Power tussle is one thing that has led many nations, tribe and people to rivalry and total self-destruction.Almost same is the case of Ekemeku people in Asaba heartland. It consisted of a series of uprisings against the continuous rising power of the Royal Niger Company (RNC) of the Great Britain Empire.

The opposition British empire had already fought wars especially with the Ijebu Yoruba Land and the Igbo Land when it became strong in Anioma Land where series of war had already been waged them by the leaders of Ekemeku.

The leaders of Ekemeku who were joined in a secret oath utilized the effective power of the organized Anioma youths to plan guerilla tactics to attack the British, but the later used forceful tactics such as destroying homes, roads and farms to prevail; but the Ekemeku however became a great source of Anioma nationalism although they lost.

Series of war arose between the two parties, but the British counterpart always had the upper hand.The pains of the Ekemeku people was mostly because members of the RNC exploited the monopoly far in excess of what it could have made in free trade situation.

In 1888, half of Asaba was decimated; and Obosi was razed to ground the following year whereby the British alleged that Asaba and Obosi was involved in human and sacrifice hence rough hand treatment.

In 1904, the Ekemeku rose again; this time with a different tactics of individual defense of each town led by the people of Owa. This trigger was a succession dispute in Ogwash – Uku. The British later sent forces to the district, but it failed and a Briton was killed alongside the Hausa soldiers. The colonial government rightly assumed that locals from Asaba helped in providing assistant to the Ekemeku; so, an ordinance law was enacted to punish an entire village suspected to entertain the activities of Ekemeku for which extensively broke Ekemeku that by 1914, Ekemeku had surrendered.

Okpara Silva.

Tags : 17th centuryAsabaBritish colonialEkemekuGreat Britain Empire.Igbo TribeNigeriaNigerianObosiThe History of Igbo

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