Sunday, 22 January 2017


With the present problem in Gbaramatu enclave and the rise of many fake traditional rulers in Delta State, it is high time the Traditional Council of the state should be reconstituted. It is important to say that there are a lot of people posing as traditional rulers. Some of these are mere impostors. There are at least four types of ‘traditional rulers’: ancient kingdoms; city states; ancient republican thrones; modern kings; modern social kings; modern political kings to spite others.
1.     Ancient kingdoms
There are only two ancient kingdoms in Delta State – even – in the Delta of the River Niger: Warri (Isekiri/Jekri) and Aboh.

a.     They are based in places with a buoyant economy. Isekiri and Aboh boasted of the Akori bead (Kenny 2003; Roth 1903; Ryder 1969). Warri had iron smithing , iron smelting(Lloyd 1957); cloth weaving abound(Eve De Negri 1976; Kingsley Mary 1898; Kenny 2003); Bronze making abound(Honsbira and St.Ifa 2008) etc.
b.      They are stationed along long distance trade route. Only Isekiri and Aboh were stationed along long distance trade route (Ikime 1969; Sagay undated).
c.      They conquered others. Isekiri conquered the whole of Urhobo, Isoko, all Ijaw in Delta and most of Bayelsa; Aboh conquered areas such as Agbor; later Abraka; Orogun, and parts of Rivers State (Alagoa 1977; Moore 1936; Roth 1903; Leonard 1926; Talbot 1927; Kenny 2003).
d.     They existed before 1914. Why 1914? Because at this stage the Europeans have not amalgamated Nigeria.
e.     They mostly flow from an already established kingdom. Warri and Aboh flowed from Benin (Egharevba 1948).
Only Isekiri and Aboh met the criteria of ancient kingdoms
f.       Authority is centered in the hands of a man/woman who is a monarch
g.     They have radical titles over their land.
h.     They flow from a mafia. In the case of Isekiri and Aboh they are from the Oduduwa mafia.

2.     There is no single city state in present Delta. City states are trading states where authority is not centered in one hand. In the Delta of the Niger, we had the following City States – Nembe, Bonny, Kalabari; Calabar(Ikime 1969;Alagoa 1977)
3.     Republican Regimes – these are below the city states. Authority was not in the hands of anybody and they have no good economy, they are not located along long distant trade routes, they conquered no one.  Urhobo-Isoko(Ughelli, Agbarhator(founded by Ebelle an Isekiri prince[Onigu2003], Iyede and Ogor Ikime 1969;Moore 1936; Talbot 1927) and almost all  Delta Igbo states , excepting only Aboh, fall in this category.
4.     Modern social kingdoms, these are mostly to be found in all Urhobo-Isoko states, except the ones mentioned in three above. Okpe is a good example of a modern kingdom. See the parameters of Okpe being a modern kingdom.

Orodje Has no Radical Title Any where
1.     He has no radical title at all.
a.     Orodje not represented in Obotie case.
b.     Orodje not represented in w/37/1943(the popular Sapele land case)
c.      Olu was represented in the cases with Urhobos and Ijaws in the 1920s and 1930s even when there was an interregnum in Isekiri. During the Ogbe Ijoh and Agbassa cases with Isekiri, the Olu was represented even when the Warri Kingdom was in her 88-year interregnum .
d.     Orodje/Okpe Kingdom not in existence until 1945 (Onigu 2003; Osume 2007; Honsbira and St.Ifa 2011). The ‘kingdom’ was given credence by the Fregene family of Isekiri who fabricated the Esezi lie for them (document reserved).

Okpe not listed as a kingdom in the Niger Delta sub-region by Historical demagogues and other authorities who are not Urhobo-Okpe-Isoko – who are not Delta-Edoid peoples.
-         Obayemi in Ajayi(JFA 1977).
-         Talbot 1927
-         Horton in (JFA 1977)
-         Ikime 1969
-         Alagoa in (JFA) 1977
-         Egharevba 1948
-         Moore (1936)
-         Ifediora 1999
-         P.C. Llloyd, 1957
-         Ikime in Honsbira and St Ifa, 2008
-         Roth, 1903

. Multiplicity of Dates for Esezi’s Existence
i. Ororhorho says 641 AD
ii. Orodje of Okpe, 2016, says 1779
iii. Osume (2007) turn of the seventeenth century
iv. Osubele (1999) says 1440
v. Okumagba M.P(1979)  says1680
vi. Funeral Journal of Okpe Kingdom, Orere-Okpe, Delta State of Nigeria: 10th -16th May 2004, summarizing and stamping them all, says in the mid 19th century – i.e. about 1850.
      Imagine the date given by the Orodje 2016 and the coronation journal differing by over 100 years. Yet the Orodje’s record and the coronation journal and all other documents concerning Eseziship, speaking in assonance, emanate from the same palace and traditional, historical and academic centre in Orere-Okpe where King Esezi was said

to have lived (Onigu 2003).

Further Facts against Esezi’s Existence

 Colonisation of neighbours
- Okpe did not colonize Jesse
- Okpe did not colonize Isekiri
- Okpe did not colonize Uvwie. Where is the kingdom that will never colonize? None (Prof Ekeh, 2008; Horton in Ajayi, 1977, Honsbira and St Ifa 2008).
- Okpe was not and had no trade route; and so, couldn’t have been a kingdom or nation (Horton, 1977; Alagoa; Ade Obayemi 1977; Honsbira and St Ifa 2008;

No foreign report on Esezi.
It is a matter of fact that the Catholic authorities, the Portuguese, the Dutch, the French, etc, were in this area from about 1472 to 1960. But apart from the intelligence reports on Okpe which the Okpes, together with Fregene,  went to beg the whites to be published, no other foreigner reported Okpe as a kingdom or even a mini state.
-         No Portuguese report on Esezi’s kingship
-         No French report
-         No Dutch report
-         No Catholic report
-         No slave trade report
-         No traveler report
-         No single foreign report on this wonderful king. All these new histories on Okpe, how new, really! How unfortunate!

 Brutal Kings and Lengthy Interregna in Urhobo-Okpe-Isoko
a. Nabofa (2003) mentioned Ogoni Erhowhuo as a brutal king in Uvwie, leading to a lengthy interregnum!
b. Ifediora (1999) mentioned Ovie Atua in Emevor. Atua, Ogoni and Esezi were asking people to be catching falling Iroko trees and killing thousands of people, thus leading to lengthy interregnum.
c. Darah (prof) in Ikime (prof) 2003 also reported a brutal king Evwerah in Udu, using wickedness to produce interregnum in Udu.
d. Onigu (2003) mentions a brutal king in Agbon, whose brutality birthed a lengthy interregnum: Osifo.
e. See Honsbira and St Ifa, 2011. “All these have interregna which ended around 1952, when the Isekiri-Urhobo crises made them needed their own kings in order for them to be like Isekiri.
5.   Modern political kings to spite others. In this category we have ‘monarchs’ like Pere of Gbaramatu; Pere of Ogbe-Ijoh; Okumagba ‘kingdom’, Uvwie(Effurun) ‘kingdom’, etc. if you observe , these new and mysterious kingdoms are all located in the realm of former Warri Kingdom. These ‘monarchs’ ‘kings’ and ‘kingdoms’, are all done to spite the Olu of Warri. Like the Orodje, they are not backed by any known history.
Many things can be done in this issue.
1.     Since the present Delta State Traditional Council is ill constituted, it should be dismantled.
2.     There should be cadres – historical monarch and kingdoms (Warri and Aboh ) should be at the top. The old Republics – most of the Urhobo-Isoko-Igbo ‘kings’ following; then the political kings coming at the bottom of the ladder.
3.     The Olu and the King of Aboh could have their own special council, not disturbed by unequals.
4.     If none of these are feasible, Olu and Aboh should stop attending meetings with newly created political kings.


This is written in order to correct some Urhobo and Ijaw who are jealous of the glowing visit that the Vice President paid on the Olu in January 2017, in order to resolve the Maritime University Crises. The Urhobo and Ijaw should know that there is no way they are equal with the Olu. They might try to re-write history and play so many pranks like the Gbaramatu pranks. But the Truth will always prevail. Isekiri and Aboh should have more linkages with their Oduduwa brothers.

N.B. ‘kings’; ‘kingdoms’ and ‘monarchs’ are used, because I never believe such contrivances are real kingdoms.

Augustine Oritseweyinmi Oghanrandukun Olomu (St.Ifa)
St.Ifa is a member of Warri Scientific History and Literary Society.