HISTORY OF UGA





INTRODUCTION

Uga, situated some twenty five kilometres south-east of Awka, is on the border of Anambra and Imo States. The town covers an area of about seventy square kilometre. In terms of population, it is the fourth largest town in Aguata Local Government Area. Uga is bounded on the north with Nkpologwu and Ezinifite, on the east by Amesi and Umuchu, on the west by Unubi and Akwaihedi, and on the South by Akokwa and Akpulu, (both in Ideato North L. G. A. of Imo State). The main divisions or quarters (villages) of the town are Umueze, Oka, Umuoru and Awarasi. The four villages of the town are further sub-divided into kindreds. For purpose of administration each Kindred unit is split into two or more wards. It is on these ward that council representation is based.



HISTORY

Uga is within the deciduouus forest zone. It experinces two seasons, rainy and dry. The annual rainfall range of about 70" to 85", unoubtedly favours the growth of many tropical trees. These trees grow very tall and huge except where growth is disturbed by human activity. The need for development has lead to the disappearance of the virgin forests. The inhabitants of the town are predominantly into subsistent farming and business. Only a limited few activate the land produce for sale in the market. In the early 19th century, the people of Uga combined subsistent agriculter with some other trades such as carpentry, Smithing, Carving and retail trade which these days the people are mainly into Politics, Education, Travelling and Business (nationally and internationally). In 19th century, there are however, a few enthusiastic farmers who leave Uga for other towns like Awa, Umunze and Ogboji during the farming season for farming and return at the end but these days, it is no longer like that as education and business has taken over and instead of travelling to a nearby town for farmin, Uga people travel far and wide to acquire knowledge academically and to do business. A lot of Uga people now rside in western word practicing different professions. Some are medical doctors within and outside Africa, others are Professors, business mogul, etc. Uga people never believe in stagnancy and idleness hence the impact is seen in the present rapid development and erection of mansions as residential house in every part of the land.

Important economic prpoducts include palm produce, coconut and kolanut, yams and banana. Domestic animals like sheep and goats are kept. Added to these products is the stone and sand collecting industry(quarry) which, in recent years, has been the occupation of some young men and holiday engagement for school children. The industry provides sufficient building stones used by both Uga people and the neighbour towns. The area is naturally well provided with water supply: springs, streams and lakes. These are founds towards the south-western part of the town, there are few hills and valleys. Obizi stream from which pipe-borne water is

LINK BETWEEN UGA AND AGULEZECHUKWU:

About six (6) centuries ago, there was one strong brave man man at Awarasi village in Uga. He was Mazi Ikwuka. He had a sister who was married to another man in another village in Uga.The woman became pregnant and one day, the woman had misunderstanding with her husband which resulted to fight and her husband beat her without mercy not minding she was pregnant. The woman reported her husband to Ikwuka her brother. Ikwuka having seen the condition of his sister and injuries she sustained from the beatings she got from her husband, he (Ikwuka) was very anoyed and he took his sister to the house of his in-law to know what prompted such violence. At a point, when words were being exchanged in anger by the woman and her husband, further quarrels arose and Mazi Ikwuka pounced onhis in-law when he could no longer hold his anger; carried him up an threw hi, hard on the ground. The man fell headlong and got his neck broken which eventually led to his death. When Mazi Ikwuka heard that his in-law is dead, he was davised to run away on exile to Nkpologwu where the people captured by Uga during internal wars were sent to farm for Uga people. Mazi Ikwuka remained at Nkpologwu for some years with his wife and family, and his wife begat him a son there who he named (Nwabananso) meaning a child free from defilement. Mazi Ikwuka was not disowned by his people because they knew that he fought to avenge merciless beating given to his prrgnant sister But his in-laws were still after him which made him to relocate to Isuofia and mix up with people there but his wife and Abananso remained at Nkpologwu. Years later, Mazi Ikwuka people called him back to make peace between him and his in-laws but Mazi Ikwuka refused even when his wife and son joined to persuade him to come home for peace talk, he refused, and because of his persistent refusal, he was given the name (Ota-Uchichi) which meant a man with hardened heart.

Later, Mazi Ikwuka after many years, moved east-wards into a virgin wilderness, with his family and people who joined him. In this virgin wilderness were wild animals, but Mazi Ikwuka made shelter where he lived with his wife, son and his men. The wild animals in this wilderness especially Elephants and leopards constituted danger and worry to the lives of Mazi Ikwuka and his group. Mazi Ikwuka later sent some of his men to Umueze Uga to fetch him hunters to come and help him fight the elephants and leopards that posed threat to him and his group. Ezechukwu's group of hunters volunteered and went to fight the elephant and leaopards. The found the elephant, used spears, arrows, charms to pursuen the elephant and at last, got the elephant killed and the spot where the elephant was killed was named (Omele enyi) which meant 'the place were the elephant was killed' and when the news got to Uga town, some Uga people trecked to the place even some Nkpologwu people, to join in sharing the booty and the hunters also decided to settle there because it is fertile and there were fruits, bush meat, water and the land was vast.mAfter killing of the elephant, leopards begaan to pose dangerous threat to the group and Ezechukwwu and his hunters fought the leopards, killed some and some ran away, that's how they settled with Mazi Ikwuka in the place. Later, argument arose between Mazi Ikwuka and Ezechukwu over who will be head and name to be given to the place and it was agreed that because Ezechukwu is the one who made the place habitable to humans by killing elephant and leaopards, the name of the place should be calleld (Agu Olu Ezechukwu) meaning farm land of Ezechukwu and it is in this name that the name Agulu-Ezechukwu was derived, hence it is no longer Aguoluezechukwu but Aguluezechukwu.

OBIZI

Uga is within the deciduouus forest zone. It experinces two seasons, rainy and dry. The annual rainfall range of about 70" to 85", undoubtedly favours the growth of many.

AGWAZI RIVER

The Agwazi sacred Stream around whose forest the white man firsh camped Immediatelly surroundings are kept sacred to the goddess of the stream. It was at the outskirt of it's forest that the first British to visit the town camped overnight.


Post-expedition Church

The town is commercially important. This importance stems from the fact that it's market, Orie Udo, occupies a very strategic position, a position in which other markets are unable to outcompete it. What is more, the market is conveniently placed to serve the towns in Aguata, Nnewi and Ideato local Government Areas. It has now become a daily market but coommands more attendants on Orie days. the market has continued to attract traders from neighbouring towns. The influx of people into Uga, with consequent increase in population has led to the rapid springing up of retail shops in different section of the market. Remarkable improvement have also been made in the field of education. By the first decades of 19th century, the Church Missionary Society and the Roman Catholic Missions introduced Christianity and schools in Uga.

Progress in this direction was temporarily interrupted by the action of Uga people when "the school (C.M.S) was entirely destroyed nothing remained but the broken walls and seats.....R.C.M. school was similarly treated....4 However, after Uga peoples's active resistance to British rule was contained in 1916, school and church activities where revived. From this humble begginning, Uga rose its present educational height of ten primary school, a Boy's secondary school, a Girl secondary school a Domestic Science Centre, a commercial school and a teacher training Collage for Girls. Socially Uga people are at the peace among themselves and with their neighbours. In the pre-colonial and colonial periods, inter-village and inter-town marriages were the chief means whereby solidarity and good neighbourliness were maitained. Today, business, education and rise of many social clubs (non political in constitution) has done much to make personal and village relationships very cordial. Prominent among these clubs are

  • The Oru Agency Club, Umuoru-Uga
  • The Uga Social Club of Nigeria, Uga
  • The Udo Di Mma Social Club of Nigeria, Uga
  • The Umueze Unity Club, Awalasi-Uga
  • The Oka United Social Club, Oka-Uga
  • The Umuoru Progressive Club, Umuoru-Uga
  • Uga Future Hope Committee of Friends
  • Great Brothers Club of Uga
All these under the cultural umbrella of the Uga Improvement Union (though some of these clubs are no longer active like before but their impact remains)

However, Uga people were said to be generally stubborn and rebellious by nature. They also seemed to take things lightly even when impending danger was clearly seen. They Usually took delayed action in reponse to matters which to others would need immediate attention. The saying that (Uga anaghi agba oso mmiri ma o zughi ha ahu) which, literally means that 'Ugaa people never shelter themselves from rain until they are completely soaked' is generally used to described Uga peoples attituden to things. Even though there may be evidence to support it, the present generation of Uga people is fast ridding itself of this social trait. With this short background of the town and its people, an analysis of how Uga people came and settled in their present location will now follow.

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