Thursday, 10 December 2015

History of Ebelle

Ebelle is one of the most ancient kingdoms in the modem state of Edo which has flourished for several centuries and endowed with an impressive historic-cultural heritage. The community has experienced a blossom of socio-economic activities for about six centuries. Available records and oral tradition support the historical account that by the middle of the 14th century A.D on prince Agbabhoko of Uta-gbuno clan Kwale migrated from his community to what is now Ebelle town following some internal political squabbles within his place of origin. This incident which occurred during the reign of Oba Ogbeka of Benin in the 14th century a period which coincided with the era of massive population movements and migration from Benin towards the North and North East, mainly to escape wars and for the sake of adventure and search of convenient abodes endowed with water and good magician and herbalist was able to very quickly establish himself as a ruler over the various other indigenous and settler communities he met at Ebelle giving his reputation and his royal pedigree. News of his prowess soon got to the court of the Oba of Benin who summoned him to his court to appear before him. It is further recorded that his majesty was so impressed with the foreign prince that he accepted to place him under his royal protection and presented with the Royal Sword of rulership over the kingdom of Ebelle. The five quarters that make up the present day Ebelle, namely; Eguare, Idumowu, Okuta, Okpujie and Ologhe are as a result of other waves of migration subsequent to the founding of the town. From the reign of Agbabhoko the very first Onogie, there have been nineteen crowned Royal Enigie who have reign over Ebelle kingdom. The present ruler is HRH Zaiki Aikpaogie I, who ascended to the throne of his forefathers in 1999 and the chief host of this occasion. Ebelle is famous for its popular market, its unique palmwine, its hospitality and its farming prowess since the colonial era. Indeed, it use to attract patronage from traders from the Eastern, Western and Northern parts of Nigeria, even as far as Bakassi in the now western Cameron. This economic patronage subsists up-till now and explain the status of Ebelle as a key centre of commerce in the whole of Esan land and Edo State. Our August Visitor may wish to know that the current population of Ebelle is predominantly composed of Edo speaking migrants who came to settle there; beginning from the reign of Oba Ewuare and this explains the ethno-cultural affinity of Ebelle to Benin. This is easily seen in the language similarity, mode of traditional salutation, traditional guilds and crafts, cultural regalia and accoutrements.

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