Any historical study on Ekwe society, without credible attention first to the earliest period of Ekwe as an independent culture based Igbo Community, is apt to be an exercise in futility. The present study examines the level of development in Ekwe in 1960 and after the colonial rule. This work unveils the extortion and underdevelopment the British people led Ekwe people into. This work reveals the unity of Ekwe people both male and female, home and abroad and how their leaders provided unity and development. The work highlights the continuity of some indigenous customs and traditions and the adoption and continuity of British-imposed customs in Ekwe. The researcher stressed and went extra-miles to show the relationships between Ekwe and other neighboring communities, especially Okwudor. Moreover, this work examines the customs and traditions of Ekwe, the History, norms and post-colonial period in Ekwe, Chieftaincy, Ozo, Ezeship titles, festivals, roles of her women in Nigeria/Biafra Civil War, Infrastructures and the women. In order to achieve viable results, extensive use of both primary and secondary sources of materials was done. Subsequently, qualitative and quantitative approach were adopted during sieving of the enormous information available, in order to aid historical objectivity.


Title page                                                                                                                    i

Certification                                                                                                                ii

Approval                                                                                                                     iii

Dedication                                                                                                                  iv

Acknowledgements                                                                                                    v

Abstract                                                                                                                      vi

Table of Contents                                                                                                       vii

List of illustrations                                                                                                      ix

CHAPTER ONE-     INTRODUCTION                                                               

1.1 Background to the Study                                                                                     1

1.2 Statement of Problem                                                                                           3

1.3 Purpose of the Study                                                                                            3

1.4 Significance of the Study                                                                                     3

1.5 Methodology, Sources and Organization    4

1.6 Scope of the Study                                                                                               4

1.7 Literature Review                                                                                                 5

End Note                                                                                                                    8


2.1 Location and Geography                                                                                      9

2.2 Origin, Migration and settlement                                                  16

 End Note                                                                                                                   20


3.1 Taboos and Abominations                                                          22

3.2 Kolanut among Ekwe People and Igbo People at Large (Oji)     25

3.3 Festivals in Ekwe                                                                                                  32

3.6 Kindreds in Ekwe Community                                                   44

3.7 Political and Traditional Institutions                                                  46

3.9 Ezeship Stool and Covenants in Ekwe                                             50

End Note                                                                                         52                   

CHAPTER FOUR- POST-COLONIAL EKWE TOWN                                               

4.1 Brief History of Ekwe from 1960-2000                                             54

4.2 Ekwe Development Union (EDU) 1963                                       55

4.3 Roles of Igbo/Ekwe women in Nigeria/Biafra war 1967-1970             57

4.4 Brief Crises of 1996-2000                                                             63

4.5 Infrastructural developments                                                             63

 End Note                                                                                                                   66


5.1 Summary                                                                                                               67

5.2 Conclusion                                                                                                            68

Bibliography                                                                                                               71


Map of Imo state                                                                                                        12

Intensive political map of Ekwe                                                                      13

Map of major Road in Ekwe                                                                                      14

The picture of Ekeleke                                                                                                39

The picture of Oghu                                                                                                    42

Kindreds in Ekwe                                                                                                       43

Warrant Chief and kindreds                                                                43                   



1.1       Background of Study

Ekwe is a community in Isu Local Government Area, Imo State, Nigeria.

In Igboland, Ekwe people work mostly as craftsmen, farmers and traders. The most important crop is the yam. Other staple crops include cassava, three leaf yam and cocoyam. The Igbos are also highly urbanized, with some of the largest metropolitan areas, cities and towns in Igboland being Onitsha, Enugu, Aba, Owerri, Orlu, Okigwe, Asaba, Awka, Nsukka, Nnewi, Umuahia, Abakaliki, Afikpo, Agbor and Arochukwu.

Ekwe people have similarities and continuities from prehistory to contemporary time. Before British colonial rule in the 20th century, the Igbo were a politically fragmented group, with a number of centralized chiefdoms such as Nri, Arochukwu, Agbor and Onitsha. In the wake of decolonisation, the Igbo developed a strong sense of ethnic identity which Ekwe was one of the communities.1

After the colonizing from Ekweland, the community is mostly interested in human relationships and cooperation. They have the zeal of coming together and doing things as one body. The colonial era did more harm than good. The old nature of Ekwe Ancient Kingdom some years ago did not allow them to know what to do. It has been a burden of knowing what they can do to come together after the British exit. It is also a tough task on how to reason together and their self-questioning led to these questions.

          1. How can they make laws that will be guiding the community?

          2. How can they stop ills and evil deeds that are becoming too many?

          3. How can they join the race for development and modern civilization?

          4. What is their work?

It was the inquisitive minds of many illustrious sons and daughters of Ekwe that made them consider togetherness which led to what they know today as the Ekwe Town Union.

Town unionism was very important during the post-colonial period in Ekwe because it solved the problem of leadership which the colonizer were not interested in Nigerians, but they were interested in exploiting natural resources.

            Community Development is not left out.

However, a thorough research into the Ekwe ancient Kingdom starting from Ekwe in time and space through the origin till the achievements of the town union will show the level of development Ekwe had attained. There was very rapid development counting from the independence period which was from 1960 to 2000 compared to the colonial era. Ekwe has not been fully developed; therefore, one cannot say it is developed. Rather it has passed the formal stage of its old and is pursuing modern civilization in a great way. Based on this fact, it is concluded that Ekwe is developing.

The kind of development that helped Ekwe to attain the height it has today started immediately after her freedom from colonial rule. There were in two ways:

  • First, Infra-Human Development
  • Second, Infrastructural Development.

Infra-Human Development: Ekwe first started its development with human beings believing that when produced, capable beings will help in contributing to the infrastructural development.

Infrastructural Development: Economic development during that period improved in no small measure. The Colonial era was a fraud because the Europeans dominated the economic sector. They chose to exploit her natural resources for their own selfish gains and also refused to use them to develop Ekweland. It is after their exit that Ekwe citizens started enjoying their resources and many markets were established in Ekwe in order to boost economic activities.