By: Mr Agbo Dave.
Ajide-Ekeh is a community in Edumoga district of Okpokwu Local Government Area of Benue State, It boundaries with Ekeh Olengbecho in the north, Olanyega in the south, Ogblega In the East and Ekeh Ogblo in the West.
THE BIRTH OF AJIDE-EKEH:
Amuche Onyeke (or Amuche Onojo) had two wives. The first was Omoka, who bore Elagbaje, Odobi, and Eekpa. The second wife was called Onyanta, who bore Idiwo, Olakpoto, and Akogwu Ede.
These six brothers formed the six clans of what we have today as Ajide, Ekeh ward under Edumoga district.
Elagbaje being their eldest Son in Ajide.
THE FORMATION AND EXPANSION OF ELAGBAJE KINDRED:
Elagbaje means that anything that happens has a source. Elagbaje the first son of Amuche Onyeke gave birth to two sons, namely: Ogwuche Ejugwu and Akoryi. From these two of Elagbaje, came what we do celebrate today as ELAGBAJE KINDRED in every December of the year which sons and daughters come together to celebrate for a life well spent within the calendar year. These two brothers loved each other dearly, had always kept together through thick and thin. They loved and care for each other so much that no third party could do anything to set them asunder. God had blessed them with many children and grandchildren. As they multiplied, they passed unto their children the same spirit of mutual love and togetherness. This communion was so strong that one could hardly tell which child belonged to which father. The child of the one was the child of the other. No one needed permission to go and get what he or she needed from the house of the other; it was difficult to tell who actually owned which property, because they gladly shared what they had.
If any of them ever got into trouble, the news quickly went round and the others would come to his or her rescue. They would mobilise themselves and go to work on the farm of any of their members who was in need, as a way of contributing to the upliftment of that member. They depend so much on herbal medicine to cure their sicknesses. So if any of them got sick, the others would do everything possible to find the right cure for them. And, if eventually one of them died, they stayed together, condoling with one another, each bringing food and whatever that was needed to take care of the funeral. They were never jealous of one another, or discriminated against any member, female or male. Every member was a brother or sister. Everybody was important and valued as such, for they said, “However dirty water may seem, it can put out fire “.
Some of the wise saying of the Elagbaje ancestors that encourage their unity among their children were:
1• You need two fingers to be able to remove a louse from your hair.
2• A single stick of broom cannot sweep well, but a bundle of sticks of broom can.
3• If you travel alone, even a lizard can intimidate you; but if you are in a group you can scare off a lion.
4• The one who stands apart from his kindred stands alone in the rain.
5• A single tree does not make a forest.
This commendable fraternal love of their ancestors has kept the kindred together to this day.
As the family multiplied and increased, some members began to move a little farther away to explore life elsewhere. A good number of Elagbaje descendants started to move to Ajide from Omaikpo as from early 1974.
Despite this shift from their cradle, the family remains interconnected. Omaikpo remains their farmland to this day.
Frequent visitation of the one individual member to another was done religiously. They also introduced formal meetings times, when all members would meet on designated days for a reunion, sharing of their life experiences, proffering solutions to challenging issues at hand, sharing of meal and then returning to their respective places of residence. This has been kept alive to this very day.
The present generation of Elagbaje, are determined to keep this fire of love alive. They (Elagbaje) have come a long way. It is forward ever, backward never for the people of Elagbaje clan in Ajide Ekeh, which is also the clan of Mr-Agbo Dave, A member of Idoma Culture and Tradition (ICAT).
The majority of Elagbaje clan are predominantly farmers and Teachers.