Reconciling Asadu and the Nsukka History of Origin - Onyeji Nnaji

Sometimes I find it very difficult to understand what could be the reason behind certain characters found among scholars, especially scholars of history in Africa. Every history scholar who had written in the 1980s and yonder had this character of repudiating every view that suggests that his language and cultural group could originate from among another African settlement. That is why a Yoruba man, after listening to his oral tradition, would still say they originated from one unknown place in the middle east. The same thing applies to the Benin who knew that it was Eze Nri who used to coronate Oba of Benin, yet they claim Egypt origin and elsewhere different from Igboland. In this essay I shall lead our readers through different hidden information about Ndigbo and then clarify issue concerning Asadu and the Nsukka Origin.

One thing I found in my study of prehistory is an unexplainable disdainful consideration of the Igbo race by both the Igbo themselves and the race of people around the world. Since the day I discovered this aptitude against Ndigbo I have been able to uncover several cultural properties belonging to the Igbo which were stolen and renamed to look different. To mention but a few, I found that Igbo was the first language on Earth; that writing system began in Igboland; that ancient Sumerian society, ancient Egypt, ancient dravidians etc. have Igbo in their lexicon; that the first, second and third civilization globally took effect in Igboland; that Ndigbo were the first to settle in Ethiopia, Nubia, Egypt and America. To see all these and many other history you may not have had more information about, visit the history page @ If you still feel agitated then show me your critical points with proofs @ so we can interact. 

Now let us cultivate on who's land we stand. I have read several publications in Journals, both hard copies and essays on the internet. I have also taken considerable time to go through all the comments on Facebook disputing the Origin of Nsukka, the same essay which I am the author. In all the comments, I could not find anything useful, instead I saw those who commented committedly insulting themselves. No scholar gains promotion by pugnacious writing. I don't even think if any scholarly journal would ever publish such abusive contributions as what I have seen on the internet. You don't have to insult anybody in order to prove a point. If you have a counter argument to whatever topic or claim anybody has written, you are supposed to do that with a comported dialogical style. Then show senses of your scholarship foundation by showing to your reader that you were schooled.

I am committed, perhaps it may be my calling, to unravelling several aspects of the Igbo history that have been forgotten. I have done so to many Igbo history; in the same way I did to the "Origin of Nsukka". In my writing, I refused to metion Asadu, Ideke or their ancestor, "Arum Ona" as the ancestor of Nsukka because they were none. I have know this because, when I documented the story of Onoja Obani in 2003, I visited the Attah kingdom in Ida. Ibiloma (bear with my spelling if it is not culturally correct) was the old man I was directed to be schooled. With him I found that Onoja was not a prince of any Attah, against what Adiele Afigbo, Okwoli, Okakachi and others had written about Onoja. Meeting with a chief priest in Ogurugu, my findings became easier when he showed me the Image of Onoja Oboni which I later saw at the UNN campus Nsukka. What I found practically is that, when some historians could not get to the foundation of their research, they simply look for any prominent figure around the history and claim he was the founder.

For instance, I have read an essay that claimed that Nri oral tradition said that Onoja Oboni was their father. This writer did not come in contact with Nri oral tradition. The reason is very simple, this glorious oral tradition of Nri was said, for the first time, at a court in Awka by Obalike the then Eze Nri in 1903. There is nothing in Nri history that reflects the activity of Onoja Oboni. Onoja passed through Nsukka areas, through Ama-Nkanu and lived and died in Nkalaha. There was however an aspect of his name mentioned around the Anambra axis. As a legend, Onoja moved with followers. When he travelled to the Nri axis, some of his men remained there and formed a village (probably a community by now). They are called "Umuekete". You can do me a favour to verify. That was what some writers lay claim to and conclude that Onoja peopled Nri. Does a child people his grandparents? I think not.

Asadu Ideke became a stumbling block to Nsukka historians to check against those who do not have enough time or did not want to get primary information. The reason I went to Nri and Ida was to justify the potency of what Prof. James Onwuejiogwu said about Nri and the information contained in Nkalaha about Onoja Oboni respectively. I commit myself to getting to the root of any history in my possession so that I can write what my predecessors had never discovered about the people concerned. You can check from all the history topic published on this site. So, to ward off every doubt about what you will read down page, I will require you to read the history of the Tiv first before completing this essay.

From the study of the settlement of the Tivs, it is uncovered that in the beginning, Igbo people settled down to the Kastina Ala river. This is a distance far northward. This will help our understanding a little. As we have indicated in The Peopling of Ancient Nsukka, movement away from the ancient Nsukka started from the middle age of the Nsukka civilization. Meanwhile, before this medieval period, pygmies scholars had left  Umudiala and journied through the Sahara plane to settle far away from Igboland. Among these were the founders of Egypt and walker-travellers who laid the foundation of Ethiopia. Walker-travellers, traditionally known as "Ndi Ojukwu", were the first to settle at the Afar region of Ethiopia and they are called "Cambata". Therefore at the decay sage of Nsukka civilization and below (Around 4000BC and below, according to the Oxford University spectrometer), the need to spread resumed for the population that saw the civilization. By this time, Ida had never settled. Before this time, the population that founded Arochukwu had left Ero in Nsukka to settle in the Ibibio territory. Even Afigbo himself had tried to solve this misconception when he remarked this,

Those who have any acquittance with any Igbo community know that the Igbo political system and it's characteristic wide diffusion of political authority and rights through the component segments is unlike the Igala and Yoruba system as anything could be. And one characteristic of the Igbo is the general similarity of their political organization in this respect... Thus, the Nsukka political system was not the Igala system and could not have been... (Rope 69-70). 
The emergence and settlement of the Ida ancestor might be contemporarily with the discovery of the same population by Arum/Arumu Ona who probably was an iron merchant, for iron formed the base of the trade of that period. Detail of this if encapsulated in the Nsukka Civilization . The influence of Arum who, having known the uses of iron about that time, could help Ida to set a deity/deities to command spiritual protection around them became prominent in the role of the Asadu in the setting up of Igala tradition. Arum/Arumu, according to Obukpa oral tradition, was the father of Ideke who also begotten Asadu. Asadu was rather popular in the Ida tradition because he reigned at the time when kingship was the order of the day in the Igala tradition. For the sake of this singular role, he became popular and, as a result, the whole of his brethren became known by such Asadu nomenclature. His name dominated the acts of his entire linage.

This is usually where history is relatively bias or unfair. History has always projected people found in some heroic acts above every of their relatives and, at times, the entire linage. The scripture shows this aspect of history via the life of David. His valour and royalty dominated the entire history of his family and place them at the mercy of David's name. We have a similar situation in the Nri theology. Because Nri solved the hunger problem of his time, fought and defeated Odudunwa (Oduduwa) to reclaim his staff of office, his name eventually dominated the entire history of his brethren. Today, you can't discuss any aspect of Eri theology without mentioning Nri. That was the place of Asadu in the story of Arumu Ona.

Now, if any of the Asadu or Asadu himself should return to Nsukka, I don't think it is wise to insist that he was an Igala man for which reason his children would have to lay claim to Igala ancestry. Something happened in the history of Umuonoja and the inhabitants of Umuodumu vacated their land; some settled at Eha-Amufu, Obeagu, Ebia and the far Byelsa state. I don't think that, if any of their descendants should wish to return to Umuodumu, their brothers in the homeland would say they originated from wherever they are coming. This is the problem with the Asadu as shown in the Nsukka history.

In summary therefore, we cannot speak of a person without asking about his father. That is why history always spontaneously ask, "...the son of who...?" Everybody has where he comes from, but when the issue of origin is called to mind, attention moves to geneology. That is what defines ancestry. The people who concluded on Asadu for Nsukka ancestry made a huge mistake. If they had thought it well, they wouldn't have paid attention to ancestor of Asadu or probably have burried such names as "Arumu" and "Ona" to Oblivion. But since they could not do this, their claims are defeated and would hold no water. Take time to study such heavy borrowing of Igbo culture as found among the Igala and ask yourself how it would be possible if Igala were not Igbo in the beginning. Then, since they were not Igbo, everything follows the views of P.O. Okwoli that the Igala and Igbo may have had a lasting contact in the future. If nothing remains that could rehearse this heavy influence, the unique four market structure will stand tall like a monument. Other proofs are names of terms in both cultures are shown below.

Igbo       Meaning .      Igala .     Meaning

Ewu       goat .               Ewo.       goat

Akpi.     Scorpion.        Akpe .     Scorpion

Eze.       King .               Eje.          Royal title

Oshomoli  river       Ohimini     River

Ugo           Eagle        Ugo             Eagle

Agws         Beans      Egwa          Beans

Ugu.        Pumpkin    Ugwu          pumpkin

Akpa.        Bag .         Ikpa.            Bag

Akwa.       Cry .         Akwu.           Cry

Ani.            Land.       Ane.             Land

Okwu .      Stone.        Okwuta.      Stone

Ezi.             Pig .           Ehi .             Pig

Imi             nose .         Imo.            Nose etc.

From the foregoing, it is apparent that Igala shows more evidence of Igbo than their ancestral home Benin. Please stop the damage on our history; Nsukka did not descend from Igala people. The only exception however is the people of Umuonoja. There are two conflicting names for their ancestry. We identified Onoja Edeoga and Onoja Eze. The former was an Nsukka man while the latter was the popular Onoja Oboni known to many historians. Those begotten by Onoja Eze are clearly known to have Igala ancestry because they emerged through the woman Onoja slept with during his days in hobo. From the information reaching me in appreciation, I have been reliably informed that both the Umuonoja in Nkalaha and those in Nsukka had met to know themselves as the descendants of Onoja Eze otherwise called Onoja Obani.

Make your comments with references.


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