About Ogbunike

Amawa Village in Ogbunike paying homage to the King during his Ofala Festival.

OGBUNIKE

Ogbunike is one of the towns in Oyi Local Government area of Anambra State. It is located on the map along the longitude 6.40°E and the latitude 6.20°N, and lies between kilometres 11.3 and 14.5 along old Onitsha-Enugu road. The new Onitsha-Enugu expressway cuts through the northern border.

Ogbunike is bounded on the East by Umudioka (Idemili Local Government Area), on the north-east by Umunya (Oyi Local Government Area) and on the North by Nkwelle-Ezunaka (also Oyi Local Government Area). She shares her boundary on the West and South with Ogidi (Idemili Local Government Area). She has an uneven landscape, sufficient rainfall and fertile soil.
Ogbunike has six villages: Ukalor, Osile, Amawa, Ifite, Umueri and Azu. These are broadly grouped into three:
a) Ikenga: Ukalor, Osile, Umueri, and Azu
b) Ifite: Ifite
c) Ezi: Amawa

They are further broken down into smaller wards (families):
Ukalor: Umunnebo, Umudiani (Umuezeani)
Osile: Umunnegbe (Umuokubaga, Umuekedolu), Mgbago (Umuezochu, Umuoma)
Amawa: Enugwu (Okpala-Egwu, Iruekwulum), Abor (Umuegwu, Umuezekwe)
Ifite: Adagbe (Adagbe, Umucheke), Ugwu (Okpaleze, Umuobinwa)
Umueri: Uruama (Obeagu, Dibiamili, Ezeafa), Umuogene (Umu-Ngbaka, Umu-Nkwuluma, Umu-Ezendu)
Azu: Umuru (Umuru, Azuntu), Ofezi (Umuegbo, Umuezemba)
The family structure is patrilineal. In the past, a man could marry as many wives as he had the financial capability. But today, due to the influence of Christianity, the tendency to have many wives has been greatly reduced.
The 1953 national census pegged the number of the inhabitants at 5,366. Since then there has been an explosion in the population. In 1993 the figures rose up by 42%.
 
The geographical location of Ogbunike has made the town susceptible to influences of other cultures. Some of these influences have made a lasting impact on the people.
Ogbunike belongs to Umu-Iguedo clan. There is no dispute about this in history. Until recently, the indigenes of the town participated in the olili-nne-Iguedo and they usually sent their offering to the traditional priest of Nando.
Iguedo, a woman, is widely regarded etiologically as the mother of the Umu-Iguedo clan. There are divergent opinions on this. No position can be out rightly and correctly accepted or rejected, as some of the data came purely through oral tradition and scanty archaeological discoveries. But there is near unanimity in different parts of the area of our studies concerning the strong connection between an individual person called Iguedo and the towns that constitute Umu-Iguedo clan.
One of the entries on the clan reads:
The people of this clan are intelligent but headstrong, and social progress has, owing to Nri influence, got beyond the system of rule by the oldest men.
 

WHO IS IGUEDO?

One opinion holds that she was a daughter of Eri. The origin and the life of Eri himself have been mythicized. By A.D. 994 he had existed. He came down from the sky, God sent him. He canoed down the River Anambra and established a place known as Eri-Aka. He had two wives. The first bore five children: Agulu (founder of Aguleri); Nri Ifiakuanim; Nri Onugu (founder of Igbariam); Ogbodudu (the founder of Amanuke); and a daughter, Iguedo, who bore the founders of Ogbunike, Awkuzu, Umuleri and Nando. The second wife, Oboli, gave birth to Onoju who left the Anambra area and became the founder of Igala land.
 Another opinion asserts that Iguedo came from either Agukwu or Onitsha. Not many people share this view. That Iguedo came from Agukwu (Nri) could be an attempt to explain her relationship with the people of Nri. If she is said to have come from Onitsha, that may again be an effort to account for the profound respect which some parts of Onitsha accord her. It was very well known that olili-nne-Iguedo was celebrated by some Onitsha indigenes.
Iguedo’s relationship with the people of Onitsha is further supported and explained. In the letter to the Resident, Onitsha Province, dated 12th October, 1932, the people of Onitsha were counted among the children of Iguedo. The signatories to the letter, on behalf of the people of Ogbunike, insisted that Onitsha was the daughter of Iguedo. The District Officer for Onitsha later in his letter of 29th November, 1932, clarified: The Umuigwedu (sic) Towns certainly have an Onitsha relationship —but with only one quarter thereof— that is, OGBOLI. It would not be practicable to divorce OGBOLI from the rest of Onitsha and I do not think that Mr Bridges has recommended this.
OGBOLI has far closer affinities with the rest of Onitsha. According to oral tradition, the progenitors of the towns of Umu-Iguedo clan were born out of successive marriages of Iguedo to several men. She first married Nnamenyi and gave birth to Ogbunike, Awkuzu and Ogboli. Later, she got married to Riam (or Osodi) from Nri, and the fruit of their marriage was Eri (progenitor of Umuleri). Finally, Nnamovo, a man who was believed to have come from Onitsha married Iguedo and she gave birth to Nando. It was in the land founded by Nando that Iguedo died and was buried. For this reason, the descendants of Iguedo made, until recently, a yearly pilgrimage (olili-nne-Iguedo) to her death place, which has become a shrine.