Rivers Ethnic Groups Trace Roots To Benin
Ikwerre ethnic nationality and five other ethnic groups have traced their ancestral origin to the ancient Benin Kingdom in Edo State. The other ethnic groups are Ogba, Engenni, Degema, Egbema and Ekpeye.
The traditional ruler of Akpo Kingdom and Nyeweli of Akpor, HRM, Eze Anaele Orlu Oriebe at a reception for the Oba of Benin, HRM, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolo Okpolo, Oba Ewuare II, N’Ogidigan in Port Harcourt, said the Ikwerre people originated from the Benin Kingdom, before settling down in the present Rivers State.
According to the Akpo monarch, the original name of Ikwerre was Ihuwoha noting that the name was completely changed by the white man during the Abonnema wharf project under the colonial masters.
He explained that the whitemen used the term Ikwerre to identify them as a people that agreed to the terms of their agreement with the colonalist.
Eze Oriebe told the Benin Monarch that the Ikwerre ethnic group pledge their allegiance to the Benin Monarch as a way of keeping the records straight on the history of Ikwerre people in Rivers State.
Other ethnic groups who pledged allegiance to the ancient Benin Kingdown included, the Ogba Kingdom of ONELGA, the Engeni people of Ahoada, the Egbema people in ONELGA, Ekpeye Kingdom also in Ahoada, the Abua group and the Degema clan, in Degema Local Government Area, who said their ancestors left Benin Kingdom in the 11th century to settle in the present area of Rivers State.
In his response, the Benin Monarch expressed appreciation to the groups for acknowledging their true identity and affiliation to the ancient Benin Kingdom and charged Edo indigenes resident in the state to live in peace with indigenes of Rivers State.
The Monarch promised to create opportunities to unite disperse people of the ancient Benin kingdom stressing that it will help to creating bonds of unity in the kingdom.