Overtime, the origin of Igbos have been a topic of discussion with different opinions by different scholars. In a bid to weigh in and bring clarity to the subject matter, the Retired Commissioner of Police Ikechukwu Aduba wrote the book ‘History or Igboland and a reappraisal of the origin of Onicha Ado N’Idu. The book was launched over the weekend and was held in Onitsha, Anambra State was attended by the who is who of the Igbo community as well as renowned scholars and professors. Coordinator of the Book Launch committee Dr Walter Emerole welcomed everyone to the event and talked briefly about the efforts that have been put in place to make the event a reality.
Ikechukwu Aduba while making his author’s remarks succinctly stated that his radical shift from the old understanding of Igbo history and the origin of Onitsha people is to bring clarity on the subject matter. Aduba debunked through extensive research, the claim by Onitsha people that they migrated from Benin in the present-day Edo State. He wrote that there is no evidence either based on culture, religion or ancestry that supports the claim which he said is at most a myth.
According to him, neither culture, religion nor ancestry supports this claim.
After reviewing accounts of previous historians, Aduba noted that none of them could state the exact date of Onitsha migration from Benin, nor the monarch in power when the movement took place.
Most importantly, he observed, Chima who was the Onitsha ancestor that led the migration did not feature in Edo tradition. He also wrote: “There are more differences than similarities in Benin and Onitsha political arrangements.
“In Benin tradition, the ruler is called Oba, but in Onitsha Obi. The Royal regalia of both monarchs not the same. In Onitsha King list, there is no Edo name. Onitsha indigenes called their queen mother Omu while in Benin, she is called Idia”.
Instead, citing works of great historians and anthropologists, like V. C. Uchendu, Adiele Afigbo and Onwuejeogu, Aduba concluded that it may be that “Onitsha people originally belonged to Northern Igbo while the group which eventually became ruling lineage migrated from area in Western Igboland which was within the influence of Benin, bringing with it something of Benin pattern of kingship, titled hierarchy and other political institutions”.
Another concept debunked in the book by Aduba is that of Igbo Enweghi Eze (Meaning The Igbos Have No King) he believes this is both biased and lack of sufficient knowledge about the nature of Igbo politics.” The idea, he reasoned could have emanated from an autonomous homeland.
The Chairman of the occasion Chief Dr. Simon Okeke advised everyone to read this literary work as it epitomizes detailed research done by renowned scholars.
Other notable guests at the event include: Chief Chuck Nduka-Eze (Chief Launcher) Professor U.D Anyanwu who delivered a resounding keynote address. Professor Johnclif Nwadike did a fantastic review of the book in local ibo dialect, pointing at the touch points and areas to take note of as it relates to Igbo origin. Special lecture was delivered by professor Chidi Osuagwu . Guests duly represented were Barr. Nnamdi Ibegbu (SAN), Ugwumba Uche Nwosu, amongst others.
The closing remarks and vote of thanks was delivered by Chuks Anyaduba who let the audience know that the book is available for purchase online at Amazon via the following link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09R4GB6XP/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3LC2MD39BOX97&keywords=History+of+igboland&qid=1643149896&sprefix=history+of+igbolan%2Caps%2C324&sr=8-1