Igede Is Not Idoma, We Are Not Historical, Biological Or Culturally Related

Culture, Stories 7/04/2017 by Comrade Andyson Iji Egbodo, Coordinator, Igede Youth Coalition

Adirahu Igede: Who is afraid of Igede?

Suffice to begin this piece by stating from the get-go that Igede are a unique people.

Occupying majorly two local governments in Benue State, Obi and Oju with some pockets in Konshisha, Gwer West local governments and also parts of Cross River State, Igede are often marginalised especially by our more populous neighbours.

Attempts are constantly made to bundle us under some larger interest but it’s important to note the fact that Igede is unique and should always be treated as such.

This fact has been the crux of the struggle for self-actualisation for the Igede people especially independence from our neighbouring Idoma and its traditional and political oligarchy. It was important to begin there and establish very clearly that Igede cannot be summarised under Idoma because we are not historically, biologically and culturally related. We may share boundaries but we are not the same. Whilst the Idoma are traceable to the Kwararafa dynasty, Igede trace their origin to the present-day Edo state.

The first person to probably give this ideology serious attention was the late Fr Moses Orshio Adasu, the second civilian governor of Benue state. Being from Konshisha local government area which has indigenous Igede, he was probably conversant with this view and his leadership provided an opportunity to liberate the Igede. He was the first to moot the promulgation of chieftaincy laws in the state that will liberate the Igede and establish for us a separate traditional arrangement separate from the Idoma and hence our own first-class chief, the Adirahu Ny’Igede.

This piece will not be complete without the history of the Igede and the seat of the Ochi’Idoma, the traditional head of Idoma and Igede as it were. Following the death of the Och’Idoma I, HRH Ogiri Oko, the 22 district heads within Idoma met and chose Ajene Okpabi as Och’Idoma II even though he was from the minority Igede tribe. He had lived with and served his predecessor and even married his daughter, enough to be treated as part of the family but his selection as Och’Idoma was met with objections from some quarters and these objections were based on the belief that the Igedes are not Idomas and as such someone considered a “stranger” should not ascend the throne of Och’Idoma.

Despite the early challenges, the leader in Ajene Okpabi saw him overcome them and he would go on to reign for 35 years but this arrangement was never going to repeat itself again. Subsequent years of agitation for the Adutu Igede, the highest ranking traditional ruler in Igede, to be upgraded to the status of the likes the Tor Tiv (Tiv ruler) and Och’Idoma looked bleak but the seed planted by former governor, Moses Adasu in creating the Chieftaincy of the Adirahu Ny’Igede was watered by successive civilian administrations of former Governors George Akume and Gabriel Suswam, and given increase by His Excellency, Governor Samuel Ortom to what we have today.

God willing, tomorrow, the entire Igede nation would gather to actualise our years of struggle and produce a traditional leader in substance of the Adirahu Ny’Igede. However, in the words of Amit Kalantri

“the beginning in itself has no value, it is an end which makes beginning meaningful, we must end what we begun.”

It will be important to carry out tomorrow’s exercise in the spirit and doggedness that characterised our struggle over the decades as it is not over until it’s over. The forces that plagued us all through our history have not stopped at anything to ensure that we still loose it, even at our point of collective victory. As it is a victory for us, it’s also a loss for others who would stop at nothing to subvert our joy for their personal aggrandisement.

During a meeting held at the Palace of the Och’Idoma in Otukpo a few months ago to deliberate on how best to implement the amended Chieftaincy laws, HRM Agabaidu Elias Ikoyi Obekpa, the Och’Idoma expressed strong reservation about the laws, saying the continuous agitation by the Igede for a separate traditional institution is a threat to unity and asked well-meaning sons and daughters of the land to rise against it.

He words:

“I wish to point out the disturbing and consistent agitation, by the Igede of Idoma east, to have an “Igede nation” differently from the larger Idoma nation. This agitation,which is threatening the unity of our dear kingdom, should be discouraged, most especially, as the Igedes have never suffered any form of marginalization in the midst of their Idoma Brothers and Sisters.”

Like I said earlier, our collective victory and self actualisation is also a loss for those who enjoy the perpetual dwelling of Igede under their myopic political interest at the detriment of the larger good of the society. And it is alarming to what extent they can go, even recruiting our own brothers in the plot to subvert decades of Igede agitation and the goodwill of the people.

This was palpably evident on March 10th when the scheduled selection of the Adirahu Ny’ Igede held in Oju was botched after government officials who were supposed to midwife the process began to make attempts at subverting it which prompted agitation by the youths. These individuals who internal collaborators claimed to be acting on higher orders from the seat of power in the state, but in a clearly discordant outcome, the state governor, Samuel Ortom made it clear that he has no interest and hence no anointed candidates in the race. When some tried to suggest a move of the exercise to Makurdi as against holding it on Igede soil, he was the first to rebuff.

With all these overtures to overturn our collective progress, one is tempted to ask at this juncture, “who is afraid of Igede and why?” The answer still lies in our spirit, doggedness, strength and resolve to move forward in the right direction. It is my belief that this resolve will once more shine through tomorrow. In the end, whether it will be Professor Johnson Onah, CP Oga Ero or Dr John Ochelle who emerges, it is my prayer that the Adirahu Ny’Igede will be a strong pillar and rallying point for all of us, and a propelling force to pull our race to where we want and ought to be.

Long live Igede
Long live Benue State
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria

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58 thoughts on “Igede Is Not Idoma, We Are Not Historical, Biological Or Culturally Related


    Thanks my brother. May God continue to bless you.

  2. Obega Stephen

    You are the best

  3. jonah C.Eleh

    We are Israel no one dare fight us,our right most be deliver..I Pray that our God will raise within us a leader that will fight for our right………………………….. WE are the Definition of BENUE..I love IGEDE

    • Emmanuel Ochi

      You have this delusion of something you are not. You do not even know where you come from. yet, you think you are ” Israel”. Utter rubbish and nonsense.

      • Adikpe John Iyanya

        what you don’t know ,don’t make an attempt to comment, ,, get me right

    • Louisa Louis

      Good day
      Please I need you to answer this question?
      Every sabo in Nigeria is primarily inhabited and created by hausas/fulanis. So how did the igedes get to sabo? And why was sabo their home?

      • Prince

        Most names of places you heard today, are Named after Heroes and Events that took Place.

        Sabon gida is a place where Hausas came to buy Market. Thank You

        People form their languages, after Separation or war.

      • Bibi Bose Ogolowa

        Point of correction the Sabo in Ora was not created by the Hausas. We have a name for my Local government headquarters which is Evbiobe Ora. The Hausas only called it Sabongida Ora because the could not pronounce the na Evbiobe and it was the first town in Ora.
        And besides the Igedes are not originally from Sabongida Ora but Ohia Ora which is not too far from Sabongida Ora and Eme Ora which is my village.
        I think the misconception comes as a result of Sabongida Ora being the local government headquarters and the most popular place in Ora
        The Igede actually migrated and originated from Ohia Ora. We are told this story too.
        Thank you.

        • Arubi Kingsley

          Wow! I love this comment. The lesson in it is beyound the write-up, thank you.

  4. Adeka U. Jerry.

    I love these! Igede is ours and we must work harder to take Igede to the higher level in all ramifications. In all, lets try to be more educate in all fields so that we will not be treated by other tribes. I love Igede! May God protect and bless us.

  5. Ebibi Odeh

    This is such an eye opener. We need to create a rallying point to project our voices for the world to know who we are and what we stand for. Great job.
    Long live Igede

  6. Fola

    Listen 2 yourselves. Wake up to reality please..The people using you for their political gains are the tivs and not the other way round. Ogiri Oko grave Ajene who Served him faithfully his throne because he believed in oneness and never for once saw the Igedes as not Idoma.Its fine if you are agitating for development but to say Igede Is not idoma is akin to saying Agatu is not idoma.

    • Ejugwu Ogbaji

      Agatu cause is quite different from that of Igede, Agatu is pure Idoma while Igede is not ,Igede is not part of kwararafa origin but From Owan west LGA Sabongida Ora in the present day Edo State that is (1) then number (2) The language spoken have no trace of similarities ,the culture is different ,the traditions are not the same ,the hatred between the idomas sons to Igede is alarming the idoma did not want anything good for Igede soil, let us not hide the truth. Then number (3) the issue of unity been agitated by the idoma king is a fallacy, we have unity in Nigeria despite the interest groups of different tribes an ethnic nationalities Nigerians still maintain one voice in unity, so the issue of threatening that it would affected the unity of both language is baseless an it is a pure hatreds for Igede populaces trying to denied the people of their right in place.Nigerian remain united despite the multiethnic nationalities, God bless. Igede nations, God bless Benue state ,God bless the federal republic of Nigeria.

    • Israell

      @ Fola I doubt you are one of us. Probably a cheap sell out. It most be hard to be you. Needless I stress… IGEDE Is not Idoma and will never be.

  7. Soul

    The ipob,of idoma land selfish greed, one idoma General through Gen, Abacha gave you Obi local govt

  8. Sieur

    How can Igede people trace their origin to Edo State when their forefathers bore Igbo Biafra names?

    • Kris

      Pour even their culture are like Igbo

    • Eze Ekechukwu

      Igede is an Idomoid language so that means that Igede is Idoma. Edo is state is the Benin Kingdom, Igede language is not anywhere closer to Bini

      • Bibi Bose Ogolowa

        Just as Ekpeye in Rivers State trace their original to Benin but the language and names are similar with the Igbos because they are close and the Igbos infiltrated them so the Igede people are from Ora (Ohia Ora) close to Sabogida Ora (Evbiibe Ora) which the Hausa called Sabogida because they trade there in the early years. We have the story of the Igede people told to us in Ora. Thank you.

  9. Georg Agocha Ojeka

    To Soul: It is not good to wash one’s dirty linen in the market (by displaying innate foul-mouth) against a course whose cause and course u have no control. For, promotion comes neither from the north, south, east nor west but from God alone. Obi Local Government was not given or influenced to be created by any Idoma general. Igede people remain unique and will, as distinct from Idoma people as they are, continue to witness growth and development no matter the opposition and persecution from Sanballat and Tobiah.

  10. Benjamin

    Let us live in peace my poeple

  11. Mysticwarrior

    Igede is a dialect of the idoma language, most igede understand the Idoma language when it is spoken but the idomas don’t understand clearly when igede is spoken.

    • Alaje

      Please, check the dictionary for the meaning of the word ‘dialect’.

    • Inspiramotiva

      What are you saying, y talking like an ignorant person, i don’t think you have common sense

    • Prince




  12. Gabriel

    My very opinion. Igede people don’t need to see the Idomas ‘ as enemy or blockage to her growth. The Igede people are scattered in the West and other states in Nigeria. Many of our young girls are domestic staff, the males struggle with farm only to save to come and show off every December. Some of the males are either security officers or drivers. Only very few are doing well. Some are too ashamed of their ancestral land (Igede). This is the fundamental problem. Until Igede sons and daughters return home, understand that no one will build their land for them, understand that they are only contributing to the success of other states, their state will be left undeveloped. Population is a big a deal in economic growth and no investor will invest in Igede until he/she sees people living there. If all of us can return home, I am highly optimistic that our land will be developed. I am so bothered about how undeveloped Igede is, How to convince our brothers to return home. I have been away for like 18years. But when I finally traveled home, I saw the need to return home and I am doing just that soon. My people need my skills, they need my strength, they need my idea, they need me to do my part. They need us. But the Idomas are not our enemies, they are rather our closest brother, at least more than the TIV

    • Owoicho A. Dorcas

      God bless you Immensely for this sir…

      You have said it all…

      The Igede’s need to come back home, they’re scattered all abroad most especially in the western part.
      They need to stop their hatred for the Idoma’s, they are not their enemy…

      My prayer is that God should help us to Unite has ONE…

  13. Ogah

    Igede people are loving and peculiar. No one has suffered like them in Nigeria. They are patience personified. It is time for freedom and emancipation. We claim brotherhood with idomas, but we have never been one in reality.

  14. Philip

    My prayer today for Igede people is, as how God delivered Israel from the land of their enemies we will also have that full Independent in Jesus name (Amen). And all Sons and Daughters of Igede am appealing to u to come back from where u are so that u too will develop ur own land Igede.
    We will remains bless forever

  15. Efada acha

    Igede are Idoma they should go and do their research very well .The Tivs just deceived them and used them to break the strength of the Idoma nation.They should go and read history very well.

  16. Royal Diadem

    Let’s love ourselves by returning home and use our acquired skills and knowledge to develop our land and strength our political life

  17. Fidelis onda

    Fidelis Onda these is an eye opener, I was wondering why ist that must time if I’m working for idoma and letter he or she found out that I’m an igede guy we end up with fight. even up to date some are guiding my money, well thank GOD one day will be history.

    • Dominic Obotu

      So sad to hear things like this.

      Kindly report anyone who does this to you to an appropriate authority. No one should be cheated and refused his wages because he is from a certain place or speaks certain language.

      Haven said this, it’s not enough to begin to agitate for a different identity. If all I have read is true,then Idoma is a an umbrella name for the people of Igede, Akweya(AKPA) UFIa(the Utonkon people) and the Akpotors( whom most people call the Idomas).

      The Yorubas have this kind of slight differences, for example, the Akoko people have a dialect that is not same as the other Yorubas but that doesn’t make them nonYorubas.
      We need to be more united than more divided.

  18. Ogidi peter edigbo

    Am proudly saying that am an igede tribe

  19. Jack Okopi

    This writer is misguided. The problem of the Igede nation is the same problem facing Nigeria as a whole….corruption. The federal government is doing it’s best by releasing allocations to the states but what do governors do with them? Nigeria has local government and wards to ensure governance reach people in their villages but governors appoint their stooges to as “caretaker chairmen” and sack elected officers at will while the Councillors are their errand boys. Thank God Igede now have their intermediate traditional council and Adirahu Ny’Igede but this only serves psychological benefit of being “liberated” from Idoma. We should all join hands to fight corruption which is our one true enemy

  20. Alaje

    Igede is an eagle but undiscovered.
    It’s time to break out of the deceitful shell of limitation.

  21. Yosi David Odeh

    Let us please embrace peace and forgive one another.

  22. Dave Mark

    The notion that Idomas hate Igedes is fictitious claim only found in the minds of Igede and Tiv people. I wonder why Igede people have that small village mentality. Back then in secondary school, Igedes don’t mix with others (especially the ones that are based in Igede land).
    Nobody has the time to hate you, nobody is forcing you to be part of Idomas.

  23. Ejugwu Samuel

    I love my tribe IGEDE, our dreams has finally comes to true, whenever you fight for justice God always stand by you, if anything that deserve to be yours traveled far distances from you it must sure comes back, and the sky is wide enough for all birds to fly, we are the best I love my tribe IGEDE.

  24. Brown Sugar ( Abuja )

    I love the Igede nation the same way I love my Idomaness. My Igede step father gave me the opportunity to finish my secondary school at Saints Joseph Ito, in Obi LGA of Benue State. As an Idoma man, I speak Igede and understand the culture more than Idoma. I think in this regards and respect, the Igede language is different linguistically and culturally and in other views. The oneness between this two tribes is as a result of their geographical location, proximity, political and social affinity for many years. This debate of whether the Igede and Idoma are the same can only be understood when one take a critical look or have an insight about this two tribes, and only then, it will shock most people to see the many differences than the similarities. I think in my view, it will be appropriate for the Igede to have a first class chief just like the Tiv and Idoma. Why because this are the three major tribes in Benue State. Others are Ufia, Akpa, Izigban etc. Which are smaller tribe compared to the big 3 that have local government of their own.

  25. Peter Akpa

    Igede People; my people are wonderful people with a golden heart. I love you all.

  26. Kris

    Pour even their culture are like Igbo

  27. Adikpe

    Many people fail to believe and understand that the Igede people are far different from the Idoma people. They think we are one. Maybe this article will really open their eyes to see that we are not Historical,Biological or even culturally related. More grace to the writer of this article.
    Long live Igede people
    Long live Benue state
    Long live Federal Republic of Nigeria


    I thank God for his Mercy and grace upon idoma and igede, every one of you should thank his or her God life, because those who are death can’t differentiate between igede and idoma. But we are still happy that since we leave God have plans for both idoma and igede. I pray that may idoma and igede vision come to actualise in Jesus name amen.long leave idoma and igede long leave Benue state and also Nigeria, and God bless you all.

  29. Agnes Onwanyi Odee

    The truth is the matter is the igedes are not home. We are scattered all over Nigeria especially the western part of Nigeria and we expect our home to be built? Who will build our home for us while we are away? In the political aspect, how many igede people are in politics in benue? How do we even go out of this mess when no one is interested. We are hardly educated, then how do we get to know what to do or say? Few of us that are educated are still guilty of home-coming and even educating those who do not know….
    I think we should have a move for the progress of the Ol’igede. We are always seen as the minority, not only outside but within benue too. Mixed cultures and mixed tribes have really affected us we don’t even know our real origins. Some of us bear igede names that have their original meanings in igbo, yoruba, Hausa etc. Which makes us get confused the more…. That’s a traditional problem but can be corrected by the present day youths of igede.

    I’m Ol’igede!
    I stand for peace
    I stand for progress
    I stand for unity

  30. Adole David

    I thank each and every one of you people that fought this battle till we finally win, “IGEDE NATION ” Ka ki lahi

  31. Inspiramotiva

    If our culture is like igbo what is your own headache there, is it your culture, you better shot that useless mouth B4 the God of our land we help you shot it

  32. Opila sunday

    Well there brothers there is no course of hiding behind your keypards and lashing out on each others. The only problem the igede people are surfering is that there is no proper documentation of their historical background may be is true the igede people are migrant from edo but if you may know the igede are scattered all around nigeria if u ask you will hear alot about the igede people but u still will feel like you have heard nothing we will live by that if the igede say we are not part of the idomas there is no reason for the idoma to want to force it that we are part of the idoma to my understanding i believe the igede are migrants to benue state but they were accepted by the idomas in the early stage of the migration which is why there is a bit of similarities in our dialect because the igede bend some of their dialect in other to be able to communicate with the idomas but saying the igede’s are idoma i think its an overstatement i wish i have more proper understanding about this as i am like many posting hear a stranger to this knowledge but i strongly believe the idomas are not our enemies we should but at side our differences and live as relatives as our fore fathers live in other to be able to create a better state cuz the tiv are laughing gravely at our battle of where we belong the main battle is to join head and take benue state back from the tiv instead of fighting for igede is idoma or igede is not idoma
    God bless igede
    God bless benue state
    God bless nigeria
    God bless you all who understand

  33. […] Igede Is Not Idoma, We Are Not Historical, Biological Or Culturally Related by Comrade Andyson Iji Egbodo – Acknowleging the uniqueness of the Igede people. […]

  34. Joseph Amuche

    Truth be told, the Idomas are the most peaceful tribe in Benue State, who for an obvious reasons tend to understand the dynamics of the state political set up compares to the Tiv and the Igede tribe in general.

    The Idomas are truly the silent warriors who strategize, articulate, and imbibe the culture of patience before the hit their target, just like the eagle and the lion.

    And that makes them one of the feared tribe in Benue State today, at least a Tiv man will rather tell you that he likes the Idoma man but, he is afraid the Idoma man will outsmart him.

    The Idomas have never fought any war with their Tiv neighbours, or have any communal crises with their Igede neighbours.

    The notion that Igede is not Idoma is true linguistically, culturally and their historical antecedent, especially how the found themselves in Benue State etc. I know many Idomas here are just being emotional hearing an Igede man stating it here today. But, that is the real fact and we must come to terms with it that of truth the Igede are not Idoma. At least i have lived with the Igedes in Ito, Obi LGA for many years, so i know alot about them and their culture and values.

    The hate both the Tiv and the Idomas for reasons best known to them which range from perceived culture suffocation and political dominance.

    The Idomas don’t hate the Igede whom the always see as a subgroup. At least Ogri Ajene an Igede man was chosen by the majority Idoma sons to become a deputy governor to George Akume in 1999 over their own who were also vying for the position that year.

    The attitude of the Igede people despising and openly showing hates, and sowing seeds of discord for the more lager tribe like the Tiv and Idoma is their worst and greatest undoing in Benue State.

    While the Idoma people can boast of 7 local government area to their advantage, the Igede has only two local government area, with the Tiv occupying the remaining 14 out of the 23 local government area that makes up Benue State of Nigeria.

    To this end, the Idomas don’t need the Igede for anything because, the Idomas have what it takes to stand out politically, economically and socially which they have proved severally in the Nigeria political settings. The fact that an Idoma man has not rule Benue State, he refuses to allow such inability of ruling the state to hinder other efforts he makes outside the state politically.

    So it will be of great importance for the Idomas to struggle for state creation for themselves and allow the Igede to form government with their Tiv neighbours or the igede should apply to become part of Cross River state since the have pocket of their kin in that state of the South.

    Enough of all the hullabaloo from our Igede people trying to make it look like the idoma interest lies with them, which is just a mere fallacy and illusion, as the Idomas are more sophisticated than the Igede in Benue State, but, remain politically humble which made them to be seen as the peacemakers among the three major tribes in Benue State.

    Finally the Igede are their own worst enemies/ nemesis, because the hate everyone including themselves, an Igede man will rather prefer to see his brother suffer and pretend to be emotional but deep inside he is happy, they hardly help themselves, and feel too much pompous when the have little at hand. It is illusions and delusional from our Igede brothers to think with their minority status backed with the many war Charms they possess in their land, the are more powerful than others. But, those cultural practice that brings mysterious death in their land, is the reasons the are so backward and far from development. These are people i have lived in their land for so many years. Sad but the truth

    • Ogakwu Augustine

      The enemy between igede and tiv, is always happen when its come to land boundaries, therefore igede and tiv are not foes

  35. Sunday

    Igede don’t have enemy ….

    You guys dont even love each other ….

    • Onah James

      I have heard so many Igede calling the Tiv people their enemy, how about that, if you don’t have enemy?

      There’s just no need for the gibberish most of us type here, just to cover up certain facts from our end.

      We need love and unity to progress in zone c.

  36. Mr Ogakwu Augustine

    My is not much, it is the situation where by is an abomination for igede to marry tic, for some of we young people will don’t know the reason, if possible to tell the reason we can much abiding the rule, because illiterate have gone against the law of our land due to they un information.

  37. Mr Ogakwu Augustine

    My is not much, it is the situation where by is an abomination for igede to marry tiv, for some of we young people will don’t know the reason, if possible to tell the reason we can much abiding the rule, because illiterate have gone against the law of our land due to they un information.

  38. Idoko Micheal Godwin

    This is awesome, Igede’s are totally different from Idoma’s even despite it’s cultural similarities. We should just know this fact, I love both igede and Idoma people wholeheartedly. Much love for these two great ethnics group.
    Igede ihio

  39. Okwe ThankGod

    I support the works of this website and validate it’s articles and recommend that more indigenes of the Igede Nation regularly visit this site to keep abreast with knowledge of their father land.

  40. Ijuo Augustine Ogah

    Good work and very encouraging. But can i see “impacts of christianity anywhere in Igede


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