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

The Origin and History of Warri Kingdom

                              
                            

The Origin and History of Warri Kingdom
The city of Warri is an oil hub in South-South Nigeria and houses an annex of the Delta State Government House. It served as the colonial capital of the then Warri Province. It shares boundaries with Sapele, Okpe, Ughelli/Agbarho, Udu and Uvwie although most of these places, notably Uvwie, Okpe, and Udu have been integrated into the larger metropolitan area of Warri. Osubi houses an airport that serves the city. Effurun serves as the gateway to and the economic nerve of the city. The name Warri province was once applicable to the part of an area now called Delta State under the Colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria. Its boundary in the Northeast was Sapele/Udu creek near Ughelli and Aboh, with Forçados River in the Southeast and Jameson Creek in the Southwest which later changed to Delta Province. Warri city is one of the major hubs of petroleum activities and businesses in southern Nigeria. It is a commercial capital city of Delta State, with a population of over 311,970 people according to the national population census figures for 2006. The city is one of cosmopolitan cities in southern Nigeria originally inhabited and occupied by the Urhobo and Ijaw people. Its inhabitants are predominantly Christian of different denominations, and some practice a mixture of African traditional religions like most of Southern Nigeria. The city is known nationwide for its unique Pidgin English. This article will provide the origin and history of Warri kingdom, ethnic groups, sport activities, tourism, transport system, security, religious beliefs, manufacture and raw materials, educational level in Warri kingdom and lots more.

1. A Brief History and Origin of Warri Kingdom

Warri was once a provincial capital to British rule. The Lagos and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria were formally united as Colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria on 28 February 1906 and Walter Egerton was appointed as the Governor of new Colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria, holding office until 1912. In this new region called Southern Nigeria, the old Lagos Colony became the Western Province, and the former Southern Nigerian Protectorate was split into a Central Province with capital at Warri and an Eastern Province with capital at Calabar. Warri sits on the bank of River Warri which joined River Forcados and River Escravos through Jones Creek in the lower Niger Delta Region. The city has a modern seaport which serves as the cargo transit point between the Niger River and the Atlantic Ocean for import and export. The city's history dates back to the 15th century when it was visited by Portuguese missionaries. Subsequently, it served as the base for Portuguese and Dutch slave traders. Warri became a more important port city during the late 19th century, when it became a centre for the palm oil trade and other major items such as rubber, palm products, cocoa, groundnuts, hides, and skins. Warri was then established as a provincial headquarters by the British in the early 20th century. There have been a tremendous growth in the population; it has grown from being a rural area to an urban area.

2. Ethnic Groups in Warri Kingdom

Warri is regarded as a modern metropolitan area with expanded infrastructural development in other local government areas such as Uvwie, Udu, and Okpe in recent years, with various road networks linking these places into one. Each of these areas has its own administrative structure. The major people in Warri city are the Urhobo, Itsekiri and Ijaw. However, due to its urban status, there is a large influx of people from all over the country, most notably the Igbos, Yorubas and the Hausas. The major languages spoken in Warri is pidgin, english and Urhobo language.

3. Climatic conditions in Warri Kingdom

The region experiences moderate rainfall and moderate humidity for the most part of the year. The climate is monsoonal and is marked by two distinct seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. The dry season lasts from about November to April and is significantly marked by the cool "harmattan" dusty haze from the north-east winds. The rainy season spans May to October with a brief dry spell in August, but it frequently rains even in the dry season. The area is characterized by a tropical monsoon climate with a mean annual temperature of 32.8 °C (91.0 °F) and an annual rainfall amount of 2,770 mm (109 in). There are high temperatures of 28 °C (82 °F) and 32 °C (90 °F). The surrounding region is predominantly rainforest, tending to swamplands in some areas. The vegetation is rich in timber trees, palm trees, as well as fruit trees.

4. Economy and infrastructures found in Warri Kingdom

There is the Warri Refinery and Petrochemicals located at Ekpan, with the majority of international and local oil companies operating in Nigeria having their operational offices close by. One of the nation's major seaports is sited within Ugbuwangue, Warri. The Delta Steel Company is located at Aladja and Otorogu Gas Plants at Otu-jeremi, near Warri. Due to conflict in the late 90s, especially in 1999, most oil companies fled the town and nearby regions.

5. Security Status of Warri Kingdom

Warri is garrisoned by the Amphibious Infantry battalion (Effurun Army Base) located in Effurun, a twin to Warri and is administratively under the Brigade HQ in Port Harcourt. The Nigerian Navy operates from its facilities in Warri. The 61 Nigerian Air force Detachment also operates from its facilities in Jeddo, close to Warri.

6. Sports Activities in Warri Kingdom

Warri has an international stadium with a capacity of 30,000 which is the home of Warri Wolves football club which has hosted two editions of the African Women Football Championship in 2002 and 2006 respectively and was in contention as one of the venues to be used for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Nigeria in 2009. The stadium was used to host the African Youth Athletics Championship (AYAC) in 2013. Warri Wolves, a professional football team based in Warri plays in the Nigeria National League. Their prominent former players include Best Ogedegbe, Wilson Oruma, Efe Ambrose, Victor Ikpeba and Ekigho Ehiosun.

7. Manufacturing and raw materials Found in Warri Kingdom

The economic base of the city lies in the presence of a refinery and other oil and gas companies. Also, there is the steel company, Delta Steel Company, which is located in Ovwian–Aladja area of Udu. The Beta Glass Plant is located nearby, outside the town of Ughelli, where the land is rich in silica and silicates, raw materials required for the manufacture of glass, ceramics and cement. The Transcorp Power Distribution, one of Nigeria's power generating stations, is also located at Ughelli, which is just 15 minutes away by car.

8. Transport System In Warri Kingdom

  • Rail: In 1991, construction started on a standard gauge railway from the steel mills at Ajaokuta to the port of Warri, about 275 km away. By 2006, the standard gauge lines had reached 329 km in length, but the final 27 km Warri section is still incomplete. In 2010, work recommenced to complete that final section to Warri. The rail line was officially inaugurated in September 2020
  • Road: Major road networks within Warri Metropolis has been improved upon by the state government to improve the image of the city. Transportation within the city is mainly by bus and tricycle. The federal government has completed the Warri-Benin Road road expansion project and major parts of the East-West Road Project which will connect Warri-Uyo
  • Air: Transport by air into the city is through Osubi Airstrip (also known as Warri Airport) which is located in Osubi, a nearby town. There's also the presence of a smaller airstrip located at Ugborikoko, which served as the only airport until a bigger airport was built at Osubi. Arik Air and Aero Contractors are some of the main airlines operating commercial flights on this route while major oil companies like Shell and Chevron use the airport for transportation of their staff to offshore locations
  • Sea: Movement of goods by sea is through the Nigerian Ports Authority (Delta Ports) at which is mainly for export and import of goods by major companies. Also located on the main Warri riverside are markets and jetties used by local traders, which act as a transit point for local transport and trade. There are local boats that are used for moving from one location to another
  • 9. Educational institutions in Warri Kingdom

    There are numerous institutions of higher learning sited within the Warri Metropolis and they include:
  • Federal University of Petroleum Resource Effurun (FUPRE)
  • Petroleum Training Institute (PTI) at Effurun
  • College of Education at Edjeba, Warri
  • The Delta State Nursing School, Ogunu, Warri
  • Eagle Heights University, Omadino, Warri
  • Nigeria Maritime University Okerenkoko, Warri
  • Primary schools in Warri are:
  • Ogiame Primary School, Warri
  • Ikengbuwa Primary School, Warri
  • Cavagina Primary School, Warri
  • Twin Fountain Group of Schools
  • HillTop
  • International Unity School (IUS)
  • NNPC Staff Primary School
  • SNAPS
  • Alderstown School for the Deaf
  • Kids Compute Academy and many others
  • Secondary schools are also in numbers in the city of Warri. Some of these include:
  • Yonwuren Secondary School, Warri
  • College of Education Demonstration Secondary School, Warri
  • Twin Fountain Group of Schools
  • Cambridge International School
  • Delta Careers College
  • Federal Government College
  • Hussey College, Warri
  • Nana College, Warri
  • Dom Domingos College, Warri
  • Delta Secondary School, Warri
  • Dore Numa College, Warri
  • Essi College, Warri
  • Uwangue College, Warri
  • Urhobo College, Effurun
  • Classical International Schools
  • Ugborikoko Secondary School
  • Army Day Secondary School, Effurun
  • College of Commerce Warri
  • DSC Technical High School, Ovwian-Aladja
  • Our Lady's High School, Effurun
  • Mega Stars Christian School, Udu
  • Eagles Height School, Ajamhimogha
  • 10. Tourism in Warri Kingdom

    There are various tourist sites to visit while in Warri and they include:
  • Nana Living History Museum
  • Red Mangrove swamp
  • Falcorp Mangrove Park / Mini Zoo, Ijala, Behind Warri Refinery
  • Warri Township Stadium
  • Delta Shopping Mall (Shoprite)
  • Gemstone ultramart
  • Shell club, Ogunu
  • 11. Religious Beliefs in Warri Kingdom

    Although the predominant religion in Warri 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 in Warri. A critical appraisal of the belief system of the average Warri indigene will reveal a combination of both Christian and pagan learnings.
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