The “Aba Women Riot in 1929” is one of the unfortunate events that took place in the Eastern part of Nigeria; thereby leading so many incidents that pivoted civilization in Nigeria as a nation. This incident happened to be one of the earliest revolts made in quest of emancipation from the hands of colonial administrators and warrant Chiefs led by Sir Fredrick Luggard.
In our previous research work on this topic “THE REAL TRUTH BEHIND ABA WOMEN RIOT 1929”, we found out some missing facts that took place during that incident.So we dug deeper to find out more revealing facts about the incident that led to this history shaping event. So here are some of our recent findings that are absolutely contrary to the write ups that are in the public domains.
Here are the recent findings:-
- The Colonial master never attempted to tax the women, if they did there is no record of it anywhere.
- Chief Okeugo never asked the women to pay tax, like it is speculated in most write-ups and that was why he was later discharged and acquitted and even paid 800 pounds as compensation.
- Mark Emeruwa the court Clerk that went to Nwanyiriuwa’s house never asked her to pay tax for her goats and chickens, rather he demanded to see her husband during the time of the incident.
- Aba woman riot never started in Opobo (Ikot-Abasi), rather it ended there because of the number, of 53 people killed there.
- Margaret Ekpo never took part in the 1929 Women uprising, she was born in 1914 and was only 15 years as at 1929, she was a standard 4 student of Girls Institute, Greek Town during the riot.
- Nwanyiriuwa was not an old widow as at 1929, the husband Mr Ojim was still alive.
- The riot started in Umungboro, Oloko in what is today Abia state.
- The rumour that women and domestic animals were to be taxed was the making of warrant chiefs who wanted to cheat their subjects, it was speculated to have been first announced officially by Chief Ananamba of Umuala Oloko.
- The attack on commercial and colonial buildings and the looting that took place in Aba is what gave the uprising the colonial name, “Aba Women Riots.”
- The women in Oloko did not cause major damage to either Okeugo’s compound or the native court, in other areas women wreaked havoc on warrant chiefs’ compounds, tearing the grass mats off their roofs to roast confiscated yams and pulling down storage sheds. Buildings linked to the colonial administration or European trading interests, especially the native courts, also became common targets.
- The women looted European stores but left local stores untouched. They also targeted roads and railways erected by the colonial masters, giving out the impression that the uprising was obviously an action to harass Warrant chiefs, court clerks, and British officials.
- Chief Okeugo was forced into exile at Aba, where he was taken care of by Chief Obasi, the then Resident Commissioner at Owerri set up a panel of inquiry on the women riot and the result of investigation showed Chief Okeugo acted within the limits of the warrant given to him. Chief Okeugo was thereafter discharged and acquitted and was paid the sum of 800 pounds as compensation for damages and assault in 1932.
- Before the 1929 riot there was a Calabar Market women demonstration in April of 1925, when the women of Ibiobio and Efik protested the introduction of market tolls at the Watts and Marina Beach markets. This riot has no connection to the tax riot of 1929.
- Three names can be associated to the demonstrations based on effect in the arrears they happened. ‘Oloko Women Uprising’ Aba Women Riot’ and ‘Opobo Women Killings’ in all the names, one stand unique ‘Ogu Umuwanyi’, Women’s War.