Major Events in Avhianwu History– By Aha Idokpesi Okhaishe N’ Avhianwu

Major Events in Avhianwu History– By Aha Idokpesi Okhaishe N’ Avhianwu

About 1481 Oba Ozolua (Ozoluwa) succeeded Olua.

Between 1481 and 1485   Anwu and family migrated from Benin

(First Migration)

About 1485 A Portuguese Explorer, John Affonso d’Aveiro first came to Benin City and introduced guns and coconuts (uvi-Oba)

About 1504 Oba Ozoluwa died and was succeeded by Esigie.

About l515-1516 the ldah War.

About l570 Ivhianwu migrated from Afashio-uzairue (Second Migration).

About 1830 the Nupe Invasion

About 1886 Oghie Omiawa of Avhianwu introduced the system of each village giving 25 slaves to the Nupes every other year.

About 1888 the march against Osigbemhe of Aghiere (Weppa) by

Omiawa of Avhianwu called off as a result of the accidental death of an Uzairue mercenary.

About 1891 Oghie Omiawa of Avhianwu instigated a war between the Nupes and Aghiere (Weppa).

1897    January 4, the Benin Massacre.

1897    September 9, The British Force took Benin City.

1897    The Nupe withdrawal from Avhianwu.

1897    Yearly tribute to ‘Nupe stopped on British troop’s arrival.

1899    Royal Niger Company handed over the administration of Kukuruku to the British Government.

1900    Government School opened at Fugar.

1904   Native Court established at Fug ar.

1907   Osaki Ukaba – the witch killer liquor (prepared from sasswood) was taken in Avhianwu.

1907    Fugar Government Rest House built,

1908    January 14, Fugar Native Court House opened (having been built by Oghie Aduku “Gbagba’, the former Clan Head who was then in prison serving a jail term of 6 months for juju palaver).

1914   Government School removed from Fugar.

1914   Roman Catholic School opened at Fugar.

1914    Amalgamation of Northern and Southern Nigeria by Lord Frederick Laggard.

1914   The World War I begins.

1918                Kukuruku Division with its Headquarters at Fugar, created.

1918   Divisional headquarters removed from Ubiaja (Ishan) to Fugar.

1918   Administrative and Military headquarters removed from Iddo (Ukpilla) to Fugar.

1918    J.C. Walker, Esq.; First District Officer of Kukuruku Division died.

1918   The great epidemic of Influenza (Eghui Ochamhi).

1918   World War I ends.

1918    End of World War I was celebrated at Fugar by the whole of Kukuruku Division.

1919    Division of Kukuruku Division into 7 Districts.

1920    Headquarters of Kukuruku Division transferred from Fugar to Auchi under the then district Officer, C. M. Dunn, Esq.

1920    Direct Taxation introduced into Kukuruku Division.

1921    The Uniform Tax of 25k was first paid in Avhianwu.

1921    Fugar Youth Movement Association (FYMA) formed.

1925    D. H. Momoh of Auchi abolished Okhe title in Avhianwu came with a team of Mallams and destroyed all shrines and declared a general worship of Allah.

1926    Atsanughegbe.

1926    December 26, the priest of Atsanughegbe was convicted.

1927    Native Court removed from Fugar.

1930    Native Court re-established at Fugar.

1930    Yam beetles invaded Avhianwu.

1930    Roman Catholic School, Ogbona opened.

1930    Mass arrest of Christians in Avhianwu for disturbing the ruling authority (Alemoh was the Clan Head then).

1931    Warrant Chief System abolished in Avhianwu and the Ukpi System of Rule re-established.

1932   Clan system of Administration was introduced in Etsako (Clan N. A.s).

1933    Roman Catholic School, Ivhiraokhor opened.

1935    May 12, Fugar Youth Movement Association (FYMA) changed its name to Fugar Progressive Union (FPU).

1936    Abolition of the 7 Districts in Kukuruku Division and Clans were established in place of Districts.

1937    Native Clan Courts established in Kukuruku Division.

1938    Anglican School opened at Fugar.

1939    World War II (known in Etsako as Hitler War) begins.

1941     Aidelebe, the Village Head of Ivhiarua, was assassinated by Osiokhamhele of Iruru.

1941    Osiokhamhele who killed Aidelebe committed suicide by hanging.

1942    Postal Agency established at Fugar.

1945   World War II ends.

1945   Fugar Native Dispensary opened.

1945    The former Kukuruku Divisional N. A. (Native Authority) was divided into 3 N. A.s with Headquarters at Auchi for Etsako N. A.; Igarra for Akoko-Edo N. A.; and Afuze for Ivhiotsakon N. A.

1945    Great famine caused by the destruction of farm crops by yam beetles in Etsako.

1946    L. A. School, Ogbona opened.

1947    St. Theresa’s Catholic School House, Fugar built.

1947    May 26, Total Eclipse of the Sun in Nigeria.

1948    First water bore-hole at Fugar sited on Obe road.

1951    Second water bore-hole at Fugar sited at Ukwewo.

1951    First Regional Election.

1954    First Federal Election in which Chief J. M. Udochi won.

1954   First District Council Election in the then Western Region of Nigeria in which Chiefs J. O. Alao. E. A. Lamai and M. C. K. Orbih were elected into the Etsako District Council.

1954   Third water bore-hole at Fugar sited at Aki-Ugba.

1954   January 7, Oba of Benin, Akenzua II, then the President General of the Benin-Delta People’s Party (BDPP), visited Fugar.

1954   Free Primary Education introduced in the then Western Region of Nigeria by Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

1954    First Federal Election; First London Conference.

1955    Holy Rosary Girls’ Primary School opened at Fugar.

1955                Etsako District Council School opened at Fugar.

1955    St Patrick’s Catholic School (Now Ebidi Primary School) opened at Fugar.

1956    Kukuruku Division formally renamed Afenmai Division.

1956   Queen Elizabeth II visited Nigeria.

1959   Federal Election in which Chief M. C. K. Orbih won.

1959    October 10, Chief Obefemi Awolowo visited Fugar in a Helicopter.

1960    Fugar and Ogbona Maternity Centres opened.

1960   October 01, Nigeria gained her Independence from Britain.

1960   Chief J. M Udochi appointed first Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States of America.

1960    St. Andrew’s Anglican Modern School, Fugar, opened.

1961    St. Michael’s Catholic Modem School, Ogbona, opened.

1961      March 29, St. John’s Grammar School, Fugar opened.

1961    The Mennonite Church of God in Christ came to Fugar.

1962    First Enquiry was set up by the then Western Region Government into Avhianwu Chieftaincy affairs.

1962   Emergency in Western Nigeria.

1962    General Census rejected.

1963    October 1, Nigeria became a Republic.

1963    Midwest Plebiscite and the consequent creation of Midwestern Region of Nigeria.

1964    First Election to Midwest House of Assembly.

1964   Chief E. A. Lamai appointed into the Nigeria Senate (called Nigeria Upper House).

1964   Divisional Office Auchi re-opened.

1964   Caretaker Committee set up for Etsako District Council.

1964    Native Courts re-organized and called Customary Courts. Grade B Courts installed as Appeal Courts and one built at Auchi.

1966   January 15, First Military Coup in Nigeria

1966    Second Enquiry into Avhianwu Chieftaincy affairs (D. B. Partridge Commission of Enquiry).

1967    Invasion of Midwest by the secessionist forces of Biafra.

1967   Fugar pipe borne water opened.

1967    Catholic Church house Ivhiraokhor built

1968    Postal Agency Fugar opened.

1968    Fugar Roman Catholic Church House built.

1970    End of Nigeria Civil War.

1973    The Naira replaces the British Pound while the kobo replaces the penny.

1974    Auchi -Fugar-Agenegbode Road tarred.

1976    Local Government Areas (L.G. A.s) created.

1980    Fugar Girls’ Secondary School opened.

1980    Ogbona Community Secondary School opened.

1983    July 29, University of Benin Teaching Hospital Comprehensive Health Centre opened at Ogbona,

1985    September 2, an Ovhianwu, Commander Okhai Akhigbe, N.N., Sworn in as the Military Governor of Ondo State.

1986    August 26, Captain Okhai Akhigbe, N.N., Sworn in as the Military Governor of Lagos State.

1986    September 16, Fugar Electricity commissioned by the then Chief of General Staff, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe N.N.

1986    November 22, Nazareth Hospital Fugar commissioned by the Military Governor of Bendel State, Col. John Mark lnieger, fss, psc. (Nazareth Hospital is privately owned by Mr. Anthony Opitoke).

1989    April 21, Savannah Bank Ltd. Commissioned at Fugar by then Military Governor of Bendel State, Col. J. T. Ogbeha.

1996    December 6, Etsako Central Local Government Area, with its Headquarters at Fugar, created.

1998   August, Vice Admiral Okhai Akhigbe, N.N. sworn in as the Chief of General Staff and Vice Chairman Provisional Ruling Council, Federal Republic of Nigeria

1999    May 15, General Abdusalam Abubakar, General Hospital Fugar commissioned by the Head of State and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria, General Abubakar.

1999    May 29, an Ovhianwu, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe sworn in as the Deputy Governor of Edo State.


Colonial Administrative Officers before the after the Kukuruku Division was Created in 1918

1907    A. H. Dokowzow (Ag. D. C.)

1908    A. Profit (Ag. D. C.)

1911    P. J. Gamer (Ag. D. C.)

1913    W.E. Hunt (Ag. D.C.)

1915    C. Partridge (Ag. D. C.)

1916    E. Falk (Ag. D. C.)

1918    J. C. Walker (D. 0. Kukuruku Division)

1918 – 1920 M. Dunn (D. O., K. D.)

1920    R.C. Archer (D. 0. K. D.)

1921    Major Wan (D. 0. K. D.)

1924    B. M. Karkeek (D. O., K. D.)

1929    C. C. Cooke (D. O., K. D.)

1930    A. C. Cooper (D. O., K. D.)

1934    John Blair (Ag. D. O., K. D.)

1934    Captain J. W. Joel (D. O., K. D.)

1936    H. C. B. Denton (Ag. D. O., K. D.)

1939    A. V. Scallon (D. O., K. D.)

1940    J. J. Kerry (D. 0„ K. D.)

1941    H. Spoltiswoode (D. O., K D.)

1945    A. V. Scallon (D. 0. K. D.)

1947    J. D. Hamilton (D. O., K D.)

1948    J. A. Bey (Ag. D. 0. K. D.)

1949    J. D. Logan (Ag. D. O., K. D.)

1950    Captain Pullen (Ag. D. O., K D.)

1950    R. B. Kerr (Ag. D. O., K. D.)

1952    S. J. Honry (Ag. D. O., K D.)

1953    A. B. Ingledow (Ag. Divisional Adviser Afenmai Div.)

1954    G. K. Murro (Divisional Adviser, Afenmai Division)

1956    R. J. Wells (Ag. D. A., A. D.)

1957    A. B. Ingledow (Administrative Divisional Officer)

Administrative Officers (Nigerians) Afenmai Division Before and After Independence

1957    1959    A. A. Aiyegoro (Administrative Officer)

I960 –   1962    Avan. Nomayo (A. D. 0.)

1963-   1964    J. I. Edokpa (A. D. 0.)

1964-   1963    J. 1. Obumse (A.D. 0.)

1965 –              E. O. Obano (A. D. 0.)

1969 –  1970    M. 0. Ofobruku (A. D. 0.)

1970 –  1972    J. I. Osigwe (A. D. 0.)

1973-   1974    J. K. Olowojoba (A. D. 0.)


1974    1975    S. O. Aye-note

1975 –  1976    J. Y. Sule

1976                S. I. Ebomoyi

1976-   1977    J. A. Otutu

1977                R. A. Akoka


Governor-General of the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria

1954    – 1955       Sir John Macpherson, G.C.M.G.

1955    – 1960       Sir James Robertson, G.C.M.G., G.C.V.O., K.B.E.


Avhianwu Titles – By Aha Idokpesi Okhaishe N’ Avhianwu

The following are the various titles and groups of title-holders in Avhianwu:

Anwu: The earthly representative of Anwu: the Great Ancestral Father and Founder of Avhianwu. The Anwu is always the oldest man in Avhianwu. On his accession to the office of Anwu, the old man becomes the Chief Priest and the visible Head of Avhianwu – the big Family. Note that the Anwu must always be a person from any of the eligible kindreds in any of the older villages. The older villages are Ivhiarua and Ivhiunone.


Unone: The earthly representative of Unone: the Ancestral Father and Founder of Ivhiunone. The Unone is always the oldest man in Ivhiunone and he must come from any of the eligible kindreds. He is the Chief Priest and visible Head of Ivhiunone. An Unone can live to become the Anwu.


Iraokhor: The earthly representative of Iraokhor: the Ancestral Father and Founder of Ivhiraokhor. The Iraokhor is always the oldest man in Ivhiraokhor and he must come from any of the eligible kindreds. He is the Chief Priest and visible Head of Ivhiraokhor. The Iraokhor is not of the same rank as Unone or Arua in that he cannot live to become the Anwu.


Imhakhena: The earthly representative of Imhakhena: the Ancestral Father and Founder of Ivhimhakhena (Ogbona). The Imhakhena is always the oldest man in Ogbona and he must come from any of the eligible kindreds. He is the Chief Priest and visible Head of Ogbona. The Imhakhena is of the same rank as Iraokhor. He does not live to become the Anwu.


Okphe-Ukpi: A Traditional Ruler or Village Head. There is one in each of the four villages: Ivhiunone, Ivhiarua, Ivhiraokhor and Ogbona (Ivhimhakhena).


Oghie: The designation of a Traditional Ruler. The equivalent of Oba, Obong, Alafin, Emir, Obi or Amayanabo.


Okphe-Ukpi N’Okua: That is, the Senior Okphe-Ukpi who is usually referred to as the Oghie of Avhianwu. He rules all Avhianwu


Egboise: The third and penultimate rung of the royal ascendancy ladder in the Avhianwu Oghiedom. The Egboise becomes the Okphe-Ukpi designate at the death of an Okphe-Ukpi.


Ogboikpise: The second rung of the royal ascendancy ladder in the Avhianwu Oghiedom. He becomes the Egboise when the time comes to move up the royal ascendancy ladder.


Utokho-Ukpi Na-Evho: The first rung of the royal ascendancy ladder in the Avhianwu Oghiedom.

Utokho-Ukpi N’ Ape: The threshold or zero rung of the royal ascendancy ladder in the Avhianwu Oghiedom.


Iduevho-Egwa: The palace attendants or Kindreds Representatives. Every kindred is always represented by two or more Iduevho (sing. Oduevho) at the Egwa-Oghie (Oghies Palace or Court). Note that Oduevho is the appropriate vernacular word for the title of a palace attendant and not Daudu-a detestable word, which has its origin in Nupe/Hausa land.


Iduevho-Ese-Usomhomhi: Sub-kindreds’ Representatives. They are so called because they are entitled to the fish atop every pot of soup (ese-usomhomhi) that accompanies any wedding meal meant for their respective sub-kindreds.


Un’Otu/er’Otu: The father of an age-group


Inworighie: The Kingmakers. These are the descendants of Olue, the son of Adaeso (Adachi). They install both Okphe-Ukpi and Un’otu/Er’otu. They do not attain to these positions themselves.


Obho: The Ancestral Makers. These are the descendants of the ancestral father and founder of Ukpudege Sub-kindred in Ivhiocha, Ivhiunone. They install one Anwu, Unone, or Arua; and deliver the puberty (manhood) initiation code of conduct at initiations. They do not attain to the positions of Unone and Anwu.


Ikemanedio: Servants of Elders. These are the descendants of Adoko, the son of Arua and the ancestral father and founder of Ivhiadoko kindred in Ivhiarua. They apportion supplies among the Elders. For this reason they hold a permanent seat in the Patriarchal Council of State or Council of Elders (The Ukhue).


Oboh: A Titled Man (member of the Agbe or Okhei Cult). A medicine man is also addressed as Oboh.


Ikhagba/Igbudu: Undertakers. As death and human corpse each by itself, are enough to strike terror, fear and horror into the heart of mortals, anyone who presents himself at will when one dies must be regarded as high-hearted and daring. This is how the members of the burial crew earn the name Ikhagba (Fugar oriented) or Igbudu (Ogbona oriented). They are found in every kindred. They minister to the needs of the bereaved at funerals. As this was considered menial there were no volunteers from the titled group of the society at the very beginning. But when this enterprise became very lucrative with remuneration galore, the titled men turned against them and decreed that an Oboh (titled man) buries an Oboh; an Agbari (non-titled man) buries an Agbari.

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