Eri Origin Debates (Umueri Vs Aguleri)

  • THIS IS A HEALTHY AND SCHOLARLY DEBATE BETWEEN UMUERI & AGULERI IN ASKANAMBRA GOVERNOR FORUM. THIS STARTED WITH A RESPONSE OF COMRADE BIAFRA DIBOH TO AN A PIECE WRITTEN BY MR. AMECHI AKORAH IN WHICH HE TAGGED AGULERI AS THE NEXUS OF IGBO ORIGIN. READ VIVIDLY TO KNOW THE TRUTH OF ERI ORIGIN...
     
    Dear Brother Amechi Akorah,


    I want to commend you for your effort in asking the State Government to complete a project in your home town. It's indeed an inalienable right to ask the State Government to do so. My write up has nothing against the said project as I believed that it's for the goods of all Anambranian in general and Anambra Valley inhabitants in Particular. But your factual reference of Aguleri as "nexus" of Igbo origin seems to be taken out of context and it's an act that's capable of perpetuating and institutionalizing fallacy on otherwise much marginalized Igbo History.


    What do I mean by this assertion? It has not been proved that Aguleri is the headship to Eri dynasty, though there are few write up on that. Though I agreed with Historians who have in past pointed out the fact that majority of Igbo stock emanates from Anambra Valley(Omabala area). This does not in any way implies or confirms Aguleri superiority to others in the valley. For one to arrive on conclusion on exact origin of Igbo, I believe prejudice and sentimental criteria should be disregarded but focus on historical criteria which includes first and foremost, the oral Story, Archeological evidence and written evidence.


    On the aforementioned criteria apart from few written materials which see Anambra Valley as the cradle of Igbo race, there is no basic evidence to claim Aguleri as the "nexus of Igbo Origin". Objectively, I believed that Umueri(Umuleri) has every right to claim the headship of Igbo Origin based on many factors. Archeologically, the oldest deities in Igbo land are from Umueri and this occasioned why most traditional festival in Omabala area started in Umueri before other villages. In Ugume – Umueri, Umueri has in Dabawor- an ancient Deity and whose antiquities have been confirmed to have been there for more than a thousand years, as the Oldest diety in Igbo Land.


    What about the Oral History of the People? From our infant, we were told the Story of Eri- a devine king sent from sky to found the place, where we reside now. According to Story he has many concubines and only one wife named Iguedo. It's a popular myth in the entire Omabala area. But many of the factual writers have intentionally fabricated another story to deny Umueri, its rightful place. But truth will always prevail against falsehood no matter how colorful the story was presented. It was due to this fact that Igbo History seems to be ignored by prominent Historians. Because rightful dues are not paid to whom it's lawfully due. A historical story build on falsehood is akin to a house foundation erected on sand. It can never stand. Remember, the Story of Nri Kingdom, who for centuries has been in forefront of quest for Igbo origin while knowingly full well that they migrated from Umuleri. The trace of Nri existence is still visible today in Okpotoevi and AguNri areas of Ugume Umueri.


    The common sense would go a long way to show that the nomenclature "Umueri" means Children of Eri and should be seen as such by all on sundry despite century's manipulation of addressing Umueri as Umuleri. While the pronunciation unto this day In Omabala areas remains "Umueri"-



    Have you asked yourself the relationship between the most elderly Village in Aguleri and that of Ikenga Umueri(Ugume- Umueri to be precise). I believed the truth about the relationship will automatically unravel the mystery behind the authentic headship of Igbo origin. For the benefit of the readers of this piece, I will go a step further into unraveling the mystery. You can also do better by asking some of your elders at home, to lecture you.



    The eldest village in Aguleri is called Okpu . But this Okpu Village, according to Umueri-oral tradition, was a daughter of Dabawor(Umueri) - the son of Eri. The Oral tradition of Aguleri speaks of Okpu lineage but points to the existence of non-Okpu descendants that today occupied the territory of Aguleri side by side with Okpu, a claim which is consistence with Polygamy. However to prove the fact that the oldest and most elderly Village in Aguleri emanates from Umueri, the Okpu Village has kept the ritual practice of paying tribute to Dabawor Shrine. And they have never failed to pay the homage despite recent stain in the relationship Occasioned by land dispute, litigation and war. During such sacrifices, the Okpu Village Elders received the daughterly share( ukwu anu)- a practice that has been observed unto this day of waist of Cow or Goat used for the sacrifice.


    Even further evidence of the fact that majority Aguleri lineages emanates from Umuleri is also the relationship between Umumba Igboeuzu Aguleri and Ugume Umueri. Umumba Igboezunu Aguleri, is the custodian of "Ajana" Aguleri and this role cannot be left in the hand of "outsider" but sons of the soil. At the Installation of an AJANA Chief Priest of Aguleri, Ugume Village of Umuleri is usually informed. It's mandatory that "sons of Dabawor (Ugume) should be there to perform the customary rites as "NNa-Ochie" – maternal Uncle to Umumba Igboezunu. This practice is still observed unto this day



    In conclusion, this articles was not aimed to bring divisive & sad memories of the recent Aguleri and Umueri crisis or to unearth the bitter rivalries between the two related neighbors but rather it was the intention of the writer to open a scholarly and educative arguments that would be beneficial not only to the two communities but the entire Igbo race

    Comrade Biafra Diboh
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  • My dear brother,
    You are all getting it mixed up. Don't be in a hurry to bastardise the Igbo history. We need a lot of research, but meanwhile try and read my book on "Agulu". Other publications by Isichie, Idigo, Afigbo and others will tell you that ERI, progenitor of Igbos had one daughter, Iguado, and five, the eldest was called Agulu. Please get in touch with me on 08033103826 and we can discuss further.
    Regards,
    Dr. Okoye

    Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
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  • Dear Dr Okoye,

    I will definitely call you only if you have supplied needed fact to buttressed your points apart from quoting already mentioned works which I termed fallacious. It may interests you to know that there are books that emphasis on the points I raised.

    For that note, I may recommend you to read the below books: Umueri- The cradle of Igbo Race by my able self and other works by

    * Niger Igbos by GT Basdon 1938.

    * Christopher Ifediorah's "Umueri- Head of ancient Umueri clans"

    Even in isichei analyzes of Umuleri in her book, A History of Igbo People would clarify the point which have longed been misplaced that Umueri along with other communities in the valley are the cradle of Igbo race

    Moreover, I don't understand what you mean by bastardization of Igbo culture.If Iguedo is Eri's daughter as your fallacious book stated, dont you think that Umueri should not be living in the area where Eri once lived Since female descendant tends to live away from their Mothers ancestral home.

    According to your website, www.idigoezeaguleri .com, it states that Eri allowed Iguedo or Adamgbo (according to your satirical name giving by the website) to born children in her fathers abode. This assertion goes further to implies that igbo cultures absorbs bastard which to the best of my knowledge is wrong and unfounded. Implying Umueri are mere children of Eri daughter, otherwise insinuates that female descendants are allowed to inherit the grand father estate. This is pure lies and mere fabrication that would do Igbos more harm than good.

    My regards,

    Comrade Biafra Diboh
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  • Dear Biafra Diboh,



    I have read with rude shock your posting on internet challenging the established fact – a divine truth – that Agulu Nwa Eri (Agueri) is the cradle of Igbo civilization. If this can come from an Umuleri man at this age, I bet you that one day may be not in this century, an Umuleri person will tell the whole world that Blessed Michael Iwegbunem Tansi is from Umuleri or that Umuleri is Bethlehem – the birth place of our Lord Jesus the Christ. All of these are in the bad name of rivalry. It is very bad. Can you imagine yourself wasting the whole time in this world replying to just a paragraph in our Amaechi Akorah’s piece. I thank the benevolent that you did not oppose the visit of great servants of God to our blessed town – Aguleri – Gloria Igbo.



    For record purposes, please note that it has been proved beyond human reasoning that Aguleri is the cradle of Igbo civilization unless you want this prove to be concluded with human sacrifice. What prove do you still look for when every oral and written stories of Igbo land has it that Aguleri is the nexus of Igbo race with enough archeological discovery and intellectual research and findings? Are you not aware that today, Eze Augustine Chukwuemeka Eri, Ezeora, Ezedigbo xxxiv, has been pronounced the true custodian of Igbo culture and tradition as Eze Igbo Ngbulugbulu. I do not blame you as Umuleri has no traditional ruler recognized by the government of Anambra State . Your first and last and I stand to be corrected is Late Igwe Nelson Okoye. What evidence d` you want me to present when the most respected Eze Nri stands up for him in recognition of his persOn and position. Or do you want to be reminded that Eze Eri is the sole person that prays and blesses the Cola nuts anytime Ndi Eze Igbo gathers for any function. You complained of sentimental criteria but I must tell you that you are being sentimental refusing to forget the past and face the future so that Igbo Land by extension will move forward.



    How can you start in this century and age to claim origin of Igbo land for Umuleri when it is on record that Umuleri is the only town on the bank of river Omabala (Anambra) that has no Otu or Odene (beach) accredited to it’s name. They will never ever again have same as there is sincerely no genuine space to create same. I however know that it is only Nneyi that has Otu – Odene along the river Omabala. Umuleri does not really stand the test of time in anyway to challenge Aguleri as the Cradle of Igbo civilization. The people of Nri, Enugu Ukwu, Ora Eri, Igbo Ukwu, Arochukwu to mention just a few, can testify to this Aguleri position. However if you believe in your wisdom that all these and more in short the whole of Igbo land are wrong because of acrimony and sentimentality, so be it but bear in mind that you are not all knowing or reservoir of knowledge.



    I can not comprehend what really is your mission or vision in coming out to tell lies in favor of Umuleri. Do you think that Ndi Igbo do not know their right from left? Can you tell an Nri person one on one that they migrated from Agunri (Farmland) in Umuleri? It is really a ridiculous statement and you need to appease the Gods of Igbo nation. For purpose of clarity, Nri is the immediate younger brother of Agulu Nwa Eri (Aguleri) and immediate elder brother to Igboariam (Okalakwu). If you so demand, this writer will authoritatively give you the names of all the descendants of Eri both within Iduu Kingdom (Amakom) and those living outside the kingdom according to seniority. I say this unequivocally and without fear of contradiction. It will interest you to note that Okpuno Nri (ancestral home) is still very visible in Aguleri. A visit to Aguleri will convince you and every child knows the site if you want to be there. Can you explain to the whole world, the role of Umuezeora clan in Enugwu Aguleri autonomous Community as in the making of Eze Nri? I know that you are only doing this in attempt to rubbish the position of Aguleri in the annals of history of Igbo land because you are in a position of authority today but you forgot to note that whatever that begins must end. All of us will out leave the present administration in Anambra State . So shall it be.



    Furthermore, the nomenclature, “Umueri” is an aftermath of the 1999 barbaric communal clash when you – the Umuleri people – destroyed all sign posts in your town over night and erected new ones with the new word “Umueri” to bring you closer to Eri. You will recall that, that action stem from the prophecy of Late Prophet Eddy of Nogwu. It is not the intention of this piece to unravel the full story or warning given to the people of Umuleri by Late prophet Eddy who came personally to Aguleri to confirm his illicit actions against the good and innocent people of Aguleri during the 1995 most regrettable communal crisis between our two towns. As a matter of fact, changing your name from original Umuleri to “Umueri” does not confer on you the right to claim descendants of our progenitor – Eri – the son of Gad (Num. 26: 15-18) or to make you the great warriors which his descendants on earth are known to be. This is a blessing passed on Gad by his farther Jacob (Gen. 30:11) when he (Jacob) was about passing into transition.



    Also, to agree with you on the position of Okpu village as the eldest son of Eri is “Toxic” to use word of my dear brother Alex. Okpu for your information is the third son of Ivite - the first son of Eri Nwa Gad. One therefore I found it extremely difficult to believe your unfounded story told by your elders as you claimed. I am very sure that you quoted your informants - if any- out of contextor better still misquoted them to sooth your fallacious and fabricated story. It is equally regrettable to note that “Dabawor” is assumed at times in your piece to be Umuleri” and also at times as Ugume. Cold you in your wisdom, tell the whole world who this “Dabawor” actually was§ and if “Dabawor was a male or female. Furthermore, your paragraph six (6) failed woefully to establish how a daughter of a man can automatically become a native of another town and become there the first or eldest son of the progenitor of the second town. In this instant, the daughter of Umuleri as you claimed - Dabawor - became a native of Aguleri and above all the eldest Son of Aguleri. This, to my mind is a shameless conclusion, unsound scholarly and educative argument and therefore an intellectual dishonesty. By the way, was this lady – nay man or deity, captured in a war, given out in payment of a debt or sold out as a slave?



    It is important equally to educate you based on your short comings as regards nephew and maternal uncle relationship as it is practiced in Iduu Kingdom . It is pertinent to note here very carefully that maternal uncles are sometimes invited to witness social and spiritual occasions and this invitation, does not bestow on them the rite to claim either Chief celebrant or priest. It is a common practice in Igbo land to invite maternal uncles – Ndi Ikwu Nne or Nna Ochie – to witness occasions or what can you tell the whole world is the role of Ugume people when they are invited during Olili Ajana Ukwu Aguleri (Ajana Annual Festival)? It might interest you also to note that Umumba people are from Umungalagu village in Ivite Aguleri autonomous Community. And that Umungalagu (Ayigo) is the eldest son of Ivite Aguleri and Okpu village is the third son of Ivite Aguleri. Ivite is the eldest son of Aguleri and not Okpu as you most erroneously stated. Those that have relationship with Ndi Ugume are off springs of Umumba and not Umumba entirely as you claimed. Presently, they are living with their maternal uncles in Eziama Village in Igboezunu Aguleri autonomous Community.



    In conclusion, it is common knowledge that those who love peace in both communities have since embraced peace hence it is surprising to note that people like you- Biafra – are still referring to ugly events like the barbaric Aguleri and Umuleri communal war and its sad memories. I must state here that the Umuleri people are consistently forcing themselves on Aguleri people in order to have bearing to Eri. This is very wrong as we are in no way related collectively as a people to Umuleri. Our relationship has to do largely with inter marriage. It is most important to mention that our progenitor – Eri – is a descendant of Abraham (Num. 26: 15-18) and has noting to do with your own Eri who fell from the Sky. I insist on the law of positive thinking which brings equilibrium instead of negative thinking which impedes self development while advising that you should embrace the Lord Jesus Christ the author of all good things of life including positive thinking.



    Remain ever Blessed,



    Chukwuanugo.
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  • Why all the attack on Diboh for pouring out whats otherwise a known fact in Omabala area. I think Diboh in his post did not ask for human sacrifice rather he stated the known facts which is verifiable.
    The igbo customary practice of giving the waist of a sacrificed animal to "Nwadiana"(descendants of female ancestors) has shown that Aguleri through Okpu Village comes out from Umuleri.

    I would suggest that this writer should take Biafra Diboh on the fact rather than embark on violence as threatened therein

    Emmy
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  • My dear Chukwuanugo & Other Aguleri Brothers,

    I will start this piece by saying that Umueri as a community has no reasons to be-grudge Aguleri for having Iwene Tansi or any other persons as theirs nor would they envy Aguleri notoriety as the community with most communal clash in history of Igbo race. Umueri as usual is content with what they have and should have every freedom to protect its cultural and historical heritage and the same applies to other Igbo communities.

    It was not my intention to trade harsh words with you but your response which was filled with bashing and hate message conditioned the above stance of mine. Initially, It was my believed that my earlier post here would leads to healthy ,scholarly and objective debate amongst our various people. In the past few weeks, I have received some positive and also negative and threatening response (through call, private mails and post)from people believed to be respected people from Aguleri for a mere harmless piece that tends to unravel the fallacious story that have done more to discredit the History of Igbo people. A lot of past fallacies in the world history have been unearthed and this is indeed one of the great one that have not been publicly unearthed just for no pertinent reasons

    Chukwuanugo (Not Sam Audu) threat of concluding the battle with human sacrifice is a ploy employed to calm me from unraveling all I know about this fallacies. But it’s only a cowards that die thousands time. Hence, I would tackle his response which lack empirical and historical proof step by step because I believed that I have a trailer load of facts to buttressed that Umueri(whether you call it Umuleri) holds the truth to unraveling the real truth of Igbo origin.

    In the first instance, you claimed that its aftermath of 1999 crisis that led Umueri to change its name but alas its not so. Umueri has never been pronounced as Umuleri, even my late father (who died at ripe age of 85) in 1998 told me that it was the influence of Europeans whom pronounced Umueri as “le” in Aguleri due to the language difficulty. Umueri is not alone in group of communities that suffer such faith. Okuzu is today known as Awkuzu, while Oka is now known as Awka just because of Anglo-oral pronunciation. For clarity I will recommend you to read few of old Umueri literature book published in 80’s such as Anambra Day break, History of Iguedo by Nwabunwanne Ifediorah. From those Books, you will then deduct the real import of our names.

    But to be frank with you, Umueri have for centuries live under the shadow of Aguleri. The reason may not be clear at this time but I think it’s primarily due to later numerical strength more than any other thing. Aguleri as a community is a conglomeration of different communities. My father once told me that in 30’s when he left our area to Lagos and later to Cross River, he was known simply as Aguleri man. Even in 70’s our neighbors do take us to be from Aguleri until that shock appeal court Judgment of 1977/78. Prior to that time, Umueri is even content to be seen as Aguleri .Hence, it was due to this fact that many outsiders see all Umueri heritages and everything good from Umueri as Aguleris . A look at Elizabeth Isichei works would drive back my points. In the work, the author in describing Umueri quoted discovery of ancient storage relics made by Emmanuel Ozoemena of Umunagu Umueri as one of the reasons while its believed that Omabala(Anambra Valley) area is the first cradle of human habitation.

    Back to the main issue raised as it concerns who owns seas chores (odene or Otu). It amused me to the extent in which your people would go in claiming what otherwise is not yours. I know even a deaf and dumb from Omabala areas knows of Ofianwagbo (Odene Ugume na Umudiana) not to talk of Odene umuchezi and Agwe Nneyi. It has been Aguleri politics of dividing Nneyi Umueri as a different Umueri. Nneyi for your information is part and parcel of Umueri and has been playing a prominent role for that matter. To avoid deceiving people, I would recommend that you go and study the Otuocha land dispute judgments in which it was proved beyond every reasonable doubt about the actual owner of Odene Ovianwagbo. What about Oche coast (Otu-Oche) now mispronounced as Otuocha? Our Neighbours know the truth and you can get one from any of them. I would advise that you check this link for more information: http://www.umuerila/ nd.com/component /content/ article/42- clans/202- otuocha.html. It would also interest the reading public that the same point on who owns Otuocha led the Supreme Court to use archeological Instruments to evaluate the ages of both Aguleri and Umueri buildings in 1984. But at last it was found out to be true that Umueri building and its antiquities have been in Otuocha for more than a century before the Aguleri encroachment. You can read the judgments of Supreme Court: Nigeria law Reports 140; George Okafor & Others (Umuleri) Vs Eze A.E Idigo & Others (Aguleri).

    Another issue to talk about is the issue of Eze Eri stool which you claimed resides in Enugu Aguleri while the truth is widely known that Idigo dynasty in Aguleri is the only known traditional institution in your town. Any autonomous community can spring and labeled itself any name for relevance but the truth is evident that Idigo remains the traditional ruler from Aguleri. Using Obuaga as an evidence of Eri stool is non issue and hence it is noid and void, since a school of thought in Aguleri claimed it was Ivite(Okpu) Village where your fallacious Eri was buried while the so called Eze Eri claimed it was on his backyard(at Enugwu Aguleri). So let us call a spade a spade and shun sentimental and parochial history.

    Back to my points that Okpu is the head village of Aguleri and not Ivite. Ivite in Igbo Adegbe culture is a name given to a clan or quarters. It has never been a name of any historical figure. Ivite as a clan can be found in all northern Igbo villages, Umueri inclusive, nteje, Awkuzu, Awka, Igboariam etc. It’s not a name of Eri or Agulu son as you erroneously believed. Okpu Village of Aguleri is descendants of Dabawu children and that was reasons why they received a daughterly sacrifice each time a sacrifice is made to the great deity of Dabawu. And all other villages in Ivite emanates from Okpu. Its akin to other villages in Ikenga Umueri emanating from Ugume and today they are grouped as Ikenga Umueri(Ugume inclusive). It’s from this practice of okpu as descendants of female offspring that every “nwada” in Igbo land is seen as nwa-okpu. You can visit home to cross check the culture.

    Finally, if Umueri is just descendants of Eri’s daughter (Iguedo) as stated by your people and its allies. In Igbo tradition, Umueri should be living elsewhere and not living in the enclave of the same man and there is no justification for Iguedo to name her children –the children of Eri. I want you to think deep about this as the continuous acceptance that Iguedo married Eri son is tantamount to insults that would leads to bastardization of our noble culture. In igbo culture its “alu” or taboo for one to marry his relatives. One of your websites made mentioned that Eri allowed her daughter (Iguedo) to born children for him at home. But this is pure fabrication as if ERI of all people have done that, it would have set a precedence for a female offspring to born children in her fathers abode but the culture of Omabala people nay Igbo land forbids such as its sacrilegious for a daughter to born in her fathers homes without due marital rites. For more clue on this visit www.umueriland. com for more information

    This month of June should otherwise be a good week in anal of my people history- been 26th years of the famous 1984 Supreme Court Judgments and hence I wouldn’t want anything to mar my happiness as I recalled this great victory. However I would conclude by saying that as a student of history I once asked my history teachers the reasons why the history of Igbo’s origin are not in syllables but was told that the story have not been proved. So anybody peddle the story of Eri would have to think twice and do a enough research by visiting both Umueri and Aguleri and the entire Anambra Valley to deduct the truth.



    Yours Sincerely,
    Comrade Biafra Diboh







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  • Dear Comrade Biafra Diboh

    It is always refreshing to read your wonderful tales. Your submission were always so informing. But whether or not you were telling the truth, I must say it is a pleasure to have read such defaming writings from you.

    At this time, I really do not have much to say. The few comments I had is that Umueri as far as I know is still part of Umu-Iguedo clans along with Ogbunike, Awkuzu, and Nando. And having had the priviledge of viewing Ogbunike and Awkuzu websites, I am still at loss where you got your facts.

    For instance, most of your information about Iguedo contradicts information from other Umu-Iguedos clans. At this point, I still do not know what wish to achieve with all these fallacious stories.

    Is Umuleri people the only Igbo race that read about Aguleri claims? I guess Anam people does. Onitsha people and many others. Why were you so bothered? Is it because it was writings from Agulerians? Why not propergate your own history without having to clash with write ups from Agulerians? As I stated in the subject bar, UMULERI IS THE CRADLE OF IGBO CIVILZATION and not Aguleri. Can we have peace now?

    If all you have been writting were tales by your elders ( I know elders won't misinform ) then our own elders told us that Iguedo (mother of Ogbunike, Awkuzu, Umuleri and Nando) was Eri daughter - our daughter. Hold on to what your elders told you just as we would to what our elders (as confirmed by Ogbunike - first son of Iguedo). And as a student of history which you always claim, please note it today that my Aunti (my father's sister) left her husband home in your place with her children and now stays in her father's compound - that is with us. This is not unsual and you claimed this is impossible in Igbo tradition. In the olden days, marriage crises usual causes mother and her childern to return to her father enclave unlike these days when ladies got separated from their husband and easily relocated outside their father's home.

    nd your claim about anglo pronounciation is another smartness that portrays your level of ignorance. Whiteman pronouncing "Umueri" is easier than "Umuleri". Your claims appear misleading and since I know Umuleri people too well ( having had Umuleri blood / linage) I am begining to feel Umuleri people had no other sinster plans because no Umulerian will start relating to Aguleri without reason. In the past, I am aware it was land tussle, later communinal wars and now history / CRADLE OF IGBO CIVILZATION.

    Aguleri had notoriety as the community with most communal clash in history of Igbo race just as Isreal but we thank God Aguleri was not notoriety as the community with great number of armed robbers in Igbo race. Amusing was your startling conclusion that Supreme Court uses archeological instruments to evaluate the ages of both Aguleri and Umueri buildings in 1984 and at last it was found out to be true that Umueri building and its antiquities have been in Otuocha for more than a century before the Aguleri encroachment. What was Supreme Court judgement despite Umueri building and her antiquities?

    And when you made mention of month of June as a good week in anal of your people history- been 26th years of the famous 1984 Supreme Court Judgments in Otu-Ocha Land case, I laughed. Reading your comments "this great victory" truly confirmed my elders wise saying that most of your people had no shame. As true student of History, I was thinking that Judgment of Solomon would have been a wise counsel to you.

    The Judgment of Solomon is a metaphorical expression referring to a wise judge who uses a stratagem to determine the truth, tricking the parties into revealing their true feelings. Specifically, the judge pretends that he will destroy the subject matter of a dispute, rather than allowing either disputing party to win at the expense of the other. The lesson is based upon the Biblical passage in 1 Kings 3:16-28, where two new mothers approach Solomon, bringing with them one dead baby boy. Each mother presents the same story and accusation just like Aguleri and Umuleri

    After some deliberation, Supreme Court judges like King Solomon calls for a sword to be brought before him. He declares that there is only one fair solution: the live son must be split in two, each woman receiving half of the child. Upon hearing this terrible verdict, the boy's true mother cries out, "Please, My Lord, give her the live child—do not kill him!"just as Agulerians went home soberly having accepted Supreme Court judgement in good faith. However, the liar, like Umuleri in their smartness, exclaims, "It shall be neither theirs nor mine— and went out jubilating!"

    Student of history indeed.

    [FROM AN UNSIGNED AGULERI NATIVE]
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  • Aguleri continous reference to Isreal when issue of facts are raised amused me as we know whom are refered as isreal in Omabala areas. On that note, I would appreciate that Akuluno should forward this message to Aguleri yahoo group forum so that they should stop speculation on Igbo origin and face facts. Take it as my response


    Umueri-Igbo, Agulu-Idumae: Origins and Relationship
    By Chikwudi Onwuegbusi

    The history of the contiguous communities of Umueri and Agulu people in Igboland has been a veiled one. The factors of religion, mental inability, lack of creative appreciation for meaning and immoral perversion for admiration and other self-suitable claims defined the written histories as infidelities. In this time of the Lord, destiny makes hallo! to those who trot out those legends.

    Proclamation of facts is the subject of history and the criterion for accuracy but

    concealing and twisting are abuse. All historical sources ended works on Igboland in speculations that they adopted the history of oral tradition. A general test on the much - published Eri as the founder of the whole people of Igbo with its many versions met with deficiencies and contributions of the respondents from Agulu Eri's and condemned it as a bleak tradition of the land. Its account of relationship between Agulu as Eri's first son and Iguedo or Adamgbo as his sister or half-sister and an ancestress of Umueri failed the mission.

    The historical tradition of the two communities according to Umueri bespeak a collateral relationship. The version told that Umueri were the sons of Eri and they belonged to the union of communities called Umunri/Umunria/ Umuria of the people known as Igbo while the counter-part were the descendants of Agulu, who sequel to their immigration and assimilation were known as Agulu Eri and a member-community of their union of communities of Edomana of a different line called Idume/Idumae. The Idumanian people of Agulu Eri ensued in the migration into the Omabala basin and they settled in Umueri-Igbo. The truth of this history depends on the records of the correct history of the places evidence will finally derive their origins.

    Present prophetic approaches debouched the deciderata. The spectrum of visionary materials concluded that the two communities, respectively, originated from Hebrew and Edom/Idumae who had inter-ethnic relationship. The Jews came from four tribes of Judah, Levi. Gad and Benjamin. They entrained people from their land and the nations the spread through to this land. Therefore, the Canaanites, Arabs of Near east, Abyssinians of Ethiopia and the Fanankhe, otherwise, Kordofans of Sudan lived among them. They became known as Igbo, as the Germans called them and lived as four societies of Igbo, Igala, Bini, Edo and Yoruba and in other places of Africa.

    They came into this land after the 5th C.BC in their spread. After they had settled, Igbos assimilated the Edomana people from the minority ethnicity called Idoma on the River Benue in the Middle Belt region from Edom/Idumae who fled from the executive forces of Judas Maccabees in 2nd C.BC. They handed down this adoption in gratification and history as 'Igbo aria m'. They went into other kingdoms.

    Despite, these societies of Igbos organised as unions of communities of their ethnicities and had the characteristics of their races in history, culture and attitudes as bases of their understudies, the Edomites obtained abodes between the settled Igbos that the alternate pattern became a concept in the most part of northern Igboland. The Agulu - Idumae came into neighbourhood with the Umueri, yet were the disparate ethnic unions.

    Both the revealed and sanctioned evidences of the extra services in the call saved the longing for the etymology of lgbo. Jews honoured God's call across the River Euphrates to the Holy land and referred to their first homeland as Everi (region beyond). Those settlers in the area applied Iberi to the people as the Jews applied Ibri to themselves (both meaning pertaining to Eber) which was known in Gentilic transliteration as Hebrew. All literal sources failed to discover the phenomenon or convention of development of Everi to Eber according to General Editor Merrill C. Tenney, Zondervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary. As it is currently handled, there was another attribute to their first homeland as Eber (heartland of the world). Among the Igbos available literal translations of Everi and Eber disproved the phenomenon or convention for a development between the two words. Such literal data are Eveli, Evere, Ovesi and Ove for places or regions beyond a mark. Also Iba is the word for idea of nucleatiy. So Eber/Iba was/is the root for Iberi/Ibri which had the revealed influence of the Germans.

    The Umueri who also lived as Agwu-Ukwu, Enugu-Ukwu, Nofia, Ora-Eri, Nando, Unubi, Awkuzu and Ogbunike Ezeagu, Nanka, Nnewi communities in Igboland and the Alkaleri, Eri's first son's descendants in Hausa and the Tiv on the River Benue were the Erites who had their necessary proofs from their tribal history in Hebrew. Firstly, some sister-clans of the Umueri which included Arodizogu, Arochukwu, Isuana, Agidi, Ezigbo and those of other three tribes making the Igbo continued to live together after separation as an independent group. The loyal, folksy and patient people couched like lion (cat) to raiders and divested them of the insigia at their point of stress as they demonstrated to Gilead (Deut. 33;20; Gen 49; 19; 1 chro. 5; 18) and the Umueri typified that record in attitudes and praised as 'Umueri Agu, i.e Umueri The Tigers' (cat). That Gadites led a major role of leadership and were barriers to the enemies to the east of Jordan in the Israeli wars remained in the tradition of her clan as 'Aro Di Izu Ogu/Aro Di Uzo Ogu.'

    The accretions from the military roles of the Gadites (Nos. 32;22, Deut. 33;20-22)

    constituted other identities of the Umueri. Gad had exoneration from the Lord and Israel that land was his gift for which the people glorified him in the by name, Aka Ogute/Diana (Lord of Land)' adopted in sub-groups naming as Umudiana in Umueri, Agu-Ukwu, Achala, Ihiala and others in the south of the land. As they chose the best of the land for himself, the abodes of their communities showed the concepts of first selection and form of the society. The tradition set the status of a commander apart for the people and was in Igbo title as Ochigha. In vesting rights to Gad, he took over the headship of all tribes and the custom established Umueri on the Igbo heartland with the tabernacle (Erwat Dabar which in transposition was Daba Awo in Igbo), the oracle of yearly prophecy (Ava Aro Chikwu) which regulated grouping, sustained religion and unity of the people. And their myths of deities were those of their mysteries of divine providence in Hebrew religion.

    A past disparity in history of the two Jewish Kingdoms, after Biblical times, contributed a parity between the Israelites and some Igbos. The Assyrians had a tag of Bit Humria (the House of Omri) in their characteristic aspirate to Israel on exile after the King Omri known widely in all Asia, due to D.D. Luckenbill, Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylon, 1, 1926-27. In the soft initials of Igbo as their Hebrew brothers, that was 'Be Umunri/Umunria/ Umuria' for Gadite Igbos and the Hebrew 'Be/Bet/Bi Omri' of the Northern Kingdom, Isreal. Lastly, the ethnic unions of communities had deities of their oneness in race and faith which were stone or land-cults called Iguedo or Anaedo that were in the later personification of the stocks. That was in Hebrew tradition as Ed (Jos. 22:10-34,34)

    In the messianic attendance upon the descendants of Agulu for absolute proof of their origin, their heavenly confirmed evidences lay in their traditions of Agulu Idume and the ethnic union of Edomana - a usage for Edom's gift of the land of Seir - (Deut. 2:5) which were historical peculiarities of Esau; the relationship between the Umunri and Agulu Idume like that of Israel and Edom, the tradition of location of Agulu-Idume on the Igbo's route known as 'Agulu Uzo Igbo' as among their racial people in their other union of Igboland like Edom once on the Hebrews' route from Egypt to the promised land (Nu. 20:14- 17); The Igbos' meeting of the people framed 'Igbo Ezu Unu' in one of their journeys which was reminiscent to the Israelites coming into the Edomites in the same event; the myth of creation and fall of their ancestor on the highland of Chalk-stone, Eri' Dali n' 'Ugu Nzu' which best explained their early occupation of the heartland of Edom on Mount Seir and the wonders of its chalkstone constitution and the myths of deities which, unlike those of Hebrew religion, were Edomites' beliefs. Finally, the sons of Agulu were the curious neighbours of Umueri as Edom was at perpetual enmity with Israel.

    The Bible made us to understand that races have socially lived under the tension of Esau and Jacob's history. From the age of their neigbourhood as Africans to the contemporary period their proverbial issues have proved those traits in the people. The loss of Apulu-Idume into Umueri was in God's consolidation of their dispersion and the tradition of so-not-hate- the-Edomite.

    Thenceforth, the Umueri dominated them in socio-cultural aspects without inquisition from their Hebraism. However, the sons of Agulu rooted in Igbo society over the years that their Edomitism crystallised alienation of their brothers in the act of discrimination from the beginning of Westernization. The activities of westernisation amplified ground, than neighbourhood, and set in legal disputes, wars, virifications, clannishness, confederation, exploitations and other disturbances to the Erites which returned the status quo ante in the name of prophet Obadiah. For the meantime all contact routes have been cut off till their day of fates.

    Written by Chikwudi Onwuegbusi and published on this Day Newspaper of 30 November 2001. and reposted by Comrade Biafra Diboh
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  • Dear Dibor

    Greetings and thanks for the update. Your admonition in paragraph is sufficient to settle me down and Umuleri is honored to have a person of your talent paddling their image laundry canoe.

    However, laundry Umueri history is one thing and carrying the assignment without resort to measures that will destroy confidence and peace of your neighbour is another. When matured person resort to things that will result in discord, there will be destructive against positive outcomes. If your assignment is to propagate Umueri history and culture, then face it; propel it but be careful not to blackmail. In all Aguleri write ups, we never abuse or blackmail Nri people and would never. Nri never write any rebufuttals to our claims. Confronting Agulerians does not make Umueri the cradle of Igbo race. Igbo race is Igbo affairs and should never be viewed from the prism of Aguleri / Umuleri contest.

    Having said the above, I think it is time people like you and I should start detailing scenarios on how Omabala Communities can be of service to one another. I give you credit trying to do what you are doing for Umueri but also try to understand that lifting Aguleri up your own way will go along way in Umueri being lifted higher. Umueri or Aguleri cannot attain their dreamed heights pulling each other down and your people are so good in doing this. Most Umueri sons in government never allow files detailing any thing Aguleri to see light of the day. why?

    Aguleri and Umuleri had so many things in common. Is there any family in Aguleri that had no Umuleri blood among them? Take a survey at Umueri and announce numbers of families in Umuleri with Aguleri linage. I think you would be amazed. So why the animosity?
    From Onitsha to Achalla, best of friends would only be found between Agulerians and Umuerians. No other communities in Omabala area shall boast of accessterial, cultural, inter- marriage and social mix ups like Aguleri and Umuleri. So why should we be tearing ourselves apart?

    I have rich lesson during last Easter celebration during efforts with my good brother Goerge Udedibia to see if there will be peace in Ivite Aguleri. While we were with one of the combatants in Ivite Aguleri conflict discussing his own side of story, some people arrived and demanded from our host location to Prof. Udedibia residence. He querried them and after he directed them how to locate Prof. Udebia house. When those people left, our host called Prof. Udedibia on phone and alerted him about his impending visitors.

    Next day, on appointment with Prof. Udediba so as to tell us his own side of story in Ivite Aguleri conflicts, which he did wonderfully well,he made much reference about certain people that visited him day before from Umueri and their mission. I was amazed to hear that one Umuleri man wanted to offer schoolarship to students from Anambra East and West. According to Prof. Udedibia, the Umueri man had decided that he (Prof) be trustee of funds mapped out for the schoolarship programme.

    This gesture from Umueri startled me. I must continue to confess. And this is the kind of cooperation needed across Omabala areas. Catepillar Master from Umueri did same recently. Donating money to Aguleri for the recent concluded Catholic Bishops visit to Aguleri is another brotherly or friendly one. I trust that Agulerians will reciprocating accordingly. This kind of brotherly or friendly gesture will go a long way telling both friends and foe alike that while we have our disagreements, ultimately what unites Aguleri and Umuleri is much greater than what divides us.

    You stated that Late Igwe Nelson Okoye was your grand parent. I think that may be partial a problem to you. As far as Aguleri issue is concern, Late Igwe Nelson will not leave anything good behind.

    I was young and I play alot within St. Gabriel Primary School at Udeabor. Late Igwe Nelson good morning then was curses on Aguleri. His good afternoon was Aguleri. And his good evening was on how to exterminate Agulerians. As I stated, then I was very young and could not discern much from what was going on than joining in the laughing from faraway particularly whenever Late Igwe Nelson friend from Iwoba family in Aguleri visited him. Both of them will stay, talk, laugh,abuse and curse and you will hear their voices little away from his palace. Then we derive joy getting a bit close prentending we are playing only to enjoy the abuses from the Igwe friend. Late Igwe Nelson usually faces Aguleri while his friend from Aguleri will heap curses and abuses on the Idigos. Then it was fun

    I stated the above so as to help you understand the kind of hatred your grand parent had for Aguleri and kind of documentary about Aguleri he must have left behind. All these are now past and prolouge and I pray you should not toe the line of your grand parent. And when next time you visit home, check your grand parent archieves from morning till night; over to next day, you will not see or read any documentary good about Aguleri from your late grand father. So what were you relying on? False and hatred documentaries?

    If you have not decided to toe the line of your grand parent, let us strive so that Aguleri and Umuleri forgive one another. Agulerians strongly will but I have great doubt that most of you without any blood relation to Aguleri would allow such unity. But regardless of ideological differences, mutual distrust that always develope between us or your abusive and hatred claims, Aguleri had tried letting Umueri know our gratitude. It may be difficult to make words mean what we think and mean in our hearts but we will be honored to join minds with Umueri people and I trust we can soon settle that scores once and for all.

    I hope that my rambling does not confuse you.

    God bless Umueri. God bless you too

    Alex Chukwuma
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  • To My brethren from Aguleri,

    I think this would probably be my last post as it concerns the issue of Eri ancestry. First and foremost, I want to correct an impression. Umueri has never denied its IGUEDO maternal ancestry. It’s on record that Umueri belongs to Umuiguedo clan but we must face fact. This woman according to biological tenets must have a husband that infested her to give births to the offsprings unless some one is telling me that she was not human but plant that give birth through binary fission.

    I don't think I have any negative feelings towards Aguleri and I believed that Umueri as community has no ill feeling towards the town itself. Though like every other human community we have our difference, but we must accept the fact that we are related through inter marriage and friendship bond which is too thick for an outsider to call us name all in the name of the ill fated communal clash. Its on record that after each Invasion/communal clash, Umueri man would be the first to ventured into marriage rites with an Aguleri woman. During the last crisis, it took just a month for an Umueri man to do so showing the tolerance attitude of an average Umueri man towards Aguleri and am glad to say that Aguleri has always reciprocate such gesture.

    But be it as it may be, my worries is the reason why our Neighbor would want to force their story on us. I have some reservation on how most of this history was fabricated to the detriment of Umueri. Does it mean that Umueri has no inalienable right to revert to its original name? Agulu-eri is today called Aguleri. Then tell me why Umueri should not be known by it original name (Umueri) but Umuleri. It’s totally absurd and hence non acceptable to me and my people. In the time past, Igbo people were referred as "Heebo" or Ebo by the white Imperialists and even during pre Independent Nigeria/Biafra War, the Igbos were also known simply as "IBO". But since the civil war ended Igbos have reverted to its original name of "IGBO" and to some extent "NDIGBO". But there were no antagonism from their counterparts tribes in North ie Hausa or Yoruba Ethnic group. So tell me why Umueri should not be allowed to exercise its inalienable and God given right?

    We grew up knowing that Umueri is part of Eri heritage through paternal ancestry while Iguedo is our maternal ancestor. But growing up, we were shocked to read about Iguedo been a daughter of Eri. We didn’t react on that as its embarrassing on how others would write ones history. But the hidden agenda became obvious on a music released by Ozoemena Nsugbe entitled "Kedu Ebe Igbo si we bia" . According to the Musician, on his quest to know the origin of Igbo People he visited the Traditional Ruler of Aguleri who glorified his town as the headship of Eri dynasty and omitted out the name of Umueri when he listed the children of Iguedo (he replaced umueri with Umunya). The Music was therefore banned by Umueri and other Umuiguedo clans as a sign of brotherhood protest.

    Recently instead of the fallacious story of Iguedo been a daughter of Eri and married to several men to begat various offsprings, what did we hear? Most of the Aguleri websites invented a fresh story that Iguedo was Eri daughter that was allowed by his father to bear children for him outside marriage. This was all in effort to explain to the wider world why Umueri lives in close affinity with Aguleri. It goes further to rename Iguedo with a satirical name (Adamgbo). Then tell me why we should continue keeping silent all in the name of keeping peace.

    Back to point raised by one Aguleri writer that he has read other Iguedo website, I am amused because to the best of my knowledge Awkuzu(which he claimed he has read their website) has no web on the net where as the website he claimed he read belongs to Ogbunike . Even the Ogbunike website differs on what our Neighbors preach and I quote: “According to oral tradition, the progenitors of the towns of Umu-Iguedo clan were born out of successive marriages of Iguedo to several men. She first married Nnamenyi and gave birth to Ogbunike, Awkuzu and Ogboli. Later, she got married to Riam (or Osodi) from Nri, and the fruit of their marriage was Eri (progenitor of Umuleri)". This aforementioned quotation is from Ogbunike websites {www.afrikaworld.net/ogbunike/index.html)

    Reading the above quotation, One would easily noticed the difference and agreed that there must be something wrong. And then I ask, how many "ERI's" do we have in the history of Igbo Origin" and nobody is free to answer me. But to my knowledge, we have only one Eri whose ancestry is traced to the Gad, the son of Jacob (Isreal) and that Eri was the progenitor of Umueri(Umuleri) along with other ancient umueri towns.

    Now let’s go to Awkuzu, the only authoritative details from Awkuzu could be seen from Wikipedia and I quote: "The story of Origin of Awkuzu is not quite clear. A school of thought believes Awkuzu was one of the progenies of the fifth child of Eri (Eru / Nri) his only daughter called Iguedo, who is also said to have born the founders of Ogbunike, Umuleri and Nando. But this assumption has been criticized lately as 'fallacy' on the ground that Eri was also the father of the founder of Umuleri. Those on this side of argument believed that Iguedo is from the lineage of the Ogiso(Bini) and was a famous and most popular wife of Eri. She initially married Nnamenyi to whom she bore Ogbunike and Awkuzu prior to her marriage to Eri whom she begot Umueri. At the death of Eri, She married Iru and bore Nando." From this above quotation too, I believed that the reading public would know that we still have great task on our hands to unravel the mystery of Igbo Origin.

    Before I go, it would interest you to know that the issue of Nri people visiting Omabala does not limit or stop at Aguleri or Umueri. The visit is extended to both towns. Years back during the last coronation of the last Eze Nri, I was in Umueri and this same Nri Royal guests visited Umueri after performing the traditional rites of a would be king crossing the Omabala river. There was a question that I asked my Father when we heard that learnt that they entered the sacred forest of Dabawu and other sacred antiquities in Umueri - that are no go areas for strangers. My father clearly told me that they are our people who left long ago and that there ancestors lived there and so they should have every right to enter any places. From that particular moment, I see an average Nri man as my blood relation. But Umueri has never use it as a yardstick to lay claim for Igbo headship as we know Eri has a lot of other offspring. Although Its cultural practice over the years that for Aguleri and Umueri to crown its Onowu Iyasele they must visit Nri Kingdom as a sign of cultural exchange between these ancient communities.

    There is also basic need to clarify why Umueri is known more of "umueri Iguedo than that of Eri". In the ancient Omabala of the pre independence Nigeria, a man is known in our area by her Mothers name due to the polygamous nature of the society then. Its verifiable because I grew up hearing people calling my father as “Nnaluo Izua". Izua been the name of my fathers’ Mother who was the daughter of Okoye Chief(Okoye Odili- first Umueri Warrant Chief/king, Not Nelson Okoye). And a lot of my father's mates are also known through the mother’s name. So Umueri, Ogbunike, Awkuzu and Nando known as Umuiguedo should not be confusing because it’s cultural practice over the past century or more. Please visit various Umueri website (notably www.umueri-okebo.com,www.umueriland.com etc) or Awkuzu Wikipedia and Ogbunike websites for the paternal ancestry of the mentioned communities.
    The practice of using ones mother’s name to identify the person easily leads one to know the actual lineage that the person hails from

    In conclusion, I have great deal of respect for Aguleri and its history and I know quite well the reverse wont be the case when the subject is Umueri from an Aguleri viewpoint. To those outsiders, that only wish bad news towards Umueri and Aguleri, be warned that both communities have mutual respect for each other and should keep off .Its my belief that our next agitation would be against the Injustice and marginalization been heaped against the omabala people by successive administration and I believed wholeheartedly that Aguleri should be on the side of Umueri to ensure that our both people regained our rightful dues

    My regards,

    Comrade Biafra Diboh

    Cordinator, Greater Umueri Liberation Forum (a Diaspora Inspired Umueri Group)
    Secretary General, Anambra State Welfare Association(AWAM)
    Fin. Secretary Ohaneze Ndigbo Malaysia.

THE TOWN PROFILES

Name:
Umueri(Mispronounced Umuleri)

Location:
Anambra East LGA of Anambra State.

His Royal Highness
(Traditional Ruler)
 


H.R.H Igwe Sir Ben Emeka
Igwe Okebo II of Umueri

His Majesty
(Traditional Prime Minister)


HRM Mike ekweonu
Onowu Iyasele  of Umueri

P.G Umueri General
Assembly (UGA)


Hon. Pius Okonkwo
(President General, U.G.A)

Title(Male):
Amanwulu,Ivejioku,
Oba,Asammuo
Ogbuevi,Ogbuanyinya

Title(Female):
Ekwe, Iyom,Nne-
Mmanwu,Okomme

Population:
Est. 155,000.00

Occupation:
Farmers,Fishers,trading
business,Crafts & Arts etc