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THE HISTORY OF IBEKU IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT WE HAVE IT IN SECTIONS

WHERE IS THIS IBEKU NATION | WHO ARE THE IBEKU PEOPLE | HOW IS IBEKU NATION ORGANIZED

HOW IS IBEKU....
ORGANIZED !

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PRESENTING IBEKU EGWU ASAA
by
Nnanna Agomoh (Chief)
Obimba of Ibeku.



IBEKU is a nation of seven sub-clans (Egwu Asaa). These seven sub-clans are each made up of communities which themselves are composed of a cluster of villages. The structure can be arranged literally, even if simplistically, as follows starting from the base:



47 villages: As a matter of fact, there are more than 50 villages in Ibeku given the size and content of such sprawling communities as Amuzukwu, Mbom, Amaeke and Okwuta, which are on record as villages. This misnomer of classification is attributable to lack of conversance and a preference for convenience by colonial bureaucracy. This mistaken numeration has a domino effect of its own in determining in later periods the size and strength of Ibeku by sheer number of villages on record. Again it has given Ibeku a hidden strength, humbly camouflaged and candidly un-be-known.


Communities: In the Ibeku traditional sense, a community is a group of villages of kindred neighbourhood within a sub-clan. For example, Emede which is one of the seven sub-clans (Egwu) is made up of two communities of four and five villages each, namely Ihite community with five villages of Agbo, Ubani, Udide, Umueze, and Umuodudu; and Ikeaha community with four villages of Atta, Nkpuru, Umuagu and Umuakanu. The fine distinction between a village and a community in this arrangement is that no matter its size or largeness, no two members of the same village can marry.


Egwu Asaa (seven sub-clans): The seven sub-clans (Egwu Asaa) are a kind of regional outgrowths of the seven sons of the paterfamilias, the legendary Ibeku Ugwu Ogurube, i.e, Ibeku the Great, son of Ogurube. Each of these Egwu Asaa is composed of communities, which in turn are composed of villages. At the Egwu (sub-clan) apex there are seven satellite commanders in charge of each of the Egwu Asaa or seven sub-clans. These regional Ndi Eze are titled each after the Egwu as follows:-

(i) Attah of Afarata; (ii) Egwu-Ukwu of Afaraukwu; (iii) Ofo of Amaoforo (iv) Ede of Emede ; (v) Eke of Isieke ; (vi) Otuka of Ndume (vii) Udi of Ossah.


IBEKU: It was told as it were a fable, that God blessed Ogurube, the father of Ibeku, and promised him fruitfulness, affluence and influence in the land given to him. We are today witnessing the reality of what was once a fable. Ibeku Ukwu Ogurube, that is Ibeku the Great, son of Ogurube is the landlord of the territory known as Umuahia Ibeku, the capital of Abia State of Nigeria, the ancestor of Major-General J.T.U. Aguiyi-Ironsi quondam Nigerian Head of State and the only Supreme Commander that ever was of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
From time immemorial the name Ogurube is held in reverence and personified in the Traditional Ruler of the clan. Today, by the grace of God, the mantle of this reverence is worn by His Royal Highness, Eze Samuel Iheonye Onuioha, the Ogurube IV of Ibeku. He is the keeper of the Customs and Tradition of the people and the OfoHolder , the traditional mace.

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From what we know so far, there has been in existence a system of organization in every part of IgboLand in a long while. This includes Ibeku.
There are different levels of organizations as practiced Ibeku Land .These administrators derive their powers from their AMAS that lead to the Ibeku Ukwu Level, the Egwu Asaa listed as follows

[1] AFARATA [2] AFARA UKWU [3] AMAOFORO [4] EMEDE [5] ISIEKE [6] NDUME [7] OSAAH.

One of the errors being made by various people includes terminating our history at the slave trade period. The slave period is a very resent event. There was a system of organization and communication in existence between kinsmen, neighbor and other clans before the slave trade. This communication allowed the trade to flourish with out inter-clan wars. Do not forget that many clans resisted the trade but they were met with higher firepower in gun battles.

THE ELDERS

We had direct rules

Do not forget that some of the earlier system still exists. This is by which mostly the eldest person in the family,Ama or the village has the final say and must be consulted. No visitors, no marriage, no war, no newborn ceremony, no death burial, no festival happens without consultations with the elders.

But when the white merchants who were in search of Ivory and other goods came into town, they did not want to deal the elders with their ways of doing things. The white traders decided to appoint representatives that must relay their messages to the people. They called these people CHIEFS. There were many non-co-operations from the people as to where the orders were coming from. The bypassed the EZES. They were not welcomed with their new tactics.
They brought in law enforcers by setting up the court system that worked against the existing EZE and Elders systems. These agents were called Court Men short for Court Messenger but in Igbo vernacular is called CORTIMA.
This was an indirect rule system in which the white people did not go to the elders anymore but these Chiefs relayed to the Elders. One of the famous court systems the white people set up in umuahia was on a hill at UMUOBIA OLOKORO. That place is still being called ISHICOURT. This location is the present Old Umuahia- Olokoro -Amakama road junction in Umuobia . They also built a railway station close to it called the Old-Umuahia rail Station.
On many occasions, the resident Eze did not want to deal with these white people. The Ezes did not want to travel to go and meet with these new visitors. Hence the Ezes sent their trusted right hand men or agents as representatives. Many of these errand men were made chiefs.
The above set up still cause problems in many villages and clans were the descendants of these errand agents are tussling with the original Eze linage for EZESHIP. Do not forget that this is the reason many places still have their EZE events held up in the court system.

IBEKU LEVEL
Ibeku has one EZE called THE OGURUBE IBEKU. The OGURUBE title is a 20th century event.
We are still putting together the names and other mechanisms before the time of OGURUBE TITLE.
Ibeku is made up of seven [asaa] brothers called EGWU. Thus the name :IBEKU EGWU ASAA. This does not include Umuokpara said to be the first son of Ibeku, but he moved west to the present day UMUOKPARA village.
The names of these groups are not in Alphabetical order


[1] AFARATA
  1. Amuzu Ukwu

  2. Amuezeagwu

  3. Mbom

  4. Ugba

  5. Nkata

  6. Amaeke

  7. Isiadu

[2] AFARA UKWU

click
SEE----> AFARA UKWU VILLAGES
  1. Isiama

  2. Okwulaga

  3. Ohokobe na Umuokeyi

[3] AMAOFORO

  1. Ajata-Okwuru

  2. Iyienyi

  3. Avo nkwu

  4. Amuzu ora

  5. Erote


[4] EMEDE

  1. Nkpuru

  2. Ata

  3. Umuakanu

  4. Umuagu

  5. Umueze

  6. Agbo

  7. Umuodudu

  8. Odide

  9. Ubani


[5] ISIEKE

  1. Umuajiji

  2. Okwuta

  3. Ihie

  4. Ajata

  5. Ukome

  6. Okwoiyi


[6] NDUME

  1. Umuafai

  2. Umuezeala

  3. Ohokobe

  4. Umuohu

  5. Ahieke

  6. Ihie

  7. Umuana

  8. Lodu

  9. Umuhute

  10. Umuaroko

  11. Umuohu-Azueke

[7] OSAAH

  1. Uzi

  2. Eziama

  3. Mgbaja

  4. Uhabiri

  5. Umuchima

  6. Amanso



The heads or the leaders of all Egwus meet with the OGURUBE to set the agenda of Ibeku as a whole
Prior to 2000, these groups never had their own Eze but they had Chiefs that worked with the Ogurube Ibeku. Now these chiefs have been converted to Eze Titles.
Even though their Chieftaincy Titles have been upgraded to Ezeships. All Ibeku agree that we still have one overall OGURUBE and that will keep the Ibeku Title. SEE NDIEZE IBEKU
Every one of these groups works with the Ogurube Ibeku. They meet with the Ogurube to set dates for events and ceremonies including the IRI JI festival.


EGWU LEVEL
This is a very tight level of organization running on precision.
The size of each egwu varies. But every egwu is made up of several UMUNNAS.This means that there must always be a level of understanding between the Chief of that Egwu and various ummunnas. There must be a reflection of broader interests than that of one lone ranger. Difficulties always come up at this level because of perceptions.

UMUNNA LEVEL

At this lower level the organization becomes very personal. This is a very interesting level. This is where we direct descendants meet generations. SEE UMUIZU CLAN OF OKWULAGA AFARAUKWU IBEKU . There is never an inter marriage involved from this level down.

AMA LEVEL
This next level is sectioned into what is called AMA. Here groups of families from the same descendants cluster their homes together. In many instances, they all have the same great grandfather.You can tell and identify every body at this level by his or her last name. This AMA system is also very tricky because some person might decide to move to a new setting. He still has to be linked back to where he departed from, his ORIGINAL AMA or AMA OCHIE. If he happens to move to another umunna, he will get his administrative orders from his original umunna. His descendants must be tracked to avoid their coming back to inter marry with relatives. Family relocation within umunna level is less problematic than relocating outside your umunna.
This is why making a family tree of any village is very easy to do from any starting point in the clan system.