Facts about Okere in Warri South LGA

1) Okere was and is never an Itsekiri Community.
2) Even the Itsekiris themselves said Okere was founded by a Bini man named Ekpenede in company of other Bini men. When he Founded Okere he didn’t meet any other aboriginal Itsekiris. This was unlike in Ode Itsekiri, where Ijijen son of Ginuwa arrived in Ode Itsekiri, he met other aboriginal Itsekiris, in a place called Okorotomu. Their head was a man called Itsekiri. When he died, the name of the place was changed to ode Itsekiri to commemorate him. The Descendants of these aboriginal Itsekiris are called Omajajas, while the descendants of the Bini immigrants of the Ginuwa Party are called Otonolu, if Descended from Ginuwa or oto_ojoye if Descended from any of the sons of any of the 70 chiefs that accompanied Ginuwa, originally from BENIN.

3) But the Urhobo tradition clearly states that Okere was founded by at least 3 Urhobo men namely Idama, Ohwotemu and Sohworuvwe, from okpare Olomu. Later others like Itifo makro etc joined them and Founded many tracts of land constituting modern Okere.

HRM Morris Ogheneochuko Eyekpimi, The Orosuen of Okere-Urhobo Kingdom

4) The Nigeria courts have consistently aligned with the Urhobo version of the founding of OKERE,. It has rejected clearly that the Itsekiris founded Okere at all.

5) But if we are to harmonize both Positions, then Okere is a Community FOUNDED by both Bini Ancestors and Urhobo Ancestors. So one wonders how the Itsekiris will lay claim to a Community FOUNDED by both BENIN Ancestors and Urhobo Ancestors without any Itsekiri aboriginals. All over Urhobo lands Communities Founded by Benin Immigrants and Urhobo Ancestors, end up becoming Urhobo Communities e.g Orogun kingdom in Ughelli Local Government area.

6) OKERE had always existed as an Autonomous Community not under the Overlordship of the Olu, …you can see this from the following Historical facts.

7). That the Ruler of Okere is the Ogieboro, …
It is a Bini word meaning the Ruler of the Community. It’s translation in Urhobo is “Orosuen”. Ogieboro is not an Itsekiri word. Ogie is the Bini word for king, it is the word from which the Urhobo word Ovie was derived. The Early inhabitants of Okere called their King Ogieboro while they called the king of Itsekiris in the River “Ogie ame”. So to the Binis both were equal. They were all “ogies”

8) While the Okere people called their Ruler “Ogieboro”, all other Itsekiri Communities under the Olu used the Title “Olaraja” to designate the ruler of that Community, who is usually the oldest man in that Community.
9) Justice Ekeruche in Idudun versus Okumagba, emphatically declared that ” Ginuwa and the subsequent Olus, never exercised Overlord rights Over OKERE. That was what the Warri high court found out after a thorough investigation.
10) Then the Supreme Court hit the nail on the head, that “Whatever Kingdom founded by Ginuwa did not extend to Okere”. This is very very clear and unambiguous.

11). Even in Itsekiri history, during the Itsekiri revolution following the death of Olu Akengbuwa in 1848, without any Successor, Princess Iye, who attempted to take charge of the kingdom, fled from ode Itsekiri to Okere for her own safety. She fled to Okere to seek refuge. This was because the people of Okere were independent of the ode Itsekiri kingdom, to the extent that one could run there to seek Protection, and not be touched

12) Okere Traditional festivals are all of Urhobo origins. The most popular Okere festival known as Okere juju is of Urhobo origin. The name is either “Okiroro festival” or “Awonkerë” festival. Both are Urhobo words with deep meanings in Urhobo language
13). The most ancient markets in OKERE the Okere main market and the Polokor market, are all of Urhobo origin and Under Urhobo control. One way to know the people who founded a land, is the existence of an ancient market. Or where were the markets the Itsekiris traded as a people before the Urhobos arrived to meet them in Okere??. The markets of OKERE are in Urhobo territory.

14) The most interesting thing that Okere was never under Itsekiri rule was the British Treaties. The British signed treaties with the Itsekiris in 1884, . They signed with the Itsekiri Traditional Authorities, headed by Nana, Numa, Awala, Eshalomi, Fregene e.t.c. This treaty was signed in the BENIN River. After that Treaty was made, the British were careful, not to enter any treaty with any Community that is deemed to be Itsekiri. Thus Ugbolokposo, Omadino, Ureju , Pessu, don’t have their own independent Treaty. But Okere has a Treaty that was signed by the Elders of Okere independent of the Itsekiri Treaty. It was signed by Okere Elders with the British on the 2nd of November in 1894.

15) So whatever influence the Itsekiris claim to have under Okere today is purely by land grabbing under British colonial effect, or by internal sabotage by some Okere Bini or Urhobo families who clearly do not know their roots.

16) So putting Okere as part of “Warri” city, yet another king nearby is called Warri king will Suppress the identity of the Okere Urhobo king.
Hence we have always advocated that all Urhobo settlements CONTINGOUS with the Itsekiri settlement called Warri and rightly or wrongly under Olu of Warri must as a matter of urgency be changed to “WADO CITY’.

Urhobo Wadooooo

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