Chiefs play an important role in our traditional administrative system. Playing very vital roles in the peace and development of the communities where they preside, Influencing subjects at the grassroots positively. This segment is dedicated to bringing to you; the way traditional rulers and their chiefs help create positive change in the well being of their subjects and the community. It is to help our viewer appreciate more, the value of chiefs.
The title of the Odogwu is an integral part of the traditional administrative system. In times past, it has to do with the protection of the women and children from aggression, especially when going to farms and markets. Along with the other chiefs, namely: “The Odogwu is the chief of the warlords” he says “ It was the responsibility of the Odogwu to take charge of the security of the women and children. “ he continues “ the warlords are the Odogwu, Iyase, Uwolor and the Iwangue. Each with its “otu” (meaning group) to carry out its function.” However, with time, and modernization, the reduction in inter clan clashes has reduced the t need for such protection, he still believes there is still a lot they perform today. Chief Peter Dunkwu, is the present Odogwu of Obodogba, Okpanam, and this is his story. View the full interview here. It contains his history, early years, experience and views on the growth of our traditional system
One of the Ile-Ife heroines is Queen Moremi Ajasoro, who did not allow the kingdom to have become history. She was a princess who hailed from Offa, but was married to the Ooni of Ile-Ife, King Oranmiyan. She had only one child, a young boy barely in his teens, named Oluorogbo. Moremi was not only a very beautiful young woman, she was also very brave and a true patriot. Ile-ife was at war with adjoining tribe who were known to them as the Forest people or "Igbo", and her citizens were enslaved by them. They were feared to be spirits due to their war appearance. (The exact origin of the Forest Igbo people is still being debated. Some some say it is Ugbo in Ondo state, but scholars also believe the have no relation with the Igbos in eastern Nigeria) To defeat the enemies, she consulted the oracle and was told to seek help from a river goddess who lived in the nearby river Esimirin. She entreated the goddess on her knees after making a ritual obeisance, to give her the means to save her people from their enemies, the fearsome Igbos. She promised the river goddess that she would give the deity anything she asked for as long as she could accomplish her aim, defeat the enemies of her people, and restore the honor and dignity of great Ife. She resolved that she would use all means in her power to help her country rid itself of the menace of the Igbos or forest people. She is said to have been taken as a slave by the Igbo and, due to her beauty, married their ruler as his anointed queen. After familiarizing herself with the secrets of her new husband's army, she escaped to Ile-Ife and revealed this to the Yorubas who were able to subsequently defeat them in battle In her time in captivity, she learnt that the Igbos were indeed human, not spirits of the underworld. Their fearsome appearance was due to their masks and skirts of raffia. Her stratagem was to have the Ife citizens, armed with fire torches, set fire to the grass skirts of the Igbo marauders. Her plan worked. After the battle, during which the Igbo army was completely routed, she returned to the river Esimirin to give thanks and to offer a sacrifice to the goddess in honour of her promise. In order to fulfill the pledge she made to Esimirin before embarking on her mission, her son Olurogbo was given in sacrifice to the Spirit because this is what it asked her for when she returned to its shrine. Painful as it was, she had to fulfill her pledge. The people of Ile-ife pledged to be her sons and daughters to support her painful sacrifice for their freedom. To immortalize Moremi for her great deed, the Edi festival is held yearly to celebrate her and her sacrifice for the people. Many monuments and building renamed after her. Her statue also has the symbolic torch with which the Igbos were defeated.
The title of Akpara of Agbor Kindom is a hereditary title, and is one of the important titles of the Kingdom. As a young boy, the important role of a Chief was conferred on him. This was while his contemporaries were barely independent, The opportunity to lead, has brought a maturity in him and a huge sense of responsibility. “It is not an easy task being a chief at this young age” he says, “but, it has been a truly rewarding experience. Chief Louis Usifo, shared with us, some important roles he plays in assisting the Dein of Agbor Kingdom.