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Detailed Overview of History and Origin of Uzere Kingdom

Nuelson Penuel Saturday, March 11, 2023 Basis

 

History of Uzere Kingdom

There has been a dispute over the history and origin of Uzere as most people believed that Uzere people originated from Benin Kingdom while some declined that fact. In order to prove the fact that Uzere originated from Benin, some historians posited that Uzere migrated from Benin in the year 1393 under the leadership of a man called Uzei that later became Uzere during the reign of a Benin Monarch named Oba Ehengbuda. Uzei had three (3) surviving sons namely; Uheri, Ezede and Uweye. It was recorded that the first place of settlement after migrating from Benin was Isele-Uku, after which they migrated to River Niger bank at Asaba then to Eboh in Ndokwa where they built their own settlement and called it Eruke. One man from Eruke named Okugbo had the mind of becoming a ruler over the Uzei people and therefore travelled back to Benin to meet the present Oba for purchase of Kingship rights. However, the Benin Oba sent him back instructing him to go and buy his Kingship rights from Eboh King. Okugbo being a man with ambition of Kingship really went back to meet the Eboh King who gave him the Kingship rights and crowned Okugbo King over his people in the year 1453.

The Massacred of Uzei People

Later on, the King of Uzei people i.e King Okugbo was invited by Eboh King and he accepted the invitation and journeys to Eboh land. Unfortunately, the visitation didn't went well as he was accused of commiting atrocious crime in Eboh land was killed by Eboh people. This ugly event caused war between Eboh and Uzei people. Meanwhile, Uzei people have a deity that they worshipped and they sought help from the deity. The deity then gave them instruction that they should buried themselves in order to ambush Eboh people when they invade. But, the Uzei people misinterpreted the instruction and buried themselves without preparing for war and some of them were massacred by Eboh people while some of the surviving ones fled to another settlement for safety and changed the name Uzei to Uzere and others fled to Odi, presently Bayelsa State.

Communities in Uzere

Uzere has nine communities: Uhei, Ezede, Uweye, Afikioko (London Base), Uhroko (Paris), Ekregbesi, Abale, Iwre-Ezede, and Iboro.

Why Uzere is Among Largest Oil Producing Communities in Nigeria

This community is among the largest petroleum oil producing communities in Nigeria. In the year 1957 when oil exploration started at Uzere, it was discovered that Uzere has two oil fields categorized as Uzere West and Uzere East totaling to 43 oil wells producing about 53,000 barrels per day (8,400 m3/d).

Geographical Location of Uzere

Uzere is located in Isoko South Local Government Area, Delta State of Nigeria. It lies within the tropical rainforest belt with luxuriant vegetation. The community is situated at longitude 6°E and latitude 5°N.

Uzere Climate Weather Conditions

It has tropical wet and dry climate and relatively constant temperatures throughout the course of the year.

Uzere Neighbouring Villages

Uzere neighbouring villages include Irri, Aviara, Olomoro, Emede, Erohwa, Igbide, Umeh, and Enhwe. Uzere has roads network that linked most of the major towns in Isoko South LGA of Delta State. Uzere serves as major business center of Isoko through which all the neighboring towns and villages trade their farm products to potential buyers. Also, Uzere has attracted several oil producing companies like AGIP, SPDC e.t.c due to their oil producing wells and also being rich in crude oil.

Culture and Custom of Uzere People

The most celebrated festival in the history of Uzere community is the "Eni" festival. During Eni festive period, people from different walks of life come to Uzere to attend the celebration. The festival is also filled with so much merriment and fun as different kind of delicious meal will be cooked and serve to the attendants. This festival is also honored by great musicians from Uzere and other neighboring villages to play music and dance till dawn. Other festive periods in Uzere are the New Year Eve Party usually hosted by Arube Dance Band of Uzere at the Old Market Square and the annual Uzere Students’ Reunion and Pageant.

Uzere People Worships and Beliefs

Far back to olden days, the people worshipped Eni which was regarded as their god. But presently, Christianity has circulated in Uzere land hence making them to have different worshipers in the sense that some believed in the only Supreme God (Oghene) while others on idols (gods). However, even the ones that believed on idols also know that there's only one true God but still worship idols due to lack of faith and diabolical activities.

Language of Uzere People

The mother tongue of Uzere people is the Isoko language. Isoko language is the most common language used for communication in Uzere community during business transactions, traditional meetings, information disclosure e.t.c However, there is another language used by the youths and educated people in the community and also when trading with strangers which is known as the English language.

Occupation of Uzere People

The major occupation of Uzere people involved fishing, farming and trading. Some of the farm products that are mostly produced and trade in Uzere community are groundnut and tapioca (made from cassava).

Uzere People Common Foods

The most common foods regularly consumed by this community people are starch (ozi), fufu (egu) and garri in combination with soup and yam (ole) in combination with oil or soup.

Uzere People Shelter

In the ancient days, the community people built their houses with mud and thatched roof.

Education Status in the Community

Uzere has numerous public and private schools such as Elite Academy, Uzere Grammar School, St. Paul's Schools, Uzere Primary School, Eni Primary School and Ogrih Primary School.

Health

Uzere has a cottage hospital built and equipped by the Shell Petroleum Development Company and health centers.

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