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‪#‎ThrowbackThursday‬ - Can you guess which one is me???
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The History of Ekpeye, Rivers State, Nigeria

Benin Empire was one of the greatest of the time. They were said to have migrated from Oduduwa Empire of the Yorubas. The Obas had little regards for human beings. They were taken as the ancestors and thereby were honored as gods.

At about 1542 AD, during the reign of Oba Awuarre, his atrocities were so severe that his subjects could no longer bear; hence, they planned to assassinate him. The plot was revealed to the Oba who instantly became very hostile to the people. The hostility resulted to a great exodus of people from the Benin Empire for fear of being killed.

Amongst the brave soldiers of the Oba and also of the royal family, was a man called Akalaka. He had a son called Ekpeye. He also has a sister who was one of the noble ladies of the palace of the Oba. As was the custom for Oba's pleasure, beautiful ladies were drawn from noble families in the kingdom to serve in Oba's palace.

Akalaka was a very close general to the Oba. Incidentally, the Oba suspected that the assassination plan must have been masterminded by his nearest men of which Akalaka was one. The accusation was revealed to Akalaka's sister. To save the life of her brother, she secretly told him. In order to escape the danger ahead, Akalaka fled to Agbo with his family and there he married a second wife to gain the love and favor of the people. The wife gave birth to a son who he named Ogba. Still at Agbo, the first wife, Ekpeye's mother, gave birth to another son and he called him Ihruoda (Ikwere).

Akalaka became very prosperous; his warrior's nature could not be hidden. He was a great hunter and notorious herbalist. After sometime, he was hated by the people for his bold approach to issues which resulted to open confrontations. The Obi of Agbo planned to conscript the able men of the kingdom, for his services, Ekpeye was listed as one of them. Akalaka having had his experience in his home in Benin kingdom, stealthily left Agbo with his family.

He moved southwards, following River Niger. After many years of wandering, he came to the Orashi River. Because Akalaka had waxed old in age, Ekpeye then took over the leadership from is father.

Along Orashi River, Ekpeye found a creek on the eastern side of the river. They stopped and stayed for a while, that was where Ikodu Ekpeye is situated now.

The inhabitants of the area called Ikpachors were very wicked and hostile. Ekpeye and his people planned to move to the hinterland, but the Ikpachors opposed them and this resulted to a war between them. The Ikpachors were aggressively defeated. Those of them that survived fled to the western side of the Orashi River.

Ekpeye and his entourage entered the hinterland through the creek (Utu) and landed at a lake called Odhulle in the swamp between Ula-Ubie and Ogoda villages, and it is now Ude (lake) Ubie. Though dried up, the relics of the creek at Ikodu-Ekpeye can still be seen today, the shrine (Utu) is being worshipped at Ikodu Ekpeye. They settled at the Odhulle lake for a while after which they moved northwards and founded a good arable land where they settled and called the place Ulobe, meaning, a good place for dwelling. At Ulobe, they celebrated the victory over Ikpachors and thanked their gods for their safe arrival to the place. That is the festival of Ogwu-Ukpukpumini, celebrated annually by Ubie community at the beginning of farming season.
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