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Re: Originally were the ancient Isokos regarded as Urhobos?

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This reply is for one Ejiro Imuere and all the clannish supremacists who still exist among us, who have either deliberately refused to grow up on the line of history or ignorant of what a peoples’ history entails and cannot follow modern globalization trend. Why the deliberate affront on Isoko people by a few uncultured, under-schooled children to evoke division and disunity between two very distinct ethnic nationalities (Isoko and Urhobo) baffles my reasoning. I will take Ejiro paragraph by paragraph.

Ejiro started thus:

  1. “This is a very controversial topic I must confess, and so I will rely entirely on ancient documents to discuss this topic, and I also wish that anyone who wish to discuss with me to do same.”

Answer:

  1. Controversial topics are the most interesting topics to debate if the writer is apt with knowledge of the said topic, unfortunately, both from your quoted sources and your knowledge of weaving history together, you fall so short below the belt.

Ejiro:

  • 2. The year 1505 …a special year on Urhobo history…
  • Being the first time the word “Sobo” was documented by a European.
  • “Five Leagues, (About 28km) up the Forcados River, there is a trade in Slaves, cotton, Palm oil, Leopard skins, and blue beads with red lines, which the Negroes called Coris, which we (Portuguese) buy for bracelets (manillas), of brass and copper. These articles are sold for Gold at Elmina: The natives of this River are called HUELLA;..further inland is Subou(Sobo-Uzobo), is very Populous, there is Plenty of Pepper, then nearer the coast are Negroes call Jos (IJAW).
  • There seem to have been no Chiefs of importance among the Sobo. Each Town was independent and was ruled by its own headmen although all were under the Obba of Benin…….
  • Culled from the diary of Pereira’s Esmir-alda., A Portuguese explorer of the 15th and 16th century:

Reference: The People of Southern Nigeria by Talbot.

Answer:

  • 2. Sobo was not documented in 1505, Sobo has been used for many years. According to Hans Melzian –A Concise Dictionary of Bini Language, quoted in Edafewotu.O. Endurance, The Isoko Earth Nationality in Time Perspective, Sobo is the Language of the Kwa group which is of the Edoid language, and it refers to those in the outskirt of the city in Bini in present Benin City. Please also kindly consult Talbot you quoted above again because your quote lack meaning, it did not appear in any referenced work at all.

Ejiro:

  • 3. From the above is very clear that the Urhobo people had been in these parts for long….NOTICE THAT THE WORD ISOKO WAS NEVER MENTIONED, NO ANCIENT DOCUMENTED LITERATURE mentioned the word ISOKO, the oldest document of the word Isoko that I have seen is about 120 years old.

Answer:

  • 3. It is erroneous to make a conclusion out of nothing, first your quote above lack meaning, cohesion, and facts, therefore your conclusion is baseless and false. Secondly, there are quantum literature that have mentioned Isoko centuries past, you just failed to acquaint yourself with them, and your ignorance is not the fault of anyone but your undoing in reading. Third, that you concur that you have seen a literature in Isoko that is about 120years old, shows that, for a literature to write about a people in age of unwritten history, as old as 120years back, that beg the question. How many ethnic nationality literatures have you seen with 120yrs literature? If any, they may be very few. Learn my guy.

Ejiro:

  • 4. As at the year 1505, the Clans already in existence were Erohwa, Uzere, Okpe United, Iyede, Irri, Ewen, Olomu, Owhowha, and Abraka.
  • So 9 clans were called Sobos by the European as at 1505. We have all agreed that the word Sobo is a corruption of the word Urhobo by the Itsekiris and the Europeans, while the Binis called it Uhobo and the Ukwuanis called it Igabo.

Answer:

  • 4. Another poor unintelligent conclusion. By 1505, Isoko was fully established as an ethnic Nationality, Simple Google on Wikipedia will tell you that Portuguese first arrival at the Ancient Benin Kingdom in the year 1485 under the leadership of Joao Afonso de Aviero, that is 20years before this your conjured 1505 date. If you are a student of culture, history or even government, or rather social studies, you would have learnt that migration period was far over prior to the arrival of the Portuguese. Hope you are following your fallacies.
  • There were no time 9 clans were called Sobo, Sobo is an identifier of a set of people in a particular region, just as we say, South South, North West etc. Wakeup please.
  • Moreso, as a matter of fact, Ukwani never called any one Igabo, it is Abo people that use that term, and it was exclusively used for Isoko, it was never used for Urhobo. Hubbard. John Waddington stated as follows:
  • “… the Abo refer to the Eastern Sobo (Isoko is Eastern, while Urhobo is Western- addition mine), the ONLY SOBO (capital letters mine) with whom they are acquainted as “Igabo”, a word of opprobrious meaning”. – Hubbard John Waddington, The Sobo of the Niger Delta, Zaria: Gaskiya Corporation, 1948. Page 28-29. Please do not doctor facts.

Ejiro:

  • 5. Now of these 9 clans above originally called Sobo or Urhobo as at 1505, only 3 agree that they are still Urhobos. The rest 6 claim that they are not Urhobos but Isoko, and in 1963, they formed their own Ethnicity. But from 1505 till 1963, a period of almost 450 years they were regarded as Urhobos. …But all the 9 clans above originally identified as Urhobos, within this period split into many sub clans and migrated.
  • To understand this migration and how it produced 2 different clans today. The Okpe is the model example.
  • Now before Okpe split after 1505, they were all resident in one place in the Present day Isoko territory
  • A skirmish erupted and 4 large families headed by 4 brothers, Orhue, Orhoro, Evbreke and Esezi, got annoyed with the Children of the other Women spearheaded by Origbe their first king.
  • So they left and Journeyed Westwards until they arrived at Orerokpe, they decided to settle in the place, call it their new home and shared the land into 4 quarters represented with their names and called the settlement “Adane-okpe” . It means “Adar’ene r’okpe”. Meaning the 4 branches or 4 gateway of Okpe.
  • Now was it when they came to Orerokpe that they became Urhobos or they were already Urhobos before they came??

Answer:

  • 5. Permit me to say that this paragraph useless and put paid to all your write-ups as mere imaginations. First, there is only one clan in Isoko who has it origin from Urhobo, and that is Olomoro, from Olomu, Okpe-Isoko believe they are the founder of the present Okpe in Urhobo (This is a debate for another day). The other clans with a tie with Isoko is Effurun that migrated from Erohwa clan, these facts are not in doubt. Check Intelligence report on Arokwa-Umeh Clan, Warri Province 1931, NAI, file no 27993; Edafewotu O. Endurance, The Isoko Ethnic Nationality in Time Perspective, University Press, Ibadan. 2019, page 20;
  • While discussing Isoko-Urhobo relations, Hubbard said thus:
  • “Efuru or Evro was founded by member of the family (Erohwa- addition mine) who settled where Patani is now…When they found that were too many at the spot some of them left and went onwards and settled at a place now called Evhro-Oto near Okpare.. the language is Erohwa with a slight difference” (Hubbard John Waddington, The Sobo of the Niger Delta, Zaria: Gaskiya Corporation, 1948. Page 99).
  • I need to school you further here where you are missing all this and mis-understanding yourself not Isoko history.
  • Isoko History has 2 separate Epoch, which you can read on The Isoko Ethnic Nationality in Time Perspective hard copy or go and buy the online version in amazon.co.uk.
  • While the one you are struggling to misconstrue is Isoko as a political unit which happened during the colonial era. The major denominator was the Amalgamation of the Noirthern and Southern Protectorate that wedge Isoko administration by the colonial masters into Urhobo for the payment of Head Tax. As you can research, Even Urhobo was made Subservient to the authority of Itsekiri at the time because of the appointment of Omadoghogbone Numa which was pronounces Dogho rule at the time in 1918.
  • It was this same treatment which was melted to Urhobo until 1932 when Dogho died and the continuous riot that greeted the introduction of Tax in 1927 that let Urhobo off the hook. Unfortunately, Urhobo melted the same injustices to the Isokos, until 1963 when we got our freedom. This therefore is a very ungodly reminder to the Isoko ethnic nationality. Our brothers in Isoko-Ame are still under bondage of this injustice of the colonial masters under different local government administrations till date. Please do not remind us ever again. We have forgiven, but cannot forget. Isoko is still crying for the creation of Isoko-Ame local government for her people. Do not toe this line ever again.
  • The first epoch started during migration which dated many centuries back and it encompasses all Isokos both in the geographical territory call Isoko South and North and those found in other territories like Isoko-Ame, and those in Diaspora.

Note, Isoko is a distinct ethnic nationality, at no time were Isokos under Urhobo.

That Effurun has origin with Isoko, Isokos has never laid claim to her independent existence. All SUPRIMACISTS should take note.

I am Edafewotu O. Endurance, a bonafide son of Isoko land.

Get your soft copy of the Isoko Ethnic Nationality: In Time Perspective from Amazon.

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