Orhua Community Development Association (OCDA) Orhua
All Ivbio-Orhua are expected to be in attendance. It is mandatry as the Almighty God is moving Orhua forward spiritually and Physically. Be Partakers in It. Remain Blessed.
ORHUA Researched by Pastor (Engineer) Vincent Odigie Imafidon Ogbeide
Sometimes in 2012, I was invited as Guest Speaker by Ivbiore Club of Orhua, Lagos during their 30th year anniversary celebration which was slated for November that year. I was told to speak on a topic of my own. I puzzled for a while in trying to decide on a topic but eventually decided to tell them where they are coming from, Orhua and that being from Orhua was no way a coincident but by the ordination of God himself and for a purpose. That therefore, they should not shy away from their Jerusalem, Orhua.
I spoke briefly on the location, origin, politics and non-development of Orhua. The Origin of Orhua excited many of us and many questions were asked.
Thou I am not a Historian by profession, but a Pastor and an Engineer, I then decided to find out more about Orhua, Irhue Clan, the Enogie of Irhue and some Orhua ceremonies. My findings has enable me to upgrade that very paper which I delivered to Ivbiore Club of Orhua on their 30th anniversary.
It is my hope that other Ivbio-Orhua and non-Ivbio-Orhua alike should be willing to contribute to the documentation of especially the “Past of Orhua”. I will appreciate your criticism, contribution or argumentation of this write up for the benefit and enlightenment of IVBIO-ORHUA and the general public The Research Continues.
History of Orhua
Orhua is a town situated on the northern part of Uhunmwode Local Government Area of Edo State. She has a common boundary with Ozalla in Owan West Local Government Area and Irhuekpen on the eastern part in Esan West Local Government Area.
At present, Orhua has a population of over two thousand persons both at home and outside in search of greener pasture.
The exact time of migration to Orhua from various places is not documented but oral narrations by different elders agreed that the first settlers at Orhua came from Ishan before 500 AD.
A great hunter by the name ‘’Irhue-khide’’ discovered a stream flowing from a rock forming a water fall in the forest as he was hunting in the wild bush of Egbo-Ora which extended from Orhua to Ora. For the fact that Irhuekpen Ekpoma had no water at that time, he decided to come and settle near the source of clean drinking water. His family found it a pleasure and convenient to settle with him there. Farming and hunting became their occupation. The stream was named Edewuwu because of the sound it generates as a water fall. Their family settlement was called Idumu-oghoe.
The next group of people came from Bini precisely from Azagba village in Uhunmwode but close to Benin City and they settled at Idumuorere. After a while, came from Ugo town in Orhionmwon, Ugo-0to, Okisin and Eye and they settled in Ugo quarters. They were followed by another group that came from Isiemwenro in Benin and they settled at Ugboso while the group from Igun in Benin City settled at Idumwingun and they were basically blacksmiths by trade. Then came Idumuezuben from far Ishan land (Ekuma) and they worship Ebie-Ekuma as their god. A group came from Uhunmora in Owan West Local Government Area to fish in Ovioti River near Orhua and established their own camp at Orhua and these are called Idumuogua because of their fishing instruments called ogua.. Another set of settlers from Ozalla came to settle side by side with Ugo quarters and they are known as Ekho quarter.
The last set of people came from Umokpe to settle at Ubaran quarters.
The name Orhua was now coined from Orhua-rhuae: meaning “multiplication” up till this day. The founder ‘’Irhue-khide’’ lived and died at Orhua. The name of the founder of Orhua, Irhue-khide was immortalised as Erhue a shrine which is still being worshipped by the people of Idumoghoe till date.
As earlier stated the exact period Orhua came into existence is not documented except that oral narrations from generation to generation and evidences by many authors have shown that Orhua existed during the reign of the Ogiso dynasty that is before 500 AD.
According to Osamuyimen Stewart, in 1934, Jacob Egharevba wrote as pasted bellow.
“Though it is impossible to know the precise date of their foundation, some of the important villages which already existed in the first period may throw some light on the issue (pending archaeological finds and the like). Among such villages are the fllowing: ………, ………, Orhua, ………., ………,.” The first period is refered to as the period of the reigns of Ogiso as bellow.
The First Period
“According to Egharevba it is said that thirty-one Ogiso's (ogie --ruler, king; iso --sky) reigned during the first period. The names of a number of them, some of them women, are remembered, as are some of the titles of chiefs of their court. Though it is impossible to know the precise date of their foundation, some of the important villages which already existed in the first period may throw some light on the issue (pending archaeological finds and the like). Among such villages are the following: Ihinmwinrin, Avbiama, Oka, Idogbo, Utesi, Ogua, Urhoho, Ute, Eyaen, Aho, Irighon, Azagba, Igo, Egbaton, Ughoton, Udo, Esi, Okha, Umoghunmwun, Orogho, Uhen, Okenuhen (Okeluse), Okhunmwun, Ikoha, Use, Ego, Ekho, Ebue, Irokhin, Udeni, Erua, Ugha, Orhua, Urhuekpïn, Amagba, Ugbeu, Evbuekoi, Ekhua, Ogan, Isua, Uhi, Ekae, Uzeghudu, Iyowa, Omin, Ikoka, Iyekeze, Ogba, Ogbokhirima, Okuo, Owe, Ominara, Unuame, Ugolo, Ikpako, Uhogua, Ayen, Orio, Uwan, Egbaen, Idunmwonwina, Ohovbe, Ogheghe, Uvbe, Ite, Iguogbe and Izikhiri. The original site of the palace of the Ogiso's which was begun by Ogiso Ere was the site vacated by the Western Boys High School, off the East Circular Road. It stretched from the school to the cemetery being about half a mile in length and a quarter of a mile wide, and divided into sections. It occupied a suitably elevated position and its spacious front looked out over the valley of the Ikpoba river to the Arokenïgbanmwan or Oregbeni hill beyond. (Archeological research may one day allow us to know more about the Ogiso period than is possible at present)”.
Orhua is among the villages that existed during the reign of the Ogiso which ended about 1100 AD though the actual period of her coming to existence is yet to be known or determined and documented. Orhua can be said to be well over 1500 years old.
The Ogiso Dynasty (Before the Obas of Benin) By:- Naiwu Osahon
1. Ogiso Igodo (40 BC – 16 AD)
2. Ogiso Ere (16 – 66 AD)
3. Ogiso Orire (66 – 100 AD)
4. Ogiso Odia (385 – 400 AD)
5. Ogiso Ighido (400 CE – 414 AD)
6. Ogiso Evbuobo (414 -432 AD)
7. Ogiso Ogbeide (432 – 447 AD)
8. Ogiso Emehe (447 – 466 AD)
9. Ogiso Ekpigho (466 – 482 AD)
10. Ogiso Akhuankhuan (482 – 494 AD)
11. Ogiso Efeseke (494– 508 AD)
12. Ogiso Irudia (508– 522 AD)
13. Ogiso Orria (522– 537 AD)
14. Ogiso Imarhan (537– 548 AD)
15. Ogiso Etebowe (548– 567 AD)
16. Ogiso Odion (567– 584 AD)
17. Ogiso Emose (584– 600 AD)
18. Ogiso Ororo (600– 618 AD)
19. Ogiso Erebo (618– 632 AD)
20. Ogiso Ogbomo (632 –647 AD)
21. Ogiso Agbonzeke (647–665 AD)
22. Ogiso Ediae (665– 685 AD)
23. Ogiso Orriagba (685– 712 AD)
24. Ogiso Odoligie (712– 767 AD)
25. Ogiso Uwa (767– 821 AD)
26. Ogiso Eheneden (821–871 AD)
27. Ogiso Ohuede (871– 917 AD)
28. Ogiso Oduwa (917– 967 AD)
29. Ogiso Obioye (967– 1012 AD)
30. Ogiso Arigho (1012– 1059 AD)
31. Ogiso Owodo (1059-1100 AD)
[About 100-year break]
“List of Obas of the Benin Empire (1180-present)
Pre-Imperial Obas of Benin (1180-1440)
The dates of reigns of these early kings are highly uncertain
- Eweka I (1180–1246)
- Uwuakhuahen (1246–1250)
- Henmihen (1250–1260)
- Ewedo (1260–1274)
- Oguola (1274–1287)
- Edoni (1287–1292)
- Udagbedo (1292–1329)
- Ohen (1329–1366)
- Egbeka (1366–1397)
- Orobiru (1397–1434)
- Uwaifiokun (1434–1440)
Obas of the Benin Empire (1440-1897)
There is some uncertainty in the dates of the reigns of some of the earlier warrior kings
- Ewuare (1440–1473)
- Ezoti (1473–1475)
- Olua (1475–1480)
- Ozolua (1480–1504)
- Esigie (1504–1547)
- Orhogbua (1547–1580)
- Ehengbuda (1580–1602)
- Ohuan (1602–1656)
- Ohenzae (1656–1661)
- Akenzae (1661–1669)
- Akengboi (1669–1675)
- Akenkpaye (1675–1684)
- Akengbedo (1684–1689)
- Ore-Oghene (1689–1701)
- Ewuakpe (1701–1712)
- Ozuere (1712–1713)
- Akenzua I (1713–1740)
- Eresoyen (1740–1750)
- Akengbuda (1750–1804)
- Obanosa (1804–1816)
- Ogbebo (1816)
- Osemwende (1816–1848)
- Adolo (1848–1888)
- Ovonramwen Nogbaisi (1888–1914) (exiled to Calabar by the British in 1897)
Post-Imperial Obas of Benin (1914-Present)
Above are the dates of reign of the various Obas of Benin and of special interest here is Oba Ewuare Ne ogidigan (Ewuare The Great)(1440 – 1473). Ewuare Ne ogidigan was the greatest expansionist and with a high stability of political administration of his time. He turned the city of Benin into an Empire.
The relationship here is that during the reign of Oba “Ewuare Ne ogidigan” as he was known for his roles and ruling styles, he visited Orhua during Irhuen ceremony. He instructed that the grand finale of the “Irhuen” ceremony in Orhua and Irhue clan generally, be named after him as ‘’Emen Ewuare’’ which is still celebrated till date.
The founder of Orhua that is Irhue-khide expanded his kingdom from Orhua to Umokpe to Ekpan to Oke, Ehor and beyond Ehor and as far as to Otofure (formally Evbue-Erien). Irhue-khide acquired these lands after lots of battles, but he later gave some of the land back to Ehor while the remaining land became IRHUE CLAN. Irhue clan is named after the founder of Orhua that is Irhue-khide and the clan comprising Orhua, Umokpe, Ekpan, Oke, and of recent Uwihuen(Irhue) and Ofumwengbe.
THE ENOGIE OF IRHUE
At the end of the reign of Oba Eweka I, the new oba, the first son of Eweka I, Oba Uwuakhuahen (1246 – 1250) in about 1247 sent his younger brothers to become the Enogies of very important domains in the Edo Empire. Irhue being one of the important domains in the Edo Empire, an Enogie of Irhue was sent to be based in Orhua and had his palace in Orhua being the origin and Headquarter of Irhue Land. The villages making up the land of Irhue clan at that time are Orhua, Umokpe, Ekpan and Oke. The first people of Umokpe, Ekpan and Oke originated from Orhua.
The people of Ikoko-ogbe in Umokpe later came from Ogbe quarters of Benin. They were originally part of the people that came to Benin with Oran-miyan, the son of Kaladeran from Ile-Ife. They came with an idol call Ale-oshe (olose ) and the idol had fourteen number masquerade masks call Orin-miyan. Some Ora hunters stole seven of the masks of Orin-miyan. The remaining seven masks (masquerades) which is celebrated annually during the Igwe festival of the Edo Empire, generally in December still exists at Umokpe till today.
The Enogie of Irhue, Ogiemwen-ekpen by name had his palace in a quarter in Orhua call Evbuo-ogiemwen-ekpen where he quartered with all the people he came with from Benin and that quarter and the decendants of Ogiemwen-ekpen still exists in Orhua till date. The Enogie ruled these peaceful people of Irhue with Iron feasted hands. He is described as very wicked and dictatorial in his rule. He ordered the execution of his subjects at will, particularly the people of Orhua. Some of the people ran away to Umokpe, Ekpan and Oke.
The Enogie, Ogiemwen-ekpen entered into treaty with the Enogie-Ubela of Umokpe that “if any young man dies in Orhua, his young widows will be taken to Umokpe to bear more children to Umokpe to increase the scanty population of Umokpe”. Orhua was designated as a fast growing population. Infact the meaning of ORHUA is “Fast Growing Population”.
One day a young man with four young wives died in Idumore quarter in Orhua and after the burial rights, his young wives were forced to Umokpe by the Enogie of Umokpe, Ogie Ubela. The men of Orhua and relatives of the diseased young man protested and resisted when they now found out that the Enogie of Irhue and the Enogie of Umokpe had earlier entered into the evil and secret treaty to that effect. The Enogie of Umokpe killed some of the men of Orhua in the process and a major war broke out between the people of Orhua and the people of Umokpe. The people of Orhua there after planned to get rid of the evil Enogie of Irhue. The elders of Orhua gathered at the palace of the Enogie of Irhue with seven white colanuts, seven red colanuts and a keg of palm wine with only men in attendance. There after the Enogie of Irhue Ogiemwen-ekpen had his legs tied to the leg of a bull. The bull dragged him to and fro the streets of Orhua until he died and the bull stopped at his assessorial shine in Idumore. He died without gun short wound or a cutlass cut. The Enogie of Irhue Ogiemwen-ekpen is the first and last Enogie of Irhue till date.
The elders of Orhua scared of what the Oba of Benin would do to them for the murder of the Enogie of Irhue, sent delegates to native doctors in far Ishan and the native doctors prepared some charms to stop the Oba of Benin from reacting or taking punitive actions against the people of Orhua for the murder of their Enogie and stop him from replacing the Enogie. The charms were buried in the middle of the village at Idumogua and near the road. These charms now a shrine call OKHIRARE and marked with Ikhimwin (a type of surviving stick) is still in Orhua till date.
THE AFTERMAT OF OKHIRARE SHRINE
The repercussion of the charms and its purpose has placed a hindrance on the development and progress of Orhua and her people. It is like a spiritual barricade that will not permit progress in the land. It is a general belief that these charms are probably the reason why all efforts made by Orhua people in modern times to reinstate the Enogie of Irhue has failed up till date. It is also believed that this is why progressive modern developments have eluded Orhua till date.
The antidote to this is to allow highly anointed men of God to break the courses placed on Orhua through these evil charms. The Elders of Orhua have to agree and cooperate with the men of God. The Christian group ORHUA BELIEVER’S FORUM(OBF) had attempted to burn down the okhirare shrine in the year 2002 but the elders resisted and got the leader of the Forum(Pastor Sunday Erhaghewu) arrested by the police. God got Pastor Sunday out of the shackles through the OBF.
The people of Irhue clan comprising of Orhua, Umokpe, Ekpan, Oke and resently Uwihuen(Irhue) and Ofumwengbe have one accessorial god which was named after its founder Irhue-khide to immortalised him. The god’s name is Erhue Nokhua-Uloko located in Idumoghoe quarter, the very first settlement in Orhua by Irhue-khide him self. The shrine of Erhue Nokhua-Uloko still exist in Idumoghoe till date. Erhue Nokhua-Uloko was worshipped by the entire Irhue clan but it is now being worshipped by only a very few people of Idumoghoe quarter. Erhue Nokua-Uloko was the only idol worshipped by the entire Irhue clan, but all other idols were individualistic to the villages and quarters.
Administrative Structure of Orhua
Just as it has been from time, Edo Empire has the world most organized administrative structure and Orhua being part of that Empire is not different. Osamuyimen wrote :-
“Although Nigeria was the creation of European ambitions and rivalries in West Africa, it would be an error to assume that its peoples had little history before its final boundaries were negotiated by Britain, France and Germany at the turn of the twentieth century. According to Crowder, this newly created country had a number of great kingdoms that had evolved complex systems of government prior to contact with Europeans. Within its frontiers was the kingdom of the Edo, whose art of governance had become recognized as amongst the most accomplished in the world.” This is also true for Orhua.
After the execution of the first and only Enogie of Irhue, Ogiemwen-ekpen, a unique administrative structure was put in place. The oldest man in Orhua, that is the Odionwere of Orhua is the chairman of Edion-Ukhuo (Elders Council) which is the highest ruling body. The council is made up of the oldest four men in Orhua and two chief prest(Ohen) of two important Idols(Shrines). The two chief prests are Ohen-Ekpen from Ugo and Ohen-Erhue from Idumoghoe. The constitution of the Edion-Ukhuo are as follows:-
- Odionwere of Orhua (Oldest person in Orhua) Chairman of Council
- Odionwere of Ugo representing Ohen-Ekpen no matter his age.
- Second Oldest person.
- Third Oldest person.
- Ohen-Erhue from Idomoghoe no matter his age.
- Forth Oldest person
- Ugo Second Oldest person no matter his age.
An educated paid secretary is now been appointed to record deliberations at the meetings.
Regular committees for the effective administration of the people and to help the Edion-Ukhuo (elders council) are in place. These regular committees are represented by different Age-groups with their chairmen and are listed according their seniority and supiriority.
- Ileledion (Oyakhiromen)
There are also Ad-hock committees set up at various points for various needs to also assist in various administrative capacities.
The respective quarters also have their Odionwere and council and committees. In addition to these, many laws and rules are in existence in Orhua for the controlling crimes. These laws and rules are customised and are very effective. The interesting thing about the structure of each council is that each Odionwere and even each member of his council for both Orhua as a whole and each quarter is chosen by God himself and not by man nor by any context.
ORHUA TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE CEREMONIES
Marriage is ordained by God himself and it is a thing that every marriageable adult is supposed to do. Marriage is very important in the life of every man and woman. Hence marriage ceremony is very important and always remains so in Orhua community.
The marriage courtship will normally begin between the man and the woman, or sometimes it could involve their parents, especially the man’s parents. In the process, series of investigations are conducted by both families about the family backgrounds. Negotiations are thereafter put in place to get both families to mutually agree that the man and woman involved be allowed to get married. It is only then that courtship proper begins.
On the D-day, when the bride and the bridegroom are presented openly to both families, there will be presentation of kola nuts and wine by the bride’s family to welcome the bridegroom’s family. Thereafter, the bridegroom’s family will reciprocate by also presenting kola nuts, fruits, food stuff and wine to the bride’s family. A list of the requirements would have been given to the bridegroom’s family in advance of the ceremony, though the giving of the list was not originally part of Orhua tradition.
The head of the bride’s family or his representative will preside over the Traditional Marriage Ceremony. Prayers are said by the Elders in the house. It is very important that the parents of both the bride and bridegroom pray for the new couple. The bride is always made to sit on the lap of the bridegroom’s father or the bridegroom himself 7 (seven) times. This is the handing over ceremony.
The Orhuas (ivbio-Orhua) or the Edos (ivbie-Edo) believes that wife is not for sale, so, the bridegroom was asked to pay N24.00 (twenty-four naira)(equivalent of Nigeria old twelve pounds) as Dowry. This amount has been recently upgraded to about N20,000.00 (twenty thousand naira only). However, many families are still taking as little as N200.00 (two hundred naira) as Dowry. This is just to symbolize the payment of the Dowry. From then on, the bride is now known as OVBIOHA (bride).
After the Traditional Marriage at bride’s parents home, a day not too far away is fixed for the bride’s family for mostly women to lead her to her husband’s house. They will accompany her with all the new properties which her parents have bought for her to begin her marriage life.
On the D-day, as the bridegroom’s family and friends are waiting the arrival of the OVBIOHA, messages will arrive from the OVBIOHA’s escorts suggesting that there is UGHUNGHUN (obstructions) on the way. The bridegroom, his friends and family have to remove the obstructions by sending money to the escort party. This could be done several times. In the past the obstruction could be said to be that a tree fell across the way and it require to be cut away, but nowadays, the obstruction could be said to be that there is no more fuel in the car or plane that is bringing the OVBIOHA. All these are to add to the fun of the ceremony.
As the bride’s escort party full of singing and dancing approach the house of the bridegroom the echo of OVBIOHA GHA MIEN ARO—ARO (bride be proud) fill the air.
The arrival at the bridegroom’s house door step is immediately followed by the ceremony of IKPOBO-OVBIOHA (washing of the bride’s hands). A bowl of water follow with money is brought forward and a woman from the bride’s family will bring out an head tie and wash the hands of the bride in the bowl and dry the hands with the head tie. Both the new head tie and the money belong to the bride. Singing and dancing and celebrations by the bridegroom’s family and friends continue into the night.
Nowadays, the church wedding now follows the Traditional Marriage. It is only after the church wedding and reception that the escort of the bride to the bridegroom’s house starts from the reception.
Some of the Main festivals of Orhua are as follows:-
Irhuen festival is individualistic to each quarter in nature and a process of transferring from youth to adulthood. It is preferably celebrated during dry seasons to avoid disturbances from the rains and now fading away. It is a general believe that you must not see your grandchild until you have performed the Irhuen rights, because if you do you will face the repercussion of blindness. However, the believers in Christ accept the word of God in Psalm……… that You shall see your Children,s Children without any condition attached to it.
Age Group festival (Ughedion)
Age Group festival (Ughedion) is to initiate the age groups of males. It is no longer really age groups as the age groups from each quarter vary widely in ages due to complex selection processes.
Ancestral Idol festivals
Ancestral Idol festivals for various quarters are now fading away to the growing Christian Relegion.
New Year festival
The New Year festival is a celebration and ushering in of the New Year. From 2nd of January every year, each quarter in turn take a day to celebrate the New Year while others go to celebrate with them. The festival lasts for about two weeks to go round all the quarters. It is general and still very popular among both the children and the adults and we all enjoy it.
Order of New Year celebrations:-
There is no celebration on Sundays.
The celebration in each street is marked with the following activities:-
- During the preceding night of each street celebration, the young boys of the street start shooting improvised mortar guns made of bamboo sticks and carbide which produces very loud banging sound. This is to usher in their street’s turn of celebration.
- The celebrating street start shearing food to their relations and friends in the morning and the food this time is generally rice.
- In the afternoon to evening the children and teenagers commence their singing and dancing in their pear groups and from house to house in the celebrating street. They use traditional musical instruments e.g. locally made gong, whistle, Ukuse, etc. Their host house hold entertains them with gifts of biscuits, dried war nuts, sugar cubes, sweets, money, etc.
- Some other children start house to house visitation in the evening and they will be given reception and entertainment or gifts of biscuits, dried war nuts, sugar cubes, sweets, money, etc.
- In the evening, there will be another round of food shearing to relations and friends and this time it will be mainly pounded yam. This means that there is hardly any cooking in the homes of the other streets. It is actually celebration time.
- Nowadays, the celebration is now rounded up in the early night with a dance band organized by the youth and children of the host street.
Christian Religion and Schools In Orhua
Orhua people are known to be very good church goers since the inception of the St. Johns Anglican Church in 1910. For their love for western education, their children had started travelling out of Orhua to acquire western education before the Anglican school was established in 1912.
The Catholic Church and school was established in the first time in 1939, but the school short lived as it closed in 1942 after the two teachers absconded. The indigenes continue to run the church. The school was re-established in 1955.
The Benin Divisional Council (BDC) School which was also established in 1955, was closed down about ten years after.
The Anglican school is centrally located; the Catholic school at Idumore at one end of Orhua and the BDC school at Ugo, the other end.
There are now some private schools at both primary and secondary levels.
The first Pentecostal church in Orhua, the Christ Apostolic Church of God Mission (CACGM) was established in 1988, while the Deeper Life Bible Church was established in 1992. The Assemblies of God Church was started in 1993 and the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in December 2003. Recently, few other churches were established including Winners Chapel in 2011.
Development Associations In Orhua
Many development associations have been formed at one time or the other in an attempt to get the village Orhua developed. The first association was the Orhua Progressive Union which was formed in the 1950s by Orhua elites in Benin, Lagos and Ishan. The Union had its Annual General Meetings in Orhua on every 26th December with all Orhua sons and daughters or delegations from the places in attendance. The Orhua Progressive Union metaphoised into Orhua Development Association in the 1990s but was very short lived.
In 1974, Orhua Youth Club of Lagos was formed but this was short lived.
In 1982, Ivbiore Club of Orhua in Lagos was formed.
In 1988, Orhua Club comprising of few Orhua elite in Lagos came into existence alongside Ivbiore Club.
In Orhua, there are many age group social associations mostly made up of women, they even have branches in places like Lagos, Abuja and Port-Harcourt.
For the spiritual development of Orhua, Orhua Believers Forum (OBF) with branches in Lagos, Orhua and Port-Hatcourt was formed in 1998. This has by the Grace of the Almighty God, brought more Spiritual Light to Orhua.
The main objectives of these Associations were for the physical and spiritual development of Orhua but a lot is yet to be achieved.
Orhua Politics and Social Developments
The people of Orhua are very highly political. In the days of NCNC and Action Group, they were at each other’s throat and thereafter, they have refused to change. The State and Local Governments have been very lukewarm in developing the village and its environs. The sons and daughters of Orhua who ventured into politics have not help matters either. It is a game of self first and winner takes all. The welfare and needs of the people have been politicised.
The Orhua people’s desperate needs for now are in three folds:-
- Electricity: The streets have been wired though uncompleted and the transformer provided for some ten years now, but light is yet to come. It is mostly in Edo State and particularly in Uhunmwode Local Government Area that you see villages without electricity.
- Roads: The two earth roads linking Orhua to Ozalla, Irhuekpen and Ehor are in perpetual state of disrepairs. The communal efforts of our people are of no significant effects. The State and Council pretends that nothing is wrong or happening but they come for their votes during elections and show no concern for their welfare after they have been voted in.
- Orhua Mixed Secondary School: The secondary school was established in 1999/1980. Highly intelligent boys and girls from Orhua and other places have passed through that college and benefited and I am sure that some of them are here now. The college is now in total disrepair and lack of adequate facilities and teachers. Many parents have withdrawn their children and wards to better colleges at Irhuekpen, Ekpoma and Benin. The college requires urgent renovation, upgrading in facilities and staffing.
Ivbiore Club of Orhua
Ivbiore means Youth. Youth means Strength. Ivbiore Club of Orhua means the Strength of Orhua. Where is the evidence of your existence, power and strength? What impart have you made in Orhua? There is the need to change our orientation and values, otherwise, it will remain as dead, inactive, unproductive and of no use to the Orhua community.
The village of Orhua is lying dormant waiting for Ivbio-Orhua to rise up and embrace the challenges facing the village.
The Way Forward
That I, You and others are from Orhua or born in Orhua is by the Grace of God our maker. It is not a coincident that you are from Orhua, but a design by God for a purpose. If we are honest to ourselves, we have no other place we can call our home. Orhua is our Jerusalem, that is if we understand the spiritual implication of that. It is only us brought into this world through Orhua that can move Orhua forward both spiritually and physically(Ephicians 210).
The time has come for us ivbio – Orhua to take our destiny in our hands and move Orhua forward. It is time we wake up to our responsibilities. I am not here to ask what you have been doing this past thirty years, but to encourage us and say it is not too late to do something positive.
I came here without doubt in my mind that we are here to launch some funds for one of these our pressing projects. I hope it will be actualised.
Orhua parable says:- The load is lighter if everybody carries it than when only a few people carry it. I am very sure that our brothers and sisters in other places will be happy to participate, if and only if the process is not politicised.
Please, let us move Orhua forward.
God will help us and that same God will bless us as we move Orhua forward in Jesus Name. Amen. God bless Orhua, God bless Nigeria.
My very sincere appreciation to the following people for their valuable Oral and Written contributions:-
- Pa. Parma 0 Idahosa
- Pa. Martins O. Osagiede (written contributions)
- Pa. John Idahosa Oide
- Pa. Edward Aigbokhae
- Pa. Abraham I. Ogbeide
- Mr. Gilbert Ederaro
- Mr. Asioma Ederaro
- Mr. Daniel Obiti
- Rev. Benjamin O. Oware
- Ivbiore Club of Orhua (for making me a Guest Speaker which lead to this research work).
NB: Comments, Corrections and Updates will be highly welcome. Vincent OI Ogbeide can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org and +234 8033073073