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Ijaw People, Culture And Lifestyle



ozoro student cultural Dance

Ijaw people (also known by the subgroups ” Ijo ” or ” Izon“) are people in Niger Delta in Nigeria, inhabiting regions of the states of Ondo , Bayelsa ,Delta, Edo, and Rivers State.

Many are found as migrant fishermen in camps as far west as Sierra Leone and as far east as Gabon.
Population figures for the Ijaws vary greatly, though most range from 13 million to 15 million.
They have long lived in locations near many sea trade routes, and they were well connected to other areas by trade as early as the 15th century.

The Ijaw speak nine closely related Niger–Congo languages , all of which belong to the Ijoid branch of the Niger–Congo tree.

The primary division between the Ijo languages is that between Eastern Ijo and Western Ijo, the most important of the former group of languages being Izon , which is spoken by about five million people.

There are two prominent groupings of the Izon language. The first, termed either Western or Central Izon (Ijaw) consists of Western Ijaw speakers:
Tuomo Clan ,Egbema, Ekeremor , Sagbama (Mein) , Bassan , Apoi , Arogbo , Boma (Bumo), Kabo (Kabuowei) , Ogboin, Tarakiri, and Kolokuma-Opokuma. Nembe , Brass and Akassa (Akaha) dialects represent Southeast Ijo (Izon) Buseni and Okordia dialects are considered Inland Ijo.
The other major Ijaw linguistic group is Kalabari . Kalabari is considered an Eastern Ijaw language but the term “Eastern Ijaw” is not the normal nomenclature. Kalabari is the name of one of the Ijaw clans that reside on the eastern side of the Niger-Delta (Abonnema, Buguma, Bakana, Degema etc.) who form a major group in Rivers State, Other “Eastern” Ijaw clans are the Andoni, Okrika , Ibani (the natives of Bonny, Finima and Opobo) and

They are neighbours to the Kalabari people in present-day Rivers State , Nigeria.

Other related Ijaw subgroups which have distinct languages but very close kinship, cultural and territorial ties with the rest of the Ijaw are the Epie-Atissa , Engenni (also known as Ẹgẹnẹ), and Degema (also called Udekama or Udekaama). [7] The Ogbia clan, as well as residents of Bukuma and Abuloma ( Obulom).
It was discovered in the 1980s that a now extinct
Berbice Creole Dutch , spoken in Guyana, is partly based on Ijo lexicon and grammar. Its nearest relative seems to be Eastern Ijo, most likely Kalabari (Kouwenberg 1994).

Clans in Ijaw

The Ijaw ethnic group consists of 50 loosely affiliated clans. These clans are based along kinship lines under the Benin Empire . Shared cultural and religious traditions.

The ijaw are found around most state in nigeria eg Ondo, akwa ibon, edo, Delta and mainly River and bayelsa.

The Ijaws were one of the first of Nigeria’s peoples to have contact with Westerners, and were active as go-betweens in the slave trade between visiting Europeans and the peoples of the interior, particularly in the era before the discovery of
quinine , when West Africa was still known as the “White Man’s Graveyard” because of the endemic presence of malaria . Some of the kin-based trading lineages that arose among the Ijaws developed into substantial corporations which were known as “houses”; each house had an elected leader as well as a fleet of war canoes for use in protecting trade and fighting rivals. The other main occupation common among the Ijaws has traditionally been fishing and farming.
Being a maritime people, many Ijaws were employed in the merchant shipping sector in the early and mid-20th century (pre-Nigerian independence). With the advent of oil and gas exploration in their territory, some are employed in that sector. Other main occupation are in the civil service of the Nigerian states of Bayelsa and Rivers where they are predominant.
Extensive state-government sponsored overseas
scholarship programs in the 1970s and 1980s have also led to a significant presence of Ijaw
professionals in Europe and North America (the so-called Ijaw diaspora). Another contributing factor to this human capital flight is the abject poverty in their homeland of the Niger Delta, resulting from decades of neglect by the Nigerian government and oil companies in spite of continuous petroleum prospecting in this region since the 1950s.

Lifestyle of Ijaw

The Ijaw people live by fishing supplemented by farming paddy – rice , plantains, Cassava , yams,
cocoyams , bananas and other vegetables as well as tropical fruits such as guava , mangoes and
pineapples ; and trading. Smoke-dried fish, timber ,
palm oil and palm kernels are processed for export. While some clans (those to the east- Akassa, Nembe ,
Kalabari , Okrika and Bonny ) had powerful chiefs and a stratified society , other clans are believed not to have had any centralized confederacies until the arrival of the British. However, owing to influence of the neighbouring Kingdom of Benin individual communities even in the western Niger Delta also had chiefs and governments at the village level.
Marriages are completed by the payment of a bridal
dowry , which increases in size if the bride is from another village (so as to make up for that village’s loss of her children). Funeral ceremonies, particularly for those who have accumulated wealth and respect, are often very dramatic. Traditional religious practices center around “Water spirits” in the Niger river, and around tribute to ancestors.

Religion and cultural practices
Although the Ijaw are now primarily Christians (65% profess to be), with Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism and Pentecostal being the varieties of Christianity most prevalent among them, they also have elaborate traditional religious practices of their own. Veneration of ancestors plays a central role in Ijaw traditional religion, while water spirits, known as
Owuamapu figure prominently in the Ijaw pantheon. In addition, the Ijaw practice a form of divination called Igbadai , in which recently deceased individuals are interrogated on the causes of their death. Ijaw religious beliefs hold that water spirits are like humans in having personal strengths and shortcomings, and that humans dwell among the water spirits before being born. The role of prayer in the traditional Ijaw system of belief is to maintain the living in the good graces of the water spirits among whom they dwelt before being born into this world, and each year the Ijaw hold celebrations in honor the spirits lasting for several days. Central to the festivities is the role of masquerades, in which men wearing elaborate outfits and carved masks dance to the beat of drums and manifest the influence of the water spirits through the quality and intensity of their dancing. Particularly spectacular masqueraders are taken to actually be in the possession of the particular spirits on whose behalf they are dancing.
The Ijaw are also known to practice ritual
acculturation (enculturation ), whereby an individual from a different, unrelated group undergoes rites to become Ijaw. An example of this is Jaja of Opobo , the Igbo slave who rose to become a powerful Ibani (Bonny) chief in the 19th century.
There are also a small number of Converts to Islam the most notable being the founder of the Delta People Volunteer Force , Mujahid Dokubo-Asari .
Jeremiah Omoto Fufeyin Edwin .K. Clarke comes from the Ijaw ethnic group. Other notable leaders from the Ijaw ethnic group are the former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, Heineken Lokpobiri amongst others.

Food customs in Ijaw
Like many ethnic groups in Nigeria, the Ijaws have many local foods that are not widespread in Nigeria. Many of these foods involve fish and other seafoods such as clams, oysters and periwinkles; yams and plantains. Some of these foods are:
Polofiyai — A very rich soup made with yams and palm oil
Kekefiyai — A pottage made with chopped unripened (green) plantains, fish, other seafood or
game meat (” bushmeat “) and palm oil
Fried or roasted fish and plantain — Fish fried in palm oil and served with fried plantains
Gbe — The grub of the raffia-palm tree beetle that is eaten raw, dried, fried in groundnut oil or pickled in palm oil
Kalabari “sea-harvest” fulo — A rich mixed seafood soup or stew that is eaten with foofoo , rice or yams
Owafiya (Beans Pottage) — A pottage made with
Beans , palm oil, fish or bushmeat, Yam or Plantain. Then taken with processed Cassava or Starch.
Geisha Soup — This a kind of soup cooked from the geisha fish, with just adding, pepe, salt, water and Boiling it for some minutes.
Opuru-fulou — Also referred to as prawn soup, prepared mainly with prawn, Ogbono (Irvingia gabonensis seeds ), dried fish, table salt, crayfish, onions, fresh pepper, and red palm oil.
Onunu; made with pounded yams and boiled overipe plantains mostly enjoyed by the Okrikans
Kiri-igina — Prepared without cooking on fire with Ogbono (Irvingia gabonensis seeds ), dried fish, table salt, crayfish.
Ignabeni — A watery soup prepared with either yam or plantain seasoned with teabush leaves, pepper, goat meat, and fish.

Ethnic identity As Ijaw

Formerly organized into several loose clusters of villages (confederacies ) which cooperated to defend themselves against outsiders, the Ijaw increasingly view themselves as belonging to a single coherent nation, bound together by ties of language and culture. This tendency has been encouraged in large part by what are considered to be environmental degradations that have accompanied the exploitation of oil in the Niger delta region which the Ijaw call home, as well as by a revenue sharing formula with the Nigerian Federal government that is viewed by the Ijaw as manifestly unfair. The resulting sense of grievance has led to several high-profile clashes with the Nigerian Federal authorities, including kidnappings and in the course of which many lives have been lost. The Ijaw people are resilient and proud. Long before after the colonial era, the Ijaw people traveled by wooded boats and canoes to Cameroun, Ghana and other West African countries. They traveled up the River Niger from River Nun.
Ijaw-Itsekiri conflicts

Warri Crisis One manifestation of ethnic violence on the part of the Ijaw has been an increase in the number and severity of clashes between Ijaw militants and those of Isekiri origin, particularly in the town of Warri.
Deadly conflicts had rocked the South-South region, especially in Delta State, where intertribal killings had resulted in death in both sides.

In July 2013, local police discovered mutilated corpses of 13 Itsekiris killed by Ijaws, over dispute over the candidate for a local council chairman. Several Itsekiri villages, including Gbokoda, Udo, Ajamita, Obaghoro and Ayerode-Zion on the Benin river axis, were razed down while several Itsekiris lost their lives.

Oil conflict main article: Nigerian Oil Crisis The December 1998 All Ijaw Youths Conference crystallized the struggle with the formation of the
Ijaw Youth Movement (IYM) and the issuing of the kaiama Declaration .

In it, long-held Ijaw concerns about the loss of control of their homeland and their own lives to the oil companies were joined with a commitment to direct action. In the declaration, and in a letter to the companies, the Ijaws called for oil companies to suspend operations and withdraw from Ijaw territory.

The IYM pledged “to struggle peacefully for freedom, self-determination and ecological justice,” and prepared a campaign of celebration, prayer, and direct action ‘ Operation Climate Change ‘ beginning December 28, 1998.
In December 1998, two warships and 10-15,000 Nigerian troops occupied Bayelsa and Delta states as the Ijaw Youth Movement (IYM) mobilized for
Operation Climate Change .

Soldiers entering the Bayelsa state capital of Yenagoa announced they had come to attack the youths trying to stop the oil companies. On the morning of December 30, 1998, two thousand young people processed through Yenagoa, dressed in black, singing and dancing. Soldiers opened fire with rifles, machine guns, and tear gas, killing at least three protesters and arresting twenty-five more. After a march demanding the release of those detained was turned back by soldiers, three more protesters were shot dead including Nwashuku Okeri, Ghadafi Ezeifile and Onwinkron Ibe.

The head of Yenagoa rebels- Chief Onwinkron Ibe- was burned alive in his mansion on December 28, 1998. Amongst his family members to flee the premises before complete ruins was his only son, Desmond Ibe. The military declared a state of emergency throughout Bayelsa state, imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew, and banned meetings.

At military roadblocks, local residents were severely beaten or detained. At night, soldiers invaded private homes, terrorizing residents with beatings and women and girls with rape.
On January 4, 1999 about one hundred soldiers from the military base at Chevron ’s Escravos facility attacked Opia and Ikiyan , two Ijaw communities in Delta State. Bright Pablogba , the traditional leader of Ikiyan, who came to the river to negotiate with the soldiers, was shot along with a seven-year-old girl and possibly dozens of others. Of the approximately 1,000 people living in the two villages, four people were found dead and sixty-two were still missing months after the attack.

The same soldiers set the villages ablaze, destroyed canoes and fishing equipment, killed livestock, and destroyed churches and religious shrines.

Nonetheless, Operation Climate Change continued, and disrupted Nigerian oil supplies through much of 1999 by turning off valves through Ijaw territory. In the context of high conflict between the Ijaw and the Nigerian Federal Government (and its police and army), the military carried out the Odi massacre , killing scores if not hundreds of Ijaws.
Recent actions by Ijaws against the oil industry have included both renewed efforts at nonviolent action and militarized attacks on oil installations but with no human casualties to foreign oil workers despite hostage-takings. These attacks are usually in response to non-fulfilment by oil companies of memoranda of understanding with their host communities.

Notable Ijaw People

Goodluck Jonathan , Politician and former President
J.P. Clark , Poet and Playwright
Owoye Andrew Azazi, Former Army general and National Security Adviser
Timi Dakolo , Nigerian singer-songwriter
Ibinabo Fiberesima , Nigerian Nollywood actress
David Ibiyeomie, Nigerian Pastor and televangelist
Julius Arebo , Nigerian Web Developer
Biokpo Diali George , Nigerian Brand, Strategic & Innovative Developer
Ben Murray-Bruce , Nigerian Media mogul and Senator
Finidi George , Nigerian football legend
Samson Siasia, former Nigerian footballer and coach
Timaya, Nigerian singer
Susan Oyinbrakemi Charles , Nigerian Education expert
Tom Tonpribo Inko-Tariah , Real Estate Developer, Chartered Arbitrator
Bestie Tamara Atti, Entrepreneur and Digital Evangelist

Ijaw people know way to fight for thier right and this bring alot of organisation

Ijaw organisations

Andoni Forum USA (AFUSA)
Ijaw Youth Council
Ijaw National Congress
Ijaw Elders Forum
Ijaw Youth Congress
Congress of Niger Delta Youths
National Union of Izon-Ebe Students
Tuomo Youth Congress
Sagbama Youth Movement
Ekine Sekiapu Ogbo
Bomadi Decides
Bayelsa Youths Council
The Ogbia brotherhood
Izon Progressive Congress (IPC)
Ogbinbiri Progressive Movement
Egbema Youths Progressive Agenda
Progressive Youth Leadership Foundation(ND-PYLF)
Ijaw Nation Development Group (Ijaw Peoples Assembly)

More update coming.

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POS Buisness Operator Taking Over First Bank Atm In Ozoro



Letter to firstbank Nigeria

Ozorogist have alot of complain from indigine/Student And everyone who find thier way to First bank Atm in Ozoro.

We don’t have much to write about than telling you how the bank have been treating the indigine and student staying in Ozoro.

When all the atm is dispensing cash, we notice the bank will lock all the atm and leave only one

Sometimes the will lock the only Atm that’s dispensing and umlock the one that was unable To dispense Cash.

The real Cause of this situation is not about anything but

    The People that Operate POS machine around the bank


Our Reporters visit the bank and a student who’s popular knw in the campus attend to us and says

They knw the student and indigine have no other choice than to use the withdraw using POS, they use it as thier buisness and cooperate with the bank so enough profit comes daily and they share with those working in the bank

The POS business women and man charge #200 per #1000 you withdraw.

If you withdraw #10,000 the will only give you #8,000 or sometime give you #9,000

We are not just fighting but it our right to let the general manager of First bank to interfare on this matter and make sure everything is put to other.

Let’s stop using taking advance of the student because we are the leader of tomorrow – by A concern Delta Student.

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How To Apply For Desopadec Bursary And Scholarship Program



DESOPADEC Bursary and Scholarships Program for undergraduate from Delta State, Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), DESOPADEC Bursary and Scholarships Program Application Portal now opened for candidates either be in Second year or above (200 to 500 level) in the Universities or Be in ND II, HND I and HND II in the Polytechnics/Monotechnics and Have a CGPA of 2.20 and above in the previous academic year’s examination

Who can apply for DESOPADEC Bursary and Scholarships Program?

Applications must come from DESOPADEC mandate area. That is, they must be Ijaw, Itsekiri, Urhobo, Isoko and Ndokwa.

They must be Students currently in School either University or Polytechnic in Nigeria

They must be from 200 Level and above and

They must be full time University or Polytechnic Undergraduates in Nigeria

All candidates underneath 18 years old MUST submit JAMB registration number.

All candidates above 18 years old MUST have enrolled with National Identification Management Commission (NIMC).

Please note that Masters and PhD Students are not qualified

How to apply for DESOPADEC
Bursary and Scholarships Program

1. Apply/register via

2. To apply you must upload the following documents via online:
A recent Passport Photograph
Student ID card
Letter of Admission
Local Government of Origin Identification Certificate
A letter of Identification from Student Union Chapter President of their Ethnic Nationality

1. Please note that: The documents must be in .jpg format and should not exceed 1MB each.

2. If you already have your login details, click login instead.

We wish you better.

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Okere- Urhobo Leaders To Okowa: HRM Okpeki 11 Is Authentic King Of Okere- Urhobo Kingdom



Accordinly to the post on urhobo website

Leaders of Okere Urhobo Kingdom Warri have stated their position clear that there is no going back on HRH Barrister Christopher Okumagba Okpeki 11 as the Oroseun (King) of the Kingdom since he “Is still the rightful and lawfully selected and appointed Oroseun (King) of Okere Urhobo Kingdom whose process was submitted to the Delta State Government since September 2017 and still pending with the Government”
They therefore argued that since five of the Nine Kingmakers spread across the three Ruling Houses of Idama Sohworubve and Owhotemu participated in his selection and appointment process which had the blessing of the Okpako Orere ( Oldest man) of the Kingdom as laid down by the Native Law and Custom of Okere Urhobo Kingdom” We urge the Delta State Government to properly look into the said process and grant staff of Office to His Royal Highness Barrister Christopher Okumagba as Okpeki 11″
They therefore advised Senator Dr, Ifeanyi Okowa Governor of Delta State to handle the Oroseunship ( Kingship) of the Kingdom with utmost care by avoiding those who are not legally related to the matter.
Rather, according to them, this time around he should follow due process as laid down by the Custom and Tradition of the Kingdom.
The Leaders warned that, the Governor and Government of Delta State should be ” weary” of the activities of Chief Wilson O Eboh who is parading himself as the Regent of the Kingdom since according to them the Title Regent is “Alien” to the Kingdom so also the title of ” Statutory Kingmakers” As well.
In a Letter sent to His Execellency, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa Governor of Delta State signed by Apostle Isaac.M.Eraivor, The Okpako Orere( Oldest man) of Okere Urhobo Kingdom and Head Of The Three Ruling Houses of Idama Sohworubve and Owhotemu and PA Churchill.O.Oki ( JP) for Sohworubve Ruling House for and on behalf of Okere Urhobo Kingdom , expressed bitterness over what they described as the ” wrongful” presentation of staff of Office to Professor Paul Okumagba” whose appointment process was rift with several irregularities” as against” HRH, Barrister Christopher Okumagba,Okpeki 11, whose selection process was in accordance with the Native Law and Custom of Okere Urhobo Kingdom with the participation of the joint three Ruling Houses”
Justifying their call on the Governor to reprimand Chief Wilson Eboh by calling him to order the Leaders went into memory lane and explained that the” Wrongful” presentation of staff of Office to Professor Paul Okumagba was championed by him and at the same time ” He is at it again by trying to mislead the Delta State Officials and members of the general public” Tthrough the media by claiming that he is the ” Regent” of the Kingdom so that he and his cohorts can install a new Oroseun by October 2019 without the participation of the Okpako Orere and the Heads of the three Ruling Houses who are the rightful and legitimate people to select,appoint and crown a new Oroseun.
The Leaders while calling on Governor Okowa not close his eyes against the many alleged atrocities committed by Chief Wilson Eboh against the Kingdom as not only asserting himself as a ” Regent” He personally selected ” Four Selected Kingmakers all from one Ruling House of Idama as Statutory Kingmakers” While challenging him to prove the law that gave him such power.He was also allegedl to have breached the mandatory three months mourning period for Royal Monarch ” Without regard to the Tradition of our kingdom made public the passing on of PROF PAUL OKUMAGBA”
They concluded by stressing that the wrongful presentation of staff of Office to Professor Paul Okumagba has led to instituting a lot of cases pending in the courts.More worrisome according to them is the threat by Chief Wilson Eboh to commence the installation of a new Oroseun ( King) by October 2019 without the” consent and approval”Of the Heads of the three Ruling Houses.”
They therefore draw the attention of Governor Okowa to the fact that Chief Eboh actions are subjudice as a result of cases in courts relating to the Oroseunship which may likely cause fracas and breach of the fragile peace not only in the Kingdom but in the entire Warri and it’s environs.
It will be recalled that His Royal Highness Barrister Christopher Okumagba was selected and appointed as Okpeki 11 of Okere Urhobo Kingdom by five of the Nine Kingmakers spread across the three Ruling Houses of Idama Sohworubve and Owhotemu with the blessing and backing of the Okpako Orere since September 2017. The process was submitted to the Delta State Government and still pending in Asaba.

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