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Onicha Ado N’idu

The political upheaval in the Benin Empire by the early sixteenth Century was said to have been responsible for the migration that took place through the then Mid-West towards the east of the great River Niger under the leadership of one of the then Benin Empire warlords and a Prince of Benin Royal blood called Chima.

This resulted in the founding of many settlements including the blue-blood Clan of Umuezechima (descendants of King Chima) their single royal ancestor.

In his intelligence report, W.R.T. Milne wrote that Chima might have been forced to leave Benin due to a dispute over Kingship in 1468. In the course of the migratory period, some of the party settled in the neighbouring towns of the present day, Onicha Ugbo, Onicha Olona, Ogwashi, Onicha Ukwu and Asaba to mention a few.

The party arrived Obio near the present day Asaba, Capital of Delta State where Chima died after sighting the inland town of Onitsha across the River Niger.

Thence, Oreze, one of Chima’s sons succeeded his father and to fulfill his fathers’ quest led some of the party to settle across the River Niger after defeating the Oze people in many communal battles.

The British government as a result of their flourishing and prosperous commercial expedition which include slave trade to which Onitsha was of strategic importance as an inland town, entered into an agreement with Onitsha people in 1857 and provided a steamer under the supervision of Dr. Baikie for the defence of Onitsha town.

That same year Bishop Ajayi Crowther with the collaboration of Missionaries from Sierra Leone established the Church Missionaries Society (CMS). In addition, European commercial concerns which came to being as a result of commercial agreements merged in 1879 leading to the formation of the Royal Niger Company.

This led to more commercial agreement in 1884 with the Royal Niger Company, to revamp Onitsha’s commercial outlook as well as encourage Missionary Activities that Onitsha assumed the political Headquarters of the defunct Central Division in 1905.

The following year, 1906, Onitsha was connected with Telecommunications links with the laying across the Niger the first telephone Telegraph cable. These early contacts with the Western world brought recognition to the stool of Obi of Onitsha Kingdom. Thus, the British Government issued a Certificate of Recognition to Obi Samuel Okosi I (1901 1931), the 17th Obi of Onitsha on the demise of his predecessor.

Onicha Ado N’Idu means Onitsha people of Edo Benin Royal blood or of Edo Benin extraction.