The Origin of Ozalla Clan
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Last up date (July 25, 2021)

There as a time in the History of Benin that the third of Oba Ewuare the Great, Prince Okpame (Alias Uguan) committed a certain atrocity in the palace of his father. The punishment for this act was death but Okpame’s mother Pleaded with the Chiefs and people of Benin to spear Okpame’s life. This pleads led to the decision of the chiefs and people of Benin that Prince Okpame Should be deported out of Benin.

He was however accompanied on his expedition by, among others, his trusted friend, Obazuwa, his maternal uncle, Uzuanbi (the son of Ihama) and of course, by band of helpers and guards.

On reaching his destination, Prince Okpame (Alias Uguan) and his followers settled down to hunting and farming. Prince Okpame later married the daughter of one of the earlier immigrants from Benin who had settled in a place called “UOKHA” which, like “OZALLA CLAN” is today in the Owan Local Government Area of Edo State. Thus, the present day Uokha was the first y village to be founded in the Owan Local Government Area of Edo state.

From this Woman, Prince Okpame gave birth to a male child. The child was delivered feet first. This had never happened before and it was regarded as an ill-omen and the child was called “UZALAKHI” which was translated to Ozalla, The present day OZALLA then became the second village to be founded by Prince Okpame in Owan Local Government Area of Edo State and as such, OZALLA is second of all the villages that made up the present day Owan Local Government Area of Edo State and it is a small Clan of its own.

Prince Okpame’s friend (Obazuwa) and his Uncle (Uzuanbi) sought the permission of Prince Okpame before doing any project in Ozalla and Uokha. In regard, Prince Okpame shared the land where his followers made farms and later founded separate settlements that made up the other villages of Owan Local Government Area of Edo State.

The subsequent history of Ozalla had been the usual one of Inter-tribal Wars and slave raids. On several occasions, the clan has been scattered due to slave raids or wars. These Inter-tribal wars and slave raids had drastically reduced to a great extent most of the largest villages that made up the clan. One of these was the largest which was Iraede and it was reduced to a great extent by inter-tribal-wars.

Today, the once largest villages in the Clan are among the smallest villages in the clan. Though the clan had been scattered on several occasions, they had always returned to their original site.

The people of Ozalla clan had been more subject to Bini and Esan Influences, and themselves formed a link between the Esans and Ivbiosakons. The clan village resembled that of an Esan village but is rather more compact.

At one time, the people had an Enogie, an Institution that is known in Ivbiosakon. On the other hand, the clan history and Institution link them with the Ivbiosakons rather than with Esans.

The terminology is very much the same as that in Ora except in the Age grades, where the following terms were used:

Egbonugele ------------Four Junior companies

Egele -------------------Fifth to Ninth companies

Odionwele--------------The Oldest man of a Unit.

Ozalla Clan is bounded on the North by the Ora Clan, on the East by Erah Clan (Kukuruku Division) on South by the Ekpoma Clan, and on the West by the Benin Division.

There were originally many boundaries between the clan and her neighbouring villages. Ozalla had boundaries with Uhobe at River Ose and with Uzebba at a spot after “UBEZI” Stream. This place is originally called “UGBA. GHODO “. There is also a cherry tree (Otien in Ozalla) and an Obadan tree on the spot. This Obadan tree is the boundary mark and is known in Ozalla as “AMAIZE”.

Aghodo is a native of Iraede of Ozalla Clan: He married at Avbiosi and came to the boundary of Ozalla and Uzebba to form a camp which was named after him (Ugbaghodo).

Uhonmora had a boundary with Uzebba. The place at which they had the boundary was called “UGHORELE” and they settled at a place which otherwise known as “UGBOVBIATO” and at this time, they met that Oika and Imoisi from Ozalla had already settled in this particular place.

When the people of Ozalla knew of this, (that is occupation of the land), they queried the right of Uhonmora people to settle there. Mr. Oika then told the people of Ozalla that the people of Uhonmora had sought permission to stay on the land and that he had agreed for them but the people of Ozalla told Mr. Oika that unless Uhonmora people signed treaty with them, they would not allow the people of Uhonmora to stay in the place. Uhonmora people then agreed to sign the treaty. The treaty that the people of Ozalla told the people of Uhonmora to sign was that Uhonmora people should swear that they would not claim the land from the people of Ozalla in future and also, they should swear never to bury any of their title holders on the land because land belonged to Ozalla. Eventually, the people of Uhonmora agreed to this treaty and promised to uphold it This is still a foundation proof of why the Uhonmora people until these days bury their title holders (Chiefs) at a place called ODOERE which was their original home This treaty is still kept till these days that is “It is for bidden for an Uhonmora title holder to be buried at their present settlement which belonged to Ozalla.”

Ozalla also had boundary with Warrake. The people of Eme later came to settle between Ozalla and Warrake at a place called “OFUNVBEGBE” Before they settled at this place, the Eme people asked permission from the people of Ozalla through Adodo and Ohikhuai.

At first, Adodo was there alone but later, many other people came to join him. Before this time, the people of Eme settled at Atokwe on the Uhobe Ozalla Road. The people of Eme were also forbidden to bury their holders (chiefs) on the land. This condition is still to be fulfilled until these days because their present place of settlement belonged to Ozalla.

Ozalla also had boundary with the people of Eme. In the past, there was no boundary between Ozalla and Eme. Eme was just like a camp and was not regarded as a town. The people of Ozalla were responsible for the maintenance of the Road between Ozalla and Emai. This continued for a very long time until the people of Emai appealed to the people of Ozalla that the cost of the maintenance of the various Roads was very high for Ozalla and that they would like to be maintaining some parts of the Roads. It was at this time that the people of Eme were given portion of the Road (from Eme to Owedo stream) to be maintaining.

The head of Eme at this time was Ugbore, Ayamu and Idika were the delegates sent by the people of Eme. Esekira was the head of Ozalla at this time Ehigimetor Imonitie and Aikehuemero Oziegbe were the delegates sent to Eme by Ozalla to  show them (Eme) the portions of the Road to be maintaining by them (Eme).

There was also a boundary between Ozalla and Warrake. She had boundary with Warrake at Akwegbe and with the people of Egoro after River Orhueren. The people of Erah later settle between Ozalla and Egoro at the time of Chief Igien of Ozalla. They came from Ivbiomu-Emai. They came under the protection of Chief Igien because of tribal wars. When they left Ivbiomu, they first settled near Egoro. As they were there, the people of Egoro demanded royalty from the people of Erah.

The people of Erah refused and said that what they should have said to the people of Egoro and the people of Egoro had said it to them (Erah). And this has since become a household words (Ebi Erah ayi Egoro ne Egoro ye Erah).

As a result of this, war ensued between Erah and Egoro. The people of Erah then left their new settlement and came to Ozalla for protection.
Chief Igien of Ozalla allowed the people of Erah to settle between Egoro and Ozalla and they were under the care of Arumonaghe (a warrior). The people of Erah left the place and came near Ozalla and the warrior (Mr. Arumonaghe) was left behind and the place was named “Ekekevbe-Erah” after the name of Ekeke in Ozalla clan the home place of Mr. Arumonaghe
It was one of the modern boundary adjustment that fixed the boundary between Ozalla and Erah after Chief Ovbiose Ikpekhia‘s farm along Ozalla/Erah Road Via River Efaje

The wife of Uza gave birth to a child and they named him “OGBADE” and the first place they settled in Ozalla clan was called “IRAEDE” and as such, Iraede is the most senior quarter in Ozalla Clan — because it was the first quarter to be founded by Uza.

The wife of Uza had another child and they called him “OMEGUA” which is today MOKE and again, she gave birth to a daughter and named her “IKEKE”,
Ikeke got married and gave birth to a child and named him “IYOKPO” which is today translated to EKEKE

Uza’s wife again gave birth to a child and named him “UKFIE” which today is translated to “IVBIHERE”.
Ogbade later gave birth to a child and named him “UWIARA”. Today, Uwiara is the most Junior Quarters in Ozalla Clan.

IGBIDIN left Benin as a result of a certain atrocity committed by him and this act led to the decision of the chiefs and people of Benin that IGBIDIN should be banished and was Consequent banished from Benin

Igbidin left and settled in a place called ‘IVBIUWAWA” in the land of Ozalla Clan. Igbidin later left Ivbiuwawa as a result of war and settled down in another place called “UGBORU”. It was when Igbidin was at this place (Ugboru) that they constructed a road to link that of other villages of the clan. The spot at which this road linked that of the other villages of Ozalla Clan is today known as “ADALEA” and this Adalea is very important in Ozalla Clan.

Igbidin married and gave birth to a child and named him “USUAMEN” and as in the Adage in Ozalla, when a father is going to the farm with the son, he has to allow the son to be in font so as to be watching his movement. This Adage easily simplifies one of the reasons why the Igbidins have to be in front when celebrating the Ivbamen Festival of Ozalla Clan.
EKHOR left Benin at a time in the History of Benin that the Oba had to make a search of one of his sons. And EKHOR being known as the searchers or finders (Obo in Ozalla) for the Oba were then sent out to search for the lost child.

On reaching Ozalla, (Oba’s son) was not lost and that the child had settled in a place in Ora Clan but for fear of death.

It is worth noting here that before this son went back to Benin to be crowned as the Oba, (This son was Prince Okpame) (Alias Uguan), it took all the Oba’s searchers a lot of time and it was finally agreed that two rats (one of the bush and the other of house) should be put in the native plate (Okpan in Ozalla) and covered and to be sent to this child - in order to come back to Benin to be crowned as the Oba. The indication of this was that when the child would open the calabash, the rat from Bush would run into the bush and that of the house would enter his house.

The calabash was then presented to him opened it, the rats acted as directed by the  Oba’s searchers and this Prince Okpame noted that he would not be killed at home and he therefore packed finally to Benin to be crowned as Oba Ozolua.

The Ekhors then settled was in Ozalla as searchers of finders (Ebo in OzalIa) and they came into association with Ozalla Clan and started participating in every activity in Ozalla Clan.

Some of the Ekhors later left Ozalla and settled in a place called ORHUA without going back to Benin to report to the people of Benin the outcome of their search.

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