The Two Major Ebiraland Local Government and Reasons behind their Names: Okene and Adavi
Okene and Adavi is a town in Kogi State, Nigeria. The predominant people are the Ebira of Central Nigeria, the local language of Ebira.
Okene is one of the most beautiful place in the whole of West Africa with the most beautiful palace known as Azad ‘s palace, it belongs to the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Dr. Ado Ibrahim.
Adavi is also a local government area in Kogi State, adjoining Edo state in the south and the state capital Lokoja in the van north Okene and Adavi are the most popular local government of the Ebira with lots of ancestral history guiding them.
The two local government area consists of lots of abara (Family units) and Iresu (Clan). Such as Ozi Udu, Ozi Ede, Ozi Ogu and lots more.
Reason Behind Okene’s Name in Ebiraland
Okene was formally known as Okokoro Une (Area of Antelope).
Okene was bushy but was an open grassland like the Savannah region. There was this animal which was predominant in the area called Une(Antelope). In Okene, unlike other parts of Ebiraland, Hunting was the main occupation because of the texture of the land and also the fact that Une was mostly found there. Due to this fact the people around who lives here decided to name it Okokoro Une (Area or home of Antelope) and the name continued to stay like that for a long time till the coming of the British.
The name Okokoro Une was difficult for the British to pronounce and the only pronunciation that could come up with was Okene, so after than the name was generally accepted because it was more easier to pronounce. Therefore the name Okene was delivered from Okokoro Une (home of Antelope).
The Reason Behind Adavi’s Name.
Adavi also was a busy area, It was a forest with lots of big trees with no footpath. A man was wandering about looking for fertile land and came across the present location of Adavi.
The land was good for farming, hunting and building of houses. The man then went back to his village (Okene.. near Ajaokuta), to report to the king about his findings and to Grant him immunity to go and start living their with his family to enable Ebiraland grow more territory, which was granted to him. The man then moved their with his family and little by little the place started developing.
The man was then made the chief of that Area and was popularly known as Adai Avi (Father of Leaves).
It was then suggested that the place should be name after the founding father but he refused and ask that instead it should be named after his popular name rather than his real name which was Adai Avi and that was how The place was named Adavi.
The two has played an important role in the history of Ebiraland.
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Reference: Oral History