Historical development of Abavo kingdom

Historical background

Abavo is founded by Awu, a Bini prince, about twelve century ago, is an emerging urban town some kilometres from Agbor, along the Agbor-Warri road. It has a common boundary with Owa to the North East, Urhonegbe and Edo town, to the South West, Agbor to the North West and the Kwales to the South East. It has a population of about a million people and is the second largest town next to Agbor, in Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State.

The Abavo Kingdom is very ancient and in fact dates back to the 12th century AD. To the present day, the Abavo Kingdom has had a total of eighteen dynasties, from Avbavbo-Awu the founder to present Obi, HRM King Uche Irenuma 11. The comprehensive list is as follows.

(1) Avbavbo-Awu (12th century) AD, (2) Obi, (3) Akpon, (4) Owu, (5) Iyi-Uku, (6) Izeobo, (7) Ihaifun, (8) Arighon, (9) Onichabor, (10) Iduh, (11) Ijebor, (12) Idabor, (13) Ocheri, (14) Osaigbobu, (15) Jegbefume 1, (16) Ekhator Jegbefume 11, (17) Irenuma Ekhator Ocheri 11, (18) HRM King Uche Irenuma 11. OHEIFUN UKU (Obi of Abavo Kingdom) 1998 to date.

Awu and his wife Ogbeorie trekked some 75 kilometres South East of Benin to a safe virgin land and settled in a particular area (the present Abavo nature and history forest beside the Obi’s palace) completely protected by Iroko trees. The fear of persecution, after falling out with the Bini Monarch drove him this far.

Awu found a safe place, a haven of some sort. He found his own domain, prospered and had four sons. (1) Ogbe-Obi (his first son) (2) Igbogili, (3) Azuowa, (4) Udomi. His children were named after towns in Abavo, Obi-ayima a boundary town was officially annexed in the year 1910 AD, when Obi Osaigbobu sent his son Ayima with his staff of office to administer the place.

Location and demography

Abavo Kingdom is situated on longitude 6.18° E and Latitude 6.12°N surrounding communities to Abavo are Obiaruku, Oghara, Mosogar, Idjerhe and Amai. Abavo is located in Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State with a population of 7,000.

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As a community located in the Niger Delta, it experiences two major seasons which the rainy season and the dry season. The rainy season commence in April and last till early October while in the rest of the year, the community experiences the dry season.

Custom and culture

Worships and beliefs

Majority of the people of Abavo community are Christians but there are a few of them that practiced African traditional religion.

Food

Abavo people prefer pounded yam more than any other staple food consumed in the community. Yam is popularly referred to as king of all foods. The pounded yam is usually eaten with pepper soup, akpu with egusi soup.

Dressing

The people of Abavo community are very particular in their dressing as it is regarded as a symbol of how well one is doing financially. The mean traditionally tie wrapper round their waist with a lace material shirt, a hat on their head and hold a walking stick. While the women tie two wrappers round their waist and wear a blouse made of different materials. But in most cases, they prefer the lace material to go along with the men. They also tie a scalp and wear beads round their neck and on their wrist.

Language

Abavo people being among the Ika people in Delta State speak Ika language which can be meaningfully referred to as an admixture Igbo and the Benin Language.

Festivals

The major festival of the people of Abavo Kingdom is the New Yam festival which marks the onset of the harvesting period of yam. This festival is celebrated by the people in the community to thank the gods of the land for a successful farming season.

Marriage

In Abavo, tradition marriage is carried out only with the consent of the parents. When a man sees a girl that he wishes to marry, he will go to the parents of the girl to make his intention known to the parents of the girl.  The parents of the girl in an assessment of the man’s capability to take care of their daughter will give him some tasks to be carried out which include going to the farm to work for the girl’s parents. If the girl’s parent of the girl is convince of the man’s capability of taking care of their daughter they will ask him to perform some traditional rites which is referred to as the traditional marriage rights.  There is what is called “ego ishi (an amount of money to be paid to the woman’s parents). The man will have to buy a hat, necklace, working stick and wrapper to the father of the woman. The father will ask the man to pay homage to three elderly members of his family and woman’s mother’s family. They will also give a list of items to the man for the traditional marriage. The list usually includes palm wine, salt, drinks, etc.

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Market

Abavo market is held every four days, the market is normally open on Orie day and it is referred to as Oyoko Market. On this market day, food stuffs and other farm products are usually sold in the market.

Health status of the community

Factors affecting health

  1. Poverty: The high level of poverty in the community is a major factor affecting the health of the people since majority of the people are peasant farmers who produced food which is just sufficient to take care of their daily meals. While in some cases, there would not even be sufficient meal for the people especially when crop yields are poor as a result of poor weather condition and climate change. As a result of this, the economy of the community is unstable as it is greatly depend on factors that cannot be controlled by the people in the community but they are at the mercy of nature.
  2. Poor water supply facilities: Abavo lacks proper water supply facilities as a result, many of the people in the community resort to sources which are not safe as means of drinking water supply such as hand dug wells which in most cases do not meet up with the required standards of a sanitary well. While some of the people in the community drink water gotten from the stream without applying appropriate treatment to make the water safe for drinking.
  3. Child abuse: The people of Abavo are systematically involve in child abuse in the guise of trying to make under-aged children help in assisting the family in meeting some of their financial needs. This type of systematic child abuse occurs through making children to hawk food items or other things to contribute in making money for the family. Others are made to be involved in farming early in life while the parents believed that they are giving their children the required training to prepare them for their future life thereby making their children to be strain beyond their capacities.
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Resources in the community used to solve the problem

  1. Schools: In Abavo, the school is a good means of educating people on how to improve their health status by the knowledge they derived from the school on the on the cause and effects of diseases and also how several diseases can be managed or prevented.
  2. Primary health centres: The primary health care centre in the community help in the treatment of minor ailments and the delivery of women during labour. Also present are traditional birth attendance who also help in delivery of pregnant women.
  3. Rich agricultural land: The present of good agricultural land make necessary food available in the community and helps in solving the problems of malnutrition.
  4. Law enforcement agents: The traditional and political leaders as well as police in the community carry out the role of law enforcement agents in the community thereby guarding the people and settling interpersonal disputes.

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