Onyeji Nnaji Slammed Sophia Dickson on the Wrong Documentation of Igbo History
In a paper titled, The History and Origin of the Igbo People in Nigeria by Sophia Dickson, it was claimed that one of the reasons why the Imo, Abia areas are called the Igbo heartland was that the area was the first place the Igbo people settled when they travelled from the African Great Lakes and Mountains of the Moon of East and Central Africa. Sophia made the whole history work laughable when she inked that evidence of this migration was unearthed in Nsukka, evident with potteries carbon-dated back to 4500BCE. The worst part of her document states that the Igbo migration took effect in about 5000BCE. She wrote thus:
"The Kwa people's first areas of settlement in Igboland was the North Central uplands (Nsukka-Afikpo-Awka-Orlu) around 5000BCE...." Evidence of this movement was found on the potteries found in Nsukka which were carbon dated to have existed around 4500BCE.There is evidence that the ancestors of the Igbo people and most of their neighbors were the proto-Kwa group, which came from the African Great Lakes and Mountains of the Moon of East and Central Africa and settled at the old Sahara grasslands."
Please, the Igbo which I am one did not come from Central Africa. There is no Igbo settlement today that came from Central Africa. What Sophia has not given her time to find is the cause of the similitude in both language and cultural proparties found in both Igbo societies and those areas she pointed out. We have discussed all this in the history of the Akans, Jukuns, Zulu, Kenya etc. There was an earlier movement from Igbo land here towards North Africa, mostly around 5000BCE when the Nubian civilization was at it's peak. When Egypt conquered Nubia and set up her civilization in 3700BCE, the kingdom of Nubia became vassal and lasted till around 300AD when Ezana, the Aksumite king from Ethiopia fought them and scattered them.
It was about that time the Kamba and Abaluya of Kenya, the Zulu, Zimbabwe, the Akan and others began to return towards south and west Africa. The core settlement of the Igbo nation: Nri, Awka, Umudiala and Nsukka was never involved in any form of migration. We hawever have faulty historical documentations where some writers, eager to make their voices heard, had fabricated untrue origins for the Igbo. Some said the Igbo originated from Israel, while others said Egypt. Then one may ask if children are now the parent of their parents. Such paradox is only realized in the field of literature, not in real life history. That' is usually the situation when one fails to tell his story by himself. When another person tells your story, sometimes you may find it very different to identify your position and roles in the very story of yours.
The Igbo history rested on one man in the beginning. This man was the Eze Nri in Anambra. Embodying the entire history of the Igbo race as the firstborn of the Igbo nation, Eze Nri only had the permission traditionally to render Igbo historical account anytime traditional gathering necessitated him to do so. Embodying the Igbo history in it's oral form does not mean that the rest of the four Igbo groups of ancestors do not know our history or that they could not tell our story. Of course, we can verify this truth via the comprehensive records kept by the Umudiala pygmies who founded Egypt.
Read The Origin of Egypt or the History of Egyptian Civilization and see the obvious evidences. The Igbo told her story as a people whose descent was traced to the sky. Hierarchically, Eri and his wife descended first, followed by the Awka and Umudiala respectively. The last to descend were the Nsukka. They established the first democratic government under the leadership of Eri and Idu in the very point where cartographers map-points as 0' latitude. The city was known in global history as Eridu, for it was named after Eri and Idu. Yoruba, Benin and Egypt respectedly refer to the city as Ife, Uhe and Helliopolis. Today, the city lies inside the Atlantic ocean.
This glorious history was transferred through generations of Eze Nri until when it was the time of Obalike who made the history known to the world. Unfortunately, the day he was required to appear in a court at Awka by the colonial masters the uncanny interpreter and translator of the age-long Igbo history was a foreigner, Northcote Thomas was his name. When Eze Nri finished his historical rendition, Northcote gave the interpretation best understood by him. Read King is Everyman by Richard Henderson and see for yourself. Today, many interpreters have emerged speaking with watered lips; pathetic! In your interest, you may read the paper below for onward clarification.
Every information you need about the Igbo origin and hierarchy is clearly discussed in the essay above.
Why Imo and Abia are Called the Igbo Heartland
Another error by Sophia is the claim that, because the Umudiala were termed the Igbo heartland, many other Igbo nations as Awka and others had sprung from her. According to Sophia, 'Around 4500 BCE showing similarities with later Igbo work was found at Nsukka, along with pottery and tools at nearby Ibagwa; the traditions of the Umueri clan have as their source the Anambra valley, and in the 1970s the Owerri, Okigwi, Orlu and Awka divisions were generally supposed to have been from linguistic and cultural evidence "an Igbo heartland"'.
Please my people, history is no longer hidden, except for one who decisively ignores the truth about his story. The Igbo heartland did not produce any migration offspring within Igbo settlements. What happened after the global flood was a reclaim and repossession of the Umudiala territories. Better put, we may refer to this later development as expansion. For instance, Nodo moved back to her position and then, some other population in much later days came to occupy space in Umudiala. We have the Arochukwu and subsequently the Igweocha (Ikwerre) who sprung from Arochukwu. We have discussed all these respectively on this site. There was never a time when Umudiala shared any historical relationship with the Awka, except the fact that they are all Igbo and have the same source, the sky.
Umudiala emigration is traced beyond the Igbo settlements. We have discussed the places and nations founded by the Umudiala. They Include the Jukun, Nubia (Present Sudan), Egypt and the entirety of the Bantu populations settled anywhere they are found. To mention but a few are the Zulu of South Africa, the Kamba of Kenya, the Akans and many others including the Tivs.
One finds Sophia in a huge confusion if one tagkes time to view her historical analysis moving back and forth. Yoruba Benin migration took effect before the Igbo identity assertive period. ie, Igbo settlements were not given names when the ''act of the gods" which separated Odudunwa (called Oduduwa) and Idu (the father of Benin) took place. Around that time, the Igbo populations were marked distinctively with prominence particularly on the entity with which each population was known. There was Eri for what is later known as the Umueri dispersion; Awka was marked with Dioka (for he was the Awka technocrat resident in the ancient kingdom known in history as Eridu).
Dioka was responsible for the pre-deluge artistic production of Eridu. This was the reason why, after reassessing the residue of the most ancient arts of Nri kingdom, Awka claimed they should be older than Nri. The Umudiala was marked with the prominent figure, Idu; while Nsukka was not called thus. They were know significantly as "Igbo Eze", translated to mean ''Igbo is King'. More about Nsukka is discussed in The Origin of Nsukka and Nsukka Civilization. We have also discussed how Nsukka sourced her name in the topics stated above.
Now, talking about why the Umudiala remnants are popularly referred to as the Igbo heartland, attentions should shift to the post deluge; a period from 1600,000BCE as evidently proven via fossils unearthed in the Okigwe region. Details are discussed in Okigwe civilization: the Peopling of Umudiala. After the flood, people began to emerge from their hideout. Ugwuele mountain played a veritable role in the survival of the Umudiala. Both the groove and the mountain played remarkable role in saving people in that area from the flood of old.
When the flood was over and people began to emerge, the Umudiala had the largest population of survivors compared to the rest of her three sister nations. Therefore, because they recorded the largest survivor, it was easier for them to gather themselves together as one same people. Since Eridu had been lost to the flood, for it was overtaken by the Atlantic, those who survived at this early stage could not notice that others also survived the flood. So, as the Umudiala tried to form habitations for themselves, the need for articulation of resonable thoughts became overt. Soon they became organized. The outcome of this became the first ever civilization the world had in the post flood.
Okigwe civilization lasted till around 500,000BCE. It was so dated because a civilization dates its decay period the very time another civilization springs around her. The emergence of Nsukka civilization in 500,000BCE marked the end of Okiwe civilization. It was around that time that people moved to various places and founded them. We have mentioned the places founded by the Umudiala population.
Therefore, when the colonial masters showed up in the part of Africa called the Igbo in the middle of 19th century, it was very difficult for them to particularly defind the Igbo. They could not trace any ancient place where the Igbo could be said to have originated from. But, to the missionaries who were domiciled at Okigwe, the fact of several cultural properties being discovered to be similar to those found somewhere else around north Africa made them to believe that Okigwe could be the Igbo heartland, and that, other Igbo nations might have migrated from the area.
This confusion was resolved succinctly when Obalike, the then Eze Nri was made to appear at the court in Awka; and being asked who the Igbo were, he said that the Igbo had come from the sky; he also stressed further to reveal that the Umudiala (Okigwe) were neither the first nor the second. This became another confusion to the strangers who had taken from their Bible that all man came from Adam. Obalike killed their power to think when he intoned that the four Igbo nations were there before Chukwu created ''Adama" from the dust of the ground. It was quite enigmatic. That was why Nothcot Thomas wrote his Igbo history upside-down.