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 Ali Ogba History

The information used in this website was solely based on materials gratiously made available to me by our very own, one of Ali-Ogba’s distinguished son, Professor Chukudi V. Izeogu, Ph.D. In other words, these are direct extracts from the paper. Please, read the full textmore info

He said, the  purpose of this paper is to highlight the challenges that Ali Ogba faces that must be addressed if it is to benefit from the economic resources produced from its land and achieve sustainable development. I have tried to take extracts about Ogba people, their cultural traditions, and the location to put on this website. Ali-Ogba, located in the central Orashi-Sombreiro plains of Rivers State, Nigeria, is one of the major producers of the oil that fuels Nigeria’s economic development in recent decades. Ali Ogba communities constitute one of the minority ethnic groups of Nigeria and share common ancestry, socio-cultural elements and heritage. Oral history and folklore have it that Ali-Ogba people migrated to what is now called Ali-Ogba from the area of the then Benin Empire across the Niger about the 16th century. In his book on the history of Ogba published in the1950s, Ewo stated that two Ali-Ogba and Ekpeye communities share a common ancestor, Akalaka, who migrated from the old Benin kingdom.

(1 According to Professor Alagoa, the Ogbakiri Ikwerre also relate their founding ancestor, Ekenta, to the Benin tradition. See  Alagoa, E. J. (1990) ed. Land and People of Nigeria: Rivers State).

However, archaeological evidence suggests that the present Ali-Ogba was occupied by people long before the time of the Legendary migration of the ancestral father, Akalaka, from Benin. For example, the area around Obrikom (Egbekwu and Obie) perhaps was inhabited first about 3015 B.C.; Ikiri about 2015 B.C.; and Omoku about 2815 B.C. (Ellah, 1995) According to Ellah, “by 15 B.C. and 235 A.D. these settlements had become stable. The inhabitants were killing large animals and fish .. yam was a staple food”. Also, ironworks was known in the area (most probably at Obrikom) about 235 A.D. (Ellah, 1995). It is instructive to know that the Ancestors of present day Ali-Ogba communities and the constituent extended family systems (obodos) migrated to Ali-Ogba at different times through four main migratory routes: South-northerly; North- southerly; East- westerly and West-easterly during the period 3015 B.C. to circa 1600 A.D. (Ellah, 1995). Available accounts of the origins of Ali-Ogba communities and their unique cultural characteristics and affinity lend credence to their common ancestry or ‘brotherhood’. Based on common historical experiences and culture, especially language. Ali- Ogba people also exhibit some relationships (especially, culture and language) to other communities in Rivers state and other parts of Nigeria. The Ali-Ogba communities’ settlement in their present location, and their cultural relationships with other adjacent communities in Rivers and Imo states with whom they trace their roots to the old Benin empire more or less define their identity.

Geographically, Ali-Ogba stretches from about 4 50 N to 5 30’N and extends from about 6 25 E to about 6 40’ E. Spatially, it covers an area of 920 sq. km in the northern part of the Niger Delta region located within the River Niger flood plains.

   It is bordered on the west by the Orashi river and on the east by the Sombreiro river. In addition to the main drainage systems, there are the Omoku river and many back swamps, cut offs and interconnecting streams which form a maze of drainage channels superimposed on the area.

   At the peak of the rainy season, these interconnected waterways are a prominent feature of the landscape. Its location in the Sombreiro-Warri deltaic plains, which consists of coastal plains sands and other tertiary deposits – marine, mixed, and continental deposits typical of deltaic environments situates it in the rain forest zone of southern Nigeria. The area can be divided into four ecological zones:    

          The Orashi river flood plains (westwards)

         The central well drained lowlands and farm mosaic between the Orashi and Sombreiro rivers.


             The non-tidal freshwater swamps basin.

The highest part of  Ali-Ogba is the well drained lowland and farm mosaic with altitude ranging from 15m to 22 m. with altitude ranging from 15m to 22 m. In general, the land is characterized by gentle sloping topography of less than 10 degrees in many areas. This relatively low altitude gives the area its characteristics flat and monotonous low relief interspersed by many wetland (swamp/creek basins), which crisscross the central low lands and empty into the two main river systems (Sombreiro and Orashi).

   As a result of its geographic location, Ali-Ogba enjoys all year round high temperatures averaging 80 degrees Farenheit in the day with over night lows ranging from 65 to 70 degrees. Also, the area has at least ten months of rainfall totaling over 80 inches per year with very high humidity in the summer months.

The climatic conditions and topography support a wide variety of plant and animal life.

The flora consists of economic trees especially oil palm trees and a variety of plants species of great pharmacological value as human elixir..




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