nobody can break.
In terms of modernity, igbere has metamorphosed from a rural village/ community to one of the urban cities in Abia state. Igbere is linked with good motorable roads to other major towns in Abia state.
Igbere had produced 3 state governors, 2 vice chancellors, big time entrepreneurs, international footballers, great entertainers, 2 SANS, sea of lawyers, uncountable medical doctors, and captains of industries in business and oil & gas. Numerous lecturers & professors.   Every family in igbere has raised 3 to 4 graduates. The town is not lacking behind in any sphere of human activities. Igbere has lost its virginity as a typical Nigerian village as it is now a world class tourist center consumed with rampaging modernity. The town is dotted with Architectural master pieces of world class hotels with modern state of arts equipments.
Apart from the EZUMEZU, the mother of all cultural festivals in igbere, we have other events that ignites fire in igbere during yuletide….xmas  such as….( THE FACE OF IGBERE BEAUTY PAGEANT ..FOI, MISS-IGBERE BEAUTY PAGEANT, IGBERE ULTIMATE SEARCH, AMADI IKWECHE MEROMIAL LECTURE, IGBERE FOOTBALL COMPETETION, IGBERE UNITY CARNIVAL, CANTATA PRAISE CONCERT, IYIAMAUKWU TOURIST CENTER AND IGWU-IGBERE RIVER IN OKAFIA.What so ever you want, is in igbere….the land of peace and hospitality.

     There are many theories surrounding the origin of igbere ancestors. There are some who believed that igbere belong to the lost tribe of Israel.this is the first fallacy in the history of igbere origin, the claim of igbo origin was already been dismissed by scholars as a vain search for a noble cultural ancestry. The second fallacy is the autochthony theory propounded by those who say that God created the igbere ancestor at EKE igbere. Now, the third fallacy is that some said in their amateur history of igbere that igbere ancestors emerged from God’s human factory at OKAI EKE is unhistorical. The creationists believe that God created their ancestral father OKOMOKO at EKE IGBERE, which they still revere as the most sacred homeland. Elder, ojukwu igu stated that ( igbere people have no other place of origin except the eke igbere. This view is also corroborated by the accounts provided by elder, uche ibeka and kalu uko. They stated that in the remote past, igbere ancestors ( our fathers told us lived at eke igbere since God created the world) these people believed that eke igbere was the original home of man. All these are fallacy, igbere ancestors were not a direct product from God’s creative factory as others said, and rather they belong to a specialized human group. The creation story is a fallacy. There are those who agree that igbere ancestors belonged to a specialized pre-existing pool of human beings and cultures. In this regard references are made to places as (ANDONI, OKOMOKO, OGONI, ISIOKPO AND ISRAEL) migration from Israel has been dismissed by schorlars as a vain search. Equally migration from andoni is a pure fallacy, in spite of the assertion by some writers that (THE TRACE OF EBIRI OKOMOKO TO ANDONI IS A HISTORICAL TRUTH) but late IGWE ANAGA from okafia has traced the origin of igbere ancestors to OGONI, while ABEL UCHE AGU TRACED THEIR ORIGIN TO ISIOKPO. These are igbo speaking communities founded by some igbo groups during the igbo migration from the OWERRI AXIS towards the coast. Okomoko was one of such igbo communities founded during the period. They are all in the present Rivers State of today.

Unfortunately, igbo further movement towards the coast of the Atlantic Ocean was halted by the IJO-NORTHWARD expansion from the central ijo area. When the igbo migrants and the ijo expansionists met, there was fighting which (ELDER, ABEL UCHE AGU) described as (AGHA-IGBO). The war which lasted for a long time, forced some families to leave their original home in isiokpo and okomoko to migrate northeast across the imo-River through the Ngwa territory into the present Umuahia area already occupied by the IBEKU ANCESTORS, igbere ancestors were among the families that left okomoko in search of a safer area to settle.

     Generally, igbere people believe strongly that okomoko was the ancestral father of the igbere people. Some say that he was the father of EBIRI, whom they regard as the real founder of igbere. According to (elder, ojukwu igu) okomoko was the man created by God at EKE IGBERE. But C.A.L. GUISE, in his intelligence report on igbere in 1934 referred to okomoko as (THE COMMON ANCESTOR OF THE CLAN) but no one was able to state whence he had come from. (ELDER, ROWLAND EKEOMA ABARA) seems to have changed his views about okomoko. He now believes that okomoko was neither the ancestral father of the igbere people nor the real founder of igbere.
The long controversy surrounding okomoko can be attributed to lack of knowledge. Because where knowledge is lacking, speculation flourishes, while myth, legend, and conjecture take the place of the true knowledge. The facts of history are always buried in a haze of legends. Thus by a process of stereotyping the name okomoko has been so reduced that the same name has to do for an ancestral father and for an ancestral home. OKOMOKO IS NOT THE ANCESTRAL FATHER OF THE IGBERE PEOPLE, RATHERIT REFERS TO THEIR ORIGINAL ANCESTRAL HOME NOW LOCATED IN THE PRESENT RIVERS STATE. Okomoko is an igbo-speaking community located in the south of OWERRI in the present ETCHE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA. It is bounded on the north by owerri and on the east by IMO RIVER. Igbere, we can now say with some degree of certainty that okomoko is the mime of a place, and not the common ancestor of the clan.

     Many traditional historians often refer to Ebiri as the son of okomoko and the real founder of igbere. (ELDER, IGBOKO UDO…former secretary General of the igbere Welfare Union) states that Ebiri was the son of okomoko, who led his people out of ogoni and founded igbere. (ELDER, ROWLAND EKEOMA) claimed that Ebiri was born at okomoko and was the real founder of igbere. (ELDER, EJIE EKE UKEGBU) wrote…[IT IS THE BELIEF OF AN AVERAGE IGBERE MAN THAT EBIRI WAS THE FOUNDER OF IGBERE AND WAS THE SON OF OKOMOKO)
Madam PEACE IGWE and elder ADIELE CHUKWU claim that it was Ebiri’s children who founded the CONSTITUENT IGBERE 13 VILLAGES. All these stories are fallacy, misinformation, and lack of knowledge on igbere history.
As I said from the beginning, the case of okomoko as a historical figure has been dismissed. Consequently, Ebiri cannot be the son of a non-existent figure. Ebiri is not the name of either a mystical or historical figure. Rather Ebiri refers to as a tribe which can be defined as a number of people associated by family relationship, preserving its own customs, belief and organization. Ebiri is a sub-igbo group bearing that name. there is a group of Ebiri in the Orlu area in imo state that goes by the name as ( OWERRI EBIRI)
According to (ELDER, OGWO KALU OGWO) from amaiyi community, he said that ( EBIRI FORMED PART OF THE EARLIEST IMMIGRANTS INTO THE EASTERN PART OF NIGERIA). Mr. Mang Obasi sees igbere as one of the Cross River-igbo communities and is often referred to as Ebiri, while Agboji Village in Abiriba is also referred to as Agboji Ebiri. His claim that Ebiri is of Ekoi origin is speculative and suspicious. The Ebiri tribes were among the vanguards that moved from the igbo heartland to the orlu Axis southwards towards the coast. As they had already settled at okomoko as Ebiri people before the igbo-ijo war erupted. It was  this war that forced them out of okomoko. These Ebiri group of people were never submerged, suppressed or assimilated by any other group during the olden day war. They always retained their identity as EBIRI PEOPLE, even when they were subjected to series of attacks by some adventurers.

     When the Ebiri people, the igbere ancestors left okomoko, they followed the same route created by earlier migrants. They passed through ( ISIEKE AND AJATA IBEKU VILLAGES) until they arrived OHAFIA where some of  the Ebiri group settled down, while majority of them moved northwest of OHAFIA. They settled at a place situated between ( NGUZU EDDA AND ABIRIBA) which they called (OKAI ORONYI).There were migrants from the ARO DISTRICTS who settled in this area who founded the (AFIKPO, EDDA, AMASIRI AND UNWANA COMMUNITIES) the aro-ibibio war in the 17th century led to mass exodus of families, adventurers and warriors in search of land to settle. One of the adventurers whose action helped to shape the future history of the Ebiri ancestors was a warrior called (IGBO UKWU) the adventurers of igbo-ukwu are recorded by ( H.WADDINGTON….DISTRICT OFFICER) for afikpo in 1931. According to Waddington, he was the son of OHIFENTA AND THE FOUNDER OF AFIKPO. He described him as a warrior and adventurer, who led an expedition out of ibom village in arochukwu to explore the land and to find a habitation elsewhere. In his company were (OTA AJA AND OBENE UKWU EZE).
They passed through nguzu edda fighting their way through many places including the Ebiri settlement at okai oronyi, located in the direction of edda. In their search for a place to settle, igbo-ukwu and his followers fought wars with the Ebiri ancestors who repulsed their attacks. The gallant and dogged Ebiri warriors stoutly defended their settlement against igbo ukwu attack. Their doggedness and invincibility denied igbo ukwu and ota Aja access to their settlement. It is most likely that it was this (IGBO UKWU AND OTA AJA THAT SOME IGBERE AMATEUR HISTORIANS MISTOOK FOR ARO OKIGBO SLAVE RAIDERS)
Igbo ukwu and ota Aja were not Aro slave raiders. Another personality whose action further influenced the history of igbere was a man called AJA IBEREKWU. He appeared on the historical arena a few years after the death of igbo-ukwu. This man came from ( UKPO NEAR OKPOSI), he was also an adventurer and a warlike person. He fought many wars with ( IMONTA OFU AND OFU IMO), and many other communities. According to ( H. WADDINGTON) he wrote that ( IN THESE WARS, HE WAS ASSISTED BY A TRIBE KNOWN AS EBIRI WHO LIVED IN THE DIRECTION OF EDDA BUT NOW EXTINCT) Aja Iberekwu sought for the assistance of ebiri because he had heard of ebiri tribe’s gallantry and invincibility and decided to hire them to assist him in his wars. The claim by Waddington that the Ebiri tribe is now extinct is far from the truth, Rather after series of attacks, the Ebiri people dispersed and scattered in many directions. Some of them settled in (AFIKPO, ABARIBA, EDDA, NKPORO, OHAFIA AND UTURU), while the majority of them became the founders of igbere of today.
Igbere is the largest surviving group of the Ebiri Tribe. Outside igbere, they constitute a minority group in their new homes but have refused to be submerged or assimilated by anybody or group. They have proudly maintained their identity as members of the Ebiri family.

     We have said that the Ebiri tribe constituted the largest single group of igbo speaking people that lived in the Edda direction, on dispersal they went to different directions, But the  igbere ancestors did not move straight to (EKE IGBERE) as some writers are wont to believe. They did not leave okai oronyi because a mighty bird carried away an Edda man. This story is the tale by the moonlight. It is unhistorical but belongs to the realm of myths and legends. We were not told what they called their new settlement. But item tradition of origin states that igbere ancestors met them at a place they called ( ABALA EGBE OR AGBALA EGBE), here they lived together. It is not clear where abaala egbe, now extinct was located. It must have been located not far from abiriba. According to Mang Obasi, igbere and item lived near Abiriba in a place now extinct before they parted ways. The inhabitants of Agba Egbe were iron workers and black smiths. The item say they moved to Agba Egbe from ( OPOTOPO) which may be a corrupt form of OKOMOKO.

     According to igbere and item traditions of origin, it was the dispute over kola-nuts that led to their dispersal from Agbala Egbe, which igbere tradition said took place at EKE. This event had taken place before they moved to settle at igbere. The kola-nut episode also features in the traditions of (ALAYI AND OZUITEM). MR, GUISE WROTE…the legend goes that many years ago, a dispute over kola-nut in the eke market led to the rupture of the tie of relationship.) The episode tends to confirm the fact that in the remote pact, the ancestors of (IGBERE, ITEM, ALAYI AND OZUITEM) once lived together at a place now extinct. The kola episode did not take place at EKE IGBERE. ONYIKE AGU, described by guise as the direct descendant of igbere ancestral fathers, never made reference to eke igbere as the original home of igbere ancestors. References were made to okomoko establishing the first settlement at (AMAUKWU) on the site of the present EKE MARKET.

     A close study of the mode of settlement in igbere tends to suggest that there were waaves of movement into igbere. There movements from the east, west and south. There was no mass movement led by one leader who could be regarded as an ancestral father. The Ebiri group who now called themselves igboeru because of their encounter with igbo ukwu now broke into small groups migrated to their present site at intervals. The ancestors (AMANKALU, IBINA, AMAUKWU, AGBO AND EZIAMA CAME IN FROM THE EAST OF ABIRIBA, WHILE THE FOUNDERS OF THE EZI-IGBERE VILLAGES ENTERED FROM THE SOUTH, THE AMANDI ANCESTORS ENTERED FROM THE WEST WITH ALAYI AS THEIR CLOSEST NEIGHBOR, UMUOKARAZU ANCESTORS ALSO ENTERED FROM THE WEST).
The ancestors of AGBO AND EZIAMA villages were founded by Ebiri groups who moved from the southeast, they crossed the MBUBA RIVER to establish their settlement near the EKE FOREST.  AMAUKWU Ancestors also crossed the mbuba River to establish north of AGBO AND EZIAMA. They first settled at a place now called EKE AMAUKWU. They settled very close to the Mbuba River which provides easy access to drinking water.
AMANKALU AND IBINA constituted the largest group of the igboeru migrants to the present site. They entered through OZARA NKUMA, crossed the MbubaRiver before they finally settled down. The AMANKALU ANCESTORS entered first and settled very close to the river. When the IBINA ANCESTORS found amankalu already settled, they moved a few meters away and settled at a place now called IBINANTA, they settled there because it provided them with easy access to IYINTA-OBA and IYI-OMU. It was from this settlement that they disperse to form the ( IBINAUKWU, AMAOFUFE AND UMUISI VILLAGES). Those who climbed the Mgbele ibina established at IBINAUKWU, while AMAOFUFE settled at the vally in the former (EBELE MARKET AREA). As I said before, the first settlement of ibinaukwu was at the present ibinanta, it was the growth in population and lack of enough land to farm and build houses that caused some people to move in search of new areas for habitation.  Demographically, amankalu has the largest population in igbere, followed by ibinaukwu. The population thins down as you move from Amankalu to agbo. There is no evidence showing that the EKE AMAUKWU SETTLEMENT said to have been founded by okomoko built up a level of population pressure which the environment could not carry or sustain and which could have forced people to move to establish the present igbere villages.
There were no sons or grandsons of Ebiri or okomoko who founded these villages. Guise was told that sons of okomoko were ( NKALU, IBINA AND EZE; no mention was made of other igbere villages. This claim is a FALLACY.

     The origin of the name IGBERE is as controversial as the origin of the town itself. According to C.A.L. GUISE, okomoko’s unfailing optimism and sympathy earned him the nickname (IGBERE-BERE…MEANING IN THE LOCAL DIALECT, NEVER MIND OR DON’T WORRY)  Thus igbere became the name by which the clan was known. The implication of this assertion is that the name igbere originated from okomoko’s nickname. In recent times the origin of the name has become a subject of acrimonious debate. It is pertinent to point out at this juncture that there is a village located at the south of (ABAKALIKI) called igbere .  the relationship between the two communities is an area for further research.
According to elder, ojukwu igu, the name igbere derived from ( igboeru)  He claimed that it was okomoko who named his okai eke settlement igboeru because the thick forest surrounding the settlement provided him and his people adequate protection against external invasion because of its inaccessibility. Elder, igboko ude said the place was originally called igboeru because of the people’s military valour which prevented invaders from reaching their house. Among the amateur historians there is no unanimity as to the origin of the name ( igbere). Reference has already been made to oral tradition where two informants agreed that the name originated from igboeru. But there are writers who claim that the name originated from (IGBO-ERE).
In another attempt to explain the origin of the name (elder, Ejie Eke Ukaegbu) stated that it was when the Aro Okigbo could not sell its people into slavery that they agreed in disgust that the place was no doubt igbo-eru as well as igbo-ere. He is of the view that it was the Aro slave raiders who originated the name.( elder, Rowland Ekeoma) submitted that the name was derived from igbo-ere. He corroborated ukaegbu’s assertion that the name was a group name given to the people by the aro oke igbo slave raiders. They described the people as (IGBO-ERE) because they found the people the most elusive group to be captured and enslaved.
The accounts by Ukaegbu and Rowland  attributed the origin of the name to the Aro people whom they described as slave raiders. They believed that the aro slave raiders were led by a man they called OTA OBOM. He led the invasion to igbere. Faulting the claims of ukaegbu and Rowland, ( elder, OGWE KALU OGWE) from amaiyi argued that the name could not have originated for ( igbo-ere) because the Aro slave trading activity which they associated with the name was a too recent historical event to be associated with the very early history of igbere. elder ogwe kalu ogwe therefore dismissed this claim as an arrant imagination of great historical distortion. This is another fallacy in our study of igbere origin. There is no concrete evidence to show that the Aro or their allies made up of (OHAFIA, ABAM AND ABIRIBA) ever made any attempt to invade igbere for whatever purpose at all. The Aro were slave traders and not slave raiders. They were never involved in any slave raiding activity. They obtained slaves from communities engaged in inter-communal wars, and through the manipulation of the ( IBINAUKPABI). As pointed out by Mang Obasi, the Aro were not great race warriors and empire builders. They exploited their ibinaukpabi for their own benefit. They were deeply involved in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, but definitely not in the trans-saharah slave trade conducted by the Arabs, which even preceded the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. The origin of igbere has nothing to do with Aro or Arab slave trade.
Having successfully defended their settlement and having denied igbo-ukwu access to their home, they proudly named the okai oronyi settlement (IGBO-ERU) this was because igbo ukwu never had access to their settlement, he was unable to penetrate their territory with the hope of subduing them. However, the name igbo-eru was not given to them by any outsider, or by any invader, rather they gave the name to their settlement, which later, metamorphosed into ( IGBERE). They left okai oronyi as igbo-eru people of the Ebiri tribe.
They maintained the name in its new form of igbere to constantly remind them of their encounter with igbo-ukwu, and their past military valour and their invincibility. When igbere settled in their permanent site, they added Ebiri to igbere and called themselves ( IGBERE-EBIRI). This reminds them that they are the direct descendants of the famous Ebiri tribe. Their name was originally IGBOERU EBIRI.
Some attempts have also been made to explain the origin of the name (EBIRI OKOMOKO). Elder, Ejie Eke Ukaegbu has claimed that Ebiri, the presumed son of okomoko was called Ebiri Okomoko, it was also to particularize him from other EBIRIS, or because his father founded okomoko. Okomoko is an igbo-speaking community of  the south of owerri from where the Ebiri tribe migrated into okai oronyi, okomoko was the original home of the Ebiri tribe, the ancestors of the igbere people. The name Ebiri Okomoko reminds them of their ancestral home at okomoko, it reminds them of where they came from. Thus IGBERE EBIRI reminds them of their past military glory; IGBERE EBIRI also distinguishes them from other Ebiri sub-groups and the igbere located south of Abakaliki in Eboyi State Nigeria.

IN SUMMARY: The following points must be noted;
1.   IGBERE ANCESTORS DID NOT MIGRATE FROM ANDONI. Cultural and geographical factors make the Andoni theory seem improbable.
2.   NEITHER OKOMOKO NOR EBIRI REFERS TO ANY MYSTICAL OR HISTORICAL FIGURE. They refer to a community and tribe respectively and not to human beings.
4.   IGBERE HAS NO SINGLE ANCESTRAL FATHER; in one course the different groups that had established villages coalesced and started to co-exist as members of the EBIRI FAMILY, UMU-EBIRI. It was at this junction that some tried to invent a hierarchical order of seniority based on a very broad and vague sequence of event.
5.   DEAR IGBEREANS, it is considered necessary to go into the history of igbere at such great length in order to achieve some level of balance and objectivity. This has to a large extent been achieved. There has been detailed and indepth analysis of both primary and secondary sources. It was on this basis that we came to the final conclusion. Igbere has a common origin, but not a common ancestral father.
The problem of igbere history started since 1973, when some of these elders were not given us the accurate history of igbere, instead, they complicated the issue.
This is the list of some of our elders who were interviewed in 1973.

1.   Elder, Johnson Ezeikpe was interviewed about igbere history in his house in Amaukwu igbere on 20th july, 1973.
2.   Elder, Ojukwu Igu was interviewed in his house in ibinaukwu igbere on 8th of july, 1973.
3.   Elder,Uche Iheaka was interviewed in his house in ibinaukwu igbere on 8th of july, 1973.
4.   Elder, Kalu Uko was interviewed in his house in Amaukwu igbere on 10th of july, 1973.
5.   Elder, Kalu Ogbuji was interviewed in his house in Agbo igbere on 10th of july, 1973.
6.   Elder, Igboko Udo was interviewed in his house in ibinaukwu igbere on 8th of july, 1973.
7.   Elder, Madurudo Anyanwu was interviewed in his house in Agbo igbere on 10th of july, 1973.
8.   Elder, Igwe Anaga was interviewed in his house at Amagbo, okafia igbere on 17th of july, 1973.
9.   Elder, Abel Uche Agu was interviewed in his house in ohumola igbere on 17th of july, 1973

[All of them said different stories or accounts of igbere history/ origin and that’s what we are suffering today, each community in igbere believed in the history of igbere that favors them….quoted by engr, nwachukwu c. joseph]

Let me conclude this lecture by saying that he who does not know his root, where he came from, can hardly know who he is, and where he is going. History is the study of society in time perspective. A society that abandons its history is gone for good and slips into oblivion. It is the principal medium for the transmission of culture.




Tuesday, 28 April 2015


 Make I yab dem? Fela would tease; fela yab demmmmmm….the anticipating audience would roar back, eager for a laugh at someone else’s expense. Contempt for the affectations and pretentiousness of the ruling elite was dished-out in equal measure with thorough verbal roasting of the masses that condoned these rulers in the first place.
In those days, a visit to Lagos without a pit stop at fela’s club at jibowu fly-over was a less than fulfilling experience for savvy visitors here in Nigeria and foreigners, especially Europeans, who paid good money to endure humorous but stinging jibes from a social critic conscious always, about the legacy of colonialism and oppression.
Fela, for all of his brilliance as a composer, arranger, keyboardist and saxophonist, it was his prowess as a multi-talented instrumentalist that held the entire nation of Nigeria together. As a band-leader, he was supported by a (COTERIE OF BRILLIANT INDIVIDUALISTS) like { IGO CHICO on tenor saxophone, PEERLESS TONY ALLEN..on drums} fela’s songs was catchy and easily understood lyrics largely in pidgin English flavored by syncopated rhythms and an awe inspiring horn section, were echoed and chorused by the female singer-dancers whose shrill voices struck many as a throwback to the witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Intense, raw and uncut.
Nor matter where fela was playing live, he was value-for-money. Whether performing with his entire ensemble at the shrine or at the ( TBS…TAFAWA BALEWA SQUARE) in Lagos or just gigging impromptu with Tunde & the late kuboye at the museum kitchen and later at jazz 38 on Awolowo road ikoyi, he effortlessly delivered a satisfying performance which  friends of  fela and visitors would talk about till the next show.
Even his habitual lateness in arriving at his live performances did nothing to dampen the anticipation of the crowd and the joyful roar that always greeted his double fisted black power salute as he strode onto the stage, sometimes 6 hours late.
THE BLACK-PRESIDENT, as many use to call him, rehearsed everyday to prepare for his next show. I didn’t know fela personally but started hearing his jazz music in my village in ( UMUIKPO OKAFIA IGBERE) through my uncle’s turn-table. Till when I came to Lagos and attended his show at lekki beach on 25th of December, 1990. Every time I watched him and his dancers live, I saw the visceral impact his music had on his audience, me included. Great fela had the ability to talk directly to each person in the audience. Do you know that I still have an extensive collection of his music as one of my most prized possessions. Even to this moment, continue to discover new things about fela through his music.
My question has been, where did he get the opening stanza of (WATER NO GET ENEMY?) what was he thinking?, why is this assembly of notes still one of the most recognizable musical phrases in Nigeria, across gender and tribe?, why would a light skinned woman be described as ( YELLOW FEVER?) I get the yellow fever, but the FEVER beats me. Was she hot to the touch or just hot to look at? There are many more such questions waiting when I head into blissful retirement of this write-up with fela’s music, and it will be a joy to ponder on them as I compare perhaps this new generation music of these days. The
Empty, meaningless music and lyrics of our time that has a lot of corrupt rhythms and sound.
I have heard other Afrobeat bands and artistes keeping the music alive, listened to sampled versions of his music by young international artistes, and even seen the Broadway show tagged FELA. That is now making waves on the global entertainment circuit and introducing the fela phenomenon to new audiences worldwide. This is AWESOME for this great legend who ever live, and is still living in our hearts.
The Emperor of Afrobeat music sleeps and the people ponder and talk amongst themselves!!
More respect, ABAMI EDA (THE STRANGE BEING), more respect to you as you rest. I am still getting those goose bumps of jazz/ Afrobeat tunes.
FELA’S BEGINNING: fela was born to middle-class parents in Abeokuta, Nigeria-on 15th of October, 1938. He was the 3rd of 4 children: by all accounts his upbringing was strict, thanks to his Anglican Gentleman father (Rev, Israel o. Ransome Kuti…..and his political and women’s rights activist mother-Mrs, olufunmilayo Ransome Kuti.
Fela was a student of conventional music at Trinity College of music, oxford, England and his early style reflected significant inflections of American jazz and Rhythm and Blues as well as African highlife. He was already a prolific recording artist during the 1960’s and I recall in 1990 stumbling upon a ( Fela Ransome Kuti and his koola lobitos..LP, when listening to his songs, I was desperately searching in vain for all his songs for a modicum of association between that and the later Afrobeat music by the same artist.
Anikulpo kuti was at his most prolific during the 70s and 80s and most of his more than 50 world class albums were produced at this time. His style had now become distinct and unique and this was also when he was his most controversial and confrontational. Commentators ascribe the metamorphosis to a tour of the USA in 1969. The introduction to black activism and the black consciousness movement and consequently strong identification with Pan Africanism led to jettisoning of his (SLAVE NAME….RANSOME)-and its replacement with the enigmatic-( ANIKULAPO…meaning…HE THAT HAS DEATH IN HIS POUCH).
Pan Africanaism also caused a change of name for his band to ( Nigeria70, Later the Africa 70 and much later the Egypt 80) and also the names of his performing clubs to the Afro Spot and later the present name …AFRIKA-SHRINE, located at alawusa-ikeja….lagos state…the most powerful night club in africa.
THE MAKING OF A STAR: At the height of his popularity, Fela was genuinely an international super-star. Playing Afrobeat to sell-out audiences in Africa, Europe and US, Fela remains by a long way the biggest musical phenomenon to have come from Nigeria. Fela’s commanding stage shows, complete with supple, sexy and dexterous dancing girls captivated audiences wherever he played and he gigged with internationally acclaimed  musicians, most famously Ginger Baker of cream fame.
FELA VS MILITARY RULE: Denounced as a misogynist, a promiscuous corrupting influence, drug taker and attractor of miscreants; Fela’s own natural constituency which should have been the Nigerian middle-class was his most hostile and vociferous critic. Together as allies, it might have been more difficult for the military rulers to isolate and deal with fela, even as they simultaneously presided over near-annihilation of the middle-class in Nigeria. Mutual hostility was injurious to both sides, nevertheless that didn’t stop Fela from forming his own political movement called (MOVEMENT OF THE PEOPLE…MOP). By now in full voice as a social critic and very much at the receiving end of official intimidation and persecution; the music was the medium for the message that continued to resonate with newer and younger generations of Nigerians.
In those days, Nigerian musicians helped the masses to communicate messages to the government, expressing the mind of the people.
Today, the taste of songs/ lyrics of Nigerian musicians have gone from bad to worse. Their songs have no meaning. They can’t talk to government through songs again, instead, they joined them in singing ( skelewu, dorobucci, sekem, kukere, chop my money, ada oweri, shake your bumbum, bottom belle, ihe din a ukwu, I ga ebunwukwe, etc.
THE SAD END OF FELA: Very early in the morning of 2nd of August, 1997 at the age of 58 years..18 years ago, the news of Fela’s death hit the entire world, and the report coming from the family was an ugly and shameful one, how can fela of all people died of ( HIV& AIDS ?), many were not surprised because of his promiscuous life with women, some were expecting him to die of smoking igbo…marijuana and cocaine.
By testimony, some say that licentiousness always exacts a heavy price. However as it was with Bob Marley and Reggae; by the time he exited, the same thing happened to fela, he had elevated Afrobeat, a local music genre, unto the world stage and international reckoning.
Gratitude to the Kuti’s family for the courage to publicly tell the whole world the truth that their brother ( FELA ANIKULAPO KUTI) died of HIV/AIDS. It was a great challenge for fela’s brother ( OLUKOYE RANSOME KUTI) who was the minister of health during  ABACHA’S ADMINSTRATION.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Justice Yunusa Mohammed of the Federal High Court in Lagos, capital of Lagos State, has ordered eleven Nigerian banks to freeze the accounts of a former female member of the House of Representatives, Doris Uboh-Ogunkoya. The court order arose from a lawsuit filed against Ms. Uboh-Ogunkoya by Sterling Bank Plc, alleging that she and her company had defaulted on a substantial loan. The lawsuit, which was filed by Dada Awosika on behalf of Sterling Bank, also lists the former legislator’s company, Dagasteel International Limited, as co-defendant.Doris Uboh-Ogunkoya
Ms. Uboh-Ogunkoya was a House of Reps member from 2007 to 2011. She also ran unsuccessfully as a senatorial candidate of the Labor Party in the March 28, 2015 elections.
An affidavit by Mr. Tunji Bajowa, an official of Sterling Bank, disclosed that Ms. Uboh-Ogunkoya and her company received loans of $1,600,000 and N100 million to finance a contract awarded to Dagasteel by different bodies, including the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SDPC), the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), and the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company Limited (PPMC). Sterling alleges that both Ms. Uboh-Ogunkoya and her company did not service the loans.
Justice Mohammed’s ordered United Bank, First Bank, Zenith Bank, Enterprise Bank, Skye Bank, Heritage Bank, Keystone Bank, Mainstreet Bank, Union Bank, Diamond Bank, and Stanbic IBTC not to permit the defendants to make transactions on their accounts in the respective banks until the substantive suit was determined.
In addition, the judge issued an interim order restraining the registrar of titles in Lagos and Delta states as well as the director of lands in Abuja from releasing any funds to the defendants connected to the SPDC and NPA contracts.   
The lawsuit disclosed that the former legislator provided three parcels of land in Agbor, Delta State, Ajah, in Lagos State, and in Abuja as collateral to secure the loans.
Sterling Bank’s lawsuit added that it faithfully disbursed funds from the credit facilities to the defendants, but added that Ms. Uboh-Ogunkoya and her company never paid back when SPDC paid them for the contract.
The lawsuit accused the defendants of refusing to respond to the bank’s inquiries about the progress of the contracts, adding that the former legislator used the payments she received to fund her 2015 senatorial race.
According to the lawsuit, the defendants were already processing the second part of payment from the SPDC as well as payment from the NPA in order to divert the funds.
Sterling Bank alleged that the legislator and her company had rebuffed numerous efforts by its officials to obtain repayment of the credit facilities. It accused the two defendants of striving to evade their obligations to repay the loan taken Sterling Bank.
Among other reliefs, Sterling Bank wants the court to order the defendants to pay $1.77 million and N117 million naira which are the outstanding values of the loans it extended to the former legislator and her firm.


Chante eh eh
Chante eh eh
Chante eh eh
Chante eh eh 
Every morning I wake up praise Jah for these faces I see
This air that I breathe but still see some haters

Who wan’ come take it from me
Put me down six feet
Lay me down as a rock so they’ll trample on me
But I give thanks, yes,
And I bless Jah cause He’s standing by me
Through all of the stress and the madness
Recess and my up grace
All day I dey chante so I fear not what you say
I’m the son of the sun, In ‎love with the one
Chilling on top like a cloud on the run
So even if you stood pointing the gun
Pull the trigger na yourself you go burn
I dey twale, Baba which way? I pray
Never let ‘em slip or slide me,ride me
Oluwa rise me
let me take the flight
Stretch out my wings
In this fight I see things clear
I’m getting it right so I chante at morning
And chante at night
Chante Halleluyah oyo’o
Halle chante halle halli
When you wake up in the morning sun
Give praise to God who keeps you alive 

Chante Halleluyah oyo’o
Halle chante halle halli
When you wake up in the morning sun
Give praise to God who keeps you alive 

When you see the birds, flying high up in the sky
All of them dey like to chante
And when you see the trees
The breeze dey blow them all around
All of them dey like to chante
You say you worship a God,your eyes cannot see
But you surely stand alone
If you do not believe in me
I made the heavens and the earth
I made the sky, I made the sea
I made the universe and everything

Therein bounds to me
O Lord, I pray you shall not destroy humanity
If you will only see the rainbow in me, Oh-o

And we halle chante halle halli
When you wake up in the morning sun
Give praise unto Jehovah on high 

Chante halleluyah oyo
You halle chante halle halli
When you wake up in the morning sun
I will give praise unto Jehovah for life…yes o 

Chante eh eh
Chante eh eh
Chante eh eh
Chante eh eh 

Halleluyah Halleluyah Halleluyah (Repeat till fades out