Written by Odoligie Akens
That everyman was created equal is a modern day narrative, all “Holy Book” says God himself choose a set of people over others, he calls them Special, he made kings and queens, he made princes and princesses and the same God created servants and workers, it has been so in all races and communities, it has been so in Africa and it has been so in Benin Kingdom, this is The Ijaw Question.
The Ijaw Question is that, does the modern day Izon now called Ijaws know they where created to serve? Let’s not also forget that there is dignity in service. It is their fate and it has been so even if some of their skilled propagandist like the Ijaw peoples Development Initiative, IPDI would have loved to change it. Every nation or tribe would love to call themselves royals but archaeological and historical pointers are guides to who royals are and who servants were because from time immemorial, before modern day civilization, they were Royals and commons, they were Lords and tenants and they were workers and servants.
The servant or workers tribe of Izon might want to ask the creator why their ancestors were not created Royals but who can ask God our creator questions?
They might again want to ask why they have been settlers anywhere they go, that has an answer and the answer is that Ogiso Owodo of the great Bini Kingdom freed slaves during his reign and allowed them to reside in the swamps and creeks, they could not have been seen in the city mingling with Princes and Princesses or integrating with the free born, because the Ogiso was kind hearted, he allowed the Izons go and have a community of their own but far away from their masters but still at the call of the Binis whenever they had a need for sea food and a means of transportation for visitors to the city of Benin. Whenever Bini, a kingdom that was a magnet to every civilization at that time had visitors, traders or explorers, the Izons transported them to the city to see the Oba, those where their primary duties.
The Ijaw Question.
- How come the best part of Edo was occupied by the Edos yet the Ijaws are claiming aborigines?
- How come they Ijaws were relegated to the creeks, the worst part of any habitat, were they less than the Royals then? Royals found other lands but the Ijaws has always been in the creeks, why?
- The least any community normally settle for were farming camps, in these camps they farmed and went back home, how come the ijaws had no home but the creeks where they were asked to habit after been freed by Ogiso Owodo?
- The rhetorical question now will be, why will modern day Ijaws want to claim all the places they were allowed to habit as settlers? The most recent been trying to create an argument that they were once upon a time land owners, who owned land in the medieval time but decided to Inhabit the swamp or creek?
- Why are the Ijaws fighting for land in the 21st century when it was in the beginning that all land were allotted to the Royals chosen by God?
Fast-forward thousands of years and here we have the offspring’s of the divine workers tribe of Izon calling themselves freeborn, the latest is that they even attempt fighting with all and every community that ever harbored them and allowed them reside in the swap that they were the original owners of that swap, their argument has always been that they have lived in the swap for thousands of years and for that reason, they are the original owners.
Lately, the Ijaw peoples Development Initiative, IPDI has started using the word “Aborigines” In the case of Bini the natural and divine lords of the Izon clan, there is an area giving to the Hausas in Benin City, it called The Hausa Quarters, it is located in Aduwawa axis of Ikpoba-Okha LGA, are we saying 100 years from now, the Educated children of the cattle merchants of the Hausa tribe in Aduwawa will start a narrative that they are the Aborigines of that community and that the Benins meet them there?
Freedom of speech is trendy but freedom of foolishness should never be allowed to become a trend a situation where a house maid that was given a boys quarter apartment as accommodation has served his master, had children in the apartment given to him, his children grew up in that same apartment, went to school from that same apartment and because the original master that employed their father which was the landlord was dead and even the parents of the servant educated children were also dead, one day comes and tell the children of their fathers employer that the boys quarters belonged to their father will be foolishness. For a fact, the servant has been in the boy’s quarters for decades, he even married, had kids and trained them in that place, now that he is dead, does staying in that apartment make it their own?
The old saying of when you want to know a man, give him power have played out, some Ijaws (izon) started to flex muscles when they suddenly found out they could be pirates and saboteurs yet profit from it.
Today they are pushing all kinds of narratives, from the narrative of been the clan with the highest population in the South-South of Nigeria to the narrative of been the Aborigines of anywhere they settle. They are claiming to be the once that knows how to shot while in a speed boat most in Nigeria, they even pride themselves in better than the Nigerian Navy in the seas. They are bracing up to become bullies, they know when two people fight over a piece of land, when the third person comes, he proposes to give a part to the one crying oppression for peace to reign, modern day Ijaw workers are smart negatively.
The Ijaws are aiming for the stars; they believe that when they mix, they will land in the sky.