Ikwerre: Disimilar From Igbo; Not A Kingdom With Common History

(By Okachukwu Dibia) –  Late Chief  Mpi of Isiokpo  never ruled Ikwerre as claimed in some quarters because we are not a kingdom. At Willinks Commission, Ikwerre did not present their own separate position, rather they joined with others as minorities – afraid of what will happen to them under the Igbo after independence. If Ikwerre said they are Igbo at the commission, why did the Igbo come against the Eastern Minorities at the commission? Again if Aro came to Ikwerre, who did they meet? Should those they met become Aros?  Late Chief Oriji never said or signed any document alluding  Ikwerre to be Igbo. He vehemently fought against the useless and unfounded idea that Ikwerre is Igbo and that was why he was suspended severally in the Eastern House of Assembly.

That was also the reason why Biafran soldiers burnt down his house in Rumuche before E.ohua was liberated by the Nigerian army. If Ikwerre is Igbo, why did late Barrister Nwobidike Nwanodi contest and won Chief Eleguruonu in 1964 election? Yes, Ikwerre may not have one history of migration from one source but those who first settled were of Benin stock. You cannot use language to determine who a man is because languages travel and interact and change. We use English language to communicate, are we English people.


In a world of cross osmosis of values like language, dressing, naming, foods, governance, etc, who a man is must, in the main be about his origin and core behaviours. What core behaviours do Ikwerre and Igbo share in commom? Ikwerre is conservative, Igbo is acquisitive. Ikwerre is not good in business, Igbo is known in the whole world as business people. Igbo has deep penchant to explore and leave his village, Ikwerre prefers to remain in his village.


I really can’t find Igbo in my veins. I am Okachikwu Dibia son of Ogbonna Dibia and Dibia son of Owhor and Owhor son of Orgwu and Orgwu son of Kpalukwu and Kpalukwu son of Ugbonwo and Ugbonwo son of Akunde, the progenitor of Rumuakunde village in Emohua kingdom. Akunde came from Omofo Ru’Ndele. So I don’t have Igbo blood in me. It is groups like Ndele, Odegnu, Emohua, Wezina, Uvuahu, Isiokpo etc ( original settlers) that came together and formed Iwhnurohna, nicknamed Ikwerre.


Later, after the abolition of slave trade, the Aro came living between Emohua and Wezina, they were settlers later chased away; just like Isiokpo did. Before Aro came, people were there, but Aros are living today in Ikwerre. This cannot make Ikwerre to become Aro, rather Aro became Ikwerre. It is unhistorical and useless to say the Ikwerre is Igbo


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