I have been saying on this blog for years that the people of Bonny and Opobo have significant indigenous Igbo population (the great Ijaw people make up the other significant indigenous population). You remember Jaja of Opobo (founder of Opobo), who was originally Mazi Jubo Jugboha of Ama Igbo in present-day Imo. Wht of the powerful Jombo dynasty that has been by the side of the Pepple Royal Family of Bonny for generations? I told you in this post that the first Igbo bible was composed in Bonny Igbo (I wonder why they dropped it, maybe I will revive it.)
I have had the pleasure of speaking with people from Opobo, and I can tell you that the claims by some enemies of Ndigbo are blasted lies. For instance, if an Opobo person wants to tell you that she is cooking, he will say, Íkem n’esi nri. An Igbo from Anambra would say ‘A nam esi nri’.
Please reader, tell me: what is not Igbo about this?
Now I was browsing and I saw an article from http://www.opobiansindiaspora.org/opobo–culture.html that tells us more about the Igbo origin and essence of Opobo. Please read, because some people are so afraid of the Igbos that they want to hide from them the fact that they have access to the sea, via places like Igweocha (Port Harcourt) and Igwe Nga (Opobo and Bonny). Igbo nile kwenu!
You can read the passage below:
“The Nwaotam cult emerged from the deity of ancient Ibani people called the Ottam people. These people were brought in mostly to satisfy the Europeans’ quest for human commodities in the 18th and 19th century.
“According to the memories of late captain High Crow of Liverpool (1791: P 201) who visited Bonny for trade, “the Ottam tribe are stout and robust and of a deeper black than any other tribes at Bonny. Their bodies and face are carved and tattooed in a frightful manner.”
“The Ottams were not only notable for the worship of spirits they called ‘Mmoh’ [Igbo word for ‘masquerade’]; but were also brought into Bonny as adults, therefore the description ‘Ottam Mmku’ was made popular in Bonny. It was also in this line, that their working strength, tribal marks and rascality gave them another local phrase, Ottam Ahiriha.
“The Ibani tradition has it that the Nwa–Otam originated from a dark mythical grove in Mkpajekiri around Ohambele Ndoki. By this time, the Ndoki native, which included the Ottam tribes men, had started serving this ‘Mmoh’ gods believed to be heterosexual; and would organise dance during a season of the year.