The History Of Issele-Uku

As chronicled by Prince Chris Afumata Akeh- Osu in The History of Great Isi-Ile-Uku (Issele-Uku) Kingdom. 17.07.2021

Isi-Ile-Uku, “Issele-Uku” Kingdom was founded by the Binis in about 1230 AD by Oba Eweka 1 of Benin Empire and first Ogie of the kingdom was Prince Uwadiaie who was the second son of Oba Eweka 1.

The original name of the new kingdom carved out of Benin Empire “Isi-Ile-Uku” signifies relationship with the Benis and Oba of Benin-City ‘Uku akpolokpolo Omonoba n’edo’.

When Oba Eweka 1 created the new Benin outpost of Isi-Ile-Uku now pronounced Issele-Uku, his main objectives was to check and stop the influx of the movement of people from East of the River Niger, and people from Igala land into the Edo land West of the River Niger, for farming and fishing operations.

Also to use Isi-Ile-Uku, the new outpost and kingdom, as a defensive outpost to the Benin Empire and moreover for expansion purposes. Prince Uwadiaie, the second son of Oba Eweka 1, was crowned Ogie ‘King’ by his father Oba Eweka1 of Benin Empire about 1230 A.D. and sent to rule the Bini new kingdom of ISI-ILE-UKU in company of a group of Binis, worriors, administrators, chiefs and other princes of the royal family of Benin from Ogbe, Ehaekpen, Idumu Inaleibiwe, idumu Igun, Idumu Iken, Idumu Isama and Idumu Ugboka.

Members of the royal family of Benin were settled at Ehaekpen of Issele-Uku. These Bini quarters – Ogbe and Idumu are now called Isheakpe, Ogbidibo, Idumu-Inele Ebigwe, Idumu Uzu, Idumu Ikem, Idumu Ozoma, Idumu Onishe, Idumu Ihama, Idumu Isama and Idumu Edemoka “Umu edomoka” at Ogboli. The present language of the people of Issele-Uku has changed slightly the original pronounciations.

The Oba of Benin in the days of old had real suzerainty over the kingdom of ISI-ILE-UKU. The new kingdom of ISI-ILE-UKU was gladly hailed in Benin then as an Eastern extension of Benin empire. In fact, the kings of ISI-ILE-UKU have paraphernalia and relics of kingly office as the Oba of Benin and performs the same yearly festival – Ugie ro ‘Oba – “Uje ine Aho Obi” at Issele-Uku.

The kings of ISI-ILE-UKU “ISSELE-UKU” are the true representatives of the Oba of Benin in the area lying to the West of the River Niger and as such the Obi “king” of Issele-Uku has a position of authority as the oba’s authentic representative in the Eastern extremeties of the great Benin Empire.

The custom and tradition of Benin is the same at Issele-Uku and the influence of Bini language can be noticed or traced in the Ika-Ibo language of the people of ISI-ILE-UKU “ISSELE-UKU”.

The Oba of Benin continues to crown the Obis of Issele-Uku until presently when he sends Chiefs to officiate for him on the crowning of any new Obi “king” of ISI-ILE-UKU “ISSELE-UKU”.

Although the Ika-Ibo Language predominates at Issele-Uku nowadays and it was due mainly to the fact that there were more interactions with the later Ibo founded towns around Issele-Uku than Benin-City which is situated a long distance away.

Note that the people of ISI-ILE-UKU are not Igbos, there are Benins.

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