Below, we look at theories of origin of the Igbo-speaking Ikwere nation and add our own commentary based on our research. We start with this Wikipedia entry below, which we note contains some generally accepted but widely debated theories of origin:
Amadi, an Ikwerre scholar, says that the Igbo origin theory has support even among the Ikwerre themselves, with Ikwerre as descendants of a migration of Arochukwu Igbo, and Okpo Nwagidi being the leader of the Ikwerre tribe.
But when Port Harcourt was conquered by Nigeria during the Biafran War and the Igbo people from other parts of Igboland fled the territory, a UN report says that the Ikwerre decided to claim that the Ikwerre were non-Igbo for convenience. The Ikwerre are recognized officially as a separate group in the 1979 Nigerian Constitution.
While the Akalaka legend points that Ikwerre descended from Ihuruoha , allegedly the third son of Akalaka, the Ochichi legend argues that Ochichi who migrated from Benin too, was a cofounder of Ikwerre as his descendants are believed to have founded many clans including Elele.
This presupposes that historians may have to resort to oral tradition for the justifiable/credible reconstruction of the people’s history.
From the post-colonial dispensation to the present, professional historians and other personals have attempted to reconstruct the history of the people. For instance, the works of Elechi Amadi, especially The Concubine, The Great Ponds, The Slave (novels) and Isiburu (a verse play) are a literary attempt at reconstructing a semblance of the Ikwerre society in the pre-colonial era.
The Benin Theory of Ikwere origin is also an Igbo theory, because Eze Chima Obatala, Prince of the Igbo Aborigines Ile Ife and titular Prince of Benin during the pre Oba Ogiso days, sent his trusted lieutenants to settle in Ikwere.
These Lucumi Igbo’s may have met other Igbos from Awka, Orlu, Arochukwu and other areas. They peacefully coexisted in one Ikwere nation of the Igbo speaking Nations.