Ebira History

The history of our origin were those compiled from Attah Omadivi and other Ebiran Clan Heads by the British colonial administrators in early 20th century. Our elders, through oral tradition, trace our descent to Wukari (in the present Taraba state) where we were an integral part of the Kwararafa confederation. In about 1680 AD, our ancestors (along with the Idoma and Igala) migrated out of Wukari over a chieftaincy dispute. Our people later split into various groups and settled in different locations between 1680 and 1750 AD. We Ebira Tao first sojourned with the Igalas at Idah but later crossed the River Niger and settled at Ebira Opete located in the vicinity of Upake in Ajaokuta LGA.

Our ‘father’ of Ebira Tao who led us to this premier settlement in Ebiraland was Itaazi. Itaazi had five (5) sons who all later migrated from Ebira Opete and were the founders of the various districts in Ebiraland. The children and the districts they founded are Adaviruku/Ohizi (Adavi), Ododo (Okehi), Obaji (Eyika), Uga (Okengwe) and Ochuga/Onotu (Ihima). His daughter named Ohunene settled in Eganyi district. Members of the various clans in Ebiraland are descendants of the children of Itaazi. Ohizi had five children who are progenitors of the five traditional Adavi clans named after them. These are upopo-uvete (Apasi), Uka, Idu (Aniku), Adeyika and Uhwami. A migrant group from Eganyi known as Ezi-Onogu clan is also found in Adavi. The sons of Ododo who are the ancestors of Okehi clans were Okovi Oviri and Enwgukonyai. Obaji the founder of Eika had ten children named Ohiaga, Iyewe, Avassa, Ehemi, Anchi, Epoto, Egiri, Ubobo, Ogu and Eyire. Uga of Okengwe had two sons whose children constitute the present Okovi and Agada group of clans.

Due to a sizeable concentration of other Ebira clans in Okengwe district, they formed a socio-political coalition known as Ada-ehi. Ochuga had six children and their descendants make up the six clans in Ihima. These are Emani, Oha/Idu, Ohueta, Ure, Ohongwa and Odumi. The seventh clan is Akuta who migrated from Okengwe. Though Itaazi’s daughter named Ohunene was the founder of Eganyi, not all the clans there are descended from her. Eganyi clans are Ede, Esugu, Eheda, Ogu, Onoko, Idu, Anavapa and Ogodo. The Aningere who are skilled craftsmen are found in all districts. They are, however, more concentrated in Okengwe and Adavi districts. Read full text here…

Culture and Tradition:

Ireba Eku (masquerade cult) was believed to have been formed under the divine instruction of God to check the excesses of women, apart from serving as ancestor worship. Myth has it that after creating man and woman as husband and wife, one day God sent for the man but he was too busy to honour the call. Instead, he requested his wife to heed God’s call on his behalf. God gave her Irakwo (an egg-like object that contains the secrets of life and has the capacity to manifest supernatural powers) for her husband. Having discovered its contents and being fascinated by them, she hid it in her uterus and later swallowed it without giving it to her husband. Read the full text here…