We continue our expose of the fact that the Igbos were the aborigins of Ile Ife, which today is the cradle of the Yoruba civilisation with this excerpt:
“According to some stories, after Obatala (king of the aboriginal Igbos from the Nri area, who founded Ile-Ife) was driven from Ile-Ife after being defeated (by Oduduwa, leader of the Yoruba tribe, who came from the North) he went to live in exile with His ally, Obawinni, at the Igbomokun area, in today’s Ondo State. Obatala still challenged Oduduwa’s kingship through raids at night, legend has it, with the Igbo who had masks that made them look (scary). Peace was eventually restored when Moremi (a Yoruba woman from Offa, but married to a Yoruba man from Ile-Ife) discovered the secret of the masks.”
The Obatala kings had other titles, in Yoruba mythology. They include Orishanla, Osere Igbo, Oshala, Oba Igbo, Oshagiyan, Oshalufon, Orisha Oko, and Osha Funfun.
The Obatalas and their Igbos originally came from the Nri area. They founded their aboriginal base of Ife in an Ilu (official Equianoist sojourn that took them westwards).
The Obatala, who fell for Moremi’s charms was Obatala Oreluere. He was the father of Eze Chima, the Crown Prince of Ife, titular Prince of Benin, and the founder of the modern Anioma nation, and last titular prince of Benin.The name ‘Onitsha’ itself, is said to be a corruption of the Lukumi word, ‘Orisha’. Osha is a nickname for the Anioma town of Onitsha: note its similarity to the Obatala title, Osha Funfun.Note the Lukumi phrase, ‘regla de la Osha Lukumi’, used by Lukumi people who are now African Americans today, and note the Anioma communities, including the town of Olukwumi, that exist in Aniocha North LGA (in Igboland) today.
In Igbo history, Onitsha or Osha, is seen as the place where Prince Chima settled in, and built his new kingdom, after losing his princeship of Benin. This was after he lost Ile-Ife.According to the book, Equianoism, by Prince Charles Offokaja, he is said to have been the one who coined the term Anioma, for the Lukumi Igbo owned farms of the Niger-Delta, after a peace deal with Ogiso Owodo a powerful Benin chief, who subsequently became the first Oba of Benin.
Prince Chima, now Eze Chima installed his eldest son as the king of the new Isele Ukwu kingdom. He accepted the suzerainty of the pre-existing Igbo farm kingdoms like Agbor. He also founded new kingdoms, with his lieutenants as kings. He then settled in another kingdom which he founded- across the Niger, with the cooperation of the whole Igbo nation- called Onitsha Ado.
From the strategic point of Onitsha Ado n’Idu, he was able to put plant other Anioma communities east of the Niger while overseeing the communities west of the Niger.All this he did with the co-operation of the entire Igbo nation, who recognised their kinship with the Igbo aborigines of Ile-Ife, who were also called Lukumi. Hence “regla de la Osha Lukumi”, meaning “rule of the Osha Lukumi”.
It is no coincidence that the title of the King of Onitsha is Obi. Note: one of the ancient titles of the Obatala kings, ” Obi Osere Igbo”. Note the Osere title which exists today in Oguta, another Anioma town in Imo State.
The Anioma people have preserved their Obaship title legacy by having a monarchy whose title is “Oba of Ogbaland”, in Rivers State.
Equianoism, by Prince Charles Offokajahttp://
Obatala, King Of The Igbo Nation- Igbodefender.com
Posted on October 11, 2012 by Prince Charles Oforkaja
“At the Yoruba Center in Havana, Cuba Prof. Acholonu had this to state: “I saw among the Yoruba pantheon of gods at the center, the statue of a god named Obatala whose inscription/explanation read: Father of the Igbo nation…”
According to history Obatala was the title of the pre-existing kings of the Igbo nation in Ile Ife. These were the Igbos whose king (Obatala Oreluere), Queen Moremi married. They are today’s Anioma/Lukumi people, and an ancient civilization in their own right.
The Anioma roots go way back to the Nri area of Igboland, from where they started an ilu to the Ife area (today’s Yorubaland).
After the Moremi affair, the headquarters of the Anioma/Lukumi nation became the Onitsha and Iseleukwu kingdoms.
Other notable Anioma kingdoms include, but are not limited to:
•Olukwumi- named after the old Lukumi/ Ife/ Uhe kingdom/empire of the Igbos.
•Oguta (Imo State)-which retained the ancient Obatala title of ‘ Obi Osere Igbo’ . The Osere is in charge of the Owu festival of Oguta.
•Ogbaland, which preserves the Obatala’s Ife title of Oba Igbo, through their king’s Oba title.
•Onitsha Ugbo, which is a nostalgic combination of the words ‘Orisha’ and ‘Ugbo’.
Ezechima, who was the last Igbo titular prince in Benin as well as Crown Prince of the Igbos of Ife, retained some Benin titles as a result of a peace treaty with Ogiso Owodo, the last Ogiso of Benin.