Aja-Igba (otherwise known as Ajigba meaning, Igba’s town) was one of the few settlements founded by women in Itsekiri social history.

Igba was a very wealthy and prosperous woman and was a native of Orugbo. She was married to a man called Eyekuonogba at Okere, Warri. The marriage was quite healthy and happy until an unfortunate incident happened between her and the husband who was a dignified polygamist.

On one occasion the husband bought and distributed cloth to all his wives but gave none to Igba whom he thought was too highly placed to wear that type of print material which was of comparatively low quality. He thought that he was acting in good faith but Igba felt slighted and cheated, in that if her husband could think of his other wives and bought cloth for all of them, she too, deserved to be recognised and given one. She would not accept the explanation and apology by her husband.
As she did not want to move back to Orugbo to meet her parents she decided to establish her own village. She sailed along Orugbo creek, facing Ode-Itsekiri, and after some distance, she found a smaller creek on the right hand side, went into it and a little further down, she saw a much smaller creek. She went inside and at the end of that creek was dry forest land where she decided to establish her settlement.

At that time Prince Ogbobine was the head of Usele Village and as the whole of that area was the property of Prince Oritsemone Family of Usele, Igba went to Prince Ogbobine for approval and blessing to live there. Prince Ogbobine readily consented and went to the place to plant the town’s Ikimi tree for Igba to establish the settlement where she and her children and other relations lived until she died. She had two sons for Eyekuonogban, i.e: Otuedon and Lori.

Excerpts from Justice R.A.I. Ogbobine’s book “The Iwere (Warri) Kingdom and the Olus overlordship rights in Itsekiri land (1978)”


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