OPINIONPUNCHLINE

Onicha Mmili Article By Onwa Amene

The Ancient Egyptian City of ON along the River Niger: The History and Culture of Onicha Mmili (Onitsha) – by – Onwa Onyebuchi Amene Esq.

From, Ugonabo Onwa Amene Esq.
an Attorney who practices
mostly in the International Court of Trade.
INTRODUCTION:

Our history as a people should neither be a mystery nor a guess work. It must be written by us for us based on our knowledge of what was, what is and what will forever be as children of Onicha: a divine town of assured prospects; a town that was oriented and aligned to sacred stars of the immortal galaxies; a town, that was divinely inspired and strategically founded on the sacred banks of God’s own river, the Niger. Onicha, the sacred abode, uniquely ordained to soar and tower above all obstacles; a town, where the immortal flame of God’s own love will forever glow.

Onicha-Ado n’ Idu! Atulukpa Ose! Onicha, oke Ebo na eri agu! Eke nwe ovia! (The royal python that reigns in the the sacred forest!) Oke Nnunu Mmuo n’ ebe n’ oku!(The mystical bird Phoenix who is immune from the inferno!) Onicha; my Onicha, our Onicha, the divine breasts whose nourishing milk has sustained all from the misty dawn of times!

The word “Onitsha” is an alienization of the proper spelling of our correct name “Onicha”. From my research, this word was first used by Mungo Park in his reports of his expedition amongst the Niger people and this was continued by other Europeans. The compound term “tsha” is non-existent in any African or Igbo syntax. We should abandon the perpetuation of this anomaly and revert to the correct form of our name: Onicha. The ancestral name of our beloved town is “Onicha-Mmili”.This was to distinguish it from our other kinsmen at other Onicha settlements on the West of the Niger, like “Onicha-Ugbo”; “Onicha-Olona”; “Onicha-Ukwu”; and other blood relatives that branched out from the major migrational group to develop those settlements on the West of the Niger or “Enu Ani”. It is really sad that these days, our interactions and dynamics with these our blood relatives at Enu Ani have become almost extinct.

My immortalized and legendary kinsman, Chief Philip Okonkwo Anatogu, the Onowu Iyasele of Onitsha, once explained that the word “Onicha-Ado N’ Idu” referred to the Nation of all Onicha stock that made the exodus from the Idu land. Idu was one of the names for ancient Egypt. “Idu” or “Edo” was later corrupted to Edo and was usurped by the Benin nation. The Iyasele explained that the towns of Onicha-Mmili, Onicha-Ugbo, Onicha-Olona, Onicha-Ukwu, Issele-Ukwu, Issele Mkpitima, Ezzi, Obamkpa and other towns of Benin migrational orientation were all collectively referred to as “Onicha Ado n’ Idu” by the Edos! Over the years when Onicha-Mmili became very accomplished, the usage of the name “Onitsha Ado n’ Idu” appeared to have been narrowed down to her. Many of our brethren at Enu Ani had criticized this as what they perceived as an attempt by Onicha-Mmili to solely assume what was a national identity of all Onicha children.

Who are Ndi Onicha? Onye ka anyi bu? Ebe ka anyi sii? Anyi abu ndi Edo/Idu/Benin?

BACKGROUND OF OUR ANCIENT ROOTS:

Just like many ancient kingdoms that are now scattered in the Southern part of the Sahara, the Onicha history is rooted in Ancient Egypt. From linguistics, cultural, cosmological, anthropological, pictorial, traditional and spiritual analyses and comparisons, Onicha people and their Yoruba and Edo relatives are from Ancient Egypt, known then to our ancestors as Kemet. The word “Egypt” was a hellenised (from the Greeks) name for Kemet. (I have always wondered the psycho-social motivation for the European’s fixation for alteration of names and identities of the indigenous people that they conquer.)

Our confusion and rejection of our Egyptian roots is premised upon years and years of colonial mis-education and doctrine that the Egyptian civilization was attributable to Europeans. The imperialist oppressors never taught our history from its remotest past but taught and narrowed the genesis of African history to the colonial era and advent. Most Europeans who made a good effort to conduct research on African history and anthropology, like Professor Richard Henderson, in his “The King in every man” did excellent works but their works were very prejudicially narrowed in time and scope. None ever attempted to conduct an indepth study to connect our history to the advanced ancient Egyptian roots. This was a deliberate omission, perhaps premised upon the colonial doctrine that “Africa was a race without a past” because it does not take a lot of studies for one to connect Onicha and closely related communities like the Edos and Yorubas to ancient Egypt.

Words like “Yorubas”, “Benin”, “Igbos”, are relatively new terms and were never used by the ancestors of these people to identify them. We should also note that the Igbo, Yoruba, Edo, and many West African languages descended from one parent language and belong to the “KWA” language group. We must endeavor to write our history from its purest and ancient source and not be limiting our studies to events of 700 years ago. This is an insult to our ancestors whose eons and billions of ageless genes exist in us. ONITSHA DID NOT START WITH OUR ANCESTRAL ADVENT TO THE BANKS OF THE NIGER FEW HUNDRED YEARS AGO!

OUR KEMETIC/EGYPTIAN ROOTS

Marcus Aurlielus Garvey once opined that a people without a knowledge of their history is like a tree without roots. We must, for the sake of our children, approach the study of our history with fervency and zeal, otherwise, we deprive them of a foundation upon which they can stand to withstand the fierce battles of man’s unkindness to man as history keeps attesting. Just mentioning that we left Benin over a contest for a royal throne is a mockery of historical accuracy and a severe limitation of the true self knowledge of who we are, in terms of scope and time.

Who and what were we before the tiny or microscopic phase of the Benin/Edo experience? How did we get to Benin? And from were did we get to Benin? Why did we migrate from where we were to Benin?

Why does Onicha Igbo syllable contain more Yoruba words than Benin words? And why do our kingship and chieftaincy titles and arrangements resemble the Edos/Benin and not like the Yorubas? What was our original language? Do we still have its linguistic remnants in our chants, dirges, eulogies and dances? What is the meaning of the chants that we intone during the sacred Ido Ogbi gba (last funeral phase) of an ascended ancestor?

Why did Onicha people readily and without any objection embrace and adopt the mystical rituals of the Igala Immigrants and their Muo-Avia/MmuoOgonogo/Egwugwu, placing the Muo-avia on a powerful position that almost paralleled and usurped the powers of the monarch? Did the Igalas have any Yoruba, Edo or Benin roots? Did Onicha, Edo and Igala have a common roots? Why are the Ulutus/Mgbelekekes, who are Igala immigrants, the custodian of the most powerful sacred shrine in Onitsha: Ani Onitsha? These and many others are the questions that we need to ask?

Onitsha words like “Ogbadu”(corn), “Okwute” (rock/stone), “Ogede” (plaintain), “Ologbo” or Onogbo”, (cat), “Okpulukpu” (box or container”, “Erulu” (beads), “Ikpulu” (a specie of garden egg), “Inye Ori” by Muo Avia,(Ori means head or chi in Yoruba) and so many others are all Yoruba words, except “Ologbo” which is still used in Benin today. However, many of our traditional titles are the same with the Edos/Binis: Onicha titles like “Iyasele” is “Iyasere” in Bini; “Ogene Onira” is “Oliha” in Benin; “Odu Osodi” is “Osodin” in Benin; “Omodi Daike” in Onitsha is “Edaiken” in Benin; “Esagba” in Onitsha is “Esogban” in Benin; the “Isama” titles are the same in both towns amongst many others.

The land of Kemet or ancient Egypt, also called Idu or Igodomigodo by our ancestors, now sadly inhabited by descendants of Arabic and Turkish (with other European) invaders, was before the invasion, the ancestral land of Onicha people and many other African nations.

We were forced to make a southern migrational exodus to avoid annihilation by the constant invasion from foreign forces from Persia, Turkey, Albania, Macedonia and other parts of Europe. The land of Egypt was a very sophisticated and super advanced nation of civilized people. The foundation of ancient Egypt was laid by Africans who are now scattered in disorganized groups called tribes and clans; in total ignorance of their identities, contributions to world science, arts and their very advanced civilized roots in ancient Egypt.

Now and then, it hurts a lot to see the ways that Turkish-Arabs have been desecrating the ancient tombs and graves of our African ancestors in Egypt. Our ancestral graves are being excavated on a daily basis in the name of “research”. If these were their ancestors would they be allowing these desecrations and digging up of their ancestors for studies and research? In the name of research and studies, they are destroying land marks and coded information left by our ancestors for us and our children. Six years ago, they conducted a melanin pigmentation/skin color test on the skins of 25 Pharoahs and ancient Egyptian mummies that they excavated and found that they were all Africans with very dark skins but this information is yet to be published in the bi-annual Egyptian Historical Society magazines. The Key is to keep the African in stupor and ignorance of his great past.

OUR CONNECTION TO THE ANCIENT EGYPTIAN TOWN CALLED “ON”

Everything that the world knows today in terms of religion, science, astrology, astronomy, medicine, laws and other branches of philosophical studies are from ancient Egypt. According to Herodotus, a very travelled Greek Historian, who kept records of his visit to ancient Egypt, Egypt was peopled by very disciplined and organized citizenry who were “very” black people with “wooly hair”. Everything revolved around the Pharoah, who was an incarnate of God on earth.

The word “Pharoah” is the Greek translation of the Kemetic term, “Parah” meaning “Great house/home or abode”(compare this to the title of our King, “Obi” which is also a home or abode”.) The term alludes to the fact that the King or Pharoah is a great abode or temple that houses many forces, spirits or powers. The Gods and Goddesses dwell in his body making it “a great house or “Obi”.

The “Obi” of modern Onitsha today is the continuation of the ancient Pharonic dynasty of ancient Kemet or Egypt. Onitsha must retrace the history of her monarchs from his imperial Majesty Obi Achebe back to the Ogiso Kings of Igodomigodo in Edo, then to Egypt; to Pharoah Tutankhamon, Pharoah Amenemhet, Pharoah Amenemes, Pharoah Amenkhuti Ra; Pharoah Khafara, and back to the first dynasty in Egypt. Enough of this tracing of our kingship to just Obi Oreze or his father Ohime(corrupted to “Chima”) by his later descendants. Did they not descend from somebody? We must take back our history to where it belongs. Do we have to wait for Professor Henderson to come and tell us?

THE CITY OF ON

Onicha got its name from the ancient Egyptian city of “ON”, unfortunately renamed as “Heliopolis” by the Greeks and now being called “El Minah” by the modern Egyptian government, which has changed the name of this city five times. The City of “On” was the citadel of spiritual excellence and was one of the most sacred cities of ancient Egypt.

The priests of On were very mystical and were the repository of the ancient mysteries of Egypt. The priests of On guided their mysteries jealously and were the only priests that crowned the Pharoahs. No king of Egypt could be recognized without being consecrated by the priests of On. They were called the “Priests of the most high”. The Pharoh and his family traditionally resided in the city of On. “Onicha” means those that were sacked or cut off from the city of On. The word “cha” in ancient Egypt means to cut, descend or fall from. The Onitsha Igbo dialect term “chapu” like in “chapu ya isi” (cut off his head) still has the same root like the ancient Kemetic Egyptian language: “cha” : to cut off or make to fall.

Onicha people were actually those that were cut off or fled from the sacred city of On. Literarily speaking, Onicha means “people of On that fled” from On. Some people had wrongly described the word Onicha as those who “despise others”, but that could not be correct because they were the ones who were charged with the responsibility of consecrating and annointing kings and priests. As a matter of fact, the names, “Tutankam-on” and “Solom-on” are rooted in the city of On. Solomon means he who was initiated into the mysteries of On.

In Onicha today, we see the term “On” reflecting in many of our names and traditional titles. The term “On” is found in some of the following Onitsha traditional chieftaincy titles: “On-owu”, “On-i-ra”, meaning “On” dedicated to the ancient Egyptian God called “Ra”, “Onika” meaning the Ka of On; the word “ka” in Kemetic language means “the soul”, therefore, “Onika”means the soul of On. We also see the word “On” in “Onya”, “Onoli” and “Onwolu” all chieftaincy titles in Onicha.

In their roles as priests, ON-icha people after being cut off from Egypt, continued to play their roles as priests and in that capacity sojourned with different closely related communities that were scattered in Africa, especially in West Africa, where their services as priests were still needed.

They dwelt amongst other fellow Egyptians and Punis (Cannanites) who had fled/migrated from ancient Egypt to avoid foreign invasions.

They were in Ile Ife, today in Ile Ife, some Yorubas of ON-icha stock are still residing there. Till date, an ancient ritual of the battle of Moremi, an Ile Ife Princess’ conflict with Onicha inhabitants are still enacted on a yearly basis.

Onicha priests were also in Benin kingdom or Edo land.

They were also in Igbo land. I suspect that the Priests of Nri were distantly connected to the city of On. That is why till date an Nri King upon consecration must bring certain sacrifial items (tributes) to the Obi of Onicha and must sleep over in Onicha before assuming the Nri throne.

Why would the very traditional Nri people who were (and still are) known all over the Igbo land as a holy people and the spiritual custodian of all Igbo lands, accord these rights to Onicha Kings? All these indicate that Onicha and many other tribes had had prior interactions and established certain traditional precedence which had been ongoing before the Onicha town was founded just around 700 hundred years ago. No Nri man would just concede to subject his divine King to some unknown immigrants who just crossed over from the Niger River, if that were to be the case.

Times have really changed. It should be noted that I am referring to an era when we had no tribal or linguistical differenciation as we have now. Many of the modern African tribes and languages were non-existent in the past. We were all one group and spoke one language, different languages developed after our exodus from Egypt and sojourn with other different populations that were in other parts of Africa when we migrated.

These priests of On made sure to plant the concept and importance of establishing an independent nation like the ancient city of On where Onicha people would assume their prime and primordial roles as divine priests amongst men, once again. Onicha-Mmili was an attempt to recreate the ancient city of On for Onicha people after years and years of persecution and oppression for their priestcraft at the hands of many hosting relatives who over the years forgot who and what Onicha stood for.

BENIN EMIGRATION OR EXODUS:

The migration of Onicha people from Benin happened in phases over many years and did not happen once. The Ohime/Obi Ezechima’s exodus was one of the last ones that occurred but it should be noted that not all Onicha people left with Obi Eze Chima or Ohime. Some stayed back and are still in Benin today.

Some took a different migrationary route towards Ile Ife and Ado Ekiti. Some went to establish Ondo. Some made a northern migrational journey towards the north to establish the Igala Kingdom.

The Attah of Igala and a substantial part of the Igala kingdom were Onicha people who immigrated into Igala from Benin. According to oral traditions, the first Attah of Igala was a Priestly-Prince of the Edo/Benin Kingdom.

Now it can be understood why the Onicha people were ferried across the Niger and greatly assisted by their Igala kinsmen when they reached the banks of the Niger river. It can also be understood why Onicha people easily incorporated many Igala rituals and traditions into their own concepts. They were of the same roots but different branches. Onicha people left Benin to establish Igala; that was the secret behind the easy adoption of and exchange of different tenets amongst Onicha and Igala people.

Some Onicha people, before Eze Chima’s exodus, had left Benin to establish other towns like Issele Ukwu, Ebu, Kwale, Ezzi, Onicha-Ukwu, Okpanam, Asaba(originally called “Araba”) and some other towns of Benin orientation that had been established before the Ezechima’s exodus from Benin.. It was these settlements that habored Obi Ohime/Ezechima when he and his family fled from Benin. The migration from Benin to Onicha Mmili took many years, towns of Onicha-Olona and Onicha-Ugbo were established by Onicha people who felt reluctant to continue and follow Obi Ohime to Onicha-mmili.

ESTABLISHMENT OF ONICHA-MMILI AND HER RULING DYNASTY:

Obi Ohime or Eze Chima, having been told that he could not enter Onicha, stayed for a long time in Obio (a town across the Niger from Onicha) with his family and relatives before he died.

After he died, his relatives decided to continue with their migration to establish Onicha. The qualification for whom shall be crowned king was conditioned upon who shall sound ancient rhythms on a wooden Ufie. Traditionally, Ufie cannot be owned or be sounded/beaten by a person whose father is still alive. The contestants to the throne having just lost their father, had no ufie, however, Oreze Obi, had carved one which he hid under the boat and sounded first upon getting to Onicha whilst his siblings were busy looking for the appropriate wood to cut for the Ufie.

The contestants to the throne were Oreze, Ukpali, Agbor Chima, Ekensu (Aboh Chima), Obio, Obamkpa and Isele. All these men were all children of Eze Chima. This is very important because I have read some articles being written about “non-royal and royal” Onitsha families by people who are very ignorant of our history.

Dei Ogbuevi was uterine brother of Eze Chima and was therefore not excluded from Onicha kingship unlike the children of Eze Chima outlined above. That is why any Dei descendant can still aspire to the Oncha throne, unlike the descendants of the children of Eze Chima that contested the throne.

Rather than contest the election of their sibling, they resolved to emigrate from Onicha and go back to “Enu Ani” to establish their own clans. Thus Obamkpa, left to establish Obamkpa town. Umuasele, Iyiawu and Umu Odimegwu Gbuagwu villages are all descended from Obamkpa.

Ukpali went to found Agbor and Ekensu went to found Aboh.

After, Ojedi’s sacrifice of her life to save Onicha, her father Dei, left Umudei village to reside with his nephew Ukpali who had founded Aboh town (because then, it was a taboo for a child to die before the parents.) Whilst at Aboh, Dei had more children, who just like their Aboh relatives, became very wealthy by fishermen and traders.

These children of Dei in Aboh, whenever they came to Onicha to trade and market their wares, would spend some days with their relatives at Umudei village. Some later settled at Umudei after exchanging marital vows with other Onicha people and founded the “Ogbe Onira” clan in Umudei village, a very spiritual, mystical and tough clan. The term “Aboh Rika” is now being erroneously applied to all Umu Dei people, but this is historically incorrect. It was originally used for Ogbe Onira clan because of their “Dei-Aboh” roots. Till date, our relatives from Aboh town are saluted with “Abohrika”. It literarily means Aboh predominates! One always sees that pride wherever children of Eze Chima are founded.

When Dei later left Aboh, he went and founded Oguta town in Imo State and till date, only descendants of Dei can assume the throne of Oguta town. In Oguta today, the Umudei Village exists. Traditionally, whenever, the Obi of Oguta visited Onicha-Mmili, he would first go to the Diokpa of Umudei village who would then accompany him to the Obi of Onicha.

THE NINE CLANS OF ONICHA:EBO ITENANI:

Onicha is made up of nine clans: the Umu-Ezechima Clan, Ugwu na Obamkpa Clan; Awada Clan; Ubulu na Ikem Clan;Ulutu Clan;Ubene Clan(Umu Okwulinye);Ogbolieke Clan; Obior Clan; and Agbanute Clan.

ONICHA TRADITIONAL CONCEPTS OF SPIRITUALITY:

Onicha people traditionally beleive in one omnipotent God whom we call”Ose Ebuluwa” or “Osa Ebuluwa” ( “Olisa Ebuluwa”.) One of the original ancient Egyptian, Kemetic names of God, was “Osa”. The Greeks changed it to “Osiris”. Another name of God in ancient Egypt was “Ra”.

In Onicha today we bear the names “Chukwu Ra” etymologically it alluded to “Ra”, the high spirit. It was this aspect of God that the Jews worshipped that is why the term”RA” is reflected in many Jewish and Isreali names. Terms like (Abraham);Ab “Ra” ham, (Israel): Is “Ra” el, {Sarah};Sa “Ra” h, (Raphael);”Ra” phael, (Gabriel);Gab “Ra” el, (Ariel); A “Ra” el, (Mount Ararat);A,ra “Ra” t, and so many others. Could these be “just” coincidental?

In Benin, God is called “Osa No Obuwa”, which has the same etymological root with “Ose Ebuluwa”. The closest transliteration(it cannot be adequately translated into English) of the term “Osebuluwa” can be glimpsed if one attempts to etymologize the term “Osebuluwa”. The term is derived from “Ose/Osa(mystical force/being), ebili(waves), uwa(world), Osebuluwa therefore, subject to my human limitations, means “The mystical being whose waves sustain the world.” Going into the mystical and esoteric meaning of “OLISA”: which literarily means “the devourer of mystical seven”, would cast me beyond the scope of this article. MAKA NA IVIE LIE ISAA ONAA!(WHATEVER DEVOURS SEVEN CEASES TO EXIST!)

The name Ose Ebuluwa was (still is) deemed so holy that the Onicha men, especially Priests of Nze(Agbalanze) would not respond to any greetings from family members upon waking up in the morning, until they ritually cleansed their mouths with (chewing stick) Atu Oborsi, bathed and then faced the direction of the rising sun to pronounce the sacred name “Ose Ebuluwa”. He does this whilst standing in a very consecrated and hallowed ground called “Ani Ezi”. This name is very powerful:none should dare to falsely swear in this name. Our ancestors were spiritually advanced to know that God had no gender, we therefore till date ascribe no gender to God unlike in our European oriented creeds.

In Onicha spiritual philosophy, in the divine realm, things of the physical world like genders, colors, emotions and other trivialities do not exist. We believe that everything in God’s creation has a divine purpose. We see everything on earth as a reflection and part of the divine will and therefore regard every object, living or non-living as having a sacred stamp from God Almighty.

We see the herbs, the sky, the sun, moon, stars, rivers, hills and everything on earth as a different expression and extension of ourselves: we see everything on earth as our equals and do not endorse any superiority over GOD’S creation.

We do not seek converts or convince others to believe in our path of spirituality because everybody has his/her own path and pact with his/her Chi. Thus an Onicha man/ like most traditional Africans, would not impose his views of the divine concept and wage a holy war to convert other towns to partake in his spirituality.

We believe that our ancestors having ascended to the divine realm before us, have the powers to intercede on our behalf over our spiritual needs since their genes still exist in us; we believe that our connection to our ancestors are eternal and was so ordained by God. We use objects or images in our communications or prayers to the divine just as an objectification of the divine principles that they may represent and never WORSHIP or ascribe Godliness to anything carved by human hands. Above all WE BELIEVE THAT GOD, IN GOD’S INFINITE WISDOM, CREATED US AND MADE US MANIFEST AS NDI ONICHA FOR SPECIAL REASONS AND THEREFORE CANNOT SIN AGAINST GOD BY BECOMING OR CONVERTING INTO WHAT GOD DID NOT MAKE US TO BE.

Onowu Anatogu, philosophized that “… na onwelu ive Chukwu ji kenye Agu n’ovia, welu Azu tinye na mmili, aputakwo na mmili, enwe Azu Isi, enwe Azu Asa na azu ndi Ozo ga asi…” (God for a divine purpose created the lions and placed them in the jungle, and with the same divine purpose cast the fishes in the waters, and further divided them into different species like the Cat fish, Electric Eel and other species.) He further stated that it would have been very easy for God to make him an Awkuzu, British, Nsukka or French man, but for some reasons God did not. He concluded that God never makes a mistake or regrets God’s creations.

Our spiritual cycle and circles revolve around our divine King, the Obi of Onicha, the Agbo Ogidi, who encapsulates and personifies, the ultimate divine manifestation of sacred principles in man.

The Obi of Onicha is the soul of the past, present and future of Onicha people. He embodies all and is the big house (OBI) that swallows all, this is why he is addressed as “Agbo Ogidi” the true pronounciation is actually “Ai-Gbo Ogidi”.

The Obi is the royal cobra (UBI) that that kills and swallows its prey.

The Obi is followed in spiritual rank by the Eze Idis (Eze Idus – kings of the people of idus) who are the custodians of Nze and empowered to consecrate men to become Agbalanze.

The Diokpas (the first fruits of each familial obi – great house) are also sacred beings whom God and the ancestors have chosen to intercede in spiritual matters on their behalves.

The Agbalanze are consecrated priests who can officiate before the sacred ancestral or other divine altars for intercession.

The stool of Omu (Queen) of Onicha has been vacant for more than hundred years now. Our last queen was Omu Nwagboka. She was from Ogbendida village and was married into the Egwuatu family of Ogbeotu. The Omu was never the wife of the King in Onicha but was appointed by the King on the recommendation of the Ikporo-onitsha (the women of Onitsha).

Unlike many Onicha men, many Onicha women upon their deaths, became deified and elevated to the status of godship (a ritual that the Catholics copied from Africans.) In Onicha today, Princess Ojedi (Nne na ama Odu,Umudei), Omu Atagbusi(Ogbolieke), Aze (Abalaka, Oti idu)Umuaroli, Queen Uto (Oke Alusi odigbogbo, Ogelli Ete, Umuase), Obiasi Okwu Ogodo (Ogbeotu), Ucheju Onyeama (Odoje), Agadi Nwanyi (Onicha), Okike Iba (Ogbolieke) and others that I cannot mention, were all deified feminine ancestors.

I still believe that only Onicha women will redeem Onicha from its present decadence like they always did in the past. I will credibly defend this belief anywhere and whenever challenged thereon. Omu Atagbusi, led a boycott of Onicha Women from purchasing the imposed merchandize of the British royal Niger Company. This conflict later resulted in the bombing of Onicha by a British War ship, HMS, around 1778. After this assault, Omu Atagbusi, never surrendered, but continued to wage attacks that later forced the British to vacate from Onicha to relocate at Asaba which was then made the headquarters of the Royal Niger Company.

CONCLUSION:

The true meaning behind the saying that “Ive eji abu Onicha erika” is being lost on us. The Onicha man is primarily motivated by inwe avo ojuju (spiritual and emotional balance) and preserving a good name for his children.

Violence and crime are not in his nature. What makes an Onicha man what he is, is his love for Onicha and his unsolicited penchant to help and assist his kinsman or women.

An Onicha man takes pride in seeing his fellow kinsmen being succesful because he sees himself in them.

We are now daily murdering that fraternal and sororial bonds that our ancestors employed to make Onicha what it was.

Would Ukpali, Obamkpa, Ekensu, Abor Chima, Obio have walked away, today, if their brother Oreze deceived them with the sounding of Ufie to become the King, as he did around 700 years ago? Let us learn to forgive ourselves! Let us abandon trivialities and submit ourselves to the divine order of life.

I dedicate this article to those unsung and quiet Onicha people who have been doing their desperate best to assist and elevate Onicha and her children; despite our ingratitude and unkindness to them.

I also dedicate this article to my father, Ugochukwutubelu Oranyelu M.C.J. Amene Esq., whose good name and excellent character became my passport in gaining the trust, patience and confidence of many men and women of diverse orientations who were very knowledgeable about our culture.

References:

“The History of Ancient Benin Kingdom and Empire” by Chief D.N. Oronsaye published in 1995 by Jeromelaiho.

“The King in every man” by Richard Henderson published in 1972 by Yale University Press

“Echoes of the Dark Land” by Charles Finch III published by Khenti Publications in 1999

“A history of Ancient Egypt” by Dr. EAW Budge, New York Humanities Press 1968

“Know Onitsha Families” by Eke Prince Ekwerekwu printed by Amakohson Printing Creations 1989

“My Odyseey” an Autobiography by Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe published by Spectrum Books Limited.

Visits and studies of ancient sculpture and arts of the people of On at the city of Heliopolis” in Egypt.

Interactions and interviews with multiples of Onitsha men and women who “cast their ears to the earth”

“Dictionary of Ancient Egyptian language” by EAW Bugde published by New York Humanities 1978

“Egyptian book of coming forth by day and night” by Ani, published 5,000.00 B.C in the Papyrus of Ani, an Egyptian Priest.

 

Comment here