The colonial history of Ndoni is intricately linked to that of the Aboh people of Delta State, Nigeria. The great Aboh Kingdom was a great naval force on the Niger Delta Coast for close to a century before the arrival of the Europeans. According to oral tradition, the Ndoni people were rival naval force with the Aboh people and both had some naval skirmishes from time to time and with others in the deltaic region. The Ndoni and Aboh people speak the same dialect.
In 1905 a formal colonial administrative office was established in Kwale. It was then known as Aboh Native Authority. In 1952 it was renamed Aboh Division with headquarter in Kwale.
The Ndoni people, like all ethnic nationalities in the Southern Protecterates were subjected to British rule.
In October 1, 1960, Nigeria had its independence from British colonial rule and Ndoni came under the rule of Western region–one of the two regions carved out of the Southern protectorates. Mid-west region was created in 1963, which included Ndokwa Land and other Non-Yoruba speaking parts of western region. Ndoni was a part of Aboh Division.
In May 1967, Rivers State was carved out from the old Eastern region 1967 as part of a new 12 State Federal Structure.
During the boundary adjustment of 1976 and local government reform, using the River Niger as a natural boundary, Ndoni, located on the eastern bank of River Niger was carved into ONELGA in Rivers State.
PRESENT STATE OF AFFAIRS
Ndoni people are proud of their heritage. As Nigerian Citizens, they are patriotic to the core. Although ONELGA is the number one oil producing local government in Nigeria and contributes a great percentage to the oil mono economy of NIGERIA, this area is bereft of any governmental infrastructure. Although we commend those responsible for providing road, water and electricity to Ndoni– especially Governor Peter Odili, Police Commissioner Sylvester Ossai and others, there are still much work to be done if our area is to be fully develop.
Infact there is no single factory nor higher educational institution at Ndoni. The proposed refinery project met an untimely death from the political maneuvres of the last state administration, despite the fact that the proposed refinery would be located in the number one oil producing area of Nigeria. Nevertheless, the inhabitants of Ndoni live in peaceful coexistence with their neighbors, the oil companies and their pipelines. This is highly commendable and the government should include these areas during infrastructural development.
Ndoni youths need jobs for a satisfying human existence and reduction of poverty. It is the lack of jobs that breeds restiveness among the youths. All stake holders should seriously consider the growing youth unemployment and do something about it. This should include both the government, private sector and individuals. This is the time to roll up our sleeves and get to work.
In addition, Ndoni is ripe to be a local government headquarter. This will correct the lack of developmental infrastructure like factories, university campuses which in non-existent in the riverine area it represents.
Ndoni sons and daughter both in Nigeria and in diaspora are contributing immensely to all areas of human endeavor. Their sons and daughters had served as governor, senator, academicians, doctors, professors, lawyers (SAN), judges, the Armed Forces etc.
The Ndoni people speak the Ndoni dialect which is similar to the Aboh dialect. These dialects are distinct from the Igbo language, hence we consider it a separate language. CONCLUSION
Let us look at our ancestors for strength. Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.
Contributed by Dr. Anthony Esumei
(From the Journal of late Chief C.K Esumei handed over to Dr Anthony Esumei)
The Awoh Kingdom
The Awoh Kingdom is a monarchial system of rule under the Awoh of Ndoni.This system of rule has been for over 200 years from the reign of Awoh Aligbondu in the 17th century to the reign of Awoh Aghaeze in the 18th century.
This system of monarchy is based on the caste system from among the class of people “the OMEKEs”, who are the descendants of Oshiale. By the 18th century, the collective name for the king makers is OMEKE. The ascension to the throne is rotational among the Omekes. The succession to the kingship and Okpala is a successive affair within the Omeke stock who have not been defiled by low exogamous marriage. The Omeke is divided into two CLASSES:
Oshiale married Nnsumai from Onikwu and had eight children.
After the death of Oshiale, Agbidi became the Okpala regent (Oshiale). He assumed the community leadership and the Eze Ani—being the eldest son.
After the death of Agbidi, Okeya became the Okpala.
After the death of Okeya, Ojugbali became the regent and reigned for a long time. He lived to the ripe age of 120 years. It was believed that Ojugbali founded the first dynasty—Eze Ojia dynasty and that he borrowed this system from Benin.
Mazzi could have succeeded Ojugbali but he died before Ojugbali. Omosor therefore succeeded Ojugbali as the Okpala and king of Ndoni.
After the death of Awoh Omoso from Ogbe Ukwu, Awoh Odili from Umu Okeya came to the throne. When Awoh Odili died, it was the turn of Olodu to succeed to the throne, but because he was old and incapacitated, he elected Aligbondu from Umu Awoh to succeed him.
There was a period of interregnum before Awoh Aghaeze became the monarchial head of Ndoni in 1918. It was Awoh Aghaeze who modernized and reformed the kingship and created the communal system of government in 1930. This reformation of the Awoh kingdom by Awoh Aghaeze brought into being a cabinet for administration/political administration (The Awoh-In-Council or Palace Chiefs). Awoh Aghaeze was formerly crowned the king in 1934 and he died in 1935 and the second burial was in 1937.
After the death of Awoh Aghaeze, Awoh Obi Omatu from Ogbe Ukwu succeeded him.
After the death of Awoh Obi Omatu, his son Awoh Gabriel Obi succeeded him which was unusual. In view of the rotational nature of the kingship among the Kingship Omeke, a son never succeeds the father as occurred in this case.