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 text: more
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
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
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
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:
Orashi river flood plains (westwards)
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
with altitude ranging from 15m to
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
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..