Iyala people @ I am Benue 2018

We Are Idomas And Not Cross Riverians; Yala People

Culture, Stories 8/04/2018 by Anwo Iordepuun Godfrey

Have you ever wished you were an indigene of another state other than Benue?

It must have been because of a very strong reason then, well may be because of this one that has prompted the Yala people of Cross River State to refer to Benue State as their home.

The Yala people of Cross River State are believed to be a subgroup of the Idoma nation, but how true is this?

According to traditional history, Iduh, the father of the Idoma had several children who each established different areas. Hence the expression: “Iduh the father of Idoma”. Iduh who begot the whole Idoma had the following children: Ananawoogeno who begot the children of Igumale; Olinaogwu who begot the people of Ugboju; Idum who begot the people of Adoka; Agabi who begot the people of Otukpo; Eje who begot the people of Oglewu; Ebeibi who begot the people of Umogidi and Odeh who begot the people of Yala. While there may be some truth to the above, the Idoma cannot be said to have a unitary origin. Many Idoma groups and village subsets have their own histories complete with stories about how their people arrived at their current location.

So, it might be that the Yala people wandered too far from home, landing at the present location. One thing that baffles me is the ease with which one who is grounded in idoma language can understand Yala language. In my interaction with a Yala man recently when I visited Ugaga (a district in Yala Local Government Area) for a traditional marriage ceremony, he confidently told me they will one day return home.

The big question however is that will they live the high recognition they now have in Cross River State in pursuit of a home history told them is theirs?

14 thoughts on “We Are Idomas And Not Cross Riverians; Yala People

  1. Abraham Idagu

    we feel at home here in cross river and we have bury much here the truth is that we are feeling at home here no going back…. We Love Idoma as our Grand father and our origin…. We are one….

    @Yala Boy


    when child grow he wil live his father We yala we all no that our foundation is idoma but no going back we are forword.

  3. Joseph Abah

    It is very simple, but it will take the grace of God to achieve this presently in Nigeria current political circle.

    The creation of Apa state for the Idoma is the way out to unite with our Yala brothers and sisters in Cross River state.

    Personally I understand Yala language as an Idoma man from Benue State.

  4. Ogar Godwin Ohiero

    If i May ask, where did Benue/Cross River State originated from? Well as for me idoma as the first son, own a place in Benue State and are the second most populated people in the state. Likewise yala as the second son own a place in Cross River State and are the second most populated people in the state. Above all yala found them selves in the reach region (salt/oil deposit). going back into the hands of Fulani headsmen is not the best. we feel at home. Idoma we love you ??

  5. Owokonu Mike

    Idoma is our home weather we all agree or not we’re idoma and idoma is our home

  6. Mike Audu

    Thanks to my Brothers/sisters in cross river, I feel you all, nice comments, our ROOT no go lost. we are one family living separately. If u want to know that same blood runs in us, let idoma man meet yala man outside their various state, they ll be their own brother/sist. May God give us d strength to grow n dominate for better unification n takeover of leadership. Help us God.

  7. Joe Abah ( Abuja )

    What beats my imagination most in Iyala local area is the Igede people and their strong connections to their kin in Benue State. I watch on youtube where the Igede people of both Cross River State and Benue State came together to trace their origine to Sabon Gi dan Ora in present day Edo state.

    I think, the Idoma and Yala can can connect very well in that regards too, but our traditional chief the Ochi Idoma should take a bold step and visit the Yala traditional chief and people in Cross River State as a brotherly visitation for good relationship between brothers.

    While the Iyala enjoy their present environment in Cross River State, the Idoma in the other hands should continue to demand for state creation to unite us all. The idea of the Yala leaving their land is absud, but the idea for them to unite to create a state that will cover both the present Idoma land and Yala land is the key.

    Only God can make that happen through unity, understanding, and dialogue of the Idoma and Yala people of Benue State and Cross River State respectively.

    Please i will like to know if the Red and Black Idoma attire is the same as the Yala people too. The attire will unite us even more just like someone from Yala (Mr. Odey Fedelis Ushie) said in one another article.

    • Ushie odey F.

      Thank you more by brother…
      You have said it all,well said.
      The traditional attire is the best connection.
      Since our brothers and sisters in the music industries are showcasing it all to.the world I believe this should be our normal connection root.
      This should first of us start with senator Abba Moro and Dr. Steve Adi odey, both of benue and cross river state.
      We should have a national language program at benue state college of education,the polytechnic, benue state University n so on.
      We should have one central n general Idoma language,at certificate, diploma and degree levels just like every other major tribe dose today.
      This will bring a strong unity’s and the current Nigerian system will no idoma is a language of recognition.
      First of all my brother.
      I am happy we have two illustrious sons in the senate house..
      That is where we should begin from.
      We should have idomas forum idoma.nokwu idoma,Ette and the yala forum we one language the central idoma will be recognized and used as our national language to all idoma race in Nigeria.
      Thanks and God bless you my brother.
      Ode f.ushie


    Thanks everyone. I know God will surely answer our secret and open prayer. [yala boy]

  9. Odoga John Oluohu

    Unity is a thing of Joy. It is true Yala and Idoma people are one but as the case the implies, reunion is possible not by moving from Yala land to Idoma land or by moving from Idoma land to Yala land but practice of Culture. The Idoma people posses and practice more of the original Yala Culture.

  10. Boniface odeh agbo

    I am Very impressed stumbling on this piece of write up. I am from Akpa in otukpo local government of Benue state, the said iyache speak like Akpa people language, I wish to visit iyala to hear them speak, I love them so much…

    • Joe Abah ( Abuja )

      So, i also heard that, the Ufia people of Ado LGA of Benue State speak same language with the Kukelle people of Iyala LGA Area of Cross River state.

      Also, The Akpa people of Otukpo LGA Area of Benue State, speak same language with the Yatche people of Iyala LGA of Cross River state.

      There are Igede people in Iyala LGA Area of Cross River state.

      While the Iyala themselves are idoma people in Iyala LGA of Cross River state.

      How did God made this possible is still a surprise to me.

      Please how many language do the have in Iyala LGA Area of Cross River state ?

      Also, is it all the language in Iyala LGA Area of Cross River state that are also in Benue State?


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