Urhobo people

The Igbe Religion – A Faith Whiter than Black
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The Igbe Religion – A Faith Whiter than Black

Igbe is neither my personal nor family religion, but I lived in Urhoboland, where it originated and is still practised, long enough to observe the faith with considerable detachment. I have also seen its practice in the United Kingdom. It is an Urhobo religion but may not be exclusively so. In this brief article, I intend to look at the more gnostic and historical perspective of Igbe than its practices. Igbe in the Urhobo language means “Dance” or “Joy.” Igbe worship is also an act of gratitude to God for life itself and consists of celebratory devotion. Read More “The Igbe Religion – A Faith Whiter than Black”

Urhobo Blow (UB): A True Martial Art and Sport?

Urhobo Blow (UB): A True Martial Art and Sport?

Urhobo Blow (UB), Ubi ejeh [service of punches] or Ohonre r’ubi [battle of punches], is a traditional martial art developed by the Urhobos for military action, but in recent times, it became a contest of strength by young males at annual or seasonal festivals. UB has its similarities with mainstream boxing, but the differences are steep. Many ethnic groups in Africa have their own boxing and wrestling arts. Still, the distinct feature of UB is that fighters place their knock-out punch hand on their backs just above the buttocks during fights. UB is over the years is becoming extinct due to lack of interest and exposure, but may make a big comeback as a mixed martial art of international status. UB was once a source of great community pride and made heroes. So, what makes UB worthy of attention? Read More “Urhobo Blow (UB): A True Martial Art and Sport?”

Do The Urhobo People Need Saviours or Leaders?
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Do The Urhobo People Need Saviours or Leaders?

At the moment the Urhobo nation is both essentially saviourless and leaderless, forget the ethnic bosses. Chiefs Mukoro Mowoe, Michael Ibru, David Ejoor, Great Ogboru, and James Ibori have all been arguably seen as saviours of the Urhobo nation. However, only the legacies of Mowoe and Ibru remain as genuine saviours unperturbed and Mowoe the singular unobstructed unifying leader of Western, Central and Eastern [Isoko] Urhobo. This is shocking considering that Mowoe, the foremost Urhobo nationalist and first president-general of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), died 70 years ago. This no disrespect to (Urhobo Progress Union) UPU and its host of influential leaders. The Urhobo people have produced many illustrious sons and daughters in many endeavours of life, some even rivalling in achievement the five named saviours. One may wonder what it is that distinguishes these five men as saviours to Urhobos but not necessarily leaders? Read More “Do The Urhobo People Need Saviours or Leaders?”

The Urhobos Do Come Last – Mostly in Politics
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The Urhobos Do Come Last – Mostly in Politics

 As ridiculous as it may sound, if Anioma were to be granted a State today, the new capital of Delta State would be either Koko (Itsekiriland) or Bomadi (Ijawland) or even Oleh (Isokoland). However, some Urhobos are crying for a [reinstated] “voice” in federal politics at the 90-day suspension of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (Delta: APC) from the upper house of the National Assembly but they cannot even handle themselves well politically within Delta State. Is this not the time for the Urhobo nation to look inwards and sort its cohesion challenges out?

Fejiro Oliver of Secret Reporters recently wrote about his utter disillusionment with the Urhobos (his full heritage) and his embrace of the Anioma people. He cited his betrayal by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege as the reason for his chosen ethnic preference. He was poached by Omo-Agege from NTA to be a staff writer with Urhobo Vanguard newspaper set up to assist Omo-Agege in his gubernatorial ambitions. When Fejiro was kidnapped in Niger State for investigative journalism in 2014, Omo-Agege and the entire Urhobo nation turned their backs on him giving mostly unbecoming excuses. Read More “The Urhobos Do Come Last – Mostly in Politics”