This write up is NOT an attempt to show hatred for the Igbo people, rather it is an attempt to set the record straight. The problems we are facing in Nigeria today were created for us by our Colonial Masters that muddled up everything for us by lumping up various tribes in Nigeria together in their quest for administrative convenience.
I don’t hate people base on race, tribe, tongue or skin colour because all of us were created by the same God. Rather, what I hated in some people is what they did in the event that they did something bad or outright evil and not the person per se, but his or her bad deeds which I did not want to be party to. (Read Gen. 49:3-2.)
The Bible verses above shows that what Jacob hated was NOT his sons, but their evil and unacceptable conducts. Thus, I hated the constant claim that Agbor was founded by the Igbo people and that Agbor is part and parcel of Igbo land.
By the way, when did the Igbo nations come into existence in Nigeria and from where?
Most present day Igbos migrated from Port-Harcourt and they are known as Obigbos while there, while the remaining ones migrated from the North in some areas around Benue while most other Igbo land such as Onitsha, etc, were founded by Agbor people.
The Igbo people have no connection whatsoever with Israel. Then, why did they suddenly rise up to begin laying claim to the ownership of Agbor people and Agbor land.
I use the word ‘Agbor People’ and Agbor Land’ because there are some Ika nations that traced their origins partly to Benin and partly to Igbo, but surely, this does not include ‘core Agbor people.’
The Differences between Igbo and Agbor People
Like I used to say in my various articles in Ika Weekly Newspapers, I was born in Yoruba land and I grew up there. It was while I was in Yoruba land that I first came in contact with the Igbo people and that was how I became curious about them.
Like many other tribes living in Yoruba land, the Igbos used to farm too but then, their way of farming varied greatly from those of the Yorubas and the Agbors.
When the Yorubas want to plant yam, they will make a medium size heaps, same to the Agbor people living in Yoruba land but when the Igbo people living there want to make their own heaps, they used to make giant heaps (A giant mound).
When planting yams on their heaps, Yoruba people will plant a yam on each heap and about two cassava sticks per heap, but the typical Igbo man rather than plant yams on heaps, will plant cocoyam, about 6 cocoyams on their heaps and about 4 cassava sticks on the same heap in addition to corn and groundnuts.
Agbor people don’t eat cocoyam, but the Igbo people used to eat it like the Yorubas too. This is not to say that they Igbos don’t plant yam, rather the Igbos living outside their land are always in hurry to make money on daily basis, as such, they lack the patience to grow, peg and tend yam, but Agbor people have such patience.
It used to be said that “when in Rome, do as a Roman” but the Igbo people do as they are used to in Igbo land while in Rome.
The hoes which the Yorubas and Agbor are used to are of medium sizes while those of the Igbos are giant sizes; so much so that before the typical Igbo man lifted up his hoe and bring it down once, the typical Agbor man and Yoruba man had already lifted up their hoes and brought it down thrice.
The handle of Agbor people’s hoes used to be of medium sizes but those of Igbo people used to be of giant sizes and they spend lots of energies and man hours carving their hoe handle very beautifully. But Agbor people don’t waste their precious times carving hoe-handles.
The other tribe in Nigeria that used to carve their hoe-handles very beautifully like the Igbos and the Ebira peoples in Kogi State. And their hoe-handles are always of medium sizes.
Like most tribes in Nigeria, Igbo people used to climb palm trees using single climbing ropes. In other to achieve this without any incident, they used to cut toe-hold on their palm trees but Agbor people climb their palm trees using a pair of climbing robe. The Igbo people make sacrifices to their climbing rope every year but Agbor people don’t and this is a big difference between us.
Palm Wine Tapping:
Most tribes in Nigeria used to tap palmwine including the Igbos here again; the way they do their palmwine tapping is very different from those of Agbor people.
In the first place, Igbo people don’t tap down wine but Agbor people used to tap down wine. The Igbo people detested the habit of tapping down wine, which they call ‘Ogudu Ani’ and they see the people tapping down wine as the people that are destroying the medium size palm tree that could have grown up to tall palm tree and so resented them a lot. But Agbor people adore tapping both up and down wine.
Like every tribes in Nigeria, the Igbo people have their own soups too. Soups such as bitter leaf soup, Egusi soup, Okra soup, Ogbono soup, Vegetable soup, Oha soup, Nsala Soup, Banga Soup, Okazi Soup, Cocoyam Soup, Ofe Owerri etc. The way they used to prepare these soups was what differentiates them from Agbor people or the vice-versa. For example, Agbor people don’t eat cocoyam soup. Agbor people don’t make soup with the tender shoot of any grass and they don’t prepare the combination of Okra and Egusi soup but the Igbo people do.
Their greatest soup ingredient is pepper. Before preparing their soups with pepper, they will first fry the already dried pepper in a frying pan place on fire without water or oil in it, thus making their neighbours uncomfortable with the smell. Agbor people don’t do this also.
Igbo people used to pound pepper in the mortar, using pestle whereas Agbor people used to grind pepper using wooden disk (Nkpute) and wooden disk runner (Eka Nkpute).
Every tribe in Nigeria has their own meat. It is used to be said that one man’s food is, or could be another man’s poison or taboo. There are some meats which the Igbo people used to eat which Agbor people don’t eat, such as; Mussel, Oyster, Limpet Periwinkle and frogs. Agbor people don’t eat any specie of frog. Agbor people used to say that: “Aa masi ni onu ri ewoh.” (Meaning, cursed is the mouth that eats frog.”
In addition to the above, Igbo people used to eat Dog meat; but core and full blooded Agbor people don’t eat dog meat. In the event that you see an Agbor person eating dog meat in our modern day Agbor, it is likely to be that such people have Igbo background or that they are of partly Igbo and partly Agbor.
Under normal condition, people all over the Federation are supposed to cook and eat 3times a day: The food one takes in the morning is called breakfast, afternoon is called lunch while food taken in the evening is called dinner.
Breakfast should begin from about 5.00am to 11.00am. Lunch begins from about 12.00pm to 4.00pm and dinner begins from about 5.00pm to 9.00pm; except on unforeseen and unavoidable condition or circumstances.
The typical Agbor housewife used to begin the evening cooking around 3.30pm upwards by not later than 6-7.00pm, the food from her evening cooking might have landed on the family’s dining table.
As to the typical Igbo house wife, she will not begin to kindle the fire of her evening cooking not until 9.00pm and her evening cooking will not land on the family’s dining table not until 11.00pm or later.
Among Agbor people, this is a taboo and could lead to divorce if a housewife formed the habit of serving the family’s dinner at the dead of the night. It is called ‘Nni Uhin’ in Agbor and Agbor people resent it in no small measure. But to the Igbo people, it is part of their culture, and they adore it greatly, and it is called ‘Nri Abani’ among the Igbos. What a great difference between us!
There is this particular gift which God gave only to the people of Agbor nation which you cannot find among other tribes in Nigeria: it is their ability to speak other people’s language faultlessly. If an Agbor person moves to another people’s town, in a very short time, he or she will be able to speak the language of his or her host community fluently. No Igbo tribe can lay claim to such gift from God, where ever they go, their accent used to give them away as Igbo people (Read Matthew 26:73); and this is not so with Agbor people.
As an example, while I was still living in Yoruba land, the following incident happened: “A Yoruba boy introduced himself to a Benin boy as Ojo, but the Benin boy called him Ozo, but the Agbor boy that was there at that time called him Ojo perfectly alright!
- Another Yoruba boy said to an Igbo boy Iroo, meaning Noo, but the Igbo boy said Iloo, but another Agbor boy that was there corrected the Igbo boy by saying Iroo, as the yoruba boy said it, can you really beat that?!
The Igbos mantra used to be “Igbo ama eze” meaning that “Igbo knows no king.” This was at a time when Agbor nation had already had a monarchial system in place, and is still having a first class monarch of international repute on their throne. Whereas the Igbo’s recently begin to have Igwes dotted all over their landscapes. This difference is very clear!
iii. Another gift from God to the Agbor nation which no other tribe in Nigeria can boast of was their ability to see into the future, although very limited.
I visited Agbor for the first time in my life in the year 1966 when we fled Yoruba land as result of political crisis titled “OPERATION WE TIE” this is a system whereby politicians will wet the houses of their political opponents with petrol, and set them ablaze.
When I came to Agbor, I discovered that all my paternal and maternal Uncles and Aunts were without tribal facial marks, whereas in Yoruba lands of those days, a month old babies used to have tribal facial marks. The Ebiras have theirs, the Hausas have their own, the Igbo have their own, the Idomas have their own, at that time but the Agbor people of that time had no tribal marks!
Today while Government and civilization have started to compel the Nigerian populace to stop the practice of wearing tribal facial marks by replacing them with ID cards, Agbor nation had long foresaw the need to stop it, but the Igbos do not, this also makes a big differences between the Igbos and the Agbor nation!
Child Marriage is also part of Igbo people’s culture. A practice whereby a girl child of about 8-10 year old is given out in marriage to a man whose age ranges between 25 – 35 year old or more, but this is a “TABOO” in Agbor land.
In Igbo land you will see fierce and ferocious looking “NMAWUN” (masquerades) in many parts of Igbo lands but this is not the case with Agbor people.
From the above, it becomes very clear that there are no Igbo identities in us the people of Agbor nation. Therefore, the terrible lie being peddled on social media, and other prints and electronic media needed to be refuted with solid facts. People therefore need to be highly selective of, and chose carefully what they accepted and believe.
We should learn and teach people, especially posterity to shun unsubstantiated claims. Poor quality information will certainly lead to poor decision, we should never underestimate the powerful effect that misleading information can have on our minds and hearts.
Therefore the crass erroneous claim that Igbo people own Agbor or founded Agbor is best ignored. Many people may not believe it, but I tell you that: “Agbor people and Igbo people are many poles apart, as we are very different from each other’s!
WRITTEN BY EMPEROR OBUSEH