Table of Contents
History of Ogori People – Ogori-Magongo, located in Kogi State, Nigeria, is a Local Government Area with its headquarters in Akpafa. It was carved out of the old Okene Local Government Area specifically for the Ogori and Magongo people. These communities stretch from Obehira Ebaba to Lampese, extending up to Ososo in Edo State.
History of Ogori People
Ogori is an extraordinary ethnic minority that has played and continues to play a significant role in various aspects of human and national development. One notable geographical feature in Ogori is a chain of hills that run east-west, connecting Ogori and Magongo.
The Ogori people, locally known as “Oko,” have a unique history. It is widely accepted that the community is descended from AKINBUYI, a prince from ILE IFE, the cradle of the Yoruba race, who migrated to the present-day location of the community.
The establishment of the Ogori Descendants Union has played a crucial role in unifying the community and promoting developmental activities both collectively and through individual members. These organizations have been instrumental in preserving the cultural heritage of their communities, such as the OVIA OSESE ceremony and its associated festivals, which have become popular tourist attractions in Ogori.
OVIA OSESE is a celebration that highlights and upholds the virtues of womanhood in the Ogori community. For men, there are two types of ceremonies: EKON MO ORIRE and AKARA OSI SORE. The latter showcases the skill of frying akara balls using minimal resources, serving as a test of dexterity and intelligence.
Ogori is known for its passion for education and has produced numerous professionals, including professors, doctors, and academics.
When you are in the area, particularly during the OVIA OSESE celebration, feel free to visit and experience the joy of being there.
As for Magongo, according to Chief A.O.F. ALAO’s account in “A Brief History of Magongo,” the town was first settled by Oludo from Ile-Ife approximately 500 years ago. The town derives its name from Unagogo, one of Oludo’s sons. Over time, the land expanded, and Magongo became known for its hospitality towards visitors. The community is located in Kogi State, Nigeria, with geographical coordinates of 7°29’N 6°13’E and covers an area of about 30 square miles. The 1996 census of the Federal Republic of Nigeria recorded a population of approximately 39,000 for the local government.
Magongo has a rich culture that includes the famous Owiya Osese ceremony. The paramount ruler of Magongo is known as the Olumagongo, and there are important high and lesser chiefs referred to as Ekekaro and Otaru, respectively. The music and dance traditions in Magongo encompass eregba, okeni, igo, ishoko, and, most notably, iyaresen. Festivals in Magongo include igilofifi, ikpen, and eya ojija.
Origin and Migrations of the Ogori People in the Niger/Benue Confluence Area
The Ogori people are a sub-ethnic group currently residing in the North Central part of Kogi State, with an estimated population of around 60,000. Their history dates back approximately 700 years and is intertwined with the waves of Yoruba migration. According to oral tradition, the Ogori people originated from Ile-Ife, the ancestral home of the Yoruba. They migrated from Ile-Ife, settling intermittently in places like Ilesha, Owo, Benin, Idoma land, and Ajaokuta, before finally arriving at their present location.
After settling in Idomaland, a section of the Ogori people continued their migration through Igalaland, reaching Aboko (Ajaokuta) and Egori districts, Igbirra Pete, Ipesi Ate, and Okejebu, until they arrived at their current area. Another group from Ogori separated in Ajaokuta (Aboko) and journeyed to Gobbo, Mozun, and Toto areas in Nassarawa, passing through the Niger and Benue confluence, and eventually settling in Kakanda, where an Ogori community still exists today.
According to oral tradition and written sources, the Ogori people were once comprised of various clans, many of which have merged into larger ones over time. These clans include Adubane, Osobane, Okibo, Arigo, Ogbegbe, Oturu, Egewu, Okpowo, and Eni. Some of these clans later established their own settlements in different places. The Okpoowo, Oturu, and Ogbegbe clans are now found in Magongo, approximately 3 kilometers from Ogori. Others separated and settled alongside their counterparts from Ile-Ife in present-day locations such as Makeke, Bekuma, Oja, and Ososo, all situated in Edo State.