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

The Origin and History of Ughelli Kingdom

                              
                            

The Origin and History of Ughelli Kingdom
The Kingdom of Ughelli is a town in Delta State Southern Nigeria and one of the 24 kingdoms that make up the Urhobo nation. It also serves as the headquarters of Ughelli North local government area of Delta State Southern Nigeria. Ughelli's Latitude and longitude coordinates are: 5.500187, 5.993834 and it is a city in southern Nigeria, located about 30 miles east of the city of Warri. The city is indigenous to the Urhobo ethnic nationals, but there is a mixture of several other tribes from the country, such as the Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, Ijaw, Itsekiri and Edos. It is an industrial and agricultural spot of Delta State. This article will provide the origin and history of Ughelli Kingdom, the type of monarchy practiced, the occupation and the religious beliefs of the Ughelli people.

1. Origin Of Ughelli Kingdom

Ughelli oral tradition has it that the great ancestor and founding father of Ughelli (Ughene) is the second son of Oghwoghwa, a Prince from Benin Kingdom. As history has it, Oghwoghwa in search of his own kingdom first settlement was at Tarakiri and later left for Oviri Ogor (current site of Ogor Techinal College). Due to inter-family crisis, Ughelli left Oviri Ogor and founded Ovwodoawanre (Old Settlement) before the present settlement headquartered at Otovwodo. The first king (Ovie) of Ughelli Kingdom was HRM Awhaide. Ughelli is one of the largest communities in Urhobo land, both in terms of size and population. The town has several schools owned by a government and private individuals, a general hospital, local government secretariat, good motorable roads. The community is a notable link between Delta North and Delta South. The community is rich is crude oil and gas which is evident in the presence of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC). Ughelli kingdom is said to have seven major clans namely; Ughelli, Orogun, Agbarha, Agbarho, Uwheru, Evwreni and Ogor each with a traditional ruler.

2. Type Monarchy Practiced in Ughelli Kingdom

Ughelli is in a central location in Delta state and a major town for the Urhobo tribe. The city of Ughelli is ruled by a Traditional Ruler which is known as OVIE, and is passed from father to son. The current monarch is HRM Oharisi III.

3. Occupation Of Ughelli People

The main occupational activities of Ughelli people are Trading, Business ventures and large-scale food and cash crop farming. Ughelli and it’s environs have a wide variety of wildlife and fisheries due to its various rivers, lakes and its proximity to the River Niger and the Atlantic Ocean. Some of the major staple and cash food crops produce in large scales in Ughelli are cassava, varieties of yams, palm oils, mangoes, oranges, plantains, bananas, guavas, etc. Ughelli is a fast developing Kingdom with increasing commercial activities, exporting locally produced cash crops to nearby larger cities such as Warri, Sapele, Benin City, Asaba, Port Harcourt, and as far as Lagos and Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria. On market days, the beautiful women and men of Ughelli Kingdom sell different wares in the city's various markets. Cassava is one of the major staple foods consumed, followed by rice and beans with stewed beef, or varied fishes with fried plantains.

4. Religious beliefs Of Ughelli Kingdom

Although the predominant religion in Ughelli is Christianity, many natives still practice African traditional religion, which has been practiced for thousands of years before the arrival of the Europeans to Africa. This is evident in the several ancestral shrines that can still be seen at different parts of Ughelli. A critical appraisal of the belief system of the average Ughelli indigene will reveal a combination of both Christian and pagan learnings.
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