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We Are Not Igbo, Ikwerre Leaders Trace Origin To Benin




The Ikwerre ethnic nationality in Rivers State have maintained that they have no ancestral link with the South-Eastern part of the country, as being portrayed severally on social media.

They stressed that they are a distinct ethnic group in Rivers State, South-South of Nigeria,  and are by no means connected to the Igbos, who are located in the South-East geo-political zone of the country.

A prominent Ikwerre elder, Sir Mike Elechi, stated this at the launch of a book titled ‘Without Prejudice: An Exploration of Ikwerre History,’ written by the late Dick Azunda Hekerem Emejuru.

Represented by His Royal Highness Damian Ejiohuo, the Nye Nwe-Ali Ndele in Emohua Local Government Area of the state, Elechi, a member of the Rivers State Civil Service Commission, who was the chairman of the occasion, said in his address that the Ikwerres have a migration history from the ancient Benin kingdom, adding, “At about 1438 AD, there was a revolution in the Benin kingdom, which led to the assassination of the heir apparent to the throne of the Oba of Benin.”

Former governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, who was represented by Senator Andrew Uchendu, urged the Ikwerre people to be proud of who they are, stressing the roles politicians can play in preserving the Ikwerre history.

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The former Minister of Transportation said, “Ikwerre people should tell who they are and ignore all the stories being written about them. We will tell our story. Those who will play politics in Ikwerre land will project the image of Ikwerre wherever they find themselves.”

The book reviewer, former General Manager of Atlantic Television, Port Harcourt, Bon Woke, described the book as a guide for Ikwerre people to know their roots, insisting that language is not all it takes to determine a people’s origin.

Advising the youths against being influenced or swayed by self-seeking politicians, Woke called on Ikwerre leaders and elders to take steps to educate the younger generation on their history, culture and language.

Source: Punch

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