The True Fact About Okene People, Who Are The Indigene’s Of Okene? (Ano’Okene)

The Fact About Okene People
Ohu Bariki

The True Fact About Okene People

Are you an Ebira or an indigene of Okene who would like to know its history and orgin? Do you have a project or a book to write on that links to the history about Okene people (Ano’Okene)? or Do you wish to tell your siblings or your children the history about Okene people (Ano’Okene)? Then this is the best space for you.

These article is to enlighten you about Okene people (Ano’Okene) and all the true facts about them. Keep following till the end to get that best answers you are looking for about Okene people (Ano’Okene).

Ebira language has three sections and they are; Ebira Tao, Ebira Etuno and Ebira Panda. These sections were further categorized into four states; which are: Kogi state, Plateau, Benue, Edo State and Abaji area council of federal capital territory. The four states share some common ethnology including Ancestry, Language, Culture and History.

Ebira history started in the middle Benue region about 800 years ago when the group began to refer themselves as people from Bura or Bira in the Gongola river basin. In fact, Ebira-Nya Would insist that the correct version of the group name is Egbura.

From the middle Benue Region, the same people spread the Niger-Benue Confluence from where the Ebira-Tao and Ebira-Etuno (Igara) migrated inland, to their present locations which is the thye way of Etobe in Igala land.

In their various locations, Ebira-Tao mixed with different ethnic groups, some of whom they assimilated, with permanent subordination of others. For instance in the middle Benue and Niger-Benue confluence region mixed with the Akpoto {Idoma}, Bassa, Nupe, and Oworo, and took on a lot of Igala elements.

The Ajinomoh war

They lost some of their group like the Etulo (Utur Tiv) to the Tiv, the Kakanda to the Nupe, and others to the Idomas and Igalas. These groups however, still claim their Ebira genealogy.

The role forced on Okene people by the Fulani and Nupe Jihadists invasions (The Ireku Ajinomoh) during the mid-19th century was the refuge it provided for both the Ebira’s (indigene) and non Ebira’s (non-indigene), especially the Anowe fleeing from Jihadists, the Ogori & Magongo fleeing from the tyranny of Ubuoro Jagajigi, etc.

The Ajinomoh war also brought into Okene, the Colonial frontier force which first settled at Obangede and later moved to Okene {Udi-Oyivo}, as well as other soldiers of fortune who help in defending the town and made the best out of the war situation.

Ohu Bariki

This is why Okene town, especially the earliest settlements around the Attahs Palace and the Okene Market is been called Bariki meaning Barrack.

From the brief account above, it is noted that Okene is made up of various people from all the district of Ebiraland. Besides, the town has expanded beyond expectation.

The Okengwe boundary into Adavi is not by the war of conquest but by mere migration into an urban center in search of some greener pasture.

Okene can now be refers to as the headquarters of Ebira-Tao. Every clan, district and individual in Ebiraland has helped in its growth and transformation into an urban center.

To refuse permit to masquerades during Eche”ane or any other Ebiraland Festival is a minor issue, but the wider social, cultural, economic and political implications of the clannish basis for such refusal is a divisive trend which can only polarize the people of Okene.

According to a book written by Yusuf Otaru Aliu titled “What I Know About Them” Ebira History Makers. It is said that, the Ebira People’s Association {EPA} has suggested that anybody from any of the eight administrative districts of Ebiraland (Adavi, Ajaokuta, Eganyi, Eika, Ihima, Ogori/Magongo, Okene and Okengwe) who has houses in Okene should be regarded as Ano’Okene.

The second generations are the non-Ebiras who reside in Okene but have one of their parents as an indigene of Ebira land, they should be regarded as Ano’Okene. The same thing should also be applicable to other Ebira land district. It should be made possible for any Ebira chap to participate in the development of Okene.

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I am a full-time blogger, an educationist and a digital marketer. I am the head of Editorial at Ebira Online Media.



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