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Cultural Heritage Of Ogu People

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Ogu Community is the second largest town among the Wakirike Be Se communities (i.e. Okrika nation) in Rivers State. It is about 45 minutes drive from Port Harcourt. A chieftaincy community with respectable chieftaincy institution that binds the community together. It is one of the 24 designated Urban Areas carved out in 1987 by the Rivers State Government, and a Local Government Headquarters in the State created on 1st October, 1996 by the Late Sani Abacha’s Military Regime. Kudos to that regime!

Ogu with her satellite settlements is surrounded by Eleme LGA in the West, Tai LGA in the North, Bonny LGA, Wakama Ama and Bolo communities in the South and Okrika LGA in the South-West. It could be reached by sea and land. It has well over 50 satellite villages and fishing settlements that could be reached through sea on Ogu creek and the Bonny River, while others by land through Eleme and Tai LGAs, Some of the satellite villages and fishing settlements include: Tende Ama Ada Ama, Tamuno Ama (Ofunguru Ama), Yude Ama, Kporo, Chuku Ama,. Nemieboka Ama, Iga fe Ama, Tende fe Ama, Olobulo Ama, Brown Ama, Afaka Ama,Agakien Ama, DasoAma, OwukiriAma, OmodaraniAma, PiriAma, Ogobo Ama, Iwomabie Ama, Ogweinbie Ama, Owupele Ama, Fombo Ama, Siere Ama, Ogugu-ChukuAma, Igbikiyemieari Ama, Tububie Ama, Orubie Ama, Anigoboka Ama, Atubonacheofoin-a Ama, Nyanabo Ama, Ogonotoru Ama, Ilanga/Yikabo Ama, F ebie Atna, Amabara Ama, Adu fe Ama, Chuku Ama II, Ikika fi piri Ama, . Olomusoko Ama, Ikpokiri I, Ikpokiri II, Ikpokiri III (Wharf), Tombikuku, Owugono, Ibiorika Kiri, Ibiebele Kiri, Orabere Kiri, Yikabo Kiri, Gream Kiri, Odo Kiri, Abereniboye Kiri, Adokiye Owuapuigbiki Kiri, Kulo Kiri, Sani Kiri, Apanatibo Kiri, Ipiangba Fibumo Kiri, Bumo Kiri, Semenibipi/Iyo Kiri, Ichi Kiri, Adolphus N emieboka Kiri, Niniapu Kiri boko, Agakien Kiri, Otobipi Kiri, Mbi Kiri, Fulobele Kiri, and so many others which are doted all over the scape of the Eastern Niger Delta. Because the people of Ogu are metropolitan in outlook, settlements taken as villages are actually big towns in other places.

Ogu also has neigbouring communities such as Sime, Barale, Barayira, Norkpo and Nonwa, all in Tai LGA. While others are Eteo and Onne in Eleme LGA, Mgbemgbe Boko in Okrika LGA, as well as Bolo and Wakama Ama communities in Ogu/Bolo LGA that share boundaries with her.

Ogu Community is economically viable. Fishing and peasant farming are the main economic activities of the people. Trading is principally with our contiguous communities of Tai, Eleme, Bonny and Andoni. The lntroduction of “legitimate” trade by Europeans at the middle of the last century increased the volume of commercial activities in Ogu as more and more people from near and far came to Olobulo market, Adu fe, Olomu Soko and Tende fe to carry on the “large trade” which Consul Ralph Moor spoke about in 1896.

With the penetration of the missionaries came Christianity and Western education, and the people embraced both. Thus, in 1966, the magnificent St. Martins’ Anglican Church was completed and dedicated to God in Ogu. Even today, the church stands, not only as a marvelous architectural edifice, but also, as a monumental and durable evidence ofa peoples’ ancient devotion to progressive thought and action. In 1973, Government Secondary School, Ogu, the first post primary school in Ogu/Bolo LGA was established. For many years, this college remained distinguished from others by its priority. By the mid 70, Ogu could boast of a modern hospital, good drinking water and tarred road.

In any event, the civil war, the creation of LGAs in the country and the great expansion of oil exploration and exploitation activities have had their effect on the people of Ogu. There is no doubt that there is some evidence of development all around. There has been, for instance, a significant increase in the number of educational and health institutions in Ogu as well as connected to the national grid.

Yet, Ogu that is one of the early participants in the march of civilization and progress, a lot more profound evidence of development must be demanded from it as the 21st century rolls to a close. Ogu has within its territory three oil wells known as Ikpokiri Bie called Ogu I, Daso Ama called Ogu II and Agakien called Ogu III as proved by seismic surveys under the supervision of Alakiri oil field that started production in 1970.

In addition to this, Ogu hosts several strategic establishments of National interest such as the Federal Lighter and Ocean Terminals, Onne/lkpokiri Oil and Gas Export Free Zone Authority, “the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Intel Nigeria Limited and several service companies. They are located on the left bank of Ogu creek, from Bonny River. In spite of all this, Ogu people, to use a cliche, have nothing to show for it. What gains they have had is only in the form of the devastation of the land and sea-scapes with the attendant health harzards.

The people of Ogu Community have a culture that is distinctive, impressive and to a large extent without influence. Featuring prominently in the culture of Ogu people are the Iria puberty and marriage ceremonies, wrestling, traditional plays, burial rites, installation of chiefs and traditional rulers ceremonies and many other rites and plays connected with the day to day life of the people.

Masquerades, some of them colourful and artistic in either their make-ups or paraphernalia, are a common sight throughout the community and the entire Local Government Area, especially during festive occasions.

In concept, these are either religious or historical or personifications of the rich legends of the people. And their classic performances, backed by the refreshing poetry of songs and music, bring to focus the high sense of drama and entertainment of the people.

A variety of dances, each unique in its form, also abound. Musical instruments include pots and drums, wooden gongs, horns and xylophones. All these are made locally by experts with an ancient tradition behind their craftsmanship.

Carving of masquerades and ceremonial canoes is a revered art and carvers have greatly improved the quality of their work over the years. Gradually, the purely functional forms of these carvings are being given new dimension and finish that reflect the people’s innate respect for aesthetic values.

The dances, plays and masquerades depict the religious, social and working life of the people. In turn, the life of the people has been greatly influenced by their culture. Thus, a spiritually ennobling circle has been set up. The Ogu man’s (Okrika-Ijaw) confidence, his love of truth, fair-play and wholesome dealings can all be traced to the influence of his unique cultural heritage.

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Culture/Tourism

Hotel Management System | Hotel Management Software

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Culture/Tourism

Rivers: How Wrestling Promotes Peace, Unity

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Prominent among the fading cultures of the people of Rivers State is wrestling. In the good olden days, almost all communities in Rivers State could boast of producing wrestling champions. But today, it is difficult to even hear of wrestling as a sport.

Its revival has been a serious issue to some communities within the state while others are yet to decide whether to revive it or not.

The near-death of the wrestling culture is blamed on the influence of  westernisation, just like other cultural activities such as the masquerade or Owu Dance, etc.

Wrestling is also one of the local sports that does not require much resources to organise because all the needed instruments as well as the human resources are available within the locality.

No doubt, the rebirth of  wrestling has become a major issue in some communities in Rivers State, today. It is said that the wrestling  was among the main sources of recreation and entertainment in several rural communities even in some cities where it is still practised.

The game (wrestling) as The Tide One Sunday gathered, does not involve much risk because it is usually a battle between two males of equal body size or persons within the same age bracket.

It is only in few cases that men of different age brackets or body sizes are allowed to wrestle. At times, such pairings are done to produce a champion who will represent the community in an external wrestling championship or even in inter-communal conflicts.

In some communities, champion wrestlers are used as body guards of their traditional rulers and chiefs who are viewed as the custodian of the people.

They (champion wrestlers) were used for almost all the risky jobs and errands in the community, because of the common notion that they possess  extra-ordinary prowess.

It is this sentiment that makes the wrestling champion the favourite of young girls even in marriage. It is said in some communities that every parent would in their inner most mind prefer that their would-be son-in-law is a champion wrestler, not even an ordinary one. The reason being that he will be of great importance to the family both in the areas of family work and defence.

The Tide On Sunday was told that in recent past  some parents would give their daughters to any available champion wrestlers at almost no cost, because they want their family to be respected.

Today, Rumuogba community in Obio/Akpor local government area of Rivers State has taken the bull by the horn to recreate the art of wrestling. To this end, the people have finalised plans to revive the wrestling culture.

The Paramount Ruler of Nye Nwe-Eli Rumuogba, HRH Eze (Barr) Temple N. Ejekwu (JP), Eze Ogba Iji Nu Ede, reasoned that wrestling remains the main source of popularity in the communities.

Eze Ejekwu noted that wrestling also brings peace and unity in the communities where it is still practised.

The monarch pointed out that wrestling is one of the notable cultures of the Ikwerre people and should not be allowed to fade away like many other cultures which he said are almost gone.

He argued that plans are in top gear to bring the wrestling culture back to life in his community.

According to him, both the wrestling drums and drummers are intact, saying that in the nearest future wrestling activities will begin to boom again in the community.

He also told The Tide’s Culture and Tourism desk that in his first anniversary which is underway, wrestling match will top other activities as part of the community’s effort to ensure that the younger generations do not forget it totally.

The Eze Ogba Nu-Iji Nu Ede, hinted that the community is also planning to invite other communities for a wrestling championship in order to bring back the lost glory of the wrestling culture.

According to him, wrestling, is the easiest way by which the locals can know who is who, adding that it also brings out the best in the man.

The Rumuogba Paramount Ruler, maintained that wrestling promotes unity and friendship among communities, adding that its near-death has done some havoc to the rural communities.

He said champions who emerge during the community’s wrestling championship, would be projected to the state level, just as the Woji people have taken their cultural dance to the state level.

He argued that since wrestling promotes peace and unity, the community will always experience a huge turnover in various aspects of its trade due to the friendly environment.

He also informed The Tide On Sunday that the wrestling culture has no fetish practice, wondering why the people are shying away from it.

The young monarch, regretted that the wrestling culture which serves as a huge tourist attraction for the people is fading away with a great speed.

He called on the organisers of the CARNIRIV annual festival to always include wrestling as one of the cultural activities of the Rivers people.

That, he said, will do the much expected magic in the bid to revive the wrestling culture of the people of Rivers State.

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Culture/Tourism

‘Wrestling promotes Peace, Unity’

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Prominent among the fading cultures of the people is wrestling.  In good olden days, almost all communities in Rivers State could boast of producing wrestling champions. But today, it is difficult to even hear of it.

Its revival has been a serious issue to some communities within the state while others are yet to decide whether to revive it or not.

The near-death of the wrestling culture is blamed on westernisation, just like other cultural activities such as the Owu Dance, etc.

Wrestling is also one of the local games that does not require much to organise because all the needed instruments as well as the human resources are available within the locality.

Moreover, the rebirth of the wrestling game has become a major issue in some communities in Rivers State, today. It was learnt that the wrestling game is among the main sources of receation and entertainment in the rural communities even in some cities where it is still practised.

The game (wrestling) as The Tide On Sunday gathered, does not involve much risk because it is a battle between two males of equal body size or within the same age bracket.

It is only in few cases where men of different age brackets or body-sizes are allowed to wrestle. At times, they do it to produce a champion who will represent the community in an external wrestling championship or even inter communal conflicts.

In some areas, champion wrestlers are used as body guards of their traditional rulers and chiefs who are viewed as the custodian of the people.

They (champion wrestlers) were used for almost all the risky jobs and errands in the community, because of the common notion that they prossess an extra-ordinary prowess.

In cases like marriage, every parent would prefer in their inner  most mind that their would-be son-in-law be a champion wrestler, not even an ordinary one. The reason being that he will be of great  importance to the family both in the areas of family work and  defence.

The Tide On Sunday was told that in recent past, that some parents would give their daughters to any available champion wrestlers at almost no cost, because they want their family to be respected.

Today, Rumuogba community in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, said that they have finalised plans to revive the wrestling culture.

The Paramount Ruler/Nye Nwe-Eli Rumogba, HRH Eze (Barr) Temple N. Ejekwu (JP), Eze Ogba Iji Nu Ede, reasoned that wrestling remains the main source of popularity in the communities.

Eze Ejekwu, noted that it also brings peace and unity in the communities where it is better practised.

The Monarch pointed that wrestling is one of the notable cultures of the Ikwerre people and should not be allowed to fade away with other cultures which he said are almost gone.

In his community (Rumuogba), he argued that plans are on top gear to bring the wrestling culture back to life.

According to him, both the drums and drummers are intact, saying that in the nearest future wrestling activity will begin to boom again in the community. 

He also told the Culture and Tourism Sector that in his first anniversary which is underway,  wrestling match will top other activities as part of the community’s effort to ensure that the younger generations do not forget it totally.

The Eze Ogba Nu Iji Nu Ede, hinted that the community is also planning to invite other communities for a wrestling championship in order to bring back the lost glory of the wrestling culture.

According to him, wrestling, is the easiest way by which the locals can know who is who, adding that it also brings out the best in the man.

The Rumuogba Paramount Ruler, maintained that wrestling promotes unity and friendship among communities, adding that its near-death has done some havoc to the rural communities.

In case champions emerge during the community’s wrestling championship, he said  they would be projected to the state level, just as the Worji people have taken their cultural dance to the state level.

About its economic importance, he argued that since wrestling promotes peace and unity,  the community will always experience a huge turn over in various aspects of its trade due to the friendly environment.

He also informed  The Tide On Sunday that the wrestling culture has no fetish practice, wondering why the people are shying away from it.

The young monarch, regretted that the wrestling culture which serves as a huge tourist attraction for the people is fading away with a great speed.

He has also called on the organisers of the CARNIRIV to include wrestling as one of the cultural activities of the Rivers people.

That, he said, will do the much expected magic in the bid to revive the wrestling activity of the people.

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