THE OLOGHE EBELLE TRUCE AND THE SOCIAL CONSOLIDATION ACHIEVEMENT
Gabriel Akhabue Iruobe
History was made the other day, that is, the 31st of January, 2020 as the erstwhile mild fracas and disagreement amongst sections of the sub-quarters (Egbe or clans) fizzled out delightfully and projected Ologhe again as an ancient ‘land of promise’ epitomizing an efficient, effective and cooperating community with a glowing future for a consolidated brotherhood and undivided focus on developmental issues – socially, economically and politically.
It used to be said that Ologhe is Orobomueni (the people that handles the elephant), implying that although a community with the least population among its peers, they could spring up surprises and confound all others with their cooperative ability, resilience, and doggedness in confronting challenges that come their way in any matter in the land of Ebelle. Thus, Ologhe is renown in Ebelle for its power of unity in achieving her goals, apart from having close ties with Eguare, in particular, Idibhigie, that share a common ancestry with it. But over some decades, the unity had undergone some threats and was gradually being eroded by the schisms setting in which weakened the long time solidarity and the force of oneness in some areas of customary relevance. This schism was in the arena of the hitherto approved headship installation procedures of the con-federating sub-quarters. It was, before this time, designed to follow a particular mode or order; in accordance with the age-long practice in the land, or within the Ologhe community.
Ologhe had the tradition where the installation of Edions and of the Odionwelhe was to be conducted at Idumhenbor as the headquarters of the Ologhe community. But at a time, certain interests arose to challenge this hegemony and resorted to having a parallel installation ceremony for their Edions, and also, outside of Idumhenbor.
It should be known also that Ologhe itself comprises of five sub-quarters – Idumhun-Ebor, Idumhun-Azagbaghide, idumhun-Isor idumhun-Areghan and Idumhun-Igbeni or idigbeni. Idumhenbor has always remained as the head and provided the ground for the installation of the Edions at the site of the Alhu-Edion (seat of Edions). The indigenous people occupied Idumhebor while migrants/settlers occupied Idumhun-Esan. But the migrants accepted to cooperate with the aboriginal people and hence the expansion of the Ologhe quarters as the frontiers took a wider outlook, culturally and geographically. On many fronts, the component clans or Egbes did specific things together with some level of self-determination, autonomy and independence on the issue of funeral rites which were conducted along these differential and particularistic clan/Egbe lines. This became the order, and consequently, the established tradition.
Ordinarily, every clan/Egbe have their separate meetings depending on issues to be addressed; but they also appear at the central meeting (Iko-Ologhe) whenever there is a call for it. Thus, certain specific functions were to be performed exclusively by the Central Ologhe Congregants while leaving certain function to the various clans to perform some residual functions. The installation of the “Edion-Ologhe” was the exclusive preserve of the Ologhe Edion Council. At some period in history, some clans took it upon themselves to appoint or anoint their own Odion in defiance of the orders to be issued by the subsisting Edion Council whose leanings and loyalty resides with the Idumhenbor sanctity and sacrosanctity. Therefore, with respect to the installation of Edions, those who did not want to tinker with, nor toy with nor alter the tradition stayed with the mainstream “Iko-Ologhe” and rejected the protest by these individuals/families who felt like it was about time to change the ailing tradition. Thus, they conducted their induction elsewhere, at a time fixed by them; in spite of the fears that arose within their minds of a betrayal