AKENGBUWA I (EYEOLUSAN) JOAO MEANING JOHN

Second son of Olu Erejuwa I. Was the only Olu who did not go to Idaniken, because of the crisis of the time. Prince Okunuwa, his half brother disvirgined one of his young inherited wives. Although he was prepared to temper justice with mercy, his Uwangue (Uwakun) will not tolerate that, rather he wanted the culprit to be punished according to law. On the advice of the Olu, Okunuwa fled to Ugborodo, but after some years in despair of his disgrace, he committed suicide. The Uwangue’s half brother, Omagene, put two Princesses, one of them was Uwala, the Olu’s half sister in the family way, without obtaining permission for their marriage, as it was customary with all Freeborn Itsekiris. The Olu stood his ground that Omagene must be punished according to law, just as it was in his half brother’s case with the Uwangue (Uwakun). Omagene was later advised by his brother (Uwakun) to take poison and die rather than die by hanging. In 1818 AD, the fish village popularly called Ogheye was reported to have been burnt down. In 1820 AD, Lieutenant King observed Christmas celebration in Warri. In his words “At Christmas a great procession went from the town to a small village carrying a crucifix and other symbols of Christianity.” In 1823, Captain John Adams, a Briton adulterated the Kingdom’s name Iwere to Warri. In 1833, the British government outlawed slave in all the British dominions. In 1837, the Portuguese slave traders were sent out of the Kingdom by the British government. The Olu gave one of his daughters, Princess Iloyi to Chief Biriagada of Nembe (a town in River State). He also gave another daughter out in marriage to King Opubu the great of Bonny. Due to the latter’s good will to him, the Olu personally escorted the daughter to her husband. This is against the tradition of Itsekiri customary marriage. The Governor of Sao Tome made an appeal to Olu Akengbuwa to help and protect all Christians in his domain against non-Christians especially the Ijaws and not to make them pay heavy custom duties. A medicine man from Ife in Ile-Ife, who was brought to cure the barreness of Roli, one of the Olu’s wives, was asked by Omateye, the son of the Olu to treat Iye the Olu’s half sister for the same illness, without Roli’s permission. Because of this he was ordered by the Olu to be beheaded but before the medicine man was killed, he warned that his blood should not be allowed to touch the ground of the land or else after Akengbuwa’s reign a period of interregnum shall set in. This warning was ignored.

About 1808 – 14th June, 1848

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