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Urhobo Nationality And Governance Structure


The Urhobo nation is made up of people who are located in Southern Nigeria, near the northwestern Niger delta.

The Urhobo are the major ethnic group in Delta State, which is one of the 36 states of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Urhobos speak the Urhobo language, and their culture is related to several culture in the Niger-Delta, including Isoko.

This is because of this close relation, missionaries erroneously labeled the Urhobo and Isoko cultural groups as Sobo, which was strongly rejected by both tribes.

However, some still claim that Isoko is a dialect of Urhobo. The Urhobo nation is made up of twenty-four sub-groups, including the largest, Okpe.

Isoko used to be regarded as a part of Urhobo nation until they were granted autonomy in the late 1950s.

The word Urhobo refers to a group of people rather than a territory. Approximately two million people are Urhobos.

They have a social and cultural affinity to the Edo people of Nigeria. The Urhobo people live in a territory bounded by latitudes 6°and 5°, 15° North and Longitudes 5°, 40° and 6°, 25° East in the Delta and the Bayelsa States of Nigeria.

Their neighbors are the Isoko to the Southeast, the Itsekiri and Ijaw to the West, the Edo people, Bini, to the North, the Ijaw to the South and the Ukwuani people (to the Northeast).

Urhobo territory consists of evergreen forests with many oil palm trees. The territory is covered by a network of streams, whose volume and flow are directly affected by the seasons.

The wet season is traditionally from April to October, and dry season ranges from November to March.

Urhobo Governance Structure

The Urhobo nationality is people who are organized into two different political kingdoms, gerontocracies and plutocracies.

A gerontocracy is a government run by elders, based on the age-grade-system, while a plutocracy is governed by the rich and wealthy, with some elements of gerontocracy.

Although it is not clear which kingship is older among the kingdoms, their developments reached a climax in the 1940s and 50s.

The Urhobo government structure occurs at two levels, kingdom and town. The people are organized either by elders or by the wealthy.

Urhobo indigenous governments have an Ovie (king), who is the highest political figure. The Ovie is the symbol of the kingdoms’ culture and royal predecessors. His councillors consist of the Otota (speaker), and the Ohoveworen or Okakoro, addressed collectively as Ilorogun (singular: Olorogun).

Other title holders are the executioners (Ikoikpokpo), and the warriors (Ogbu). Other political titles are specific to the different kingdoms.

The judicial system places a clear distinction between civil and criminal offenses..

Urhobo Nationality And Governance Structure
Article Name
The Urhobo nation is made up of people who are located in Southern Nigeria, near the northwestern Niger delta. The Urhobo are the major ethnic group in Delta State, which is one of the 36 states of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
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Urhobo Voice
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Rev Francis Waive

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