ACTION FOR COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT SOCIO ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF TEN COMMUNITIES IN EDO STATE ONE OF THE NINE THE NIGER DELTA STATES OF NIGERIA
SOCIO-ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF TEN COMMUNITIES IN THE FOLLOWING LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA; IKPOBA OKHA, OVIA NORTH -EAST AND OVIA SOUTH WEST OF EDO STATE.
Siluko community is the last community before the river on that route. It is a riverine community in a rain forest zone. It is located in Ovia South west local Government area of Edo state. History has it that (Siluko Community’s) founder migrated from the Benin Kingdom during the reign of Oba Osemwede around the 14th or 15th centuries. Edo language is the people’s language.
The people celebrate the Igue festival the same way and time it is celebrated by the Oba of Benin Kingdom. Usually it is celebrated in December of every year to appreciate the gods of the land.
The second is the Ewere festival that is usually done to cleanse the land in January of every year after the popular Igue festival.
Siluko community is located advantageously by a large river called Ovia. Most of its economic activities are centered on it. It has Crude oil, Clay, Sharp sand, Bitumen. Although the people also engage in farming, fishing, basket weaving trading local distillation of gin, they are also endowed with building abilities.
If most of these natural resources are well harnessed, it will bring a lot of economic benefits to the community and the state. During the post-colonial era its crude was drilled by Shell Petroleum Development Company. But for a very long time such activities have been put to a halt. Factory that uses clay (Ceramic industry) and sharp sand as raw materials could also be established in the community.
Emah community was founded in 1440AD by Pa Omigie Igbinagbon during the reign of Oba Adolor of the great Benin kingdom. And it is located in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State- a few kilometers from Ekiadolor. The people of Emah speak Edo language .They are Christians and Africa tradition worshippers. The people of Emah mark the Igue festival alone. And this is done at the time the Oba of Benin is marking the Popular Igue Festival usually in December of every year.
The people of Emah are hard working people, very peaceful and engage in farming and trading of their farm produce. They produce pineapple in large quantity thus making a pineapple juice factory a viable project in the locality.
The community is blessed with natural resources such as River, Timber, Building and Oil palm. Their oil palms production although presently not in commercial quantity, but because of availability of farm land, could be boosted.
Emah people in farming, fishing, timbering and production of oil (locally processed) and each of these activities attracts many buyers and sellers from far and near communities of the state and beyond to Emah community. For instance, people from the Eastern part of Nigeria do visit the community to buy garri and other farm produce.
Aihuobabekun community is a community in Edo State located in Ovia Northeast local Government area of Edo South Senatorial District. The community was founder in the 15th century by Okungbowa from Ozogwor, he was succeeded by his brother. They are predominately Edo speaking people with farming as their major occupation. As part of their cultural heritage the people celebrate Ovia and Ekpo festival between the months of November to December yearly which is believed to bring peace to the community. The community is mixed with Christian and African traditional religion. The community is rich with Timber, Palm oil, Rubber and Cocoa as their major natural resources. Farming is their major source of employment and cocoa production is a very viable commercial produce that have earned the community a lot income. They even have a cooperative society to aid in sales of the product .Traders from the neighbouring state (Ondo) come to buy their cocoa. They lamented their lack of capacity to draw Government attention for their development.
Iguorhiaki Community is a community located in the Western part of Ovia South west Local Government area of Edo state. It was founded by Pa Orhiaki who incidentally was the only transporter of persons by canoe from interior communities to the city around the 15 century through the Ovia River. Iguorhiaki is surrounded by four other communities which are; Aigbomonba, Aimieghorwan, Evbogun and Igueaze. Edo language is their spoken language.
Christianity, Islamic and Africa tradition are the religion of the people.
Iguorhiaki people have their festivals ranging from Igue that is usually celebrated in December (in line with the practice of the Oba of Benin) to the Obe festival that is done once a year. It is marked by praying to the gods of the land to take away reproach from them and Odeyanse Festival that is celebrated once in two years to thank their gods and cleansing of the land of any evil.
Iguorhiaki is centrally located between Benin the state capital and Iguobazuwa both of which are commercial towns for the market of farm produce and well as manpower. The community is endowed with river, Clay, Timber, Oil palm, Building sand. All these have commercial viability.
The people of Iguorhiaki community are great farmers and fishers. They engage also in trade (selling of their farm produce in exchange for cash). They already have a Timber Company present in their community.
Avbiama community is located in Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo state. It is bounded by four communities namely; Oka, Ihimwirin, Obazagbon and Umelu
Avbiama people are Christians and African tradition religion worshippers. They speak Edo language. The people of Avbiama enjoy wonderful time together during festivals which attracts sons and daughters from far and near. They have three major festivals:
Ekpo Festival: This festival is usually celebrated every October to mark peace in the land
Orhe Festival: This festival is done in the raining season between June and July each year. During which time they people consult their gods and make atonement for sin as well as cleansing of the land. In the time of this festival, masquerade of different sorts comes out to perform to the delight and admiration of all and sundry that seat, watch and dance during the celebration.
The last of these festivals is the Ovia festival which from our investigation is peculiar to all Edo speaking tribe of Edo state. This is celebrated at the end of the year. This festival is actually to thank their gods and also make different sacrifice to appease them.
Avbiama community is located few kilometers south from Benin- the state headquarters. The community of Avbiama is endowed with natural resources such as Building sand, forest, farm land etc. The building sand is already been evacuated for building houses and other structures in the city. Another use the sand can be put to use is in ceramic and glass factory if such a company is sited in the community. The people of Avbiama community are mostly farmers, traders and builders. They farm in crops like plantain, cassava (garri), yam which they take to Benin and sometimes the people in the city come to Avbiama to buy directly from the farmers. Not less than two trailer load of garri is taken out of this community every five days.
Gbeoba community is a riverine community located in Ovia South West Local Government area of Edo State. It was founded by Pa. Akuwakolo between 400-500 years ago who also was the first Amokosowie (leader) of the community. It is important to state here that the people and leaders of Gbeoba community pay their tribute/royalty to the Agadagba of Egbema kingdom who oversees the entire kingdom. The people of Gbeoba speak Ijaw language. Ofunama and Ugbolukanga are their neighbors.
The people of Gbeoba community have their festival well organized into groups. They have;
Seimo Festival and Tinfini festival: These festivals are usually celebrated in the month of March every year. While Seimo is marked for Peace in the Land, Tinfini is done to atone or appease the gods of the land.
The women festival: This festival is marked to celebrate the women in the community. This further enhances the unity and progress amongst the women in the community. It is done every June.
Youth festival: This festival is marked in Decembers/January of every year to celebrate the youth in the community.
Bohara Festival:-This festival is done by instruction from the gods who communicate to the people through the Priest as their mouth piece.
Africa tradition religion and Christianity are the two main religions of the people.
The Ijaws dresses in their big wrapper on a singlet with a hat on and a walking stick to go with it. Same applies to the people of Gbeoba.
Gbeoba people are very industrious people who engage in carving of canoes and paddling sticks, traditional Birth Attendance, massaging, fish farming, palm win tapping, local distillation of gins as well as trading. They also farm in cash crops such as cocoa, plantain, rubber tapping, they extract building sand and gravels all of which constitutes their economic activities. People from neighboring villages and city (Benin) come to buy fish and other farm produce from Gbeoba at the River bank. Ekenwan riverside happen to be the market for Gbeoba community produce because of its proximity. Its natural resources limestone could be used as raw material for cement industry. Furthermore, its mineral resources should be exploited; this could be a good source of employment and revenue if an industry is sited in the place. There is also marble needed in the building industry.
Ekenwan community is a located in Ovia North East Local Government area of Edo State,
The history of Ekenwan dates back to 25th century ago when four Brothers namely Ogbaen (most senior of them all), Egbene, Ikpiti and Perezighia traveled down through the Ovia River from Ekenwan in the present day River State to settle somewhere in Edo State and called the name of the place after their root.
Ikoro, Gelegele and Iboro are Ekewan close neigbhours.the language of the people is Edo and Ijaw. Christianity and Africa Tradition religion is the two religions dominant in the place
The people of Ekenwan community have the yearly festivals with beautifully adorned masquerade to add colour to these festivals. The different festivals and masquerade are;
- Igbesun Festival:- This festival is peculiar to all Ijaw speaking tribe and it is usually celebrated at the end of the year with different masquerade like Epin, Igodo and Tuo-owu performing to the delight of the people
- Ama-eru Festival: This is celebrated mid year to appease the gods of the land.
Ekenwan community is endowed with natural resources such as River, building sand, timber, palm trees e.t.c and their major occupation includes; fish farming, trading farming and Traditional Birth Attending. The sand could provide raw material for the building industry.
Furthermore, they produce Agricultural products such as garri, plantain, yam banana in substantial commercial quantity which they also trade on. In addition, they distill “ogogoro” locally which they also sell. Worthy of mention is the fact that Ekenwan has a big market which size is about 400 sq metres
In the 18th century (1750AD) Prince Ewedobaken-one of the sons of Oba Akengbuda (the king of Benin kingdom) founded Ogua community. Thus, became the fist Enogie of Ogua. This is in line with the traditional practice of Benin kingdom.
The people of Ogua like every other community in the Benin Kingdom have their festivals and masquerade viz;
This is usually celebrated every February with masquerades dressed in different African attire parading and dancing to the admiration of all. Worthy of mention is that this Festival is marked to celebrate Peace in the Land
New yam festival celebrated every November of the year. In Ogua community, nobody eats new yam until after the new yam festival
Ovia festival This is usually celebrated to appease the gods of the land and it is done in the month of March every year amidst vows and oath taking .On this occasion barren women and people with divers problem come to make promises, vow and take oath before their gods.
Ogua community’s major occupation is farming. Little wonder, they produce garri (proceeds from cassava) in commercial quantity. Their garri is well known for is high quality. The community produces about a trailer load every oka market (a neighbouring) .it‘s garri production has really earn the community some popularity. This act has also procure for the community some cassava grinding machine (though a self help project).Tradition and custom handed down has also made them very proficient in trading of their farm produce since Benin the State headquarters is just a stone throw from them.
Also, they are very good at taking delivery (Traditional Birth Attendance) as well as being native doctors.
Iguobazuwa community is one of the oldest communities in Ovia south west Local Government Area of Edo State. The community is now the headquarters of Ovia South west local Government area. Iguobazuwa community was founded over 300years ago by Chief Obazuwa during the reign of Oba Osemwede of the great Benin Kingdom.
The community shares boundaries with Iguogun, Okiro and Afesoba community. The people of Iguobazuwa community speak Edo language.
The people of Iguobazuwa community with it rich cultural heritage celebrate the following festival
- The Igue
- Ekpo festival
- Ugie Ewere Festival
The Igue festival is usually celebrated between the month of December and January every year. The Igue festival heralds the coming out of masquerade usually for three months.
The Ewere festival is believed to drive away evil spirit and appeasing of the gods. This is proceeded by the Ekpo masquerade dance that usually out for three months.
The new yam festival is mark between the month of September and October every year.
The people of Iguobazuwa community are Christians and Muslims and Africa Traditional worshippers
The Ogudugu is a god in the community that comes out on rare occasion and it’s forbidden to see the god. The god is also to vest vengeance and to ensure strict compliance to the law of the land.
Apart from trading, Iguobazuwa is an economic viable place due to it natural resources like timber, Sand, Marble Stones/ Gravel etc. if well put to use like citing of industries that could make use of this raw materials .it could be a source of revenue for the community.
Iboro community is located in Ovia North-East Local Government Area of Edo State. It is believed that the people migrated from Rivers State headed by his founder Egbene in 15AD. They share the same belief, tradition, values, and customs with Iboro people of Rivers state. The people of Iboro speak Ijaw and Edo languages. Iboro community is surrounded by the following communities Ekenwan, Ewudu, Nikorogha communities. The major traditional festival is the Ogbesu festival which is celebrated at the end of the year. The two religion is predominant in the community is Christianity and African traditional religion.
The people of Iboro community engage in the following as their economic source of living. Fishing, Farming, Local distillation of alcohol (Ogogoro) .most of their farm produce they sell in the neighbouring community’s market. Resources like timber and sharp sand could be resources for industries.