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Published On: Fri, Oct 8th, 2021

Origin And Evolution Of Urhobo Community Of Otor-Udu

LAGOS OCTOBER 8TH (URHOBOTODAY)-Otor Udu is a town in Nigeria that is the traditional home of all Udu people. Udu people are of Urhobo ethnic nationality of the western Niger delta. They speak the Urhobo language. The area called Udu or Udu Clan occupies the plain land that lies between the Warri River in the west and the Okpare Creek to the east.
It occupies a land of about 138 square kilometres (53 sq mi). It is bounded to the north by the city of Warri, to the north-east by Effurun, to the south-east by Otu Jeremi and to the south by Ohwahwa and Esaba and south-west Ogbe Ijaw. Otor Udu is the headquarters of Udu Local Government area of Delta State. It is about 7 km (4.3 mi) from city of Warri Nigeria.
The history of Otor Udu is the history of Udu, a sub ethnic group of Urhobo people in Nigeria. It is a very complex story which defies simple and straight forward narrative. According to Professor G. G. Darah of Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria, that Udu is an amalgamation of various groups which came to the area at different times from disparate sources. He divides the periods into three. These are:
Early history
Three epochs characterized the early stages of Udu history. These are:
Migration into the area of families fleeing from Benin, the emergence of the two ex bini warriors, Onirhe and Ovo and the flight from Ovo’s persecution and the founding of various villages.
Phase one
This periods opens with the founding of the first settlements and closes with arrival in the area of Ovo. According to one legend, one Uherdejo and his family migrated from Benin following a clash with the then reigning Oba or king. The family travelled south and found a village called Orere Oheredjo near present day Oghior. Another family headed by Omiere also came to the area, this time from Uwhurun and pitched a camp near present day Owhrode. The village was called Orho Uwhurun, which is now called Orhowhorun.
In order to capture the recalcitrant rebellious Benin Chief, Igbide or Igbede, two warriors named Onirhe and Ovo were sent after him. After achieving their aims, they went to Izon territory to settle in a place called Igbeni. Here Onirhe married an Izon woman called Udu. Thereafter, he and his people moved and settled at the near present site Otu Jeremi. Not long, after, Ughievwen arrived and settled by the bank of Okpare creeks. Later, Onirhe moved and settled in the present site and later named Oto Onirhe. Onirhe had three children by his Izon wife Udu. These children are Ohuvwun, Aladja and Uloho. Another tradition had that, he had one son, called Owhworhun and two daughters, Adadja the senior and Uloho the junior. It was these children later found thirteen villages and towns in Evwrirhe sub clan of Udu people.
Phase two
Soon Onirhe settled at the present day, his former warrior, Ovo appeared and was welcome to live with him amicably. However, Ovo continue with his war exploits, the exploit led him to found a village called Ikperha by the bank of the Warri River. He crossed over to now Warri territory, here he established the Ovo shrine in Okurode, Agharha Ame (Agbassah).
The war activities of Ovo made him to disappear from the scene after the death of Onirhe and consequent war opened territory to wars. The spirit of adventure made Onirhe to attack Orere Uheredjo. With this information, Uheredjo and his sons fled northwards to settle by the bank of Warri River. This settlement later gave birth to the three villages of Opete, Enerhen and Okpaka.
Due to Onirhe war exploits led to waves of migrants to Oto Onirhe, first to arrive was Oghior who fled from Benin Oba. He and his family who founded a place called Iyede in Isoko and migrated to the Otor Onirhe. Other families believed to have come during the period were those of Ogbe, Owhrode, Ohwase and Ovwian.
Udu villages
The villages that made up of the present Udu Kingdom are historically grouped into three sections. These are:
Evwrirhe section
These are the villages and towns: Aladja, Ovwian, Emadaja, Egini, Obubu, Ubogo, Oleri, Oto Udu, Ogbe Udu, Ukpiovwin, Ukperheren, Ayama, Ekrota, Ugbisi, Owhrode, Ekete Uburhie, Ekete Oboto, Okolo Uburhie, Okolo Oboto, Ovworhokpokpo, Erhiephiho, Egiegi, Epame, Ujevwu, Oghior and Ohwase.
Oniere Section
These are Orhowhorun, Igbogidi, and new town founded due to the construction of Delta Steel Company (DSC) at Aladja, Steel Township.
Uheredjo Section
These are Opete, Okpaka and Enerhen.
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