Igarra and Her Neigbhours

The tribes/clans that make up Akoko-Edo Local Government Area constitute the neigbours of Igarra. They are grouped into the following:-

(i) Ayanran
(ii) Ewan/Akuku
(iii) Kakumo
(iv) Ikpeshi/Egbigele
(v) Imeri
(vi) Okpe
(vii) Okuloses
(viii) Ososo
(ix) The Okpameris
(x) The Unemes

The word “Okpameri” was coined in the late 1960s to counteract the anticipated dominative ability of Igarra and her neighbours. Okpameri means ‘we are one’. These people are found mainly in the Northern part of Akoko-Edo Local Government Area. They were hence grouped in Akoko-Edo North Constituency during the second Republic of Nigeria. The towns and villages that make-up Okpameri are as follows:

1. Aiyegunle
2. Bekuma
3. Ekpesa
4. Ekor
5. Ekpe
6. Ibillo
7. Ikiran (Ile and Oke)
8. Imoga
9. Lampese
10. Ogugu
11. Onumu
12. Somorika
13. Ugboshi (Isale and Oke)

The historical background of these people is conflicting. While Ibillo, Ekpesa and Bekuma claim their origin is Ile-Ife; Lampese, Imoga and Ekpe claim their origin is Benin. The linguistic relationship between these people therefore casts a doubt on the validity of both claims. The Okpameri dialect seems more of fragmentation of Edo dialect than Yoruba dialect. The mutual interligibility of the Okpameri dialect therefore would have been as a result of the villages taking refuge with each other during intertribal wars and Nupe invasions. The places people went for refuse during this period were Somorika, Ogugu and Ikiran. What could be said to have happened would be that the peoples in the course of their movements interacted with each other and the interaction led to their mutual inteligibility.

The Okpameris and Igarra inter-marry though in a small scale. Apart from the border clash between Igarra and Somorika and between Igarra and Ugboshi, no other Okpameri tribe recorded any clash with Igarra. Some of the drumming which are alien to Igarra culture might have been as a result of this refuge taking during these invasions. Despite this, Igarra people do not understand the Okpameri dialect neither do the Okpemeri people understand Igarra language.

Ososo is a town located North East of Igarra and is about 25 kilometers from Igarra. The language spoken by the people is also Ososo.

They have no language affinity with any other place in Akoko-Edo, except that they understand Igarra language but Igarra people do not understand them.

The people of Ososo claim origin from Benin, Idah and Entebe. There are two versions of the origin from Benin. The first version was that Ososo people left Benin during the reign of Oba Ozolua with the Okpe people at about 1478 AD. As they moved along, the Okpe people settled in their present site while the Ososo people continued. They passed through Owo, Ikare and Okene where they settled for some time. They finally left Okene to settle in their present site. The other version of origin from Benin differs from the first in the order of migration. Instead of Owo – Ikare – Okene to their present site order, these people were believed to have moved out of Ogbe quarters in Benin, went to Idah, from there to Ajaokuta. They stayed at places like Unu-Ome and Egbete for a while before they finally move to their present site.

According to legend, at the time they settled in Egbete, one man believed to be a hunter stole some Okro from someone’s farm. He ran away from Egbete to settle in the present site. He was then called Oshiosor – meaning Okro thief. “Osor” means Okro in Ososo language while Oshi (Oji) means thief. This was then corrupted to Ososo.

Some people in Ososo claim origin from Idah and denied previous existence elsewhere. The tradition of origin that claim Idah origin said that Ososo people met some Igbirra men with whom they moved out of Idah together but in different direction. They met this group of people in Okene later and believed they left Okene together with these people to look for a better place of settlement. They refer to these group of people as the Igarras.

The Uneme villages speak Uneme language which is believed to be a fragmentation of Edo language. The villages that make up this tribe are scattered throughout Akoko-Edo and Etsako Local Government Areas. They include:-

(i) Uneme-Ekpe (Ekpedo)
(ii) Uneme Ehurhu (Eturu)
(iii) Uneme Nekhua
(iv) Uneme Ogbe (Akpama)
(v) Uneme-Osu

These groups of people are craftsmen, intelligent and hard working. They were the early blacksmiths of the area. They were said to be engaged in the manufacturing of weapons for the invading intruders to fight the indigenes. The Nupe invasion was not however an exception. This could have been the reason why most of the towns and villages in Akoko-Edo do not inter-marry with them. The Igarras do not inter-marry with the Unemes also. This was said to have been a mutual agreement between the peoples of Igarra and Uneme.

Ugboshi Oke and Ugboshi Isale are supposed to be one village, but separated by a natural geographical barrier – a hill, hence they refer to them as Ugboshi Oke” meaning Ugboshi on the hill and Ugboshi Isale, meaning Ugboshi at the valley. This is one of the Okpameri speaking villages of Akoko-Edo, and a next door neighbour of Igarra before the occupation of the present Uneme-Nekhua. The Igarra also had conflict with these Ugboshi people, and this led to them being driven away and their land confiscated. This conflict dragged on for a long time and was settled before the arrival the Nupes.

They (Ugboshis) claimed origin from Aduge near Kabba and thus claimed Ile-Ife Origin, unlike their other Okpameri counterparts.


Anyanran and Kakumo like the Imeri people have common boundary with the Ishua – Akoko of Ondo State. They also have no linguistic relation with Igarra.


Enwan and Akuku are the next neighbours of Igarra. Enwan has virtually merged with Igarra so that here is no land separating both towns. The Enwan and Akuku people have lived peacefully with Igarra people since they arrived. The land which they occupy was sold to them by the Igarra people. They claim origin from Benin, settled in a place near the present Sabongida-Ora before they finally came to take refuge, with the Igarra, in the late 17th century. Enwan people understand Igarra dialect but Igarra peopl do not understand Enwan language.


There are two versions of the origin of the Ikpeshi/Egbigele people. One version claimed origin from Ekpeshi-Akoko in Owo Division of Ondo State, but the linguistic relation between these two groups of people differ greatly. The second version claimed origin from Benin. They were supposed to have been those that refused to return to Benin when their mission could not be accomplished. They have no language relation with Igarra.


Imeri people are Yoruba speaking group of people who are only geographically separated from their kith and kins in Ondo State. They live at the bank of River Ose which was at a time the boundary between Edo and Ondo States. The Imeri people claim origin from Akponba near Ado-Ekiti.  They believe they are descendants of a man called Atarunlo, who was said to have been crowned by Oduduwa. He led the migration from Ile-Ife. They have neither linguistic nor cultural relationship with Igarra. Imeri was one of the villages in Akoko Edo Local Government Area but was excised and ceded to Ondo State during the state creation in 1990 during Gen. Ibrahim B. Babangida’s regime.


Somorika is another next door neighbour of Igarra. The village is about 5 kilometers from Igarra bounding her from the East. Somorika people are believed to have been one of the first settlers in Akoko-Edo Local Government of edo State. Their impact was not felt until during the invasion of the Nupes. Many villages went to take refuge in Somorika because of its geographical location. The village is located on top the hill and totally surrounded by rocks.

They have no link with other towns and villages except through rocky footpaths. They hence have no room for expansion because of lack of access roads. The first motor vehicle to play the village’s street was in the late 1950s.

These people are called Anavo by the Igarra people because of their primitive behavior and fearfulness at the time Igarra came to settle in their present site. Any fearful behavior of any Igarra person is usually compared or correlated to Anavo behavior. They were mostly farmers but this farming has since been relegated to the archive in preferences to the lucrative “Igo” shrine worship. People from far and near went there to seek diabolic protection in their places of work, homes etc. The youths of Somorika no longer go to school because of the quick money they make from these desperate, fortune seekers.

No war between Somorika and Igarra was recorded before the invasion of the Nupes. They were believed to have aided the Nupes to fight Igarra at a certain time. After the departure of the Nupes, the Igarras fought a cold war with the Somorika people. This lasted for many years. There has since been cordial relationship between them.