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BRIEF HISTORY OF AGBOR/IKA.

Geographically, the Ika speaking people are found in the north west of Delta State. They share borders in the west with the Edo speakers, in the north with the Ishan speakers, in the East with the Aniocha language speakers and in the south with the Ukwuani speakers.

Politically, Ika speakers are mainly found in two local government areas, Ika North East and Ika South local government areas, both created in 1991 from a single Ika Local Government Area, in Delta State. Ika South and Ika North East local government areas, occupy a land area of 117.45 square kilometres (Delta State Government website, 1999) with a total population of about 240,000 people. There are other Ika speaking people that are political outside the Ika North east and Ika South local government areas.

Agbor is an Igbo kingdom in Ika South, Delta State, Nigeria. The indigenes of Agbor town are Ika.

Agbor remains the largest of Ika communities with close geographical proximity to Benin City. Its constant wars with Benin are well-known. This may have also accounted for its consideration as the “most politically and militarily powerful of all Ika clans as recorded by Chukwu Ebuka and Iwueze Awele Success. The wars which lasted until the 19th century may have also swelled the military prowess of the community and helped to make it a force to reckon with within the Ika nation (Simpson, 1936).The headquarters of Agbor has been moved several times until the recent in 1935 to Ime-obi.. The reasons for the movement of the headquarters several times have been given as farming convenience and wars of succession. Since the old Agbor had always faced threats from the old Bini kingdom, it is also possible that the security of the headquarters from external invaders was an important consideration in the constant relocations of the headquarters.

Ika Structure: Clans, villages (Ogbe,an Ika igbo dialect for village), quarters (Idumu) and family units (nmunne).

The following are the eleven clans and a metropolis that make up the Ika community:
1. Agbor clan,
2. Owa clan,
3. Abavo clan,
4. Ute-Okpu clan,
5. Ute-Ogbeje clan
6 Umunede clan,
7. Akumazi clan,
8. Igbodo clan,
9. Otolokpo clan,
10. Mbiri clan,
11. Idumuesah clan
12. Orogodo/Boji-Boji

The origin of the town, as most African histories is traced by oral tradition .The people of Agbor/Ika do not trace origin to a single place..the Two prominent narratives being igbo(Nri) and Benin origins.It is possible that the few true Benin migrants lost there identity via language attrition to the dominant aboriginal igbos on ground.However,the villages of Alisor, Alilehan and Ozanogogo are not Ika speaking. They speak an Edoid language known especially to Ika speakers, as Oza or Ozara”. Its also important to note that a migration from Benin Kingdom doesn’t imply Benin ancestry, as Benin kingdom as it were was of multiethnic composition where different tribes fled from its vicinity for safety.Despite the proximity of the town to Benin ,Agbor has largely remained an igboid community indicating an earlier igbo footing.The monarchy also shows features of Benin cultural influence due to proximity, hence a borrowing of cultural traits and monarchy by the aborigines.

Agbor as narrated by chief A.E Iduwe is an ancient settlement. According to Iduwe “Our ancestors had long established an autonomous kingdom based on Eze title before our contact with Benin”.

There are two communities that go by the name “Owa” today: one in the present Delta State and the other in the present Edo State. Both are however Igbo-speaking of Ika dialect extraction. It is important to note here that even though the later Owa is located within Edo-speaking territory, it remained Igbo in language and other elements of its culture, like Igbanke, Ogan and other Igbo-speaking communities in the present Edo State.

The youngest King and up till today, the Dein of Agbor, Delta State Obi Benjamin Ikenchukwu Keagborekuzi 1,

He was crowned at the age of 2 years and 4 months in 1979 after the unexpected death of his father same year. He’s was taken away immediately to study abroad before coming back to begin ruling at an advance age. He returned in 2000 at age 22.

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