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By JEROME MICHAEL EBRUPHIYO/Basis/Wednesday, July 28, 2021

The History and Origin of Aladja Kingdom

                              
                            

The History and Origin of Aladja Kingdom
Hi there! Today we are going to discuss about Aladja Kingdom with emphacies on origin and history of the kingdom. Aladja is a coastal town in Delta State, Nigeria. It is located on the bank of southern part of River Warri. Until recently, a section of the town was predominately occupied by people of Ijaw ethnic group who eventually migrated because of the bloody land disputes that existed between Urhobos and Ijaws in the 1990s. The Delta Steel Company (DSC), an integrated steel manufacturing industry is situated on hectares of land provided by both Ovwian and Aladja communities but the steel plant is currently redundant as a result of mismanagement. However, the federal government of Nigeria, is making concerted effort to privatize the plant. It was recently linked with a modern rail line from northern part of the country to ease the transport of raw materials (Iron ore) and finished products (steel) between the plant and other parts of the country. Aladja, as a coastal community, it has been a haven of commerce between the coastal people and hinterland since ancient times. The act of trade by barter is still being practiced in the popular Aladja Market till this day. Aladja has served for many decades as the route to old Warri mainland via its famous 'Aladja Waterside' until the construction of the Udu Bridge in 1975 as an alternative route to Warri and its environs. This article will provide the history and origin of Aladja kingdom, their traditional beliefs, as well as their occupation.

Traditional Beliefs of Aladja People

The tradition of the Aladja people is the belief of the people and this has led to the strong beleif on their ancestors, deities, goddess, magic, divinities, native medicine and the existence of witchcraft(s). They believed in the supernatural happenings in their environment with vital interpretation with the gods of the land through their chief priest(s) who is an intermediary between the people and the gods. The elementary forms of the religious life is a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things that is to say things set aside and forbidden. However, the role of belief system in Aladja is to provide an organisational unit which makes Aladja people to define their identity as well as their environment and relate to more consciously, confidently and orderly to the super natural being. The “igbe” worshippers use this method to appease their gods during their festivals. In Udu organisation of believers who are necessary to maintain common beliefs, rituals, traditions etc. Which involve prayers, sacrifices and worship exercise and are transmitted from generation to generation, yet not every individual is traditionally religious in Udu kingdom.

Occupation of Aladja People

The Aladja people are farmers, traders, hunters and fisher men and travellers who are always out in search of economic activities that will make them grow. Other tribe and even among the Urhobo people recognise their economic trade and struggle to make ends meet hence they are called the “Urhobo-igbo” due to their zeal in trading activities, they engage in both short and long distance trade with their neighbouring communities, thereby maintaining a long distance relationship with their neighbours, they trade with the Ijaws and Itsekiris and even intermarry themselves, they also have access of trade with each other and with the European in spite of their economic activities i.e. palm oil trade.
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