BRIEF HISTORY AND CULTURE OF EDUMOGA PEOPLE.

The history of the origin of the edumoga race in Benue was said to have dated back to the 16th century. The edumogas like every other Idomas originated from the Kwararafa Kingdom same as the Jukuns in the old Lower Gongola state in Nigeria.

Edumoga is a district in Idoma and were part of the migration towards the southern part of Benue as the result of the Fulani Jihad War locally referred to as “Ewu Onya” Meaning battle of Horse. This was because the Jihadists (The fulanis ) were riding on horses during the war.

Ede(the father of all Edumoga) was parts of the migrants alongside Ugboju and Adoka. They first settled in Abinchi area of Makurdi and later to Otukpo. While the people of Ugboju and Adoka settled around Otukpo axis, Ede went further to settle in the present location. (Edumoga District). The name “EDUMOGA” Was derived from the phrase “ Ede ma Oga” meaning EDE gave birth to OGA. This was largely so because after the settlement, Ede gave birth to Oga and just like we presently call people popularly by their children e.g Papa John etc.

EDUMOGA ANCESTRAL LINEAGE

This is the ancestral lineage of the Edumoga People:

EDE the father of Edumoga was an illustrious son of Idu the father of Idoma. Ede however gave birth to OGA. OGA gave birth to ADAM. ADAM gave birth to AYA. AYA gave birth to EDUM. EDUM gave birth to OCHAI. OCHAI gave birth to OHEMU and OHEMU gave birth to AGBO and ABAH.

AGBO gave birth to EDE, ODE and ABBA who are the present Ekeh. Edeh is the eldest son Agbo and his children are Omlokpo and Obotu who was begotten through the daughter of Omlokpo. Odeh settled in Ogblega and gave birth to Ogbodo, Ejeh and Ajama.

ABBA on the other hand gave birth to ONAH (ONAKPATA) and ADAH (ADATANWATA)

Onakpata comprised of the people of Edumoga Ehaje while Adatanwata comprised of the people from Edumoga Icho i.e AMEJO and Okonobo respectfully.

THE CLANS IN EDUMOGA.

Edumoga initially had four clans namely: Ekeh, Onakpata, Adatanwata and Ugbokolo but recently, agitations gave birth to Ingle, Ai-Atta and Okpale respectfully. Ai-Atta were said to have direct lineage from Ohemu who came also settle with the people of edumoga.

Oladegbo from Onakpata is the Eldest of Edumoga. Also note that the title of the chief of Edumog is “EDE” of Edumoga land who is also the custodian of the culture and tradition of Edumoga land. The Headquarter of Edumoga disctrict is located at Olanyega in Ai-Abba, Adatanwata which is also regarded as the SEAT of the EDE of Edumoga Land even though the current Ede of Edumoga Kingdom is operating from his local palace in Omulokpo, Ekeh owing to the challenge of lack of a befitting Palace in place at Olanyega. This situation is largely attributable to the lack of unity amongst the community for years now as a result of chieftaincy struggle and different ethnic sentiments within the Kingdom, a challenge which St. Matthew Edumoga Catholic Community begs our elites for solution.

CULUTRE AND TRADITION.

The Economy:

The Idoma land is endowed with human and natural resources. Idoma people formed significant size in the workforce of Nigerian government offices, university don, police, army and para-military. They are good hunters, farmers and miners. They make irons and do blacksmith; they do pottery and brass; they do wood craft and sculpture etc

OUR CULTURE AND TRADITION

The edumoga people believe in God the creator as they always addressed him as Owoicho-manchala (Almighty God), but different cults are entrusted to the various societies and individuals. The Alekwu believe, for example, is responsible for the cult of the periodic resurrection of the ancestor who plays a vital social function. In most part of edumoga a certain time of the year is fixed for the celebration of Alekwu popularly known as Eje-Alekwu festival.

Eje-Alekwu festival is mostly done before the start of the raining season i.e. between February and April. This ceremony was to mark the end of a year and to ask the spirit of the ancestors to grant them another fruitful year. In some parts, the belief is that when Eje-Alekwu festival is met with rain fall that the ancestors have accepted the sacrifice.

Spirit Deities: There are various kinds of village gods which the villagers venerate and worship as protector from hazards like drought, war invasion, pre-mature death, bareness, etc. Many villages referred to these gods as Aje (Land ‘god’). If the village is to go on war, the elders must assemble and appease the god. Some of these gods are: Egli, Enyanwu, Anjenu, Echi ochefu, Omanchalla, owo amongst others.

Edumoga holds a very well recognized cultural troupes in Idoma. The most popular traditional and cultural troupe of the Idoma people is OGLINYA from Edumoga. Other traditional and cultural dances include: Ibo and Okpojo, Olugwu (for women), Ilanga, Akatakpa, Inyalo for the young boys, Aja and Iyogwu (a borrowed cultural dance from Igala in Kogi).

The other spiritual beliefs are that when an edumoga indigenes dies, there are different designated ancestral spirit gods that takes their spirit to the Almighty. These spirit gods varies according to the beliefs of the various clans in Edumoga District for example:- Ekwu nokwu in Adatanwata, Alekwu-afia in ogodumu, Echi in Ejema, Ajigwo in Ingle, amongst others. It is a belief that unless one is an indigene of any of these clans by birth the spirit of the various gods as mentioned above cannot be invoked.

EDUMOGA TRADITIONAL COUNCIL WARDS AND THEIR CHIEFS.

Presently, Edumoga District has seven (7) wards and a total of 49 chiefs as listed below:

EKEH WARD:

Chief Alexander Ogbeyi – Ward Head
Chief Gabriel Adah – Ai-okete (Beaded)
Chief Mike Abah Okwoli – Ogodumu(Beaded)
Chief Benjamin Okaja – Ai-Ekwo (Beaded)
Chief George Odeh – Obotu
Chief Emmanuel Ekwote – Ajide Ai-Aba
Chief Augustine Ejembi – A-Odeh
Chief Daniel Okwa – Ipoya (Beaded)

OKONOBO WARD:

Chief Godfrey Adah – Ward Head
Chief Emmanuel Ochogwu – Ai-Abba (Beaded) Ollo
Chief Ojo Ochechema – Effoyo
Chief Idoko Ochigbo – Olago (Beaded) –Gone hunting
Chief Pius Ochede – Okpafie
Chief Abakpa Ochigbo – Anyiligwo
Chief Benedict Idoko – Ai-akor (Gone hunting)

AMEJO WARD:

Chief Alfred Ogbaa – Ward Head
Chief Vincent Ugbe – Ai-Akpuka
Chief Sunday Ewache – Anyiligwo
Chief Abah Ellah – Umabe
Chief Sunday Onah – Ogbodo (Gone hunting)
Chief Godwin Ekoja – Otobi

OKPALE WARD:

Chief Peter Idoko – Ward Head
Chief Peter Ameh
Chief Okpotu Obala – Gone hunting
Chief Boniface Attah Odo – Ai-Akpitodo
Chief Emmanuel Audu

OJIGO WARD:

Chief Anthony Amali – Ward Head
Chief Gabriel Idibia – Oladegbo
Chief Ogaje Ejembi – Ojigo
Chief Matthias Adah – Efeche
Chief Patrick Adi – Ai-Onakpata (Beaded)
Chief Uloko Okoko – Ai-Idoko Uloko (Beaded)
Chief Johnson Iduh – Akpodo (Gone hunting)
Chief Anthony Adah – Olaidu
Chief Jerome Agwo – Anmoda (Clan Head, Ai-Atta)

INGLE WARD:

Chief Raphael Adehi – Ward Head (Beaded)
Chief Godwin Idda – Ai-Ogaje
Chief Oko Ejembi –
Chief Alexander Ogbeyi – Ai_Ede
Chief Michael Adah – Ai-Adekpe
Chief Sunday Odisi – Ai-Adungu
Chief Vincent Idda – Otanufie

UGBOKOLO WARD:

Chief Michael Ogboji – Ward Head (Beaded)
Chief David Oloja – Odumu Ehaje
Chief Emmanuel Ikom – Anyilikwo
Chief Alexander Agbo – Effa
Chief Pius Ocheuje – Odessassa
Chief Joseph Moro – Ojenyo

(Image source: google)

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