The History of Ikpeshi & Egbigele

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Last update June 24, 2020


According to archives records, an age-group named Ololumo was sent from Ikpeshi-Akoko to catch bush rats for a festival and returned empty handed. They were sent out again and settled in the neighbourhood of Somorika. They were evicted from this site by the Somorika people and settled at Egbigele, which was in turn destroyed by the Nupes. Ikpeshi was then built; a Nupe "ajele" was placed there to collect tribute. Sometime after 1890 some of the people returned.


According to archives records IKPESHI AND EGBIGELE are divided into six (6) quarters, sub -divided into two (2) families, part of each of which are found in both villages.

They are

(1) IGUN QRTS     
(i) Ugonna
(i) Uyoru
(i) Onerumu
(ii) Emegbe   
(ii) Utolike
(ii) Osiokunu
(iii) Okepe
(iii) Mogbe
(iv) Okunnu
(vi) Afobun
(i) U gbolo
(i) Afoto   
 (i) Kanobo
(ii) Uralegwa
(ii) Uwaroshi

Age groups are formed every three (3) years and are named by the village heads. Youth of 16-19 from the same village join the same age group.

The title of the head clan is called Zaiki, but the old title is now called “OGUA”.

Women have no traditional political right. Women age groups are formed in the same time with the men but have no specific duties.


According to archives records, in the olden days the court, which is in all the villages consisted of the Chief Priest and the members of the senior titled age group usually sat in the home of the Chief Priest.

Crime were punish as follows

-Theft:  painted with white chalk, charcoal and mocked.

-Assault: Fine money, goat and compensation.

-Arson:  Compensation in accordance with the damage.

-Manslaughter: Fine and a goat one person as compensation to the deceased family.

-Murder: Self hanging in the market square.

.Adultery: Compensation of he-goat, dog, cock, hen, tortoise, snail and bush rat to husband of the woman and fine to be shared by the judges.

All civil and matrimonial disputes including adultery and all criminal cases except murder, manslaughter and arson could be settled privately by the heads of families of the parties. Decision as to dispute fact was given on the outcome of oath or ordeal where they made solemn affirmation over the bells carried by the Okpas as part of their insignia a feather was thrust through their tongues if it was held that means the person had lied.

Ikpeshi/Egbigele clan is made up of five (5) villages namely: (¡) Ishokee (¡¡)Akuluwu (¡¡¡)Ugurewu (¡v)Egbigele old site and (v)Egbigele new site. And they have six (6) families in the clan namely (¡)Igu (¡¡)Iyariya (¡¡¡)Iminisama (¡v)Igbuduru (v)Ucha (v¡)Iwani



The head clan maintained that they speak one and the same language, and there is no language barrier


They are mainly farmer and traders.

Clan headship

Anybody that is interested to be the Oba of Ikpeshi/Agbigele clan should realize that it is hereditary from father to son and as such is not rotated amongst the communities or villages.


Ikpeshi/Egbizele clan has numerous festivals but the one that is more pronounced is the Eboru Festival. Eboru Festival performed when a man wants to choose a bedmate from the matured girls.

According to the head clan this festival was last performed in the year 1979.

During this special festival a special drum is assigned to it, when it is beaten all the girls are expected to come out naked and they are expected to dance and whoever the men present at the occasion is interested in, he will indicate by throw cowries on the girl’s shoulder . Though this tradition has dead but the head clan insists on reviving it. Other interesting festival is though long it has last performed is the Okpa title and the Obitegwa.


Apart from Christian and Islamic religion, African religion is also practiced in Ikpeshi/Egbigele clan though dying gradually.

Shrine and Deities

Ikpesi/Egbigele has only one shrine called ISAMI which they worship along with the Etsako people

Marital Rites

The present dowry in Ikpeshi/Egbigele is 10,000 Naira. Their marriage is not based on class or category of persons provided those who want to marry are both native but in a situation where it is a none native who want to marry a native  they might ask you to pay more, solely depends on the family and educational background of the person.


Pounded yam and good soup remains their major staple.


Ikpesi/Egbigele clan communal land is owned by the head clan. He alone has the prescribed authority on land matters.

Traditional Medicine

Herbal medicine is also of high regard in this clan, they take is as an alternative to orthodox medicine.

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