Umueri Ovuakwu (Okebo City)
|• King||Eze (His Royal Highness) Late Nelson U. Okoye (Igwe Okebo 1 of Umuleri). |
Igwe(His Royal Majesty) HRM Igwe Sir Benneth Izuchukwu Emeka JP (Oke-ebo II of Umueri)
|• Religion||Christianity Odinani|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (WAT)|
Umueri, also known and pronounced as Umuleri, is an ancient town in the Anambra State of Southeastern Nigeria. The people of Umueri belong to the Igbo ethnic group, and the town has an estimated population of 1,500,000.It is located within the Anambra Valley, bordered by the Anambra River (Omabala River) and Anam communities in the north, Nteje to the south, Aguleri and Nando in the east and Nsugbe in the western flank. The forebears are widely acknowledged as the settlers in Omambala valley.
BRIEF HISTORY OF UMUERI
The following claim is true and has not been debunked: The genealogy of Umueri is from two Hebrew origins; the Eri Clan of Gad's tribe and the Levi tribe [See Genesis 46-16 and 46-11].
Umueri ancestral father Dabaw, a Jewish name or Dabawu as pronounce in Igbo land is from the Levi tribe.
According to biblical records; GOD said the Levi tribe will not have a place of their own - because he has chosen them as his first born. He shared them into the remaining eleven tribes as priests, only the things offered in the sanctuary like offerings and other sacrifices of GOD are their inheritance for they have the privilege of been his (God's) priests and Levites.
It was Dabaw a priest from the Levi tribe assigned to Eri clan of Gad’s tribe that was the leader when the Midianites, Amalekites, and Desert tribes [judges 6-down] constantly raided the Children of Israelites before the reign of Gideon, the son of Joash from the clan of Abizer of Manasseh tribe about 721/900BC; before they left their habitation and moved towards the Mediterranean Sea to Egypt, to Ethiopia, and to eastern Sudan and lived in different places before they got to this part of the world and settled in a place they named after where they left from in Israelite called Umueri,( meaning the Children of Eri.)
No doubt, UmuEri in Anambra river valley is the first habitation of the Igbo’s. It is important to note also, that this linage of dabaw (the priest and his Levites) are the only one that cleans taboo [ikpu alu] when abominations are committed in Igbo land..
Traditionally, Umueri is broadly divided into 3 clans: Ezi, Ikenga, Ivite. The clans are further divided into villages and sub-villages. But with advent of colonialism and modernization, the town has consciously grown and governed just like other Igbo Communities . The three traditional clans of Umueri are written down below with their corresponding Villages:
The pre-colonial Umueri government was a republican but with influence of Bini Kingdom in Umueri land, it changes to Monarchical in nature in which the Eze resided in Ivite. The Prime Minister (Onowu) & Ajie in Ikenga and Ezi respectively. Modern administration since colonization relegated this system and enthroned the Igwe Dynasty which is prevalent Institution till date.
The Igwe dynasty has come to stay including but not limited to the performance of basic traditional rites. The Ofala festival is traditionally performed by one who holds the title of Oke-ebo, the traditional ruler. The New Yam festival is performed by the Onowu, Ajie and ``Igwe Oke-ebo``
Below is the Structure of Present Umueri Administration:
Prior to the coming of Europeans, Umueri people practiced traditional religion with the worship of various deities. However, they had since embraced Christianity about a century ago. Today, there are more than 85% Christians in the town. The major Christian faiths are the Catholic and Anglican denominations.
Some other churches, especially of the Pentecostal faith, have emerged in Umueri in the past fifty years. The town is also referred to as a pinnacle of Anglican evangelism as it has one of the oldest churches east of the Niger. Churches that are bound in the town include and not limited to the following: St Immanuel Anglican Church (founded 1904), St Gabriel Anglican Church (1912), Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church (1975), St Marks Catholic Church Nneyi etc.
Most of the public basic infrastructure in the town is built by the community. The community-built infrastructures are as follow: Umueri township stadium, Umuer First Bank Plc, Umueri Police institute of finance and administration, Umueri Inec Office, Umueri General Hospital, Umueri Town Hall, Recreation Club House, Umueri Girls High School, Ugume Umueri, Umueri High School, Obinetiti (formerly Umueri Technical College), Community Secondary School, Umuatuolu, Umueri Development School, Nneyi, Umueri Postal Agency, Umueri Community Bank, Afiama Market, Eke Market, Nkwo Nneyi Market, etc.
The few infrastructure owned by government includes the following: Umueri Nomadi School at Umudiana-Umueri, Umueri Head Bridge, Umueri Civic Center, Umueri Library and Skill Acquisition Center, Umueri International Airport etc.
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