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Last up date (June 10, 2023)

The founders of Otuo were thought to be a group of men sent out by Edo people when they had inter tribal wars. Benin people build motes to prevent invaders from entering Edo land[Benin city]. They appointed 12 men to go to Edo north and get lumps of palm oil which they would pour along the motes to attract white ants which would prevent invaders from coming into Benin.They ran several errands for the Benin dynasty then, but with time, they saw the futility of the errands, and saw their continuous use as slave as anti ethical. When they went on one of the errands,they never returned.They decided to make the place where there was abundance of palm trees their abode- Otuo.
They formed groups and quarters like: Amoya, Ohigba, Oluma, Amoho, Olila, Orake, Obo, Uree, Imafen, Iyeu, Iziokhai, Ighera, Ugba etc. These quarters represents the twelve men from Benin

To decide the head quarter among the twelve, a contest was decided between Oluma and Olila. Both men were told to go to the market place to test their strength. The test was for both to throw javelin and if it hit anybody, the thrower will pay for the injury or fatality: and if did not hit anybody, the thrower wins leadership of the clan. Oluma threw his javalin and it did not hit anybody in the first and only throw and: he became the leader of the twelve quarters. Olila was not happy with this development because he was never given a chance to throw his javelin.
Olila suggested that Obaship should be rotational rather than being hereditary among six quarters in Otuo. The other six quarters would be assistants.This agreement was agreed by all till date. The first Oba from Otuo land is Chief Akhiome from Oluma quarter.

MR P.O.Ofli commission of inquiry into disturbances in Otuo on Rotation of the Ovie[Oba] and ruling house.

There were disturbances at Otuo caused by different groups about the rotation of Ovieship and ruling house. The government removed the Oba or Ovie and the Oluma and Olila quarters and gave it to the Amoya quarter. It was agreed that Oligba quarters wold produce Ovie for Otuo twice before it it rotates to Amoya. The government also banned the infamous Omolotuo union and sanctioned Mr Omokhudu and Mr Omo J Ebofua for the disturbances in Otuo in 1964. Similarly, Chief J.O Ilegbusi,who was a council clerk was removed from office

The people of Otuo believe that people must not die early but live to be 80 years and above.If anybody die before the age of 80,the people of Otuo will consult their deity to see the cause of death.The deity is called Aremina. They would cut the hair, finger nails, and cloth of the deceased and take it to the diety to find out the cause of death, there are many festivals in Otuo that includes Ohen and Oko. The festivals are normally done on market days known as the Ewo market day. Women who have seven children in Otuo are called Ogbewe or Agbisi. The festival for such women involve the use of pig for the festival.

The Ievbu clan that is a clan of itself was intially though to be a sub clan under Otuo, they refused and chose to be independent clan in the Owan republic.
credit: Humans of Edo

HRH Gabriel Ohimaimoje Kehinde( Otuo Scholar and traditional Ruler rejoined as follows)
The history of Otuọ
I am posting this, though belated in response to a question raised to me, on a history of Otuọ pasted here. Barrister Friday Stewart Ojealaro has recently posted same on the social network. So I hastened to provide my own version as the custurdian of our history and our custom.
The history of Otuọ is placed to be in different versions, which of course is not. It is a story of different events of a particular place, which must be arranged together as we do in crossword puzzle.

It is only when we have done this that all stories will be seen to be one, talking about the same entity, Otuọ, at different periods.

For instance this popular folk tale wrote about the Palm Oil expedition of about 240 slaves which settled at Okoteko. It was later given security escort by Ohinmi, a warlod or battalion that safeguarded the processed Palm Oil from attacks by animals and unfriendly neighbors.

It juxtaposited it with the military expedition of twelve battalions, which settled at Ọkọsegho, a site at today's Omah (place between todays Ikao and Igwe Oke) later the farmland of HRH Ahimie and today's Ighera's Igho Obeahon. It was these twelve battalions that were sent and united by Oba Ozolua with an indivisible Quipu along twelve barrack based self sufficient age grades, which gave today's Otu rin'gbeva. Translated to Ghòtu rin Igbeva, and later Ghòtu and now Òtuọ. They were sent to checkmate the way incessassant wars against His Imperial Majesty's people in today's Edo North and the entire Akoko division. They fought all the wars as a unit, apart from repelling the great Yoruba Generalismo, Ogedemgbe Agbogungboro and his killing at Ikhin by the Imarovbe sub battalion, which Amohon did not participate, and the Idah war of which the Orakẹ battalion did not participate.

Two wars are most interesting. One was with the Izalọmọs (the Jihadists) ati Ilorin! One of ours, Afonja, a Generalismo appointed by the Aláàfin, has betrayed him and gained a temporary freedom using his fulani friend, Alimi. Alomi killed him and put in place a fulani hegemony at Ilorin!

The Afonjas were part of the exiled Prince Izoduwa:s delegation to Ifẹ. They with the Shọuns. The Afọnjas, the Shọuns, etc., had escorted Prince Oranmiyan to take over his grandfather's stool, bit was resisted by one of the Ogiamens, Evian. He late left in frustration and ended up founding the great Ọyọ Empire. Part of his security arrangements were to place the Afọnjas at Ilorin, backed them up with the Shōuns at Ogbomosho and ended building a moat like the great Benin moat around Ogbomosho, more like you have at Ewu. The overthrow of Afọnjas led to the incessant wars with the Izalọmọ (the Jihadists) to restore the Afonja dynasty!

The second showdown was the incessant raids on Ìfẹ, to remove the Ọọni dynasty! The Ọọni's intransigence led to a declaration of war by His Imperial Majesty,in Benin. Before the commencement, their was the migration of our people, the battalions that followed Prince Izoduwa to Ifẹ. Lagelu moved onward to a place known as ẹba ọran, settled and founded what is now known as now Ibadan. The remaining Aworis left, founded and settled in a new place, Shagamu, the Igedes broke into two: a group left and settled at Ekiti, the second group left for Benin, where like Ikao, they discovered that all their people, except the Ogiamens, has left Benin. So they moved near Otuọ, and settled between Sabo and Otuọ. From Sabo, they moved with eleven battalions from Otuọ, leaving behind the Orakẹ battalion and participated in the Benin-Idah war. After the war they were settled permanently inside Benue, placing Idah between them and another military base, Agọ Enibodẹ, Agẹnẹbodẹ, and from there, they disperses again down the delta to the old Cross Rivers State, now Akwa Ibọn and Cross Rivers State.. The Ikaos, on the other hand, settled uphills to Otuọ, overlooking Okpẹ.

The Palm oil expedition cannot definitely accommodate our military exploits for His Imperial Majesty.

At the time of leaving Benin, the Oluma was the overall leader. The dragging of leadership was a continuous and recurrent thing in that largest and most proficient Edo military base of twelve battalions.
The janvellin throwing contest talked about was about the institution of the monarchy. Of which Ogundama, the leader of the Oluma challenged Olila, threw and won. This event happened on the return of the various battalions from their various hideouts in the run up to the Benin massacre. It was a period when the base came under incessant attacks, an experience which made the various battalions to each relocate to the domains of their closest brothers. I described this as seniority in Otuọ.

Another conflict is seniority. This was the genesis of the crisis in 1972, which has led the Olila Orake Ruling house dragging with the Amoyas and Iyeus. The paper presented by the Olila - Orake ruling house at the last Chieftaincy summit on December23rd 2017, while lamenting the seizure of seniority from them by Oluma in a contest, questioned the circumstances upon which Amoya and Iyeu overtook them in seniority.
I claim here that there is no once and for all senior in Otuo. What we see is a corruption of processes and opportunities to gain advantage and relegate others. Before the institution of rotational gerontocracy, the strongest man was always the senior, reigning in his quarter.

Identifiable one are for instance the one from Olila who used his foot to pull down a wall and free Otuo warriors trapped in a house and set on fire by the Okpes when Otuo visited on a peace mission. The second was the junior brother of Osu. The Ighera leader was to be killed on the account of his refusal to draw Ighera into matrilineal linage, but later became the Usomeran kindred head upon which Ebohs are initiated and installed. This has killed, and is still killing, many in Otuo today. Osu was about to be killed at Ghoki Osi when they were alerted of the coming of the Izalomos.

He was left alone because his junior brother, the king and the entire Ighera will go into Aigwe, seven days mourning period, and will not be able to lead or participate in the war. Consequently, he was left alone and Ighera was dismissed as strangers. He led the war and Otuo won.
The seniority imbroligo,a half truth, was informed by two events:

1. The migration from Benin, when we were coming from Benin, Oluma was the leader of the expedition.

2. The dispersal and return of our people from exile.
In the run up to the Benin massacre, Otuo, the most proficient of the Benin military, her warriors at Otuo, we're subjected to various and consistent attacks to weaken Benin and deprived the kingdom of the military services of her twelve batalions. This led to the migration of these warriors to safe areas. Oluma and Amohon left for Agbẹdẹ, Imafuns to Ọwọ, Amoya to their Lagelu brothers in Ibadan, the Idesas to Okpe. While Ighera moved close to Uokha, just before today's Igwe to defend Prince Odion and his people. There Ighera created, and left behind, two defensive deities (ewo) Ikoto and Iviiso

After the Benin massacre, they all returned. This time, Olila first and Oluma second. It was an opportunity for Olila to seize the seniority from Oluma for some flashes of fire. A position Oluma coveted so much that he had to challenge Olila to a spear throwing contest into an open market. This Oluma won with the mischievous support of Amoya, in a conspiracy of the majority tribes over minorities.

The seniority we talk about in Otuo bears no relationship to kingship. All the communities are seniors in the various festivals. Ighera is senior in Ukpe S'ivie and Ikega, Iyeu in Ikobi, Ishiokha in Upesose and Ope, Ohigba in Ukpesigo, Oluma in Ugbogbe. Ugbogbe's Izumagbe ushers in a new king and is celebrated at Oluma, hence they equate it to seniority in Otuo, most especially when four kings had succeeded Oba Ogundama, from Oluma in a row: Oba Afilabame, Oba Isuudo, and Oba Idonije and Oba Okede.

Like I have written, in the beginning the strongest man was the king and his quarter was the headquarters where Otuo converges, while seniority was exercised in the various festivals when Otuo gathers.
We now have a conflict in ranking. At proceedings in Izumagbe we have this as the ranking:
Oluma - Amohon
Olila - Orake,
Ohigba - Amoya
Iyeu Osi - Iye Eru
Ishiokha - Ighera
ImafunObo - Imafun Uree
This order is also followed in the Council of Chiefs and Elders, yet they occupied the fourth position on the Chieftaincy rotation order. Worse still, this anomaly was enshrined in the 1964 Declaration and was upheld by the Supreme Court in1993:
Oluma - Amohon
Ohigba - Amoya
Iyeu Osi - Iye Eru
Olila - Orake
Ishiokha - Ighera
ImafunObo- Imafun Uree

The Ofili Commission was an indirect way of making corrections to the loopsided practices in the Kingship of Otuo.
It was discovered that certain communities don't make the Obaship because of the croocked rotation order. In a ruling house, the holder of the Erianyeha title when it was the ruling house's turn to become the Ovie also has it when it comes around again. Not that they can't become Ovies. This were the lots of Amohon, Amoya Eke, Uzawa - Imakhizẹ, Igherà and Orakẹ. Orakẹ had access to the throne because of the vacancies that occurred in Olila when it rotated to their Ruling House. Hence the Commission's Recommendation that the Ruling House that is to have the Ovie will have the Erianyeha in two succession. That was why we had HRH Esekhomo of Amoya Ekẹ, HRH Iraoya/Ihieje, Uzawa-Imakhizẹ, and myself (Ovie elect) from Igherà.

An attempt to ride over this was brought in by the elites, and the Commission bought it, was that Otuọ should set up a Committee to look into the eligibility of this communities to the throne, but government diplomatically rejected it knowing that:

1. The new arrangement of being an Erianyeha in two successions will take care of it.

2. Nothing serious, trustworthy and reliable can come from that in a community where their elites has shown too much unreliability. Signatories denied ever reading what they wrote, while some were seen to b making inflammatory statements.

(Item 1.) took care of that
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