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Published On: Mon, Oct 21st, 2019

History Is Made In Urhobo Community As A Chief Marries Two Wives In One Day

The Otota of Unenurhie community, Mr. Joseph Bicycle cheering audience during the marriage event.


By Young Erhiurhoro
LAGOS OCTOBER 21ST (URHOBOTODAY)-History was recently made at Unenurhie community in Evwreni kingdom, Ughelli North LGA of Delta state as the Otota (Spokesman) of the community, Mr. Joseph Bicycle married his two wives the same day. As we all know, in ancient African life, polygamy was synonymous to traditional leadership. In fact, it was one of the prerequisites to measure wealth in ancient times in many ethnic regions across Nigeria, including Urhobo and Isoko.
In those days, the above scenario of marrying many wives brought about jealousy, greed, discrimination, disparity and other social maladies amongst marriage mates or co-wives which at last, created disunity and hatred amongst children of those families. In such times, marriage was highly competitive amongst marriage mates. It was in such love competitions like cooking of delicious food, washing of the man’s clothes, sweeping of the compound, taking care of the man’s family members and friends (courtesy), serving the man with good table manners, satisfying the sexual needs of the man and others that virtuous wives were found or selected by the husband, family members, friends and visitors to the family house.
This brought about the family drama series titled, “AMEBO” which was shown in those days by NTA stations across the country. The “AMEBO” was corrupted from the Urhobo word, “AVWEBO” given to such virtuous wives with charming characters and good manners . Avwebo literally means wives that could serve their husbands wholeheartedly with their hearts and whole lives.
In those days, evil was very much prevalent in polygamous homes perpetuated by marriage mates either against themselves as love competitors or against the children as products of such wicked acts. We have heard stories where women poisoned their husbands or marriage mates. There were cases where women also poisoned or killed their mate’s children and vice versa.
However, the difference was created in the family of Mr. Joseph Bicycle, the Otota (Spokesman) of Unenurhie community.
Speaking to Urhobotoday.com during the marriage reception held at the Unenurhie town-hall, the Otota said, “I married my two wives some years ago and they are happily living together under one roof with all their children since the day I brought them to my compound. All of them, including the children eat from one pot of soup. There is no discrimination, greed or jealousy between my two wives or among the children they born for me as the case with many polygamous homes today. I give God the glory for this singular understanding and wisdom. I truly love my two wives. This is why I decided to formalized their marital rites the same day. They are not from the same communities. My first wife is from Owodokpokpo-Igbide community in Isoko South LGA of Delta state, while my second wife is from this my community. But two of them were traditionally escorted to my compound yesterday. And here we are today, as you can see, we are also celebrating the reception together in love and friendliness. There is no disparity.”
Speaking in the same vein, the two wives, Mrs. Christiana Bicycle, nee Ekpewho and Mrs. Onome Bicycle, nee Ogbobine who were gorgeously dressed and beaming with contented smiles said, “Today symbolized an everlasting union in our lives with our lovely and dear husband. We love him and we also love our children. We love ourselves too. We can’t fight or quarrel over the man God had given to us to enjoy together. We thank all our invitees that are sharing this moment of joy with us.”
Showing appreciation to his invited guests, the out-spoken Otota said, “Words are not enough for me and my two lovely wives to express our appreciation to all those present in this ceremony. I thank with sincere heart the contributions of the president general of Unenurhie community in the person of Mr. Peter Maison and his wife, Mrs. Angela Maison. We also appreciate the efforts of the Odion’Rode-In-Council to stand by me till this very moment. The same way we thank the Women Association of the community ably led by Madam Ochuko Akpirhobo. The Youth Association led by Mr. Friday Diamond will not be left out. I thank them for their security services rendered to us. I also thank the members of my family especially Chief (Dr.) Greg Atori, JP and Mr. College Uneni for their moral and financial support. We can’t mention everybody’s name here. We thank all of you for being there for us. May God bless all of you.”


Young Erhiurhoro; Kjc is a reporter and a member of the Urhobo Historical Society

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