The True Aborigine Of Ogugu


Ogugu  is one of the ancient Igala towns. It is located in Olamaboso Local Government Area of Kogi State. It shares  boundary with the likes of Benue State and Enugu State in the eastern part of Kogi State. Ogugu has an estimated  land Mars of about 70km2 with a population of over one hundred and ten (110,000) people (estimate).

Originally, Ogugu come into existence in the late sixteenth:- the tick forest of owls (Unyi-Ogugu) on the eastern land of Kogi State boundring the Benue and Eugun State to the east. Odu the first settler of Unyi-Ogugu land, migrated from Idah in the late sixteenth(16th) century and came to the eastern boarder land , where he found the tick forest with full of owls, and called the place Unyi-Ogugu meaning home of owls, and he settled in the forest with his family. In the forest of owls (Unyi-Ogugu) Odu found a big tree called (Odagidi) and made his hut under the big tree. The place is presently called Unyi-Emodu Ofadagidi, and the tree is still standing alive till today.

Odu and his children (Emodus) has lived in Ofodagidi at Unyi-Ogugu for years before the coming of his cousins Okwa-Obida and Omoka Odoko from Idah to join Odu and his family in the eastern border land called Unyi-Ogugu in the early seventeenth (17th ) century, Odu saw them and received them to the boarder land while they settled with Odu at the forest of owls, (Unyi-Ogugu), Odu later took them to a place in the forest and built a hurt for them to stay, Odu also made an Earth shrine called “Ane” in the forest and called the place Unyi-Ogugu Erogwu (meaning sacred place). Up till-date the place is known as Erogwu. At unyi-ogugu Erogwu there are some trees planted during the installation of the “Ane Shrine” by Odu. Those trees are still standing there till-date and never dies.

According to Ameh B.O.A (1973) Odu and Okwa who are the first settler in the land of owls (Unyi-Ogugu) instituted a shrine and constituted the rules that will guide the people of Ogugu land. Also the Onu-Ochagwu stool was instituted (created) by Odu Ogidiga at Unyi-0gugu Eroagwu. In the shrine was a mysterious masquerade called Agana Ochogwu created by Odu-Ogidiga at Unyi-Ogugu Ereogwu, the center of Ogugu traditional honor and cradle of Ogugu history. This agana Ochogwu was used to creates the stool of Onu-Ochogwu at the shrine.

While both of them stay at Unyi-Ogugu, going on with their faming and hunting activities in the land, some years later, some of Odu children (Emodu) migrated to Ofabo in Ofu local government area of Kogi State and amaka in Igalamela-Odolu local government area of Kogi State in searching for greener pasture, while some of Okwa and Omoka descendants migrated to the place presently called Ogugu center and other parts of Ogugu land.

Meanwhile, in order to confirm the aboriginality of Emodu in Ogugu land, Marshal M.A. Agbo in 2012 extracted the report of Ogugu Descendant Union (ODU) report as at 30th May, 2004 presided by the formal National President of the Union’s late Mr. Joseph Abdul Ibrahim. The committee’s report on page 12 of the report, has the following on Odu-Ogidiga.

  • That the Odu family, the direct descendant of Idoko came from Idah and settled atUnyi-Ogugu before the arrival of Okwa Obida.
  • That Odu came with the title of Ogidiga which is now their stool.
  • That only Odu family can ascend this Ogidiga throne.
  • That Okwa Obeda the descendant of the majority in Ogugu today, came to Unyi-Ogugu much later after his uncle Odu.

The above report has further confirmed the aboriginality of Odu-Idoko (Odu-Ogidiga) and his descendants, the Emodus in Ogugu land.

Therefore, Emodus as the children of the originator of Oggu culture and tradition or as the aborigines of Ogugu lands are bounded b the culture and traditions of Ogugu regardless of their various places of settlement today (See the culture and tradition of Ogugu people)

Emodu is a clan of Igala from the lineage of Attah Idoko (the 4th Attah of Igala kingdom). The word Emodu meaning Odu children: Odu-Ogidiga is the progenitor of Emodu people, Odu-Ogidiga is a chieftaincy title for anybody who occupies the scared seat of Odu (Emodu), while the salutation for Odu is “Ogidiga”. As in Megwo Odu! Ogidiga!!!. This title was given to him by his father Attah Idoko. Emodu have their ancestral home in Emodu Ogugu (Unyi-Emodu Ofadagidi) in  Olamaboro local government area, Ofabo in Ofu local government area and Amaka in Igala/Mela Odu-Olu local government area all in Kogi State of Nigeria. The palace of Odu-Ogidiga is located in Emodu Unyi-Ogugu which is the first ancestral home of Emodus while Odu-Ogidiga is being represented by his chief Ukpodi of Odu in all other settlement of Emodu people.

Today, Emodu as a people, claim and family have grown over the years occupying different places like, Emodu-Ogugu, Emodu-Ofabo, Okpodu and are found (Settlers) all over Nigeria and the world.

Written by Abah John Ikoojo (Johniko)

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