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Between The Oba of Lagos and Obi in Anioma

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By Ena Ofugara 03/08/2017

I once pasted the words of the Obi of Iseleuku about the origin of his people being Bini (Benin) on my Facebook wall. I then posted the words of Nigeria’s founding father, Nnamdi Azikiwe that also traced the origins of Onisha to the great Benin Empire. MANY IGBO PEOPLE ALMOST KILLED ME. I have never been called “Bastard, goat, idiot” etc etc like that before. I was branded IGBO HATER that I had to shake my head to remind myself I was not Adolph Hitler and Igbos Jews. ALL I DID WAS POST A KING’S STATEMENT ON THE ORIGIN OF HIS PEOPLE.

Also crucified with me was the researcher himself Henry Omoregie. Bros Henry told them it was not about hate but documented history and need for knowledge.

Fast forward to a few days ago. The Oba of Lagos reiterated what Henry and I have said of Lagos being founded or at least conquered by the ancient Benin Kingdom. I had that on my page over 5 years ago. I told people that EKO means REST HOUSE in Bini and EKOSODIN in Uniben is same thing as EKO OSHODIN in Lagos.

Now many Igbos jumped on the statement by the Oba of Lagos. The same people that asked me (” 1. why the is Igbo spoken in Onisha, Anioma etc and not Benin 2. What does a King know. Was he there 3. Why do they all bear Igbo names….good solid points) are quick to ascribe Lagos to Benin now and quote the Oba as authority. They have forgotten just now how they brought down Amadioha on me for daring to simply quote an Obi and a founding father of Nigeria.

Now again note, NO YORUBA HAS ACCUSED HENRY OMEREGIE OR ANY IGBO OF HATE for quoting their Oba. No one has insulted his mother like Igbos did to him, even though Henry has consistently maintained Ancient Benin’s glory and empire over Lagos and even the Ooni of Ife. Yorubas have either come out to have intelligent arguments rebutting or understood that EVERYONE COMES FROM SOMEWHERE AND HISTORY IS NOT AS IMPORTANT AS THE PRESENT AND THE PRESENT IS LAGOS IS YORUBALAND. They have not said “EVERYONE HATES US”. They have not played the victim card. They have not accused anyone of “GENOCIDE, TRYING TO REDUCE THE LAND AND POPULATION OF YORUBAS”

I will keep saying this “A PEOPLE WITH SO MANY BEAUTIFUL WOMEN AND HANDSOME MEN, VERY BRILLIANT AND INDUSTRIOUS, THRIVING IN ALL NOOKS AND CRANNIES OF NIGERIA AND SAFE AND WELCOME EVERYWHERE (save for pockets of the North) SHOULD NOT ALWAYS RUN TO HATE HATE HATE WHENEVER AN ARGUMENT ON TRIBE IS HAD. To hate Igbos, that person must truly be miserable because everywhere you turn, you will see an Igbo thriving. It will be HELL! The person will have a permanent FROWN eg Buhari. I have used the Itsekiri-Urhobo relationship to show that people should not consider every quarrel, argument, fight and pockets of bloodshed “enmity” or hate. Most times it is HEALTHY RIVALRY as resources are scarce so we must struggle for it.

Again, to the point, when we posted the words of Obi of Isele Uku on the origin of his people, when we pointed out that when White people were killed in Asaba, Oba Ovueranmwen was held responsible for the killing, proving those lands were Bini’s etc, language and culture was used as the major counter argument. So now I ask “why is Lagos now Bini when all they speak is Yoruba and their names are Yoruba”, dressing and culture too? Should we throw away testimonies of Kings who are custodians of the history and culture?

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