THE ADVENT OF CHRISTIANITY IN OBOWU LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA AND ITS IMPLICATIONS (1910-2010)

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                                                    Abstract

The research was motivated by lack of documentation on missionary incursion in Obowu land. The researcher delved into geographical location, the land people and meaning of Obowu. The researcher reviewed literature on the incursion of the various denominational groups in Obowu land. The impacts of colonialism were understood through the review of Archival materials. The researcher consulted materials in the Archives that were the earliest written records on the area and the colonial accounts of anthropology of the people. The research presented precise account of the mythology of origin of the people and their developed systems of beliefs, economic life, festivals and political dynamics prior to the missionary in incursion. The research work projected missions that led the way of evangelization and list of other missions that joined later. The various methods adopted by the missions and their application of liberation theology endured their breakthrough in the contest that raged between mission and the traditional society. The implication had impact on both sides but the society owes much to Christianity. The current investigation into Christianity and Obowu traditional society as pioneering approach stands for appraisal.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title page    –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        i

Requirement         –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        ii

Approval page     –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        iii

Certification         –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        iv

Dedication –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        v

Acknowledgement         –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        vi

Abstract      –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        viii

Table of contents –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        ix

CHAPTER ONE – introduction      –        –        –        –        –        –        1       

  1. Background of the study   –        –        –        –        –        –        –        1
  2. Statement of problem        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        11
  3. Aim of study –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        12
  4. Significance of study         –        –        –        –        –        –        –        12
  5. Scope of study         –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        13
  6. Limitation of study –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        13
  7. Methodology –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        14
  8. Definition of terms   –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        14

CHAPTER TWO – literature Review       –        –        –        –        –        16

1.2 1910 – 1935: Era of missionary incursion in Igbo land.   –        –        16

2.2 1935 – 1960:The war years and first set of indigenous vocation to priesthood   –        –        –        –        –        –        –        32     

2.3 1960- 1985: Time of second vatican council and years of Biatran civil war  –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        36

2.4 1985 – 2010: The Era of Pentecostalism in Igbo land and Obowu in particular      –        –        –        –        –        –        –        42

CHAPTER THREE: Obowu before the Advent of Christianity     –        –        52

3.1     Myths of Origins                     –        –        –        –        –        –        52

3.2     Belief System       –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        56

3.3     Economic Life      –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        60

3.4     Festivals     –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        65

3.5.1  Ntumaka festival –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        66

3.5.2  Iwa Akwa Festival         –        –        –        –        –        –        –        67

3.6     Marriage System –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        69

3.7     Political Dynamic          –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        72

3.7.1  Power And Authority    –        –        –        –        –        –        –        72

3.7.2  Ofo Na Ogu          –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        73

3.7.3  Age Grade System (Out Ebirim)       –        –        –        –        –        74

3.7.4  Conflict Resolution        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        74

CHAPTER FOUR: The Advent of Christianity and Obowu –        –        77

4.1     The Roman Catholic Church in Obowu     –        –        –        –        78

4.2     The Anglican Church in Obowu       –        –        –        –        –        90

4.3     Presbyterian Church in Obowu         –        –        –        –        –        –        94

4.4     Assemblies of God Church in Obowu        —       –        –        –        –        99

4.5     Deeper Life Bible Ministry      –        –        –        –        –        –        101

4.6     List of Churches in Obowu     –        –        –        –        –        –        102

CHAPTER FIVE: Implications of Christianity in Obowu     –        –        104

5.1     Traditional and cultural implication of Christianity  in Obowu. –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        104

5.2     The Social Implications of Christianity in Obowu         –        107

5.3     The Economic Implications of Christianity in Obowu   –        –        111

5.4     Political Implications of Christianity in Obowu            –            –        114

CHAPTER SIX: Summary and Conclusion                 –        –        –        –        118

6.1     Principal findings –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        118

6.2     Contribution to knowledge      –        –        –        –        –        –        119

6.3     6.3.    Recommendations         –        –        –        –        –        –        –        120

6.4     Suggestion for further research         –        –        –        –        –        122

6.5     Conclusion –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        122

          References –                  –        –        –        –        –        –        –        124

CHAPTER ONE

Introduction

  • Background of the Study

The focus of this study is the area designed as administrative Obowu or the fourteen (14) village community of Ekwere-na-ote and Okwu-na-Nso. Obowu situates in the Igbo Heartland of the present Obowu Local Government Area of Imo State of Nigeria and covers an area of 69,930 square kilometers. It is bounded on the east by the Imo River which separates it from Umuahia, on the North and North-West by Ihite and the famous Abadaba lake respectively, on the West by the Ahiazu Mbaise Local Government Area. Obowu is served by the Onuiyi River rising from Aham River between Okwuohia and Umulogho. And from here, the Aham (Iyi) traverses Umuoke and Umungwa, emptying itself finally into the Imo River.

Obowu is located about 40 kilometres north-east of Owerri and 9.6 kilometres west of Umuahia and it lies within the rain forest belt of Nigeria. Based on a densely-forested and undulating terrain of this region, Obowu is endowed with a variety of tall tree-ranging from the majestic Iroko, the oil bean, the silk cotton, the coconut to the highly valued oil palm. Here, the oil palm is the most common as well as the most important economic tree. The mean annual rainfall is between 80 – 100 inches and most of the rain falls between the months of April and November. The dry season which is generally hot sets in from December to March with a certain amount of harmattan occurring in December and January. Even during the dry season, occasional rains are not unusual. Worthy of note here is that the name Obowu which was originally spelt as OBOWU but the colonial masters anglicized the name and spelt is OBOWO.

THE ADVENT OF CHRISTIANITY IN OBOWU LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA AND ITS IMPLICATIONS (1910-2010)