A brief History of Aguleri

By Adanze Kaima

According to Idigo, Aguleri is a very large town situated at the bank of the river Anambra called Omabala by the indigenes and corruptly nicknamed Anambra by the European Settlers (Idigo, 1990:3). He argues that Aguleri town is about 32 kilometers by the shortest land route to Onitsha and crossed by the line 6.53 east longitudes and 6.22 north latitude. The land is apparently low lying. During the rainy season the Anambra river, floods its banks to the extent or degree of so many kilometers depositing alluvial soil resulting in the great fertility of the soil (Idigo, 1990:1). 

Idigo (1955:2) asserts that “Aguleri people are basically farmers. Their traditional way of life was so eminently good and satisfactory that in recent times they have often been reluctant to abandon it by moving into the modern sector of the Nigerian economy’’. Nonetheless, since the beginning of this century, when Europeans began to penetrate, radical and constructive education is seriously pursued and this actually bring in development of small-scale industries, trading and manufacture (Idigo, 1990:1).


A wanderer and a warrior called Eri, the founder of Igbo race (Idigo, 2001:72) was among the migrants. He was believed to have moved and settled temporarily with his followers, in an area near the confluence of the Niger and Benue Rivers. From there Eri moved to the Anambra valley and quickly settled near the bank of the River Omanbala [corruptly called Anambra by the Europeans] at a place known as Eri-Aka near Odanduli stream, which is presently today located between Ivite and Igboezunu Aguleri respectively. Over time, Eri went out on war raids and captured many men and women and his settlement began to grow exceedingly (Idigo, 1990:3). Idigo (1990:4) again affirms that “Eri was married to Nono who bore for him six sons namely Agulu, Menri [Nri], Onogo [Igbariam], Nteje, Nsugbe, Amanuke and a daughter called Adamgbo. Having only one daughter, Eri refused to give her out in marriage but housed her to bear children for him’’.

 According to Idigo (1990:3-4) again “after the death of Eri, his off springs grew in number. To avoid over-crowding and to prevent a situation where all of them could fall prey in an attack which was then the order of the day, the son’s dispersed to different places of abode today. The children of Agulu, the first son, remained in their grandfather’s [Eri] abode, and together with Adamgbo’s children, evolved the town, Aguleri. To Agulu’s name was appended to his father’s name Eri, making Agulu-Eri. This is because he doesn’t want his father’s name to be forgotten’’. Menri’s children settled at Nri and later expanded to Umunri communities. Onogu’s off springs took their residence at Igbariam while Ntemeje’s children lived at Nteje, and later dispersed into some parts of Asaba and Anam (Idigo, 1990:3).



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