The History of Okpe

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Last update June 30, 2020

Introduction /historical background

Okpe lies seven(7) mile west of  Igarra, Ijaja four (4)miles further west and oloma 2 ½ miles south east of Okpe.

Okpe chiefdom was foundered by one of Oba Ozolua’s sons according to Dr. J.U Egharevbe. All Olokpe of Okpe have received their insignia of office from Benin and until 1916 paid annual tribute of a cow. Olokpe was entitled to his beaded crown like the bini (Enogie) a duke Oloja (one crowned by a reigning Oba) that doesn’t make him an Oba. Okpe is Chiefdom like what is found in Esan land. Although some make fake claims, that Oba Ozolua conquered Okpe and forced them to pay tribute to Benin. The whole of Edo north, Ondo and Ekiti states were part of the old Benin Empire, there is nowhere in Benin history that show any Benin warrior or Oba who fight any tribe in Edo north, except Okpe was used as an advance head quarters by the Nupes who were assisted by its people.

According to Achieves records Okpe is divided into seventh (17) quarters each controlled by a titled holders as followed.






Aanmo Kaye































Title holders are known collectively as Ivie and succession is direct from father to son (hereditary) like their Bini ancestors. The lowest functioning administrative unit is the quarter. The village head in the Olokpe and his usually addressed as ETA. The succession of this position is also from father to son (hereditary)

Age groups are formed of youths between the ages of 16 - 23 years every twelve (I2) years. and are named by the Alaba.

In ancient time the village council consisted of all title holders and the

Omumokagbe , who acted as messengers. They met every morning in the house of Alaba and carried matters of importance to the Olokpe in his house.


According to Achieves record - In the ancient times, criminal and civil matters were tried by the village council as shown in the foregoing paragraphs. Sitting in the front of the house of the village’s Alaba, all civil and matrimonial cases, all criminal cases except murder, manslaughter and arson could be settled in the Alalas’ house. It is probably in, Okpe; most cases were settled in the Alaba's house. Dispute as to fact was settled by ordeal, parties being required to pick palm-kernels out of palm oil. No hearing fee was charged but successful litigant was expected to make present to the judges.

Debt judgment were enforced by granting permission to the creditor to

Seize a goat.

Crimes were punished as Follows in the Olden Days.

(1)Theft By a fine of 1/6d, a cowries was tied round the theft's neck and he was held up for public ridicule.

(2) Assault - By a fine of 15/- and a goat. The assailant must take care of his victim until cured.

(3)  Arson - By a fine of 1 5/- a goat. The whole village repaired the house.

(4) Manslaughter: By a fine according to circumstance.

(5) Murder: By self hanging in the market.

(6) Adultery: If with Olokpe wife by death, and woman sold as slave, if with the wife of an ordinary man no punishment. The husband took his revenge by seducing a relative of the adulterer.


They speak the same language and live in peace and harmony.


The main occupation of the people of okpe farming, petty trading and weaving

Clan Headship

Kingship in Okpe is hereditary like their Bini ancestors.


The Okpe celebrate numerous festivals such as

(a)New yam festival held annually every month of July

(b)Oha festival held any time that it is convenient to celebrate.

(c)Obokeremi which is held November of every year.


They practice a heterogeneous type of religion in Okpe but amongstChristianity is more predominant to Islamic and traditional religion.

Shrines And Deities

Okpe has a lot of shrines and deities amongst which are;

1. Ugbedo,

2. Ojuwuru

3. Odisone

4. Odogulu

Marriage/rites And Bride Price

Okpe happens to be one of the Clans in Akoko- Edo that accepts the smallest amount as bride price. N20.00 twenty naira is their official bride Price for now among others.

It is also important to know that marriage in Okpe is not based  on class or category of persons involved but rather it depends on the family or kindred of bride . No preferential Treatment is given to an indigene that Is not given a non-indigene both have the same opportunity. Okpe likewise don’t forbid any individual within or outside Nigeria for marriage


Their mode of dressing is reflextion of Benin and Nupes Culture


The major staples of Okpe clan are pounded yaw, almala, iraio, eba etc


They also have drums such as mentioned below

(I) Okita Drum

(2). Ogbilori drum

Land Ownership

1. Okpe clan has a communal land

2. Land is not owned by family nor individual in Okpe.

Traditional Customs and Norms in Okpe

1. No man must kneel down for his wife

2. It is a taboo for a woman to insult her husband in Okpe clan.

3. It is a taboo for a man/woman to curse his wife or husband sexually.

4. No woman should commit adultery, If done she must make atonement.

5. A woman must mourn her dead husband for 14 months , men for 9 days.

Herbal Medicine

It widely accepted in Okpe clan as an alternative to orthodox medicine.

Many people practice herbal medicine in Okpe clan

Natural Resources

Okpe are blessed with mineral resources like gold, limestone and these yet to be discovered. They are also blessed with tourism potential like their beautiful rocky terrains and an absolute favorable climate.

In addition the people of Okpe are freely, accommodating and peaceful

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