Historical development of Nsukwa

Historical background
The
origin of Nsukwa is from Benin in Edo State during the war of Igwala. The
family of Enede left the Benin town as a result of Igwala war. During their
journey, a native doctor prepared a charm for them with a clay pot telling the
father (Enede) that where ever the charm clay pot fall down and broke that is
where they will settle for the rest of their life.

On the
way they stopped at a place and some part of the family decided not to continue
the journey because they were tired so they settled there and named it Umunede.
The rest of the family continued the journey with their father and arrived at a
place to rest under a tree called Ukwa (i.e. bread fruit tree). At this spot
the charm pot fell and broke. So they settled as instructed by the native
doctor and named the place Isiukwa-Enede. Isiukwa-Enede which is known as
Nsukwa now is a community which migrated from Benin Kingdom. It is a community
named up of six (6) quarters named:
1.     
Ikoko-Ogbe
2.     
Umalagu
3.     
Ogbe-Onisha
4.     
Okenu
5.     
Umuoma
6.     
Eziobodo
Among the
six (6) quarters, Umalagu is the head and in-charge of chieftaincy titled
called the Odogwu (i.e. warrior), the defense ministers of the community who
work hand in hand with another titled under the leadership of Iyese from Okenu
quarter. Who is the prime minister that work hand in hand with Odogwu for the
defense of the community in case of any communal war. Another important title
is under the control of Oniche which is from Ogbe-Onicha who crowned the
overall leader of the community known as the Obi in Ikoko-Ogbe quarter. The Obi
gives directives and instructions and whose decision is final.
Location
Nsukwa is
one of the indigenous towns that is located in Aniocha local Government Area of
Delta State in North Senatorial District on Longitude 5.71oE and
Latitude 5.29oN.
The community
lies within the tropical rain forest area of the Niger-delta. The region experiences
high rainfall and high humidity most of the year. The climate is equatorial and
is marked by two distinct seasons. The Dry and Rainy seasons. The Dry season
lasts from about November to April and is significantly marked by the cool
“harmarttan” dusty haze from the north-east winds. The Rainy season
spans May to October with a brief dry spell in August.
Custom and culture
Language
The
people of Nsukwa speak Enuani Language otherwise known and referred to as Delta
Igbo. Other Nigerian languages are spoken by non-indigene in the community from
different parts of the country which include Hausa, Yoruba, Ukwuani, Isokos,
etc. As a result of the presence of different ethnic groups in the community,
to ensure effective communication, English is also used as a means of
communication especially the Pidgin English.
Worships and Beliefs
The
people of Nsukwa are predominantly Christian especially Anglican and Roman
Catholic, there are also large presence of other dominations. There are also a
few who are African Traditional Religion worshippers.
Festivals
The
festival of the people of Nsukwa is the Ujeh festival. It is a historical event
that marks war history. It is a period where sons and daughter of Nsukwa come
home to celebrate the festival. This event gives the community the opportunity
to have 21 days stay at home by the people living in Nsukwa.
It
gives the time to rest, cook, eat, drink and make a joyful noise among
themselves. It also attracts sons and daughters of the community throughout the
country to Nsukwa. It is really a time for a big reunion. During this period,
different clubs in the community hold different meeting and launching of their
new clothes. This festival is fixed on Eke-Ukwu market day which is the native
Sunday because it is a day where everyone stays at home.
Food
The
major food of the people of Nsukwa people is pounded yam and with melon soup.
The people also eat garri and other cassava derivative foods, rice and several
other staple foods in Nigeria
Dressing
Men wear white shirts upon wrapper, a red cap with long feathers to
match. And the women wear different colours and moods. Their head ties, high on
their heads and widely spread like the rump of a turkey. They wore beads as the
Bini women from the ancient city of Benin Kingdom.
Taboos
If a
woman commits adultery, it is a taboo in Nsukwa. The women will be severely
beaten by her fellow women by stripping her naked and dragging her round the
village to the village square and even seize her properties.
Market
There
are four different market days in Nsukwa community. The market days are Eke,
Orie, Afor and Nkwo. Among these four market days, Nkwo is the major market day
where all their agricultural products are assembled in the market square for
sale. This market attracts nearby villagers and passersby. The community also
believed that the Eke market day is holy and people do not go to the farm. They
stay at home to cook pounded yam, eat, bath and put on new clothes and visit
friends and relatives in the town. It is a day that that people do not go their
farm and give opportunity to visit friends and relatives and also have
opportunity to receive and entertain their visitors.
Health status of the community
Nsukwa
people enjoy good health due to their clean environment. They act true to the
meaning of the name Aniocha which means that they people clean in nature as
people from Aniocha and due to their cleanliness and nature they do not suffer
any health hazards which made them to be very strong physically and enjoy long
life.
Factors affecting Health
1.    Food
Taboos:
Many cheap, proteinous food and meat are forbidden for
children, pregnant women and lactating mothers as a result of food taboos.
Specifically, children are not expected to eat “big” meat or egg because it is
believed that this will indulge them and they may start to steal.
2.    Malnutrition:
This is mainly associated with children due to lack of awareness of their
parents on what constitute a balanced weaning diet, lack of knowledge and skill
about the best use of locally available foods, making frequent necessary and
unnecessary journey and leaving the child behind or stopping breastfeeding
before the child is at least year of age.
3.    Son
Preference:
This form of discrimination and one which has
far-reaching implications for women is the preference accorded to the boy child
over the girl child. This practice denies the girl child good health,
education, recreation, economic opportunity and the right to choose her
partner, violating her rights.
4.     
Early Marriage: Early marriage is another serious problem in which some girls are given
away for marriage at the age of 11, 12 or 13, after which they must start
producing children. The principal reasons for this practice are the girls’
virginity and the bride-price. Young girls are less likely to have had sexual
contact and thus are believed to be virgins upon marriage; this condition
raises the family status as well as the dowry to be paid by the husband. In
some cases, virginity is verified by female relatives before the marriage.
5.     
Violence against Women: So many women suffer from domestic violence from
their husbands and relatives, inflicting in them several injuries.
Resources in the Community used to Solve the
Problem
There are several
natural resources in the community which boost their living standard and
attract great attention of the government. There is an oil palm settlement that
provides jobs opportunities to the people of the community and its environs and
Delta State as a whole. There are also some other resources in the community
which include:
1.)  
Primary Health Centre:
The presence of a primary health care centre in the community health in taking
care of people who are sick and delivery of pregnant women. There are also
traditional health attendants who assist in taking care of pregnant women to
ensure that they deliver safely.
2.)  Rich
Agricultural Land:
 The present of good agricultural land make
necessary food available in the community and helps in solving the problems of
malnutrition. This rich agricultural land to a great extended contributes to
the great attention that Nsukwa attract from the entire Delta State as it is
self sufficient in providing food for the people in the community.
3.)  Industrial
Development:
Nsukwa kingdom has abundant raw materials for
industries, large resources of manpower and big commercial center enjoying
excellent location. For example, she was self sufficient in local soap-making,
cosmetics, etc. This greatly contributes to the socioeconomic status of the
people in the community. There is also the presence of Industrial Management
company (I.M.C.) and Oil Palm Company (O.P.C.)
4.)   Development
in Commerce:
The
history of Nsukwa people as a dynamic people is most adequately reflected in
the field of trading and commerce.  The
kingdom was a commercial center long before Nigeria came into being.
Nsukwa market also became
famous till this day because the town supplies abundant and cheap food-stuff
all the year round.  Nsukwa and its
environs remains a major producer of a variety of major important food-stuff
such as yams, cassava, oil palm, garri melon, palm oil and tomatoes. 
5.)  Schools:
 Schools
serve as a major means of educating the people in the community on issue
bothered by lack of adequate knowledge, malnutrition and general awareness of
this people and at the same time improves the health status of the people.
6.)  Law
Enforcement Agents:
The
community leaders such as the Obi, Council
of Chiefs, etc. help in the enforcement of laws and ensure that the rights of
people are not violated and at the same time ensure that the people in the
community enjoy good health. They also carry out the duty of punishing
offenders as a deterrent to others to deviant from such practices.
7.)  
Social and Infrastructural Development: The revolution in infrastructure which started after
the civil war created the enabling environment which makes Nsukwa a pull center.  For example, as a result of improvement in
transportation, Nsukwa market continues to sustain the supply and the
distribution of abundant food-stuff at affordable prices to all parts of
Nigeria.  The rapid increase in
health-care delivery services, both public and private, has contributed
immensely in lowering infant mortality and death rates generally in Nsukwa.
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