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ORIGIN and genealogy of Olido

by Fidel Ojobo. 1994

ORIGIN OF OLIDO

The father of Olido was called Ogili Enevu [who] migrated from Igalaland in Kogi State. Arguments in favour of this is that up till today, the people of Enugu-Ezike of which Olido is a part of pay annual homage to Attah of Igala. Another school of thought is of the opinion that Ogili Enevu migrated from Benin in Edo State. Argument in favour of this assertion is that since Ezike Orba is the father of Enugu-Ezike, and since his surname suggests that he might have descended from Oba of Benin, Ogili Enevu might also have migrated from Benin. However, the two names ‘Ogili’ and ‘Enevu’ suggest more of Igala names than Benin names.

 

SETTLEMENT

When Ogili Enevu arrived in the geographical area now known as Olido, he settled under an ‘Olu’ tree. This tree was full of tailor ants, ido’, hence the name ‘Ouido’, now shortened to Olido. The area where he settled was given to him by an early settler, Aja Ogbodo, the father of Umunaja. Aja Ogbodo was already settled with Odu Okwureje, the father of Umu-Odu. This confirms why the closest family to Umuraja is Umu-Odu. It is therefore likely that Aja Ogbodo and Out Okwureje had blood relationship. The relationship among these three settlers became so close that they decided to form an entity now known as Olido. In order of seniority, Aja Ogbodo was the oldest among the three followed by Ogili Enevu. Already, the most powerful diety in Olido ‘Idenyi’ from Umunaja has been recognized throughout the length and breath of Enugu-Ezike and beyond. Aja Ogbodo and his descendants were both feared and respected because of the great deity, ‘Idenyi’. Again, Umunaja produced great and clever men like Attama Nweje, popularly known as”Attama Shire” Oketeonyani and apheh nwa ugwu. However, probably, because of the power of the great deity, “idenyi’umunaja has her separate ‘ama’and onyishyi. Politically, economically, socially, and culturally umunaja parts and parcel of olido.

 

THE THREE QUARTERS IN OLIDO

As the population this three settlers started growing rapidly, Olido was divided into three quarters named after their geographical locations. The first and the oldest is Ukwu-Olu comprising of Umunaja, whose father was Aja Ogbodo; Umu-Ayoil, whose father was Ayoli Ogbese; Umu-Edugu, whose father was Edugwu Adaku. Uwelu, which comprises of Umu Ogili, whose father was Ogili Adaku, Umu-Ugbabe., whose father was Ugbabe Adaku, Umu-Ossai, whose father was Ossai Ugbabe. Ugwu Abudu is the youngest but the most populated of the three quarters and comprises of the following families Umu-Abi whose father was Abi Agbo; Umu-Odachi, whose father was Odachi Odobo, Umu-Onyeke Adunwa (umu-Onyeke Oyaru) which is a part of Umu-Odachi, has got her own Ekwe-Maa, because of her large population. Ironically, Ukwu-Olu, Uweli and Ugwu Abudu have no respective known fathers. They were geographically distributed mainly for land acquisition Ukwu-Olu descendants occupied an area under an Olu tree, hence the name Ukwu-Olu. Uwelu descendants occupied some elevanted areas by the side of Olido hills, hence the name Uwelu. One of the hills in Olido was in habited by dangerous male monkeys ‘Abudu’. And Ugwu Abudu, because of her large population, occupied the foot of the hills to chase away the menacing male moneys, hence the name, Ugwu Abudu.

 

THE POSITION OF UMU-OMEJE IN OLIDO

The father of Umu-Omeje was Omeje Omada from Uhunowerre in Igbo-Eze South Local Government Area. He settled in Olido many years ago in search of greener pasture. He was warmly received by the great Onyeke Adunwa gave him a piece of land where he settled comfortably. The descendants of Umu-Omeje from Uhunowerre have formed part and parcel of Umu-Odachi. However, an Umu-Omeje son who becomes the oldest man in his village in Uhunowerre goes back to take the Aruaship in his traditional home.

 

OLIDO PEOPLE IN AGUBEJE

Almost all the people from Olido now settled in Aguibeje are from Umu-Onyeke Aunwa from Umu-Odachi. It has been confirmed that the early settlers from Olido went there on-their choice for fark work, hunting and trading. Like the Umu-Omeja people, the oldest man from any family in Olido living in Aguibeje returns home to take up his Arua title. Oral tradition confirms that the father of inere family was from Umunaja. He left Umunaja for reasons not clearly confirmed. Most of the respondents are of the opinion that he left as a result of a quarrel. Few others are of the view that he left Umunaja for greener pasture. However, as land has never been a problem in Umunaja, the second view does not appear to hold much water. “Idenyi” shrine is found in all the traditional homes in Inere and any Olido man to be around whenever Idenyi is worshipped, in Inere is given special treatment in terms of entertainment.

 

OLIDO AND INTER-VILLAGE WARS

Because of the powers of two great deities in Olido – Idenyi from Umunaja and Ogba from Umu-Ossai, Olido was feared by her meighbouring towns and villages during the intervillage wars. The surrounding towns and villages like Amufie, Umachi, Onitsha Enugu-Ezike, Amube, Ogbodu, Iheakpu Awka, Iheaka and Uhunowerre kept their peace and never wanted to provoked the people of Olido. On their part, Olido warriors never attacked their neighbouring villages and towns except under extreme provocation. Till today, Olido people have been living harmoniously with their neighbouring towns and villages. Urama Azegba from Umu-Ossai was the greatest warrior in Olido and beyond.

 

He led Olido warriors during any intervillage war in this time. Others were Ogili Omada Nwele from Umunaja, who carried Adonu Idenyi on his back in all the war fronts; Eke nwa Eze nwa Ochale from Umu-Odachi. He was said to be the cleverest warrior during his time. He was a great schemes and could easily detect the position of enemies. Others were Ohagwu Ogili Abanyi who carried Ogba flag (Obeneteogba) in the war fronts; Ogbigo Obochi from Umu-Ayali and Eze Nwoku from Umu-Abi.

 

As stated earlier, Olido was not very much involved in intervillage wars. Rather, her warriors were hired as mercenaries by her neighbouring towns and villages. An interesting case to support this was an intervillage battle between Ogrute and Amufie during the intervillage wars, party because of the population of the former and her great diety, the Enwe Ogilo Ukwaba. Ogrute warriors woke up one day and decided to invade Amufie and chase her people beyond Alumu stream and occupy the surrounding areas. Amufie people were not happy to lose the Alumu stream and the fertile lands round it. They sent peace emissaries to Ogrute.

 

After a protracted peace moves, Ogrute people agreed withdraw their decision to attack Amufie on the condition that the people of Amufie presented the biggest cow in the market then. A week or so before they agreed date, the table turned. A great flutist from Ogrute climbed the Alumu hill in the dead of the night and with his flute announced to the people of Amufie that the cow, the people promised to present in order to appease the people of Ogrute was not enough. His announcement went thus: “Amufie Eze Ogede, Obegi n’eshu, Obegi n’eshu, Obegi n’eshi” meaning “Amufie Eze Ogede, a cow is not enough”. He announced this several times to the hearing of Amufie people.

 

The people were stunned; they were worried”, they were confused about what to do next. The elders summoned a meeting of all their warriors the following day. They finally agreed to seek help from their half brother and close neighbour, Olido. Amufie and Olido had one mother called Omadu Ogbe. Olido people accepted to help Amufie in resisting an attempt to take over the Alumu stream. On the fateful day, Urama Azegba and his men kitted and left Olido for the great battle between Amufie and Ogrute. After along drawn battle, Ogrute was defeated and up till today, the great Alumu stream and the adjoining areas are effectively occupied by Amufie people, Urama Azegba and his men were handsomely rewarded.

 

ONYISHIS IN OLIDO

Within the past one hundred years or thereabout, Olido has produced the following Onyishis:

1. Chief Onyeke Adunwa

2. Chief Ogili Aji

3. Chief Alumona Ogili

4. Chief Idoko Omada

5. Chief Ogili Ude

6. Chief Ugwu Nwoye

7. Chief Ogbonna Nwa Opu

8. Chief Eze nwa Ugwuanyi Nworu

9. Chief Eze nwa Ugwuanyi Anaga

10. Chief Ogbunwa Ugwuanyi

11. Chief Attama Urama

12. Chief Ayogu Idoko

13. Chief Odu Ojobo

14. Chief Ugwu Nwapeh

15. Chief Oodo Ugbabe

16. Chief Ogbu nwa Itodo, the present Onyisi Olido.

 

Umuaja, though part of Olido has her separate Arua and has produced the following Onyishis:

1. Chief Attama Nweje

2. Chief Okete Oyanu

3. Chief Apeh Ojobo

4. Chief Eke Ojobo

5. Chief Ugwuanyi Obochi

6. Chief Adonu Attama, the present Onyishi Umunaja.

 

GREAT DIETES IN OLIDO 1. Idenyi – This remains the greatest, the most respected and the most feared diety in Olido. Idenyi is a goddess and has produced the following Attamas: 1. Attama Nweje (Attama Shire) 2. Okete Oyonu 3. Ugwu Attama 4. Apeh nwa Ugwu 5. Adonu Attama, the present Attama and Onyishi Umunaja. 2. Okpuzu – This another great deity in Olido. Okpuzuhas produced the following Attamas... to be continued 

 

Culled from The Trail Vol 1, No. 1 , OAUG, 1994.

bullet Traveling circuses
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traveling circuses are most common during the yuletide season when village troupes provide social entertainment for visitors and indigenes alike. Preparations usually start much earlier in the year when the various groups select and begin to practice their repertoire.  I have a short video clip of a typical traveling circus here>>.

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Scenic countryside
bulletthe countryside is populated by simple honest folk and is, well, detached from the hustle and bustle of city life. the nearest city is of course, the university town of Nsukka. Some scenery is available here>>.

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