Written by So Jaja 2 comments Jaja King of Opobo He arrived in the Kingdom of Bonny in , the year the Slavery Abolition Act was passed by the British Parliament, as a child with no weight in substance, and in the space of thirty-seven years; he rose through the ranks by sheer force of personality to become a clan sub-chief, Head chief of a trading House Opubo Annie Pepple House , and King of Opobo. Jaja founded the Kingdom of Opobo after he retreated with members of his clan into Andony territory after Bonny civil war in As a result, King Jaja led the first punitive expedition to the region on 11 April and that was followed by a second expedition, on the night of 16 May Following both expeditions, the disagreements between Jaja and the British Consular Authority worsened.

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Bonny and Opobo are of the same origin, both belonging to the Ibani tribe. An Igbo man who was subsequently initiated into the Ibani called Jubo Jubogha rose from slavery to lead the Anna Pepple chieftaincy house of Bonny. In , Jubo first arrived in what is now Opobo, having moved there due to a civil war in Bonny between his followers and those of Chief Oko Jumbo , the leader of the rival Manilla Pepple chieftaincy family.

The king named his new state after Amanyanabo Opubo "Pepple" Perekule the Great, a Pepple king in Bonny that had reigned there from to Jubo Jubogha became involved in palm oil trading with Europeans. He started a trading post at Opobo Town, close to Ikot Abasi and 4 miles southwest of the Opobo river.

Due to his dealings with them, he soon acquired the trade name Jaja. Jubo Jubogha was never on good terms with the Ngwa people to the north, or the Annang and the Ibibio to the east, as he declared himself as the middleman in palm oil trading, thus asking them to stop trading directly with the Europeans. This tradition, which has its roots in ancient times, is one of the most important taboos the people of this coastal town hold on to. While the people are free to bring in dog meat to eat in their homes whenever they feel like it, they are not allowed to keep dogs as pets or bring such into the community.

For those, who flout this grand rule, the penalty is usually grave. In addition In Opobo, one is not allowed to shoot a gun. Such a thing is only to occur by royal sanction during a war. The gateways are small roofed passages, essentially a series of tunnels, connecting one compound to another.

On the floor of such gateways is a crossbar, which those passing are forbidden from stepping foot on. Adhering to this rule while passing through the place is a mark of respect for the high chief of a particular compound, which is also referred to as a war canoe house. While these taboos could be said to hold sway during daytime, another set of unusual ones rules the land at nighttime. Some of that set include: Making noise, pounding or quarrelling at night is forbidden.

While it is not uncommon to hear giant loud speakers blaring music at hundreds of decibels at night time, with a cacophony of voices providing background percussion in other communities, in Opobo such a thing is totally forbidden.

Making any form of noise at night is one of the biggest offences anyone can commit in this island community. You could be labelled an enemy of the town. Similarly, quarrelling and fighting at night is taboo here as well.

Regardless of how provoked you are, you must wait till the break of dawn to vent your anger on whoever has provoked you. Breaking any of these rules attracts a fine of N7, each or a serious punishment by the community heads. Such a woman would also be denied many other rights: there are sacred places that she cannot enter and she will not be entitled to mix freely with women that have been initiated.

In fact, she can be traditionally disgraced by the other women in the community at any time.


Aspects of British Gunboat Diplomacy – Jaja King of Opobo

From the 15th to the 18th century, Opobo, like the other city-states, gained its wealth from the profits of the slave trade. This thriving business was enough to make one rich as well as give him popularity. However, the abolition of the Slave Trade in was supplanted by the trade in palm oil. Palm oil, in itself, was so vibrant that the region was named the Oil Rivers area. Astute in business and politics, Jaja became the head of the Anna Pepple House, extending its activities and influence by absorbing other houses, increasing operations in the hinterland and augmenting the number of European contacts. King Jaja Opobo statue.


King Jaja of Opobo: History of the great Nigerian hero

Jaja whose real name was Mbanaso Okwaraozurumbaa was also a savvy political and military strategist, brought to the Bonny Kingdom as a slave, who was perhaps the most troublesome thorn in the flesh of 19th-century British imperial ambition in southern Nigeria. At birth he was given a native Igbo name Mbanaso Okwaraozurumba and was the third son of his parents, the Okwaraozurumba. One version of the oral traditions says that he was sold because, as a baby, he cut the upper teeth first, an abominable phenomenon in traditional Igbo society. Regardless, he was bought by Chief Iganipughuma Allison of Bonny, by far the most powerful city-state on the Atlantic coast of Southeastern Nigeria before the rise of Opobo. To follow the Ja Ja story or, indeed, revolution, an explanatory note is necessary. Until the end of the 19th century, the Delta communities played a crucial role in European and American trade with Nigeria. Acting as middlemen, these communities carried into the interior markets the trade goods of European and American supercargoes stationed on the coast and brought back in exchange the export produce of the hinterland, basically palm oil.


King Jaja of Opobo, Lessons Of History -By Tayo Oke

Almost every Nigerian student who passed through the Nigerian secondary school curriculum can attest that the story of King Jaja of Opobo is one of the prominent stories ever. Tales ranging from his business acumen to his defiance against the British authority has continued to live even long after his death. King Jaja was a merchant prince and the founder of Opobo city-state in an area that is now the Rivers state of Nigeria. He was the third son of his parents, the Okwaraozurumba. There have been different stories as to the reason he was sold into slavery to the people of Bonny at the age of According to some reports, he was sold into slavery because he caught his upper teeth, which was believed to be a taboo.



Christianity This article is about the 19th Century African King. For the provider, see Jajah. King Jaja of Opobo full name: Jubo Jubogha; — was a merchant prince and the founder of Opobo city-state in an area that is now the Rivers state of Nigeria. Born in Umuduruoha Amaigbo in Igboland , he was taken at about the age of twelve as a slave in Bonny. Jumo Jumofe later took the name "Jaja" for his dealings with the British.

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