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Ethnic Groups in North-central Adopt Egbira as Common Identity

By Ibrahim Oyewale

As part of efforts to foster and strengthen the unity among the people of Egbira Nation through enhanced social and cultural activities, some ethnic groups in the North-central region of Nigeria, who traced their ancestry to the ancient Kwararafa kingdom, have come together, under the umbrella of Ohiku Egbira Descendants Union (ODU), and resolved to henceforth bear one name as the Egbira.

The federation of Egbira people, comprising Etuno (Igarra) from Edo State; Ebira/Opete (Okene) and Egbura Koto from Kogi, Nasarawa States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) respectively, have resolved and agreed to adopt the common ethnic nomenclature of Egbira.

While addressing journalists after an expanded meeting of the relevant stakeholders held at the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Secretariat in Lokoja, Kogi State, the President-General of the Ohiku Egbira Descendants Union, Musa Ibrahim Ahmadu, explained that since the demise of the ancient Kwararafa kingdom, the once united and formidable Egbira people disintegrated and bore different names due to migrations and in some cases influence of neighbourliness.

Ahmadu, who was a former Secretary to Kogi State Government (SSG), said the process leading to the unification of the various groups of the union started over four decades ago, with late Alhaji Usman Obatemi and late Alhaji Isa Bukar as arrow heads.

He, however, distanced the unification from religion and political partisanship, as he stated that the unity of the Egbira transcends any or all primordial considerations.

The president-general made bare the nine-point agenda as resolved, which included maintaining Egbira as the common name with a common spelling E-G-B-I-R-A, regardless of dialectical differences, to foster and strengthen the unity of the Egbira Nation through enhanced social and cultural activities.

“The Egbira people as loyal, committed and dedicated citizens will partner the government to curb insecurity and maintain peace in our different communities,” he stated.

While they pledged to mobilise resources towards the provision of economic and social services for communities, the group also vowed to stimulate and enhanced the economic development of their territories and the peoples through the cooperation of the constituent groups in the Egbira nation.


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